Monday, 22 May 2017

B(oobs) & P(enis)



In the book Trivium: The Classical Liberal Arts of Grammar, Logic & Rhetoric whose opening section is on euphonics, I couldn't help focusing on this particular insight.

The letter P - which is said to refer to the paternal, patriarchal, element - is rather shaped like a hardened penis together with its testicles.

The letter B which is said to be binary actually looks somewhat like a pair of breasts or boobs (a bosom) or even a a pair of buttocks known as a bottom. 

Friday, 19 May 2017

Double Etymology of Religion



Some attribute the word 'religion' to the Latin relegere, to re-read, possibly due to a comment made by Roman author Cicero, but I agree with Mark Passio that the etymology of religare, which is morphologically closer to 'religion', makes a lot more sense.

Passio interprets religare in the negative sense of what ties, binds back, acts as a leash (the words ligature and ligament are also said to be related to re-ligare). This turns out to be an apt etymological understanding for his negative view of organised religion which he claims to be one of the main instruments of mass mind control

Indeed, in his introductory podcast on religion, Passio approvingly quotes Founding Father Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason):
"I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church.
All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolise power and profit."
Despite the convincing appearance of Passio's etymology, especially in the context of his anti-authoritarian philosophy of freedom, the word religare has been interpreted by some modern scholars and my girlfriend as signifying an idea of re-connecting, re-tying, re-binding. This conception is in part expressed by esoteric philosopher Manly P. Hall in his book Old Testament Wisdom in the following way:
"Religions, as we know them, are human restatements of eternal principles."
This etymological understanding suits my girlfriend very much in so far as studying the Hebrew Bible has helped her re-connect with herself and her Jewish roots as well as bind her, as it were, closer to life. 

Thus, two points can be taken from this double understanding.
  1. Etymological arguments are interpretative and the interpretations chosen will likely be congruent with à priori sensibility as expressed in life preferences as well as a specific philosophical and sociological context, in that an anarchist conspiracy researcher will likely not take as kindly to religion as a theologian or religious scholar.
  2. In the case of the etymology of religion, which we traced back to religare, to bind back, a great deal of leeway is offered in whether one interprets 'binding' as having positive connotations - e.g. eternal principles that bind us as a human species, à la Hall - or pejorative connotations - e.g. a leash that holds people back from exploring their true consciousness, i.e. the church of their mind, à la Paine.  
For my part I am open to both interpretations as I see both good and bad aspects to religion and in a sense this double etymological understanding is a good example of how competing interpretations can both be valid in their chosen philosophical context (see post Both Parties Right in Disagreement).

Addendum - After writing this I learnt that Mark Passio is indeed aware of this double etymology which he (rightly) interprets as being symptomatic of the dual nature of the universe, of the same things serving either good or bad agendas depending on the moral intent with which these things are used.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Why I Deleted My Facebook


In deciding whether or not to permanently delete my Facebook, one of the questions I asked myself is: do I value my Facebook-based relationships with other people more than no relationship?

In virtually all cases the answer was no, i.e. I'd rather have no relationship than a purely Facebook-based one.

I have deleted Facebook before but what has kept me coming back to the platform is the desire to share things, particularly things that I myself have created.

In the end though I felt that it is enough to share my creations through this blog, by email and with total strangers on YouTube and Tumblr. 

It has been said that Facebook makes you hate people you know (unlike Twitter which makes you hate/love people you don't know) and, as I've written before (Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes), Facebook is a great medium to realise how little one has in common with one's 'friends'.

Another issue I have with Facebook and social media generally is unless people provide an explicit context for their posts, the things people choose to put up are divorced from any sense of their reality and life-context, so that, for example, when I make an assertion on Facebook about a particular issue, no one has an inkling of how much thought I have put into it, reading it as categorical and arrogant, not of course having taken the time to familiarise themselves with my philosophy. 

Simply put, I do not feel I can transcend the way Facebook is designed and reach out to people; rather, I get a greater sense of a confirmation that we are all enemies based on context-less and perceived differences, including with our own friends and family, which is apparently the philosophy held by one of the brains that inspired the Facebook creators. 

In addition, due to lack of context, the things I choose to share, such as thoughts or conspiratorial angles, will be taken at face value when I myself do not take them at face value and my Facebook persona, i.e. the way in which people perceive me based on my Facebook activity, will be miles away from my own felt and experienced reality. 
"Notre personnalité sociale est une création de la pensée des autres." - Marcel Proust
It is sad that we feel ourselves in a position to assess a person's character and possible worth based on the minute expression of their being as evidenced by their Facebook or Twitter activity. 

All this brings me to a wider point of what media really do: they filter, i.e. mediate, reality in some way but often in a more deceiving than revealing manner. 

Perhaps a good way to gage whether to consume a certain form of media, be it books, TV or indeed Facebook, is by realising whether the way the medium filters reality is energy-giving or depleting, increases one's well-being or undermines it, enhances one's understanding or diminishes it or, in the case of Facebook, adds value to human relationships or destroys them. 

Addendum - Another key difference between Facebook and real-life relationships is that on Facebook everyone asserts himself, whether by sharing or creating, first and then decides whether or not to respond to what others have shared whereas usually in a real-life relationship both parties naturally seek to first find a terrain d'entente, i.e. a common ground of understanding, and then give their positions with regards to that ground. In that sense accusations of Facebook that it promotes narcissism, self-centredness and closure from others' reality have some foundation. 

Addendum 2 - As of 18 October 2017, I have abysmally failed to permanently delete my Facebook. 

Reading Early Signs in Relationships


As I wrote in my post Relationships, general compatibility, whether of sensibility, personality or temperament, is an important component when we choose to involve someone in our (romantic) life. 

In discussion with my girlfriend, with whom I enjoy a very happy relationship, I hinted at the possibility that many of the signs of whether a relationship will work or not are present, if not at the beginning, at least very early on.

For example, our subconscious mind may pick up on an incongruence in sensibility or communication in the early stages of a relationship or even consciously perceive outright problems such as insensitivity or faithlessness but many tend to lie to themselves, thinking that these problems will magically solve themselves or lose in moment as the relationship gets stronger and more official.

Yet it seems to me the reverse is more usually the case. What one perceives as small problems at the beginning, which manifest in minor mood swings and arguments, will gain in momentum as the relationship progresses, especially when the romantic/erotic love aspect of the relationship has faded away or, at the least, substantially subsided.

Things that annoy one about one's partner, I venture to say, tend to gain in focus with time rather than diminish, especially when illusion has given way to reality, including that of unbridgeable incompatibility. 

All this to say incompatibilities and incongruences in our union with another do not magically disappear when one chooses to officialise a relationship, such as at a wedding ceremony or a Facebook update, and while being married to someone may increase one's sense of security of not being cheated on, this sense of security is of course belied by the widespread nature of marital adultery.

Of course, reading the signs about others is a hard-won and perfect-able skill which unfortunately may come too late, especially when one has fallen for an apparent soulmate who turned out in fact to be a psychopath playing one's psychology like a grand piano, e.g. by deliberately acting like a mirror for us, our emotions and needs. 

This argument points to a phenomenon I expressed months ago (Invisibility of Nature's Laws) in the following way:
"In terms of psychological laws, all that is suppressed and kept buried will likely come into manifestation after a period of time and all that is present in the invisible realm will enter the visible so that, for example, hostilities and incompatibilities between two friends or partners will eventually come out into the open."
In other words, it is perhaps worth paying attention to what lies beneath our purely conscious awareness, including in our relationships with other people, and try and reach into our subconscious mind by intellectual or introspective means which, as I have recently discovered, can come to save a friendship or relationship if all the unsaid, sometimes negative, chemistry is brought out in the open to a conscious, verbal level where both parties are in a position to gain in mutual understanding.

Reading the signs others communicate, verbally or non-verbally, willingly or unwillingly, can of course also be gained from studying body language and facial expressions which perhaps too few of us take the time to do, unlike professional FBI agents and TV personalities like Derren Brown.

In that respect, professional con artists and scammers know how to manipulate others by understanding the laws of (body) language and how to make others feel at ease and in control so as to better dupe them. 

Reading signs also very much applies to occult/esoteric symbolism which has a habit of hiding in plain sight in an often mocking, taunting way with regards to the non-initiate of the secret and largely hidden Mystery Traditions.

To conclude, a degree of vigilance is in order, not only when it comes to the early stages of a relationship, but also with regards to human predators. For it is better to be vigilant from the start to avoid potential misfortune than suffer misfortune and thereby become hyper-vigilant, with all the neurosis, isolation and unhappiness this state of being can cause.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Political Views & Identity


It's occurred to me whilst in conversation with a friend that the reason people get so hot under the collar when it comes to political views, whether right-wing, left-wing, anarchist or statist, is that it forms a part of their identity, their basic sense of self as a human being, so that when attacking or even merely inadvertently upsetting those views they take it as an affront on their person rather than merely on their opinions, i.e. angles on things.

The same is often the case of religious and atheist affiliations which often form a part of a person's identity and indeed one could make the point that political views, because they so often require belief as opposed to doubt, are quasi-religious in the meaning they give a person. 

I venture to say here, however, that I do not take a high view of 'identity' since I interpret it as relating to the lower, egoic self, as opposed to the higher, more illumined self which accepts diversity since in tune with the Whole which sustains the apparent separateness of human beings, the illusion of separateness being seen as the source of all evil in some ancient Eastern traditions (according to Manly P. Hall in his Lectures on Ancient Philosophy). 

Things that have helped me in overcoming too high a sensitivity when my philosophical/political attachments and views are challenged are
  • the insight that I might be wrong and have been wrong in the past
  • the insight that everyone is journeying, whether consciously or not, wether actually ascending, stalling or descending, up their own Mountain of Enlightenment and therefore that people with particularly abhorrent views may grow out of them in time and that lower forms of consciousness co-exist with higher ones as they always have done in history.
  • the humility that comes with my own experience of identity, whether it be my conservative, pro-capitalist, pro-US imperialism, anti-French views that I held when I left school - views which I find particularly flawed, immature and mind controlled now (I was very influenced by The Economist newspaper and interpretations of my life experience - see Experience as Interpretation) - or my more left-wing views that developed later to reach a point now where, despite all the reading and thinking that I do now, I do not identify with any views in the sense of having my ego, my sense of self (low form of identity) at stake in them.
Identity remains for me symptomatic of an emerging mode of consciousness - whether it be attachment to a nation, an ideology, a particular people, race or religious creed - that has yet to free itself from the false self, i.e. the ego, and therefore has yet to experience what Manly P. Hall calls the second birth that follows the first, biological, birth, which is in fact a death (of the ego) in favour of a realisation that puts oneself in touch with the higher Self rooted in the All, i.e. Being, and which therefore sees the metaphysical unity amongst the apparent, physical, diversity. 

Addendum - The same friend I had a conversation with, on reading this, said that political views can be moral views - not just any views - and I wholeheartedly agree. That being said moral views can be seen as an expression of higher consciousness rather than being part of egoic identity.

Video Games as Reactive - Responding and Reacting - Responsibility


It is said by some that unlike film-watching which is said to be 'passive' - a position that neglects to see how film-watching not only involves the senses but is often followed by evaluation and even interpretation, which are both far from 'passive' - video games are 'active' because you have a degree of control over the visual information displayed on the screen via a controller.

Yet in essence the control the 'gamer' feels he has in a game - a degree of control which is mathematically calculated by the game developers - is mostly always in reaction to the game's visual and audio information. Jump here, shoot there, brake here, collect there, place here, destroy there etc. 

In a very real sense then, gaming is reactive or rather, acts in reaction to pre-determined data.

This action-in-reaction to data in video games raises the question of when action is not reactive to pre-given data - is there such a thing as pure action, i.e. non-reactive action?

For instance writing this blog post, whilst a form of action, is also reacting to a desire to communicate an angle on video games, a desire triggered by reading a philosophy book. 

Actions based on the fulfilment and satisfaction of needs - such as going to the loo - are obviously reactions to data that our mind-body complex is giving us. 

A lot of online literature reacts to statements and angles offered by others, news items, social media trends, current world conditions and so forth and indeed the interplay of social interaction always involves an element of responding to the communications of others.

It could even be said, more widely, that in every single action we take we are responding (or reacting) to, at the very least, a thought or an emotion. 

We've reached the point in the argument where it is necessary to attempt to distinguish reaction from response. 

Both reaction and response are forms of action that are triggered not only by information in our mind and body but by external events. 

However a possible line of demarcation between the two can be drawn in looking at the shared root between the word 'response' and the word 'responsibility', the latter meaning, in its psychological sense, being in charge of something and accountable, i.e answerable, for it. 

A philosophical point could be made that in responding to something we are in psychological control and therefore can be held accountable for the quality of our response whereas in reaction the quality of action occurs almost despite ourselves in a practically involuntary way - the emotions that move us to react not being voluntary - so that we cannot be held so easily accountable for the deed that resulted from the reaction. 

In that sense reflexes are reactive, because reflexes are too quick and subconscious to be considered to have the same quantum of voluntariness as response.

So when Nietzsche wrote of what he called men of ressentiment (men of resentment) in contrast to active men of nobility that their their actions were really reactions, we could make an exegesis based on what I have argued above, that the actions, including the speech and writings, of these 'resentful' human beings lack the quality of agency and voluntariness typical of non-reactive responding natures who, having more agency and self-control, can be held more accountable for their responses and in that sense are more responsible. 

Turning it around we could say that to be responsible entails having the quality of someone who responds rather than reacts, who has agency over his thoughts, emotions and actions and therefore can be considered as having an element of free will and therefore is more answerable for his deeds and words in that he can answer, i.e account, for them. 

Addendum - Mark Passio, in his What On Earth is Happening video presentation series, points to the green language aspect of the word 'responsibility' as response ability, i.e. our ability to respond (rather than react). That both of us should have picked up on this idea in our own separate journeys shows the large amount of congruence between his and my way of thinking. 

Monday, 8 May 2017

Technology & Control


Question: do we control technology or is it not rather the case that we are controlled by technology?

Does it even matter?

It seems to me that Martin Heidegger's point about technology was that we have no control over having to control it and that control would inevitably lead to a greater need for control.

In other words, technological conditions condition existence that lives under them and might even become a condition for existence itself should we irretrievably lose our last bond with Gaia, including natural procreation, when all natural conditions have been fatally compromised not to say destroyed, whether through capitalistic resource exploitation, the harm caused by technology itself such as roads that destroy natural habitats or even through conspiracies to depopulate and enslave the planet by making the earth unliveable for the majority (this last angle being the one offered by writers like David Icke and Jim Marrs). 

And yet I realise the irony that it is technology that enables me to share these concerns about technology.

Modern Politics is for Children


My opinion is that modern politics is for children. Only children need a presidential/prime ministerial father or mother figurehead. 

Only children need to have their views re-presented and enforced on others.

Talk about being stunted. These stunted human beings profoundly lack in self-knowledge and understanding of natural law principles.

You can't keep doing the same thing, e.g. vote someone in, and expect different results. 

Also a bit of critical in-formation as to what is really going on in the world and solutions that can be personally employed outside the infantility of typical media coverage should be of some benefit for those who are fed up with the current state of things but don't know how to move on from the child nursery of modern politics.

Addendum - I am using the word children knowingly in that Left-wing and Right-wing can be seen as Mother (caregiver, Welfare State) and Father (disciplinarian, Police State) archetypes respectively. 

Definitions of Consciousness


Contemporary thinker Mark Passio defines consciousness as
"the ability of a being to recognise patterns and meaning with respect to events taking place, both within oneself and in the external realm in which the self exists and operates."
My girlfriend interpreted this definition as being one more of intelligence than consciousness per se.

That being said, Mark Passio's definition of consciousness seems to me to presuppose a more originary and radical phenomenon that underlies conscious awareness: what I, perhaps wrongly, termed conscience in my first blog post and expanded in my Brief Anatomy of Perception: the perception of your perception.

It is the fact that we are able to perceive our immediate perception, i.e. filter and interpret sense-based data, that enables the recognition of patterns and events taking place, both within and without. 

As Kant pointed out in his Critique of Pure Reason, the senses in themselves do not make judgements - that is the preserve of our critical faculty. Put differently, consciousness, as the phenomenon which enables us to perceive our own perception, is behind the faculties of reason, judgement and understanding. 

A higher level of consciousness perceives more of its perception than a lower level of consciousness which is more lost in immediate, i.e. unmediated and uncritical, perception.

Intelligence, which I defined a while ago as an individual's ability to intelligise, i.e. process information so as to understand it, obviously requires consciousness, the perception of perception, to manifest at all. 

I am not saying Mark Passio's definition of consciousness is wrong - it is in fact remarkably eloquent and sophisticated - but perhaps it nonetheless remains a definition more as to how consciousness can manifest since I might be conscious and therefore perceive my own perception but still largely fail to recognise patterns and events within and without me due to an inability to adequately process, understand and interpret perceptual data as received through consciousness. 

It seems apposite to refer to a previous, very short, post of mine which states that data (from the Latin datum itself stemming from the verb dare, to give, i.e. data as what is given) becomes information, i.e. something that forms you from within, when technically interpreted - which is what our senses as linked to our brains do all the time in the sense that we do not perceive reality as it is, i.e. we cannot perceive the world outside the conditions of our perceptual apparatus which biologically (technically) interprets what is given to us - and knowledge, i.e. lifetime learning, once critically evaluated (see also Art Born of Perception). 

Thus without consciousness we would not be able to be in-formed, since data would fail to be interpreted by our mind-body complex if we failed to perceive our own perception, and without intelligence knowledge would also be compromised due to the inability to critically evaluate information since lacking the ability even to understand it. 

Being Impressed by Others


Being impressed by others is no bad thing, especially when this acts as a spur for self-development, creative exertion and general enlightenment.

However my argument in this post just to say that often we might be impressed by things that come easier to others than to ourselves and are otherwise something these others get energy from which might not be the case for us. 

In other words, when it is the case that being impressed by others is symptomatic of a sense of self-inadequacy then I do not think this usually positive, since if often fails to see areas in which, unbeknownst to us, we have real talent and a valid sensibility unique to our own being. 

Taking myself as an example, my drawings or piano works are far from virtuosic or from reaching a professional standard but they are valid as statements proper to me, just as I happened to be at the time of their creation including in terms of my technical ability and the effort I put in. 

I have also found that many of us are impressed by others who have specialised and learnt skills in areas foreign to us; for example, as someone who doesn't have a job or drive, the fact that someone I know can drive and holds a job down successfully has, particularly in the past, caused me to admire them.

There are of course people - such as on YouTube - who are never impressed by others, at least explicitly, even when they should be, content as they are perhaps with a smug sense of their natural superiority not to mention their current and fixed state of being, even when an outsider would see that these individuals have a great deal of room for improvement and genuine reasons to be more humble and admiring of others than they are willing to admit to themselves. 

In other words, it is perhaps the case that being impressed by others is a sign of a growing as opposed to a fixed understanding of oneself, a sign of humility for the things others can do better than ourselves and for the work they have put in to bring about their achievements and in these senses is a sign of empathetic as opposed to narcissistic intelligence - we find in ourselves what it took for these others to achieve what they did, with the proviso stated above that being impressed can sometimes be fruit of an injustice we commit to ourselves in our self-perception, neglecting as it is easy to do what we ourselves have achieved and can continue to offer the world. 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Emotional Discomfort & Truth


Those who consume conspiratorial discourses are usually aware of the fact that just because a piece of information causes emotional discomfort does it mean it is misinformation.

However, the converse also holds. Just because a piece of information causes you discomfort does not mean it is true, i.e. accords with factual reality. 

While I have been partial to conspiratorial and alternative media discourses for a number of years now, I am beginning to feel weary of them.

In fact, not only weary, but wary. Particularly of 'truth' discourses in the field of politics that do nothing but cause fear, resentment, bigotry and are otherwise often designed to push dark agendas of a political and geopolitical nature: witness the latest Cambridge Analytica revelations. 

As I said in my post Worldview Poisonings, all media, whether 'mainstream', 'social' or 'alternative' can be toxic and lead to psychological fight or flight responses (Consequences of Worldview).

I'm starting to appreciate what Nietzsche surmised over a century ago as to the dangers for mankind to over-preoccupy itself with 'truth', seeing as he did that this could spell great danger in terms of spiritual exhaustion and even human growth. 

In other words 
"You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, the only way, it does not exist."
[Consider also Hölderlin's epigram The Root of All Evil
"Being at one is godlike and good, but human, too human, the mania Which insists there is only the One, one country, one truth and one way."] 
Perhaps redefining truth away from that which is, which in practice requires aligning our perception with phenomena and events, towards that which makes meaning possible at all - a decision reached in my very first blog post - was reflective of a desire on my part to appreciate cosmic intelligence and respond to its energy as opposed to an always conflict-ridden, often illusory and ultimately elusive accuracy of perception - however convinced everyone is of being accurate in their views - which at any rate is often coloured by opinion and à priori sensibility.

Philosophy and the Occult


Studying philosophy is for boys.

Studying the occult is for men. 

But all men are boys at heart so it is advisable to study both in conjunction.

Addendum - Of course the occult lends itself to very immature and wrong-headed readings. It strikes me, however, that many of the established philosophers of the tradition were not explicitly in touch with the symbolic wealth of the Mystery Traditions and failed to grasp the occult and therefore the ancient origins of Metaphysics which have a logic based in natural law principles that take into account the finitude and limitations of human reason as compared to the All. 

It seems to be the likes of Kant, Nietzsche and Heidegger attacked a straw-man version of metaphysics, ignorant of its roots in deep philosophical understanding as well as humility. Plato himself has been claimed to be, at least by Manly P. Hall in Secret Teachings of All Ages, an initiate of Egyptian and Greek Mysteries and was apparently accused of revealing too much in his work to the profane. 

An understanding of occult symbols, meanings and principles can only serve the cause of better philosophising and a practiced ability at philosophising can only increase the quality of one's occult and esoteric readings/interpretations. For occult symbols are rich in philosophical meaning and therefore in truth, if one should define truth, as I once did, as that which makes meaning possible (Lathoron, A Philosophical Dialogue).

Put differently, many of the big names of philosophy seemed to be unaware of the occult origins of their own metaphysical understanding not to mention the tradition of philosophy itself which is why reading the books of occult researchers such as Manly P. Hall and others is a corrective and useful complement to the reading up on the Spinozas and Hegels of this world. 

God as Leviathan - The State as False God


A conception of God popped into my head recently, according to which I understood humanity as a fragmentation in terms of thoughts, emotions and conducts of the divine whole, so that if you were to add up all the variation and diversity in sensibility and existence of present mankind, i.e. add up all the fragments, you would amount to a closer approximation to the prima causa (God) which encompasses all that is possible in Creation. 

Pictured above, however, is a dark twisting of this metaphysical insight which was used as the cover of Thomas Hobbes' justification for the modern political State, the so-called Leviathan, more commonly referred to today as Big Brother, courtesy of George Orwell. 

That the State in its essence purports to be the almighty ruler and supreme Being was of course an insight indicated by Zarathustra in his sermon on 'The New Idol' (Thus Spoke Zarathustra). 

In other words the whole population within a national territory amounts to the God of the State and, supposing there is indeed a conspiracy to form a Global Super-State (New World Order), the whole population of the world will be trapped into this materialistic, policing, thieving, enslaving and coercive False God.

The internet, particularly in terms of its being completely surveilled by the False God as revealed a few years ago now, can be seen as a cynical attempt to capture the whole of human thought, emotion and action (expressed thoughts and emotions often leading to corresponding actions and worldly actions themselves leading to expressed thoughts and emotions) so that the Leviathan-esque State will indeed be in possession and have a sense of the relative wholeness of information provided by, at the least, all of us who use the world wide web (the word 'web', interestingly enough, has connotations of 'trap' in our language as does the word 'net').

The movie Captain America: Winter Soldier highlights a conspiracy by the powers of the world - which have been usurped and co-opted by a dark, secret, Nazi society named Hydra - to use artificial intelligence and highly complex algorithms to predict future human conduct based on past activity as garnered from the internet so that all potential enemies of the coming New World Order may be exterminated en masse in advance of the full implementation of this New Order of Slavery.

For all its apparent worldly power and means of coercive control, however, the State remains a false God, an illegitimate form of authority given to all that is evil in the world, constituting in its very foundations the most egregious violation of Natural Law there has ever been as well as of the true principles of authentic cosmogony as beautifully summarised and communicated in the book Lectures on Ancient Philosophy by the foremost 20th century student of the occult: Manly Palmer Hall.  

Friday, 5 May 2017

Dual Nature of Natural Law


It has struck me that the spirit of Natural, Moral Law, as conceptualised and propagated by independent researcher and activist Mark Passio, is both descriptive and prescriptive in essence. 

To avoid shallow, Darwinist, uneducated understandings of the term 'Natural Law', which some predictably interpret as the phenomenon whereby the strong vanquish the weak, the aforementioned researcher has described it as "the set of laws that govern the consequences of behavioural choices", in the sense of "reaping what you sow", a definition which points to Natural Law's descriptive quality, i.e. its congruence with the truth of Being, what is. 

Yet elements of Moral Law are purely prescriptive such as the forbidding of murder, rape, theft and coercion since these occur all the time all over the planet. 

It might be added - at the risk of stating the obvious - that violation of Moral Law results in harm being done to the person whose right to physical, financial, psychological integrity has been interfered with by the violent violation and it is questionable, to say the least, whether the party who brought about the injury, whether it be an individual, an organisation or the State itself, will truly incur any kind of karmic harm for doing so.

Thus it would seem that the descriptive aspect of Natural Law is slightly over-emphasised by Passio, as keen as he is to place it on the same level as, say, the physical law of gravity, when in fact the Law is more of an imperative commandment to those who have a conscience than a descriptive, point-of-fact reality whereby those who violate the Law will meet with inevitable suffering as a direct result of violating it. 

A Note on Proust


I am currently reading Marcel Proust's magnum opus À La Recherche du temps perdu, now enjoying volume 3 of the epic novel, Le Côté de Guermantes.

Two passing and, as it turns out, related thoughts have presented themselves to me in such a way that I wish to share them here, but in the manner of an enthusiast rather than a rigorous scholar:
  1. Book 1, Du Côté de chez Swann, indicates precocious desires on the part of the young narrator to become a writer, admiring as he does the contemporary littérateur Bergotte. However in his budding attempts at writing he suffers from self-doubt and feelings of literary inadequacy, unable as he is to offer biting and original philosophical angles like the authors he cherishes the most. Yet, as it turns out, the explorative and nuanced mode of consciousness of À La Recherche is one of its chief strengths and defining characteristics, free of too strong a philosophical angle on things, letting phenomena, whether social or otherwise, teach their own lessons rather than relying on à priori notions of the good life, truth and virtue.
  2. Again in Book 1, much is made of the ritual of the narrator's mother coming up to his bedroom to kiss him good night, something that the narrator longs for and cherishes come evening-time and suffers from if denied its occurrence. The narrator at this stage is still a boy. Yet, in its way, this can be seen as a Freudian foreshadowing of the narrator's many romantic infatuations as he gains in years, starting with the young and frivolous Gilberte in the Champs Elysées, moving on to the jeunes filles en fleur in the seaside town of Balbec in volume 2, one of which turns out to be the central female character Albertine Simonet, followed, in book 3 of the novel, by a quasi-stalking-level obsession with the noble Duchesse de Guermantes and a desire for physical possession, later on in that volume, of Mme de Stermaria.
"Ce qu'il me fallait c'était de posséder Mme de Stermaria."  
Thus a provisional observation - provisional in the sense that I need to complete the novel to reach a fuller perspective on the main character's development and life choices - is that both the narrator's infatuation with women and his creative aspirations are present in him as a young boy in the very first chapter of À La Recherche with my personal intuition telling me that in the end women will give way in importance to art. 

It is interesting in that respect to consider the scene in Jeunes Filles en fleur where, almost despite himself given his preference for finding these jeunes filles on the beach somewhere, the narrator pays a visit to the painter Elstir who reveals himself to be not only gifted but highly sophisticated, more so than the many mondain characters we have met so far in the novel. 

It is while the narrator gets a sense of the magic of art through Elstir's extraordinarily sensitive descriptions of some medieval reliefs that one of the young women in flower, Albertine, completely to the narrator's surprise, greets the painter so that both worlds, the romantic one and the artistic, meet in what is a crucial crossroads moment of the novel, i.e. a meeting of two expressions of life that are not easily reconciled. 

This apparent antagonism as well as coincidence between romantic love and creative yearning - or at least artistic appreciation - is perhaps, based on what I have read so far, one of the chief dialectical drives of the narrative.

I look forward to finding out how this dichotomy and union between beautiful women and beautiful works of art resolves itself as the novel progresses.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Considerations on the Right-Wing Working Class Vote


People of a left-wing persuasion often attribute the right-wing working class vote to the influence of the media and typically working-class newspapers such as The Sun and other tabloids since it is hard for them to understand why the working class would lucidly vote in favour of elites who give priority to the well-off and affluent rather than the struggling majority.

This view, however, raises the question of how political sensibility is formed in the first place.

For it seems to me this argument raises a chicken and egg dilemma. If the majority of the working class were left-wing in both temperament and persuasion this would no doubt be reflected by the propagation of left-wing ideas and memes not only in the press and televised/airwave media who need to please and pander to their reading/viewing/listening audience but also in the tropes and language used by political representatives who need to secure for themselves the working-class vote. 

It seems unlikely to me that the right-wing sensibility of many working class voters is entirely due to the self-serving perception management of the ruling class who control the media, i.e. that their right-wing views are purely achieved through the instruments of mass persuasion rather than equally emanating from inner sensibility and preference.

To be sure, sensibility is formed by in-formation, i.e. all that we take in with our senses, but there is perhaps, to use Kant's expression, an à priori element of political understanding reflective of one's social/economic circumstances, milieu, prejudices, resentments, likes and dislikes, interests and background upbringing, an understanding formed not just by the media but by actual living conditions

Right-wing preoccupations with nationalist pride, as reflected in competitive sports that appeal to many working class voters, the presumed ills of immigrant populations supplanting English workers and traditions, the perceived worthlessness and criminality of welfare claimants 'who get something for nothing' as well as the huge status accorded to the activity of money-making, the value of hard work, self-reliance in the financial sense and even strong leadership in the military sense clearly speak more to many right-wing working class voters than typical left-wing preoccupations with equality, socialised public services, tax-funded safety nets, military pacifism, redistribution, internationalism, global warming, minority rights, consumer/environmental protections and so forth which arguably seem more fuzzy, elusive, comfortable, removed from reality, middle-class, lazy, intellectual, self-righteous and feeble than their right-wing counterparts.

I think perhaps these phenomena have to do with a natural and understandable tendency of the human animal to assert its superiority over those lower in the social ladder rather than those above, since in the state of nature it is ill-advised to pick on those bigger and stronger than you are as opposed to those who are more vulnerable.

This tendency in my view explains why many working class voters, who are used to hierarchical, boss-employee relationships and the rigours of real-world employment and therefore as a result less troubled by them than people who work more sparsely and in more egalitarian fields, as well as used to being looked down upon as being intellectually or morally inadequate as opposed to middle-class people who do well at school and go to university, respond more to discourses that kick downwards - e.g. on immigrant populations, refugees, the disabled and sick, the unemployed, the mentally ill, gay people, women - than discourses that kick upwards in defiance of coercive, worldly authority. 

In other words, my argument is that there is an emotional factor in the right-wing working class vote, informed as I said as much by real life conditions and their resultant psychology as media influence, which has less to do with rational philosophies of providing safeguards against power abuse - which the middle-class Left believe would be in the interests of the labouring classes - but more to do with will-to-power in the sense of the pleasure of having one's identity, status, worldview, resentments and relative superiority over others recognised, including the colour of your skin, where you come from and the fact that you have a job and pay taxes unlike those dirty scroungers and bleeding-heart liberals who are perceived as having it so easy by comparison.

Thus, while I concede that large parts of the media help perpetuate and even foster right-wing views on the working classes, I am also of the opinion that they reflect what is already present in the psychology of such voters, creating, as is so often the case in modernity, a self-sustaining, self-justifying and self-expanding feedback loop. The exact same thing could be said of the liberal, left-wing media and its intended audience and indeed many other facets of the way information and social phenomena are propagated and internalised.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Why Not Vote?


One may not wish to vote, not just on account of being lazy or apathetic, but out of anarchist conviction, in the sense that voting gives a certain legitimacy to representative political power as well as to the governmental system itself.

I concede that such a position goes against the flow but it is not without philosophical and factual justification, the State itself being founded not so much on a 'social contract' that I don't ever recall signing up to as on power, to wit, repressive force and the ability to levy taxes.

If one considers the State itself as being immoral, a thing which a pertinent analysis of numerous historical and current facts can only confirm, giving legitimacy to this State through voting becomes a question of conscience.

My ideal would be that no one at all takes the trouble to vote because that would show and as result put into question the very existence of centralised government (government meaning 'mind control' etymologically) managed by a clique of people who have no real authority as compared to you or me. 

Pourquoi ne pas voter ?


On peut ne pas voter, pas uniquement parce qu'on est paresseux ou apathique, mais par conviction anarchiste, dans le sens où voter donne une certaine légitimité au pouvoir politique représentatif et au système gouvernemental lui-même. 

Je concède qu'une telle position est très à contre-courant mais non sans justification philosophique et factuelle, l'Etat étant lui-même fondé non pas tant sur un 'contrat social' que je me souviens pas d'avoir signé que sur la puissance, à savoir la force répressive et le pouvoir de lever les impôts. 

Si l'on considère l'Etat lui-même comme étant immoral, une chose qu'une analyse pertinente de nombreux faits historiques et courants ne peut que confirmer, légitimer cet Etat par le vote devient une question de conscience.

Mon idéal serait que personne du tout ne prenne la peine de voter car cela montrerait et du coup mettrait en question l'existence même d'un gouvernement centralisé (gouverne-ment signifiant 'contrôle de l'esprit' étymologiquement) gérer par une clique de gens qui n'ont aucune véritable autorité par rapport à toi ou moi.

Monday, 1 May 2017

Stages and Contexts of my Thoughts


Having gone through and re-read all my output in my Thoughts category I will try to provide a classification of all those writings based on the context of their creation and my own intellectual/psychological development. 

Phase One: Making the Leap into Thinking (August 2013)

This phase covers the five 'thoughts' from August 2013 in the archives, beginning with Lathoron, A Philosophical Dialogue and ending with A Brief Anatomy of Perception

The later post Ideology and Mathematics (20 May 2014) which was actually written and formulated before any of the above, at least in its original form, could be seen as belonging to this phase. 

The writings of this phase actually date from November 2006 onwards when I resided in Paris, France, and was neglecting my law studies. Some if not all of them were originally written in French.

This period coincided with the beginning of my decline in terms of mental health, as I remember first suffering from the condition of depersonalisation around the time of early Winter 2006. 

Anyway these writings are exceedingly important in so far as they signalled not only my philosophical vocation as such but my readiness to make my philosophising public thanks to the availability of blog publishers (I have had different blogs in the past which have all been scrapped and revamped into ScruffyOwlet's Tree). 

Despite my lack of years and extreme immaturity, I find the writings from this initiatory period to have some philosophical strength and recently found that two of them, Lathoron and How to Become Master of the World, were worthy of not only being thoroughly (re)-contextualised but also (re)-translated into French, as seen in the 'en françaissection of my blog.

Phase Two: Drying Up and Losing It (November 2013 to January 2014)

After Phase One, I dried up philosophically having covered the issues of truth, money, perception and ethics. 

Since I still wanted to write and was still under the aegis of German philosophers Nietzsche and Heidegger, I provided commentaries on some aspects of their philosophy, such as Tentative Musing on Heidegger's Last God and Idle Note on Zarathustra.

Being also partial to Greco-Roman classics I made a commentary on Plutarch with slightly classist, aristocratic overtones and having a hang up about what I perceived to be modern England's unphilosophical and hard-nosed fascism, feeling uncomfortable with that country's mainstream culture, I wrote a rant against it using my philosophical references (Thoughts on England). 

As with Phase One, these writings predate 2013-2014 but were re-written for a new blog publication, named Commemoratum: Attempts at Salvaging the Old, in Christmas of 2013 when I should have been revising for my mid-term examinations, which I failed as a result. 

It is material of course that I now resided in England but also that when I first lived in England during my university days in London I suffered from extreme culture shock and alienated horror at the society I was observing and the university culture I was unhappily involved with. 

I moved back to England in October 2007, after a break in France, as a rather mad attempt to find myself since I thought that it was in unfavourable, antithetical conditions that I might be the most philosophically fruitful. I went on a crazy hunt for low-paid catering jobs and resided at both my grandmothers, one after the other, ending up just outside Saffron Walden where I managed to get some paid work. 

I became seriously mentally ill and maladjusted in 2008 (largely affected by anxiety-based depersonalisation and odd beliefs of being on a war-path that would ultimately lead to a suicide attempt and were clearly due to unresolved trauma), was sectioned into mental hospital on two occasions (one after a dramatic suicide attempt), diagnosed with schizophrenia, and was allowed off the employment treadmill thanks to sickness benefits and being allowed in supported housing in Saffron Walden, where I lived till 2012. 

I moved to my own accommodation in the same town, still thanks to the generosity of the Welfare State, in May 2012, where I have resided to this day. 

Phase Three: Definitely Losing It (March-July 2014)

This phase coincided with dropping out of my Birkbeck College Classics degree, after feeling very low and over-exposed with my blog output which I unwisely shared with a student colleague of mine and after failing to attend a voluntary work commitment, and then undergoing a pronounced manic, euphoric phase as sufferers of Bipolar Disorder might regularly experience. 

I was seen to by a 'Crisis' mental health team at the time but this period was oddly fruitful, in a manic way. It is during this period that I re-engaged with the piano and read the entire bibliography of Friedrich Nietzsche, culminating in my longest ever blog post Human all too Human: Aphoristic Elucidations

In fact many of the writings from this period are quite lucid, despite the manic condition I was in, but turned to venom and rage as I came down from the euphoria, as evidenced in my posts Obedience, Christian Moraline, Philosophy and Danger, Batman and Joker, Homelessness and others which I have since deleted. 

Despite being mentally and emotionally affected at the time, I did have a certain lucidity as to evil dynamics in society and just as I began to re-engage with the piano (the improvisation behind my composition Staccato Hypnosis dates from this period), I also re-engaged with visual art, doing pastel drawings, one of them showcasing my sense that 9/11 was a lie (none of these are still extant on this blog, due to their low quality). 

It is also during this period that I got abreast of certain aspects of conspiracy culture, having already discovered the corbettreport in 2013 and being influenced by the likes of Alain Soral, a French 'anti-Zionist' dissident, and his, in retrospect, rather mediocre book Comprendre l'empire

Phase Four: Slowly Regaining It (August 2014-November 2015)

Starting with Pretentiousness and ending with Art Born of Perception, this period, whilst difficult in terms of emotional sensitivity and depressive moods, saw the beginning of a liberation from my unhealthy obsession with Nietzsche and Heidegger, which gets less and less pronounced over this period. 

This period began with a very healing holiday in France where I rid myself of my manic episode. It is during that holiday that I came up with Bondesque Mania for the piano.

My writing too goes from being slightly fraught and forceful (if not fetching) in the beginning of this phase to more laid back and casual, and this is also a period where I was more officially left-wing in my positioning, making me fall flat on my face emotionally when the Conservatives won the 2015 general election. 

As evidenced by the writing Nescience and Ignorance dating from July 2015, two concepts very particular to him, I had just recently discovered what I found to be the invaluable and life-saving research of Mark Passio from whatonearthishappening.

It was he who clued me up as to Natural Law, right and wrong and moral principles generally and I owe him an incalculable debt, not least in terms of getting over mental health difficulties and excessive emotionality through his introductory podcasts on brain science, the left/right-brain hemispheres, the limbic and reptilian parts of the brain and his philosophy of choosing love over fear. 

It was also in the Spring of 2015 that I began to open my heart chakra, which had been shut down in some shape or form since my first year of secondary school in 1996 and led in large part to the neurosis of my young adult days (culminating in the 2008 period). 

The realisation that I had been in a state of flight since school, with a dread of people and the world, and that all I had to do was to open myself up again rather than putting up barriers between me and the external world to avoid getting hurt was the moment when I truly began to leave behind my depressive tendency (I talk about this in my later post Importance of the Heart). 

2015 is also a year where I composed all the piano pieces going from Afternoon Variation to Musing (see All My Compositions in Writing Order). I also did a few art collages and abstract water colours during this period.

Phase Five: Finding Myself (December 2015-November 2016)

This period goes from Origins of Man to Intellect is not Intelligence on November 3rd 2016.

The December 2015 period was affected by my engaging with conspiracy literature, particularly the book by Jim Marrs Rule by Secrecy and The Perception Deception by David Icke. 

As was the case before, I found that my personal reading interests clashed with my university commitments and early in January 2016 I decided, in a strong, guiltless, position this time, to discontinue academic study (this decision was partly reached by the writing Skull and Bones). 

This is counter-intuitive but deliberately reading up on conspiracy angles had a hugely beneficial impact on my psyche, and a liberating one at that, making me realise for once that I was not the problem and that I was entitled to follow my own heart and not to conform to society's expectations or preferences. 

In January 2016 I wrote my first poems since childhood, starting with Dark Truth and ending with Tobacco, after yet another failed attempt at quitting smoking. 

Later, in March, I wrote a poem about being on welfare, a fact about myself I had been ashamed of for years and hid from many people. 

It is also during this period that I lost my fear of money and all forms of economic anxiety including of my benefits being stopped, despite Conservative anti-Welfare measures (see posts Money, The Power of Money, Money as Consciousness, Position on the Money Issue, Jobs and Money and my poem Illusions perdues).  

It is also in March-April 2016 that I did my first ever life drawings/portraits

After overcoming years of economic anxiety in March I also overcame, in August, social anxiety after suffering from much internal discomfort socialising with most people. This occurred whilst visiting with close family my native French town which enabled me to make peace with my past and my French background and was otherwise a very social time.

Overcoming social anxiety was also directly linked to no longer being ashamed about being on welfare and not having a job but also to learning the value of ditching nervous tension via relaxation (a thing I wrote about in Nervous Tension) through complete and utter self-acceptance (a thing I have written about several times on this blog).

The secret of being good socially is of course to be relaxed, and in order to be relaxed you need to fully accept yourself as you are. 

In 2016 I continued composing for the piano, going from Odyssey in January to Uninspired in October (or was it November?). 

On October 7 I started my Puppet Monst cartoon drawings (Puppet Monst at the Doctor's), following a suggestion by my mother that comics might be a good medium for me, a series which continues to this day. 

Phase Six: Confident Assertion (November 3rd - December 2016)

The month of November 2016 is remarkable in terms of my 'thoughts' writings as a true outpouring of philosophical sensitivity. The writings for this month alone number 204 but I date this sixth period as starting from a key writing of mine on November 3rd and possibly my most important so far Knowledge and Sensibility.

November 5th (23 writings) and 7th (34 writings) were particularly fruitful. 

It is important to note that pretty much all the output for November 2016 consisted of insights I had reached long before but that for some reason I now had the self-confidence to verbalise and share in an almost relentless fashion but without this time being clinically manic. 

Unfortunately November 2016 was also the month that I fell out with a friend/colleague of mine, or rather she fell out with me, meaning that I had to discontinue my last tie with the external, working world: a voluntary job assisting adults with learning disabilities to learn English, Maths and Computers, my favourite ever voluntary role and one that I started in September 2015. 

Phase Seven: Happily Plodding Along (January 2017-Present)

In a good position financially and relationship-wise and having made friends in the Summer of 2016 with a neighbour of mine, and having overcome the many psychological demons of my twenties, I found myself in an ideal position to continue living the good, creative life.

During this period, while continuing to share philosophical insights, I diligently recorded piano covers and re-recorded (for the seventh or eight time) all my piano compositions. 

I curated my YouTube channel, started reading more frequently again, practiced piano more systematically (I now know, after so many years of failing, all the scales) and, very lately, have produced a few more Puppet Monst comics. 

Final Remarks

I hope this post has been helpful in providing a psychological and real-life backdrop to my intellectual and artistic output and can show how it is possible, with will-power and exposure to the right sources, to overcome neurosis through knowing oneself, the world and accepting it all - whilst not condoning it all (see in this regard Time to Conclude: Neurosis as Number One Enemy and Intelligence and Unhappiness: My Own Example). 

It is of course material that throughout this blog's history I have not had significant financial worries (certainly not since 2008) and of course the time and comfort benefits have provided me with have enabled me to find myself, a thing well-nigh impossible for those who are forced into relentlessly selling their labour or looking for the next pay cheque. 

No doubt life will throw me with many tough challenges ahead but for now I am happy to say that I do not fear the future. I have overcome too much for that to be the case. 

Thanks for reading.