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Messages - Cramulus

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High Weirdness / Re: ITT Mandela Effect fuckery biblical or otherwise
« on: July 09, 2019, 07:50:35 pm »
Just for posterity
The Mandela Effect is just false memories + the sleeper effect.

The mechanism is that when you imagine something that happened in the past, at first, your brain can easily tell the difference between the real memory and the imagined scenario. But that imagined scenario gets stored much like a real memory does.

Over time, the "metadata" decays--it becomes harder to distinguish the real memory from the imagined one. The weaker a memory, the more vulnerable you are to being misled by false memories.


Do you remember how it rained during your prom?

imagine that

imagine it really hard, visualize it, tell me some details about it

10 years from now, you won't be so sure it didn't rain.

Sounds like a nice, tidy, and perfectly sensible explanation. But is it correct in being "just" that? Surely some of the reported differences are just this or even full blown psychosis in action, but in your guts and expanded awareness you're working on are you certain?

Folks are willing to fight over this stuff. The bible stuff alone is enough to cause some serious Strife indeed.

The reason the False Memory effect is so pervasive about events that happened 10+ years ago is because the mind is so suggestible. All it takes to generate a false memory is a leading question.

This is the reason that there was a whole "Satanic Ritual Abuse" scare in the 90s.. therapists at the time were big into "recovered memories", and would ask children leading questions at what they suspected happened. "Did you ever see satanists in the woods?" -- "Did the satanists do anything to you?"  Kids think about it, and gosh, they do remember something now that you mention it! Lots of people went to jail over this, the head of the american psychological association (Elizabeth Loftus) proved that these forms of testimony (based on children's memory recovery) are unreliable at best, and basically had to flee to Australia because she got a lot of innocent people (assumed to be satanic child abusers) out of jail. And you know how we hate that.

This is why leading questions are not allowed in court. If you ask somebody "Was there a big red stop sign at the intersection?" they will say yes, like, 30-40% of the time, even if there was no stop sign.  If you don't lead with that image, and just ask them to describe the intersection, very few people report a stop sign.

Every article I've seen about the Mandella effect asks leading questions. They will say "Remember the Berenstein bears? Turns out it's always been spelled Berenstain." They lead with the false information first, and suddenly, you can't distinguish the weak memory of how that word is spelled and the image you just visualized.

In my gut, do I think this explains all of the Mandella effect phenomenon? Yes, actually. I haven't seen a single instance of the Mandella effect that can't be explained via false memory, misinformation, or the simple conflation of two elements you barely remember. Not to mention, lots of trolls have generated images that make it more confusing.

Honestly, what do you think is more likely? That people have trouble remembering forgettable media and news items from 20 years ago, or that we're in a bizarro universe where history changes, but only about super minor things like Sinbad's acting career?

I think it's much more likely that memory is fallible and is not an exact record.

High Weirdness / Re: ITT Mandela Effect fuckery biblical or otherwise
« on: July 08, 2019, 05:41:11 pm »
In False Memory research, they call it the "sleeper effect"

Misinformation can create a false memory. Like if I said "Remember when the default forum theme was all pastels, titled 'Closet Homo in Key West'?" I've mislead you into imagining that totally fictional event.

At first, it's easy to distinguish the imaginary experience from your actual memory.

But over time, the mental little label decays. You stop being able to distinguish the imaginary experience from the memory. You assume the imaginary experience really happened. But that never happened.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Drinks are on the Supreme Court
« on: July 03, 2019, 01:15:28 pm »
Dear Tastycle,

if discordians no here
why me a dog can type???

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: June 28, 2019, 02:25:59 pm »
Thank you.

Reflecting on my experiences... They discourage us from thinking too much about "results". The point of the work is not to develop superhuman cognitive abilities. Doing the work doesn't make you better than other people. We talk about enlightenment, but not as a permanent state. To be filled with light (the light of self knowledge, lighting a candle within the dark cave of your inner being) is usually a momentary experience. All we strive for is to see things how they really are, to have a brief contact with objective reality. To remember its taste and carry its memory back into the darkness.

But fuck it, let me talk about results.

I ran an incredible event a few weeks ago. I don't want to type it's name, because I don't want people googling it to find this place. But it's first word is Goat and it's second word is Larp. It was a truly incredible day. We had seven discordians there! For years and years I've helped people run their larps, and I've directed larps, but I've never produced one all by myself (at least, not one that required a lot of money changing hands). This was my first real jump into production, meant to be a training experience for bigger and better projects in 2020.

How did it happen? It basically happened because of the meditation and self examination I've been doing. The inner-sensitivity we develop in the Gurdjieff work brought me into contact with my own needs.

What am I doing with my life? What am I waiting for?

If I zoom out, and perceive the bigger picture, what does that picture look like? How can I be of service to it?

Seriously, what am I waiting for??

And what is the resistance, what is holding me back? Can I perceive the exact moment in my thoughts when my laziness kicks in? What distracts me from shooting the arrow from my heart, into the world?

In the meditative space, I was able to see how my daily rhythms, my desires, my impulses, my my ego -- they lead me in a certain direction, but only in fantasy, not reality. And the fantasy without the reality is crushing. To take the next step, I have to be open. Receptive. The big picture is talking to us all the time, and we can feel it... but it's so easy to focus on other things, to be comfortable--and this is sleep.

This is not a verbal understanding. It's a state of being, it happens within the whole body. The head is noisy, we think we're in the head. We're not, consciousness involves the whole nervous system--the limbs, the skin, the environment you're in, the sky, the earth, the gravity of the whole fucking galaxy.

And I decided -- I need to step forward. The world has given me all these gifts, let's not waste them. I want to push myself, discover my true capacity, operate on a higher level of difficulty. I made myself open. And then the idea, like a butterfly, landed on the jeweled lotus, and there was a lightning bolt of energy that connected my everyday, ordinary life with the cosmos above. And it wasn't a stuffy idea, it was FUN, it was SILLY, it was pure discordian joy.

And six months later, I went on TV to talk about my idea, and the onion AV club did an article about it, and everybody was hitting me with mania on every side, and I realized -- this is it. This is what I was supposed to do.

In the Gurdjieff work, a "Miracle" is the term for when a higher cosmos is able to exert influence on the lower cosmos. Like if an ant colony is able to see the water rising, and relocate -- they couldn't do it from the ant's individual perspective, they'd have to escape that everyday sensibility and see things from a higher point of view. I feel like what I did, in some sense, was a miracle.

It proved to me that free will exists, that you can walk out of the black iron prison. You can do it today.

You just have to be sensitive to the invitations you are receiving, from outside of the prison. And when you get the invitation, and you feel the desire to answer it (really feel it, not just intellectually, but within your whole being), you can bend the bars. You can walk out. You can be free. Today.

Think for Yourself, Schmuck! / Re: Reality Safari: Gurdjieff
« on: June 27, 2019, 08:45:33 pm »
The Gurdjieff foundation has a calendar, and we've just reached the end of the "year". The Foundation closes for a few months, and reopens in September. Something like a "summer vacation". I wanted to share a little about my experiences in the last month.

I attended a talk at the Gurdjieff foundation where we listened to a few readings and some music. One of the readings emphasized the need to participate simultaneously in "three lines of work":

  • Working for oneself
  • Working for one's companions, the people around you
  • Working for the bigger picture, the whole world

And in the moment, something in the talk rubbed me the wrong way. The talk seemed to suggest (and perhaps this is just my mechanical association with some of the words used) that serving the Gurdjieff Foundation is a way of working on the third line. There is a thought that all of us doing the movements and work together helps put a little particle of consciousness into the world, an island of self awareness on which others can land their boats.

And it occurred to me that despite coming to these meetings for two years, I know very little about the Gurdjieff foundation itself. I don't know who runs it, or how it's organized. They haven't asked me for money (though they did test us, seeing if asking for money would drive us off) but they do occasionally suggest that we should spend more time volunteering there and participating in foundation events. And I genuinely do not think they are a predatory cult, but I just had to pause and ask myself if my judgment was trustworthy.

It was like some Discordian sensibility sat up within me--a distrust of organized religion. I sat with this feeling for a week. They are old, we are young, they need our vitality to continue. Why should I give it to them? My participation in this group requires a sacrifice of time and energy -- do they deserve it?

And I knew this was a cynical thought, and that I was not being generous. But it's important to be awake, critical, to not regard these old timers as perfected beings, but humans in the raw. Other searchers. And it just seemed strange to me that in two years of meetings, there is so much about the Foundation which hasn't been discussed or revealed. Probably because in these meetings we focus on the Work, and not on terrestrial stuff like the organization. But still, it's a weird little blind spot all of us initiates have.

At my small-group meeting the next week, one of the old timers asked if there was anything about the work we were particularly interested in. I spoke up -- I want to know more about the Foundation -- how it's organized. Who's in charge? What are your roles? How has it changed since Gurdjieff's death, and how is it changing now?

Someone asked me - why do you want to know these things?

and I said because I feel like, despite two years of dutiful participation, we are still in a distant orbit around the center.
And because I don't understand why we haven't talked about these things. And it's impossible for me to know whether it is omitted intentionally or not.

At this, the leaders visibly reeled. They were hurt that I would accuse them of deception. They said that they never told us about that stuff because we never asked, and they didn't know we were interested. ((but -- they initiate the discussions for each meeting, and it doesn't seem like there's space to ask super off-topic questions like that))

Someone else in the group spoke up - that yes, before they had spent a lot of time at the Foundation, it seemed very mysterious, private, and that there is a sense that you shouldn't ask questions about it.

Then someone else said, yes, I've been curious about this too, but it doesn't feel like there's ever an opportunity to talk about it.

So the leaders answered all of our questions. They answered thoroughly and patiently and I smelled no whiff of deception or misleading us.

They said that after Gurdjieff died, the "shareholder" of the foundation was his protege, Jeanne de Salzmann, and when she died in 92(?), it passed on to four people, and now it's eight people. There is a separate "council" that makes group decisions, and two of my group's leaders are on that council.

I was told that since Gurdjieff's death, there's been an ongoing discussion about how to keep the teaching alive, and not just mechanically repeating the bits that were left to us. This pleased me. They said that for a while, they were not recruiting or proselytizing, but in recent years, they've started to hold public readings as a hook for those that want to get involved. All of us in the meeting originally came in from one of these readings (see the first page of this thread).

I was reminded that there are a lot of "work days" where people gather at the foundation on a Saturday and work together all day. And that sometimes there are work weeks at a campsite upstate. And that if I came to any of these, I would see that there's nothing secret, really. If I came to the foundation closing ceremony - which is mainly about cleaning before the building shuts down for the summer - I could explore the whole building and poke in every closet.  (although that was my anniversary, couldn't do it!)

They also mentioned the library. On the second floor, the foundation has a library of special books, and all members of the foundation are welcome to visit it and read. It's not a "lending library"; books cannot be removed. A lot of them are about mysticism, or other esoterica. As you can imagine, this piqued my interest.

In conclusion to this little discussion... I came at the Gurdjieff leaders kinda directly, perhaps confrontationally. In part, this was to see how they would react. If they really were keeping things secret from us, there would be clues in their reactions. And as I've said before, if this really is a predatory cult that's playing a long con, then I trust Eris to save me. So I hurled a golden apple, and I saw people react, and frankly, it increased my trust.

So on the following Wednesday, on the evening of the final movement class of the season, I showed up 45 minutes early to explore the library. (BTW, I saw B. Murray in the building that night, but didn't get a chance to bother him again  :p) I'll share some pictures.

I was told to go up the stairs and pass the Zodiac Room:

And down a short set of stairs, there was a single room library, filled wall to wall with fascinating books.

The books were organized by topic...

Islamic writings
and a whole wall of Gurdjieff's writings in different languages

I pulled some William Blake from the shelf and meditated on it.

and then I went to the final movement class of the season

where I aligned myself with myself
and the bigger picture
and the even bigger picture

and when I left, I felt like a snowglobe that I just stopped shaking,
all the particles of snow now moving in a circle, together, separated and unified within the translucent glass globe of my heart.

I love you again and again, Sepia

let us be bees

bees know that to make a drop of honey, you must gather from a hundred flowers

and may each of us be flowers too

Apple Talk / Re: Dear Doktor:
« on: June 20, 2019, 04:20:54 pm »
I know a guy who lives in the back country of PA. When he was a teen, his friends fell in with some people that were part of the KKK, and he tagged along. As a teen, he didn't know the larger context. As he grew up, he woke up, got disgusted, and ragequit that whole social branch. Today, (10+ years later) I can certify that he's fine.

I think that if the condition is based on genuine ignorance, it can be cured.
If the condition is based on choices one has made consciously, it is there at a deep level and will take an enormous labor to free onself.

In both cases, the person has to want to free themselves - you cannot impose a change like that on someone else. The change has to originate from within them, from a genuine desire, or the waves and winds will always pull them off course.

also, Hi suu! :wave:

Apple Talk / Re: in which I post my biannual thing on PD
« on: June 12, 2019, 03:49:29 pm »
That's fuckin badass! Congrats!!

RPG Ghetto / Re: Unified Vidya Games thread
« on: June 10, 2019, 09:03:48 pm »
I'm pre-horny for Elden Ring, the From Soft + George R R Martin project.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Drinks are on the Supreme Court
« on: June 07, 2019, 12:53:22 pm »
link to podcast?

Literate Chaotic / Omar Khayyam
« on: June 05, 2019, 02:41:43 pm »
Omar Khayyam and the Sufi Influence on Discordia

On the title page of the Principia Discordia, you will find this inscription, next to a picture of Diogenes the Cynic

This is a bastardized version of a poem - here is the longer version:

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,   
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and Thou   
  Beside me singing in the Wilderness—   
O, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Who wrote the stanza on the title page?

  • Was it Kerry Thornley, under the pen name Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst?
  • Was it Edward FitzGerald, English leisure-class jongleur and translator of Persian Poetry?
  • Or was it the Sufi, Omar Khayyam, "The Tentmaker", who lived in 1100?

or was it all of them?

In Kerry's introduction to the Principia, he writes:
My own favorite Holy Name -- Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst -- functions that way. It is a walking identity crisis. Anybody can say or do anything in the name of Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst. For better or worse, that never fails to confuse the authorities.

He goes on to relate a story about how he added that name to a roster when he was in Marine Basic Training, and nobody ever caught that it was a fake, and all sorts of rumors and stories began to crop up about this mysterious, fictional figure. At one point, somebody confuses a big truck driver named Buddha with Omar.

On the surface, all of this sounds like a funny little story about hacking bureaucracy using an assumed name, and for 20 years I never understood it's true depth.

There is an old Persian tradition of writing quatrains and attributing them to Omar Khayyam. This alone should tell us that Kerry Thornely was hiding something for us to find later. Kerry was aware of Sufism and Discordianism is, in some ways, an expression of it.

“I think of all the pube I got while reading the Rubaiyat” -MC Paul Barman
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is a famous collection of poems. I collect copies of it--as of this morning, I own four of them. While the poems are evidentaly written by the persian poet Omar Khayyam, they were "translated" from Persian by Edward FitzGerald in the 1850s. He published four different editions of the work, with slightly different iterations of each quatrain.

The theme of the work seems to be about living in the moment, enjoying life, understanding that life is temporary, all that we see is fleeting and impermanent -- so let's have a good time while we can.

'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

When You and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh, but the long, long while the World shall last,
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As the Sea’s self should heed a pebble-cast.

Wine is a recurring theme in the poetry, and the ecstacy of intoxication:

And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape,
Bearing a vessel on his Shoulder; and
He bid me taste of it; and 'twas--the Grape!

I always imagined that young Kerry Thornley enjoyed these poems because when he and Greg Hill were growing Discordia, they were teens and in their 20s - and I myself spent a lot of my teens and 20s drunk off my ass and loving life. But there's actually a lot more going on here...

What was Omar Khayyam talking about?
Omar Khayyam "the tentmaker" was a Sufi mathematician and astronomer. He also wrote poetry, but didn't consider himself a poet - he was much more famous as a mathematician. The original Rubaiyat is a Sufic work - that is, it transmits certain Sufic truths to those that are prepared to receive them.

The Sufis use coded language, hiding their truths behind symbols and shared reference points. A story may appear to outsiders as a joke, or a little moral lesson (like most of Aesop's fables). But to one with the ears to hear it, there is often another hidden meaning.

The grape, and wine (for example), is a clear sufi symbol. Decoded, it refers to divine ecstacy. Drunkenness is a metaphor for the personal transformation that takes place when one has tasted this mystical experience. So these verses about drinking wine and reading poetry with a loved one -- they are also about sharing a special connection, not just horizontally, between people, but vertically, a relationship with a higher purpose. A transformation of consciousness. A direct experience of divine love.

If you're not familiar with Sufism -- a short verison would be that it's the mystical subset of Islam. (Sort of like how Judiasm has its mystical practitioners of Kaballa). Many say that Sufism contains the "inner essence" of Islam. Some would even go so far as to say that this inner essence is the inner essence of all religions, and that Sufism has attached itself to Islam as a way of "sneaking in the back door", making the ideas palatable and acceptable within an orthodox religious society.

The original version of the Rubaiyat is full of hidden meanings (much of which was lost in translation). This is a classic sufi method - breaking the wisdom into little pieces, each shaped like the whole, and scattering it all over. These verses have actually been used by Sufi teachers to impart Sufic lessons.

Many Sufis do no think Edward FitzGerald realy picked up that "Sufic voice". His mentor, Professor Cowell, taught him Persian and introduced him to the Rubaiyat. Cowell was introduced to the work by talking with Indian scholars of the Persian language. But according to Idries Shah, in The Sufis, some think these scholars intentionally misled the professor. (which is also consistent with Sufi teaching...) Neither FitzGerald nor Cowell were fluent in Persian, and their translations are sometimes described as childish, simple. So maybe FitzGerald really thought that the poem was about how cool it is to get drunk, and was not trying to transmit a higher spiritual truth. At least, not intentionally.

But this might be too simple of an explanation, too. Some of FitzGerald's verses seem to reference other Sufic sources like the poet Hafiz - so it's likely he did do a lot of wide reading on the topic, even if he was never initiated.

Even if FitzGerald was totally ignorant of the sufic line of thinking, he may have, in his translation, captured part of it and inadvertently carried it forward. His translation became very popular. It sparked a literary fad in the 1890s, the "Khayyam Cult" was a poetic trend of writing verses in the style of the Rubaiyat, and sharing them in person, in the presence of wine, and love.

Maybe this is part of the sufi spirit
or maybe not

because it sparked some divine inspiration in Thornley, I'm inclined to believe that the inner meaning of the work was passed on via FitzGerald.

What does it mean? What does it meeeeean????
In 1960, when Kerry Thornley took on the name Lord Omar, he was tipping his hat to an ancient tradition. By including, on the title page of the Principia, his own "translation" of a verse from Fitzgerald, which is in turn a reading of Khayyam, and by adapting this old Persian tradition of attributing things to Omar Khayyam, he is telling us that Discordianism is tapping into something much older. The Principia and the Rubaiyat are in contact with the same thing.

On the surface, the work is about happiness, physical enjoyment, relaxation, humor. But beneath the surface, there's something else. The inner-essence of all religions. Divine ecstacy. Hidden truth, encoded. A truth that cannot be captured neatly by the rational mind or transmitted by words. Like the inner meaning of a poem, it has to be sought after and discovered by the seeker, it cannot be simply transmitted by a teacher. The teacher can point to the door, can provide the tools for understanding, but the student must pass through it themselves, on their own effort.

Khayyam tells us, by way of Fitzgerald, and by way of Thornley, that the vertical and the horizontal are the same thing. Divine love and love for one another are the same thing.

That's why we raise our wine glasses together,

whistling in the darkness.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Drinks are on the Supreme Court
« on: June 04, 2019, 04:14:10 pm »
I just bought my fourth copy of the Rubiyyat of Omar Khayyam. I'm starting to feel like Mel Gibson in Conspiracy Theory, collecting all those copies of Catcher in the Rye. It's such a beautiful poem though!

Right now I'm reading this book about Sufism by Idries Shah, and he syas that Omar Khayyam hid an esoteric message in the poem. Some aspects of this Sufic reading it were lost in the Fitzgerald "translation", but some remain. I just learned that Idries Shah created his own translation of the original Rubiyyat, which preserves the Sufic meaning. So I had to have it.

Soon (ie when I finish reading about him), I'm going to make a thread about the original Omar Khayyam. It's interesting -- it's very likely that teenage Kerry Thornely was not aware of the mystical depth of this name he chose, I suspect he just loved that so many of the poems are about getting drunk. But who knows. There's a lot of interesting stuff here which may tell us something about Discordia too.

I think that's the part of the key to swimming in the 21st century.

I work in educational publishing, and we talk a lot about education strategies, learning methods.. but having been out of school for 15 years, I'm not sure how much students are taught "how to learn". And how reading a piece of info is not enough, it has to be received in the right conditions, elaborated on, felt internally, in order for it to become knowledge.

interesting question

Those of us plugged into media are getting information in much larger volumes than any time in prior human history.

very little of it is survival-related, so it's probably not a "need", however,

aspects of our environment are competitive, and someone well-equipped to educate themselves has a big advantage. Really, what we're talking about is the ability to parse the vast amounts of data and separate noise from signal, which is a little different from just getting information faster.

All that being said, there are people out there in rural areas who still have an e-mail address and are doing just fine without us. Different environments have different needs.

Apple Talk / Re: Open Bar: Drinks are on the Supreme Court
« on: May 30, 2019, 08:43:58 pm »

Yes, yes I do

welcome back dude, glad you're still kickin after that horrible mountain experience

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