Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights — Page 15
Free-market capitalism (especially the Chicago School) is a dangerous cult ideology. Similar to positivism, behaviorism, and materialism. A lot of otherwise intelligent people get sucked into them because the group-think and status quo is so strong it goes completely unquestioned, masquerading as "science" or "fact". The devil loves to lie using mathematics because it gives him the perfect cover of "objectivity".
Of course Marxism also tends to be cult-like. But right now America has a serious addiction to capitalism, to the point of being in denial about it.
Consider the following intriguing possibility:
According to modern cosmology, our universe started as an infinite singularity which spontaneously blew up and started expanding at an accelerating rate — which is continuing today. There has been some speculation that in the future it might start to decelerate and eventually crash in on itself in a Big Crunch, back to where it began. An elegant solution, but our universe currently shows no sign of deceleration so I wouldn't hold my breath. So let's assume it just keeps accelerating outwardly forever. What then? How do we end it in an elegant way?
Thermodynamics tells us that ultimately the universe will end in entropic heat death, where all the atoms dissipate their kinetic energy until the entire universe is one energetically uniform, frozen field. This is the universe's most boring state. Nothing interesting to see or do because everything is so uniform that everywhere is the same. There's nowhere to go and you don't have enough of an energy gradient to power anything (no cars, no power plants, no life). Everything is one uniform temperature and eventually even all the atoms decompose into a perfectly uniform soup.
But at precisely this point our perfectly uniform universe also becomes indistinguishable from a singularity! Now, you might think, "But wait a minute, this new singularity is a billion times larger than the old one, due to billions of years of expansion." Except size, distance, time, and temperature are all relative notions. In a totally uniform universe it is impossible to distinguish here from there, big from small, past from future, or hot from cold, and hence impossible to distinguish the old singularity from the new singularity, making them literally identical!
After all, who is to say there is difference between beginning and end?
And suddenly the whole thing explodes again.
Ta-da! We've come full-circle! The perfect strange loop.
But wait, it gets even stranger! If reality is nothing but distinction, could it be possible to eliminate the distinction between something and nothing, reality and unreality? After all, who is to say that the universe is real or has ever even happened?!
This very moment you are sitting here reading this sentence thinking you are inside an actual universe which has happened. But perhaps if you realized that "actual" is a distinction that you are creating, you could also collapse it, thus making it literally impossible to distinguish an "actual" universe from its opposite, a "potential" universe, thus nullifying this very moment, as though it never actually happened, all at the same time as it appears to be happening!
After all, who is to say there is a difference between happening and non-happening?
So, was there an actual Big Bang or not? Adapting, a bit, the famous words of Henry Ford, "Whether you think there was, or think there wasn't, you're right!"
How does God create something out of nothing? By imagining a difference between the two.
So while everyone else is running around taking life seriously, you might be able to realize that life isn't happening at all. Perhaps existence is only possible as an idea.
Sounds impossible? Who is to say there is a difference between possible and impossible?
Sounds insane? Who is to say there is a difference between sane and insane? ;)
Here's an interesting video long these lines, although not quite as radical. Modern cosmology is still not addressing the elephant in the room: the relativity of existence itself.
Opals are the coolest rocks. It's like God photographed deep space using a rock.
Above: Oregon Contra Luz Opal with botryoidal Jasper inclusions, from Oregon
Below: the Carina Nebula as photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope with its newest Wide Field Camera 3.
Behold the beauty of the infinite cosmic fractal that is you!
I love Anand's analysis of the current state of American society. Everything he's talking about is the limits of Spiral Dynamics stage Orange which I have explained in my video.
This is the kind of political analysis I'm into. Notice how different it is from the commonplace partisan bickering, namecalling, and conventional thinking.
Notice also how the themes he talks about are part of the much broader dynamic of devilry (see video What Is The Devil?). Devilry is nothing other than the force of blind self-survival. This force is so strong because it needed to be that strong in order to get you to where you are right now. But then survival goes overboard, becoming counter-productive. As is always the case with duality, too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it."
-- Upton Sinclair
Of course rich people are not going to understand how they create global suffering and inequality because it is against their self-interest to understand. That would be too much consciousness, too much responsibility. Then they could not pursue wealth as ruthlessly as they do. The devil is always going to resist seeing that he is the devil. This is true not just of rich people, but EVERYONE! Religious people, military people, Big Oil, Big Pharma, criminals, children — and YOU! I want you to notice that you are not conscious of the collateral damage that your own survival produces because it doesn't help your survival to be conscious of it. So you are in deep denial about it. Notice the stories and justifications you create for how you are not a devil but an angel. It is precisely these stories which make you a devil! Ta-da! Self-deception at its finest.
What's that you say? "But Leo! I need money, I need sex, I need medicine, I need a house, I need a good school for my kids, I need X, I need Y, I need Z. If I stop pursuing my survival needs, I will die!"
While we're on the topic of politics, here are my favorite political channels on YouTube:
- The Majority Report
- The Rational National
- Secular Talk
- The David Pakman Show
- The Humanist Report
- Democracy Now!
Please keep in mind that I do not necessarily agree with all of the ideas & opinions these channels espouse. These are stage Green channels. They are definitely biased and ideological. My view of politics is at least stage Yellow, so I have some important criticisms of these Green channels, but in an environment where stage Yellow political analysis is virtually non-existent, this is as good as you're likely to find, for now. We have a lot of growing to do just to get society to Green, nevermind Yellow. There will definitely be some excessive and unhealthy manifestations of Green from time to time, but right now I'm not too concerned about it.
Rather than adopting my personal political beliefs, what I suggest you do with this domain of life is to study it (if you want). Become serious about understanding how government & society works in a systemic, non-partisan, non-culture-war way. Set aside your political prejudices and educate yourself. Be careful not to get radicalized and not to build a political ego. Be careful about confirmation bias. Diversify your news sources and seriously investigate the positions of your political opponents. But also don't fall into the trap of false equivalency, splitting issues evenly down the middle, or automatically accepting the status quo. By not making a choice, you've made a choice in favor of the status quo. By not taking action, you've taken action in defense of the status quo.
When it comes to politics, you're damned if you do, but you're even more damned if you don't.
If you are seriously working on enlightenment you might want to stay away from politics for a while so it doesn't turn into a distraction. But overall, you should be well-informed about various political trends and what makes for good governance. You might want to subscribe to a serious journalistic new outlet like the New York Times or Washington Post and actually read their articles. Also, read books on politics and governance. You cannot understand this domain of life without some in-depth reading and a sense of history.
Above all, remember, proper politics and governance is not about what YOU need. It's about what helps elevate the majority of mankind. Often times what's good for the greater system may not be what's personally good for you, your family, your ethnicity, your gender, or your company. Be very careful not to make politics just another survival game that your ego plays.
Excellent analysis of the current state of America:
Notice how Spiral Dynamics explains all this, and foreshadows the next inevitable development step. We are beginning to reach the limits of unbridled stage Orange.
Be careful not to turn the current state of society into a victim mindset or an excuse for why you can't create a great life. Never let aggregate macro trends dictate your personal effort and results. It doesn't really matter what others are failing to do, what matters is that you do what you need to do. Conscious capitalism is possible, and you can lead the way in that.
For more on that see my video: How To Escape Wage Slavery
Here's an eye-opening interview of Ron Miscavige, father of David Miscavige, the current leader of the cult of Scientology. Compare Ron's story with the cult check list I gave in my video on Cult Psychology.
Here's an outstanding interview by David Pakman with the wife of Alex Jones, offering a rare glimpse into the self-delusion and narcissism fueling the Alex Jone phenomenon.
This is very typical of unhealthy Spiral Dynamics stage Red. Alex Jones is basically an online cult leader.
Watch out! The 21st century will see many more cults forming online. The online medium is ripe for exploitation and weaponization by devils proclaiming themselves to be angels. YouTube, Facebook, Google, Twitter, iTunes, Instagram, etc will all be hijacked by devils to some degree, in the same way that TV, radio, and newspapers were. The devil always thrives in newly developing media because they lack legal regulations and ethical norms. The devil thrives in the wild west, which is one of the fundamental flaws of anarchism and libertarianism. In a wild west environment the biggest devils will rule.
One of the things I hope you get from watching my videos is just how timely, relevant, and practical all of the stuff we talk about is. Philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, psychology, and spirituality are not just some wooly academic pursuit, their effects are felt throughout culture every day. You can see it in the news every day if you know what to look for because the principles we discuss on Actualized.org are so fundamental they shape all human action across all geographical locations across all time.
Here's but one example:
This is a good example of a secular cult.
R. Kelly seems to exhibit quite a bit of unhealthy Spiral Dynamics stage Red, which is quite common for rappers and cult leaders.
Should it be any surprise at this point that the Aztecs were nondualists?
Here's a summary of Aztec metaphysics from the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
"At the heart of Nahua (Meso-American) philosophy stands the thesis that there exists a single, dynamic, vivifying, eternally self-generating and self-regenerating sacred power, energy or force: what the Nahuas called teotl (God). Elizabeth Boone writes, 'The real meaning of teotl is spirit — a concentration of power as a sacred and impersonal force'. According to Jorge Klor de Alva, 'Teotl implies something more than the idea of the divine manifested in the form of a god or gods; instead it signifies the sacred in more general terms'. The multiplicity of gods in official, state sanctioned Aztec religion does not gainsay this claim, for this multiplicity was merely the sacred, merely teotl, 'separated, as it were by the prism of human sight, into its many attributes'.
Teotl continually generates and regenerates as well as permeates, encompasses, and shapes the cosmos as part of its endless process of self-generation and regeneration. That which humans commonly understand as nature — e.g. heavens, earth, rain, humans, trees, rocks, animals, etc. — is generated by teotl, from teotl as one aspect, facet, or moment of its endless process of self-generation-and-regeneration. Yet teotl is more than the unified totality of things; teotl is identical with everything and everything is identical with teotl. Since identical with teotl, the cosmos and its contents ultimately transcend such dichotomies as personal vs. impersonal, animate vs. inanimate, etc. As the single, all-encompassing life force of the universe, teotl vivifies the cosmos and its contents. Lastly, teotl is both metaphysically immanent and transcendent. It is immanent in that it penetrates deeply into every detail of the universe and exists within the myriad of created things; it is transcendent in that it is not exhausted by any single, existing thing.
Nahua metaphysics is processive. Process, movement, becoming and transmutation are essential attributes of teotl. Teotl is properly understood as ever-flowing and ever-changing energy-in-motion — not as a discrete, static entity.
Although essentially processive and devoid of any permanent order, the ceaseless becoming of the cosmos is nevertheless characterized by an overarching balance, rhythm, and regularity: one provided by and constituted by teotl... Dialectical polar monism holds that: (1) the cosmos and its contents are substantively and formally identical with teotl; and (2) teotl presents itself primarily as the ceaseless, cyclical oscillation of polar yet complementary opposites.
Teotl's process presents itself in multiple aspects, preeminent among which is duality. This duality takes the form of the endless opposition of contrary yet mutually interdependent and mutually complementary polarities that divide, alternately dominate, and explain the diversity, movement, and momentary arrangement of the universe. These include: being and not-being, order and disorder, life and death, light and darkness, masculine and feminine, dry and wet, hot and cold, and active and passive. Life and death, for example, are mutually arising, interdependent, and complementary aspects of one and the same process.
The created cosmos consists of the unending, cyclical tug-of-war or dialectical oscillation of these polarities — all of which are the manifold manifestations of teotl. Because of this, the created cosmos is characterized as unstable, transitory, and devoid of any lasting being, order or structure. Yet teotl is nevertheless characterized by enduring pattern or regularity. How is this so? Teotl is the dynamic, sacred energy shaping as well as constituting these endless oscillations; it is the immanent balance of the endless, dialectical alternation of the created universe's interdependent polarities.
Because essentially processive and dynamic, teotl is properly characterized neither by being nor not-being but by becoming. Being and not-being are simply two dialectically interrelated presentations or facets of teotl, and as such inapplicable to teotl itself. Similarly, teotl is properly understood as neither ordered (law-governed) nor disordered (anarchic) but as unordered. Indeed, this point is fully general: life/death, active/passive, male/female, etc. are strictly speaking not predicable of teotl. Teotl captures a tertium quid transcending these dichotomies by being simultaneously neither-alive-nor-dead-yet-both-alive-and-dead, simultaneously neither-orderly-nor-disorderly-yet-both-orderly-and-disorderly, etc.
In the end, teotl is essentially an unstructured and unordered, seamless totality. Differentiation, regularity, order, etc. are simultaneously fictions of human unknowing and artistic-shamanic presentations of teotl. In Western philosophical terminology, one perhaps best characterizes the radical ontological indeterminacy of Nahua metaphysics as an extreme nominalist anti-realism, and teotl, as a Kantian-like noumenon.
Nahuas philosophers also conceived teotl pantheistically: (a) everything that exists constitutes an all-inclusive and interrelated unity; (b) this unity is sacred; (c) everything that exists is substantively identical and hence one with the sacred; (d) the sacred is teotl. There is only one thing, teotl, and all other forms or aspects of reality and existence are identical with teotl; (e) teotl is not a minded being or person.
Teotl is a sacred artist who endlessly fashions and refashions itself into and as the cosmos. The cosmos is teotl's grand, ongoing artistic-cum-metaphorical self-presentation; teotl's ongoing work of performance art or 'metaphor in motion'.
Teotl artistically-cum-shamanically presents and masks itself to humans in a variety of ways: (1) the apparent thingness of existents, i.e. the appearance of static entities such as humans, mountains, trees, insects, etc. This is illusory, since one and all are merely facets of teotl's sacred motion; (2) the apparent multiplicity of existents, i.e. the appearance of discrete, independently existing entities such as individual humans, plants, mountains, etc. This is illusory since there is only one thing: teotl; and (3) the apparent exclusivity, independence, and irreconcilable oppositionality of dualities such as order and disorder, life and death, etc. This is illusory since they are interrelated, complementary facets of teotl.
As an epistemological consequence of teotl's self-disguising, when humans customarily gaze upon the world, what they see is teotl as a human, as a tree, as female, etc. — i.e. teotl self-disguised — rather than teotl as teotl. Wisdom enables humans to discern the sacred presence of teotl in its myriad disguises.
It is humans' misperceiving and misunderstanding teotl as its disguise which prevents them from seeing teotl (reality) as it really is. The only way humans experience teotl knowingly is to experience teotl sans description (non-symbolically). Humans experience teotl knowingly via a process of mystical-style union between their hearts and teotl that enables them to experience teotl directly i.e. without mediation by language, concepts, or categories. One comes to know teotl through teotl."
In other words:
You are Teotl!
This is one of the most beautiful & complete articulations of nonduality that I've ever come across.