Was Jesus a Rationalist Who Tried Largely Unsuccessfully to Use Metaphor to Free the People of His Time from Dogma?

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Was Jesus a Rationalist Who Tried Largely Unsuccessfully to Use Metaphor to Free the People of His Time from Dogma?

People who believe that Jesus himself was a myth tend to base their argument on two things :

1. The unbelievable nature of the only written records we have of his life with their supernatural trappings and inconsistencies.

2. The absence of any references to him in contemporary histories.

But why should the life of an itinerant preacher who spent most of his time in the sticks, caused some minor disruption in a temple in Jerusalem and said some impolite things to some rabbis and was then crucified (something which happened to an awful not of troublemakers at that time) make it into the history books? The only reason we would expect to find him there is if he actually was a miracle worker who went around raising the dead and walking on water. That would be news. But we don't believe that. Clearly those stories were the product of the mythologising process when stories are passed on orally by individuals who want to convince their audience of how wonderful this individual seemed to be. Someone says, "We only had water to drink at the wedding, but Jesus was such a great guy to hang around with that we might have been drinking wine." A guy says, "Jesus brought me out of that depression. I came alive again. Before that I was a dead man." It isn't hard to imagine how the myths began. And by the time the stories were being written down the authors had a vested interest in persuading their audience so they told some deliberate lies, for instance two of the gospel authors made up stories to place Jesus' birth in Bethlehem, to link up with an Old Testament prophecy, when his birth place was almost certainly Nazareth.

The real question, if he did exist as an individual, is why one of many itinerant preachers became so mythologised. If he didn't perform the magic tricks he was reputed to have performed, what was it which excited those with whom he came in contact? The answer, I think, lies in his words. We have to allow for the fact that he was talking in parables and metaphors and using other forms of poetic language, but he was talking about the deep psychological sickness of the human race and offering a cure. Religion was a symptom of that historic sickness which had its origins long before the dawn of civilisation. Jesus was born into the Jewish religion, which believes that there is a supernatural being which stands in judgement of all humans. It seems to me that Jesus, like a good psychiatrist, engaged with his patients, using their delusion as the path out of that delusion. If nature and love between humans were what they knew of their God, then he emphasised those things, and used them as an argument against the concept that there was a supernatural God who might condemn them. Nature didn't condemn them. The sun shines on the evil as well as the good. And they needn't condemn each other. Such judgement and lack of forgiveness were the main source of their suffering. What he called "sin" is what we would call "neurosis", it is and was the natural self-interest of the suffering individual. He must have been very good at relieving that suffering in many of those with whom he came in contact. This must have seemed miraculous. But how to explain the miracle without acknowledging that the whole of the human race is suffering from a psychological sickness? Well, if we are all healthy then he must have been superhuman. The idea that he was simply a healthy human being and we are all psychological cripples just wasn't very appealing. Hence the miracles and the belief that he was divine. And various other biases would have come into play. Because many of us are afraid of sex he had to become sexless, even though the sexually repressive philosophy promoted in the laws of the Old Testament and in the writings of Jesus' main cheerleader Paul are not to be found in the words attributed to him. His comment about men who look lustfully at women committing adultery with them in their hearts can be seen more as a plea for honesty and against hypocrisy, i.e. why punish people for doing what we all want to do anyway?

Recently I've started writing a series of essays in which I, as a person who doesn't believe in the supernatural, give my own interpretations for some of the things Jesus is quoted as saying. For me it doesn't really matter whether or not he existed. What matters for me is the inspiration I get from the words. I could be writing a commentary on a fictional novel, or an ink blot for that matter. If something helps me to excavate something of value from myself, then it has value for me regardless of its source. My approach is nothing new. I'm just following the example of one of my heroes, Wilhelm Reich, who put forward much the same kinds of ideas in his 1953 book The Murder of Christ : The Emotional Plague of Mankind.

http://www.howtobefree-theblog.blogspot.com.au/


"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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A_Nony_Mouse

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
 
Quote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
The problem here is understanding as in later explanation is BS. There is NO stated reason on record, period. But if that emphasis were correct what is the point of rejection? The people in charge in those days were no different from the ignorant assholes in charge today.

If the church was essentially authoritarian then any gospels with a clearly anarchistic bias would not meet with their approval. But I think the only apocryphal gospel I've read is The Gospel of Thomas. I don't know if the anarchistic tendency was more obvious in any of the others than it is in the canonical gospels.

My friend, the churches love anachronisms. The best anachronisms they have a special name for. They call them prophesies. The whole idea of the crucifixion being sacrifice for sin does not appear until well after the Council of Nicaea. And before it was a sacrifice there was no need for priests and (no) surprise there are no priests until well after that council. One of these days I'll get around to digging into enough enough to see exactly when it happened. I have been over roughly the material and no surprise the change is not spelled out or denied but it is in the literature. Anyway to hear they talk about it, it was considered a sacrifice for sin from the very beginning even though all the early stuff says clearly it was just a group meal. The Sunday afternoon picnic is more like the original.

Here we have an example of your tendency to see what you want to see rather than what is in front of your eyes. Anyone whose head was not filled with rigid dogmatic thinking would have been able to read what I wrote there and understand it. I talk about a group of people who are authoritarian possibly objecting to something which is non-authoritarian, i.e. anarchistic (from anarchism - rejection of all forms of coercive control and authority). But, while you acknowledge that the church was authoritarian, you are unprepared to open your mind to the possibility that the words of Jesus can be read as an articulation of an anarchistic philosophy, so you misread the word as "anachronism", because that allows you to play to your strength, which is assigning things to time periods. Freud would have been able to deduce much about you from this no doubt. Smiling

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Quote:
I never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

May make a good novel some day but why talk about it here?

It's a fun challenge to enter into a debate and see how well I can pull responses to counter-arguments out of my arse. Sticking out tongue And it has led to a positive sharing of insights with someone else who is on a similar wave-length to myself (Old Seer). Anyway, debate on these kinds of boards is more about opinions than facts. You use facts (or the best guesses by scholars as to what the facts might be) to support your pre-existing prejudices. Your factually unsupported assertions about Freud and Jung indicate this. One thing which impresses me about this fictional character Jesus is that he was so eloquently able to sum up someone like yourself : "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." You strain at the gnat of every little historical detail while ignoring the camel that, fictional or not, the gospels contain at least some important thought. And yet, if the gospels have no value, why waste so much of your time researching the evidence for rejecting them? You already have your reason for rejecting them. You see nothing of value n them. That would satisfy me and I'd be off watching more episodes of Buffy if I were you. To paraphrase from that fictional shyster again : "It is better to pop another season of Buffy into the DVD player than to curse the darkness that is Christianity." Sticking out tongue

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Aussiescribbler wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
 Again I must refer to real history. At the time of the events I referred to and for centuries afterwards there was only one empire and one church. There was no split between Constantinople and Rome at that time. It was all the same church. The kinds of things I mentioned occurred as commonly and as readily in Rome and Egypt as in Byzantium and all with the same approval of both church and state which were still one. 

What I'm talking about has very little to do with any church of any kind that has ever existed, except that I'm talking about human psychology and churches are expressions of human psychology.

I believe that :

You are so far from rational thought you may never achieve it. Let me demonstrate.

Quote:
1. All humans share a common soul.

2. The mind of anyone who thinks freely is an expression of that collective soul.

Please give me a working definition of soul which can be tested as to being correct. After that demonstrate that it is common to all humans. Please explain the difference between a shared soul and a collective soul and if the same, a means of objectively testing your explaination.

You can string words together in any arbitrary and capricous manner. You can also maintain internal consistency of usage as is a requirement of any work of fiction particularly fantasy fiction. But those do not transfer information without working definitions of the terms being used.

Quote:
3. Neurosis interferes with our ability to think freely.

That is part of the Freudian con gibberish. But if you think otherwise, give me a working definition of neurosis. I will be asking how it differs from a Scientology thing that interferes with free thought.

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4. Fear of free thought arising from neurosis leads to the formation of stereotypical, inflexible thinking patterns which are not tested against data gathered from direct experience.

Hubbard copied that almost verbatim.

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5. During psychosis or under the influence of psychotropic drugs, the dogmatic inflexible thinking patters break down giving glimpses of the truth.

6. If someone has always been free and spontaneous in their thinking there will be nothing "magical" about the way they think, but if they have been been restricted by neurotic blocks an encounter with the spontaneous thinking characteristic of the collective soul can be perceived as something magical like an encounter with angels or extraterrestrials. Ingesting the drug DMT (which is at times produced naturally by the human body) can bring on these experiences in anyone regardless of their belief system.

Again that is Scientology doctrine and the ET is named Xenu.

Quote:
6. Received dogma and personal thinking blocks arising from personal neurosis keep us from thinking freely.

The e-meter sessions are specifically to remove the blocks to clear thinking.

Quote:
7. Wherever we come across genuinely free, spontaneous thinking we find that is part of a single vision of the nature of reality.

8. Jesus was one of many who thought freely and non-dogmatically.

L. Ron was Jesus or vice versa.

Quote:
9. My own life has been one of breaking free of neurosis (sometimes through psychotic breakdown) and rediscovering the ability to think freely and laterally and imaginatively.

10. I believe that my writing is an expression of a collective vision which is coming into awareness spontaneously across the global culture wherever the old dogmas have proven wanting and are breaking down, where authoritarianism is crumbling and where free and direct and uncensored communication is opening up via the internet.

11. Those who have no desire for control over themselves or others will welcome and revel in their new found freedom, but the insecure who are afraid of freedom will be angry about it for a short time.

12. It matters to me not a jot if you think this is madness.

I would not say you are a Scientologist. I do say your list demonstrates how well Hubbard copied the psycholanalysis con game to convert Dianetics to Scientology. You have recited almost exactly his take on the con by taking it from a cure of the ill to normal to an improvement on the normal to the superior or, if you are being humble the super-normal or what normal should be.

The christian version of the con is born into sin and by constant struggle to overcome the neverending stream of temptations and sin one can achieve an enlightened state in this life.

Then there were the highest levels of the "pagan" religions all of which appear to have involved some form of drug usage at the highest level of initiation.

In the Orient this is the search for enlightenment. The belief that one must search and struggle for the ultimate goal.

There are many paths to take you many places. Most of them take your money along the way. In the end I suggest you heed the words of the great philosopher Buckaroo Banzai, No matter where you are going there you are. It will save you a lot of money.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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A_Nony_Mouse

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Aussiescribbler wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Lets first start with all that being long discarded Jungian and Freudian cult gibberish. That is how they ran their psychoanalysis con that L. Ron Hubbard copied.

Fools may have discarded Jung and Freud. I have not. I view this throwing of a bold exploration of depth psychology onto the garbage heap as an act of cowardice by increasingly insecure intellectuals who are suffering from what R. D. Laing called "psychophobia" (i.e. fear of one's own mind).

Most people saw the con game and never took them seriously. They never cured anyone. Talk your way to mental health is a known con.

Serious research has established the ideas they expounded have no basis in the way the mind works. You may call it bold exploration but if it does not work it is wrong for the same reasons alchemy is wrong despite the gibberish philosophy often associated with it. Their ideas are sterile and lead no place but do permit an astounding amount of mental masturbatory gibberish to be spouted and sound profound.

So while the con artists go on and on about conflict between the id and ego and superego these conflicts are directly related to chemical imbalance in the brain and the conflicts go away when the balance is restored. So one may have a deep and profound philosophy on the relation of humors to disease penicillin works shitcans the profound philosophy. So also with Freud, Jung, Adler and the like.

They were all crooks and con artists selling talk your way to mental health at $100/hr and up just like all the rest of the hucksters around today including the Scientologists.

I see you've bought the con of chemical imbalance. We'll see how long that one lasts. At the moment it is selling a lot of drugs, but mental illness is on the increase. And very few psychiatrists or general practitioners who prescribe anti-depressants would deny the importance of cognitive therapy. In other words, they admit that depression is at least partly controlled by the things we think.

All of this is fear based. Laing showed that some patients who were diagnosed as schizophrenic would return to a rational way of thinking and behaving if treated with kindness, but when returned to their families they quickly became insane once again. This led him to analyse the sick power relationships within families. Parents were offended that he was implying that they were unwittingly sending their children out of their minds. In another case a girl had hallucinations every time she entered the family home. Laing found that her father was periodically raping her. He suggested that she learn karate before returning to live with her parents. She did and her hallucinations never returned because she knew she could stop her father from raping her. Today, a psychiatrist might just hear that she had hallucinations, put her on anti-psychotics, and her father could just go on raping her.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:Quote:3.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Quote:
3. Neurosis interferes with our ability to think freely.

That is part of the Freudian con gibberish. But if you think otherwise, give me a working definition of neurosis. I will be asking how it differs from a Scientology thing that interferes with free thought.

Neurosis is just a technical term for persistent emotional distress or suffering, a sense of dis-ease with the self.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
I would not say you are a Scientologist. I do say your list demonstrates how well Hubbard copied the psycholanalysis con game to convert Dianetics to Scientology. You have recited almost exactly his take on the con by taking it from a cure of the ill to normal to an improvement on the normal to the superior or, if you are being humble the super-normal or what normal should be.

I don't know much about Scientology. I've heard or read bits or pieces here and there. And I have heard of the idea of "the clear" - the person whose mental blocks have been cleared so that they can remember anything. I read somewhere that the supposed first "clear" couldn't even remember what colour tie L. Ron was wearing while he was standing behind her. Smiling

My flat mate does like to refer to me as L. Ron and his Church of Wankenetics. Smiling

Of course, if all free-thinking individuals will tend to converge on a unified vision of reality, one would expect the same ideas to pop up in different places. Though I grant you that you could infer that it is simply a case that both L. Ron and myself were/are influenced by psychoanalysis.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
There are many paths to take you many places. Most of them take your money along the way. In the end I suggest you heed the words of the great philosopher Buckaroo Banzai, No matter where you are going there you are. It will save you a lot of money.

What am I spending my money on? My psychiatrist is provided free by the state. If I wanted to read about Scientology we have books I can read for free from the library, though, if L. Ron wasn't saying anything I'm not saying better than I don't know why I'd bother. I buy a few second hand books by Reich and Laing which cost me a pittance.

Those who try to buy enlightenment are falling for a con. On that we can agree. I get mine for free.

And I offer it for free to others. How to Be Free and Materialism is Masturbation : Essays in Freedom are free as ebooks and always have been and always will be. I've just organised a print-on-demand paperback of How to Be Free for which i'm charging $10.00. A small amount of that is profit. So far I've only sold a copy to my sister, but if it does sell more widely I'll use the profit to pay for advertise or something. I have no intention of ever giving workshops (for free or for charge). I use a pseudonym partly to avoid the possibility that anyone might expect me to do such a thing. I just throw my ideas out into the world to have what effect they may. I like to discuss them with people, but I have no desire to attract attention to myself in my life away from the internet.

 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Aussiescribbler wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Aussiescribbler wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
Lets first start with all that being long discarded Jungian and Freudian cult gibberish. That is how they ran their psychoanalysis con that L. Ron Hubbard copied.

Fools may have discarded Jung and Freud. I have not. I view this throwing of a bold exploration of depth psychology onto the garbage heap as an act of cowardice by increasingly insecure intellectuals who are suffering from what R. D. Laing called "psychophobia" (i.e. fear of one's own mind).

Most people saw the con game and never took them seriously. They never cured anyone. Talk your way to mental health is a known con.

Serious research has established the ideas they expounded have no basis in the way the mind works. You may call it bold exploration but if it does not work it is wrong for the same reasons alchemy is wrong despite the gibberish philosophy often associated with it. Their ideas are sterile and lead no place but do permit an astounding amount of mental masturbatory gibberish to be spouted and sound profound.

So while the con artists go on and on about conflict between the id and ego and superego these conflicts are directly related to chemical imbalance in the brain and the conflicts go away when the balance is restored. So one may have a deep and profound philosophy on the relation of humors to disease penicillin works shitcans the profound philosophy. So also with Freud, Jung, Adler and the like.

They were all crooks and con artists selling talk your way to mental health at $100/hr and up just like all the rest of the hucksters around today including the Scientologists.

I see you've bought the con of chemical imbalance. We'll see how long that one lasts. At the moment it is selling a lot of drugs, but mental illness is on the increase. And very few psychiatrists or general practitioners who prescribe anti-depressants would deny the importance of cognitive therapy. In other words, they admit that depression is at least partly controlled by the things we think.

All of this is fear based. Laing showed that some patients who were diagnosed as schizophrenic would return to a rational way of thinking and behaving if treated with kindness, but when returned to their families they quickly became insane once again. This led him to analyse the sick power relationships within families. Parents were offended that he was implying that they were unwittingly sending their children out of their minds. In another case a girl had hallucinations every time she entered the family home. Laing found that her father was periodically raping her. He suggested that she learn karate before returning to live with her parents. She did and her hallucinations never returned because she knew she could stop her father from raping her. Today, a psychiatrist might just hear that she had hallucinations, put her on anti-psychotics, and her father could just go on raping her.

It is hardly limited to depression, something not explained by id, ego and superego nor addressed by talking. It started working in the 1950s and has continued to work since then. Since then drugs have worked on a broader range of illnesses. The asylums are still empty.

One might as well ask how long antibiotics will continue to work as they continue to have the same success as antibiotics by the same measure and the same matter of testing as antibiotics and for only a decade less than penicillin.

And yet there are still faith healers.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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Aussiescribbler wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Quote:
3. Neurosis interferes with our ability to think freely.

That is part of the Freudian con gibberish. But if you think otherwise, give me a working definition of neurosis. I will be asking how it differs from a Scientology thing that interferes with free thought.

Neurosis is just a technical term for persistent emotional distress or suffering, a sense of dis-ease with the self.

That is a description not a working definition. What are the specific symptoms which characterize it? How does one know what it is as opposed to what it is not?

Quote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
I would not say you are a Scientologist. I do say your list demonstrates how well Hubbard copied the psycholanalysis con game to convert Dianetics to Scientology. You have recited almost exactly his take on the con by taking it from a cure of the ill to normal to an improvement on the normal to the superior or, if you are being humble the super-normal or what normal should be.

I don't know much about Scientology. I've heard or read bits or pieces here and there. And I have heard of the idea of "the clear" - the person whose mental blocks have been cleared so that they can remember anything. I read somewhere that the supposed first "clear" couldn't even remember what colour tie L. Ron was wearing while he was standing behind her. Smiling

Was I unclear that both Dianetics and psychotherapy are con games?

Quote:
My flat mate does like to refer to me as L. Ron and his Church of Wankenetics. Smiling

Hardly surprising given all the points you did not quote and how close they are to Scientology.

Quote:
Of course, if all free-thinking individuals will tend to converge on a unified vision of reality, one would expect the same ideas to pop up in different places. Though I grant you that you could infer that it is simply a case that both L. Ron and myself were/are influenced by psychoanalysis.

I did not say influenced by common ideas. He specifically started his con as an imitation of Freudian psychoanalysis claiming better results. He converted it to a religion because he was doing the same things they were doing but they got their classified as practicing medicine and were getting him charged as practicing without a license.

Quote:
A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
There are many paths to take you many places. Most of them take your money along the way. In the end I suggest you heed the words of the great philosopher Buckaroo Banzai, No matter where you are going there you are. It will save you a lot of money.

What am I spending my money on? My psychiatrist is provided free by the state.

So the crook is being paid from your tax money instead of by you directly. That changes nothing. Drugs alone work. Drugs with talk work. Drugs without talk work. Do you see a pattern here?

Quote:
If I wanted to read about Scientology we have books I can read for free from the library, though, if L. Ron wasn't saying anything I'm not saying better than I don't know why I'd bother. I buy a few second hand books by Reich and Laing which cost me a pittance.

It depends which version of the scam you prefer. Does reading any of those books you do have help you  read your way to mental health?

Quote:
Those who try to buy enlightenment are falling for a con. On that we can agree. I get mine for free.

It is the same con no matter how the con artist gets paid. How the crook gets paid does not change the nature of the scam nor the fool who is being taken in by it.

If you had some described but undefined problem and you were sent to a state paid faith healer and you were directed towards a dozen famous authors on faith healing would you spend so much of your time and effort waiting for the healing from faith to start happening? Yet here you are.

Quote:
And I offer it for free to others. How to Be Free and Materialism is Masturbation : Essays in Freedom are free as ebooks and always have been and always will be. I've just organised a print-on-demand paperback of How to Be Free for which i'm charging $10.00. A small amount of that is profit. So far I've only sold a copy to my sister, but if it does sell more widely I'll use the profit to pay for advertise or something. I have no intention of ever giving workshops (for free or for charge). I use a pseudonym partly to avoid the possibility that anyone might expect me to do such a thing. I just throw my ideas out into the world to have what effect they may. I like to discuss them with people, but I have no desire to attract attention to myself in my life away from the internet.

It sounds like you have gotten the hang of the scam. Self help books most always make some profit. You might also look to Amazon for their eBook publishing where the profit margin is many times higher. Or if your are still in a manic phase you can lower the price to keep the same profit.

If it sells enough you will come to understand the importance of workshops and the basics cost of them is quite high so your profit will still be percentagewise quite low. Keep your eye on the annual gross not the week to week net. There are motivational speaker circuits that are always looking for new talent.

 

 

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote:It is

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

It is hardly limited to depression, something not explained by id, ego and superego nor addressed by talking. It started working in the 1950s and has continued to work since then. Since then drugs have worked on a broader range of illnesses. The asylums are still empty.

One might as well ask how long antibiotics will continue to work as they continue to have the same success as antibiotics by the same measure and the same matter of testing as antibiotics and for only a decade less than penicillin.

And yet there are still faith healers. 

Yes, drugs are used for a number of conditions.

Depression

There are a number of different kinds of anti-depressant. At least one study has come to the conclusion that their effectiveness is not much greater than that of a placebo : http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18560_162-57380893/treating-depression-is-there-a-placebo-effect/ . I know from my own experience that doctors often have to try a number of drugs before one appears to be effective. And it take so long for them to take effect - about two weeks - that it is hard to know if the person would pull out of the depression naturally. There are two kinds of depression - endogenous depression and exogenous depression. Endogenous depression occurs for no obvious external reason. Exogenous depression is reactive depression which may be triggered off by negative events in the patients life, such as a loved one dying or the loss of a large amount of money, etc. The fact that there is such a thing as exogenous depression indicates that depression is a response to thinking and not simply to a chemical imbalance. Drugs are not the only non-talking treatment for depression. Electro-shock therapy (the application of electrodes to the head to induce an epileptic fit) is still used as it is sometimes effective to break a particularly severe depression when anti-depressants alone are ineffective. I've had two courses of this. It has the annoying side effect of wiping out portions of your memory.

Anxiety conditions

This includes phobias and obsessive compulsive disorder. I have suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder. I had obsessive thoughts about gouging out my own eyes or killing babies. Some obsessive compulsives find themselves driven to repeat certain rituals in order to keep their anxiety under control. They feel that if they don't straighten all the paintings on the walls of their house constantly that their wife will die or something like that. While drugs can be used to treat anxiety conditions in the very short term, all anti-anxiety drugs (valium, serepax, xanax, etc.) are extremely addictive. The most effective treatment for anxiety disorders tends to be exposure therapy, i.e. gradually exposing oneself to the thing or situation about which we have anxiety. In the case of rituals, gradually reducing them and learning that the bad thing doesn't happen.

Bipolar disorder

This is another condition I have suffered from and for which I am still taking medication. With bipolar disorder there are periods of depression alternating with periods of speeded up thought and reckless behaviour. The manic phase can be psychotic, involving delusional thinking or even hallucinations. I never had hallucinations. Many of my mood swings could clearly be related to life crises and accompanying stress in my life. My major breakdown was brought on by a double bind - a situation in which I had placed too much faith in a particular individual who was the leader of an organisation of which I was a member. My absolute need to believe conflicted with what my reason was telling me. I lacked the faith to believe in myself, but I also lacked the ability to deny my own reason. I was damned if I did and damned if I didn't. (This tends, in my mind, to lead credence to the idea, expressed by Gregory Bateson and R. D. Laing that psychotic episodes often are brought on by a double bind situation.) Bipolar disorder is treated with three kinds of drugs - anti-depressants to lift depression, anti-psychotics (the major tranquillizers) to dampen down mania, and mood stabilisers such as Lithium and Sodium Valproate (a drug also used for epilepsy). Care is needed when using anti-depressants on a bipolar patient as they can tend to bring on a manic episode if continued for too long after depression abates. Anti-psychotics are also used only in the sort term when mania needs to be controlled.

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a form of disordered thinking which can incorporate such a varied range of symptoms, of which only a few need be present for the diagnosis, that some (like R. D. Laing) have questioned whether it is a useful term. Hallucinations, hearing of voices and paranoid delusions are common symptoms. Those diagnosed this way are usually treated with a steady dose of anti-psychotics. These are not a cure, but they do inhibit the brain's ability to produce the symptoms. They do this at a great cost. They are often appropriately referred to as "a chemical strait-jacket". Their use is under increasing scrutiny : http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/mar/02/mythoftheantipsychotic Laing's view was that psychosis is itself a healing process and that by impeding that process anti-psychotics keep the patient from ever getting better.

As for an explanation for depression, here is mine from How to Be Free :

 

 

When we are depressed we are cut off from reality, trapped within the tiny world of our own withdrawn ego. This is a bit of a paradox. If reality were an unpleasant place and we withdrew into our own ideal dream world, that might make sense. But reality is a beautiful place and when we are depressed we retreat from it into a place which is truly horrible. Why?

Thoughts are the body of the ego, whether it is a free ego thinking spontaneously and laterally, or an obsessed ego running around in circles.

Though it has many variants, the central thought of the depressed mind is, “I’m a bad person.” This thought makes us think that we deserve to be cut off from the beauty of reality and, ironically, our attempts to fight our way back out again are what keep us where we are. We become like the man who is so anxious to escape the burning building through the revolving door that he runs too fast and ends up constantly revolving back in again.

What keeps us cut off from healing reality is that we keep thinking about ourselves. There is a simple trick we might try to short-circuit this process. If we fear that we may be a worthless individual, then we might ask ourselves : “How bad would it be if that were the case?” What would it mean if we had no worth? Nothing could be expected of us. The world would not cease to exist. We would still be capable of experiencing pleasure. To be worthless would simply be to be insignificant or unimportant. (Of course this isn’t the same as being bad, but it is still worth a try.)

If we can accept that, even if we were worthless, it would not be such a bad thing, then we can stop the self-justification merry-go-round that keeps us cut off from our capacity for unconditional love. Our inner child is capable of loving us unconditionally as much as anyone else.

There are two major kinds of depression - reactive and endogenous. Reactive depression is depression which is triggered by an outside event. This could include the break-up of a relationship, a death in the family or giving birth. Endogenous depression seems to originate spontaneously without an outside trigger.

Given that the central thought of depression is “I am a bad person” we can see that the most likely cause for endogenous depression is self-condemnation based on “sick” ideas formed from repressed emotions. Very often those most prone to depression are those whose behaviour is impeccable. So why should such individuals come to believe that they are bad? The well-behaved person is someone who represses any antisocial impulses. This means that the subconscious of the well-behaved individual is more likely to contain “evil” thoughts. Not realising that the existence of such thoughts is a sign of moral rectitude rather than the opposite, the endogenous depressive condemns himself when he comes in contact with such thoughts.

One of my early depressive episodes, as I’ve mentioned, was exacerbated by the thought of killing a baby. Such a thought is a fairly typical one for the individual who keeps a very tight reign on his anger. When we are feeling unhappy it makes us selfish. A new baby gets all the attention, so we feel jealous. Our mind throws up the idea, “If I killed that baby, then they would pay attention to me.” It is just a passing thought fired off by the brain. But the conscience comes into play. The conscience, as I’ve said, is another part of the ego which contains our ideas of right and wrong. The conscience condemns us for such a though. We try to think of some way of proving we are not really bad, but even the best defence is, in itself, a jail cell, because it is thinking obsessively about ourselves which keeps us cut off from the healing power of our deeper unconditionally loving self.

With reactive depression the process is exactly the same. It is not the event which triggers the depression which is really important to understanding it. What is important is understanding that the event leads the individual to feel that they are a bad person. In the case of a relationship break-up, “If I’m a good person, why did she dump me?” In the case of a death there is no doubt some regret involved for the person who becomes depressed, “If only I’d been a better son,” or whatever. In the case of postnatal depression, there are two possible kinds of negative thought, “What a bad, screwed up person I am when I compare myself to a healthy, unspoilt infant!” and/or “I’m not a good enough person to be responsible for the care of this precious child.”

Some claim that depression is all a matter of brain chemistry. While it may be true that the stress of depression brings about changes in the chemistry of the brain, from a close examination of the way that the obsessional thinking characteristic of depression keeps us trapped within ourselves and cut off from the healing potential of spontaneous and open communication with other people and the world around us, we can see that there are better approaches to releasing ourselves from depression than swallowing pills or having epileptic seizures induced by the application of electricity to our brains. These things have provided a limited amount of help to some individuals, including myself, but they are really the equivalent of providing air-conditioning in the prison cell instead of unlocking the door.

 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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A_Nony_Mouse wrote: That is

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
 That is a description not a working definition. What are the specific symptoms which characterize it? How does one know what it is as opposed to what it is not?

There are so many symptoms I can't list them here. Clearly, if my contention is that our species has been characterised by this condition for its entire existence, it would be easier to say what is not a symptom than what is. The opposite of neurotic, in my conception, is free, spontaneous, loving, uninhibited, irreverent, creative, sensual.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
If you had some described but undefined problem and you were sent to a state paid faith healer and you were directed towards a dozen famous authors on faith healing would you spend so much of your time and effort waiting for the healing from faith to start happening? Yet here you are.

I don't know about faith healing, but my healing has happened. I'm waiting for fuck all. I see my psychiatrist because it seems wise to be cautious and I'm a cooperative guy. I take the mood stabilisers because they have minimal side-effects and my psychiatrist feels less nervous if I take them. But I haven't had any problems for about five years. And it is not drugs which have done that. They helped at times along the way when I was either very depressed or psychotic, and they may have taken the edge off my mood swings a little. But the bulk of my cure has come from gaining insight.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
It sounds like you have gotten the hang of the scam. Self help books most always make some profit. You might also look to Amazon for their eBook publishing where the profit margin is many times higher. Or if your are still in a manic phase you can lower the price to keep the same profit.

If it sells enough you will come to understand the importance of workshops and the basics cost of them is quite high so your profit will still be percentagewise quite low. Keep your eye on the annual gross not the week to week net. There are motivational speaker circuits that are always looking for new talent.

I won't use Amazon for my ebook because they won't let me distribute it for free through them. The paperback should go up there. If I sell any paperback copies through Amazon I'll make $1.46 on each. It might pay for a few Facebook ads or something. If you think that my decision to make no money from the ebook is a product of mania then I would have to have been manic for over a year. My psychiatrist would not agree with your diagnosis. Smiling

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Houston we have a problem.

Aussiescribbler wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
 That is a description not a working definition. What are the specific symptoms which characterize it? How does one know what it is as opposed to what it is not?

There are so many symptoms I can't list them here. Clearly, if my contention is that our species has been characterised by this condition for its entire existence, it would be easier to say what is not a symptom than what is. The opposite of neurotic, in my conception, is free, spontaneous, loving, uninhibited, irreverent, creative, sensual.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
If you had some described but undefined problem and you were sent to a state paid faith healer and you were directed towards a dozen famous authors on faith healing would you spend so much of your time and effort waiting for the healing from faith to start happening? Yet here you are.

I don't know about faith healing, but my healing has happened. I'm waiting for fuck all. I see my psychiatrist because it seems wise to be cautious and I'm a cooperative guy. I take the mood stabilisers because they have minimal side-effects and my psychiatrist feels less nervous if I take them. But I haven't had any problems for about five years. And it is not drugs which have done that. They helped at times along the way when I was either very depressed or psychotic, and they may have taken the edge off my mood swings a little. But the bulk of my cure has come from gaining insight.

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
It sounds like you have gotten the hang of the scam. Self help books most always make some profit. You might also look to Amazon for their eBook publishing where the profit margin is many times higher. Or if your are still in a manic phase you can lower the price to keep the same profit.

If it sells enough you will come to understand the importance of workshops and the basics cost of them is quite high so your profit will still be percentagewise quite low. Keep your eye on the annual gross not the week to week net. There are motivational speaker circuits that are always looking for new talent.

I won't use Amazon for my ebook because they won't let me distribute it for free through them. The paperback should go up there. If I sell any paperback copies through Amazon I'll make $1.46 on each. It might pay for a few Facebook ads or something. If you think that my decision to make no money from the ebook is a product of mania then I would have to have been manic for over a year. My psychiatrist would not agree with your diagnosis. Smiling

I can't get your book to download and  the buy option doesn't work either. When I read on line it times out. Houston---are you there-----Houston----damn. Advice---Advice-----advice. If you're here turn on a light.

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.

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Old Seer wrote:I can't get

Old Seer wrote:

I can't get your book to download and  the buy option doesn't work either. When I read on line it times out. Houston---are you there-----Houston----damn. Advice---Advice-----advice. If you're here turn on a light.

Just email me at aussiescribbler@dodo.com.au and let me know what format you want it in and I'll help you out. Was it Smashwords where you were trying to download it? It is also at Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Diesel, Sony and the I-Tunes store among other places. Or you can read it easily on-line at Worthy of Publishing.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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.

Aussiescribbler wrote:
...

Bipolar disorder

This is another condition I have suffered from and for which I am still taking medication. With bipolar disorder there are periods of depression alternating with periods of speeded up thought and reckless behaviour. The manic phase can be psychotic, involving delusional thinking or even hallucinations.

...

For a fact after considering your posts that is what I was going to suggest. Further I was going to suggest you are not taking your meds to enjoy the manic phase and are hoping to get through the down side with anti-depressants. I was then planning to add you are about a week away from learning that does not work.

You will have better results if you stop playing with your medications and take them as prescribed. You would not play dosage game with antibiotics. The same reasoning applies.

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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.

Aussiescribbler wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
 That is a description not a working definition. What are the specific symptoms which characterize it? How does one know what it is as opposed to what it is not?

There are so many symptoms I can't list them here. Clearly, if my contention is that our species has been characterised by this condition for its entire existence, it would be easier to say what is not a symptom than what is. The opposite of neurotic, in my conception, is free, spontaneous, loving, uninhibited, irreverent, creative, sensual.

That you are seeing what is average behavior of which yours is exaggerated is denying the facts by declaring your symptoms as normal. The correct term is average not normal. A symptom is a normal aspect of personality that is extreme or inappropriate. It is true of most physical illnesses also. The symptoms of a cold are reactions to the virus not the virus itself.

Good luck.

 

 

Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.

www.ussliberty.org

www.giwersworld.org/made-in-alexandria/index.html

www.giwersworld.org/00_files/zion-hit-points.phtml


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A_Nony_Mouse

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Aussiescribbler wrote:
...

Bipolar disorder

This is another condition I have suffered from and for which I am still taking medication. With bipolar disorder there are periods of depression alternating with periods of speeded up thought and reckless behaviour. The manic phase can be psychotic, involving delusional thinking or even hallucinations.

...

For a fact after considering your posts that is what I was going to suggest. Further I was going to suggest you are not taking your meds to enjoy the manic phase and are hoping to get through the down side with anti-depressants. I was then planning to add you are about a week away from learning that does not work.

You will have better results if you stop playing with your medications and take them as prescribed. You would not play dosage game with antibiotics. The same reasoning applies.

You are making unfounded assumptions. I have not varied my medication for over a year. And that variations, a slight reduction in my Lithium in response to an irritating need to take a urination break in the middle of movies, was made on the suggestion of my psychiatrist and is something she has continued to monitor, as is always the case with patients on mood stabilisers, through regular blood tests.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Average and normal

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:

Aussiescribbler wrote:

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
 That is a description not a working definition. What are the specific symptoms which characterize it? How does one know what it is as opposed to what it is not?

There are so many symptoms I can't list them here. Clearly, if my contention is that our species has been characterised by this condition for its entire existence, it would be easier to say what is not a symptom than what is. The opposite of neurotic, in my conception, is free, spontaneous, loving, uninhibited, irreverent, creative, sensual.

That you are seeing what is average behavior of which yours is exaggerated is denying the facts by declaring your symptoms as normal. The correct term is average not normal. A symptom is a normal aspect of personality that is extreme or inappropriate. It is true of most physical illnesses also. The symptoms of a cold are reactions to the virus not the virus itself.

Good luck.

are interchangeable. Each can be used in place of the other---- is equal to median.

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.

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A_Nony_Mouse wrote: That is

A_Nony_Mouse wrote:
 That is a description not a working definition. What are the specific symptoms which characterize it? How does one know what it is as opposed to what it is not?

There are so many symptoms I can't list them here. Clearly, if my contention is that our species has been characterised by this condition for its entire existence, it would be easier to say what is not a symptom than what is. The opposite of neurotic, in my conception, is free, spontaneous, loving, uninhibited, irreverent, creative, sensual.

That you are seeing what is average behavior of which yours is exaggerated is denying the facts by declaring your symptoms as normal. The correct term is average not normal. A symptom is a normal aspect of personality that is extreme or inappropriate. It is true of most physical illnesses also. The symptoms of a cold are reactions to the virus not the virus itself.

Good luck.

When did I talk about what is "normal"? A norm is a statistical average. In an unhealthy society the norm is to be unhealthy.

I judge my own state of mental health by how comfortable I feel in the real world and how smoothly and spontaneously I interact with others and how easily I am able to perform the tasks required of me by my work and home life. When I have been unwell it has sometimes taken the form of distress (depression or anxiety) and sometimes it has taken the form of a disjuncture between myself and others based on powerful feelings and accompanying ideas which do not directly relate to the reality of my environment.

People are not diagnosed as mentally ill based on their beliefs, regardless of how delusional those beliefs may appear, but on their ability to function in society. Many members of the so-called "new age movement" believe in angels. This is not enough for them to be proscribed anti-psychotics. But if they take a dump on the neighbour's lawn and say the angels told them that they could, then they will probably get locked up for a while. People are diagnosed on the basis that they report that they are suffering (as with depression or anxiety) or because their behaviour suggests that they may be a danger to themselves or others or if people find their behaviour difficult to tolerate.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Got the Book

I normally quick scan something before I read to learn. I see parallels with us one after another.

Here's one we wouldn't be---"Judaeo - Christian" God. We say there's no such idea in Christianity. Christianity (according to us) cannot be combined with anything else or it's contaminated/cancelled. The Adamites weren't Hebrew, as Hebrews were only one tribe in the descendants of Adam. The Hebrews is a tribe that was fallen away form being Adam as all other middle eastern tribes . The Jews today are still a fallen entity and can't be linked to Adam except genetically. They carried forward the idea/concept of a non-material entity but the knowledge of Adam was lost. Today their religion is even different then that, and no different then any other religion on the planet as the Hebrews of today accept the term "God". Being that Adam had no concept of god the term doesn't apply to Adam or Christianity. Christianity is the same as Adam but with additions in understanding. Technically then . Christianity also would have no concept of God. God is strictly a Euro attachment from their ignorance of climatic environment, basically. The Euro term merely means something that is not understood but greater then themselves as they had little material science knowledge. Christianity is not a matter of the material/physical sciences but rather a matter of the mental sciences. I may have mentioned before that Adam was the first Psycho dudes on planet earth that were know of, and farther advanced then even today. They counted the inner elements and found a total of 144. No one has more or less then the 144---that is what the equalness is that the Apostle points to that ---all are created equal. There 72 on the animal side and 72 opposites on the human side. You'll eventually see this number in the apocalypse as the measure of a man- relating to the spiritual as the full measure of ones personage.

But you'll have to make up you own mind as to what is what. We're not preachers and leave our input to the receiver to decide. You may be able to do better then we in time. We're not a tight together unit anymore for safety reasons so I may get some things a bit off.

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.

https://sites.google.com/site/oldseers


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Old Seer wrote:I normally

Old Seer wrote:

I normally quick scan something before I read to learn. I see parallels with us one after another.

Here's one we wouldn't be---"Judaeo - Christian" God. We say there's no such idea in Christianity. Christianity (according to us) cannot be combined with anything else or it's contaminated/cancelled. The Adamites weren't Hebrew, as Hebrews were only one tribe in the descendants of Adam. The Hebrews is a tribe that was fallen away form being Adam as all other middle eastern tribes . The Jews today are still a fallen entity and can't be linked to Adam except genetically. They carried forward the idea/concept of a non-material entity but the knowledge of Adam was lost. Today their religion is even different then that, and no different then any other religion on the planet as the Hebrews of today accept the term "God". Being that Adam had no concept of god the term doesn't apply to Adam or Christianity. Christianity is the same as Adam but with additions in understanding. Technically then . Christianity also would have no concept of God. God is strictly a Euro attachment from their ignorance of climatic environment, basically. The Euro term merely means something that is not understood but greater then themselves as they had little material science knowledge. Christianity is not a matter of the material/physical sciences but rather a matter of the mental sciences. I may have mentioned before that Adam was the first Psycho dudes on planet earth that were know of, and farther advanced then even today. They counted the inner elements and found a total of 144. No one has more or less then the 144---that is what the equalness is that the Apostle points to that ---all are created equal. There 72 on the animal side and 72 opposites on the human side. You'll eventually see this number in the apocalypse as the measure of a man- relating to the spiritual as the full measure of ones personage.

But you'll have to make up you own mind as to what is what. We're not preachers and leave our input to the receiver to decide. You may be able to do better then we in time. We're not a tight together unit anymore for safety reasons so I may get some things a bit off.

I'm certainly no expert on religion, so I sketched things in without much attempt to explain the finer points. And you clearly have a better grasp on some of those finer points than me, especially when it comes to the pre-Hebrew elements of the Old Testament. By Judeo-Christian God I didn't mean to imply the concept of God which Jesus appears to have had, but rather the concept one finds in parts of the Old Testament, in orthodox Christianity and in Islam. This is the concept of a vengeful supernatural force standing in judgement over humans. It seems to me from what you say about the Adamites that they may have had a pantheistic view, as I believe Jesus did, which is in stark contrast to the patriarchal supernatural judgemental God. However the terminology is often the same even when the underlying conception is clearly different. Jesus continues to use patriarchal terms like "my Father".

A young woman contacted me last night who appears to be very smart - she graduated university by the time she was 19 - who is very impressed with my books and interested in maybe setting up a website for these ideas. If it pans out it would be great to be able to provide a place for you to put up your findings.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Got it.

Aussiescribbler wrote:

Old Seer wrote:

I normally quick scan something before I read to learn. I see parallels with us one after another.

Here's one we wouldn't be---"Judaeo - Christian" God. We say there's no such idea in Christianity. Christianity (according to us) cannot be combined with anything else or it's contaminated/cancelled. The Adamites weren't Hebrew, as Hebrews were only one tribe in the descendants of Adam. The Hebrews is a tribe that was fallen away form being Adam as all other middle eastern tribes . The Jews today are still a fallen entity and can't be linked to Adam except genetically. They carried forward the idea/concept of a non-material entity but the knowledge of Adam was lost. Today their religion is even different then that, and no different then any other religion on the planet as the Hebrews of today accept the term "God". Being that Adam had no concept of god the term doesn't apply to Adam or Christianity. Christianity is the same as Adam but with additions in understanding. Technically then . Christianity also would have no concept of God. God is strictly a Euro attachment from their ignorance of climatic environment, basically. The Euro term merely means something that is not understood but greater then themselves as they had little material science knowledge. Christianity is not a matter of the material/physical sciences but rather a matter of the mental sciences. I may have mentioned before that Adam was the first Psycho dudes on planet earth that were know of, and farther advanced then even today. They counted the inner elements and found a total of 144. No one has more or less then the 144---that is what the equalness is that the Apostle points to that ---all are created equal. There 72 on the animal side and 72 opposites on the human side. You'll eventually see this number in the apocalypse as the measure of a man- relating to the spiritual as the full measure of ones personage.

But you'll have to make up you own mind as to what is what. We're not preachers and leave our input to the receiver to decide. You may be able to do better then we in time. We're not a tight together unit anymore for safety reasons so I may get some things a bit off.

I'm certainly no expert on religion, so I sketched things in without much attempt to explain the finer points. And you clearly have a better grasp on some of those finer points than me, especially when it comes to the pre-Hebrew elements of the Old Testament. By Judeo-Christian God I didn't mean to imply the concept of God which Jesus appears to have had, but rather the concept one finds in parts of the Old Testament, in orthodox Christianity and in Islam. This is the concept of a vengeful supernatural force standing in judgement over humans. It seems to me from what you say about the Adamites that they may have had a pantheistic view, as I believe Jesus did, which is in stark contrast to the patriarchal supernatural judgemental God. However the terminology is often the same even when the underlying conception is clearly different. Jesus continues to use patriarchal terms like "my Father". (Eggzackly)

A young woman contacted me last night who appears to be very smart - she graduated university by the time she was 19 - who is very impressed with my books and interested in maybe setting up a website for these ideas. If it pans out it would be great to be able to provide a place for you to put up your findings.

The application of the term can be put on the old testament as I see it also. I didn't think of that time period. That's what makes the book a real darn'er at times. They were in the fallen state at those times so the combo is likely what produces the ideas of Christianity in the world of today. That's probably why the book looks to be nonsense, and under those terms it would be as I would see it.

I'd would be happy to join in on the site. Keep me informed.  

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.

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I only read a little more than the OP

 I was just curious if what you're saying coincides with the message that this song gives:   The Illusionist ~ Scar Symmetry

Just the lyrics, if you're not a fan of the genre.

"Your sins are not redeemed, by swearing perjury." ~ Mathias Blad

"Change how you look at all things and what you see will change" ~ Per Nilsson/Henrik Ohlsson
"As the need for knowledge flows through the catharsis of thought, ask a question and the answer will be born."


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Wladyslaw wrote: I was just

Wladyslaw wrote:

 I was just curious if what you're saying coincides with the message that this song gives:   The Illusionist ~ Scar Symmetry

Just the lyrics, if you're not a fan of the genre.

 

I don't know what the lyricist intends but it certainly could be read as an expression of a similar idea.

I think that our beliefs about Jesus say more about us than they do about the man who (I believe) inspired the myth. We can't know that man and we can't know for sure whether he existed. We don't have a time machine. He is a mystery. And where there is mystery we fill the gaps from our own imagination.

As a pantheist, I believe that God is everything, that what we experience as our conscious identity is nothing more than a skin on the surface of who we are, that in a very real sense every single one of us is the entire universe because we are made up of the same stuff as the universe which is everywhere in essence the same. I can't prove that in any empirical sense, but I have yet to find any other concept which enables me to integrate what I know of life in a way which has no inconsistencies. To me pantheism of this sort is essential to holism and thus essential to true rationality. So if there was this man whose words profoundly changed the world, then I fill the mystery with myself and put forward the view that he was a pantheist.

If someone lives in fear of God, i.e. from my perspective in fear of their true self, then there will be a huge barrier (as R. D. Laing put it "fifty feet of solid concrete" ) between themselves and this interior reality. Any contact between this realm and their conscious mind, through cracks in the concrete, will be of something so alien and bizarre that they will interpret it in supernatural magical terms. I know what this is like as I've experienced a psychotic episode. But psychotic episodes are temporary. The magical thinking which characterises religion can last for many centuries because it is shared. If I were to see an hallucination and talk about it I would probably be locked up in a mental hospital and given anti-psychotic medication. When some little girl a few centuries ago saw an hallucination of Mary it was culturally embraced and preserved as something valuable. Such hallucinations are valuable as a kind of blasting through from the poverty of strictly linear, rather than holistic, reasoning, but their value depends on rational interpretation, not on worship. Those who are in this position - perhaps the majority of people in the world today - the Jesus mystery (or whatever figure of mystery is central to their belief system) will be viewed in this light as a magical figure. The entirety of the literature of Jesus was written by people in this position.

Then we have those whose state of alienation is so great that they live their whole lives (accept perhaps when they are asleep and dreaming) on the most superficial level of existence. Like the pantheist they don't believe in the supernatural, but they fear their own deeper selves, they cling to mechanistic linear reasoning because they are even more afraid of the pantheist's God than the religious are. It is notable that scientists who embrace holism are very often not afraid to use the term "God" though they use it (as Einstein did) in a non-magical non-supernatural sense. To embrace holism (something which the fearless pursuit of rationality makes essential) means to acknowledge that selfishness, egotism, aggression, greed, etc. are pathological, are forms of sickness. This then leads us back to religion which said that "sin", i.e. selfishness, was against God. This doesn't mean that religious dogma is sound, far from it, it is often riddled with the pathological hierarchical, superstitious, anti-sex, anti-woman, etc. prejudices of the men who wrote it down. But there is still in the true holistic integration of rational understanding something which terrifies many - the naked face of a non-supernatural God of which we are all a part. It is easy to dismiss the God of the magical thinkers, but not so easy to dismiss the pantheistic God which lies at the heart of who we are and to which the path of scientific enquiry will inevitably lead us. And so those who are afraid of reality in this way, will look at the mystery of the man who may have talked about this reality and perhaps try to prove that he didn't exist, just as they would perhaps like to prove that their own deeper self does not exist, that deeper self which is capable of pulling the carpet out from beneath their ordered but delusional existence. 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Aussiescribbler wrote:It is

Aussiescribbler wrote:
It is easy to dismiss the God of the magical thinkers, but not so easy to dismiss the pantheistic God which lies at the heart of who we are and to which the path of scientific enquiry will inevitably lead us. And so those who are afraid of reality in this way, will look at the mystery of the man who may have talked about this reality and perhaps try to prove that he didn't exist, just as they would perhaps like to prove that their own deeper self does not exist, that deeper self which is capable of pulling the carpet out from beneath their ordered but delusional existence. 

There is no ‘deeper’ self.  Technically, there is no ‘self’ either, which is just a construction of thoughts, feelings, reactions and memories.  When we speak about finding a deeper self we are really talking about deconstruction.  What is there then?  The Buddha says that ‘enlightenment’ is the absence of suffering, more than that he didn’t say, meaning that we would have to find out for ourselves. He gave us no hints so that our tricky minds don’t try and build an identity from his words.

What do you mean by a deeper self?
 

 

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Peggotty

Peggotty wrote:

Aussiescribbler wrote:
It is easy to dismiss the God of the magical thinkers, but not so easy to dismiss the pantheistic God which lies at the heart of who we are and to which the path of scientific enquiry will inevitably lead us. And so those who are afraid of reality in this way, will look at the mystery of the man who may have talked about this reality and perhaps try to prove that he didn't exist, just as they would perhaps like to prove that their own deeper self does not exist, that deeper self which is capable of pulling the carpet out from beneath their ordered but delusional existence. 

There is no ‘deeper’ self.  Technically, there is no ‘self’ either, which is just a construction of thoughts, feelings, reactions and memories.  When we speak about finding a deeper self we are really talking about deconstruction.  What is there then?  The Buddha says that ‘enlightenment’ is the absence of suffering, more than that he didn’t say, meaning that we would have to find out for ourselves. He gave us no hints so that our tricky minds don’t try and build an identity from his words.

What do you mean by a deeper self? 

The memories are personal to us. The thoughts are a mixture of things we have taken in from others and our personal response to them. Our feelings, while personal, come from a more limited palate of biological tendencies which we share.

What lies beneath these things is what we are born with - the experience of not just being alive but being life itself.

One could argue that it is not so much a deeper self which can pull the carpet out from underneath us as reality itself. Much of our thinking is dishonest and based around attempts to normalise our neurosis. So when I talk about our deeper self, I mean a consciousness which combines the perception of being life itself with an holistic and rational ability to integrate information about ourselves and our environment. My belief is that such an honest awareness and complete acceptance of factual reality are unifying tendencies. There can be many lies and delusions, there can only be one reality, and everyone who lives there is united in peace and love and creativity with everyone else who lives there. What divides us from each other is that we are internally divided against ourselves. It may be our sexuality or our mortality that we don't accept. Some people seek to become more "spiritual" by trying to transcend the physical. But we are our bodies. Our bodies are our deeper selves. But our bodies are expressions of the creative principle of the universe, expressions of life itself. It is through bodily perception that we can feel we are God. Our mortality and our sexuality and everything else which religions have struggled to transcend or repress, are intrinsic to what God is, like a crawling blob which becomes more complex and more capable through a process of death and birth, and which is motivated by the desire for pleasure. But there is a purpose and meaning running through all of this - that each level reaches a higher level through integration of individuals into communities which become the individual of the higher level. Thus some single-celled organisms found an advantage in forming a group which eventually became an multi-cellular organism. And now we are on the verge of forming a single entity made up of all humans. One way or another this will happen, and this is what I mean about the carpet being pulled out. We will find that our superficial concepts of who we are will not longer cut it as society changes in ways our philosophy can't account for.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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The only way humans will

The only way humans will form a single entity is if we are enslaved by the Borg. And even then there will be a few that escape. Evolution ensures we will never be a singular entity.

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Vastet wrote:The only way

Vastet wrote:
The only way humans will form a single entity is if we are enslaved by the Borg. And even then there will be a few that escape. Evolution ensures we will never be a singular entity.

Interestingly science fiction depictions of the unification of the species tend to emphasise enslavement, suppression of thought and uniformity. These are actually the qualities which keep us divided now. We are too fearful to behave as truly free individuals, we cling to restrictive dogmas and we try to conform to what we view as social expectations. The body is a whole comprised of individual cells. if those cells were uniform and had no ability to respond spontaneously to need but required orders to come from some central point in all situations, the body would not work. The way to become a working entity is throw off fear, dogma and conformity and operate on the basis of genuine personal best interest and the pursuit of good feelings. It feels good to be in loving communication with our fellows and it feels good to solve problems and it feels good to find a deeper understanding of how the world works. Each of us has our own unique talents and the whole can only prosper if they are unleashed. This is the opposite of Borg enslavement.

How does evolution ensure that we will never be a singular entity? There are examples of singular entities composed of individual entities in nature. We are made up of cells after all. And a beehive is essentially a single entity. Where there is a survival advantage to a group becoming a whole it will happen. The reason we are social animals is because it is easier for us to survive in groups than as lone individuals. But our neurosis compromises the group in a way that it does not, for example, amongst a troop of bonobos.

The chances of us surviving by the way we live now are zero.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Bacterial Super-colony

Aussiescribbler wrote:

Vastet wrote:
The only way humans will form a single entity is if we are enslaved by the Borg. And even then there will be a few that escape. Evolution ensures we will never be a singular entity.

Interestingly science fiction depictions of the unification of the species tend to emphasise enslavement, suppression of thought and uniformity. These are actually the qualities which keep us divided now. We are too fearful to behave as truly free individuals, we cling to restrictive dogmas and we try to conform to what we view as social expectations. The body is a whole comprised of individual cells. if those cells were uniform and had no ability to respond spontaneously to need but required orders to come from some central point in all situations, the body would not work. The way to become a working entity is throw off fear, dogma and conformity and operate on the basis of genuine personal best interest and the pursuit of good feelings. It feels good to be in loving communication with our fellows and it feels good to solve problems and it feels good to find a deeper understanding of how the world works. Each of us has our own unique talents and the whole can only prosper if they are unleashed. This is the opposite of Borg enslavement.

How does evolution ensure that we will never be a singular entity? There are examples of singular entities composed of individual entities in nature. We are made up of cells after all. And a beehive is essentially a single entity. Where there is a survival advantage to a group becoming a whole it will happen. The reason we are social animals is because it is easier for us to survive in groups than as lone individuals. But our neurosis compromises the group in a way that it does not, for example, amongst a troop of bonobos.

The chances of us surviving by the way we live now are zero.

No one denies that a bacterial super-colony's illusion of morality is perhaps its most subjectively significant electrochemical reaction. Who cares? One bacterial super-colony's moral illusions do not and cannot imply objective moral obligation to or from another.


 

 

Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
Charles Dickens


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Peggotty wrote:No one denies

Peggotty wrote:

No one denies that a bacterial super-colony's illusion of morality is perhaps its most subjectively significant electrochemical reaction. Who cares? One bacterial super-colony's moral illusions do not and cannot imply objective moral obligation to or from another. 

Who said anything about morality? I'm talking about self-interest - survival advantage and the pleasure principle. I don't see a bacterial super-colony as being moral or being a symbol for any form of morality. I see them grouping together because doing so confers survival advantages and because if feels good. They don't have intelligence so how could they have a concept like "morality"?

Morality was a human invention which grew out of our neurosis. Only when we began to feel bad about ourselves and question our self worth did we need to invent a system by which we could try to "prove" our "virtue" by doing "good" and avoiding "evil". This is the personal reason for morality. The social reason is that it provided a structure for enforced discipline to keep society from disintegrating under the influence of the aggression and selfishness which were (and are) entirely a product of our mental suffering. The non-neurotic individual needs no morality. To such an individual the pleasure principle (supported by the use of intelligence to avoid situations in which a short term pleasure may lead to longer term suffering - e.g. eating lots of ice-cream is pleasant until you get sick) is a sufficient system of guidance. This leads to a cooperative and creative society characterised by love - i.e. open, honest, spontaneous and generous communication - because friendship feels good and creating feels good. It is neurotic feelings such as irrational fear and guilt etc., arising from poor understanding of the world and ourselves, which impedes our natural desire to create and be friends with everyone.

When I talk of a pantheistic God, I'm not talking of something which has any moral implications. Nothing can harm the creative principle of the universe. If life ceases on earth it doesn't matter to the universe, because no doubt life exists elsewhere. If the universe is infinite then all of us are infinitely unimportant to the universe. Death and suffering are just part of the creative process. It doesn't matter to the universe, but it does matter to us as individuals. We care whether we survive. We care whether or not we suffer. And it is for our own sake that we should do what will maximise our chances of survival and minimise our suffering.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Aussiescribbler wrote:Who

Aussiescribbler wrote:
Who said anything about morality? I'm talking about self-interest - survival advantage and the pleasure principle. I don't see a bacterial super-colony as being moral or being a symbol for any form of morality. I see them grouping together because doing so confers survival advantages and because if feels good. They don't have intelligence so how could they have a concept like "morality"?


How is the pleasure principle not a morality?  Doesn’t it say that pleasure is good and pain is bad – that’s a morality isn’t it?


You don’t see a bacterial super-colony as being moral – why not?  They behave in prescribed ways just like we do.  Ways that are good or bad for the survival of the colony just like we do.  That’s their morality, that’s our morality.  The only difference is their morality is written into their genetic code, so is some of ours come to think of it – we just talk about it as well.


Where’s your ‘deeper self’ gone – is it this amoral hedonist that you’re putting forward? Doesn’t sound very deep to me.


This ‘cooperative and creative society characterised by love’ – where or when has such a society ever existed in the course of human history, other perhaps, than on a sixties campus of your youth? 
 

Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
Charles Dickens


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Peggotty wrote: How is the

Peggotty wrote:
 How is the pleasure principle not a morality?  Doesn’t it say that pleasure is good and pain is bad – that’s a morality isn’t it?

It depends on your definition of "good" and "bad". I don't see the need for these distinctions when it comes to the pleasure principle. There is pleasure and there is unpleasure. We seek pleasure not because it is "good" but because it is pleasure.

Of course the pleasure principle plays an important role in morality. While a neurotic fear of our own desire for pleasure can lead to a masochistic seeking out of pain, whether as a sexual fetish or a religious observance, mostly we seek pleasure or try to avoid unpleasure through our moral choices. This is most obvious in religions which believe in Heaven and Hell. But even if we don't believe in after-worldly reward or punishment, we may avoid "bad" behaviour to avoid unpleasant feelings of guilt (think of a vegan who wants to avoid adding to the suffering of animals) or pursue "good" behaviour because it makes it possible for us to feel good about being a "good" person. But guilt and pride are neurotic symptoms. The conscience is something which was made necessary only by our neurosis. Only when we developed the desires for anti-social behaviour did we need to develop an internal carrot and stick system to control those desires.


Peggotty wrote:
You don’t see a bacterial super-colony as being moral – why not?  They behave in prescribed ways just like we do.  Ways that are good or bad for the survival of the colony just like we do.  That’s their morality, that’s our morality.  The only difference is their morality is written into their genetic code, so is some of ours come to think of it – we just talk about it as well.

What do you mean by "prescribed ways"? Their behaviour is limited by their physical nature. They can't fly because they don't have wings. And they are not going to do something which is directly destructive to them, such as give up taking in nutrients. But I see no evidence that they are following dictatorial orders. They don't have intelligence so one presumes they can't think about what is in the best interests of the colony. I assume they follow their own interests and these happen to coincide with the interests of the colony.

I don't believe that genes determine behaviour. Genes determine the physical structure of the organism and the organism's behaviour is a free improvisation with its environment. If you have a bunch of species where most individuals are alike then their behaviour is likely also to be alike because the palette of behaviours for that physical entity is limited. What is a bird going to do but fly and breed and eat and shit? It has no hands to make anything more sophisticated than a nest. And if a species of bird always makes the same kind of nest without learning how is that not explained by the fact that the same kind of brain confronted with the same kind of problem is going to come up with the same kind of solution? This is not the case with humans. We vary greatly and our environments vary greatly and we have great mental capacity and imagination. A good deal of our conformity is due to a neurotic desire to not go against the tide. I'm not writing this because my genes tell me to, but because they have given me the tools with which to do it.

It sometimes seems to me that a lot of people are afraid of freedom. They free themselves from the dictatorship of God only to replace that with the dictatorship of the gene. Nobody and nothing dictates to me.


Peggotty wrote:
Where’s your ‘deeper self’ gone – is it this amoral hedonist that you’re putting forward? Doesn’t sound very deep to me.

What could be deeper than the heart of the universe? Creation is the essence of the universe. When I talk about getting in touch with our deeper self I mean realising that we are a creative expression of the universe. This is deeper than our dogma-obsessed neurotic mind, which is really very superficial as anyone who has ever had a psychotic episode (or presumably taken LSD) knows. There are powerful forces of the creative imagination which lie just below the surface of the "rational" mind.


Peggotty wrote:
This ‘cooperative and creative society characterised by love’ – where or when has such a society ever existed in the course of human history, other perhaps, than on a sixties campus of your youth?

I don't believe that it has ever existed for Homo Sapiens. I'm no paleo-anthropologist. I don't know my early human and proto-human species very well. But I think the human neurosis may well have had its origins well before the time of Homo Erectus or the Neanderthals. I don't know. Certainly well before Homo Sapiens. All known civilisations have been deeply neurotic, characterised by egotism, sexual repression, selfishness and aggression. To get an idea of what a pre-neurosis proto-human civilisation might have been like we would have to look at our nearest currently living genetic relatives the bonobos. They have a very strong communal culture with no pair bonding, little aggression, and group harmony maintained through unrestrained sharing of genital pleasure. My view is that our proto-human ancestors would have been even more harmonious than that as humans have a longer nurturing period.

Now you might ask : If you are talking about something which has not existed through the whole of human history how are we going to make it happen now? And the answer is that we are not going to make it happen. It is a natural process which can't be stopped. The universe unfolds in the only way that it can. Systems become disordered in the process of jumping to a higher level of order. That is what we have been going through during the whole of human history. The fact that belief in long standing dogmas such as religion are breaking down is a symptom of the process. The old mental armouring is breaking down so that something organic and spontaneous and healthy can manifest itself. It is only the old neurotic structures, personal and social, which stand between us and the improvisation of paradise which is our deepest desire.

Getting back to Jesus, this is what I think he meant when he said : "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near." Matthew 24:32 Religion and other forms of dogmatic rigid unfree thinking are like the hard bark of a tree. They are dead. But the dead bark protects the tree through the harsh winter. The first sign that the harsh winter is over (in this case the harsh winter of humanity's journey through neurosis) the first sign is that the tree begins to express itself freely and spontaneously again by putting out fresh leaves (i.e. people begin to think and behave openly and spontaneously rather than in conformity with old conservative ways). Of course this is something which happens periodically in greater or lesser manifestations, i.e. ancient Greece, the Enlightenment, the Sixties. In each of those cases the repressive forces ended up being stronger, but today I'm not sure that they are. And the other thing which makes things different now is that we are reaching the limits of sustainability for our society.

 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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I've heard this sort

I’ve heard this sort of bilge from drunken men trying to chat me up in bars, a cross between Timothy Leary’s free love charter and Paolo Coelho’s sentimental parables.

This isn’t an argument from you it’s just a fantastical expression of your male ego. I’m sure you’d love to live in a society where sixteen year old girls share their genitalia with you.  Perhaps you should move to Pakistan?

Have you thought of starting your own cult?  I can envisage the kind of world you describe – a male patriarch spouting incomprehensible verbiage about love and God and free will, whilst servicing his harem of devoted handmaidens.
 

Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
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Peggotty wrote:I’ve

Peggotty wrote:

I’ve heard this sort of bilge from drunken men trying to chat me up in bars, a cross between Timothy Leary’s free love charter and Paolo Coelho’s sentimental parables.

This isn’t an argument from you it’s just a fantastical expression of your male ego. I’m sure you’d love to live in a society where sixteen year old girls share their genitalia with you.  Perhaps you should move to Pakistan?

Have you thought of starting your own cult?  I can envisage the kind of world you describe – a male patriarch spouting incomprehensible verbiage about love and God and free will, whilst servicing his harem of devoted handmaidens.

I'm sure that could be fun, but I'm not the patriarchal kind. I'm much happier serving people than bossing them around, which is why I've worked 30 years in a subsidiary position in a library serving under women and serving women customers. That is where I'm happy. To be the boss of anyone, female or male, would be repugnant to me. Much as I love sex, sexual pleasure is not necessary to socialise me. I already am attuned to the other rewards of cooperative living. But there are many bossy men and women out there who might lighten up if they had some erotic pleasure shared with them more freely. One of the problems with patriarchy is that it represses women's sexuality even more than men's sexuality. Pakistan is a case in point. It may be legal to have an arranged marriage with a 16 year old girl, but a woman who commits adultery may get stoned. Our society is much better. While women who don't conform their sexuality to patriarchal expectations may be called "sluts" they are not legally prosecuted. A sexually free society is not just one where men can be as promiscuous as they want to be. Women very often have stronger sexual desires than men. But one can also abstain. I've only ever had sex with one woman and then only about three or four times in my fifty years. Being free of sexual repression means being comfortable about your sexual desires and enjoying having them, it doesn't require acting on those desires. Freedom means that if you want to do something you can do it and if you don't want to do something you don't have to. And since the society I describe is necessarily non-hierarchical, nobody can have a patriarchal relationship to anyone else.

I'm talking about people doing what they want to do, not what someone else wants them to do. If people looked to me as some kind of a leader I would feel that I was a failure. I'm already relatively happy and satisfied with my life, but it would make me happy to see freedom and happiness come to others less fortunate, which is why I share the ideas which have helped me. But I do it using a pseudonym because I don't want my life complicated by attracting attention to myself.

And, just for the record, I've never tried to chat a woman up at a bar. 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Aussiescribbler wrote:I'm

Aussiescribbler wrote:
I'm sure that could be fun, but I'm not the patriarchal kind. I'm much happier serving people than bossing them around, which is why I've worked 30 years in a subsidiary position in a library serving under women and serving women customers. That is where I'm happy. To be the boss of anyone, female or male, would be repugnant to me.


How does all this square with your previous arrogant assertion ‘Nobody and nothing dictates to me.’  There seems to be an inconsistency in what you say about yourself.  Which is the fantasy and which is the reality?


Aussiescribbler wrote:
Much as I love sex, sexual pleasure is not necessary to socialise me. I already am attuned to the other rewards of cooperative living. But there are many bossy men and women out there who might lighten up if they had some erotic pleasure shared with them more freely.


So it’s one rule for you and another for everyone else.  You are marvellously adapted to your own sex life, whereas everyone else needs constant erotic stimulation to become acceptable in your eyes.


Aussiescribbler wrote:
One of the problems with patriarchy is that it represses women's sexuality even more than men's sexuality. Pakistan is a case in point. It may be legal to have an arranged marriage with a 16 year old girl, but a woman who commits adultery may get stoned.


Here we have the classic male fantasy of repressed, rampant, female sexual desire.  Every woman is just dying to share her genitalia with the nearest foul smelling old goat, if only she could overcome the antiquated and mistaken social customs that prevent her sexual liberation lol.


Aussiescribbler wrote:
  But one can also abstain. I've only ever had sex with one woman and then only about three or four times in my fifty years. Being free of sexual repression means being comfortable about your sexual desires and enjoying having them, it doesn't require acting on those desires. Freedom means that if you want to do something you can do it and if you don't want to do something you don't have to. And since the society I describe is necessarily non-hierarchical, nobody can have a patriarchal relationship to anyone else.


You abstain do you?  Your lack of sexual experience is a choice rather than you being unable to form sexual relationships with women. Is it? In an earlier post you said that ‘Armouring is a barrier to eroticism’ which can be cleared by expelling more anger.  Again it seems its one rule for you and something else for others.


Aussiescribbler wrote:
I'm talking about people doing what they want to do, not what someone else wants them to do. If people looked to me as some kind of a leader I would feel that I was a failure. I'm already relatively happy and satisfied with my life, but it would make me happy to see freedom and happiness come to others less fortunate, which is why I share the ideas which have helped me. But I do it using a pseudonym because I don't want my life complicated by attracting attention to myself.
And, just for the record, I've never tried to chat a woman up at a bar.


You don’t want to be a leader?  So why are you trying to lead people’s thoughts in a particular direction in this regard?  Why are you publishing a book and posting on internet forums, if not to influence people’s thinking.


It seems that behind the meek and mild librarian exterior is a massive, male ego desperately trying to even up the score by becoming a kind of guru of free love.
 

Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
Charles Dickens


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I'll try posting a reply to

I'll try posting a reply to each comment in its own post. I just spent over three hours writing a hugely detailed response to the entire post only to have the screen freeze and lose the lot.

Peggotty wrote:

Aussiescribbler wrote:
I'm sure that could be fun, but I'm not the patriarchal kind. I'm much happier serving people than bossing them around, which is why I've worked 30 years in a subsidiary position in a library serving under women and serving women customers. That is where I'm happy. To be the boss of anyone, female or male, would be repugnant to me.


How does all this square with your previous arrogant assertion ‘Nobody and nothing dictates to me.’  There seems to be an inconsistency in what you say about yourself.  Which is the fantasy and which is the reality?

If I chose to play a cooperative serving role, that doesn't mean I'm being dictated to. I can be quite stubborn if someone asks me to do something I think is not appropriate. But I like to help people and to be a part of making things happen. What is more fun that being in a position to grant people's wishes? And I don't want to be in a position of authority because I hate dictating to others as much as I hate being dictated to.

You say that comment is arrogant. Sometimes my writing can come across that way. It is free expression. Very often I write something down and then ask myself if it is true afterwards. And there is some heat for me in the question of genetic determinism. I was a disciple for a while of an Australian biologist named Jeremy Griffith who argued that the application of the selfish gene theory to humans was an attempt to evade acknowledging that our selfishness is psychological in origin and pathological. Fair enough. I find attempts to explain human selfishness in terms of strategies to maximise breeding opportunities pretty ludicrous. But Griffith tried to replace that with another form of genetic determinism, one which said that we have an inbuilt genetic orientation to "ideal behaviour", which, in his view, includes selflessness, monogamy and heterosexuality, and that conflict between these instincts and the conscious mind's need to experiment with self-determination has lead to selfishness, egotism, aggression, and non-reproductive sex, which he sees as "an attack on innocence". I battled with his ideas for a long time. (It would take too long to explain why they were important to me, but I will say that my current views are built partially from ideas I took from Griffith and, in same cases, reversed in order to make them fit my observations of life and personal experiences. To my mind I came to an understanding of things partly by wrestling with his unsound theories.) So when I follow up a comment about genetic determinism with a statement that "Nobody and nothing dictates to me" it is as if to say : "Fuck you, Jeremy Griffith! Fuck you, selfish gene theorists! etc." And then there is also the fact that psychiatrists sometimes insist that conditions like bipolar disorder are genetically determined. If I believed that, rather than seeing my bipolar disorder as a learned habit, would I have been as effective at minimising its disruption to my life by learning to understand the way that habit works?

Now I've said that I write something and then ask myself if it is true. In this case it isn't quite accurate. My flatmate's cat does dictate to me. I hate letting her in and out of the house, but her meowing is so annoying I can't bring myself not to.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Peggotty

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Aussiescribbler wrote:
Much as I love sex, sexual pleasure is not necessary to socialise me. I already am attuned to the other rewards of cooperative living. But there are many bossy men and women out there who might lighten up if they had some erotic pleasure shared with them more freely.


So it’s one rule for you and another for everyone else.  You are marvellously adapted to your own sex life, whereas everyone else needs constant erotic stimulation to become acceptable in your eyes.

I never said anyone was unacceptable to me. I'm pretty good at accepting people. I may express disagreement with them, but I accept them. In fact unconditional self-acceptance is the central philosophy I put forward in my book How to Be Free. Would I be advising people to accept themselves unconditionally if I didn't find them acceptable?

But I would like it if we could live together peacefully and happily. To me, self-acceptance is central to us all achieving that. So I accept people, but that doesn't mean I'm necessarily happy with their mistreatment of each other. The same is true for my attitude to myself. Am I acceptable? Absolutely. Could my behaviour towards others improve? Absolutely.

And I didn't say anything about "constant erotic stimulation". If someone needed that it would be an addiction and thus evidence that whatever they were receiving was not working for them. I'm not saying that sex is some magical answer for what ails people. What I'm saying is that insecurity about our own self worth is what leads to dominating behaviour (and also submissive behaviour). One way to help a person to learn that their self worth is not in doubt is to show them love by making a gift of some kind of pleasure to them. That can be sexual pleasure but it needn't be. Not everyone responds positively to such affection. But sex can be healing.

When I say I don't need sexual pleasure to socialise me, all I mean is that I like cooperating with others.

Of course the cynical response if someone argues for less sexual repression is : he just wants more sex for himself. I would like more sex for myself. Who wouldn't? But that isn't the aim of writing about the psychology of sex. It may be the aim of writing erotica, which I also do, but the aim of writing about sexual repression and fear of the erotic is to get to the heart of my own descent into Hell and see if there isn't something which can be learned which can help to stop the sex or gender related suffering going on in the world - rape, child abuse, sex slavery, girls who hate their bodies so much they starve or cut themselves, the loneliness of people who aren't "sexually attractive", sexual jealousy, homophobia... Why is there so much pain and destruction related to an activity which is supposed to be a way of expressing love for each other? Character armour and the armoured individual's fear of the erotic I think is at the heart of it. And my way of learning about this, apart from reading the work of Wilhelm Reich, has been to observe my own sexual anxieties. They made me a battle field for competing views on sex - from the puritanical (i.e. religious views and Jeremy Griffith) to the anything goes world of pornography. I think I've learned a lot by going through that maelstrom. Does what I discovered in myself have wide relevance to others? I can only find out by sharing it. But I'm clearly not someone who has his own sexual neuroses all sorted out. And I don't pretend to be. I'm still engaged in the process of healing and expressing myself on the subject, in my serious writing and also my erotic fiction, is a part of that process.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Aussiescribbler wrote:
One of the problems with patriarchy is that it represses women's sexuality even more than men's sexuality. Pakistan is a case in point. It may be legal to have an arranged marriage with a 16 year old girl, but a woman who commits adultery may get stoned.


Here we have the classic male fantasy of repressed, rampant, female sexual desire.  Every woman is just dying to share her genitalia with the nearest foul smelling old goat, if only she could overcome the antiquated and mistaken social customs that prevent her sexual liberation lol.

I wouldn't imagine that most women would want to have sex with a smelly old man. A smelly old woman wouldn't be my first choice as a sexual partner. But female sexual desires vary greatly. Neurosis can produce the extremes of frigidity and nymphomania. Most women fall between those extremes.

When I was young I thought that men liked sex more than women. I thought that only men wanted to look at pornography. And I thought that women would be disgusted by the fact that I masturbated. I was the dirty man and they were the pure women.

I haven't done any sociological research on the subject. Maybe the women I chat to on the internet and my friend who runs Australia's premier porn site are freakish exceptions, but their sexual appetites far exceed my own. That doesn't mean they are not fussy about sexual partners. Some of them prefer women. There seems to me something very healthy and life-affirming about the way they enjoy the pleasures their bodies can provide them with.

My view is that our basic nature is to be bisexual. I think emotional needs, fixations and inhibitions shape that basic nature into our particular sexual orientation. I base this theory on a few things, but one is my observation of myself. I'm aware that I have desires for sensual contact with other men, but also that I have inhibitions against acting on those desires. While I find young women often very attractive and get great visual pleasure from their appearance, this doesn't mean that affection from an older and less "attractive" woman isn't immensely pleasurable. And what I find is that, the less neurotic I'm feeling, the less important physical appearance is to me feeling attracted to a woman and the more likely I am also to feel some attraction to men. And things like smell also are likely to bother me less the less neurotic I'm feeling.

The woman I had a brief relationship with was 18 years older than myself. We were good friends and I used to go to quiz nights with her and come over to her house to watch movies. I slept in her bed with her several times without either of us initiating any sexual activity. It was the convenient place to sleep when it was too late to drive me home. Sometimes her foot would touch mine and then she would pull it away again nervously. It was only because, while on a bus trip, I told her that I liked playing footsies with her in bed that she admitted she pulled her foot away because she didn't want to scare me by letting me think she was trying to seduce me. I said I wouldn't mind if she did. I was in my mid-30s and still a virgin. I'm afraid to show sexual interest in a woman in a social situation, because I'm afraid of making them feel uncomfortable. I feel the need to know before hand that it is O.K. She was having sex with two other guys at the time, neither of whom knew about the other or that I was having sex with her as well.

What I found from this brief relationship was that I was more interested in cuddling and fondling and playing around than I was in intercourse. That was O.K. and she said I was good at it, but it seemed like an anti-climax after the playful tenderness of foreplay. And I think this is a tendency with me. I say that I have homosexual desires, but they are not for anal or oral sex. I just feel a desire sometimes to touch a man's skin or imagine a naked embrace. And this is the sort of thing I tend to think about with women too. I write about all forms of sex in my erotica, that's expected and I can get into it in that context. But when I feel attracted to a women I think of fondling her or embracing in bed rather than fucking. So this leaves me a little confused as to what to think of as a sexual desire. In terms of achieving orgasm the idea of mutual masturbation always seems more appealing than intercourse, just as intimate but more tender.

I think one of the things which confuses the issue of sexual repression is that sex can be used as a way of repressing the erotic. Rape is the extreme example - a fear of the erotic leading to an attack on the erotic core of the other individual. But sex can often be more about a boost to the ego than it is about tenderly sharing an erotic experience. Some people think in terms of "sexual conquests". The erotic is one of the things against which the ego may armour itself. Armoured sex provides an outlet for frustration but it is a form of repression of the erotic. In the tenderness of the erotic the ego temporarily loses itself. But there is also repression of armoured sex. Just because it is an attack on the erotic doesn't mean that it may not be therapeutic in an consensual situation. It is important to recognise that our neurosis can warp our sexual behaviour away from the act of love.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Peggotty wrote:
Aussiescribbler wrote:
But one can also abstain. I've only ever had sex with one woman and then only about three or four times in my fifty years. Being free of sexual repression means being comfortable about your sexual desires and enjoying having them, it doesn't require acting on those desires. Freedom means that if you want to do something you can do it and if you don't want to do something you don't have to. And since the society I describe is necessarily non-hierarchical, nobody can have a patriarchal relationship to anyone else.


You abstain do you?  Your lack of sexual experience is a choice rather than you being unable to form sexual relationships with women. Is it? In an earlier post you said that ‘Armouring is a barrier to eroticism’ which can be cleared by expelling more anger.  Again it seems its one rule for you and something else for others.

The point I was making was that to not be sexually repressed does not necessarily require having sexual intercourse. If we are not afraid of our sexual feelings and can enjoy feeling them we can still choose not to act on them. Repression is about fighting against something, not about accepting it. You can accept something without actively taking part in it.

Do I abstain? That depends on your definition. I certainly don't abstain from sexual activity. I masturbate. I haven't had much sexual activity "in the flesh" with another person. I have "cybersex" occasionally.

Is my relative lack of "in the flesh" sexual encounters a matter of choice? Yes and no. There are things I could do to bring it about which I don't do. I could join a dating agency, but I don't think it would be likely to lead to a good result. I've only once made use of a sex worker. So far I've chosen not to repeat that. And if I'm afraid to chat up women for fear of making them feel uncomfortable, I suppose that is a choice. If the need for sex was stronger than the inhibition I suppose I would overcome it. Sometimes it even impedes me when I have already expressed sexual interest in a "safe" environment. My friend who runs the porn site went to the movies with me. She joked that we could have a "hot date". I had a friendly talk with her and watched the movie with her, but I never flirted with her. And once I was flirting with a woman in a public chat room on line and she said she wanted to phone me. She was expecting phone sex. I was expecting phone sex. But we ended up talking for over half an hour about Stephen King novels and how bad working conditions are at Walmart. Is not overcoming in person sexual shyness a choice? I don't know.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Peggotty wrote:
Aussiescribbler wrote:
I'm talking about people doing what they want to do, not what someone else wants them to do. If people looked to me as some kind of a leader I would feel that I was a failure. I'm already relatively happy and satisfied with my life, but it would make me happy to see freedom and happiness come to others less fortunate, which is why I share the ideas which have helped me. But I do it using a pseudonym because I don't want my life complicated by attracting attention to myself.

And, just for the record, I've never tried to chat a woman up at a bar.


You don’t want to be a leader?  So why are you trying to lead people’s thoughts in a particular direction in this regard?  Why are you publishing a book and posting on internet forums, if not to influence people’s thinking.

It seems that behind the meek and mild librarian exterior is a massive, male ego desperately trying to even up the score by becoming a kind of guru of free love.


 

I just want to be myself. My writing is self-expression. I suppose if something I say is original and proves to be important to a few people, then I might be a leader in the sense of an innovator, someone who comes to something first.

 

But I'm not interested in trying to persuade people to behave in a particular way. My aim is to do what I can to help set people free to behave however they want to behave. My psychological writing consists of sharing personal experiences, suggesting ways of looking at things or possible ways of approaching problems and expressing theories which I make clear are nothing more then my personal opinion. I think our problems arise because we can't think straight. Our heads are a jumble of received ideas without coherent integrity or accountability to reality. We cling to these ideas because the exploration of free thought necessary to disentangle ourselves is scary. But if we are able to find the simple ideas which enable us to cut through all of that confusion and find a way of thinking which has integrity and reality, then we will be more emotionally secure and able to think more clearly and solve problems more easily. Its the difference between having a computer where everything is dumped all over the desktop in a jumble and one in which everything is filed away in a coherently organised system of folders which enables everything to be at your fingertips. Free thought is scary but my bipolar disorder has not allowed me to avoid it. Over the years I feel I've done a fair bit of work towards freeing my mind from dogma, untangling some of the confusion and learning to think more honestly and effectively. It is up to others to judge whether the writing which is the product of this free thought provides something useful in this way. I can come to a judgement based on my own experience, but the final judgement can only come from others.

 

The way I express this in my book is :

 

Joe Blow is a name used for someone who is nobody special. This is an appropriate pseudonym for me to use because it emphasises that I take no credit for any useful ideas or insights that might be contained in this work.

Nobody creates ideas or truths. They simply exist. We either see them or we don’t. And the fact that we may see them is not a sign of strength or achievement on our part. It takes an act of will to maintain a delusion, to cling to a belief in spite of any contrary evidence. But when we have useful ideas or discover truths it is often because we lack the will or the ability to protect ourselves against them.

I’ve never had a very effective ego, hence my history of depression and psychosis. I’m not a brave individual. I wouldn’t have gone to those frightening places if I had known how not to.

I’m only moderately intelligent. And also only moderately well-read.

I haven’t put much effort into any of this, beyond the effort we all put into keeping ourselves afloat emotionally.

So, to the extent that these ideas may be useful, it is a quality of the ideas themselves alone, and has nothing to do with the individual who gives expression to them. No doubt at this very moment many other individuals are expressing similar ideas, as any of us might if we learn to relax and be simply who we are and not who we think we should be.

 

The way I look at it, either people gain some benefit from my writing or they don't. If they do then I hope they enjoy it and put it to use in their own unique way. If they don't, I hope they find what they are looking for elsewhere. Some people, having read my book, have asked me for advice about something. (One young guy kept asking me about foreskin hygiene, which is nothing to do with anything mentioned in my book and something i know nothing about as I'm circumcised. I just kept directing him to websites with the info.) I felt uncomfortable, but tried to give them the best advice I could. I was very nervous, because I didn't know them or their situations beyond what little they told me. I was very aware that my advice might not be the right advice. But I couldn't not try to help them. Luckily that has happened only a few times. I like to talk with people about their lives and my life and share ideas, but giving advice when someone is dealing with a serious problem is something I don't feel comfortable with.

 

Don't follow leaders is my philosophy. Listen to what anyone has to say. Seek out differing view points. But always sift the wheat from the chaff. If something someone says makes sense to you then put it to use, but don't latch onto someone and follow them because some of what they say impresses you. Of course leaders and sheep is a major part of religion. The cult of personality and sheep-like behaviour isn't unknown among atheists either. Richard Dawkins has been compared to a rock star travelling around performing to his adoring followers. One person says : "Hey lets all deny the existence of the Holy Spirit on YouTube?" and people fall over themselves to be a part of the latest childish trend. But this is to be expected. Insecure people like to be a part of a group. Mass behaviour reassures them. I'm not keen on group identification. It discourages the full flowering of individuality and it tends to lead to division and conflict. But if people feel insecure for internal reasons or because they under attack socially, this kind of group identification is a necessary crutch. I hope that, in time, greater understanding of our psychology will help to heal these kinds of insecurity and people won't have to behave like sheep.

 

My reason for coming onto forums like this and debating with religious people and atheists is different from my reason for writing my books. I come here to test my ideas out. If I have a better understanding then I should be able to handle myself well in a debate. And I find such debate stimulating. By explaining my worldview to others I come to a better understanding of it myself. Critics are the refiner's fire for any idea. You've been tremendously helpful to me.

 

The only definition of guru which I would consider applying to myself is that which Keith Johnstone gives in his book Impro : Improvisation and the Theatre : "Students need a 'guru' who 'gives permission' to allow forbidden thoughts into their consciousness. A 'guru' doesn't necessarily teach at all. Some remain speachless for years, others communicate very cryptically. All reassure by example. They are people who have been into the forbidden areas and who have survived unscathed. I react playfully with my students, while showing them that there are as many dead nuns and chocolate scorpions inside my head as there are in anybody's, yet I interact very smoothly and sanely. It's no good telling the student that he isn't to be held responsible for the content of his imagination, he needs a teacher who is living proof that the monsters are not real, and that the imagination will not destroy you."

 

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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Why are you telling me all

Why are you telling me all this?  This seems to be the way you answer all questions in a debate (or not answer, I should say) – by expecting others to wade thro’ piles of redundant verbiage, reminiscences, the history of your struggles with this or that writer – and all this to avoid any simple, honest answer to the question posed.  The truth I find can usually be expressed fairly economically. To me your attempt to bludgeon us all into submission with a weight of words is further evidence of your arrogance and vanity.

Now stop wasting your employer’s time and go and issue a few books.  Goodbye.
 

Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
Charles Dickens


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Peggotty wrote:Why are you

Peggotty wrote:

Why are you telling me all this?  This seems to be the way you answer all questions in a debate (or not answer, I should say) – by expecting others to wade thro’ piles of redundant verbiage, reminiscences, the history of your struggles with this or that writer – and all this to avoid any simple, honest answer to the question posed.  The truth I find can usually be expressed fairly economically. To me your attempt to bludgeon us all into submission with a weight of words is further evidence of your arrogance and vanity.

Now stop wasting your employer’s time and go and issue a few books.  Goodbye.

If you ask me a question, I try to answer it, that is how conversation works. You don't have to read my answers if you don't want to, that is up to you. For me the reason for replying is not because I care what you think of me but rather to meet the challenge you pose by your questions. I gain from the exercise.

It is very easy to stereotype a person you barely know. You have that skill down pat. To counter that stereotype with a well-rounded portrayal of one's self as a complex individual takes a little more effort, thought, honesty and "verbiage".

Some truths can be expressed fairly simply, some can't. Prejudice is always simple.

I'm not trying to bludgeon anyone with my words. If you find reading difficult please don't strain yourself.

Once again I find you jumping to conclusions. What makes you think I  would write on a discussion board at work? Do you do that? I was writing those replies at home as I always do.

Anyway, thank you for the stimulating debate. I've found it enjoyable and profitable.

"Dogma is a defence against the brain’s capacity for free thought based on the fear that such thought might lead to a scary place."

Joe Blow - How to Be Free


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re: He may be noticing the crafting that is taking place, or no?

Aussiescribbler wrote:

Peggotty wrote:

Why are you telling me all this?  This seems to be the way you answer all questions in a debate (or not answer, I should say) – by expecting others to wade thro’ piles of redundant verbiage, reminiscences, the history of your struggles with this or that writer – and all this to avoid any simple, honest answer to the question posed.  The truth I find can usually be expressed fairly economically. To me your attempt to bludgeon us all into submission with a weight of words is further evidence of your arrogance and vanity.

Now stop wasting your employer’s time and go and issue a few books.  Goodbye.

If you ask me a question, I try to answer it, that is how conversation works. You don't have to read my answers if you don't want to, that is up to you. For me the reason for replying is not because I care what you think of me but rather to meet the challenge you pose by your questions. I gain from the exercise.

It is very easy to stereotype a person you barely know. You have that skill down pat. To counter that stereotype with a well-rounded portrayal of one's self as a complex individual takes a little more effort, thought, honesty and "verbiage".

Some truths can be expressed fairly simply, some can't. Prejudice is always simple.

I'm not trying to bludgeon anyone with my words. If you find reading difficult please don't strain yourself.

Once again I find you jumping to conclusions. What makes you think I  would write on a discussion board at work? Do you do that? I was writing those replies at home as I always do.

Anyway, thank you for the stimulating debate. I've found it enjoyable and profitable.

    He may be noticing the "crafting" that is going into each response. As a writer, it is best to be upfront and acknowledge yourself as a writer. It is known as transparency. People are not unaware of image control efforts either.

  Threads will eventually die off, as much as we would like to control how they end up, you cannot control or manage the 'course' of any given Thread. Perhaps if you were to enlist some of your writer friends to come on the board, then could open up your own thread, allowing it additional life. Hopefully giving it renewed life.

  I will give you the standard advice. Take at least two (no less than two) other threads and invest some time in them. Ones you may not have thought of commenting in. Threads you haven't started yourself. Others are always watching, they noticed e-v-e-r-y post you make. They also notice when a person is selfishly invested in a single thread. What you are doing is only allowable when people find you to be interested in the life of the board. I find it fascinating, nobody has taken this advice, .. and yet I am still willing freely to give it.

 


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danatemporary wrote:  As a

danatemporary wrote:
 As a writer, it is best to be upfront and acknowledge yourself as a writer. It is known as transparency. People are not unaware of image control efforts either.

Just a quick point Dana, I think Aussie is very transparent; he’s acknowledged the fact that he’s a writer many times in his posts, just as he advertises his website as his signature. My problem with Aussie’s writing is not his ‘crafting’ style or skill which is fine but the inconsistencies in content or message and meaning if you like.

danatemporary wrote:
Threads will eventually die off, as much as we would like to control how they end up, you cannot control or manage the 'course' of any given Thread. Perhaps if you were to enlist some of your writer friends to come on the board, then could open up your own thread, allowing it additional life. Hopefully giving it renewed life.

As far as I can see there’s nothing stopping you or others opening up this thread and giving it new life right now.

 

Oh, but Peggotty, you haven't given Mr. Barkis his proper answer, you know.
Charles Dickens