Scientific and shamanic perspectives mark 2

The study of religious or heroic legends and tales. One constant rule of mythology is that whatever happens amongst the gods or other mythical beings was in one sense or another a reflection of events on earth. Recorded myths and legends, perhaps preserved in literature or folklore, have an immediate interest to archaeology in trying to unravel the nature and meaning of ancient events and traditions.

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Postby Ishtar » Sun Jun 29, 2008 5:32 am

War Arrow wrote: ... for what it's worth (and no disrespect is intended) but some elements of this seem to be heading towards ideas of the ancient spread of a global culture. I'm afraid this is not something upon which I have strong feelings or any great interest (although I have had strong feelings of wanting to put on my boots and braces when Marduk virtually tried to bully me into being interested) so I would rather leave that element of the debate to others. Just because I like B and C, doesn't mean I have to like A, if you see what I mean.


OK, War Arrow. But I don't think we can keep this debate to only what you're interested in. If you stay in a small room, you only ever see that wallpaper. After a time, you might think that's the only possible design there is for wallpaper.

It's not necessarily about a spread. I know Marduk thinks it was spread, primarily by the Sumerians. But I think it's more about who man was, if you like ... that he was born that way, that the shamanic technique was an inate ability and that that has only has changed in recent millennia, since the advent of agriculture and writing. So it didn't have to spread, any more than noses had to spread.

My answer to your previous post will provide more clarity on the above point, hopefully:

I’m absolutely with you ... until here.

War Arrow wrote:That these experiences may originate in the subconscious (or wherever) is surely of no more contextual relevance than doomed attempts to prove that they actually derive from the same objective reality which science has cited as the domain of pulsars, quasars, Elvis, and everything else. Surely, in some senses, the attempt to marry the shamanic with an objective reality is like trying to prove that a song can occur in nature, all it took was for some person to turn up and pluck it from the aether and bingo - Jailhouse Rock.


I’m not trying to marry the shamanic with objective reality, or prove that shamanic experiences are from the same objective reality that modern day science practises, and maybe this goes to the heart of the misunderstanding between us, and why John has framed the debate in the way that he has.

I’m saying that Mr Objective and Mrs Subjective are already married, or were when man practised shamanism. However, Mr Objective and Mrs Subjective fell out – we think because Mrs Subjective got fed up with Mr Objective trying to dominate her – and so we are the poor, dysfunctional children of this divorce who were forced to go and live with our father who hates Mrs Subjective and so we rarely get to see her unless we sneak out of the bedroom window at night.

War Arrow wrote:Hope I'm making myself clear here. I'm simply trying to present the subject as I understand it (though not being a philosophy graduate, it ain't easy) in order to see what you think here, whether we are describing the same elephant (so to speak) from different angles, or whether I'm in a different room and I've actually got an anteater in there with me.


I’m not a philosophy student either, WA. But no - you haven’t got an anteater in there. Imagine it like this. The elephant is so enormous that it has jammed itself into the small room that you’re sitting in, admiring your wallpaper, and is pinning you against the wall. So you can only see the half of it that’s facing you. However, I wanted to see the whole elephant. So I didn’t invite it into my small room – I went off into the jungle to find it and so now I can see the whole elephant.

Ishtar wrote:All the spirits/ gods support various aspects of nature in their pure, invisible energetic form. They all have their jobs to do in keeping the whole thing from spinning out of control. Of course, you can’t see them – in the same way that you can’t see dark energy. That’s why I always say that dark energy is nothing new. It’s just that it used to be known as ‘the gods’.


War Arrow wrote:
Ooooh... I'd tend to think of this as two separate things, both of which happen to be rather elusive.


Please clarify why you think they are two different things.

Ishtar wrote:I’m not making this up as I go along. Everything I’m saying is attested in work carried out by late 19th century anthropologists who have studied and interviewed shamans from all over the world — from India to Australia and Tibet to Siberia and North and South America to China. The late Mircea Eliade, then professor of religious history at Harvard, was the first to bring all their reports together in his book Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, and he found an amazing number of identical practises and beliefs about the spirits/gods between all these diverse and far-flung cultures – far too many and far too specific to be coincidences.


War Arrow wrote:
You've read this book and I haven't ....


But I have now given you, in my second post, one of the passages that describe these similarities. So I hope by now that you’d would have had time to read it and note that there are too many, and they are too specific, to be coincidences...and he doesn’t even mention the one common factor of all them which is that when any shaman goes on a 'journey', from any culture, he travels across three worlds - an upper, middle and lower world. That applies to every single one of them.

Ishtar wrote:To answer your second question, a classic example of science shot through with superstition and mumbo jumbo was that the earth is the centre of the universe and thus the sun must orbit the earth. Copernicus got his arse kicked over that one. However, the Vedics knew 3,000 years before that the earth orbited the sun:



War Arrow wrote:Gotcha ..... But surely simply because one culture possesses a much better model / more productive mode of thought, it does not necessarily follow that said culture will be otherwise the more admirable / superior in all ways.


You asked me to give you an example of superstitious poppycock science and I did for that reason - not to try to prove that the ancients were superior or more admirable. So I’m afraid you’re either moving the goal posts here, or erecting a straw man — or maybe a combination of both!

War Arrow wrote:Sacrifice: no argument from me, and this is a subject I've boned up on.....For what it's worth I have a pet theory that the greatly increased Mexica thirst for sacrifice, aside from the politics, represented an attempt to swing the balance and place the Gods in dept to the Mexica - a sort of theological potlach and an attempt to rule the universe by symbolic means.


That’s a really interesting theory. Thanks!

Ishtar wrote:
I’m not going to join up the dots for you here ... not even to say ‘winged or feathered serpent’ ... . I’m talking to you in picture language....and I think I’m going to have to stop now.
:D


War Arrow wrote:
Hmm though I'd argue that shamanism and science are not different aspects of the same thing (if that's the point you are making), they are different methods of viewing (often different aspects of) the same thing. If that's what I mean. With regard to the DNA / Hermes' stick thing, I must once again state that I am sceptical of being seduced by coincidence.


I hope by now you can see that that wasn't the point I was trying to make. Rather it's that the shamanic contains both the subjective and objective. That the caduceus represents Mr Objective snake and Mrs Subjective snake, lovingly intertwined in happier days.

If you worked across different cultures, as I have for the past God knows how many years, you’d soon become aware that there are just too many ‘coincidences’ for them to be just ‘coincidences’. And this is now widely accepted. That’s why you can study degrees in Comparitive Religion or Comparitive Mythology at university these days.

But I wasn’t trying to seduce you, WA. I was showing you two examples of a holistic process, because you asked me for a definition of holistic, or asked me what it meant anyway. I couldn’t resist the little visual joke at the end, but that needn’t distract from the main purpose of my answer which was to explain to you, as you asked, the meaning of the word ‘holistic’.

It's been good talking and I hope my point of view is starting now to make some sense to you.
:D
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Postby War Arrow » Sun Jun 29, 2008 7:57 am

Thanks for the responses, Ish.

Few points - to restate my "B, C, but not A" point once again, my sphere of interest is fairly clear. By way of example, any interest I have in Olmec culture is principally to do with how it may or may not have ultimately informed Mexica culture; and the further back we go, the more removed we become from my specific subject. I'm not suggesting we should restrict this thread to "what I'm interested in" and nor have I suggested this should be so. However, I can see little point in my offering an uninformed perspective on something about which I have neither strong opinion nor strong investment, so please continue to broaden this discussion by all means. I guess I see the point in what you're saying here, as it relates to this thread, but I would (personally) rather this thread serves to locate common ground between us rather than represent an attempt to convert me to such and such a viewpoint.

Gods and dark energy - are you suggesting that both are "unknowns" used in order to explain observed natural phenomena? If yes, apologies, I misread your statement.

Anyway...

Ishtar wrote:I’m not trying to marry the shamanic with objective reality, or prove that shamanic experiences are from the same objective reality that modern day science practises, and maybe this goes to the heart of the misunderstanding between us, and why John has framed the debate in the way that he has.


I have to ask in which experience of reality does this innate ability referred to below occur? I'm sorry but some of this seems very vague to me, and it seems to hint at "telepathy" without putting any cards on the table. And before we get too carried away, this is simply how it appears to me.

Ishtar wrote:It's not necessarily about a spread. I know Marduk thinks it was spread, primarily by the Sumerians. But I think it's more about who man was, if you like ... that he was born that way, that the shamanic technique was an inate ability and that that has only has changed in recent millennia, since the advent of agriculture and writing. So it didn't have to spread, any more than noses had to spread.


anyway...

Ishtar wrote:But I have now given you, in my second post, one of the passages that describe these similarities. So I hope by now that you’d would have had time to read it and note that there are too many, and they are too specific, to be coincidences...and he doesn’t even mention the one common factor of all them which is that when any shaman goes on a 'journey', from any culture, he travels across three worlds - an upper, middle and lower world. That applies to every single one of them.



In other words you hoped I would arrive at the exact same conclusion as yourself.

Ishtar wrote:You asked me to give you an example of superstitious poppycock science and I did for that reason - not to try to prove that the ancients were superior or more admirable. So I’m afraid you’re either moving the goal posts here, or erecting a straw man — or maybe a combination of both!


Cough. Cough. I'm doing no such thing and greatly resent the implication of underhand intentions - I assume you are aware (as I'm sure you are) that some of this discussion has suffered from an inability to communicate on both our parts. Such accusations are therefore unhelpful. I'm just trying to understand what you're saying, okay!?

Ishtar wrote:I hope by now you can see that that wasn't the point I was trying to make. Rather it's that the shamanic contains both the subjective and objective. That the caduceus represents Mr Objective snake and Mrs Subjective snake, lovingly intertwined in happier days.


Yes. Okay. I'm with you know.

Ishtar wrote:If you worked across different cultures, as I have for the past God knows how many years, you’d soon become aware that there are just too many ‘coincidences’ for them to be just ‘coincidences’. And this is now widely accepted. That’s why you can study degrees in Comparitive Religion or Comparitive Mythology at university these days.


Okay, coincidence isn't a good word. Truly I don't believe such things are coincidence either, though it seems we have quite different understandings of why such things may not be coincidence.

Ishtar wrote:But I wasn’t trying to seduce you, WA. I was showing you two examples of a holistic process, because you asked me for a definition of holistic, or asked me what it meant anyway. I couldn’t resist the little visual joke at the end, but that needn’t distract from the main purpose of my answer which was to explain to you, as you asked, the meaning of the word ‘holistic’.


Yep. Received and understood, thanks.

Ishtar wrote:It's been good talking and I hope my point of view is starting now to make some sense to you.
:D


Likewise. It is starting to make more sense now I will admit, I'm afraid I remain unconvinced in certain respects, but I suspect that might not surprise you. Anyway, the important thing (for me) is that it's been thus far reasonably educational and (thankfully) civilised.
LB :)
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Postby Ishtar » Sun Jun 29, 2008 9:51 am

Hi War Arrow

We're able to discuss this more calmly now because it's not coming from a base of either you are going to leave the board, or I am. I felt on trial before, whereas now this is just like a pleasant conversation in the garden on a lazy Sunday afternoon! :lol:

On your question: “Gods and dark energy - are you suggesting that both are "unknowns" used in order to explain observed natural phenomena?”

Hmmm... no ... I’m going further than that. I’m saying that dark energy is the gods/spirits. Or the gods are dark energy. Do you remember how I explained that the spirits/gods don’t have forms? That they are pure energy? It’s the same energy – but called different things by different peoples at different times.

To answer your question: “In which experience of reality does this innate ability referred to occur?”

Perhaps I could try this analogy: An innate ability to sleep occurs in this reality. All human beings have innate ability to sleep. And when your wife is asleep, you can go into the bedroom and look at her while she’s asleep, and both you and your sleeping wife are in this reality. But your sleeping wife’s consciousness is no longer in this reality. She has gone to another reality. However, her ability to reach the other reality is grounded in this reality — in her physiological make-up in this reality. So the shamanic ability is similar. Hope that helps.

Ishtar wrote:You asked me to give you an example of superstitious poppycock science and I did for that reason - not to try to prove that the ancients were superior or more admirable. So I’m afraid you’re either moving the goal posts here, or erecting a straw man — or maybe a combination of both!


War Arrow wrote:Cough. Cough. I'm doing no such thing and greatly resent the implication of underhand intentions - I assume you are aware (as I'm sure you are) that some of this discussion has suffered from an inability to communicate on both our parts. Such accusations are therefore unhelpful. I'm just trying to understand what you're saying, okay!?


Yes, before we get into a row, I’m very sorry. I should have made it clear that I didn’t think you were doing it deliberately. I find sometimes when I’m discussing these topics that people can become overwhelmed by ideas that are outside their normal thinking parameters — to such an extent that they forget the point. And as they start shifting the furniture around to accommodate the new perspective, they move the goalposts without even realising that they’ve done it. But I should have made it clear that I didn’t think it was deliberate. So I'm sorry. But I felt I had to move the goalposts back pretty snappily.

I’m not trying to really convince you about this, WA, except in the normal manner of debate, as one does. You said you wanted to revisit the debate, and so I’m doing so, and I’m glad you suggested it, because I think we are now reaching an understanding and finding some common ground.

Our main sticking point seems to be the commonalities in shamanic systems. You seem to have moved your earlier position from thinking that they are just coincidences to now saying that ‘coincidence’ is not the right word ... I hope I’m not misquoting you ... but you don’t think the reason for these commonalities of mystic experience was because there was an indigenous, worldwide practice of shamanism in the Neolithic and beyond that came from an innate ability to be aware of other dimensions.

So next time you post, perhaps you could tell me your ideas about why you think that these commonalities existed, and still do in some parts?

'Bye for now.
:)
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Postby War Arrow » Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:38 am

Ishtar wrote:We're able to discuss this more calmly now because it's not coming from a base of either you are going to leave the board, or I am. I felt on trial before, whereas now this is just like a pleasant conversation in the garden on a lazy Sunday afternoon! :lol:


Yep. Definitely more civilised and much more pleasant.

Ishtar wrote:On your question: “Gods and dark energy - are you suggesting that both are "unknowns" used in order to explain observed natural phenomena?”

Hmmm... no ... I’m going further than that. I’m saying that dark energy is the gods/spirits. Or the gods are dark energy. Do you remember how I explained that the spirits/gods don’t have forms? That they are pure energy? It’s the same energy – but called different things by different peoples at different times.


Hmmm... okay, though the point I was getting at is that if People A identify Phenomena A as an unknown and People B identify Phenomena B as an unknown, this is not to necessarily say that Phenomena A and B are the same unknown.

Ishtar wrote:To answer your question: “In which experience of reality does this innate ability referred to occur?”

Perhaps I could try this analogy: An innate ability to sleep occurs in this reality. All human beings have innate ability to sleep. And when your wife is asleep, you can go into the bedroom and look at her while she’s asleep, and both you and your sleeping wife are in this reality. But your sleeping wife’s consciousness is no longer in this reality. She has gone to another reality. However, her ability to reach the other reality is grounded in this reality — in her physiological make-up in this reality. So the shamanic ability is similar. Hope that helps.



Yes and no, but sort of yes, maybe, as in I see what you're getting at. I'll return to this in a minute.

Ishtar wrote:
Ishtar wrote:You asked me to give you an example of superstitious poppycock science and I did for that reason - not to try to prove that the ancients were superior or more admirable. So I’m afraid you’re either moving the goal posts here, or erecting a straw man — or maybe a combination of both!


War Arrow wrote:Cough. Cough. I'm doing no such thing and greatly resent the implication of underhand intentions - I assume you are aware (as I'm sure you are) that some of this discussion has suffered from an inability to communicate on both our parts. Such accusations are therefore unhelpful. I'm just trying to understand what you're saying, okay!?


Yes, before we get into a row, I’m very sorry. I should have made it clear that I didn’t think you were doing it deliberately. I find sometimes when I’m discussing these topics that people can become overwhelmed by ideas that are outside their normal thinking parameters — to such an extent that they forget the point. And as they start shifting the furniture around to accommodate the new perspective, they move the goalposts without even realising that they’ve done it. But I should have made it clear that I didn’t think it was deliberate. So I'm sorry. But I felt I had to move the goalposts back pretty snappily.


Oh okay. Fair enough - that's the problem with words on a screen conveying only a fraction of the information as the same words when they occur during a conversation.

Ishtar wrote:Our main sticking point seems to be the commonalities in shamanic systems. You seem to have moved your earlier position from thinking that they are just coincidences to now saying that ‘coincidence’ is not the right word ... I hope I’m not misquoting you ... but you don’t think the reason for these commonalities of mystic experience was because there was an indigenous, worldwide practice of shamanism in the Neolithic and beyond that came from an innate ability to be aware of other dimensions.

So next time you post, perhaps you could tell me your ideas about why you think that these commonalities existed, and still do in some parts?


Coincidence was certainly a poorly chosen word on my part, and the more I've considered this, the more I'm inclined to say something along the lines of 'I tend to believe such and such is likely, but in truth I cannot say for sure'. So, yes, as you suggest - I don’t think the reason for these commonalities of mystic experience was because there was an indigenous, worldwide practice of shamanism in the Neolithic and beyond that came from an innate ability to be aware of other dimensions BUT on reflection it might be unwise of me to entirely rule out the possibility.

I'm sceptical of arguments which rely to some extent upon factors that appear unlikely by virtue of invoking either the supernatural (for want of a better term) or fringe subjects (also for want of a better term) principally because I tend towards simpler explanations being more likely. I'm especially sceptical when such arguments are defended by negatives (by the way I'm speaking generally here - this isn't aimed at yourself) of one kind or another, whether weak negatives ("Surely such things cannot be mere coincidence") or the stronger (less helpful) negatives ("Scientists may mock but...", "Yes - that's what THEY want you to think...", plus the usual tarring of anyone who disagrees as having a closed mind). Further to this, I am sceptical of the appeal of superficial coincidences - notably the Mayan Chac taken to represent an elephant; also (for example) Marduk's insistence upon finding pseudo-Sumerian winged solar discs in Mesoamerican art. I've seen shitloads of Mesoamerican solar discs over the years, but none I can recall as having wings. This seems to me only the thin end of the wedge, the thick end being Von Daniken's "Mayan circuitboards" (which were fucking Mixtec in any case - stupid twat!).
This, by the way, is also part of the reason for my own admittedly single-minded approach. I am interested in the Nahua speakers. I want to understand Nahua culture by its own terms, not by the terms of the ancient Egyptians or whoever. Ra is Ra and Tonatiuh is Tonatiuh just as Johnny Rotten was Johnny Rotten and Captain Sensible was Captain Sensible.
To dwell briefly upon one of these last points (made in parentheses) the thing I find particularly galling is that when everyone with their own private theory invokes the name of the Club in its defence, this seems akin to a ghettoisation of all "fringe" subjects. We've all seen Charlie Hatchett's stuff, and I personally find it not only convincing but very exciting, but as we know, he's up against a bit of a monolith in many respects because sadly, preClovis is "fringe". My own feeling is that Charlie might be having a somewhat easier time were he not unwittingly lumped in (presumably from a club perspective, assuming there is such a thing) with every other internet addict who's been able to type two words and thus form an opinion about Atlantis and flying saucers (etc).

I should probably stress at this point that the above is a description of where I'm coming from and should absolutely not be regarded as a personal attack aimed at you or anyone else hereabouts.

Okay, with this in mind, I restate that coincidence was the wrong word. On reflection I would regard the reputed similarities as resulting from one of the following possibilities:

1) The simple fact of us all being human with brains wired to work and react in similar ways to similar situations. Without wanting to go into great detail, I cannot see the model of a basic three-tiered universe being so unusual as to require a more complicated origin than this. There is the earth, the sky, and we deduce there may be something under the earth through caves and potholes. Similarly, that disparate cultures have all worshipped sun Gods at some point does not seem particularly mysterious, and nor do (I believe) the seemingly global habits of painting similar fundamental symbols - circles, spirals and so on - often as signifiers for the same thing. I honestly believe that we humans are far more alike than we realise and that even in isolation we will tend to respond in surprisingly similar ways.
However, I'm sure you are very much aware of this argument and I suspect you disagree, so I'll try an open question: would it not be far stranger, if world cultures had evolved without any common symbols or practices? Whilst repeated and striking examples of commonality might support the shamanic argument put forth by yourself, I suggest they might just as well support the case of instances of parallel cultural development.

2) Second possibility, in the event of 1) proving unsupportable: Memes (depending upon whether you subscribe to meme theory, though I do) should not be underestimated as a means of transmitting culture through hundreds or perhaps even thousands of generations. It seems to me that it would be improbable if the entire cultural vocabulary of the present human race contained not one single descendant of a meme first transmitted on the plains of Africa (or China, or Neptune or wherever the fuck we came from. I am not getting sidetracked into THAT argument, lemme tell ya).

3) The I just divvent kna option. It's probably fairly obvious by now what it takes to make me do this :roll: and start posting pictures of Tony Soprano, but in case I seem like some sort of Dawkinsist puritan (which I don't think I am) there's a lot I'd categorise as 'just don't know' rather than 'oh fuck off' (I think Atlantis is probably under that heading). Most of 'just don't know' is there because of either a lack of evidence (as I see it), a lack of convincing evidence (as I see it), or being in some way beyond the province of assessment by evidence (as I see it). I don't believe in telepathy, the collective unconscious, or mystical dimensions which are mutually accessible to different peoples across the world...

however...

under the heading of 'just don't know' I'd tentatively place phenomena like remote viewing, the reputed telepathy of identical twins (my dad and my uncle being related in this way), my own apparent ability to dream moments of the future (this occurs with some frequency, and although I suspect it's imagination, perhaps I am mistaken), possibly some of the incidents reported by T. J. Knab in A War of Witches... it's all a grey area.

So okay then, what I'm saying is I don't necessarily agree with your model, but you've put up a good argument, and I would no longer dismiss it as being beyond the bounds of possibility, and furthermore (irrespective of my personal thoughts) it strikes me as (potentially) a good working model.

I think that might be all I really have to say on this, unless you feel inclined to add anything. So thanks once again for taking the time to post, and I apologise for the lack of clarity in some of my previous posts. Erm... also sorry to John for the "60s poetry" remark. What can I say? I was being a twat in that respect.

Like I said before, I just like things to be nice.
:D

PS - I've pmed you a list of the first ten rap CDs you'll need to buy in order to get yourself edumacated. Respect due! :lol:
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Postby Ishtar » Mon Jun 30, 2008 1:14 pm

Eureka! We have found the common ground!

War Arrow wrote:
I'm sceptical of arguments which rely to some extent upon factors that appear unlikely by virtue of invoking either the supernatural (for want of a better term) or fringe subjects (also for want of a better term) principally because I tend towards simpler explanations being more likely. I'm especially sceptical when such arguments are defended by negatives (by the way I'm speaking generally here - this isn't aimed at yourself) of one kind or another, whether weak negatives ("Surely such things cannot be mere coincidence") or the stronger (less helpful) negatives ("Scientists may mock but...", "Yes - that's what THEY want you to think...", plus the usual tarring of anyone who disagrees as having a closed mind). Further to this, I am sceptical of the appeal of superficial coincidences - notably the Mayan Chac taken to represent an elephant; also (for example) Marduk's insistence upon finding pseudo-Sumerian winged solar discs in Mesoamerican art. I've seen shitloads of Mesoamerican solar discs over the years, but none I can recall as having wings. This seems to me only the thin end of the wedge, the thick end being Von Daniken's "Mayan circuitboards" (which were fucking Mixtec in any case - stupid twat!

.... there's a lot I'd categorise as 'just don't know' rather than 'oh fuck off' (I think Atlantis is probably under that heading).


See, I'm not New Age at all, War Arrow. I'm really Old Age. I’m also quite conservative about what I will accept and reasonably rigorous in my examination of it, although you wouldn't have had the chance to see that because we've barely scratched the surface of this thread's topic. So I won't get a chance to prove it you, but that's OK.

Most people mistake me for New Age because I'm a shamanic practitioner and I light the odd incense cone. Oh, alright then, I do have wind chimes hanging from my lilac tree in the garden and yes OK, there is a buddha at the foot of it, but I'm definitely not a Buddhist. I just think these are aesthetically pleasing garden ornaments and anyway, everyone's got buddhas (I wouldn't be surprised if you have one yourself, with your rap CDs propped up against it) I mean, you can even buy buddhas in Sainsbury's these days.

Anyway, I digress. The point I want to make is because I am a shamanic practitioner, sometimes my clients (they're not really clients, as such, as I'm not allowed to charge yet, but I don't know what else to call them) assume I’m into all that same New Age shit that they’re into. A few months ago, one of them invited me one of those big prayer/intention sort of Brotherhood of Man, global group hug, hands across the world sort of things, the purpose of which, she told me, was to “pray to the archangels to soften the hearts of the political leaders so that they will put an end to war ....”

I nearly exploded. I said:

“Just what sort of beings do you think these archangels are? Do think they’re all just standing around in the clouds playing harps, waiting for enough people to petition them before agreeing to soften these politicians' hearts? That they can’t be bothered to do anything until there are enough names on the petition?”

She just stared at me in absolute incomprehension, so I tried again:

“Or, if it’s not that, is it that you think these archangels don’t know we’re having wars down here because of politicians like Bush and Blair, and so it’s going to take millions of us it to shout it up at them, so they can hear?”

She still just stood there, so I stopped. I knew that she hadn’t thought it through, and now she was trying to for the first time, so I gave her some space and went to put the kettle on.

She left very quickly after that and I wasn’t surprised. I don’t exactly have a very good bedside manner for a healer. I thought I’d probably lost a client, as I didn’t hear from her for a couple of months. But she rang again, about a week or so ago, saying she wants to come back for another session.

But all that’s just to say that I wish these New Age people would learn to just think! I’ve had to think hard myself to reach where I am now - for what its worth and whether or not others agree with it - and so I resent it that New Agers don’t think. And that’s why I find it particularly galling when I get mistaken for one myself.

Those who attribute everything that can’t be explained to Atlantis is another thing that gets my goat (no pun intended, although I doubt if anyone on this board will know why that’s a pun and that’s the other thing about me. It gets very lonely knowing all the shitloads of stuff that I do, because I’m often the only that gets my – in my opinion, fucking brilliant! - jokes.) So if anyone does get that joke, please let me know and I won’t feel so alone.

Anyway, yes, I agree with you, I think we’re done here. I don’t want to change you, despite what I said in the Glastonbury thread, as then I’d have no-one to argue with ... well apart from Min that is, and Forum Monk, and Rich of course, and Digit and Cogs and KB ...oh well .....

But, on top of that, I don’t want you to change because I’d like you to help me with the whole south American thing. I’m gradually realising that you are one of the few people I’d trust on it because I know you won’t get seduced by some shock-horror tabloid headline about 21 December 2012 being the end of the world as we know it.....”Scientists may mock but the Mayans knew because their calendar ends then.”....sort of shit.

Is that OK?

But you can keep your bloody rap! :D
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Postby john » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:21 pm

War Arrow and Ishtar -

OK. Gotta insist.

Charles Olson. "The Special View of History"

There are four copies on Amazon.

If you can't afford them,

I'll freaking buy them for you.

Reason.

Olson - and the book is hardly more than a pamphlet, fifty pages maybe -

Presents, in my mind, the most brilliant analysis of the topological

Interface between science and gnosis, and all that implies,

Which I have ever run across.

We don't need to reinvent the wheel here.

And I don't mind borrowing from a guy who was

A thousand times more intelligent than I will ever be.

Unfortunately, his estate is very tightly controlled,

So nothing available on INEt,

And if I published a bootleg copy I would be busted bigtime, fast.


He's already done most of the heavy lifting.

So PM me if you want to order you a copy.

Otherwise, hit Amazon, read it, and then we can let fly.


hoka hey


john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

Mark Twain
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Postby War Arrow » Tue Jul 01, 2008 12:36 am

Ishtar wrote:I'm not New Age at all, War Arrow. I'm really Old Age.


Uhm okay. To be fair, though I suspected you of New Age tendencies it has always been obvious that there's more to you (certainly in terms of depth of research) so I stand adjusted (didn't actually need to be fully corrected here).

Ishtar wrote: I'm really Old Age. I’m also quite conservative about what I will accept and reasonably rigorous in my examination of it, although you wouldn't have had the chance to see that because we've barely scratched the surface of this thread's topic. So I won't get a chance to prove it you, but that's OK.


Feel free to continue by all means, if it ceases to function with any frame of reference I recognise I'll shut up.

Ishtar wrote:Most people mistake me for New Age because I'm a shamanic practitioner and I light the odd incense cone. Oh, alright then, I do have wind chimes hanging from my lilac tree in the garden and yes OK, there is a buddha at the foot of it, but I'm definitely not a Buddhist. I just think these are aesthetically pleasing garden ornaments and anyway, everyone's got buddhas (I wouldn't be surprised if you have one yourself, with your rap CDs propped up against it) I mean, you can even buy buddhas in Sainsbury's these days.


Incense makes things smell nice. My girlfriend has wind chimes, plus also a buddha (present from me). Left to my own devices with my own garden like back in the old days when I was happy (etc. etc.) it'd be all Mexican right down to the plants (some smuggled From Me(x)cca in seed form in empty 35mm film canisters) - I'm a purist and an aesthetic is quite important towards what I'd hesitantly regard as the cognitive equivalent of method acting.
See.
Nutty as a fruitcake. :D

Maybe we really are talking the same (or similar) language. In addition to the above I also follow a version of the Nahua Tonalpohualli-Xiuhpohualli calendar, thus maintaining a vague awareness of which unfeasibly expanded coterie of Gods or Goddesses pertain to each different day. I know I've posted this on the board, but generally I refrain from discussing this for reasons that I see you are yourself painfully familiar with.

The rap CDS inhabit custom made shelving and (heh-heh) are all in (wait for it) alphabetical order. Heh heh.

Ishtar wrote:Anyway, I digress. The point I want to make is because I am a shamanic practitioner, sometimes my clients (they're not really clients, as such, as I'm not allowed to charge yet, but I don't know what else to call them) assume I’m into all that same New Age shit that they’re into. A few months ago, one of them invited me one of those big prayer/intention sort of Brotherhood of Man, global group hug, hands across the world sort of things, the purpose of which, she told me, was to “pray to the archangels to soften the hearts of the political leaders so that they will put an end to war ....”

I nearly exploded. I said:

“Just what sort of beings do you think these archangels are? Do think they’re all just standing around in the clouds playing harps, waiting for enough people to petition them before agreeing to soften these politicians' hearts? That they can’t be bothered to do anything until there are enough names on the petition?”

She just stared at me in absolute incomprehension, so I tried again:

“Or, if it’s not that, is it that you think these archangels don’t know we’re having wars down here because of politicians like Bush and Blair, and so it’s going to take millions of us it to shout it up at them, so they can hear?”

She still just stood there, so I stopped. I knew that she hadn’t thought it through, and now she was trying to for the first time, so I gave her some space and went to put the kettle on.

She left very quickly after that and I wasn’t surprised. I don’t exactly have a very good bedside manner for a healer. I thought I’d probably lost a client, as I didn’t hear from her for a couple of months. But she rang again, about a week or so ago, saying she wants to come back for another session.

But all that’s just to say that I wish these New Age people would learn to just think! I’ve had to think hard myself to reach where I am now - for what its worth and whether or not others agree with it - and so I resent it that New Agers don’t think. And that’s why I find it particularly galling when I get mistaken for one myself.


Ouch. Feeling that pain!
Yep. May have my priorities wrong but I loathe that new age thing far more than I've ever loathed any possibly more deserving target. At least you know where you are with a proper enemy who's there to tax you out of existence. The thing that really makes me wish I had a thermonuclear capacity is this idea that you can just pick and choose the nice, fluffy bits from the pre-digested form of whichever pilfered culture is doing the rounds this week - all the darker (and let's face it, interesting) bits excised of course (name me one culture that truly lends itself to a new age ideal without being extensively cauterized). At worst it strikes me as a comforting means of avoiding any actual level of thought about anything, no different to spending 18 hours a day in a computer game but for the arbitrary difference in the aesthetic and the attendant smugness derived from the mistaken assumption that somehow you (generic you, not you, Ishtar) too are on the same side as all the cute little brown folk who have spears rather than mobile phones.

uh... 'scuse me. Going into one there. Well done on setting that potential client straight. I'd have been more likely to seeth in silence, then later post a long rant somewhere on the internet. To be frank, and also to be desperate to be employed in some means other than my day job, I've been half-considering something along the lines of giving readings derived from the individual's day-sign in the Tonalpohuali calendar. Problem is I can't promise or pretend to the client that said readings will (choke) "reveal their future". In theory, I can give them a good few pages of relevant Gods and related forces, offer an interpretation and leave them to make up their own minds about what they do with the information. It's the morality of this that holds me back, coupled with fear and laziness and a desire to do other more interesting things that won't bring me into contact with new agers.

Ishtar wrote:Those who attribute everything that can’t be explained to Atlantis is another thing that gets my goat (no pun intended, although I doubt if anyone on this board will know why that’s a pun and that’s the other thing about me.


Okay then. I'll buy one. Is it a) you keep goats. b) some reference to Pan or else a related satyr. c) something to do with goat sacrifice? Possibly sacrificing of persons who attribute everything that can't be explained to Atlantis?

Ishtar wrote:It gets very lonely knowing all the shitloads of stuff that I do, because I’m often the only that gets my – in my opinion, fucking brilliant! - jokes.) So if anyone does get that joke, please let me know and I won’t feel so alone.


Hear you. You try cracking Tlaelcuani jokes to someone who's still grappling with the basic concept of a fourfold weaver Goddess....
Seriously though, I've been sporadically in touch with Prof. Gordon Brotherstone who is the Stephen Hawking of Mexican calendars (I suppose) which is quite gratifying. He seemed impressed by some of my conclusions, not least that I had also realised that Ross Hassig (another calendar big cheese) was, in one instance relating to a year God cycle, talking utter shite, and Mr. Brotherstone was not shy about pointing out a few solar system sized errors in my own theorising. I didn't mind though, aside from being set back on the right track, it was nice just to get the attention.

Hope that doesn't sound too much like the Bob Mortimore character, Graham Lister: "I know proper people, Reeves - doctors and dentists!"

Ishtar wrote:But, on top of that, I don’t want you to change because I’d like you to help me with the whole south American thing. I’m gradually realising that you are one of the few people I’d trust on it because I know you won’t get seduced by some shock-horror tabloid headline about 21 December 2012 being the end of the world as we know it.....”Scientists may mock but the Mayans knew because their calendar ends then.”....sort of shit.

Is that OK?


Uh okay. I can't promise to be an absolute authority though (this is partially misguided false modesty, partially in recognition of the maxim that the more you know, the more you realise how much there is that you don't know) but I'll do what I can.

Once again, a pleasure - LB

PS: I suggest we start your rap edumacation with er... lemme see... UGK's Ridin' Dirty LP which is fairly easy to get hold of. You might like to begin with these three questions:
a) What advantage does Pimp C perceive in his being in possession of a 'pocketful of stones'?
b) What anatomically improbable feat arises from Bun B's not inconsiderable flyness?
and finally
c) Ain't no mo play in GA. Discuss.
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Postby Ishtar » Tue Jul 01, 2008 5:10 am

War Arrow wrote:Feel free to continue by all means, if it ceases to function with any frame of reference I recognise I'll shut up.


I thought we might revisit the dark energy question here, as since your newfound understanding of where I'm coming from, you might view it through a different lens, so to speak, and thus be able to give a more appropriate and intelligent response than your previous one of just taking a bloody great poo right in the middle of it! :lol:

John - I couldn’t get Olson's book at Amazon.co.uk, so it has just set me back nearly US$ 45.00 with shipping fees and all from Amazon.com – thank goodness the dollar is cheap at the moment!

However, I have a feeling it’s going to worth its weight in gold - not dollars!
:lol:
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Postby War Arrow » Tue Jul 01, 2008 11:07 am

Ishtar wrote:
War Arrow wrote:Feel free to continue by all means, if it ceases to function with any frame of reference I recognise I'll shut up.


I thought we might revisit the dark energy question here, as since your newfound understanding of where I'm coming from, you might view it through a different lens, so to speak, and thus be able to give a more appropriate and intelligent response than your previous one of just taking a bloody great poo right in the middle of it! :lol:


Dark energy huh - oh boy, something nice and simple to get us started. :shock:

Uhm... sorry about the poo, though I'm still not sure what I can add to this one, tag-nuts aside.
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Postby Ishtar » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:23 pm

Oh ... OK we'll leave it then.

:lol:
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Postby john » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:22 pm

All -

This is interesting.

Cosmic Lines of Occurence strike again.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25516181/

hoka hey

john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

Mark Twain
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Postby War Arrow » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:37 pm

Interesting. I gather then the human voice in this instance might have served as a sort of er... spiritual geiger counter (apologies to all) by which the part of the cave with an optimum quality of something or other was located (most in tune with the sacred?). I'm not going to guess at the nature of said something or other in case I get into trouble.
I'm a good boy I am.
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Postby kbs2244 » Fri Jul 04, 2008 6:53 pm

What I really like about al this the acceptance of going beyond the old concepts of what has been found years ago.
50 years ago no one would have thought of the sound or lighting factors in archeology.
Now we have nightly light shows at the Aztec pyramids and are studying sound in the caves of France.
Wasn’t there a similar study on the effects or sound in the Irish “mounds”?
A kind of pre-historic “head banger” experience?
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Olson

Postby john » Fri Jul 04, 2008 7:42 pm

Ishtar and War Arrow -

From The Special View of History:

"The Contents

(the note by way of preface, introduction or summary)

The idea is in the shortest compass, to get down to a schema to cover everything, as it presents itself inside and out at this juncture of man and the world. The assumption is that everything's been turned about, and yet that that is is true is not as known as anyone of us might think it is; indeed, I don't know that an one of us is caught up and going at the speed or at the depth of both the knowledge of reality we now possess, and thus the speed and depth of the reality itself, especially as that reality is busy inside anyone of us. Except as none of us will ever be satisfied, we are quite making it, except for that I am persuaded that at this point of the 20th century it might be possible for man to cease to be estranged, as Heraclitus said he was in 500 B.C., from that with which he is most familiar. At least I take Heraclitus' dictum as the epigraph of this book. For all I know increased my impression that man lost something about 500 B.C. and only got it back about 1905 A.D.
The other epigraph is a methodological one. Keats, more than Goethe or Melville, faced with The Man of Power, got to the heart of it. He took the old humanism by its right front. It wasn't the demonism of Genius he saw was the hooker (almost nobody yet has caught up with Keats on the same subject - he was almost the only man who has yet seen the subjective tragedy as no longer so interesting), but the very opposite, the Sublime in the Egotistical, the very character of Genius, its productive power. And as he walked home from the mummer's play Christmas 1818 it struck him he believed in nothing else, I mean Negative Capability. When a man is "capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason...

So: so far as man goes, the attempt here is to establish in what sense man need not any longer be estranged from that with which he he is most familiar. That would be the content, and is the reality in whose face anyone of us has to take a stance. And that the stance which yields the possibility of acts which are allowably historic, in other words produce, have to be negatively capable in Keat's sense that they have to be, they have to be uncertain.

Or what we would call today relative. It will be seen within how thoroughly I take it Whitehead has written the metaphysic of the reality we have acquired, and because I don't know that yet the best minds realize how thoroughly the absolute or ideal has been tucked into where it belongs - where it got out of, in the 5th century B.C. and thereafter - I call attention to Whitehead's analysis of the Consequent as the relative of relatives, and that the Primordial - the absolute - is prospective, that events are absolute only because they have a future, not from any past.

Which leaves me with one last condensation of what is to follow - that history itself, because it has now been turned about as everything else has, can be shown to be of two kinds, and that of these two kinds, one is negatively capable and the other is power. Men can and do wilfully set in motion egotistical, sublime events. They have effect which looks like use. But in the schema here presented, these are power, and history as primordial and prospective is seen to demand the recognition that the other history, what I would call anti-history, is not good enough.

The subject, then, is actual willful man."


hoka hey

john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

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Postby john » Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:09 pm

War Arrow wrote:Interesting. I gather then the human voice in this instance might have served as a sort of er... spiritual geiger counter (apologies to all) by which the part of the cave with an optimum quality of something or other was located (most in tune with the sacred?). I'm not going to guess at the nature of said something or other in case I get into trouble.
I'm a good boy I am.


War Arrow -

Resonance.

Cosmic Lines of Occurrence.

"To live outside the law, you must be honest"

- B. Dylan -


hoka hey

john
"Man is a marvellous curiosity. When he is at his very, very best he is sort of a low-grade nickel-plated angel; at his worst he is unspeakable, unimaginable; and first and last and all the time he is a sarcasm."

Mark Twain
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