Posts Tagged ‘spirituality’
Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017
It would seem that genetics and spirituality are opposite ends of a spectrum, but they are linked because both converge on organizations in a cyclic pattern: genetics determines ability and organizations route that ability either into rewarding or harmful mental outlooks. A useful rough model to link genetics to spirituality can be seen through the following sequence:
- Genes affect language
- Language affects culture and ( Western dualistic thinking )
- Culture affects safety
- Safety affects productivity
- Productivity affects competitiveness
- Competitiveness affects spirituality
Humans are genetically inclined to express themselves using language in the context of survival. This context changes for example, when the field becomes education, or business. Languages enable humans to perform in these various contexts.
Various languages developed around the world and resulted in various cultures. Initially some commenters thought that culture itself aimed at a universal objective, but because languages adapt and contexts change, we can visualize cultures as horizons that become fused as time progresses.
One interesting opinion was that the Western context exhibited a particular dualistic thinking (and thus dualistic culture) that enhanced binary thinking whereby a signifier such as “woman” is not identified by the meaning of the word, but by all the things that are absent from it. Language effects culture for example by isolating the concept of woman from family, child or social class; it produces a generic category which then forces distinction of layers of meaning by language.
Geert Hofstede demonstrates that culture affects safety. Human participation in war also demonstrated that home-advantage played a significant role, even visible in professional sports today.
Safety affects productivity since it is relatively easy to prove that a sick person cannot work. Safety also has a much wider application in that it is one of the fundamental goals of leadership, as was demonstrated by President Trump when he stated that his first priority is to keep Americans safe from both terrorism and immigrant crime.
Global competitiveness reports describe how productivity affects competitiveness in each country. The safer a country is, the more likely it is to be productive; this makes sense, since the smarter the population — a function of genetics — the more likely the country will be to have advanced leadership, and through that higher degrees of safety, and thus of confidence in the population.
Most people will think that spirituality would rather affect competitiveness, while the opposite is really true. The thinking is that competitiveness is a goal, or has a goal, whereas spirituality cannot propose a goal that relates to competitiveness. Rather, the idea is to cycle back to language and culture where goalposts shift continuously, requiring regular changes in productive techniques (which has proven to be immensely difficult).
However, not only is “change” difficult, but merely having that “technique” is also prohibitive in the long run. First of all, overcoming the inherent problem of techniques — a calcifying tendency to imitate what has succeeded, without recognizing that the goalposts have shifted — requires spirituality, which will also help with changing of those same techniques later on.
The limitations of “techniques” can only be overcome with spiritual means because those are more abstract and related to principle, so can be used to assess goal, and from that, techniques can be chosen dynamically. Without this cycle, cultural organizations will eventually falter.
Organizations, like organisms, perish when they fail to adapt to changing conditions in the world around them. Spirituality, principles and transcendentals help societies avoid becoming fixated on concrete goals and techniques which then slowly become obsolete, giving entry to an entropy spiral leading to civilizational heat death, which is how all societies perish.
The world does not stand still. To adapt to this, humans bring genes and spirit together through the cycle described above by which genes create culture, culture creates language, language creates organization, and organizations through their handling of safety, create a spiritual presence that keeps the population flexible.
As with so many things in life, the first look — a mile wide, an inch deep — is the enemy of accurate perception. The institutions we think are least necessary and most outdated, like nationalism, religion, literature and hierarchy, may in fact be what saves us from the collapse that the first look would engender.
Friday, December 9th, 2016
The important thing about the Alt Right is that — contrary to appearances — it shows the right growing up and merging its two threads, opposition to delusional Utopianism on one hand, and its resistance to “modern society” on the other.
Few are willing to mention the truth about the West, which is that it is soul-killing. Jobs are spirit subjugation; the cities are ugly; all of our products are designed to take advantage of us and deprive us of the function of that product. What kind of rising technological empire cannot make a refrigerator that lasts longer than ten years?
In the hands of the proles, the vote went to the people, and this seems to empower whoever wants to treat the population as a cash cow and milk it for all that it is worth. Governments are self-interested businesses, but so are regular businesses. All want to extract the most cash out of the population through deliberately broken policies, which then require more money to try to make them work, and planned obsolescence. The reason for this that these organizations are comprised of people, and each person wants a job forever and more money and power, and they are given an aegis of public interest behind which to engineer theft.
In social situations, people do the same thing. The name of the game is to take all that you can and externalize the costs. People are inept and do sloppy work, knowing someone else may have to clean it up. The ultimate modern symbol is litter because the citizen who enjoys his pleasures and then leaves behind a mess has externalized the cleanup, making him seem victorious for having taken more than he has given. All of these problems arise from a lack of purpose to society, which leaves it as a group of conflict special interests warring it out for power at the expense of the normal working population who just want stable lives.
We like to talk about how democracy freed us from insane wars and totalitarianism, but we live under “soft totalitarian” circumstances where the wrong opinion means losing jobs, home, family and friends; we also have under democracy embarked on two World Wars and many proxy conflicts in which nothing was permanently resolved. Our future is one of endless war in which those who fail to affirm the Narrative and its ideology are treated as enemies of the state, enforced through fear of collective punishment in which others shun the heretics in order to avoid being associated with heresy. Our modern life is more controlled than life under fascists or National Socialists, and seems to have replicated the conditions in the Soviet Union, albeit with better shopping and slicker products that nonetheless break after a few years.
In this modern totalitarian state, we live in misery. Jobs are jails because there is no focus on the end result, only appearances. This puts vicious manipulators in charge and marginalizes those who try to be efficient and do their job and get out with more free time. Those who spend the most time at the job succeed, even though this by definition implies inefficiency and ineptitude. The person who designs a product which is cheaply made and heavily advertised wins, because the highest margin of profit is achieved, while quality products are beaten out of the market because it is always easier to find ten idiots willing to buy junk than one person who values performance over price.
Most people are insane as a result. In order to handle a necrotic society of this nature, they must rationalize it as good, which means accepting dysfunction as function. This makes them prone to spend even more time on pointless activity and to resent those who do not, against whom they retaliate. Their search for some substitute for purpose and meaning causes them to become perverse and fetishize all sorts of broken behaviors just so they can feel important and that their lives are worth living, which furthers social decay.
The core of the revolution against modernity is realizing that our thinking is backward. Instead of finding positive goals and directing economics and society to achieve them, we work by attending to demotism — consumerism, democracy, popularity — and assume that it finds the right answers. Instead, it discovers inferior substitutes and makes them mandatory norms, which ensures that most of our time is wasted fighting back against the vast waves of dysfunction around us.
We need to discover values and purpose again. This requires identity, which is the core of Spencer’s speech: Amerika is not great because it is rotting from within, and the core of that rotting is the herd of cultureless, purposeless, and raceless grey lumpenproletariat that Leftism manufactures. We have no goals, nothing to strive for, and it is killing us. We either discover identity — which requires the most basic foundation of identity, which is race and ethnicity — or we are doomed to be nothing but servants to an ideological empire which values mediocrity and compliance over life itself.
In ideology, life is a means to an end, which is ideology. This circular reasoning turns us into “free” slaves toward the Utopian ends of our leaders, which are in public expressed as egalitarianism, but in private the profit taken from pitching an ideological product that people want, and from that, by achieving power and wealth as career criminals like the Clintons, Obama, Merkel and others demonstrate. Our leaders do not care about the results of their actions, only appearances, because like corporations selling planned obsolescence products, they are shilling a cheap substitute that the herd will buy in order to take profit out of the civilization.
We are ruled by parasites, and by our own hand. Who has sympathy for the worker? Any time a “free” government program, union benefit, or socially dysfunctional reduction of standards comes along, the workers vote for it because they perceive it to be in their interests. They are shocked and amazed when the free stuff turns out to have costs, and those costs make workers too expensive, so business offshores and outsources as a means of avoiding the parasitism. They blame business, but in this area, business is innocent; the parasitic nature of the voter/worker has driven them away in order to remain competitive.
Under the publicly permitted dialogue, we cannot say that we lack purpose and allow economics, politics and popularity to lead us around like a domesticated animal. After all, what is popular is perceived as us, but this fragments when we look around and see how we have little in common with others. That leads us to realize that we either choose values-first, or we end up with methods-first, which is the type of “means over ends” analysis that is favored by both the Left and people who fear that having goals will make them appear as having fallen short.
Spencer pointed out the root of this mentality:
America is not great because in my lifetime, America has lost an essence. It’s lost a people, it’s lost a meaning. You listen to presidential inaugurations, these are these times when presidents will go up and tell us “what this is really about” and get everyone fired up, they don’t talk about America as an historic nation and a people with a story, as the product of a race, of a worldview, they basically talk about America as a platform for all of humanity. They talk about America as an economic system, effectively.
He identifies the failing of the Right in America as occurring sometime over the previous century when it shifted from a perspective of “a people” to the notion of “an ideology,” but instead of accepting Leftist socialism, made capitalism the root of its belief. That created a permanent fusion between Left and Right because they both agreed on ideology over realism, and within that, wanted a hybrid of the capitalist state and the liberal social programs of Europe and the East.
That in turn represented a shift toward the herd mentality of the third-world and especially Asia, as exhibited to the West first by the Mongols. Third world societies tend to be defined by a lack of social order, and instead a need for strong power and granular power, usually a matriarchy. This enables them to hold themselves together despite having no unity, but the cost is that exceptional leaders and innovators are scarce if evident at all. This keeps them in the stage of doing the same things over and over, not improving.
This trend fits within the general path of the West for the past thousand years. With fixed civilization and excellence, people began to thrive, but this created a population bloom in which few had the aptitudes of the founders that enable them to collaborate. Western Civilization began splitting into different Special Interest Groups a thousand years ago, and with The Enlightenment,™ formalized this to the level of the atomized individual. With that, the roots of a rootless time were formed.
Modernity is thus not so much a technological level, but any time based on the intent of the individual instead of a collaborative will to thrive. Paradoxically, the intent of individuals forms a herd where collaboration does not, simply because groups of individuals converge on a lowest common denominator, which like the third world consists of everyone doing what they want except when it comes to whatever principle holds the society together like a fence around chickens, and that becomes sacred in a way that nothing else does.
That foundation of Control creates people who are incapable of independent thought and dependent on the herd for guidance, and creates an unhealthy focus on popularity and emulating others as a means of being included in the group. It is a pre-civilization state, not like hunter/gatherer wanderers, but like a civilization that has given up on the principle of civilization, which is working together to make life more pleasurable, intense and sacred. Not surprisingly, the flight from civilization ultimately manifests in a selfish mob manipulated by cruel parasites.
Americanization, in this worst possible sense of the word, this is what Hillary Clinton was talking about when she said she wanted a “hemispheric open market.” This is what George Soros and Mark Zuckerberg want. They want an undifferentiated global population, raceless, genderless, identityless, meaningless population, consuming sugar, consuming drugs, while watching porn on VR goggles while they max out their credit cards. Don’t deny that that is the kind of passive nihilism that so many in the elite class actually want. They want a world without roots, they want a world without meaning, they want a flat grey-on-grey world, one economic market for them to manipulate.
With this, he positions the Alt Right against Modernity, which is what Right-wingers have been wanting for centuries. We dislike the industrialization of the countryside, the concentration of people into cities, the loss of traditional virtues and knowledge, and the rootless modern city where people are dedicated to self-pleasure that makes them miserable through its lack of meaning.
Modern society can then be described as meaningless because there is no purpose to civilization, and without that, each person is an island in himself. This in turn reverts human behavior to that of monkeys, self-interested to the point of excluding everything else, and gives us with no way to “reach out” to things of importance, including excellence in the physical and metaphysical realms. People will not give up the pretense and rationalization that this is good, because it gives them a sense of power — think of the One Ring in Lord of the Rings — but become existentially miserable.
The Right has traditionally espoused time-proven types of social order, heritage/identity, hierarchy, transcendental visions of nature and religion, and a pursuit of excellence as means toward not just functional society, but human thriving. These give us firm guidance and a sense of some things as immutably important such that we do not mind sacrificing for them, even before we realize how important they are to our own happiness. This is how to build a civilization, and with our retreat from it, we have failed; however, we can rise above that state.
This leads us to wonder what the soul of the West actually is. Some say it is conquest and aggression, others piety, and still others mention a sense of order, balance and harmony within a natural golden chain of being. All of these are true, but in my view, the root of the West is that it is reflective: we stop to reflect on life, and require meaning from it, because that is how we motivate ourselves to survive the difficult and rise above challenges.
Western man, by virtue of being reflective, discovers all these other aspects of life as parts of a natural order which make life significant to us. It is more than “human nature”; it is the mathematical structure of life itself that requires a center, constant struggle to affirm principles, and a hierarchy in which those who are best rise to the top so all may benefit from their insight. This in turn leads us to an understanding of an order to life, the interconnection of its parts — structure, design, form — as being more important than material, and that leads us to spiritual and mythic understanding.
Spencer has in the past pointed to the root of our downfall as “individualism,” against which he posits an aggressive realism. We must not project ourselves onto the world, but accept it as is, and then we see what we can do with it, instead of creating fantasy worlds of Utopian ideology and then insisting that others treat them as real.
This leads to a riff from Bruce Charlton that is both not quite correct, and more importantly, a good guide for the future. In his view, the Alt Right must tackle spirituality:
I don’t see it as plausible that there can be any fully-Christian mass movement from where we are now – which is a situation in which public discourse does not admit the objective reality of anything at all outside the material realm – everything else is psychological, subjective, labile, and manipulable.
Thus a secular Alt-Right will inevitably be simply a different version of Leftism; a Leftism which has different materialist priorities, and panders to a different set of subjective emotions as a means to that end.
(Indeed, my impression is that most of the Alt-Right are exceptionally materialist, positivist, anti-altruistic and reductionist in their outlook – taking a positive delight in simplification of politics to their own power, security and well-being — only to be shared, grudgingly, with those who directly assist this agenda.)
The idea of the Alt Right as materialist only makes sense when one takes into account that political learning is an arc and not a binary where one steps over an exoteric threshold and suddenly understands everything. The Alt Right is a bewildered people emerging from the Utopian dream of Leftism to realize that they had been seeing the world in symbols alone, and realizing these are empty, attempting to find the hidden meaning in reality. This is why some of us suggest the black pill as a means of removing the illusion which is communicated like a virus through social contact, and from that position of absolute emptiness, rediscovering reality.
These are all thoughts for the future. As Spencer pointed out, the Alt Right arose from the Leftist assimilation of the Right, causing those focused on sanity to reject the Right and Left alike and look toward a new beginning. That new beginning means that the Alt Right is nascent even as it appears to have certain conventions graven in stone, and that it has a future to discover through recapitulating the history of reaction, ancient conservatism and traditionalism.
On our way back from the event, we stopped in Brenham, Texas to visit the tobacco barn and enjoy some of the local scenery, despite discovering how much modernity has ravaged this isolated outpost of beauty. Of course, no Texas road trip is complete without a stop at Whataburger (pronounced roughly as “water burger” by locals). One does not have to believe in signs to imagine that the universe was winking at us.
Monday, November 21st, 2016
Bruce Charlton writes a plan for ending the decline in the West:
The implication is clear – which is that no constructive change is possible until after there is an ‘us’, as well as a ‘them’. We first need to undo the corruption of spirit which pervades almost everybody in The West. We need to make an ‘us’.
We don’t need to undo Leftism in everyone all at once (which is anyway impossible) – but there does need to be a start made; there needs to be a substantial number and proportion of people, a cohesive group, who actually have repented and reformed themselves sufficiently; who have identified their own key errors and sins, and repented them; there needs to be a group of (more or less) spiritually enlightened people.
…This is why I keep banging-on about the absolute necessity for Spiritual Awakening – and that this must come first. It must come first because if it does not come, then we will just be having Left-versus-Left office politics, and Establishment infighting – jostling for power to impose various rival brands of Leftism.
Looking at this from a more abstract level, what we need is a sense of Us and a will to do what is excellent, instead of what merely accommodates human feelings.
Spiritual outlook is undeniably part of this, but before on can undertake a quest to understand metaphysics, there must be a will toward survival and with it, a desire to understand life as a pleasure, not an obligation.
In the view of life as pleasure, one sees obligations — food, shelter, water — as “means to an end,” with that end being the experience of life. Similarly, one wants to have the best experience of life possible, which requires a drive beyond utilitarianism, such as an impulse to excellence.
From this moment, one finds oneself asking the question: What would ideal life look like for me?
Our immediate answer involves peace, security, plenty and other items of material comfort. Let that one float in the air for a few moments, and doubt starts to appear. We already have those things, and they are not difficult to achieve.
Out of the silence comes a more nuanced and disturbing answer: we also want greatness, and with it, some prospect of adventure. The cozy suburbs are only meaningful once you have seen the chaos of the world and fought with it. We need mountains to climb, enemies to vanquish, and things to fix and improve.
Think of the people you know. How many of them go nuts for old military movies, Westerns and re-runs of This Old House? People need challenges. They need something to rise to. They crave difficult tasks, even if — at first mention — they claim otherwise.
The spiritual revolution of the West begins with the realization that we need an Us based not on the backward-looking notion of “doing good” as the Left describes it, but on aspiration and soaring to new heights.
That in turn begins with identity. Nationalism serves a cultural and spiritual role through identity: creating existential framing and self-esteem. From that we can say, “We, all of us, like to do these sorts of things.”
A nation or civilization is at heart nothing more than a collaboration. People come together on shared values and mutual ability to contribute toward making them happen. When the West lost its purpose, this declined.
The reason the West lost its purpose is simple: we succeeded at our first purpose, which was to form a functional civilization. After that, we fell into boredom and depression. Then the decay came, and it has been gaining on us for a thousand years.
Now, as the Kali-Yuga ends, people are again discovering purpose. With that, they rediscover life is a pleasure, the need for nationalism, and the utility of spirituality. Only together as a bundle do these things have meaning.
The long years of horror are ending. Modernity is a horror not because of technology but because in the absence of purpose, we filled the void with our own egos. “Me first” became more important than excellence, beauty and goodness. To hide that fact, we created ersatz versions of those things through Leftism.
But for this renewal to continue, it requires our effort. As Charlton points out, it starts with a conception of Us that includes positive, forward logic. In this thought scheme, we think of what we desire as ideal and make it happen, instead of reacting to what exists now and using it as an argument for what we should do.
This is a fundamental revolution in thought the likes of which has not been seen for many centuries. It will unnerve most people. Now is the time for all of us to unite on this simple concept, and push it further toward existence.
Thursday, September 15th, 2016
The question of the supernatural boils down to a simple metric: is the world organized by material, or by information?
If it is organized by material, then bits of stuff just bounce into one another and create what we know of as reality. Opponents call this nihilism because it believes in no ordering force. Intelligent Design tries to work around that by saying that a cosmic chess-player designed those material pieces to create an emergent order.
If it is organized by information, material is the canvas through which order is expressed. This suggests that what happens in reality is more of a calculation, or interaction between material parts to derive informational results, than a pre-planned order. It is both emergent and animate.
The argument for an underlying mathematical or informational order to reality is separate from the question of purpose. We are agents of choice by virtue of being alive; we make choices based on our ability to perceive and our honesty in doing so; there is no inherent right or wrong, but those who choose to pursue reality find it has much to teach.
In discovering reality, one finds oneself look at structure or patterns, and comparing what one knows of how things work to what is seen. This can lead to a perception of an underlying system of order:
A lot of people don’t realize what’s really going on. They view life as a bunch of unconnected incidents and things. They don’t realize that there’s this, like, lattice of coincidence that lays on top of everything. Give you an example, show you what I mean: suppose you’re thinkin’ about a plate of shrimp. Suddenly someone’ll say, like, “plate,” or “shrimp,” or “plate of shrimp” out of the blue, no explanation. No point in lookin’ for one, either. It’s all part of a cosmic unconsciousness.
The above, from the movie Repo Man, is designed to be humorous, but illustrates the basic point: either we think there is a principle of organization, or not. If there is a principle of organization, it is not material.
This presents a quandary to our highly material minds. We work from the original material, which is our bodies and their needs, and inevitably extend that into the social sphere because it is composed of other bodies like us. Bodily needs and desires are universal; contemplative analysis of the order of existence is not.
But over time, we see how patterns repeat. How those implicate other patterns. And how, at the heart of it all, the entirety of existence appears to be alive.
Bruce Charlton illustrates this with his insight into synchronicity:
But this understanding of synchronicity assumes that Life is nearly-all discrete, granular, autonomous and unconnected events: just ‘bits’ of information.
In contrast, synchronicity is ‘telling’ us the opposite about Life – that in reality our Life is a web of relationships between conscious entities – like a dream.
The point of synchronicity is really very simple, and does not need decoding – because it is not a informational message. Synchronicity is the sudden awareness that Life is a web of connected and purposive relationships; and that there are many entities around us involved in these relationships – things as well as people.
The division comes down to the alive-ness of life. If you sense that reality acts like an organism, pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place. This is an esoteric understanding, however, and not accessible to most. But, as many of our smartest and best people have discovered, it is the understanding which unites all the parts of reality.
This seeming paradox exploded into public consciousness with quantum mechanics, which affirm an order which works outside linearity and likely, outside materiality:
Some claim that it shows quantum mechanics implies action-at-a-distance, period. Others maintain that we can still avoid action-at-a-distance by denying that quantum mechanics is a theory about a reality in space and time. Either way, the consensus is that Einstein can’t have what he wanted – a real world in space and time, without action-at-a-distance.
…Ordinarily, we think that the past is fixed while the future is open, or partly so. Doesn’t our freedom to affect the future depend on this openness? How could we affect what was already fixed? These are deep philosophical waters, but we don’t have to paddle out very far to see that we have some options. We can say that, according to the retrocausal proposal, quantum theory shows that the division between what is fixed and what is open doesn’t line up neatly with the distinction between past and future. Some of the past turns out to be open, too, in whatever sense the future is open.
Interestingly, the most likely solution to this problem is relativity across time as well as space:
Costa de Beauregard pointed out that Alice could affect Bob’s particle without action-at-a-distance, if the influence followed an indirect, zigzag path through space and time, via the point in the past where the two particles intersect. But there are no zigzags like that in standard quantum mechanics, so if we put them in we are actually agreeing with Einstein that the theory is incomplete.
This gives us an interesting model: two events can influence one another across space and time, with each event adjusting itself to match the other, not so much as if they were entangled but as if they were different computations whose results rely on one another. We can see the same effect in microprocessors where a thread is dependent on the outcome of another thread, and must adjust the form of that outcome, for example number of decimal places, based on what is calculated in the other thread.
In my hopefully-upcoming book Parallelism, I argue for another approach: events are not just dependent on one another across time, but can partially create one another through pattern similarity, such that things which are potentially true become true when they find structural counterparts in another event, including a person. In this view, we create supernatural reality from supernatural possibility.
At that point, we have taken the world-organized-by-information to the place where the cosmic idealists of the past visualized it: the universe as a vast informational construct, with a purpose of its own, in which we can by emulating its patterns gain greater power, if we so choose.
Very little in life is simple. This approach is not as simple, popular or gratifying as exoteric liberal Christianity or materialistic atheism, but it is more logical in a world where most is mystery, and the underlying patterns dwarf their material outcomes in importance.