rave-2From: Duversity – by Jason Keehn

Can trance-dancing save the planet

Can you imagine a crazier notion?

Thousands of bored youth pumping themselves up with drugs, going out to huge underground parties and dancing maniacally to electronic rhythms and psychedelic light-shows till dawn.

And this is supposed to help the world?

Shouldn't we be putting our time instead into ecological or political activism, or at least doing some kind of charity work? What about the serious spiritual disciplines that claim to offer the only true path to persona – and thereby social – transformation? What good does all our drug-taking and revelry do for the hundreds of millions of dispossessed, fucked over and starving around the world – not to mention all the untold species and eco-systems being destroyed?

mckenna portrait mirrorFrom: deoxy.org – With Terence McKenna

Archaic Revival

History is ending, because the dominator culture has led the human species into a blind alley. And as the inevitable chaostrophe approaches, people look for metaphors and answers. Every time a culture gets into trouble, it casts itself back into the past looking for the last sane moment it ever knew. And the last sane moment we ever knew was on the plains of Africa, 15,000 years ago, rocked in cradle of the great horned mushroom goddess before history. Before standing armies, before slavery and property, before warfare and phonetic alphabets and monotheism. Before, before, before. And this is where the future is taking us. Because the secret faith of the 20th century is not modernism. The secret faith of the 20th century is nostalgia for the archaic, nostalgia for the Paleolithic, and that gives us body piercing, abstract expressionism, surrealism, jazz, rock and roll, and Catastrophe Theory. The 20th century mind is nostalgic for the paradise that once existed on the mushroom-dotted plains of Africa, where the plant-human symbiosis occurred that pulled us out of the animal body and into the tool-using, culture-making, imagination-exploring creature that we are.

28-miminu.smFrom: Open SETI

"They sought to overpower humanity in its psychological and perceptual functions... although they saw that human thinking was superior to theirs... For indeed their delight is bitter and their beauty is depraved. And their triumph is in deception (apaton), leading astray, for their own structure is without divinity."

Breathtaking, but what is that? Who said that? Of whom does it speak? Is it ancient? Is it contemporary? Is it correct? Is it relevant? What is it doing here in the pages of Open SETI?

Let's begin with the last part of the question.

Open SETI is in some ways the opposite of SETI. SETI is an extraordinarily "narrow-band" search arising from a most denatured strain of modern-day scientific/intellectual thought. Open SETI begins with being... open. And what does one see, when open?

Would you agree that one sees a magnificent planet inhabited by a humanity that is becoming demented, even by its own definition?

This humanity is fragmenting, at war with itself, and each faction looking desperately for salvation from its particular idea of deity.

contexts1From: Open SETI

Technology of the Soul. Technology, Soul. Now there is a provocative juxtaposition of terms. The reader (that is, you) likely wants to know WHAT these two words are doing together like that. What could they have to do with one another?

Before attempting to reply, I would like to place before you an article by Paul Davies40 (2003): E.T. and God (Could earthly religions survive the discovery of life elsewhere in the universe?). Get it? God:Soul. E.T.:Technology. Davies' topic is grander than mine, which by comparison is a mere detail.

But Davies' is somehow more acceptable, isn't it? Why is this?

Please take a few breaths here.

In the Introduction to Open SETI I did say that we would approach our subject on the level of myth, and that our modern world view is but one possible myth. People, I said...

...do not know that they have simply chosen their myth. They believe that they possess knowledge of their general cosmic situation, so far as is possible for anyone to obtain such knowledge, and that there is little point attempting to learn any more about it. People are also being taught, usually subliminally, about what is important and what is not. In fact, people's beliefs about what is true and what is important are fed to them by society's institutions. Thus people in their beliefs are vulnerable to manipulation at every level.

gnostic_revelationFrom Exegesis, by Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick was a true modern Gnostic. He had his own Gnostic visions toward the end of his life, although he was always under the guidance of a revelatory intelligence since the beginning of his career.

PKD spent his final years attempting to deconstruct and wordify his mystical vision. I think he was one among very few in the exoteric population (as opposed to the esoteric population which includes Rosicrucians, Illuminati, etc…) who glimpsed the true nature of our “matrix reality.”

For a more thorough elaboration on PKD’s visions, see this book containing further excerpts from his personal notes titled Exegesis.

The Gnostic Christians of the second century believed that only a special revelation of knowledge rather than faith could save a person. The contents of this revelation could not be received empirically or derived a priori. They considered this special gnosis so valuable that it must be kept secret. Here are the ten major principles of the gnostic revelation:

(The truth is, children can resist with determination what they are told to believe, but with no one to confirm their resistence and support their dissent, they gradually comply and come to forget their objections, stifling the feelings that came with them.) In adopting beliefs, children naturally identify with those who share those beliefs, and who insistently impart them. The transmission of belief, hugely celebrated in high-toned rhetoric about spiritual and cultural "tradition," is actually one of the great, unadmitted tragedies of the human condition.

Unlike other animals, human progeny are neotonic, taking a long time to mature. When we are born, the brain is not yet developed as an organ. It takes many years to ripen a brain. While it accounts for the exceptional scope of learning and innovation of our species, this neotonic handicap makes offspring excessively dependent upon what is inculcated in them by adults. The sight of children cramped in a madrasa, an Islamic kindergarten, nodding like zombies and repeating the Koran eight hours a day is only one example (an obviously flagrant one) of how children are programmed to believe. Such practices, which exist in many forms in diverse cultures and religions, ought to be regarded as child abuse.

Neotony offers to our species the unique advantage of a reverse transmission of generational assets, from younger to the older members of the tribe. (This is the theme of my book, Quest for the Zodiac.) In other words, nature requires the long-term maturation of human offspring so that the evolutionary potential to learn and innovate embodied in the new generation can be shared with the older generation. Children come into the human tribe for us to learn from them, not for us to tell them what we believe. We are all tulkus.


not_in_his_imageNot in His Image
Gnostic Vision, Sacred Ecology, and the Future of Belief

by John Lamb Lash

From the Middle and Out – By Susan Campbell – January 5, 2007

A book about early Christianity that hasn't received nearly enough attention is "Not In His Image: Gnostic Vision, Sacred Ecology, and the Future of Belief" by John Lamb Lash (Chelsea Green Publishing, $21.95). Before Christianity, the European religious world was far from monolithic. There were goddesses and priests and shamanistic healers and pagans in the ancient sense of the word. Lash explores how the early church circumvented those groups and established a king of kings. Heavily footnoted (from what the author says is 40 years of research), this is a dense book meant for a serious scholar.