Turning emails into an essay, even when using only one side of the conversation (never mind two), is notoriously difficult. What makes writing compelling is that it can be (or invariably is) a medium for transmitting the author’s (or authors’) brain state(s) at the time of writing; this is what makes rewriting so tricky, even at the best of times.
In the following exchange between myself and Yevaud, we ended up agreeing that words are essentially worthless, and perhaps worse than worthless, when divorced from that soul transmission. In order to convert this private exchange into a blog post that replicates the energy of our exchange, & the urgency of it, the simplest way from A to B is a straight line, i.e., to reproduce the dialogue with occasional edits or changes for clarity, etc. So this is what I have done. Yevaud was more inclined to turn it into an essay and to this end he provided some links & other material, which he will probably add in the comments section.
Also, since email exchanges are not composed as thesis presentations, there was no clear starting point for this part of the discussion, hence what follows of necessity starts in mid-flow.
Jasun to Yevaud:
I think that any kind of information that offers coherence & understanding tends to foster hope; hope to understand, and therefore have some sort of control in one’s life. I guess you may be right that there is stuff out there that is designed to generate despair, but I’m not sure that it is separate from the Hope Industry, since clearly, generating despair is also a way to increase the demand for hope, and to increase people’s vulnerability & susceptibility to believing in the narratives on offer.
I’m not familiar enough with Montalk, but I’m pretty sure that, if he is offering an understanding of the universe, then he is also offering a way to apply that understanding in some way, like keys to the matrix or whatever; my overall skepticism isn’t about Montalk specifically but about knowledge in general. For me, Castaneda has come as close as I will ever need anyone to get in terms of providing a coherent model for understanding the universe, and still it didn’t work. It doesn’t work for me because it’s always based on the notion of using the will, using the intellect (not that they are the same thing), that somehow acting on knowledge amounts to power, that true knowledge is something that can be acted on.
I still think the information in Castaneda is largely good (that’s my guess), but it no longer matters to me because it’s not really applicable in the day-to-day way. This is why I’ve ended up with psychology as the only knowledge system that I continue to use and apply, because it seems to keep it in the realm of self-examination, which I think is the only place we can really exercise any kind of control anyway.
Yevaud to Jasun:
I get where you are coming from re: intellect/will/knowledge/power. I have been stuck for a very long time on how to “use” such knowledge, and approach it semi-scientifically (as in empirically determining what “works” and does not “work”). The problem of course is that for the last few years there is nothing I could legitimately attempt to manifest, using these approaches, without being sure that I was not upsetting some kind of cosmic balance, flattering my ego, or doing some other similar thing that would lead me astray. What works for me in this latest exploration (of the Montalk material) is that (1) it puts closure on some of the doubts I’ve had regarding the reality of anything beyond the physical that is truly accessible to human consciousness; and (2) for me it reinforces the necessity of prioritizing a connection with spirit (as opposed to psyche) above all else as an organizing principle in life. Not in head-in-the-sand kind of way, but rather as an understanding of the “why” of anything one undertakes in one’s daily life.
One thing you might find interesting: I read an article last night that lays out (in some plausible mathematical detail) what is so dangerous about staring too long and hard into the void: in a nutshell, it establishes a resonance pattern with futures in which you are more firmly locked into darker realities. I don’t read this as an injunction to remain ignorant of darkness so much as a caution about psychic hygiene and maintaining appropriate psychic defenses if one is called to undertake that research. Thoughts?
Jasun to Yevaud:
You talk about doubting the reality of anything beyond the physical, doubting that it’s accessible to human consciousness. I don’t really see how or where you’re able to draw a clear line about what is physical and what is not; for example, emotions can be understood as physical processes in the body and, regardless of whether we choose to interpret them that way or not, they’re certainly accessible to human consciousness. I’m not sure it’s possible, or desirable, to posit anything beyond the physical, access or not. For anything to have any kind of manifested existence, it seems to me it must have a physical dimension to it, unless we make some dichotomy between energy and matter, which doesn’t seem to be good physics.
You also wrote something about prioritizing a connection with Spirit as opposed to psyche, which I don’t understand. Not that I don’t understand the theoretical difference between psyche and spirit, but I don’t understand why you would oppose those two things. My guess is that you are expressing a desire to connect directly to the source of life and be guided by that, rather than by psychological patterns, or one’s unconscious?
As for the danger of “staring too long and hard into the void” and getting “more firmly locked into darker realities.” I think there’s an assumption in this about the meaning of darkness that makes it difficult for me to relate to this particular model. If you substitute darkness for unconscious, then what? Also, what is staring into the void exactly? I don’t see the research and investigations that I do as staring into the void. I don’t see mapping and trying to understand the various workings of mind control, child abuse, sexual trauma, psychic fragmentation, or even apparently Satanic agendas, I don’t see any of this as staring into the void, per se. Insofar as it is an emphasis on the darker aspects of reality, then it seems to me that it mirrors, and even answers, a deep compulsion in me to seek out what is hidden from my conscious awareness, but that is nonetheless influencing my actions in ways that I do not understand.
So all of this is potentially a means to know myself. The void I would be staring into then would be the void of my own trauma, which is an aspect of my psyche, or the condition of my soul. Regarding psychic defenses, I think the goal is much closer to relinquishing all such defenses than it is to establishing them; defenses from what? From establishing a resonance pattern with futures in which I am more firmly locked into darker realities? As I see it, what causes fixation, destructive compulsion, addiction, et cetera, isn’t to do with what one puts one’s attention on so much as the kind of attention one gives it. I think that the challenge of looking into these hidden realities, especially when they seem to directly pertain to myself, is to remain ambivalent, to allow what I am discovering to remain ambiguous, to resist the need to concretize anything or to identify, and/or identify with, any of this.
I suppose I view all of this as a potential trap, and yet one that has to be entered into as the way out is not through avoidance but passage through. Put differently, the fear of getting locked into “the lower circle of hell” is likely to prevent one from going all the way into that circle, in which case, one will always be locked into it by the very same fear of that happening…
Fear is a funny thing, tho I am only just barely laughing…. a titter will have to do 🙂
Yevaud to Jasun:
I think we are probably working towards the same goals, but have different models for doing so.
The question of what is physical vs. what is not physical is a good one for me to try to wrap my brain around. A first cut at defining “physical” in this context is any phenomenon that is measurable using instruments based on electromagnetic energy, which is I suppose equivalent to saying anything that involves electro-weak forces (and, to the extent that both gravitational forces and strong-nuclear forces do cause measurable interactions with photons, those forces as well). But I take as axiomatic (as do most systems other than conventional modern Western philosophies) that “consciousness” ontologically precedes matter, or (if you will) our physical world is some kind of simulation, in a sense, not the ultimate Reality. This seems almost obvious to me by contemplating the extremes of what we understand as space (large and small) or the extremes of time, but I guess it is not obvious to others. What I doubt or question is the accessibility of these more “real” dimensions to human consciousness, which is more or less a question that is equivalent to whether human beings are simply epiphenomena of this less-than-absolutely-Real physical dimension, or whether we are some kind of extrusion from a more real dimension (“Spirit”) into this physical one. For the latter to be true, there would have to be some mechanism that connects our more “real” (“spiritual”) parts with our physical bodies, but for the most part modern neuroscience has ruled this out. (As you mention, psychological phenomena can be thought of as “merely” chemical interactions.) *Except* if quantum events can cascade up to macro levels, and there is now evidence that they do: in biological systems. [See note below regarding Jan Irvin and your digression.] In particular, olfaction (long known to be deeply tied to memory) appears to possibly be a macro-level quantum phenomenon. Then the inherent randomness of the quantum level of reality (shown empirically not to be derived from hidden physical variables) can directly interface with our macro biological world. And thus freewill can enter our human realm, “magick” is possible (at least in limited degree) and it is possible to communicate with the more real realms (which I take to exist, axiomatically, though possibly not for human beings). I hope this helps to clarify what I mean by “physical” and “spirit”.
“Psyche” is more difficult to define, because it occupies a border realm, and perhaps may be thought of as the interface between Spirit and physical body (if such a thing as a human spirit really exists), and because that interface must necessarily consist of representational structures that model and organize physical reality in a way that Spirit can functionally operate upon it, this would include (maybe synonymous with) psychological patterns, whether they are ultimately “caused” by epiphenomena of neurochemical interactions, or “spirit”. [Causal inference is a deep rabbit hole in epidemiology, and it can be difficult, though not impossible, to come up with a satisfying definition of “cause”. However, yet another way of expressing my doubt/question about human Spirit is to ask whether all “causes” can be explained neurochemically, and I have other thoughts on this, below.]
Regarding “darkness”, I think the word has multiple meanings in this context, and you are correct to question my use of this term for what seem to be (upon further reflection) different concepts. Your use of the term seems to largely refer to parts of the psyche that lie outside ones awareness. In that sense, I don’t see a problem in trying to expand ones awareness, because, as you point out, expansion of awareness leads to less influence by these unknown factors, and therefore (in my hypothetical model) more freewill, or more chance for Spirit to make choices. But in my last few communications, I have meant something else by “darkness”, more akin to black magick (if you will): operations of Will that reinforce the divorce of lower ego (defined as the self-reinforcing and self-referential psychic interface between spirit and matter, which tends towards self-preserving behavior) from Spirit. In other words, desperate attempts of the lower ego to remain independent of Spirit, and resist the inevitable resorption.) These willful acts can be large or small, but the kinds of explorations you have been making (say, involving AC) entail very extreme acts of harm, inflicted upon seeming Others (in the physical world) but really upon Oneself (if seen from the vantage point of Spirit).
[As an aside: if we are all just physical epiphenomena with no deeper reality, then these acts of Will are all morally justified, since the law of the jungle operates here, and any act that bestows an advantage to oneself or ones tribe is “good”: do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Of course, even with my doubts, I believe that there *is* a deeper reality to human beings, and so I view “do what thou wilt” as deeply false, if “thou” is understood to be the lower ego divorced from Spirit.]
With this meaning for “darkness”, I think there is some danger in investigating, because such investigations, if done too quickly without proper ballast in other parts of ones life, tends to draw in more of the same. In a previous email, I have tried to explain how this might occur, but I don’t think my explanation is the only model that works; in any case, by many other accounts, it seems to be empirically true. As part of a healthy psychic immune system, one may very well need to dig up some of this darkness (seems so in your case), i.e. one needs exposure, so I am not taking a black-and-white view of this. And, to extend the physiological analogy, if you happen to have a deeply integrated viral infection (HSV, which integrates itself into the host genome, or CMV, comes to mind) then more energy is needed in carrying out this “self-vs-other” recognition; thus, in your case, if you believe the infection is deep, further exploration may be justified. However, I do think there is a danger of delving too deep too quickly. Vaccines are conceived as controlled exposures that confer immunity, but the corresponding full-on infection can be lethal. So, what I’m really saying is that, when involved with such investigations, it is a good idea to keep oneself psychically healthy with balanced, positive energy in other areas of one’s life.
Note re: quantum mechanics as a nefarious plot. Perhaps. I certainly have not, myself, conducted the experiments that demonstrate the necessity of this model (e.g. Young’s double slit experiment, at least not that I can remember, though something like it may have been part of a physics lab long ago in my undergraduate days). However, taking such experimental evidence as given, I don’t see any way around the mathematics of quantum mechanics. On the other hand, personal experience with meditation and magick suggest causal pathways beyond the conventional models; alone these could be dismissed as wishful thinking, but interacting with enough other people whose positions I respect seems to suggest that my experience is not isolated. As to the idea of “causation”, the discipline of causal inference accounts for randomness via stochastic process theory (carefully defined in this context), so one can still posit a purely neurochemical model of causation without appealing to Spirit. However, to quote a short story I really like (The Magician and Laplace’s Demon by Tom Crosshill): “’Cosmological symmetry breaking is well established,’ I said … ‘Quantum fluctuations in the inflationary period led to local structure, from which we benefit today.’ ‘Yes, but whence the quantum fluctuations?’ Ochoa chuckled…” Indeed, whence the fluctuations? What lies beyond the randomness built into our physical world?
FYI, here is the short story, which in addition to being entertaining, kind of explains my worldview a little bit.
One other thing that occurs to me after the wall of text I just sent you: why so much intellectual energy used to expound upon an issue that, if I really believed in Spirit, should be lived intuitively rather than intellectually? I think the answer is that it’s a personal struggle, parallel to your own. I’ve made a living for 30 years by thinking rationally/scientifically/mathematically. However, if the position I have been arguing is true, it is worth defending in my real life, it is worth living by. In that case, it calls for another way of making a living (nurse, vet tech, counselor, or even worker-bee at Costco). So, to a certain extent, this is all a way to use the shovel I currently possess to dig my way out of the deep hole I find myself at this point in my life. We are all excavating.
Jasun to Yevaud:
I agreed with all of that, at least the parts I grokked. I should have more to add later.
I think we both know that we are more than “epiphenomena of this less-than-absolutely-Real physical dimension.” Whether we can believe what we know & whether it is desirable or wise to believe it, I don’t know.
Isn’t this a matter of what can be experienced and what can be thought about/languified, and the limitations of a form of perception that can only recognize what CAN be thought about, vs. one that does not require thought or interpretation in order to experience?
In other words, not so much a question of whether Spirit is accessible to human consciousness, but to which aspects of human consciousness?
There appears to be one aspect, the ego or false self, that can only exist in isolation from Spirit. Ergo, by definition, spirit will never be accessible to that aspect of human consciousness.
This is a terrible conundrum for the mind-based identity system to face. Yet since it is the Reality behind reality, face it it/we must.
There is a joke, or Joke, in here, if we can only be loose enough to “get it.”
Yevaud to Jasun:
To continue beating the language-horse … I was thinking about this on my drive home yesterday (I sometimes have a 90 minute commute), it all boils down to what “randomness” really means. . . . That short story I mentioned really gets to the meat of the issue with zero math. If you toss a coin 100 times, there is nothing physical that prevents you from getting heads 100 times in a row. However, this is an extremely improbable event in our world. Why? I think the answer involves choice (as suggested in the short story). Consciousness, what it means to “observe” (another point of contention among theoretical physicists attempting to understand the meaning of quantum mechanics), involves *choosing*. God’s gift to us is our ability to choose. The current cultural paradigm, led by Science, is attempting to rob us of choice, and thus can be considered to be blatantly satanic.
The main reason for digging into the quantum mechanics research (mostly via Wikipedia) was to see how much context I might be missing myself. My physics training is limited to undergraduate work in the 80s, and a lot has happened since then. There still seems to be no real consensus among physicists on what quantum mechanics really means, and one runs the risk of sounding extremely uneducated if all of the opposing viewpoints aren’t at least acknowledged. However, my impression still stands: physicists want determinism, they really do seem ideologically committed to it. I wonder if it is ultimately circular: “Science shows us that human minds are merely a deterministic bag of chemicals, we know this because physics -> chemistry -> biology -> neuroscience, and we know from physics that the world works like a billiard table, because … we’ve assumed it’s fully deterministic”. Thus your impression that language (mathematics or otherwise) is not the way out of this mess is probably spot-on, and anyway I already “know” this in my heart, I’m just too cowardly to admit it!