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Old 02-16-2017   #41
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Re: The Supernatural

Just to be clear, precisely the argument in question changed my entire worldview. As recently as 2013, I remember arguing for subjectivism. Scrutinising the above argument, in conversation and writing, and actually engaging with the argument, led me to realise that to argue for the truth of subjectivism was an absurdity. I gave it up and the world now looks really quite different to me.

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 02-16-2017   #42
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Re: The Supernatural

Sounds pretty cliche at this point, but people who are innately convinced of an objectively comprehensible external reality just really haven't done enough drugs yet (or perhaps enough zazen). Cannot stress enough that this is an area that requires personal experience rather than intellection.

Note that I am not asserting the existence of God; neither am I claiming "the self" or mind are not real (or that scientific laws aren't real). I'm just stating that our hold on basic ontology is a lot shakier than we'd like to believe.

I'm sure something like 95% of the human race lives and dies without confronting anything like a directly experienced ontological challenge or shakeup, which means we don't really have a good way of describing it. It's sort of like experiencing an alteration of gravity - since so few humans ever do, we don't have much vocabulary to discuss it.

Think this kind of thing is much more interesting than the "Priest made a deal with the Devil and now must face the consequences!" or "The serial killer didn't really die, watch out for his GHOST!" idea of 'the supernatural' that most people have.
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Old 02-16-2017   #43
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Re: The Supernatural

I think at this stage in my life that I would much, generally speaking of course, rather read a piece of old theology than about a supposedly spiritual drug experience, and I'm a generally pro-drugs person who thinks everybody should have a go. As I have said before, I think this is due to me having too many Grant Morrison hipster broccultist (I am insufferably proud of this term) friends, so this stuff is actually more tiresomely marketable for me individually and less likely to expand my consciousness than 19th century fiction cliches or monotheist homilies.

'I believe in what the Germans term Ehrfurcht: reverence for things one cannot understand.'
― Robert Aickman, An Essay
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Old 02-16-2017   #44
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Re: The Supernatural

Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
Sounds pretty cliche at this point, but people who are innately convinced of an objectively comprehensible external reality just really haven't done enough drugs yet (or perhaps enough zazen). Cannot stress enough that this is an area that requires personal experience rather than intellection.

Note that I am not asserting the existence of God; neither am I claiming "the self" or mind are not real (or that scientific laws aren't real). I'm just stating that our hold on basic ontology is a lot shakier than we'd like to believe.

I'm sure something like 95% of the human race lives and dies without confronting anything like a directly experienced ontological challenge or shakeup, which means we don't really have a good way of describing it. It's sort of like experiencing an alteration of gravity - since so few humans ever do, we don't have much vocabulary to discuss it.

Think this kind of thing is much more interesting than the "Priest made a deal with the Devil and now must face the consequences!" or "The serial killer didn't really die, watch out for his GHOST!" idea of 'the supernatural' that most people have.
I don't know how much this applies to me, as I certainly wouldn't call myself innately convinced of anything ('innately' is certainly wrong and 'convinced' might or might not be too strong), but for me, simply discovering the self-defeating nature of subjectivism as I had embraced it meant the realisation that there is a world to explore. That is, I didn't make the leap (as I have seen some people do): "Subjectivism is self-defeating. Therefore something is objective. Therefore I know everything."

On the contrary, it was the beginning of the real discovery of my own ignorance.

Also, "subjectivism" might be misleading here, as the existence of the subject can easily be described as objective in some sense.

"As the Director of one of the five greatest museums in our Eastern States has more than once remarked to me, From the Stone Age until now, what a decline!" - Ananda Coomaraswamy
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Old 02-16-2017   #45
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Re: The Supernatural

Quote Originally Posted by Justin Isis View Post
Sounds pretty cliche at this point, but people who are innately convinced of an objectively comprehensible external reality just really haven't done enough drugs yet (or perhaps enough zazen). Cannot stress enough that this is an area that requires personal experience rather than intellection.

Note that I am not asserting the existence of God; neither am I claiming "the self" or mind are not real (or that scientific laws aren't real). I'm just stating that our hold on basic ontology is a lot shakier than we'd like to believe.

I'm sure something like 95% of the human race lives and dies without confronting anything like a directly experienced ontological challenge or shakeup, which means we don't really have a good way of describing it. It's sort of like experiencing an alteration of gravity - since so few humans ever do, we don't have much vocabulary to discuss it.

Think this kind of thing is much more interesting than the "Priest made a deal with the Devil and now must face the consequences!" or "The serial killer didn't really die, watch out for his GHOST!" idea of 'the supernatural' that most people have.
Perhaps you are already on record about it here, or somewhere, mr. Isis, but this makes me curious what you think of Phil Dick's Valis. I don't remember anything explicitly supernatural occurring in it, but it should be able to uproot more preconceptions about reality than all the eldritch unspeakables from unfathomable Lovecraftian abbysses together. & what of Burroughs's Nova Express trilogy?

"What can a thing do with a thing, when it is a thing?"
-Shaykh Ibn Al 'Arabi
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Old 02-17-2017   #46
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Re: The Supernatural

Quote Originally Posted by James View Post
I think at this stage in my life that I would much, generally speaking of course, rather read a piece of old theology than about a supposedly spiritual drug experience, and I'm a generally pro-drugs person who thinks everybody should have a go.
Didn't say read about, I said directly experience. Also, I think there's something to be said for the Terence McKenna idea that you have to do more drugs than most people are willing to do before you really encounter anything like "spiritual problems with reality." There are a number of barriers to entry for this, such as criminality and the fact that most people are not going to be down for "time your final massive DPT hit while at the peak of your AL-LAD + cannabis trip" or "do ketamine every day for years in an isolation tank." Mithras regularly appearing in your room will be the least of your worries.

Similarly, most people are not in a hurry to experience Clive Wearing-style brain damage, or a grand mal seizure that might put them in touch with God.

You could argue that everything in this arena is a delusion or malfunction of the brain, but the same could be said of Christian mysticism, or the fact that we perceive continuous time and discrete objects at all.

Quote Originally Posted by Ibrahim View Post
Perhaps you are already on record about it here, or somewhere, mr. Isis, but this makes me curious what you think of Phil Dick's Valis. I don't remember anything explicitly supernatural occurring in it, but it should be able to uproot more preconceptions about reality than all the eldritch unspeakables from unfathomable Lovecraftian abbysses together. & what of Burroughs's Nova Express trilogy?
VALIS is my favorite PKD book, as the Nova Trilogy is my favorite Burroughs work.

There are a lot of ways PKD could be "explained away." Yes, he did a lot of drugs, and was possibly schizophrenic. But whatever the case, he clearly made contact with a region of consciousness that most people don't have contact with. I'm inclined to believe he really did access some kind of transcendent reality, even though I don't know what it might have been.

The conventional answer is that PKD's Empire that Never Ended, the discorporeal Nova Criminals in Burroughs, and the other highly intelligent and controlling entities that others have experienced are merely metaphors for parts of the human mind. Sounds good on paper, but I'm not so sure.
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Old 02-17-2017   #47
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Re: The Supernatural

Now that the subject of drugs has been brought to the open, this is the moment where I rant about being interested in trying DMT or LSD, but not knowing any secure contacts to get in touch with said substances, and even if I did, I know of no one who would be interesting in being a sitter for me while I shoot blanks in the dark.

As Justin said; direct experience is the only true way to have a glimpse at these things, for they are personal. There are multiple ways to get in touch with these realms, varying in degree of complexity, speed and pain. Starve for a week with no sleep and you will probably experience something; then you'd have to comb between the body's own hallucinations and the actual psychic experience.

Not just legality (in the case of drugs) or fear of permanent bodily/mental damage get in the way. There is a rich tradition warning about attempting contact with what's on the other side as well, not because Satan will snap your soul, but because your sanity may just be burned down.

Anyway, people die...
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I am simply an accident. Why take it all so seriously?
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Old 02-17-2017   #48
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Re: The Supernatural

Quote Originally Posted by Karnos View Post
DMT or LSD
These two are friends and are definitely the ultimate "opener of the way" when used together - the acid removes gravity and then the tryptamine blasts you offworld. That said, you really need experience with them both individually beforehand. Then, once the DMT has ruined your life, you can think about doing it while on acid. And the first time you try to combine them will likely result in you coming up on the acid and then your friend trying to force the pipe into your mouth while you stare at him in horror.

"That...that thing?! Now?! NO!!!"

“You said force it on you. You said.”

“Oh God no that can’t happen now. Not now, oh my God…”

LSD is easy to activate in your body provided you have it, but DMT is fairly difficult. Most people don't do it right and you really need someone who knows what they're doing to show you how to do it. Even stoner/hippie-looking types often think they've done it when they haven’t done it correctly. If you mess it up, not much happens. If you do it correctly…a lot happens. Probably too much.
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Old 02-17-2017   #49
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Re: The Supernatural

LSD? I guess I'm pretty dull. My preferred substance is alcohol, even though I hate it with a passion. I should've done other drugs aside from marijuana when I was younger.

"In a less scientific age, he would have been a devil-worshipper, a partaker in the abominations of the Black Mass; or would have given himself to the study and practice of sorcery. His was a religious soul that had failed to find good in the scheme of things; and lacking it, was impelled to make of evil itself an object of secret reverence."

~ Clark Ashton Smith, "The Devotee of Evil"
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Old 02-17-2017   #50
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Re: The Supernatural

I used to be highly critical of those who took drugs. I never understood the allure. Then I got injured once and was given Oxycodone for the pain. Then I got it. I fully understand now.

"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H. P. Lovecraft
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