Friday, April 29, 2005

What is Truth?

You'll find many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our point of view" -Obi-Wan Kenobi

Truth is something that every modern person has to come to terms with. We are brought into a world where truth is paramount. Everything around us is based on the truths of some nature. In fact that's all we ever have to base things on is "truth". Kinda silly when you think about it, how else would it work? If we didn't orient ourselves by making judgements, which are all on a fundamental level based on truths, then we could never have any meaning or context. That simply is the nature of reality. We make associations with our environment based on what we see as good and bad and important and irrelevant. All of those associations are thus supported by fundamental assumptions about what reality and/or truth is. The logical conclusion would be that who we are, the things that constitute our individuality, is based upon the truths we hold.

So we have established that truth, from a personal or internal perspective, has a relative nature. What we see to be good and bad, important and irrelevant is determined by what context we place it in. There are other aspects to truth such as observable facts, like natural/universal laws and provable theorem. Obviously those don't fit into the category of relative. A relativist would argue: but even those facts work within the paradigm of science and outside that paradigm have no meaning, without that knowledge science is irrelevant, is non existent and thus are still relative to that mode of understanding. Of course most of these phenomenon do still occur without knowledge of their workings. So, even if you insist that it is relative to our existence you're still establishing an ultimate boundary for relativity.

As you can see there's alot of ways to put truth into perspective (that's a funny turn of words) I believe what i've said up to this point to basically be fact, but where Truth really gets tricky is in the in-between. Between inside and outside, relative value and observable fact. There's many ways to resolve this seeming conflict, and that is where the conjecture comes in. I think the basic gist of them all would be to look at truth on a higher, more realized level. Effecting some kind of integration of the two, finding where they meet, that should be our objective.

As we attempt to combine these two facets of truth it's necessary to further define the distinction between internal and external. Internal truth isn't simply about putting your experience within a specific context. It's about speaking from your soul, about sincerity, and integrity. We have our moment to moment experience and that can contain as much or as little of reality as we allow it. We do have a ground to which to come back, and always ask ourselves on that fundamental level is this a valid experience. This potential can be traced back to the very nature of freewill, our ability to choose.

Again you can begin to reduce this to relativistic terms, but you have to question the utility of that. That is the problem with a "relativist" they see this as some ultimate truth (funny isn't it?) instead of simply a fundamental truth, so they always cast this ultimate doubt on everything, and in the process loose their grasp on what meanings things can possibly hold. For internal or subjective truth we can see that reality is very fluid from within the kernel of combined intersubjective experience having to conform to mental patterns and affected interpretation.

For external truth what implications does this relative perspective have? It's simple enough to understand the nature of observable facts and communal confirmation as truth but what about absolute truth? What about why we're here? Where is our concrete set of rules and truths to know which end is up? We can't really answer the most fundamental question about the very first observation a self aware being has to make-"I am" that question is of course how and why? We can see that there must be some kind of genesis, some starting point, because everything we've experienced and recorded as a race has had "purpose", a direction. Perhaps the universe doesn't have a beginning or end, but one thing is for sure, at some point things did start to move forward, we are definitely going somewhere...even if forward is only what it is because that's the direction we started in.

So there is some plan or purpose to be grasped, some seemingly otherworldly conductor, some being or state of being that is calling us ever forward. In order to understand our capacity to transcend ourselves and yet maintain our own identity we have to see the absolute meanings in the Kosmos, as it applies to our scale of value. Instead of dismissing it out of hand as relative and meaningless. To understand the context of some thing's truth value doesn't imply invalidation. I think the conclusion to all this is that we must acknowledge the existence of both relative and absolute truth in the universe in order to get a clear, more inclusive picture.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Politics dubya style... or we're shootin' from the hip now

Imperialist America is bad right? That's what most sensible people would conclude, but we're americans, who says we have to be sensible? Really though, hear me out.

You look at the political situation of today, it's pretty grim. Our economy is rapidly changing, growing and shrinking, constantly developing into new markets. We can barely keep up with our own progress. The lust for profit drives the worlds nation's ever onward. Of course there is the political games to be considered. The constant struggle for power and the upper hand. America sits squarely on top of it all, in all it's imperial glory. We are a nation in decline however, which greatly complicates things. We don't excel at anything but excelling it seems, we're still on top, mainly due to sheer ruthlessness and momentum. We have control of the world economy, our national budget is actually fluid so that it can account for all the trading, done with our money, in the world. There seems to be so many elements to the situation, that i couldn't even begin to weave them all together. I do however see the american agenda.

When dubya began to push his war, it would eventually become apparent as our struggle to stay on top of the world economy. By securing various elements in the middle east, and making sure that western culture is integrated, we have a strong foothold. It would be my guess that as dubya pursues this imperialist agenda, he will make sure that we play a fundamental part in world "policing" thus ensuring our nation's survival and continued importance in world politics. Of course there's alot i'm not covering like dubya's personal obligations (cold war buddies and all) And concerns over OPEC and loosing Oil Money. Basically we're stuck in a cycle of wrong choices for the wrong reasons.

Everyone is either thinking i'm an idiot or that's a horrible scenario (or both, being the correct answer) How can something like this happen? How can a people so close to transcending all their pettiness get stuck on such a low level of world-development? After all we've learned and experienced, after 2 world wars, after a Holocaust can we still be simply struggling for more personal power? The answer is yes. Definitely, we're still in the finishing stages of imperial domination. America should be the last great empire, if we could get over being stuck between a democracy and what we're truly meant to be.

What i'm implying, as abhorrent as the idea may be, is perhaps ole dubya is a harbinger for something far beyond his simple and chaney's narrow minded perception. Although, we're doing something completely wrong. Pursuing our greed and lust for power with no concern for others (no really, we DO know it's not to help) Perhaps in the end, something good will come out of it. Just like our alienation of internal wisdom for external knowledge, though bad, was still necessary in order to bring our world under control. We need to tame the world, before we can really tame ourselves, i think. Once all the lower level injustices are brought to light, in our modern perspective, and hopefully dealt with on that level, we can deal with the problems of modernity more readily.

What i mean is that while there are starving children and genocide and gender subjugation it's hard to completely merge with the unfolding of spirit in divine love. Perhaps what we have to realize is that there are still events in motion that need to be brought to a head, before we, as a race, can continue our development. Although our beautiful nation is committing some of the same atrocities we all know we need to grow past, perhaps we need to look beyond that. To see what this will bring to fruition farther into the future. Even though we are imposing our ideas on the rest of the world, that does include bringing them up to a higher standard of existence, and thus giving them the possibilities and freedom we should cherish so much. When we subjugate these middle eastern tribes we may be destroying their unique expression of government, but the ideas still remain to be cherished, and the culture itself lives on. It only changes, as all living things must. We are all in this together, we are all changing each other, and we MUST become aware of that.

Perhaps though dubya's policies will allow enough momentum for the rest of the world to be brought up to world-centric human rights, and given a place among the rest of the modern world. Once his "Reign of Evil" has ended, we may actually be able to pick up the pieces more readily.

The Real

Disclaimer: This, as always, is for my own education. If you have any input please feel free to share... As we both know, i have no clue what i'm talking about :)

The Real is an idea that was first conceived of by Immanuel Kant... as far as i can tell :) Basically this is the first clear presentation of the fact that internal reality and external reality are irrevocably separated. The concept states that there is a "kernel" of reality that is impenetrable to our senses. An aspect of existence that we are cut off from. When we experience an object outside of ourselves, we do it through our perceptions. Thus we are at the mercy of any falsity that might arise in our apprehension of the data. Space and time are both concepts created by our arrangement of reality into a presupposition that allows operation. They are not external to our perceptions, we create them through differentiation. The conclusion of these assertions is that we are seeing reality through a veil. There is certain things about the "outside" world we are completely denied knowledge of. This, as usual, is a subject i am still educating myself on. The implications and applications of the concept are wide spread i know. Ranging from the nature of metaphysics to our capacity to make a value assertion.(which to me is much the same thing)

It seems that most proceeding philosophy is a reaction to this seemingly undeniable assertion. It is a problem in that we can find no place for truth in an environment like that. No matter how me look for it, if there is something unapproachable/inconceivable to reality how can we establish ultimate truth? If God is unknowable how can we gauge value? Many approaches have been attempted varying from trying to find meaning from within this seeming meaninglessness(without trying to look beyond what we can know), to ignoring the question altogether.

I think it is a question that plagues modernity in general, and is an epidemic for the thoughtful. How can we find self identity, if we can't identify an ultimate truth? The sad fact is there's no good answer to this. There's an infinitude of ways we can approach (and possibly solve) this problem, so the question becomes which way is best for ME? This is something i find myself coming back to again and again. so instead of restating what i always say, perhaps we can look past my typical point of learning to validate personal experience. Instead to realize that perceived validation or lack there of, has no impact on the value or our experience. they are what they are, no matter how we label them. That unknowable kernel operates outside our perceptions and thus any concept we could place on it would simply fall short. Whatever intrinsic value experience seems to have, by nature of it's existence outside our comprehension, perhaps we can learn to intuit and appreciate it, instead of trying to impose mental boundaries upon it.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Rumi

In your light I learn how to love. In your beauty, how to make poems. You dance inside my chest, where no one sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art.

QUIETNESS Inside this new love, die. Your way begins on the other side. Become the sky. Take an axe to the prison wall. Escape. Walk out like someone suddenly born into color. Do it now. You're covered with thick cloud. Slide out the side. Die, and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign that you've died. Your old life was a frantic running from silence. The speechless full moon comes out now.

THE MUSIC For sixty years I have been forgetful, every minute, but not for a second has this flowing toward me stopped or slowed. I deserve nothing. Today i recognize that I am the guest that mystics talk about. I play this living music for my host. Everything today is for my host.

WEAN YOURSELF Little by little, wean yourself. This is the gist of what I have to say. From an embryo, whose nourishment comes in the blood, move to an infant drinking milk, to a child on solid food, to a searcher after wisdom, to a hunter of more invisible game. Think how it is to have a conversation with an embryo. You might say, "The world outside is vast and intricate. There are wheatfields and mountain passes, and orchards in bloom. At night there are millions of galaxies, and in sunlight the beauty of friends dancing at a wedding." You aks the embryo why he, or she, stays cooped up in the dark with eyes closed. Listen to the answer. There is no "other world" I only know what I've experienced. You must be hallucinating.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Blogging as Meditation

I'm having some trouble maintaining my momentum on this blog. I don't think it's a permanent thing, but i've just poured so many ideas out all at once, basically. I believe now that i've integrated this blog into my personality and began to learn from it and grow with it. Once i've read more and thought more, then i'll have more to say.

The process of forming ideas and patterns is still very internal for me, and mostly hidden at that. But i can see how Blogging has augmented that significantly, however, my ego wants retreat to regroup and understand it's new self and go through the solely internal process of forming new structures around that experience and then re approaching reality.

I would propose instead to teach myself a new way to explore my depths. I think that communal confirmation is an important, if not the singular, concept to truth. When we blog we are presenting ourselves to the public. Even if that's not our intent, we are still opening ourselves to that possibility. No matter how much you may intend for that not to be an object, on a fundamental level, it still is. So integration of internal unfolding with blogging as the medium, would dictate as certain honesty with ones self. "Ok this is what i believe, now that i've written it down, are other people going to see my logic?" If we can maintain an honest dialogue with ourselves as we do this, then we will bring to light many problems with our confined perspective, and hopefully transcend them

Also Blogging as an art form has great potential for expression. As we report on something, pull an idea together, or simply line up our day to day events we are engaging in the process of creation. Thus far i've put that into two categories for myself: Creating the blog as an independant entity, with self contained ideas and narration, to be taken without consideration of the individual creating it. This i believe focuses us on clarifying our ideas away from our egos, letting them develop within their own space.Also we can fully attach our egos to blogging and project our experiences and emotions and opinions into it. I believe this route also leads to higher level of personal development because as we examine our interaction, on a personal level, with the Blogosphere we begin to objectify that as well. For those inclined to blog, we are given a strong impetus to be creative and present something of substance. As we do this i believe, of course, we are tapping into the divine. Allowing it to manifest through us, in much the same way as an artist. We are acting on a higher energy plane and this will give us the momentum to continue our personal and communal evolution to it's ultimate fulfillment.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Benedict XVI

Today i shall talk about what everyone else seems to be.

The pope, great! It really surprise me to hear so much negativity about something that's potentially such a good thing. I don't know or care to know about the pope and who he is. Just not my interest, i am interested in the outcome though. Seems to me that everyone is already casting stones and the fellow has barely got that huge ridiculous hat on. Can we at least let him make his first immaculate mistake before we decide he's actually the anti-christ. CNN has been running a story basically refuting claims that he is a Nazi sympathizer. This is because being german, and old, the pope was in the Hitler Youth and also served the German army in WW2. I have to tell you this, neither of those things makes him a Nazi.

The world is going through so much change right now, obviously this is going to have major ramifications on Tradition. As people evolve and develop into higher states of mind we let go of our past prejudices and ignorance and embrace a new more holistic paradigm. An entity such as the Church will not long survive (in any real sense) if it doesn't grow and change with the world. You can't have a church still refusing to admit the world is round. Obviously that particular example is something our previous friendly neighborhood pope took care of "hey world...yeah we're um, coming outta the middle ages now...yeah for real"

But simple apologies aren't enough. With a growing percent of believers no longer being properly described by that term, something is in obvious need of change. The church hopefully will begin to express some more advanced ideas about divine union and the like, of course that's a long hard road, even today, but one they're going to have to go down. Basically more than anything they need to admit the nature of reality and stake a place for themselves within that context. "Sure Jesus' wasn't actually THE savior, really more like one among thousands, in fact we're not even sure if he meant to be anything more than a cult leader. But hey, he was a nice guy and we've got a bunch of really old pretty buildings, so come see our funny hats"

That kind of stance of course isn't going to happen, but what i'm saying is that you can acknowledge the nature of truth and still find meaning within the context of a dogma. I believe if the church could simply take that stand, and deal with all the difficult changes that would bring, then something unparalleled in beauty could grow out of a religion like christianity. With it's selfless love, and personal communion with god and membership within the godhead through christ's sacrifice, imagine if christians grew to see that we are ALL brothers and sisters. What kind of heavenly kingdom might dawn then?

What i'm trying to convey is that just because the church is a huge cumbersome organization that is very outdated and steeped in mythic imagery doesn't mean it can't catch up. As far as the pope goes, he's only one man, let's give him a chance, and hope for the best. If everyone is negative from the outset, how is that going to set the stage for him? If everyone is positive and receptive, what might he be inspired to do seeing a world ripe for change?

Monday, April 18, 2005

Thoughts on Jung & Wilber

Still slowly working my way through "Sex, Ecology, and Spirituality" by Wilber (of course), so as to feel truly learned on the subject.

Before he starts into part 2 of the book, at one point he goes over the ideas of Archetypes associated with people like Jung and Joseph Campbell. Before i discovered Wilber both of these individuals were very informative for me. I appreciate there idea of the deep layers of subconscious where archetypes arise, and the ways in which we are constituted by/interact with and how those are a gateway to the divine.

As per normal, i'm not incredibly educated on the subject, but no worries i fully intend to talk about it anyway, in the true american style. :)

Wilber says that our connection with the archetypal figures is something that occurs on the mythic stage of development, and while at that point it was the collective vision of the divine, is not actually connected to the transpersonal. I can see what Wilber is saying here, but this is one point i don't completely agree with. Of course, one tends to feel kinda foolish even debating a point of Wilbers, just because of his extreme erudition, so if anyone understands why i'm wrong please let me know.

It think perhaps the structure of the tibetan pantheon integrated into their tantric practices would serve as a good example of why i disagree. It seems to me that while Wilbur is correct in his assessment that those archetypes exist down on mythic level, they are a form, however deluded, of the transpersonal and thus can serve as a gateway into the transpersonal. Perhaps this is analogous to the way that dancing can induce ecstatic states.

In tantric practice one takes the ideal form of a diety and projects that into existence and then attempts to embody those ideals. Of course alot of those monks have the literal belief in the deities mythic existence as well. So via there belief in the ideal they are able to transcend themselves.

Wilber may very well account for that, and he's simply stating that connecting to these archetypes is not THE way to transpersonal, but after reading it over, i couldn't get past what seemed like a dismissal of this ideas importance.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

The "Root" of Sound

I've been talking about music recently and it's caused me to start turning certain ideas over in my mind, shall we discuss them? Good, i'm glad we're in agreement.

In Tantra and more specific to my point in Mantra the idea of Root syllables or Root sounds are central. This is not something i've explored in great depth, but the idea seems to have a good bit of credence to it.

The idea states that all sound or thought (all of the All) come from more fundamental aspects or roots. Think of it like this as the universe unfolds from it's allness into the manyness it has to add on more and more layers to continue the process of differentiation. The implications of this being that these root forms are closer to the source and thus contain a certain amount of power, if you will.

In meditative practices such as tantra visualization or mantra one utilizes these roots to bring about an effect, primarily being transpersonal experience. I think this connection between reality and root forms might point to some more subtle implications. The sufis believe music to be of the most divine origins, for this very reason. The vibrations of the universe are embodied in the symbolic vibrations we create in music, and thus invoke to some extent the divine "presence".

Obviously a philosophy like this is esoteric, and probably not of much use in day to day life, but i do think it has implications that extend that far. It's safe to say that 99% of everyone listens to music, and the music has an impact on their moods and thoughts. Perhaps a musician who understands the nature of these root forms can bring that to the forefront in their presentation, and thus engineer a deeper experience for the listener.

I think one of the more valuable implications of this idea is the nature of the sacred. According to this both root thoughts (syllables) and root sounds are very close to the Source, and thus contain a large aspect of the divine. To an individual our thoughts don't really have a specific connotation overall. Meaning they are what they are, which ranges from sacred and deep to profane and trite. What we don't realize is that range of connotation is imposed by us, as our thoughts become more confined to the ego they become more convoluted and more confining. When we have a bad thought, it's bad because we make it so. Our thoughts are inherently sacred. Think about the first word, in that one, first, meaningful utterance the entire universe was crossed. We go from isolated to connected in the span of to be.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

The freeing of the mind in Cyberspace

It seems to me that as technology develops into cyberspace and our interactions with it quickly evolve and deepen we free our thoughts/values/symbols of our "real world" interactions. What i think this means is not totally clear :) The essence of it though revolves around our capacity to transcend the traditions and behavior/thought patterns we have developed.

Perhaps as we grow to identify our ego with the blogosphere it will bloom into something much richer and deeper. A gateway to the divine, a tool for self/communal exploration, a new unique dimension of being, alive it it's own right. A free sharing of information and a exponential increase in medium by which to transmit information and experience.

Now in the more immediate perspective... Perhaps as we all begin to share ideas via blog we can purify or distill our symbols, leaving our defenses and prejudices in the "real world" I believe if all of us thought about that for a year as we poked our noses around the internet something truly wonderful would emerge...What am i talking about? That's already happening.

More erudite than i...

This person posted something along the lines of my "Is Consciousness The New Evolutionary Drive?" and expressed the idea much better :)

Finding Cultural Value in Modern America

America can seem like a pretty shallow place, and in a lot of ways it is. However, I think that if properly oriented there is much value to be found.

On the surface you see Capitalism and Consumerism have run rampant, infecting the lives of all americans. When was the last time you had a meal that wasn't sealed in plastic first? (counting restaurants?, then you haven't worked in one) One might think that's an arbitrary thing to complain about. Who says wrapping food in plastic is bad? Well it's good if you need to stockpile, and it's convenient. There are many more drawbacks though. If you freeze food it looses much of it's nutritional value. Anything coming from a corporation has been altered and augmented either chemically or genetically for higher production and sales (not health)

Take a look at the american people *cringe* what does one see? I see well meaning people who are really fucked in the head, to make a broad generalization. We are so cramped for time and personal space that most of us are on the verge of snapping (or maybe that's just me) We are bombarded with stimuli whether it be radio commercials, billboards, tv commercials, movie commercials (my personal favorite, I stopped watching tv because of the damned things, do I have to stop going to the movies too?) Internet commercials or just plain ole commercials... how about those jingles you get stuck in your head? "my bologna has a first name it's S-A-T-A-N"

Most americans are overweight, a lot of them have high blood pressure, and alchoholism is worse here than anywhere else. It seems like more people in america are on anti-depressants than are not. A lot of people, especially gen x and beyond, come from broken families. Which I guess stems from our lack of personal commitment and values, not to mention how much sex is sold here. Why look at my wife, who by the way has put on a few pounds, when I can look at Jennifer Lopez? (everyone wants a slut (just to lay my opinion of "j-lo" on the table))

Ok, enough america bashing, let's get to the positive stuff. Obviously there is a reason things are like this, and there's a solution (if we're willing to find it) The primary reason would be that modern culture is still in shock over the worldcentric shift in values. Now that we have so much we're exposed to, so much information, so many paradigms, so many distractions, where does one orient themselves? Within what context? That seems negative, but perhaps a more accurate assessment of that fact would be twofold: it's a challenge for us to develop as individuals, and it gives us a tabula rasa.

While americans have plenty of their own trappings, most of them are shallow enough to be easily shed given some determination. What better way to reorient oneself within a new worldview than by having no other option? One who doesn't have the benefit of a solid foundation laid down by their culture. Is it coincidence that Ken Wilber, one of the first to identify our need for integration and reevaluation, is an american?

The other main thing americans have going for them in the integration race is our common diversity, our extreme multiplicity. We ARE the melting pot... we don't just have to come to terms with it, we have to BE it. Also because of this diversity along with our priveledged status and ease of lifestyle there has been a great expansion of possible relationships and associations, along with possible interests and values. Basically we have everything at our fingertips, all the possibility in the world. I spoke in my last post about infinite diversity and infinite possibilities being the goal of evolution/spirit. That's us.

So to conclude I would say that while we have a rough time ahead of us, we're well equipped to handle it (if we so choose) In my previous years i've felt very alienated from the american people, like I don't belong here... then I realized for that exact reason I do belong :) We may be a disfunctional family, with an abusive father even, but we still need to love each other just the same. Love heals all wounds, I say.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Is Consciousness The New Evolutionary Drive?

A major point of interest for me is the idea of the evolution of the Kosmos. We can clearly see that reality is always moving forward. Each new emergent bringing something unique into existence and is always becoming more complex or developing more depth. What really puts evolution in perspective for me is considering the fact that we are at it's peak. Which means, whatever may come after, right now we're the best thing since sliced bread.

A few complications come into the picture with the emergence of self-awareness. Mainly once we can alter our environment on a greater scale, evolution doesn't really have it's basis in biological determinants. For a lot of individuals, operating on the rational level, that's where evolution stops. I think this is a pretty uninformed perspective to take, based on an assumption that evolution is confined the the mechanistic aspect of reality.

I believe that the Kosmos will continue to refine and deepen it's own capacity for existence. We, conscious beings, are really the first major step toward a realized self existence for the Kosmos. Assuming diversity is the goal, we are just now getting to a point in history where each individual can potentially act in a unique, self realized fashion.

Now that the Kosmos has achieved self awareness via our confined perceptions, the next step assumedly would be our complete integration into the Kosmos through transcendence of the ego. It's interesting that Self awareness has come about through the deepening of the individual. Now that each of us are individuated to the point that we can perceive ourselves against the gestalt of the rest of the universe; we can go on to include those things within our identity. Which of course would allow a greater depth of consciousness for the Kosmos. Eventually as we include more and more as a part of "ourselves" we will reach a point of infinite diversity and infinite potential, and that would be the ultimate goal of evolution.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

AQAL Model of Reality

I posted this on another blog, but i'm not pursuing that idea now.

I would like to start out by saying that this is simply for my own referance if you want to really understand this then go to the source don't trust my information. But if you're someone out there just trying to get it all straight and you've read wilber yourself i hope this helps

The primary basis of Wilber's integral philosophy is his AQAL map of reality All Quandrant, All Level.

The Basic idea is that reality is constitued of 4 irreducable aspects. first you can devide the map in half left and right. The left representing the internal aspects of a given system or holon as wilber referrs to them. The right representing the outside or empircal aspect of a system. Once that distinction is made you again devide those halves into upper and lower quadrants. Upper represents the individual both internally and externally. Lower represents the collective internally and externally.

The reason that it is important to devide any given system up like this is because to represent it in it's entirety then you must account for all these aspects of it's existance. This system allows for one to account for these different aspects of existance without getting the speciifics tangled into each other. According to this model that is something one must not do, no aspect of a holon is reducible to another, that is essential.

It is important to address the meaning of all quadrant and all level. By all quadrant as i've explained we are referring to the irreducibility of each aspect of reality. You cannot use empirical observation to explain the internal components of a system eg. a human experiencing emotions or the meaning of the hoppi rain dance (to use a Wilber example) for the upper left and lower left respectively. One very interesting fact that turns up when you outline things in this way is the corresponding levels of each quadrant. For each level, if you look at the comparable level in the other quadrants you will see a very simaler development within it's own context. there is a part of the brain (UR) that correlates to each level of conscious development(UL) and there is a world view (LL) corresponding to each phase of techno-economic growth (LR)

To explain the all level aspect you must understand that all systems progress through development in a linear fashion overall. Not to say that there's not fluid movement up and down the scale depending the the various stimuli and the specifics of that system. Each level transcends and includes all the previous levels. Which means that anyone at the rational level of conscious development must have transcended all the previous levels such as magical and mythic levels. So someone at the rational level of consciousness would be able to incorporate and understand all the information revealed from the lower states of understanding into a more comprehensive model at the rational level. But it transcends in that you are given a new system within which to operate, so it has a creative emergence at each stage of transcendece. Stated more simply as the progression from level to level occurs something new is always added to the whole.

So that is my best attempt at a summary of this AQAL model. Refer to the title link for an image of the AQAL map and a much better summary

Saturday, April 09, 2005

E-Brain

Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence is a thought provoking movie. I'm not a big anime fan so i've not totally explored the universe, there's manga and a series for this universe, and i'm told the author is quite brilliant. So, this idea may not be singular to the movie, but in my opinion is central to it. The movies spends alot of time exploring the nature and possibilites revolving around this concept.

The basic idea is that all humans are hard wired to thier own personal electronic domain or e-brain. It contains a library of information, the movie implies that people keep quotes or words and various text or files booted into thier active memory to suppliment thier own vocabulary and information available. It goes on to show you that most people's perception of the "outside world" is determined not only by our natural means but also the data being loaded into our e-brains. When one enters a particular domain in the real world you're active memory loads up any associated programs with it. Many complications ensue of course involving viruses and hackers. I highly recommend this movie

Now I would like to explore some real life parralels and possibilities. First and foremost i would point to the "blogosphere" as having major simalarities. It seems that people are using the blogosphere as a way to express and reflect upon personal experience and relivent information through posting, and as a major point of referance by viewing, and relation, communion, peer to peer evaluation by commenting/posting. So, in alot of ways it's like this huge mental extension of yourself that overlaps with the same kind of projection everyone else who is doing this has. Although i'm trying to make a serious effort to actually create information or at least referances; my main interest in the blogosphere, or the digital domain in general is for referance/informative purposes.

Which brings me to a few other points to make. The internet in general i think really falls into the category of "e-brain" but the internet itself is almost it's own entity, because of marketing and various uses and neccessities it creates. While the blogosphere is much more personal and almost "tangible" in alot of ways. One thing i'm finding very valuable is google's G-mail. This program seems to revolutionize email potential and because of it's very good labeling/archiving system offered as an alternative to folders i've been inclined to use it as my own referance library. Typically any post i put up i send a copy of it to myself and label it post, archive it, and there they are under one heading. I've made a documents for myself where i send any lists i wanna keep any interviews or articles i read that i want a copy of. I've got several other things going like a link library that i keep adding to.

A last point i would like to make is that to me this seems to be a very logical progression for what's to come. I say that because it seems to me that has always been the nature of Man's reality. There's a long list of associations that we cling to and identify with as an aspect of ourselves. I don't think that's exactly a bad thing, although i do think it's neccessary to reach a level above that and be able to act upon that fact from a removed perspective. This idea of e-brain though i think is very simaler to what man experiences if he owns a personal library or keeps a journal and then on the next level has a PC or a laptop or some of the newer cell phones or a palm pilot etc. I, for one, can see it happening...sounds like fun even!

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Value of Visualization for Modern Society

I wanted to just make a point here briefly that was brought to my attention by a friend and mentor.

In the realm of spiritual discipline one has to weigh the benefits of your chosen practice against the effort exerted to go through the process. I think that this should be a real concern for people in today's reality. We don't have to much time on our hands, or simply don't know how to make the extra time we need.

When I sit down to meditate my mind is always racing with dozens of thoughts every few seconds. So considering all the stuff up there that doesn't so easily subside, it's necessary for me to invest some time in getting my mind to quiet. In all honesty, if I sit down for 30 min, then i'm most of the way through my allotted time before I can actually rest in the moment.

Now I know that with time it would become easier, but when I don't make enough time for myself to meditate anyway, and I spend most of that time struggling against my own barriers, it's discouraging. So my next question should be: what can I do to make it easier on myself?

And this is the best answer i've come across. If a person has a slow pace of life, say they live in the country and spend most of their free time on the porch listening to cicadas then they obviously don't have quite as busy a mind as someone who spends all day reading, and talking, and receiving vast amounts of unwanted stimuli from the people around them and running to and fro trying to get all their s**t done in a timely fashion.

So naturally it's going to be easier for the person in the country to slow down there mind, and they probably would take quite well to mindfulness meditations where one sits and watches moment to moment experience come and go. Now someone who is used to putting their mind to use constantly would take quite naturally to a mental task. I think that would be because it gives the mind something more "tangible" to grab hold of. Of course you're thinking that defeats the purpose, but that's not entirely true. One can bring about many states of consciousness through visualization.

So perhaps if you're like me and have trouble slowing down your mind then you can put it to good use instead. Though i'm not experienced enough to really judge for myself the value and difference of those variant approaches, it is something that has thus far seemed beneficial.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

It's Just a Ride

The world is like a ride at an amusement park. And when you choose to go on it, you think that it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. And the ride goes up and down and round and round. It has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly coloured, and it's very loud and it's fun, for a while. Some people have been on the ride for a long time, and they begin to question - is this real, or is this just a ride? And other people have remembered, and they come back to us. They say 'Hey! Don't worry, don't be afraid, ever, because, this is just a ride.' And we...kill those people. Ha ha ha. 'Shut him up! We have a lot invested in this ride. SHUT HIM UP! Look at my furrows of worry. Look at my big bank account and family. This just has to be real.'

It's just a ride. But we always kill those good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok. But it doesn't matter because: it's just a ride. And we can change it anytime we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings, and money. A choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourselves off. The eyes of love, instead, see all of us as one. Here's what you can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money that we spend on weapons and defence each year, and instead spend it feeding, clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, for ever, in peace.

    -Bill Hicks

Monday, April 04, 2005

Buddhist Quote

If the seeker himself, when sought, cannot be found, thereupon is attained the goal of seeking and also the end of the search itself -Phadmasambhava