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Messages - Cramulus

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« on: Yesterday at 08:33:32 pm »
This isn't a pic, I just didn't know where to put it:


Zizek is way more interesting than Peterson. Peterson is a run of the mill huckster using his degree in a semi-related field to prey on alienated college aged males. Zizek is raccoon who lived in a dumpster behind a university's library who was transformed into a human by a witch

Principia Discussion / Re: Adopt a sacred chaos
« on: June 14, 2018, 07:10:28 pm »
That's a cool sacred chao! Where is it?

Bring and Brag / Re: SITH LORD TEARS
« on: June 13, 2018, 01:42:21 pm »
Thank you very much, Space Adventures Of Christ!!

:mittens:  :lol:

RPG Ghetto / Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« on: June 11, 2018, 01:56:12 pm »
 :eek: they finally announced it???


Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Why apples are oranges?
« on: June 08, 2018, 05:57:03 pm »
If you look closely, apples are really oranges. wow!

you've got it backwards, obviously everything is apples

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Free Russian Orphans with Every Purchase
« on: June 08, 2018, 03:08:45 pm »
I just realised I must have forgotten to unfriend Lys, after I saw him sharing a picture with the hastag #FreeTommy.

you guys know me, I'm probably too forgiving of people who ought to know better

I finally unfriended him after an episode on FB where someone was talking about transphobia and he went out of his way to "trigger" my trans friend. And then when she got upset he mocked her about it.

and I had a bigass private conversation with him, really spent 2 hours trying to talk to him about why intentionally being a dick to trans people is not part of the Good Signal he thinks he's supporting.

Cause I mean that's the weird thing... that a lot of these provacatory troll types really do think they're helping the world in some way -- I can really relate to that due to the time I spent being a dick to people in the name of Eris, so I feel like I have a responsibility to help ease people out of that space.

In the end, he apologized for hurting my friend's feelings, but said that he would probably do it again if given the opportunity.

sigh---goodbye asshole, I wish I could say it was fun knowing you.

Literate Chaotic / Re: I'm on the Radio
« on: June 08, 2018, 02:33:41 pm »
weird! Well you can probably find it in your podcast player... the show is called Snap Judgment. The episode title is Snap #918 - Beyond Belief - I'm the second story, about 20 minutes in.

Literate Chaotic / I'm on the Radio
« on: June 08, 2018, 02:25:55 pm »
Like 5 years ago, I posted in a Reddit thread "Tell us your best larp story" -- a radio producer dug up that post, e-mailed me, and asked me if I'd tell the story on her show. Months later, it finally aired!

This took place when I was 19, it involves a crazy road trip, murder, and .... I won't spoil the ending, but it was surreal :P

« on: June 07, 2018, 12:18:05 pm »
Hail Eris:

Is it pronounced "eh ris" or "ee ris"?


Your Cramulus

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: June 06, 2018, 02:42:44 pm »
That's a good question! A little outside my ken. I know that Gurdjieff intended the music in part as reconciliation between eastern and western forms. He worked closely with the composer Thomas de Hartmann on each piece, and supposedly encoding within it some of his teachings. Some of the music - like the sayyids - seems like it's designed to take on the emotional qualities of the performer.

heh, side story --- At the musical performance last night, there was this one old guy... we're all sitting and waiting for the presentation to begin. This guy gets up and adjusts the LED above the piano. Then says, rather harshly (albeit with a trace of humor) "Is that better, DOTTIE? Is the light PERFECT now? Is it not in your eyes??"

Then he faced another part of the crowd. The LED was glaring in our faces. He asked "How is it for you guys? Is it hurting your eyes? does it make you uncomfortable?" a few people nodded yes. The guy looked right at them. paused. nodded as if to say "good", and then sat down.  :lol:

Later, he would play a few pieces on the piano. The way he played was harsh, abrasive, hammering the low notes in a way that was startling and serious, like thunder. It was like I could feel his confrontational edge. And in this meditative space, I could feel the emotions that this confrontation provoked in me, though at a distance. Like I was watching myself from a third person perspective, like I was a character in a play, performing my lines and reactions as scripted.

I only know a little bit about the origins of the music... Gurdjieff sent Thomas de Hartmann and his wife on a sabbatical to Armenia to taste the culture there.

Here's a passage from James Moore's biography of Gurdjieff, on p 130

Thomas de hartmann was now set a new task. As candidate pianist for the Sacred Dances, he urgently needed to master the distinctive idiom of oriental music; Gurdjieff therefore instigated and fanned in him a passion for Komitas Vardapet the ill-fated Armenian ethno-musicologist and national genius. 'I wish to speak', said Thomas, tightly gripping his lectern in Tbilisi, 'of Komitas Vardapet who is now in Constantinople, whose mental health is seriously injured and who is kept without money, without moral support, without the warmth of family and without friendship, having lost everything decrying the bloody massacres of the Armenians.' Three months earlier, Thomas had not heard of Komitas but under Gurdjieff's influence he could, for the moment, scarecy think of anyone else.

At the beginning of July 1919, when [Thomas's wife] Olga had gamely brought to concert pitch a repertoire of Armenian songs, Gurdjieff despatched the de Hartmanns to Armenia on a flying cultural visit. They arrived in Erivan debating whether the greatest achievement of the Komitas were actually his deciphering of the ancient neumes or his harmonic and polyphonic extrapolation of the Armenian folk melody. At night they sprinkled round the bed a 'magic circle of kerosene' to ward away lice and vermin; by day, walking to their concerts, they regretted the harrowing and distracting evidence of inefficent flour distribution: 'people sitting like corpses, homeless and starving, awaiting death.' On their final evening, the de Hartmanns were received by his beatitude Archishop Sarpazan Horen in his house high above the Zanga river:

When night fell, a full moon shone through the warm southern air and mount Ararat was wrapped in a shroud of mist: an unforgettable sight. To accompany this vision there was real Eastern music... different kinds of 'bayati' with 'gap'.

Just as Gurdjieff had intended, Thomas returned to Tbilisi attuned to the beauty, savagery, and immemorial melancholy of his teacher's Armenian heritage, and burning to translate it all into music.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: June 06, 2018, 01:48:57 pm »
The Moment When Cramulus Finally Lost It

Getting you cats up to speed on my Reality Safari

For over a year now, I've been attending weekly meetings which include 5 "learners" and 2-3 "teachers". The terms in quotes have never been used - I'm just using them for ease of communication. The folks who lead the meetings don't present themselves as teachers or experts, just other people in the Gurdjieff work trying to figure things out. We understand this as a "preparatory group".

In In Search of the Miraculous, Ouspensky mentions that Gurdjieff charged people a sum of money (1000 Rubles) to study under him. Ouspensky prodded him about that, asking - if the work is so important, why charge for it? That's too much.

Gurdjieff indicated that it wasn't so much about the money as about making the group a commitment and a priority. “People do not value a thing if they do not pay for it.” A small sacrifice will encourage people to treat the Work with gravity and approach it sincerely.

And it's also indicated that Gurdjieff gave a lot of people a pass on the "dues". People who genuinely couldn't afford it could (secretly) attend for free. Gurdjieff could be shameless in asking for cash (especially of rich high-society people who wished to study under him), but also famously generous. (and he never bragged about that generosity - he said "one should cultivate generosity in secret") (Gurdjieff and Money)

So with that in mind, I've been waiting for the Gurdjieff Foundation to ask me for cash. In my mind, there's always that "IS THIS A PREDATORY CULT" question, and when the donation tray comes out, that's when we'll see the true colors. I keep Eris close by, and she reminds me that I can say "fuck it, these guys are spags" and flounce at any time. I like to keep this feeling in my front pocket, the awareness that I can choose to flip a mental switch and be repelled instead of attracted.

Last week, they told us that we'd be taking a break for the summer. And in September, when the Foundation opens again, that our group would be invited to become a "Foundation group". That means that we'd be welcome to attend any of the Gurdjieff Foundations events and activities, but we would also be responsible to pay dues. The money goes towards the rent and upkeep of the Gurdjieff Foundation building, which is an old firehouse in midtown Manhattan - a super expensive property to maintain, to be sure!

They said the dues would be $85 per month, which works out to about $1000 a year. (I was hoping they'd ask for 1000 Rubles, because that's only like $16) They also said that they money is not intended to be an obstacle - if you can't pay it, you can name an amount that you can pay. The important thing is that you make a firm commitment and then stick to it. You shouldn't say "Oh I can pay $75 this month" and then the next month, only $40. Someone in our group will have to volunteer as treasurer, collect the dues from the others, and then give it to the foundation on our behalf.

I'm encouraged... actual predatory cults don't tend to say "Pay what you can" - they have no problem draining you dry.

As a dues-paying member of the Gurdjieff Foundation, we would have the freedom to attend events at the Foundation building. There is a weekly reading from Beezlebub's Tales, and also "work days" and various activities. Most interesting to me is the class on the "Movements".

The Sacred Movements fascinate me, and I've always wanted to learn them. My first brush with the Gurdjieff work was watching some of the Movements performed on youtube (which is NOT the proper way to experience them, but god bless the 21st century) - something about them captivated me, calmed me, inspired me. The dancers are completely there. I want to be a part of that. They also speak to my aesthetic attraction to mysticism and esoteric knowledge - the dance is like a prayer you do with your whole being - not just your mind, but your emotions and body. They are like a language, with a deeply encoded symbolism which is invisible to us on the outside.

The movements classes won't begin until October - and they take place at 9 at night. This is a significant challenge for me, as I live outside of NYC and would have to take a train in the evening. They said that if you intend to learn the dances, to commit a year to it. So, I have until October to waffle about it and figure out how to organize my life so that I can do this. In the end, I am sacrificing comfort, which is maybe a good thing to sacrifice in the name of my aim.

Last night, I attended a presentation of Gurdjieff music at the Foundation. It was touching and beautiful music, soulful and evocative. At age 36, I was the youngest person in the room by at least 10 years.  :p I wonder what it will be like to study alongside these people. I wonder if I will come to the well and drink my fill, and then wander away. Or if I will drink and then dwell there.

Maybe it's the sunk cost fallacy, maybe it's my thirst for knowledge, but I'm ready to learn more. At this moment, looking at myself in the mirror and comparing it to myself when I started this Reality Safari ... I've changed, in a good way. I've gotten a lot more practice observing myself in very fine ways. The Gurdjieff work has illuminated an inner chamber which I've glimpsed through our talks about The Art of Memetics and the Black Iron Prison. I've gotten better at controlling - or at least, recognizing - the impulses and internal forces that fill my sails.

I can also sense when others have been initiated. Two weeks ago, I was at the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, and I was struck to a standstill by some of the art there. When someone has had the experience, all of their art reflects it. Sometimes I would look at a piece and instantly recognize that this person has been through the same gates I have, they have felt the unity of Thou Art That and the disjointed inner cacophony that stuffs itself into a trench coat and presents itself as the ego.

I can see how the works of Robert Anton Wilson and Timothy Leary are an Outer School, they are another manifestation of the fourth way into the temple. What I've been learning is in many ways the same thing that's at the kernel of My Discordianism, albeit less silly and more traditional. It reconciles the religion of my youth with the freedom of my adolesence and the critical edge of my adulthood.

We have a lopsided pineal gland, you know.

Apple Talk / Re: I don't know if I should buy these eggs.
« on: June 05, 2018, 08:56:18 pm »
this is fantastic

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: June 05, 2018, 08:53:58 pm »
I'm okay with the negative connotations of calling it Sleep because it's the state I want to overcome. I rely on it too much, and that's what keeps me comfortable - and mediocre.

In some ways, the "sleep" I'm trying to escape is a Black Iron Prison - a place where you are not entirely free, boundried by your own choices and tastes. You can never fully escape, but by actively confronting your own internal obstacles and habits (including the ones you like), by resisting your urge to settle into the most comfortable position, you can attain a higher degree of freedom.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: June 05, 2018, 08:38:11 pm »
Would it be fair to say that "sleeping mind" might be too much of an active (and negatively connotated) verb?

Like, would "reliance on heuristics" work? People don't think beyond the heuristic, don't evaluate if that specific one applies in a certain situation, and essentially don't "think" about it.

I think Sleeping is the right metaphor for the dream state / autopilot we exist in most of the time.

When I have my "ahah!" moments - when I finally see my own ignorance and laziness - when there is an electrical contact between my conscious and unconscious parts - I feel awake.

I've noticed, personally, that the experience of trying to "wake myself up" feels similar to an attempt to make a dream lucid. Like, look around right now---is this a dream? How can you tell? You have to be present, that's the only way to know. If the 'reality check' is mechanical, automatic, it doesn't work.

If the sleep metaphor doesn't play for you, think about it this way - being 'awake' is the opposite of mechanical action. In Illuminatus, Wilson and Shea describe the automatic processes as "the robot" and the self that can overcome the robot as "the human". Sometimes the human can even reprogram the robot, but the robot has to be defeated first.

"Reliance on Heuristics" speaks to a deficiency in the intellectual process. But doesn't describe other parts of the "sleeping" experience - like how I constantly filter out the data I'm receiving from my body (or emotions). It doesn't describe how when I'm emotional, my intellect is pulled into service of that emotion.

I'm reminded of that passage from the Principia Discordia - the Parable of the Bitter Tea.

In Chasing Eris, Brenton interviewed the writer of that passage ... that passage is about how your body / intuition is often way ahead of your mind. The character is brewing this tea, and he suspects that it's going to taste awful, but he's absorbed in the process and brews it anyway. And then he discovers what he already knew - it was a bitter tea. His mind is disconnected into different ribbons, they cannot communicate with each other while he's acting mechanically.

Is it? how so?

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