The Boat Post

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 Minimalist » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:15 pm

It gives me quite a chuckle that when I mention something you don't know about, you assume I must have made it up.



WE have different outlooks on the spirits, dear.

I drink mine.


I guess I object to using the 20th century term to describe ideas which predate it by 50,000+ years.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin
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Postby Ishtar » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:39 pm

Minimalist wrote:WE have different outlooks on the spirits, dear.
I drink mine.


I'll refer you to Cogs's answer on that:

Cognito wrote:John is correct, Quantum Mechanics and Shamanism do not contradict.


Minimalist wrote:I guess I object to using the 20th century term to describe ideas which predate it by 50,000+ years.


Over the past hundred years or so, scientists have discovered a new mathematical theory which they have called Quantum Mechanics. They discovered that this theory explained stuff which was previously unexplainable by classical science.

In discovering QM, and unravelling its qualities as scientists are now doing, it will help us to better understand ourselves and to live our lives better.

Anyway, for that reason, we are going to be talking about the shamanic and the quantum in this thread, in order to help us understand whether and how they interface, so that we can discuss better the earliest beginnings of cognition. And I will be bringing in myths that give us indications about how early man thought as well as describing what shamans experience in the other dimensions - the same other dimensions that scientists are hoping their experiments at CERN in Switzerland will reveal.

I hope you can join in and enjoy it with us, Min. But not every thread will appeal to everyone. So if this is a subject that doesn't interest you, then you always have the option to sit it out.



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Postby Ishtar » Thu Sep 18, 2008 2:38 am

John

Before getting into waves and particles, I just want to recap briefly on how quantum mechanics relates to thought, because I think possibly everyone may not be on board with this.

As discussed earlier, Newtonian principles allow us to predict how objects will behave. So if an apple is dropped from a tree, Newton’s law of gravity predicts, quite correctly, that it will remain on the ground.

But Newtonian laws only apply to objects of more than one-thousandth of an inch. Anything less than that, like our thoughts, and Quantum laws apply. And we cannot yet always predict what will happen within the quantum as objects there sometimes seem to have minds of their own.

This is a picture of thoughts in action:


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Those tiny lights are neurotransmitters jumping the synaptic gap between neurons. Neurotransmitters carry our thoughts. So this is a picture of how we think. But both the neurotransmitter and the synaptic gap are of less than one thousandth of an inch - thus we think in a Quantum world that is regulated by Quantum principles.

I would like to propose that we live in two realities simultaneously. One of these is the here and now, our everyday world where Newtonian principles apply and so if we drop a clock on the floor, we know it will shatter.

The other world we live in is this Quantum world. This is the world of our thoughts – tiny sub-atomic particles that obey Quantum laws and not Newtonian ones. Thus if we drop a clock in the quantum world, it could just as easily melt or dissolve as break, like in a Salvador Dali painting.



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The closest most of us come to recognising the Quantum is when we dream. Our quantum-like dreams are not inhibited by the logic of the Newtonian world and so produce phantoms from our unconscious minds (which make up 96 per cent of our brains) that are total anarchists to rationality and predictability.



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So until now, the Newtonian view has been that the dream world is imaginary and thus had no reality. Well, that’s understandable really, because the Quantum doesn’t appear to have any reality in the Newtonian world any more than the Newtonian has any reality in the Quantum world. (Actually, the 96 per cent Quantum underpins the four per cent Newtonian world, and that's the point of this thread, but I'll leave all that for another day.)

So anyway, when we are perceiving in the Newtonian world - the here and now - our experiences are filtered through the limitations of our physical senses, our beliefs and our expectations, which are all working hell for leather to make sense out of everything. Of course, we don’t realise we’re having to perform such an arduous feat because we have evolved to do it naturally. But it is what we’re doing, and in order to achieve this so-called 'reality', we have to rule out 96 per cent of what’s actually there and then agree it with each other.

Richard Dawkins said that science's understanding of the universe is predicated upon a series of uncashed cheques.

Napoleon said that history is a lie agreed upon.

Shamans would suggest that our everyday world is a perceptual reality agreed upon.



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Here’s an example: Our brains tend to perceive stuff that doesn't exist, or not see what is really there. Ask any proofreader - a misplaced comma or an extra 'and' often escapes their attention, because they didn’t expect to see one.

Here's another: Right now, we’re having to turn this page on the screen the “right way up” in our heads, in order to be able to read it. Our retinas actually receive images upside down and so our brains have to turn them up the other way, to make any sense out of them.



Image


And that's just one mental acrobatic we have to perform to create our reality.

So dreams, in this context, are just another form of created perceptual reality where different laws apply – the laws that pertain to these quantum, microscopic objects that are our thoughts.

The shamanic journey is very similar to a dream – except that the shaman controls it.

So are we all aboard now?





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Postby john » Thu Sep 18, 2008 6:30 pm

Ishtar -

Yr. last post very good.

But my cognitive boat hasn't lowered its sails since

- I don't remember -

Anyway, the reason I called upon Alfred North Whitehead in

My second post is that he was all over this stuff, early on.

And I learned a lot from him early on.

He was bold enough to argue that "all things"

Were process (wave) not physical entities (particle).

His good friend Bertrand Russell also

Quantized a thing called "Russel's Enonymous Paradox"

Or, I believe, the "Barber's Paradox"

Which blew set theory out the door and over the cliff.

http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Lobby/3022/

Sorry, its referred to as the Barber Paradox in link above.

Anyway, I would like to make a larger point here.

You are entirely correct that dreams are Quantum.

I will argue that Paradox is a waking Quantum.

As are Zen Koans.

As is every damn word of the Tao.

They are all doorways, which,

As we walk through them,

We walk from the world of Newtonian denial

Into the Quantum/Shamanic.

You don't solve a Paradox or a Koan.

There is this "blinding, instantaneous flash"

And there you are on the other side.


Sound familiar?


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 Ishtar » Fri Sep 19, 2008 4:57 am

john wrote:
We walk from the world of Newtonian denial

Into the Quantum/Shamanic.

You don't solve a Paradox or a Koan.

There is this "blinding, instantaneous flash"

And there you are on the other side.

Sound familiar?

hoka hey

john


Yes, John. But the intellect has a tendency to want to try to 'solve' this paradox, and rationalise this state ... mainly out of existence. It tries to squeeze the infinite into a finite box - the finite box in this case being the logical mind.

Sometimes I see the Gnostic demiurge as that logical mind. In the Gnostic stories, he is portrayed as blind and arrogant. The Demiurge's blindness comes from the lack of this light or enlightenment. He is so foolish as to think that because he can't see it, it cannot exist.

So, I agree. What we're talking about is a wordless experience that goes beyond all our ideas of what can or cannot be ... and in mythology, it is often accompanied by a blinding flash of light.

It appears as the Buddhist enlightenment, as Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus, as the burning tongues of the light of the Holy Spirit descending upon the Apostles in the upper room, as the burning bush to Moses ... and so on.

It is the fire initiation of the Gnostics, the Midnight Sun of the Mystery rites, the Tao of the Far East and the light brighter than a thousand suns of the Vedics.




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Last edited by Ishtar on Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:22 am, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Ishtar » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:01 am

So now we've left our harbour and are sailing due East. We’re heading into the trade winds, so we will need to start zig-zagging for a bit. And the first zig of our zag takes us to the Neanderthals.




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I've borrowed this from the “Stupid” Neanderthal Upgraded thread:

In what could possibly be a major blow to a scientific consensus that has held for decades, recent research suggests that the traditional conception of Neanderthals being "stupider" than Homo sapiens may in fact be misleading. As articles about the research findings state, 'early stone tool technologies developed by our species, Homo sapiens, were no more efficient than those used by Neanderthals.'


Actually, Neanderthal brains were bigger than ours — in fact, anything between 10 and 46 per cent bigger. Now, does size matter? Well, yes ... in the case of cognition, it may well be significant.

Here’s why, and it involves a quick zag back to the picture of neurotransmitters (or thoughts) jumping across the synaptic gap.



Image



Now let’s zoom out and see the rest of what’s going on.



Image


We can hardly see the synaptic gap from this far back, which is why the gap falls into the quantum dimension (less than a thousandth of an inch). But from this scale, we can see how our brain cells are like interconnected networks, rather like the internet.

So how does a brain grow? This physical network grows by mental need. The more we ask questions, the more our neurotransmitters have to set off to cross The Great Divide and into the unknown to build more pathways and settle more frontiers.



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This process begins at childhood, continuing well into adulthood and old age, and it is how we grow our brains ... by thought. In other words, our quantum experiences grow our brains.

So now we understand that 1) thought is a quantum entity and that 2) thoughts grow brains, and that 3) Neanderthals had much bigger brains than us, we have to ask the question: was Neanderthal man working within the quantum more than modern man does today? And if so, is that why his brain grew bigger?

We cannot be sure. But certainly from their cave art, and the acoustic dimensions that occur in the settings of the paintings, it does appear to shamans that Neanderthals did practise shamanism of a sort, or some way of entering the quantum in a ritualised way.





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And if we go with the Multi Regional theory - that the Neanderthals didn't disappear but gradually became us (HSS) in an ongoing process of gracialisation, then could this form of cognition be our lost heritage? Could we all, without needing a shaman to do it for us, have been able at one time to enter the Quantum almost at will? And have our brains now shrunk according to the Law of Use It or Lose It?

I'm just asking the question.




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Postby john » Fri Sep 19, 2008 8:37 pm

And that, Minimalist -

Is how the hell we got from boats to quantum mechanics.

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 Ishtar » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:27 am

If all this biology and science is getting a bit too much, there is another way into this perspective of quantum reality. And as we’re now in the Mediterranean, maybe we should put into port and get a taxi into Athens, and Plato’s Academy.

Many people get instant eye crossing at the mere mention of Plato’s name, expecting to be bored rigid by the dry, crumbling bones of an old and out of date philosophical teaching.

But Plato’s philosophia was actually about Love ... Love for a goddess whose name was Sophia and who personified wisdom.



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The love of Sophia was not about logic or rational thinking or ethics - although much of all that later was underpinned by it. It was about a higher state of consciousness, which was achieved by self-discipline and mystical practises that required a complete transformation of one’s inner being. These teachings could be not be described in words, or written down, and thus could not and cannot be learned in any books or at any university.



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Plato has been much misunderstood over the years, and the rot set in with his student Aristotle. Plato was an initiate of the same Mysteries that we’ve been talking about in recent threads. His biographer says that he was initiated in the Great Pyramid in Egypt, as was Pythagorus. Unfortunately, though, for reasons best known to himself, Plato didn’t initiate his student Aristotle - of course, Plato may not have been qualified to do so. But that's why it’s Aristotle’s teachings about logic and ethics and such like that has come down to us as Platonic wisdom —without anything about how to achieve the divine inspiration and vision that produced such enlightened thinking.


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Aristotle's education was entirely different from that of Plato. Aristotle did not know the secret science of the 'initiates.'

We are therefore fully entitled to consider Plato as the last exponent and philosophic interpreter of 'ancient wisdom.'

Andrew Efron, The Sacred Tree Script, 1941.



So we have the fruit without the tree, or even the seed that produced the tree.

But some of this ancient wisdom teaching does seep through in Plato’s writings, most notably in Phaedo where he repeats the words of his teacher, Socrates, on the immortality of the soul. His understanding about quantum reality is also evident in his story called the Ascent From The Cave, from The Republic, which teaches that this world is just a shadow play of a greater reality that we are blind to, like the Gnostic Demiurge, and cannot perceive through our five senses.



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The story of Plato’s cave is an allegory of how we are trapped in our four cent Newtonian reality, and failing to see the greater quantum reality.

There are prisoners in the cave and they are all chained to face a wall. Behind them is a walkway for puppeteers to cross from the world outside. And behind the walkway, there is a fire that casts shadows of the crossing people and their puppets on to the cave wall that the prisoners are facing.

The prisoners, all chained and facing forward, can only see the shadows, and not the crossing puppeteers or their actual puppet. And so if one puppet is of a dog, the prisoner only sees the shadow of that puppet of a dog. And so he thinks the shadow of the puppet of the dog is actually a dog, having never seen the real thing.

There is good, short, two-minute animation of the whole story here:

http://www.platosallegory.com/


This cave of Plato, or our four per cent Newtonian reality, is what the 13th century Persian poet Rumi is referring to here:

Take an axe to the prison wall.
Escape.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You're covered with thick cloud.
Slide out the side.
Die, and be quiet.
Quietness is the surest sign that you've died.
Your old life was a frantic running from silence.
The speechless full moon comes out now.


Image





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Postby kbs2244 » Sat Sep 20, 2008 11:58 am

Sounds like “Break on through to the other side”
By a guy that is supposed to have died in France a while ago.
I don’t know that his way of life is one I would want to follow, though.
He wasn't much of a sailor.
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Postby Ishtar » Sat Sep 20, 2008 12:50 pm

KB, you really had me scratching my head there for a minute. I thought, "Does he mean Rumi?" and "Did Rumi die in France of sea sickness?" :lol:

But then I got the 'breakthrough' ... the intuitive flash. You mean Jim Morrison of the Doors, I think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tah0OnS3nBU
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Postby john » Sat Sep 20, 2008 2:01 pm

kbs2244 wrote:Sounds like “Break on through to the other side”
By a guy that is supposed to have died in France a while ago.
I don’t know that his way of life is one I would want to follow, though.
He wasn't much of a sailor.


kbs224 =

That would be Jim Morrison of The Doors,

The son of a U.S Navy Admiral,

And a free spirit from the git go.

He founded a rock and roll band. A few years later

He died in Paris of an overdose of heroin,

A loss to us all.

However, The Doors picked up their name

From Aldous Huxley's "The Doors of Perception",

A book about the fundaments of

Cognition.

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/lsd/doors.htm

And, by the way,

If you get hung up with the idea

That you must eat peyote

Or its pharmaceutical derivative, mescaline

To get where you need to go,

You are truly lost.


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 Ishtar » Sat Sep 20, 2008 3:06 pm

Aldous Huxley got the idea for the title Doors of Perception from William Blake's Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

"If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern."




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"Fools are those who are not in constant intercourse with their own divine nature." Heraclitus





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Dreams

Postby Cognito » Sat Sep 20, 2008 5:59 pm

You are entirely correct that dreams are Quantum.
There is this "blinding, instantaneous flash"
And there you are on the other side.
Sound familiar?

I took the liberty of piecing together John's comments. Nothing like a good dream to solve Newtonian-based problems. 8)
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Re: Dreams

Postby john » Sat Sep 20, 2008 10:28 pm

Cognito wrote:
You are entirely correct that dreams are Quantum.
There is this "blinding, instantaneous flash"
And there you are on the other side.
Sound familiar?

I took the liberty of piecing together John's comments. Nothing like a good dream to solve Newtonian-based problems. 8)


Cognito -


Basic out of box thinking.

Been doing it on the business level for a couple decades.

Interesting to apply it to early 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 Ishtar » Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:20 am

John

I agree that drugs are not recommended to achieve the quantum state, for reasons which will become clear. But we cannot rule out that Neanderthal man didn’t take them, or psychotropic herbs as they are more properly known. We know that the Vedics took a herb called soma to achieve this state, and to this day South American shamans take ayahuasca stemming from a tradition going back tens of thousands of years.

From Upper Palaeo and Neolithic cave art, shamans today recognise a quantum state of consciousness, although this is controversial among Rock Art scientists. Bednarik contends that the psychedelic patterns on the cave walls are nothing to do with any kind of ritualised entry into the quantum. But I find his thinking flawed, because it is based on the innate ability of man to see these patterns that are produced by the brain.

However, this is the whole point ... and one most scientists miss. If someone is taking a drug to achieve this state, the drug is not bringing in from the outside anything new. By injesting a drug, they are not injesting psychedelia. The drug (or other means to achieve the quantum state) is merely a catalyst, a way of awakening a dormant, innate function in man’s brain, and more particularly the pineal gland.

In this book Inside the Neolithic Mind Rock Art professor, David Lewis Williams disagrees with Bednarik. He studied the experiences of various people describing how they entered the quantum state by a variety of means (drumming, darkness, hynpagogic, dance, drugs etc). They all came up with the following ordered progression that seemed common to all of them apart from those who took drugs, who reported going straight to Stage Three.

Here is a diagram showing, according to their reports, the progression into the quantum by various means.


Image


Stage One: This mainly consists of seeing basic geometric pattern such as grids, parallel lines, bright dots, short flecks, zig-zag lines, filagrees, spirals, trellises. It normally lasts a couple of minutes.

Stage Two: At this stage, the Newtonian-trained mind is beginning to try to make sense of the visual phenomena it perceived at Stage One. It tries to translate them into everyday objects. For example, a zig-zag can become a snake, parallel lines can become a road, dots can become apples or oranges. According to psychiatrist Mardi Horowitz:

Thus the same ambiguous round shape on initial representation can be illusioned into an orange (if the subject is hungry), a breast (if he is in a state of heightened sexual drive), a cup of water (if he is thirsty) or an anarchist’s bomb if he is feeling hostile.


Lord knows what this guy was thinking:



Image




Anyway, at the end of Stage Two is where the real fun begins. This is the Vortex, or the famous tunnel known to all those who’ve read or heard about NDEs (near death experiences). As we are swept along the tunnel, we see that our hallucinations have also been 'swept up' to ‘decorate' the walls. Everything is sucked into the vortex and the sensation can feel like falling.

It is also in the tunnel that the shaman often meets his spirit helpers who have come to guide him through - these are self same spirits that I often get teased about. The main accusation I get is that the spirits aren't real. Well, according to the four per cent of reality that can be viewed through the Newtonian-trained mind, my critics are right, of course!


Image


There is a light at the end of this tunnel, and it is not a train coming the other way. It is the light flooding through from the opening of the Doors of Perception.

Stage Three is where we reach the light at the end of the tunnel. The light turns out to be the light of a new world, another world - the quantum. Goodness knows why David Lewis Williams has decided to signify it by a fox in a business suit and tie. Personally, I have never seen a fox in a business suit and tie there! I think he put it there to symbolise that ‘normal’ rules no longer apply. But if this journey is entered into by a trained shaman in an orderly and controlled way, he doesn’t enter a land with no rules — just different ones that he already knows about.

That’s why it’s important to be trained properly in how to reach this state, and how to benefit from it. Quite probably the shamans of old knew what they were doing when they administered soma. But as we don't have that expertise readily available to us today, being shot straight to Stage Three on the Jefferson Starship without at least hooking up with your spirit guide helpers on the way can be seriously bad for your mental health.

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Eventually the trauma from too much of this sudden and undisciplined "breaking on through to the other side" can destroy you, as we know from Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin who, almost like a message in a bottle from the ‘other side’, all died in the same year.

So let us honour our pioneer brothers and sisters who went before us on the Starship, and made all the mistakes so that we don’t have to.

RIP guys, and respect.

Ten gun salute from the quarter deck.




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