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Fun with Hitchens


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#101 shiftingshadows

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Posted 08 April 2022 - 01:19 PM

There is unfortunately hundreds or thousands of years of abuse of women seemingly world wide.

I'm thinking of foot binding in China, genital mutilation in Africa, and the revolting Arabs and Mormons.

And generally a lot of male only primitive tribal societies, and mistreatment due to silly beliefs about menstruation.

And generally unequal, pay probably most everywhere, still these days.

 

The modern "liberation" of women so that they can join the military forces in the USA,

I consider just another pointless folly.

 

There are enough weird sexual goings on in the animal kingdom to make one wonder,

if homo sapiens males don't belong to to the club of aberrations.

 

Praying mantises & spiders where the male often gets eaten after mating.

Species where males fight to the death to get to mate.

The octopus which dies after giving birth once.

Species where males harass females: whales and Chimpanzees.

The Duck's penis. (This one is so weird I won't give details here, if interested the data can be easily found).

The male peacock's tail.

Hermaphrodite species.

Species where only the alpha males get to mate: wolves.

Species where males kill infants, when they take over a pride: lions etc.

etc.

 

Seems nature quite often doesn't play very nicely.

 

There is no reason what-so-ever to consider homo sapiens the pinnacle of evolution,

or even an ideal solution in its environments.

In the evolutionary time scale, we are but an exceedingly brief experiment.

It may be well to remember the cockroach is a much more time tested model,

 

"It is suggested that, compared with the cockroach, humans may be 'a passing evolutionary novelty'.

The cockroach has been on Earth for 250-300 million years,

and modern cockroaches are more similar to their ancient fossil ancestors than any other insect in existence today.

In contrast, Homo sapiens first appeared around 100,000 years ago."

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=cockroach+vs+human&va=b&t=hr&ia=web


Edited by shiftingshadows, 08 April 2022 - 01:44 PM.

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#102 TVCasualty

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Posted 08 April 2022 - 02:24 PM

There is unfortunately hundreds or thousands of years of abuse of women seemingly world wide.

 

 

I strongly suspect that that is not quite the case.

 

From my reading of ancient (pre)history, I get the impression that overtly-patriarchal societies only emerged once we began to settle down and transition from advanced hunter-gatherers to pastoralists and agrarians.

 

I'm sure there was plenty of physical abuse directed by males towards females throughout our species' history (and before) but IMO that is not the same as living under a cultural model that explicitly declares women and girls to be inherently inferior to men and boys and then acts accordingly (even codifying their misogyny into that newfangled thing called "law") for the past 10-15,000 years or so. But this is mostly speculation, albeit somewhat informed.

 

I suspect that male violence towards females was as bad as it is among chimpanzees today back when we first became what we'd consider "modern humans." Back when we were beginners at hunting and gathering, as it were.

 

Then the violence probably lessened as we continued advancing and developing our humanness and did things like invent culture, discover and use psychedelics (which might have sparked the invention of "culture"), and learn to talk and write. Those are all deeply cooperative efforts not likely to have happened in the presence of "alpha" males like other primate species still have.

 

Our success as a species may well be a function of eliminating the "alpha" males among us, unlike other primates. Or so a very compelling argument about how we got here goes (link is to a Lex Fridman podcast clip). Granted, our "beta" males can be plenty bad enough, but with true alphas around we'd still be just another species of ape.

 

My guess is that there were probably a few tens of thousands of really good years of being human (for both males and females, generally speaking) back before we began to settle but after we "woke up" as human, at least judging by artifacts and imagery depicting concepts like the Sacred Feminine and fertility goddess figurines and such, among other evidence. Many ancient hunter-gatherer cultures produced vast amounts of intricate and beautiful art, which is not generally something that fearful, repressed, and stressed-out people do.

 

It's a tough thing to assess; was ancient Greece patriarchal? Sure seems so. The people in charge of the rituals of the Mysteries at Eleusis (arguably the foundational institution of Western civilization) were all women, which was a powerful and highly respected position to be in. But at the same time, women in ancient Greece couldn't vote or own land and generally had no real rights as we think of them. Most if not all civilizations or cultures have a similarly schizophrenic approach to women that is often a strange mix of reverence and derision.

 

But that's not really a surprise since cognitive dissonance appears to be a characteristic common to all human societies. Our minds therefore seem to have no trouble living in a world of glaring contradictions, so we do. And religion exploits the hell out of this phenomenon, so to speak.


Edited by TVCasualty, 08 April 2022 - 02:30 PM.


#103 Juthro

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Posted 08 April 2022 - 02:37 PM

To me, his post illustrated how as 'evolved' humans we judge the rest of the world with our self contrived moral's, while the rest of the world, as widely varied as it is, seems to accept the way things are. 

 

I'm not sure that's exactly what he was trying to illustrate, but that was what I came away with.



#104 shiftingshadows

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Posted 08 April 2022 - 06:02 PM

 

 


...Our success as a species may well be a function of eliminating the "alpha" males among us, unlike other primates. ...

 


Richard Wrangham makes that argument which he calls "self domestication", of course it was only effective as long as there was no law and police, and members of a tribe could murder the worst trouble makers.
The counter consideration is that the human being with the most (proven by DNA analysis) living descendants was Genghis Khan, precisely because he was the most prolific rapist ever. I suspect it is not the only example of extremely aggressive behavior being selected for.

Also of interest may be the case of the irish elk’s antlers

https://duckduckgo.c...mages&ia=images

“It is a giant extinct deer, the largest deer species ever, that stood up to seven feet at the shoulder (2.1 meters), with antlers spanning up to 12 feet (3.65 meters). The Irish elk evolved during the glacial periods of the last million years, during the Pleistocene Epoch.”

https://ucmp.berkele...o/irishelk.html
“Whichever is the case, sexual selection is the most likely explanation for why the antlers of Megaloceros were so huge. The larger and stronger the antlers, the more successful in mating the male deer would be, and the more offspring he would have — offspring which could inherit parental genes for large antlers.”

Probably the biological or energy cost of maintaining such weaponry, contributed to their extinction. The peacock’s tail is another example of sexual selection, perhaps heading in the direction of going overboard, into a realm that is self destructive.

.   Considering that most of the horrors of history, and most of the damage to the planet, has been orchestrated by the males of our species, I consider it a real possibility, that sexual selection, has lead to an excess of testosterone and aggression (partly fueled by an underlying fearfulness ) in the males of our species that has gone overboard, into a realm that is very self destructive.

.    There are many other examples of over the top unnecessary aggression in today's society from "professional" wrestling, boxing, American football, and cage fighting; all known to produce long term brain damage from repeated concussive trauma. Then we have body building, & an industry that can't crank out brutal movies fast enough and school shootings, the list of excess male aggression ((and uncontrolled folly ) remember it's to the point of brain damage), goes on and on.

.   I have no hope that things will get much better for women soon.

 

Evolution produces all sorts of less than ideal ’solutions’ and experiments, as all sorts of possible permutations play out.

some references

 

Demonic Males: Apes and the Origins of Human Violence by Dale Peterson (Author), Richard Wrangham (Author)

 

https://www.amazon.c...c_2_16_ts-doa-p

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature by Matt Ridley (Author)

https://duckduckgo.c...a=b&t=hr&ia=web

 

A Primate's Memoir: A Neuroscientist's Unconventional Life Among the Baboons 

by Robert M. Sapolsky


Edited by shiftingshadows, 08 April 2022 - 06:31 PM.


#105 TVCasualty

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Posted 10 April 2022 - 04:19 PM

I wonder how the Evangelical community feels about their faith being used as a source of data to mine in order to manipulate them with it?

 

There's  a documentary about it, of course:

 

[Direct Link]

 

I suspect that that sort of thing is how we get crap like the crazy "Jesus, Guns, and Babies" lady running for Governor in Georgia and somehow amassing enough money for that big campaign bus she's got even though she seems more like a parody of herself than a real person (she might be even crazier than MTG but it's real hard to tell).

 

So religion can be a scourge all by itself, or it can help facilitate related scourges that are a real pain in the ass to rational adults who don't hold delusional and nonsensical beliefs.

 

 



#106 TVCasualty

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Posted 07 May 2022 - 09:39 AM

Theocracy-creep is happening everywhere, it's only a matter of degree. Full-face veils are now being forced on women in Afghanistan:

 

 

Taliban officials described the decree as "advice" but laid out a specific set of escalating steps for anyone not complying:

  • In the first instance their home would be visited and their husband, brother or father would be talked to
  • In the second, their male guardian would be summoned to the ministry
  • In the third, the male guardian would be taken to court and could be jailed for three days

 

 

 

 

Here's a photo of women in Kabul casually becoming literate and tempting men into sin in the 1970's for some historic context:

 

6cc2c77ddedebebc000d18d0c7fb404b.jpg

 

The U.S. is no different, it's just at a slightly different stage of the process.

 

 

Women in Afghanistan ought to passively refuse to be enslaved and let the men who are enslaving them (actively or by not doing anything against it) go to jail just like women in the U.S. who are dating or married to men who are anti-choice should dump/divorce them immediately since a man who is in favor of banning abortion thinks he can go ahead and decide other things about what women can or cannot do with, or to, their own bodies; it's hard to say where the line will be drawn but make no mistake, women will not be allowed to draw it.

 

In case anyone isn't aware, the #1 cause of death for pregnant women in the U.S. is murder. I wonder who is doing all that murdering?

 

Hitchens was right about religion, obviously.

 

All of it. It's fucking poison, and we're all about to have to drink it again whether we want to or not. At least now that the gloves are coming off for real no one with a brain can credibly accuse me of being alarmist about the underlying agenda of these authoritarian ostentatiously-pious hypocrites.

 

The only saving grace in all this is that they are so backwards and willfully ignorant and innumerate that they are technically incapable of maintaining our modern, high-tech civilization. So they either won't dominate it for long since it will implode under their 'governance' even faster than it already is if they succeed or else rational, civilized people will finally wake the fuck up and actively stop the insanity.

 

 

 

 

On the bright side (for sexual predators and theocratic Fascists), this is becoming a Golden Age for incels, rapists, and assorted predatory sociopaths who always wanted children. Now a man can decide who the mother of his child will be regardless of her feelings about it!

 

So long as abortion is illegal even in cases of rape or incest then any rapey loser can make Kim Kardashian, or their own sister, his baby's momma (just gotta get past Kim's security!).

 



#107 shiftingshadows

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Posted 07 May 2022 - 01:32 PM

The root's of religion are fear and anxiety. It began as witchcraft, belief in many spirits, and rain dances, and shamen casting spells to kill enemies etc.

Only later with the early civilizations did it, with a priestly class become an instrument of state power,

as for example among the ancient Maya, Aztec, etc.

 

The same motivations are present in using the iching, palmistry, and astrology etc, even among the 'non-religious', IMO.

 

Even Issac Newton had an irrational side:

https://duckduckgo.c...a=b&t=hr&ia=web


 

So I don't think it's about to end. unfortunately.

 

How to deal with our anxieties, and vulnerabilities ( effectively and intelligently) is not part of western education.

Some seem to find a way thru various art forms, and possibly some thru, yoga, etc., & perhaps a few therapies.


Edited by shiftingshadows, 07 May 2022 - 02:58 PM.


#108 TVCasualty

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 10:54 AM

The root's of religion are fear and anxiety. It began as witchcraft, belief in many spirits, and rain dances, and shamen casting spells to kill enemies etc.

Only later with the early civilizations did it, with a priestly class become an instrument of state power,

as for example among the ancient Maya, Aztec, etc.


 

 

 

You should read The Immortality Key by Brian Muraresku. It's a mind-blower, and the scholarship is airtight.

 

It explores what appears to be the last time that religion was a net positive for civilization (in the sense that it help create and maintain civilization as we know it), though what we now think of as "religion" is just a hollowed out caricature of what the ancient Greeks were doing; the crackers and wine weren't always placebos. I suspect that exchanging the active sacraments for placebos (and all that that involved) is when the trouble with religion started.



#109 shiftingshadows

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 12:42 PM

I read this one long ago

Religion Explained: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Thought Paperback – by Pascal Boyer  
 
 
a review
 
"5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating stuff
Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2015
Verified Purchase
Fascinating stuff, now over 10 years old, about modularity of mind and how the nature of the brain/mind and evolutionary necessity has left us vulnerable to superstition. It is a long somewhat dense book. As an anthropologist he studied many cultures and found the main western view we have of religion isn't really typical. Much religion has more to do with ancestor worship, witches, and sacrifice to nature spirits, than what we typically think of as religion. Also referenced are many studies by cognitive psychologists about the human perception of agency. It is interesting enough to encourage one to learn more, about modularity and the brain. His claim is that some brain modules are in conflict, and in general not aware of each other. In particular the sight of a dead person, whom one has known, is claimed to produce a state of disassociation. This is an interesting theory and may account for some irrationality humans exhibit in regards to death.
What it does not cover, or account for, are those native peoples, who have an ethnobotanical and shamanistic tradition, such as the huichol, the Bwiti spiritual practice in West-Central Africa, the Native American Church, etc.
The most peculiar case are the ancient Maya who both used ethnobotanicals and had a very sadistic culture (with constant warfare, torture & human sacrifice), language, art, and a very elaborate religion and mythology.
So even Boyer's model of religion, (which he wisely defers from defining) which emphasizes superstition, does not account for some of the more interesting aspects of the subject.
As others have said the writing is very dense. Marvin Harris on the other hand is an anthropologist who is a delight to read."
 
.   So the case of the Maya, who both used psychedelics and were into war and torture, negates the romantic view that psychedelics always ensure positivity and compassion.
 
.   Likewise that "Much religion has more to do with ancestor worship, witches, [and using spells to kill or sicken enemies] and sacrifice to nature spirits, than what we typically think of as religion, negates the idea that primitive religion was always beautiful prior to civilization.
 
.   "Sacrifice to nature spirits" is often a euphemism for murdering virgins, children, animals, and captives; again negating the romantic view that primitive religion was always beautiful prior to civilization.
 
.   In modern times of course Charlie Manson, used psychedelics, and was into mind control and murder.
 
.   Seems to me folks with an agenda tend to slant the facts.
 
.   there seem to be many examples, and an audience, willing to pay for such productions:
 
The Psychedelic Gospels: The Secret History of Hallucinogens in Christianity Paperback – Illustrated, September 24, 2016
by Jerry B. Brown Ph.D.  (Author), Julie M. Brown M.A.  (Author)
 
Mushrooms and Mankind: The Impact of Mushrooms on Human Consciousness and Religion Paperback – May 22, 2003
by James Arthur (Author)
 
Mushrooms, Myth and Mithras: The Drug Cult that Civilized Europe Paperback – Illustrated, July 26, 2011
by Carl Ruck (Author), Mark Alwin Hoffman (Contributor), Jose Alfredo González Celdrán (Contributor)
 
The Holy Mushroom: Evidence of Mushrooms in Judeo-Christianity
by J. R. Irvin and Jack Herer | Sep 30, 2009

 

.    Seems similar to the academic anthropologists who make a living arguing about their theories, while an outsider can see that there is simply a lack of sufficient evidence to know, at this time, what the truth is. But there is an audience, willing to pay for theories that support what they want to believe, IMO

 

I like what Ajhan Brahm said:

"Is Buddhism a religion?

The answer is yes...

for tax purposes."


Edited by shiftingshadows, 13 May 2022 - 12:50 PM.


#110 shiftingshadows

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Posted 13 May 2022 - 07:45 PM

There is a joke that relates to a view, of an aspect of the issue,

that many of us share:

 

.   One day God and the devil were walking down the street together,
arguing about who was more powerful;
when a man ran down the street screaming: “There is a God, He is real, I have seen him…and so on…”
.   So God turns to the devil triumphantly, and says: “I’ve got the best of you now”.
.   But the devil just smiles, and says:
“That’s O.K., I will help him organize.”


#111 TVCasualty

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 11:52 AM

 

 

.    Seems similar to the academic anthropologists who make a living arguing about their theories, while an outsider can see that there is simply a lack of sufficient evidence to know, at this time, what the truth is. But there is an audience, willing to pay for theories that support what they want to believe, IMO

 

Muraresku gathered the evidence, which is what makes his book unique in the category. Granted, interpretations of that evidence can differ (to a point) but his are compelling to say the least.



#112 shiftingshadows

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Posted 15 May 2022 - 09:32 PM

I have no problem with the idea that psychedelics often help individuals.

And yes there are some examples, far away from our drug wars, of religions that involve psychedelic use:
The Use of Ayahuasca in Brazil by the Santo Daime Religion,
And of course the Huichol, the Bwiti spiritual practice (in West-Central Africa / Ibogaine),
& the Native American Church, are other examples, of religions that involve a psychedelic.

These people also live very hard lives, and, at least in the case of the Huichol, every thing they do,
tripping or not, is devoted to living in a sacred and appreciative and very disciplined manner.

And both the Native American, Sun Dance and Sweat Loge practices are grueling.

I doubt that most people are willing to make the sacrifices these ways of living involve.

I know of no religions I would want to join, in fact quite the opposite;
so I don't see the point of trying to whitewash religion by saying there was a golden age of religion long ago,
when everyone went to "be-Ins" and was always nice and kind.

. As i mentioned in the other thread, (with video) Bonobos are naturally more peaceful than Chimps, probably
due to how the random factors of climate affected food supply (and so on) and evolution.
. And our branch of the hominid tree ended up suffering the same factors that lead to Chimps' aggressiveness and brutality, with a similar result, which we see everywhere.
. So again I doubt those, who want to believe psychedelics are what made our brains so "wonderful".
Seems both our aggressiveness and our being the only hominid (out of many) that survived multiple extinction events (5 we know of), was largely due to random factors.
. But, it seems, we don't like these facts because they're not flattering and don't justify psychedelic use,

as it is hoped the theories about a wonderful ancient religion or their helping brain evolution would.


Edited by shiftingshadows, 15 May 2022 - 10:27 PM.


#113 TVCasualty

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Posted 19 May 2022 - 08:57 AM


I know of no religions I would want to join, in fact quite the opposite;
so I don't see the point of trying to whitewash religion by saying there was a golden age of religion long ago,
when everyone went to "be-Ins" and was always nice and kind.

 

 

 

I consider the rituals chronicled in The Immortality Key to be distinct from modern (a bit under 2000 years old, give or take) organized religion in the sense that they were intended to facilitate personal, direct experience.

 

That is the polar opposite of modern religion (any major extant form of it, at least) and thinking of those rituals as a "religion" is kind of like the debate about whether a virus is "alive" or not; yes, but also in some sense no.

 

Some things just defy tidy categorization, but when all is said and done it appears that the Mysteries of Eleusis helped people by creating the necessary social cohesion to allow civilization-as-we-know-it to exist at all. Modern religion is a pyramid-scheme of social/cultural dominance used for gaining and maintaining political power that may be responsible for (or at least greatly assist in) civilization's ultimate collapse.


Edited by TVCasualty, 19 May 2022 - 08:57 AM.


#114 shiftingshadows

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Posted 20 May 2022 - 11:30 AM

I suppose basically Muraresku is an optimist and I am a pessimist, so that on that account I feel dismissive:

 

I suppose basically Muraresku is an optimist, ( he expects Psychedelic therapy clinics will become a thing and save us all) *** 1

 

and I am a pessimist, as I think we are witnessing societal collapse, in slow motion in the US...

In particular a later(?) stage of decay of a corporate-capitalistic, military ***2  empire, that is overly leveraged in many respects.
(Roman society started to fall apart towards the end too.)

some signs are:

increasing mass shootings

diabetes epidemic

opioid epidemic

increased militarization of police

increasing wealth gap

political corruption on both sides

corruption on Wall Street

unfair tax system

privatization of prisons

huge prison population of non violent 'offenders'

a punitive model in prisons, rather than rehabilitation as in Sweden

no affordable health care for millions

poor health statistics, in comparison to other countries, and especially considering the USA is the wealthiest.

absurd preoccupation with gender & abortion issues

a poorly educated population ***3

large somewhat fanatical religious segments of the population

decaying infrastructure

popularity of sports known to cause brain injury

spying on citizens by both corporations & government

etc.

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=junkie+towns

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=homeless+in+america

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=decaying+cities%2C+USA

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=rust+belt+decaying+cities%2C+USA

 

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Poverty+in+the+USA

 

 

.   and I expect the collapse / decay will speed up in the USA, as global warming (and its many world wide) effects spread.

.   Then I expect a global decay of civilization, as in the present world all is interconnected.

 

-----------

footnotes

 

***2

Are we a military empire? in some ways?
What about assassination by drones, in countries we are not at war with?
What about outsourcing of torture?
And number of US military bases?
And the black budgets of the military: CIA, NSA, Pentagon etc.
The US has been continually involved in wars for decades, that accomplished little, except to profit the 'military industrial complex'.
 
Chalmers Johnson:
"A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can't be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship."
 

 

-------

 

***1   "Psychedelic therapy clinics will become a thing " at around 5 minutes in.

[Direct Link]

 

------------------

***3

Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History Hardcover – September 5, 2017
by Kurt Andersen 

"a new paradigm for understanding the post-factual present, in which reality and illusion are dangerously blurred. "

 

" NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The single most important explanation, and the fullest explanation, of how Donald Trump became president of the United States . . . nothing less than the most important book that I have read this year.”—Lawrence O’Donnell

How did we get here?
In this sweeping, eloquent history of America, Kurt Andersen shows that what’s happening in our country today—this post-factual, “fake news” moment we’re all living through—is not something new, but rather the ultimate expression of our national character. America was founded by wishful dreamers, magical thinkers, and true believers, by hucksters and their suckers. Fantasy is deeply embedded in our DNA.
 
Over the course of five centuries—from the Salem witch trials to Scientology to the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, from P. T. Barnum to Hollywood and the anything-goes, wild-and-crazy sixties, from conspiracy theories to our fetish for guns and obsession with extraterrestrials—our love of the fantastic has made America exceptional in a way that we've never fully acknowledged. From the start, our ultra-individualism was attached to epic dreams and epic fantasies—every citizen was free to believe absolutely anything, or to pretend to be absolutely anybody. With the gleeful erudition and tell-it-like-it-is ferocity of a Christopher Hitchens, Andersen explores whether the great American experiment in liberty has gone off the rails.
 
Fantasyland could not appear at a more perfect moment. If you want to understand Donald Trump and the culture of twenty-first-century America, if you want to know how the lines between reality and illusion have become dangerously blurred, you must read this book.
 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
 
“This is a blockbuster of a book. Take a deep breath and dive in.”—Tom Brokaw. "
 
 Language ‏ : ‎ English
Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 480 pages
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1400067219
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1400067213 
 

[Direct Link]


Edited by shiftingshadows, 20 May 2022 - 01:07 PM.


#115 TVCasualty

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 09:57 AM

I suppose basically Muraresku is an optimist and I am a pessimist, so that on that account I feel dismissive:

 

 

 

Muraresku is an old-school scholar who followed the evidence.

 

Specifically a scholar of Latin, (ancient) Greek, and Sanskrit. He can read all of those languages, so his book deal with a lot of original source material since unlike most people he's actually capable of reading and understanding ancient texts directly. He's also said he's never had a psychedelic experience, so he's not approaching the subject like an overenthusiastic psychonaut who seeks to validate what they already believe or whatever.

 

His book is unique in that respect, and his sources are air-tight and well-documented.


Edited by TVCasualty, 23 May 2022 - 10:03 AM.


#116 shiftingshadows

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Posted 23 May 2022 - 04:33 PM

 

The root's of religion are fear and anxiety. It began as witchcraft, belief in many spirits, and rain dances, and shamen casting spells to kill enemies etc.

Only later with the early civilizations did it, with a priestly class become an instrument of state power,

as for example among the ancient Maya, Aztec, etc.


 

 

 

You should read The Immortality Key by Brian Muraresku. It's a mind-blower, and the scholarship is airtight.

 

It explores what appears to be the last time that religion was a net positive for civilization (in the sense that it help create and maintain civilization as we know it), though what we now think of as "religion" is just a hollowed out caricature of what the ancient Greeks were doing; the crackers and wine weren't always placebos. I suspect that exchanging the active sacraments for placebos (and all that that involved) is when the trouble with religion started. ...and ....

 
Muraresku is an old-school scholar who followed the evidence.
 
Specifically a scholar of Latin, (ancient) Greek, and Sanskrit. He can read all of those languages, so his book deal with a lot of original source material since unlike most people he's actually capable of reading and understanding ancient texts directly. He's also said he's never had a psychedelic experience, so he's not approaching the subject like an overenthusiastic psychonaut who seeks to validate what they already believe or whatever.
 
His book is unique in that respect, and his sources are air-tight and well-documented.

 

 

OK you've convinced me to look into Muraresku, further. Watched a video interview and will dip into the book shortly. It seems the history alone is interesting, and the depth of the research amazing.


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#117 ElPirana

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Posted 24 May 2022 - 03:59 PM

I was already convinced a while back but was reading other books. I’m a couple chapters into The Immortality Key right now and looking forward to the rest.
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#118 shiftingshadows

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 03:47 PM

I also have been reading other books like:

 

Salvia Divinorum: Doorway to Thought-Free Awareness--Originally published as Peopled Darkness 
by J. D. Arthur 
 
The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal 
by Jared M. Diamond 
 
The salvia book relates to death from a non religious perspective, I wonder whether his experiences encountering the dead are peculiar to J.D., or are more universal, or if it just relates to a quote and metaphor Brian  Muraresku  loves and uses at the start of his book: "If you die before you die, You won’t die when you die."

Edited by shiftingshadows, 25 May 2022 - 03:47 PM.


#119 TVCasualty

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 10:44 AM

Salvia-space was where I learned about a fate worse than death. Salvia 'breakthroughs' are by far the weirdest experiences I've ever had, or can even imagine having. I understood quantum physics much more intuitively afterward, which was interesting.

 

The only way I can describe the furthest/deepest/weirdest place it took me is that I was thrown into the Void. It felt like being ejected from the Universe and ending up where it hasn't expanded to yet. There was nothing there except my own self-awareness freaking out about WTF was going on. There was not even a "self" while this was happening, just an awareness of "being" with no corresponding form containing it.

 

The thought of being stuck there was FAR more disturbing than the scariest moments of contemplating my mortality has ever been (like is often the case during the first half of the trip on insane doses of DMT).

 

 

If that quote is accurate then I'm good to go as far as death is concerned since I've been through what felt like death for real a half-dozen times so far. Some were scary, some were sublime, and Salvia was insane in a profound way, or maybe profound in an insane way.

 

 

In any case it seems that we're all ultimately just fucking around while we wait to find out.


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