The most ancient mysteries were of a physical, not a metaphysical nature. There was an esoteric and an exoteric version of them, but corresponding to the written and oral Law of the Jews. But, contrary to what is usually supposed, the metaphysical was the exoteric version, not vice versa.
This is proved conclusively by the seventeenth chapter of The Book of the Dead, which is certainly the oldest body of written teachings known to man. Here, side by side with the text which was intended for general use, appears the interpolated gloss of the initiated priest, explaining the text after the manner of the Gnosis, or Magical Tradition. The secret oral, hidden wisdom embodied in the gloss, refers to the physical origins of the abstract concepts which appear in the text; spiritual matters are explained in terms of physical, more precisely, a physiological, phenomena.
These explanations were usually reserved for initiates, and the reason for their concealment was due to the physical nature of the Gnosis, which became, in truth, the forbidden wisdom of later ages. The ancient may not have been acquainted with psychology, sexology and endocrinology as known today, but they most certainly were acquainted with the occult uses of the sexual current, the improper handling of which leads to disaster; and they were infinitely more knowledgeable concerning sexual sciences than our Western psychologist today.
-- The Magical Revival, Kenneth Grant
War is a Racket - The Jimmy Wales Project
[PDF] On Some Affects of Capitalism - Bruno Latour
An Interview with Silvia Frederici on "The Making of Capitalist Patriarchy" - Black Sheep
Stambaugh correlations, monkey econometricians and redundant predictors - Stephen Wright & D. "Mysterious" Robertson
"With the seemingly unlimited expansion of his material might, man finds himself in the position of a captain whose ship has been so securely built of iron and steel that the needle of his compass no longer points to the north, but only toward the ship's mass of iron. With such a ship no destination can be reached; it will move aimlessly and be subject in addition to winds and ocean currents. But lets us remember the state of affairs in modern physics: the danger only exists so long as the captain is unaware that his compass does not respond to the Earth's magnetic forces. The moment the situation is recognized, the danger can be considered as half removed. For the captain who does not want to travel in circles, but desires to reach a known -- or unknown -- destinations will find ways and means for determining the orientation of the ship.
Perhaps from this comparison with modern science we may draw hope that we may be here dealing with a limit for certain forms of expansion of human activity, not, however, with a limit to human activity as such. The space in which man as a spiritual being is developing has more dimensions than the one within which he was moved in the preceding centuries. If follows that in the course of long stretches of time the conscious acceptance of this limit will perhaps lead to a certain stabilization in which the thoughts of men will again arrange themselves against a common center. Such a development may perhaps also supply a new foundation for the development of art; but to speak about that does not behoove the scientist."
-- Werner Heisenberg, The Representation of Nature in Contemporary Physics
"It was neither capitalism nor communism that made possible the progress and pathologies (total war, the unprecedented concentration of global wealth, planetary destruction) of the modern age. It was coal, followed by oil and gas. The meta-trend, the mother narrative, is carbon-fuelled expansion. Our ideologies are mere subplots. Now, with the accessible reserves exhausted, we must ransack the hidden corners of the planet to sustain our impossible proposition."
George Monbiot , Our Number is Up
FLASHBACK: DIY Money, Dave Birch & Neil Mcevoy
My own working assumption of why we are here is that we are here as local-Universe information-gatherers and that we are given access to the divine design principles so that we can therefrom objectively invent instruments and tools -- e.g., the microscope and the telescope -- with which to extend all sensorial inquiring regarding the rest of the to-the-naked-eye-invisible, micro-macro Universe, because human beings, tiny though we are, are here for all the local-Universe information-harvesting and cosmic-principle-discovering, objective tool-inventing, and local-environment-controlling as local Universe problem-solvers in support of the integrity of eternally regenerative Universe.
Human integrity is the uncompromising courage of self-determining whether or not to take initiatives, support or co-operate with others, in accord with all the truth and nothing but the truth, as conceived by the divine mind, always available in each individual.
Whether we are able to be a complete success or failure is in such critical balance that every smallest human test of integrity every smallest moment-to-moment decision tips the scales affirmatively or negatively.
We humans are manifestly here for problem-solving and, if we are any good at problem-solving, we don't come to utopia, we come to more difficult problems to solve.
Gonna take the week off to focus on reading my money manuals: "The Art and Science of Technical Analysis" and "Sell & Sell Short." I spent an entire tax refund on such titles in 2012, and these two were the clear winners from an excellent batch; highly recommended.
We will resume processing with the Sunday Sermon on May 25th.
from "Waking Up," Charles Tart, p. 9
There are certain things I will take as givens for our discussion of enlightenment, even though each could be explored at length in some other context.
Awareness Is -- First, awareness is. Our basic ability to have experiences, to know that we are, to be aware of things, has never been satisfactorily explained in terms of anything else. Current Western science likes to assume that awareness will be explained as an aspect of brain functioning, reduced to "nothing but" some action of the brain, but this assumption is an item of current faith and fashion, not good science. Indeed, science itself can be seen as one many other derivatives of the action of awareness, such that we wouldn't expect the part ever to be able to explain the whole.
Consciousness Simulates the Environment -- Second, consciousness, by which I mean that enormously elaborated, habituated, conditioned system of perception, thought and feeling which we normally experience as our mind, has, as one of its primary functions, the simulation of the environment. Consciousness, particularly its perceptual aspects, creates an internal representation of the outside world, such that we have a good-quality "map" of the world and our place in it.
We Have a Basic Nature -- Third, we have a basic nature, an essence. To be human is to have characteristics, potentials, limits. We are not mountains or dolphins or gorillas or angels; we are people. I will not attempt to define what that basic nature is here. It is vitally important, however, not to confuse what our ultimate nature actually is or might be with what we currently think it is is or have been told it is.
We Have an Acquired Nature -- Fourth, we have an acquired nature. Whatever our basic nature is, it has been subjected to an enormous amount of shaping, bending, conditioning, indoctrination, development, and repression in the course of enculturation. In the course of our being made into normal people, fitting into our particular culture's image of what normal is, our basic nature has been selectively cultivated. Our perception, our thinking, our emotional feelings, our assumptions and intuitions, and our behaviors have all been strongly molded. Our ordinary consciousness is not "natural," but an acquired product. This has given us both many useful skills and many insane sources of useless suffering.