The thing about magick that’s difficult to explain to the uninitiated is that you absolutely have to do it to understand it entirely. You can’t just read about it in books. Supposedly “coincidental” events start piling on top of each other in such a way that you can’t deny the interconnected nature of consciousness anymore. The ideas of dead matter and cold randomness start to appear increasingly primitive. You try to buy into them because that’s what you’ve been taught since birth but the hive mind keeps throwing wrenches into that whole design from the inside. Eventually you learn to ride the strange and start looking for the plot and how you fit into it rather than denying that there is one a priori. I try to write about this connective sensation as much as I can (more on Facebook than here, friend me), and last weekend was one of those odd examples of the universe tapping into my private thoughtspace and playing tag.… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Consciousness
Now, I’m not saying I’m a supporter of the surveillance state or anything like that. It’s hyper creepy as all get out. As a matter of fact, before I even get into that level of sketch I’ll first focus on the bright side. One thing that no one seems to philosophically contemplate nearly enough these days is how quickly we’ve plunged ourselves into increasingly fantasy centric lifestyles. Why is that? Our lives are cripplingly boring and we’re forced into these alternate dimensions of thought as a reflex. I mean, how many of us actually find any sort of fulfillment in our supposed “careers”. Like 2% optimistically? I think I’m being generous with that. I mean, increasingly intertwined mind rape corporations are currently taking home record profits, and who the fuck grows up thinking, “I want to work at the Pizza Hut corporate office one day.” Fucking no one….ever…and yet, uber boring places like that are where a crap ton of us end up, gladly, because the alternative is further selling our lives down the rabbit hole of higher education, which may or may not make things better for us and costs an ass ton of money.… Read the rest
On the Maraya Karena Show, the eponymous host speaks about the under-acknowledged connection between language and reality, and what happens when meaning slips from our patterns of expression:
What will murder all our movements?
In this syntactical reality our greatest obstacle to heaven on earth is mindless repetition of stale language.
“The capacious term ‘spirituality’ lacks clarity because it is not so much a unitary concept as a signpost for a range of touchstones; our search for meaning, our sense of the sacred, the value of compassion, the experience of transcendence, the hunger for transformation.
There is little doubt that spirituality can be interesting, but what needs to be made clearer by those who take that for granted is why it is also important. To be a fertile idea for those with terrestrial power or for those who seek it, we need a way of speaking of the spiritual that is intellectually robust and politically relevant.” - Jonathan Rowson
Between explaining it away as an artifact of the brain and militant rejection of it as leftover cultural/scientific ignorance, spirituality has long been anathema to academic circles (and many corners of the YAY SCIENCE! internet community). If it’s discussed at all, it’s from the proposition of wishful fairy stories, peppered with a healthy amount of contempt and ridicule.… Read the rest
Jeff Warren explores the promises and pitfalls of vipassana and other mindfulness meditation on Psychology Tomorrow Magazine:
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Practicing vipassana, you have more space to make appropriate responses, and more space, too, around your looping thought-track, which can dramatically reduce stress and anxiety as well as raise a person’s baseline levels of happiness and fulfillment. This is one reason why mindfulness has become the technique of choice for thousands of clinicians and psychotherapists, and there is now a considerable body of scientific research demonstrating these and other benefits.
Yet most of the clinicians who so enthusiastically endorse mindfulness do not have a proper understanding of where it can lead. The fact is that mindfulness in large doses can penetrate more than just your thoughts and sensations; it can see right through to the very pith of who you are – or rather, of who you are not. Because, as Buddhist teachers and teachers from many other contemplative traditions have long argued, on close investigation there doesn’t appear to be any deeper “you” in there running the show.
Do rats go to heaven? Via Ghost Theory:
Jim Borjigin of the University of Michigan’s team implanted electrodes on the surface of the brains of nine rats, then injected the animals with potassium chloride, stopping their heart and blood flow. At that point the rats are considered “clinically dead”.
Yet for up to 30 seconds, the researchers’ electrodes detected patterns of synchronized, high-frequency activity known as gamma waves. In humans, some scientists have suggested that gamma waves could play a role in the interplay of perception, awareness, and intent known as consciousness.
“By presenting evidence of highly organized brain activity and neurophysiologic features consistent with conscious processing at near-death, we now provide a scientific framework to begin to explain the highly lucid and realer-than-real mental experiences reported by near-death survivors,” wrote Borjigin’s team.
Let me just begin by stating that I was once one to subscribe to just about any belief system which claimed to have an esoteric model that could coincide with contemporary physical theory. However, as time has progressed and I grow gradually older and more skeptical, I’ve come to disregard nearly everything that mashes up buzzwords like “quantum” with any new age or occult idea. Where I once sought to justify my esoteric practices with at least some sort of reasonably functioning model of reality (perhaps due to my insecurity as a developing magician) I have come to realize that magick needs no apologetics to function within the world I exist in. While I see drawn out explanations for consciousness or paranormal occurrences such as the one seen in Peter Caroll’s “Apophenion” as useful to some who may have difficulty with the “suspension of disbelief” aspect of Chaos Magick, I feel that it detracts from the real core of the work, which to me is learning by experience.… Read the rest
Fringeology author and DisinfoCast alum Steve Volk (follow him on Twitter here or visit his website here) alerted me to this rather astonishing press release posted at ScienceDaily. Between this and seeing the president state that marijuana isn’t any worse than alcohol on national TV, I’m starting to wonder if I woke up in some sort of amazing new pocket dimension. Wherever I am, I like it.
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A review and update of a controversial 20-year-old theory of consciousness published in Physics of Life Reviews claims that consciousness derives from deeper level, finer scale activities inside brain neurons. The recent discovery of quantum vibrations in “microtubules” inside brain neurons corroborates this theory, according to review authors Stuart Hameroff and Sir Roger Penrose. They suggest that EEG rhythms (brain waves) also derive from deeper level microtubule vibrations, and that from a practical standpoint, treating brain microtubule vibrations could benefit a host of mental, neurological, and cognitive conditions.
Yale Professor of Computer Science David Gelernter thinks that science as become an “international bully”. You may recall that Gelernter was severely injured after receiving a mail bomb from Ted Kaczynski. Wonder what an open dialogue between these two would have been like had Kaczynski chosen a more peaceable tactic for his activism?*
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The huge cultural authority science has acquired over the past century imposes large duties on every scientist. Scientists have acquired the power to impress and intimidate every time they open their mouths, and it is their responsibility to keep this power in mind no matter what they say or do. Too many have forgotten their obligation to approach with due respect the scholarly, artistic, religious, humanistic work that has always been mankind’s main spiritual support. Scientists are (on average) no more likely to understand this work than the man in the street is to understand quantum physics.
Etzel Cardeña of Lund University, Sweden, issues a call for a more open discussion regarding psi phenomena.
… Read the rest
Science thrives when there is an open, informed discussion of all evidence, and recognition that scientific knowledge is provisional and subject to revision. This attitude is in stark contrast with reaching conclusions based solely on a previous set of beliefs or on the assertions of authority figures. Indeed, the search for knowledge wherever it may lead inspired a group of notable scientists and philosophers to found in 1882 the Society for Psychical Research in London. Its purpose was “to investigate that large body of debatable phenomena… without prejudice or prepossession of any kind, and in the same spirit of exact and unimpassioned inquiry which has enabled Science to solve so many problems.” Some of the areas in consciousness they investigated such as psychological dissociation, hypnosis, and preconscious cognition are now well integrated into mainstream science.