An American Mystagogue

Words of Power: Lagom

Sep
21

 

The Ancestor by Leonora Carrington, 1968. Oil on canvas.

Lagom är bäst“, literally “The right amount is best”

Today I will be introducing a new topic of discussion; Words of Power. Before I go into the specific word, or phrase, of this article I should endeavor to explain briefly why  I chose the topic.

Humans are a sapient species, it is the gulf that separates humanity from the other animals. This is why the binomial nomenclature (scientific name) for humans is Homo Sapiens. Wise Man. We are able to do something that no other animal can do, which is that we store information in the form of language either verbal or written so that it can be cumulatively expounded upon, and added to. Because of language, we are capable of higher thought and abstraction. We can evoke a sort of glyph based telepathy among others who have the same language.

Sapience is often mistaken for sentience, which is the capability of a being to experience sense-data. It is a receptive faculty, the ability to perceive the world around oneself. Dogs, cats, cows, insects, and so forth are sentient. But they are not sapient. Sapience relies on language, on symbolic abstracts and systems of arrangement, otherwise we would be much like the tool-using chimps; able to learn in a lifetime, but unable to pass on what we learned. No cumulative knowledge for the species, or tribe. We’d be forced to start over every generation, again and again to develop tools that can be crafted with native supplies and one lifetime’s worth of experience.

With the storage of information in glyphic format, (ie, language) we are able not only to express things like ‘rocks’ and ‘trees’ but also concepts such as ‘love’ and ‘hate’, or even ‘freedom’ and ‘slavery’, ‘justice’ and ‘injustice’. These only make sense in a system. Without all of the pre-requisite language the words ‘justice’ and ‘freedom’ would have no meaning to us.

 The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis (also known as Linguistic Relativity) posits that language has a profound effect on human ability. What is known as the ‘strong” Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is also called linguistic determinism. The ‘weak’ Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states that (from Wikipedia) “that linguistic categories and usage influence thought and certain kinds of non-linguistic behaviour.” For more information feel free to click here  and here.

Whether or not one subscribes to the ‘strong’ or ‘weak’ hypotheses, the effects of language on cognition cannot be denied. Our language, our grammar and our vocabulary affect how we interact and see the world.

 

kay-kempton

Likewise, there is a concept in many cultures ranging from Judaic to Ancient Greek that the ‘true name’ of an object gives the knower power over such an object. In this sense, knowing the ‘true word’ for an experience or abstract state of being allows one some modicum of control, or power, over such a state. We take for granted our ability to feel an emotion and know it by its true name, such as ‘sadness’ compared to ‘despair’, ‘grievance’, ‘melancholy’ and so forth. We are able to differentiate between what we can name, and what we cannot name often slips by us or gets lumped into one word or concept (though having different qualities within the experiences), or forgotten entirely.

Enter; Lagom. Lagom is a Swedish word that has no direct English equivalent. Often times the word is translated as ‘moderation’, but whereas in English moderation is seen as the ‘luke-warm’ between ‘hot’ and ‘cold’, or as ‘lacking in excess or extremes’, lagom can instead be more properly thought of as ‘adequateness’ or ‘just-rightness”. The concept of adequateness is not necessarily a ‘luke-warm’ proposition stuck between two extremes as it is often thought of, but a much more fluid and powerful concept that denotes a degree of mindful precision in action.

Adequateness does not say “You must have luke-warm oatmeal because you do not want it too hot or too cold” but rather says “if you want to have hot oatmeal, make sure it is adequately hot. If you want cold oatmeal, make sure it is adequately cold, if you want luke-warm oatmeal, make sure it is adequately luke-warm.”

If there was a twenty foot chasm, lagom would be a twenty foot bridge. If you needed two eggs from the store, buying two eggs would be lagom. If you needed twenty eggs from the store, purchasing twenty eggs would be lagom. It is far more than ‘luke-warm’ moderation, but instead a volitional, mindful attention paid to ‘just-rightness’. This is a concept worthy of meditating on and enacting in ones own life. It does not ask you to become an ascetic, nor a hedonist. It does not imply as does the English word moderation “scarcity” or ‘lack-of” something. To enact lagom is to enact precise action, precise thinking, not abstaining from the world at large in a bid for ‘being more spiritual-than-thou-ness”.

Lagom in this way relies on a human beings ability to think clearly, focused and rationally so as to avoid waste. It does not, however, take a rocket scientist to apply the ‘just-right” philosophy in their daily lives.

As I talked about in my post about vitality as a finite resource, every action is an exchange between you and your environment, or others in you environment. Not in a wishy-washy vague way but in a thermodynamic sense. You burn calories, you breathe, you eat food, you shit, you sleep. This is our first person perspective of an energy exchange. Since vitality, or ‘life’ is a finite resource it would be beneficial to enact a ‘lagom-based’ philosophy so that you may get the most ‘bang for your buck’ as it were. If your aim is to drink a fifth of whiskey, drink a fifth of whiskey. But do not drink more, do not drink less, unless of course you decide to change your mind.

Lagom relies on a ‘goal’ inherently. You cannot get the ‘just-right’ amount of eggs or build a ‘just-right’ sized bridge without first having a need for eggs or a chasm to cross. I repeat, this is not about moderation as a luke-warm response to hot and cold. This is about having a goal, and meeting it with just the right amount of exertion. It is about getting adequate reward for adequate endeavor.

Whether you want your porridge hot or cold is up to you.

~ Seth Moris

Imagine If People Were Labeled According to Their Actions

Sep
11

adam and eve

 

Yuri Pavlovich Annenkov (1889-1974)

Imagine if people were labeled according to their actions. Imagine a world in which if you claimed to be something that you absolutely did not fit the definitions of, no one would humor you. You could join any religion, subscribe to any ideology, or participate in any philosophy, but you would actually have to learn and live by their tenants, history or foundation.

For now, we live in a culture that chooses to suspend disbelief and accept any self-identifying statement. You can say you are a Christian, a philosopher of one kind or another, a communist, an anarchist, a pacifist without having to actually live the life of a Christian, a philosopher, a communist, an anarchist or a pacifist. You are perfectly free to spout off any old label you want, and so long as you believe it enough the majority of those around you will not only accept your self-definition as valid, but they will also use any and everyone who self-identifies along with you to define in their eyes your ‘group’.

Whether or not you even deserve the label. This is called Orthodoxy. Orthodoxy means “Right-Belief’, and Orthodoxical cultures are far more concerned about what people believe in, and that they believe in the Right Thing. You may be wondering, but yes, as far as I can see Western Culture is highly Orthodoxic anywhere that Christian churches hold or held major cultural sway. This includes, of course, the United States of America. Even the militant atheists and anti-theists are so wound up in tradition (because they don’t know any other way due to cultural isolation) that they are unknowingly Orthodoxic, and are concerned not usually with how a theist or religious person lives their life, but rather more concerned that they Believe Rightly.

Christians are concerned with what others believe over what they do as well. This is why you get, well, American Christians. They aren’t all bad (neither are the Atheists) but I’ve been around. I’ve walked through the bible belt, the Mid-West and Eastern Coast. I’ve been places, and the unifying trait of American Christians is a sort of strict non-participation. They get upset if you question their beliefs, or if you voice certain beliefs that they do not approve of. They want to monitor the information that could possibly reveal other beliefs to their children, and even the children of strangers in the case of censorship. Even the moderates feel that “believing in God” is quite enough to be considered a true Christian.

This means that one needn’t actually do anything Christ-like. They don’t have to follow any tenants of the Bible, they don’t have to care for the poor or needy or question the financial and violent  basis of their country. They do not have to do anything, and we accept them as Christians anyway. We will accept that people are what they believe while completely ignoring their actions.

There was a time, back in the day, when I knew a guy who called himself a Communist. But every day for work he’d get up, go to the chain store he worked at, and slave away like the rest of us Capitalists. He’d avoid doing things like saving the perfectly good food his bosses wanted him to throw out, which friends of his suggested he give to the homeless. He was too afraid to lose his job. He was too afraid he wouldn’t’ be able to pay his bills. I understand this. I get it. Its for survival and to fill a lifestyle standard.

But why call yourself a Communist at all? Why define yourself about ‘thinkies that make me feel warm and fuzzy” instead of the actual things one spends time doing? The “Communist” friend still acted in a way that was basically the same as all the people around who would consider themselves capitalists. For all intents and purposes, he was a capitalist playing pretend, and with no obvious benefit to his life.

Listen, I’ll be straight with you. Belief can be a great tool. Pragmatism is not a bad philosophy. But you have to take into account self-delusion, especially when your culture is based on an unspoken agreement to grant such self-delusions wholly and (worse) easily to people.

They don’t have to earn the label, but merely assume the title.

And everyone plays into it.

Imagine if people were labeled according to their actions.

~ Seth Moris

Shinkai: Episode Four

Jun
02

Shinkai: Episode Three

Jun
01

Shinkai: Episode Two

May
16

Shinkai Episode One

May
09

An experimental comic that started out as fun, and became…well…more fun. Check it out! 

Shinkai by Seth Moris

(The comic was made using photo manipulation via an app called Half Tone 2, and is no where near as difficult or as demanding as drawing actual comic panels or graphic art, so my definite props goes out to all those graphic artists out there who can do this stuff better by hand ~ Seth Moris)

Hijack the Advertisement Overlay

May
08

in reality

 

 

I live in a world that is constantly bombarded by advertisement, both overt and subliminal. It funds media, and is spliced through and through. Every advertisement is an attempt to change your mind, to catch your attention, to alter a view. This wouldn’t be a big deal if it wasn’t for the fact that the mind is the brain from another vantage point. Essentially, every attempt to change your mind is an attempt to change your brain, physically through the neuroplastic connections in your brain.

Now, before you get all worked up or use this to validate some sort of Orwellian doom-saying, keep in mind this is the reality for psychical beings. We live in a world of ideas, symbols and of mind, and we are affected by ideas, symbols and mind. It is hardly a malevolent conspiracy and probably has far more to do with humans being social beings than anything else. The fact that symbols, letters and speech can physically and psychically (two vantage points of the same thing) change a human being is a necessary part of being able to communicate and to be able to pass on wisdom. Most people would hardly view it as a form of mind-control for an experienced person to warn a novice about impending, unforeseen dangers. Such an act of communication does surely impact the brain/mind, but also for the good of the ‘group’ involved, if they are co-operative. The medium itself is neutral, neither ‘malevolant’ or ‘beneficent’ by itself. It must be programmed by the person using gestalt-manipulation for their own ends.  The question becomes one of motive.

illuminati

Far removed from human pro-social groups is the idea of advertisement. You may be getting the idea that it is some sort of board of evil old men in business suits sitting around with cigars, chuckling about how they are taking over the world, but the truth seems much more…boring than that. Businesses and corporations are made out of people, but I think it would be incorrect to say that humans actually directly control them. It seems that they take on an emergent property after you add enough specialization and humans to the mix. In the end, the corporation is run on algorithms, and the humans are merely following out the orders of math. They do ‘what makes sense’ in a business. They want to make money, and more of it than last year. In a way, even though the businesses themselves are made out of individuals, and highly chaotic beings (such as humans) the overall structure of it is quite primordial and crude, almost like a giant amoeba. So when its decided that making advertisements would benefit the business, its hardly the decision of a board of evil masterminds. It goes through a chain of command, and is done for a reason that makes sense in the sphere of existence that is that mathematical entity, the corporation. Humans are merely interchangeable parts in the vast super-organism that is a corporation or a business. If someone is fired, or quits, or dies, there is almost always a replacement. It is out of the hands of most people in a corporation to have any affect on whether or not the business actually dies out or not. In short, the advertisement is just the end result of a huge machination, and that machinations relation to other giant machinations, so we can’t exactly simplify it to being a few ‘evil’ people.

That being said, there is a source of ‘mind/brain changing” that is fired upon us with no empathy, and (you guessed it) it comes from these inhuman mathematical super-organisms. Not because they are evil, but because they are the furthest thing from being human (even though they are made up out of humans) and thus could be said to be ‘alien’. What serves a corporation or a business does not necessarily serve humanity as a whole, and does not even necessarily serve the humans that the corporation is made up out of (though arguably the most successful ones would take care of their own humans).  From out of these monetary titans comes gestalt-manipulation on scales never before seen or possible for humans in the past.

Some people hate to watch commercials, I watch them on purpose. I like to dissect them, I like to purposefully notice the things within them that were intended to not be noticed. I like to notice the paintings and bookshelves in the backgrounds of commercial actors, where nobody looks, and see what paintings and what books they are. I like to take note of the lighting and the colors, and of the type of people and how they are dressed in the commercial. Every commercial is intended to change something within a certain percentage of people, probabilistically, and I like negating their intended purpose to take up my psychic air-time by dissecting them to the point of being silly. The net of memes, viral campaigns, mottos, slogans, branding, logos and theme songs are an effectively concrete aspect of our reality. Pepsi flags, Coca-Cola cults. They exist like a virtual overlay over simple matter, project from our minds, and where do you think the seeds of such projection came from originally?

Effectively the over-saturation of advertisement and gestalt-manipulating media has created a ‘mnemonic web’ or overlay that exists over what we would consider physical reality. Nudging people to associate stimuli together until they end up being at the beck and call of external stimuli, or at least marginally changed by it.

But instead of trying to combat it, to take it down, why not subvert it? The work is already done, and these psychical monoliths stand over the horizons already. All attempts to ‘take down’ these corporate mnemonic webs have proven futile, but re-programming them or de-programming yourself from their influence remain viable and useful. The monetary super-organisms have already shown far more signs of being ‘alien’ and ‘inhuman’ and technically a type of ‘neutral’ than ‘evil’, so why spend a lifetime trying to destroy what you cannot destroy, and even can get benefit from? Does one break the wild horse, or shoot it because they can’t get it to yield? What am I talking about?

Hijacking the advertisement overlay, with your mind. Without breaking the law, without destruction of property, you can effectively utilize a mnemonic web bigger than anything else we’ve ever had and use it to your own ends. It just takes association re-programming. Instead of associating a commercial for Pepsi with thirst or a sugar high, force yourself to focus intensely on some ideological, practical, philosophical, or psychological concept. Change it so that every time you see a Pepsi commercial or the Pepsi coloration, the Pepsi logo, your brain doesn’t do what they want it to do, and instead use that time to remind yourself of something. Maybe to remind you of your True Will? Maybe to remind you to do a reality check for your lucid dreaming experiments? Maybe you could associate a universal archetype to subway commercials, or attach the Three Poisons of Buddhism to McDonalds, Fox News and Wal-Mart. Go nuts.

The idea is that by focusing intently on something alternative to the intended ‘point’ of an advertisement, logo, etc, that you get a giant ‘reminder’ system for free. Like a wake-up call at a hotel, or having your own disembodied personal assistant. Through the power of mental alchemy you can transmute a web meant to coerce you into buying stuff using emotional appeal and gestalt-manipulation into a way to re-shape your phenomenological  existence.

~ Seth Moris

Forget lucid dreaming; Are you lucid waking?

May
04

handwith

Hand with Reflecting Sphere 

 

M.C. Escher 

“How very paltry and limited the normal human intellect is, and how little lucidity there is in the human consciousness, may be judged from the fact that, despite the ephemeral brevity of human life, the uncertainty of our existence and the countless enigmas which press upon us from all sides, everyone does not continually and ceaselessly philosophize, but that only the rarest of exceptions do.” 

― Arthur Schopenhauer

 

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines lucidity as the following-

1
:  clearness of thought or style
2
:  a presumed capacity to perceive the truth directly and instantaneously :  clairvoyance
The word ‘lucid’ has its etymological root in the Latin word lucidus which means “light/bright/clear”. Clear-mindedness is generally hallmarked as ‘lucidity’, but what exactly is a clear mind? Lucidity is an ambiguous concept, it is something that everyone has experienced but very few could distill the concept from the sensorium and noise of everyday life. We are not trained to study the individual faculties and expressions of the mind, and as such society tends to use vague words that everyone sort-of understands or gets ‘the gist of’. Like imagination, volition, and sincerity, these subtle mental forces are not easily distinguished from the claptrap of the present, and takes special attention to get to the point where one can “point” at a mental process and go “AHA! I see you now, lucidity!”. Humans are decent at spotting the ‘results’ of certain mental faculties, but spotting them as they happen is another thing entirely. Smelling piss isn’t catching someone with their pants down, if you don’t mind my metaphor.More likely than not you’re first or most common encounter with the term lucid/lucidity is due to ‘lucid dreaming’. Is it related to what I am going to write about? Yes and no. This is not a post about lucid dreaming, but it is my personal experiences with lucid dreaming that prompted the interest. You see, back a few years ago in The Infinity Network’s irc chat a bunch of us were discussing lucid dreams and shared dream phenomena. There were experiments done and some amount of practice but for the most part I missed out on the culmination of the experiments as it was about that time I packed my rucksack and started footing it across the continental United States.
However, on my journeys I was afforded vast amounts of free time; one of the perks of being a transient. There were many days in which I would sit in a nondescript campsite off the side of the road or in some sort of forest and practice trying to lucid dream, as well as meditate. I figured that it would help to build up my resolve and stamina to practice clearing and manipulating my mind in the open environment, at the mercy of the weather, seasons and mosquitoes. It was in Chattanooga, Tennessee while sleeping in a grove of trees located in the industrial district that I had my first successful lucid dream, a W.I.L.D or Wake Initiated Lucid Dream.
chatta
(Chattanooga at night)
I had never been much of a dreamer. Growing up as a kid, if I could remember my dreams, they tended to be a level of strange and surreal that shocked my peers and that has only grown weirder with age. I loved my dreams, but could only very rarely remember them (the only exception to this would end up being that when I traveled, I dreamed and recalled quite a lot), and I had never had a lucid dream (that I could remember) on my own, as some people do. So when I successfully W.I.L.D’ed it was quite a milestone for me.

I won’t bore you by going in depth about the subject of lucid dreaming, there is more than enough information about it on the internet and I wouldn’t be able to cover it as thoroughly as I might like; suffice to say the experience was life changing. I had been laying in my tent on a sunny late summer day, eyes closed and repeating a self-made mantra and visualizing a chasophere. I was not sleepy one bit, I had decided I wanted a lazy day (was exhausted from walking around with all of my possessions on my back) and my friend whom I was traveling with had gone off on a mini-adventure. Tiggle, my dog, was curled up around my feet and without any amount of tiredness left in me after a long nights sleep and a morning nap, I managed to slip directly into a lucid dream state after what was probably a couple of hours of complete stillness. I ignored the aches, pains, and itches that my body flung at me to test whether or not I was truly ‘asleep’, and suddenly where there was only blackness there began to be hypnagogic imagery dancing on my eyelids. Soon after that, I began to see my arms in front of me and just as vivid as real life, out of the darkness came a ‘scene’ in which I was sitting in a cafe with a random guy I had met at a festival months beforehand and wasn’t particularly friends with. I could ‘feel’ my body laying down in the position I had been in, in the tent. When I tried to move my arm, just like I do in waking life and with a sense of that arm being in that tent by my side, my new virtual reality arm moved around instead. I mucked around for a little bit and ended up getting so excited by the lucid dream that I woke up.

This would be the first and last time I lucid dreamed for quite awhile. But I had proven to myself that not only could it be done in general, but that myself could accomplish a lucid dream. When I returned to my home state and settled back into the domesticated life (to whatever extent that I have) I started having an interest in lucid dreaming once again, due to seeing the topic brought up in a variety of online groups and forums. I tried to replicate my lucid dreaming experience in this housed life. Things did not go according to plan. I found it not only immensely more difficult to lucid dream for me in civilized living conditions but it was also much harder to recall my dreams. The beds were too soft. I slept too soundly. I didn’t have to wake up with the sun and go to sleep with the sunset. I could indulge in late nights thanks to electrical lighting, so on and so forth. When I had been traveling, sleeping out in the wilderness and off the road kept my mind alert, kept it vigilant and focused. It was at that point I realized I didn’t understand lucidity. That moment of having a W.I.L.D had shown me that I hadn’t really had a grasp on what it was exactly, I couldn’t point to it in myself and go “Aha! Lucidity!” except for after the fact.

But now I had a piece of evidence, a phenomenological snapshot of what lucidity was. Those moments leading up to and after the W.I.L.D experience were not the normal states of mind I was absorbed with day to day. They felt ‘focused’ like a magnifying lens angling into a hot dot of sunlight on a dead leaf. It took finding that focus to realize that day-to-day and even in the life of a transient (where I was certainly more vigilant than in a house) I was not generally speaking ‘lucid’ during the day, either. Since I had completed a sort of ‘pass/ fail’ test of lucidity, that slippery mental concept, with the W.I.L.D. I could finally see what lucidity was not. And I was that not lucid far more than lucid, even while awake. I had the illusion of lucidity while awake, which was promptly shattered.

I realized that part of the reason I had such a high failure ratio for my lucid dreaming attempts was because I was not a very lucid individual at that period of time. I had gone from living outside to cushy indoor beds and sinks and stoves. It was intoxicating in its luxury compared to sleeping on the ground and cooking with stick fires and scavenging food. The softness of the situation had made it even easier to forget myself, and lose lucidity. I realized that meditation would be instrumental in the honing of this ‘lucid focus’, and began working backwards from lucid dreaming into such meditations. I had never been into meditation very heavily, and was quite the amateur at this time. I had a hunch that the lucid feeling I had experienced right before my W.I.L.D, which felt very much like an altered state of consciousness, might be brought about by zazen meditation. After much practice, I found I was correct. The mental state I was getting into after much practice of zazen was indeed the ‘focused lucidity’ preempting the virtual reality experience.

But the identification and distillation of what ‘lucidity’ was hooked me like an earworm. I was caught in a net of mystical/philosophical questioning. I had found not only lucidity, but also automaticity. Without lucidity, our actions are reactive and automatonesque. Defining lucidity had forced me to define the lack of lucidity.  I now believe the mind has a way of tricking a person via autobiographical memory to give the appearance of semi-consistent ‘lucidity’ where there is mostly an ocean of automaticity.

And even more concerned I became with the idea that to be lucid in a dream, while perhaps more fantastic seeming than being lucid while awake (lucidity which is a fundamental aspect of volition, or will) was a shadow, a mere hint of the possibilities that a lucid waking individual possesses around them. I believe to be awake and lucid bears even more power in the waking reality than lucid dreaming bears power in dreams. Life is not an “on-the-rail’ shooter , or at least it doesn’t have to be. If you walk through life non-lucid, you are so much dust on the wind, a biological tumbleweed.

Play it like a sandbox. Stay lucid.

~ Seth Moris

 

 

Knowing Isn’t Enough

Apr
27

gnost
You walk into a room. It has bare white walls, scuffed linoleum floors and in the center of the floor stands a cheap metal table. Ghostly fluorescent lights give the room an odd atmosphere, and a nondescript metal door closes behind you with an audible slam. Putting one foot cautiously before the other, your body feels light and unstable; are you shaking, or is it in your head? When you get to the side of the table, you see a lined sheet of notebook paper with a single question hastily scrawled in graphite over its surface. It reads;

“Is a sledgehammer a tool, or a bird?

The moment your eyes scan the question, something happens to you, somewhere in your mind. You are experiencing the split-second ‘knowing’ that a sledgehammer is a tool, and not a bird. Even if you decide to go all post-modern and say “Oh, well I think its a bird.” it still requires that you first knew what it is the correct answer was to give a snarky one. This is ‘knowing’, the active process of it. If you ever want a demonstrable, popular way to explain what exactly ‘knowing’ is, simply ask yourself or a friend a question like the above.

The only way to really get a good grasp on  reflexive/automatic functions of the psyche are to also observe their counterparts, the volitional/willed functions. To give you a first hand, experiential understanding of the difference between ‘knowing’ and other actions of the mind, we will contrast it to a volitional action;

“Please imagine a way that you could make a better toaster.”

If you actually take the time to try to imagine a better toaster, you will be using active ‘image re-mixing’ (visualization) faculties that we can call the ‘active imagination’. Whereas whether or not the sledgehammer was a tool or a bird was ‘known’ instantaneously, for all conscious intents and purposes. So one is reflexive, and one is volitional. It is not hard to find parallels throughout most twenty-four hour days.

So, why talk about this at all? Who gives a shit, right? Well, think about it like this, how many times have you been on either side of a situation like this one;

Two people are standing around an office. One is the manager of the other, and the door is closed. The manager is speaking harshly to the employee, who is being disciplined for not doing things by the standard operating procedures, which has led to a monetary loss of damaged equipment. The manager repeatedly tells the employee what he did wrong, and the employee keeps nodding his bowed head and saying “I know, I know.” The manager gets irate and asks “If you knew, then how did you fuck up so badly!?” The employee DOES indeed know the things the manager says, as the manager says them. He ‘knows’ each and every thing, but as soon as the meeting is finished it takes the employee a relatively short amount of time and he starts to forget aspects of the standard operating procedure, and is completely ignorant that he is failing to uphold them.

Again, the reader should try to find parallels in their lives or encounters they’ve observed to see if they can recognize this phenomena. Another example.

A crowd of people are standing  around a podium where a presenter is giving a speech on the impact of landfill methane gas on the atmosphere due to anaerobic conditions of the landfills and piled garbage. You are in the audience and as the speaker explains each individual facet of the problem, references other professionals from related fields and goes over statistics  quite thoroughly. It all makes perfect sense and you are quite entertained. By the time you are walking back to your car, after the presentation is over, you feel the information slipping out of your mind. What were those stats again? Who were the people she said she consulted? You can’t remember at all, but you know that you agreed with her and still do. You KNOW she was right.

 


gnosis

And here we see the tricky, contextual nature of ‘knowing’. One can easily know something when someone points it out, or mentions it, or some other kind of external catalyst arises. Its just as fair to say that someone asking whether a sledgehammer is a tool or a bird leads to ‘automatic knowing’ as it is to say that two people who believe the world is controlled by evil Illuminati Reptilian Shapeshifters ‘know’ that such is the case, and engage in that faculty if you ask them if its true. Because knowing is not knowledge, knowing is a reactive faculty of the mind, and has nothing to do particularly with accuracy. This should be fairly obvious if you’ve spent any time here on Earth around humans.

However, ‘knowing’ something  is not only automatic (unwilled, non-volitional, and suspect) but also necessary. I don’t intend to paint ‘knowing’ as some sort of entirely evil thing. Using ‘knowing’ in its right place and attributing the fair value of the function is of utmost importance for the discerning mind. The sacrifice of a volitional action, for a reflexive one tends to bequeath speed to the action at hand. Reflexive actions are survival mechanisms for a noisy world. But like a vehicle, which is a useful tool, one has to respect the power of the thing, lest they be crushed by its misuse. Keep your ‘knowing’ on its leash, understand that it is not objective, its not even (generally) particularly fair or accurate in many situations.

What should concern a person more than the reaction of ‘knowing’ (which is an ‘active’ mental process) is ‘knowledge’ (which is a ‘static’ compilation in the mind) and the pursuit of more accurate or more pragmatic knowledge. If knowing is the process of cutting down lumber, knowledge is the lumber. Once can learn to accept that our ‘knowing’ is always suspect for bias, fallacy or inaccuracy, we can focus on searching for, isolating and synthesizing ‘knowledge’ that is actually useful or accurate utilizing ‘rationality’ (which is not the same process as knowing), instead of using our ‘knowing’ to validate our ‘knowledge’. Knowing isn’t enough.

~ Seth Moris

Non-Eldritch Horror-Cultist Privilege Checklist

Apr
23

dragon

 

Please check all that apply to determine your Non-Eldritch Horror-Cultist privilege

1. You aren’t pressured to embrace the eldritch horrors
that lay beyond the veil of sanity that lay thinly stretched
across what you call the ‘real’.

2. Holiday’s celebrating your beliefs are practiced in
most major civilized areas, as opposed to ancient
primeval forests and rows of sideways singing stones.

3. Its easy to find stores that sell religious iconography
that isn’t scalding to the touch and blistering to the skin.

4. You can worship freely, without fear of malevolent discipline
raining from the sky to punish you for your insolence at
breaking ‘the silent truce’.

5. You can practice your religious customs without being
questioned, mocked, inhibited or torn asunder into seventy
seven minute pieces of flesh and gristle.

6. A bumper sticker supporting your religion won’t lead to
a chaotic flux in the probability waves that your car will
suddenly disappear entirely into an unknown dimensional vortex.

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7. Politicians responsible for your shadow goverment are
probably not members of your cult.

8. You can reasonably assume that anyone you encounter will
be able to hear the basic tenants of your faith without their
ears and noses bleeding profusely.

9. You will not be penalized (socially or otherwise) for
not knowing the eight blasphemous utterances used to
ward off the dreamtime mindfrayers.

10. Your faith is accepted at your workplace, behind your
workplace, and in the alleyway behind behind your workplace
where that one thing happened we don’t talk about.

11. You are never asked to speak on behalf of all the members
of your faith in front of a secret inquisitor and their
cat-o-nine-tails and corkscrews.

12. Your child will have access to a multitude of mentors and
teachers that share a faith without having to sacrifice a
firstborn child to summon disembodied, living knowledge that is
forever undying and always just behind the surface of your thoughts
and dreams.

13. Disclosing your faith to an adoption agency will not likely
cause them to run screaming from the interview room only to
force you to hunt them down and *ahem* take care of the
problem.

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