The Liminalist # 121.5: The Life of a Red Blood Cell (with Aneel Pandey)

Part two of conversation with Aneel Pandey, on children & sex, why sperms don’t like condoms, human beings & intimacy, Sagittarius A the cosmic grandfather, God the Sun, a sentient universe, what the galaxy wants, the life of a red blood cell, a coup du corps, carrying a deadly virus, mission mania, being a honey bee, human connections, navigating by the signs, a bubble of wealth, Aneel’s aps, chasing the power-ball, Hitler’s vision, question for listeners, Jasun’s complaint with transhumanism, Prisoner of Infinity, a core contradiction.

Songs:  “The Kommema and his Religion”  & “Of the Lakes” by SunWalker; “Dream Of Eternal Youth” by Go Genre EverythingMash-up of “My Robot Clone” by Bryan Lewis Saunders & “The Robot Butler Does Have An Off Switch You Know” by Squinancywort.

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  1. Page
    Posted August 2, 2017 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    I don’t much like call-outs from the internet so I won’t respond to the call-outs that you, Jasun and Aneel, made to your future-embedded audience of which I am part of, apparently.

    I will say this though … This 2nd part of the conversation was one of my favorite liminalist podcast-convos so far. Very entertaining! … perhaps because both of the parties represented seem to have had built a relationship over the past number of years , which made it bit warmer … and colder (which is where the “call-outs” came in … to my delight).

    Also, Jasun, I love hearing about your inner and outer battles with owning and working at a thrift store. If it brings you closer to yew, in one way or another, then that can’t be a bad thing, right?

    • Posted August 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I first came to know Jasun after he launched his brilliant Stormy Weather podcast in 2008, and the archives are here: which I think is Jasun’s best work to date. At the time, Jasun was a sorcerer a la Carlos Castenada. Those days, he and I spent a lot of time on Skype. Since then, Jasun has completely given up on sorcery and in fact he is downright hostile to it now. So I have my theories why he goes after JdR and Strieber with such a vengeance now and he ended up looking desperate when he mentioned that I had money and built an empire which by the way was the result of me producing programs for training the engineers how to build the Internet in the 90s. Jasun feels that occultism is some kind of trap he fell into. In reality, he just went about it in haphazard way, screwed everything up, and then shifted the blame for the lack of success elsewhere. So as I mentioned in the first podcast we had not spoken for nearly two years before the podcast due to the tension that has developed between us stemming from me subscribing to beliefs he at one time subscribed to also, but has since changed his mind about.

  2. steve
    Posted August 3, 2017 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    1. Re: Collapse of mind into matter. I have grave concerns about the extraction of mind-stuff into silicon (representative and computational space, including the burgeoning neural network possibilities), due to the limited transmission/bandwidth of this transplant. In a way, the concern is not so much that we would create true replicants of ourselves, but that we create sub-par versions of humans, who excel in intellectual/symbolic capacities, but lack the empathetic & intuitive features that make such raw intelligence matter, as well as the bodies spawned these minds. Additionally, our minds are not currently built for perpetual motion.

    2. RE; 1 – I’m sure the true devotees of the singularity will likely respond by saying (i) that we will eventually truly replicate ourselves through technical proficiency. This I doubt – consider the imperfect technologies that surround us from many years ago. I suspect imperfect translations of “human” mind could lead to a crisis of the end of human beings – we carve off a section of our unconscious & the evolutionary history, leaving behind a DAEMON. Only the last 5 or so human beings can band together to turn off the DAEMON? don’t steal my idea.

    3. RE: 1 – The more convincing argument might be that (ii) the machines will perfect the human replicants/hybrid mind, encapsulating the entirety of human beings, and massaging our nature perfectly into our new machine suits. But whether they would seems a bit speculative.

    4. On the purpose of the purpose – I sympathize with Aneel’s belief that the human desire for purpose transcends its immediate material moment – to become one with the universe. But I am also not convinced that perpetual life will yield any more insights on this in our current form – plus its not exactly a robust idea to begin with. I’d be more convinced if we were closer to developing newer cognitive technologies that might offer peeks beyond physical reality.

    5. It seems inevitable that we will turn our pitchforks inward, working our cognitive worlds like fields, or, a more appropriate analogy, modifying the seeds of our own mind in advance. This will be the prelude to replicated technology – modified cognitive function through various technologies, reducing anxiety, removing bad memories, etc (beyond our current crude drug systems). Thus, maybe by the time we have the machine replicants, our minds will already be purged of the ancient lineage of the body – not just our body, but the body of responses of our ancestors, as well as our own personal forgotten pasts. Will companies get rich with specific cognitive outfits, customized for this world? Dystopia seems unavoidable, but like a frog boiling….

    The Doctor: I’m not sure, but it’s entirely possible she has lost the ability to die.
    Clara: The ability?
    The Doctor: Oh, dying’s an ability, believe me

    • Jasun
      Posted August 5, 2017 at 12:50 am | Permalink

      very inventive response : )

    • Posted August 5, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      #1. This paragraph states the concern that the new bodies (transcenders) will “lack the empathetic & intuitive features that make such raw intelligence matter.” A number of empathetic vectors, such as empathy with all lifeforms, the Golden Rule, etc., must be programmed into them as reflexes that override the thoughtstream. A great deal of work has already been done on this, and AI ethics think tanks publish their findings on a regular basis. The new bodies will imaginine that the Sun is actually living and projects upon it survival thoughts by anthropomorphizing the Sun as its parent. Further projections are made by thinking like the Sun, through sympathy as well as feeling like the Sun through empathy. Anyone can enter this state of consciousness imagining that the Sun is concerned about running out of fuel in three billion years, and it needs a starship for refueling. Or imagine that Sgr A* at the center of the Milky Way wants to give the Sun a birthday present, and a starship would be a welcome gift. Surely you can create your own personal religion that floats this boat. Even Jasun, who disagrees with me on nearly everything, regards the Sun as the “god” of our local celestial system. But Jasun and I butted heads and he called me a megalomaniac when his inconsistent position became evident. Jasun’s position that the Sun is a super-sentient god-like being that allows us these lives is somewhat callous when he goes on to think that the Sun would not appreciate us doing something tangible for him in return. If Jasun has an idea better than participating in the construction of the starship to give the Sun for its birthday, the last birthday having been 240,000,000 years ago, I would like to hear it. Jasun thinks that it is just fine to ignore the Sun’s birthday and operate a thrift store instead. Jasun erroneously imagines the Sun to be a completely selfless being. Making that assumption could be a serious error to make in these lives we’ve been given BY THE SUN as I have yet to meet anyone that is truly selfless. The Sun provides the light in our lives and those that listen to this podcast, in their own personal way, seek “enlightenment.” That’s why I’m so happy that you posted such an insightful comment. We need to develop a healthier attitude to take toward the Sun. You might research the Solar Storm of 1859 to see what could happen again if the wrong attitude persists. Also, on the issue of perpetual motion, the new bodies will enter Sleep or Hibernate mode for 8 hours per day.

      #2. In the model I propose, only the persona can be observed. Behind the scenes, as Jasun and I discussed, we have not only the brain, but the heart, the digestive system (gut feeling/intuition), numerous bodily subsystems. To further complicate the matter, we have to replicate the mind, which is divided into numerous parts such as the id, ego, shadow, superego, self, etc. The concern seems to be that should we not “get it right” the consequences could be catastrophic, with the example being that these new bodies are daemons that behave like demons. I don’t see this being too much of a problem because they will be concentrating on building the starship for the Sun and be programmed not to break any laws that an ordinary person would be subject to. If that happens, they’d have to be turned off for a period of time.

      #3. This paragraph states the goal. I would point out that the current nature of this planet, being one where living beings eat other living beings in order to survive, is not really optimal. Even vegetarians cut short the lives of and inflict trauma on living plants to survive. Inflicting any form of trauma on any other is traumatizing to the self and leads to dissociative and sociopathic behavior. Violence perpetrated on anything that occupies form is to some degree pathological. Furthermore, the whole birth/death cycle causes everyone to dissociate to some degree. For us, there is no escape from being forced to participate in these psychopathic scenarios and we must be careful not to make the same mistake in the dimensions that we spawn, such as Second Life.

      #4. Note that I mentioned in the podcast that we are in a “simulation.” This was not something that Jasun followed up on. Jasun wrote a good book on this called The Matrix Warrior that everyone should read. I assume that is what you mean by peeking beyond physical reality. I mention the two smartphone apps that I wrote, one of which is a nonlocal coincidence counter, and the other peeks or pokes around behind physical reality to overcome 292,000,000 to 1 odds to win the Powerball lottery. Transhumanism and simulation theory go hand in hand, hence my Web site name: Both of these fields must advance simultaneously for this to work. I don’t think it is possible to replicate our personas without, as you put it, “peeking beyond physical reality.” That’s why I wrote the apps. If you are programming persona interfaces you have to understand how open ports to certain hardware addresses that do not violate operating system rules, and using the Mandela effect to transpose lottery numbers can be written off as a coincidence ONE TIME only. There is currently an imaginary multiverse instance where the app wins the lottery. Going after those numbers with a hive consciousness can steer the frames of our simulation toward that result. Stranger things have happened, Right?

      #5. For sure, dystopian scenarios will happen. That is, every once in a while a Dickian nightmare like Bladerunner will play itself out. These are the red blood cells that have gone astray and will be dealt with. However, my proposal places us on a solar-galactic alignment vector which is generally regarded as safe and effective, I would imagine.

  3. Isaac
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Does the mind really separate the body from the spirit after trauma? I agree that trauma can induce dissociation, and with your general idea of the the mind trying to protect itself after trauma through various at-first-protective but ultimately entombing delusions.

    But couldn’t it be that the trauma dissociates the body & mind? That it’s not the mind that is separating one’s spirit from the body, but that once the body has been compromised (through trauma) that the brain must also compromised? If the body is compromised, the brain will then have less or inaccurate information. Could it be that the body won’t let the mind go to the places of trauma in the body? That the body traps the brain – leaving it unable to access authentic reality and stuck justifying delusions?

    If you think the body is the true driver of the body (and the brain is a bit of a post-hoc justifier), wouldn’t that line up with the idea that the body imprisons the brain? That the brain is only stuck with its delusions because it’s affected by the traumatized body?

    This idea would also line up with somatic therapy (or Feldenkrais or cranio-sacral therapy), where emotions and traumas can be released from both body and mind through actions taken just on the body.

    As I commented on the previous podcast, I don’t think the body and mind are separate, so to me the best explanation is that trauma damages the body and mind in the same way in the same proportion. That body and mind are prisoner together, and they heal in direct correlation with one another. But then what is separating them from the spirit (if not the protective delusions of the mind)? Could it be the protective delusions of the body (which in my theory would encapsulate the mind as well)?

    The body can be sent into a protective state and remain in it if it gets locked in. F.M. Alexander (creator of the somatic Alexander Technique) believed people could get stuck in a fear state (a sort of fight, flight, or freeze state) where their muscles hold in a defensive posture. Just like fake smiling can make you happier, a frozen defensive posture would have an effect on the mind.

    I don’t think this contradicts the ideas in Prisoner of Infinity, but I think, at least in this podcast, you over-vilified the mind and treated the body as the victim. I don’t think healing is possible by leaving the mind and entering the body. I do think entering and engaging with one’s body is necessary for healing, and overcoming mental barriers might be necessary for that engagement to happen, but I believe those protective mental patterns will fall away as the protective body patterns are erased, and if that can be done, there will be nothing to fear from the mind anymore.

    I had this idea in between REM cycles while sleeping last night, something about the idea of the mind separating the body from the spirit just didn’t sit right with me, felt again compelled to comment.

    I also must say, your comment where you asked if Aneel was connecting to other humans with his ideas or was just connecting to the stars and planets while losing connection with humans was, I think, an important criteria we should all apply to our ideas and plans. It certainly made me question my motivations with certain things I want/wanted to do – were they really going to connect me to others, or were they a coping mechanism to feel a connection with something, even a star, to make up for my lack of human connections? The idea of engaging with others even on a level that one doesn’t personally enjoy, simply to make that human connection, is something I’m going to try. I think it makes a lot of sense.

    • Jasun
      Posted August 5, 2017 at 12:48 am | Permalink

      The body doesn’t require any definitions to know what we are talking about. Not so the mind. I can’t be sure if we agree or not unless I know what you mean by mind. I am mostly referring to the internal dialogue, that is something that only exists through and as (internal) language constructs.

      • Isaac
        Posted August 5, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        I don’t see how it makes sense to say the internal dialogue alone is the prison guard, when the frozen physical patterns of one’s body are just as harmful and imprisoning. To me the internal dialogue itself seems just as much a prisoner, as, just like the body, it can get stuck in a defensive pattern. I think the mind (internal dialogue) and body go into a defensive position together in response to trauma, and both will stay frozen in that defensive position in certain circumstances (like say with a lack of human support). So why blame the mind alone for the protective state after a trauma, when the body is in the same state?

        I guess my point is that simply leaving the mind and entering the body wouldn’t solve trauma without also healing the frozen patterns of the body. Obviously engaging with one’s own body is necessary to release those frozen body patterns, so becoming more embodied is necessary, but it’s not simply the internal dialogue that keeps us from fully entering the body – it’s the body itself, which is stuck in a defensive posture. In my opinion, the mind is only as deformed as the body, only as defensive as the body, because one’s internal dialogue is essentially a reflection of the state of one’s body.

        For instance, depressed people have depressed postures – they never have a full and free posture. Does the depression cause the posture or does the posture cause the depression – or are the two just manifestations of the same problem? A depressed person might also get sick more, and that could be how the immune system displays the problem, the pulse might become weak or on-edge and wiry, and that could be how the circulatory system manifests the problem. The whole body falls apart together, and heals together. You wouldn’t say you’re a prisoner of your pulse, so why say you’re a prisoner of your mind?

        Don’t mean to go on and on, but I’m obsessed with posture and somatic therapies at the moment. And personally, I’ve felt far more a prisoner of my body’s habitual patterns than from my internal dialogue (though that has felt imprisoning as well) – and as I’ve improved my body awareness and posture (though considerable effort), my mind has become an ally and not an enemy even without any significant work on my mind. That’s why I think one’s internal dialogue is a reflection of the state of the body.

        • Posted August 5, 2017 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

          Having owned a massage studio for 12 years, I can tell you that all of the leading somatic therapies on the market have something beneficial to offer. You picked the right thing to be obsessed with. The mind and body must function as a team to stay healthy. As long as the body is kept physically healthy, it is happy to follow the instructions given to it by the mind. The mind ultimately decides what foods the body will receive and how it will be exercised. The mind must also address any complaints that the body has, and somatic therapies are awesome for this. The body, in return, will make itself available for what the mind wants to do.

          • Isaac
            Posted August 7, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            A shame that didn’t come up in conversation – a transhumanist with a long history in massage/bodywork seems like something worth exploring. Perhaps that’s why your transhumanism requires a full body version of someone and not just putting someone’s brain in a computer like some transhumanists imagine – since you know how important the body is to the state of the mind.

            By the way, wanted to say I like your concept of the stars desiring us to build them communication channels. I don’t believe that’s true, but I think it’s certainly an interesting mythos – that one constellation might want to “speak” with another, and the life that lives as a result of the stars were made to do the bidding of the stars.

          • Posted August 11, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            That’s right, while the voice in back of your eyes is the boss that gives the thought stream orders, but the body can bring the mind to a halt and get attention when it needs to. It is the primary job of the mind to make sure that the body never has anything to complain about. Frequent massage and bodywork modalities address all the subsystems so that the wheels stay well greased with no squeaking. If I get my transcender android so it can give a reasonable-quality massage after I’m gone, would that be enough to call the mission a success?
            It terms of believing me when I tell you what the stars desire, you might want to check out the book “Krishna in the Sky with Diamonds” in which Teitsworth states: The Gita does not explicitly recommend any specific form of ritual behavior, but it provides intelligent guidelines for bringing each life to its full potential. The way taken will depend on individual choice and the so-called accidents of fate, Because of my own familiarity with psychedelic medicines, … I feel qualified to describe their spiritual efficacy in broad outline. The Gita’s illuminating perspective on Arjuna’s visionary experience, whatever it might have been, could well serve as a blueprint for anyone in a position to safely attempt a comparable experiment” (Teitsworth 202, 5). A determination as to what the stars do and do not desire requires some pretty intense experimentation to get to the point where you feel that what you believe that the stars think is a matter of common sense. It just seems that you are not about to jump to the Sun being sentient as quickly as Jasun did.

    • Posted August 5, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Trauma damages the body and mind in different ways, but probably in the same proportion. Perhaps the body and mind are prisoners of each other, and they are injured and heal in sympathy with one another. But aren’t both the body and mind prisoners of the soul? Or is the soul just another delusion of the mind? If you want to find out, then peek behind the veil. If you have a physical ailment that persists, you need to do this. If you are not happy with your life and can’t figure out how to change it, then you need to do this. If you are healthy and content then just continue serving your family and community or continue doing whatever it is that allows you to maintain that state. Jasun strikes a balance between sitting in front of a computer podcasting and blogging and connecting with connecting with humans face to face in his thrift store… I agree with him on the importance of the human connections that you make and maintain with other humans to your happiness. We’re social animals. Usually I will socialize with the cashier at the supermarket, server at a restaurant, etc. and it is certainly brightens my day. Everyone should obviously be doing that to some degree. I would suggest, however, that you look into playing a sport. I became the president of my local table tennis club and would set up 15 tables in a gym and started holding USATT rated tournaments where I could gather with 50 friends and we whack a ping pong ball around for fun. Table tennis really is a great sport. The reason it is not very popular is that the learning curve is so steep. It takes quite a while before you can play the average player without experiencing deep frustration, so most people drop out of it after a few months. Sports are a great way to simultaneously connect with others while you maintain your health. I find the best way to connect with my body to be through weight lifting and yoga.
      Perhaps the reason we sleep at night is so that the body can take a break and rest and repair itself. It needs a break from the mind otherwise it goes nuts and will actually die for no apparent reason should sleep deprivation persist. But the important thing here is that we are each a conglomeration of entities all trying to inhabit the same physical location. Problems arise when we can’t get along with each other, or outside traumas cause injury and the mind and body have to struggle to recover.

  4. Ephrem Zemblast Jr.
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    Jasun met Helen Bonham Carter ? ! Cause of you’re Brit shadow quasi-royalty status ? She was grand-daughter to the prime minister, right ? Did you assault her with gushing fanboy Fight Club questions ? I loved her in that. Wasn’t too much “acting” methinks. If you know what I mean. Where did you meet her ? You lit her cigarette or what ?

    • Jasun
      Posted August 5, 2017 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      On Hampstead Heath while she was filming Heart of Me. I had seen the sign announcing filming would start some weeks earlier, exactly the moment I was fantasizing about getting a response from John Boorman, who I’d just written to and whose Where the Heart Is was my favorite of his films. I didn’t know the film would be starring HBC but i took that sign as a confirmation that I would hear from Boorman (I didn’t). Later when I first saw HBC she was in the back of a jeep & stared at me intensely, as if she knew me. This obviously got my attention. I spoke to her later on, on a park bench, while she was being interviewed. I then had what I believed was a “second attention” dream meeting with her and became convinced she was part of my sorcerers group, my wo-man in Hollywood, so to speak. I wrote a whole script about the encounter and where it might lead, called Ariadne’s Thread, about lucid dreaming, and got it to her. It began with reality (how we met etc) and then extended into fantasy, how we would make a film together about sorcery because we were sorcerers, etc. I was sure this was all destiny at work, but it turned out to just be an elaborate intersection between delusion and reality, like Aneel and his eclipse. At least insofar as I expected it to take some literal form, I was deluded.

      HBC lived in Hampstead so I saw her a few times, sometimes with Tim Burton. They remained aloof.

      • Posted August 5, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        You mention me in the same sentence as “delusion” and “eclipse.” I take that to mean that you think that I am regarding the eclipse as a sign from the Sun that he and the moon are doing me some type of personal favor by lining up above Athena Parthenos down the street from me. But in reality, I do actually doubt that the Sun has allocated some of its awareness to me as an individual and from a scientific point of view it just has to be written off as another coincidence. My relationship with him, for the time being at least, is probably one-way: me emulating him in my mind through whatever sympathy and empathy I can muster up. But if more coincidences pile up there has to come some point where it begins to rise to the level of being evidence, which then leads to theories and proofs that are peer-reviewed. Jasun is my peer, and he is calling it a coincidence and I would have a difficult time disputing that assessment.

  5. Ephrem Zemblast Jr.
    Posted August 4, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Aneel Pandey…hmmm….bit of a New Ager, ‘ey ?

  6. Karen
    Posted August 5, 2017 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    This is actually one of my favourite podcasts, but unfortunately for Mr Pandey, I do not have a cellphone or participate in any lottery format – the guest’s self promotion is not going to get him business from me or anyone with whom I associate.

    The question was left hanging – “how am I not being humble?” I suggest the guest, if he hasn’t already done so, re-listen to the whole podcast; his responses are demonstrative of intellectualised humility.

    At 1:11:36 the guest says of the host “you make a great devil’s advocate” which to me is suggestive of the position of the sophist who exists purely to win the argument – nothing more, nothing less.
    The guest agreed that he wants to “make the world a better place” however one man’s vision of `better’ could easily be another man’s vision of hell. I doubt that Mr Pandey’s vision is going to make my world a better place.

    What is the complaint against trans-humanism? I guess my complaint is that the guest did nothing to convince me that trans-humanism is based on anything tangible or true or long lasting. It seems like it is a kind of a short cut into Star Trek or something equally degraded and untested. My sadness of trans-humanism lies in my contemplation of whether or not one of the biggest threats to humanity is the appeal to vanity – particularly if this ideology invites humanity to consent to throw itself over a cliff. I can do nothing more than observe it, identify it and then set myself apart.

    Thank you again Jasun for some of the most vital broadcasting. I aim to support you in the near future – when I get home.

    • Posted August 5, 2017 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

      “Self-promotion,” “business”… ugly words. I sympathize with you in this whole money thing we have to deal with, but it is just path things have to follow on this planet if you want to see things built. But I see how you could take offense to it. I don’t get the impression that building things is your cup of tea and that’s fine.
      I have re-listened to the whole podcast a number of times. I take your assessment of my “intellectualized humility” to mean that in reality I am not humble, but I hide it by the way I worded my responses and so you can’t point to anything specific. If I managed to hide my ego that well then I’ll just take this as a compliment.
      Your wrote, “At 1:11:36 the guest says of the host “you make a great devil’s advocate” which to me is suggestive of the position of the sophist who exists purely to win the argument – nothing more, nothing less.” Well, Jasun was asking why I continue to come back to him so he can shoot down my ideas by labeling them as dystopian fantasies. I respond by saying it’s because I want to hear the counterarguments. I don’t see that I was trying to win any argument. For me to debug my message, I need to hear from people that have objections so that I don’t end up promoting some type of Bladerunneresque dystopia.
      As far as my proposal being dystopian, I think you need to study geological history to see that the surface of this planet is really, really unstable over periods of time in the tens of thousands of years range. These physical bodies our species have have their days numbered, albeit you probably won’t see anything really negative happen in your own lifetime. I don’t want to see everything our culture has developed go down the drain and be forgotten by the galaxy. If you cannot lend assistance don’t worry about it. I apologize in advance for any dystopian scenarios that result from this, which is why I am talking to people like you and Jasun so that perhaps the size of the apologies that inevitably will have to be given is minimized.
      Thanks for saying this was one of your favorite podcasts; I appreciate the compliment.

      • Posted August 6, 2017 at 6:11 am | Permalink

        Karen: In Jasun’s response (which he put in a new thread rather than in-line) he said I could ask you why you said this was one of your favorite podcasts, presumably so that I do not delude myself into thinking that you liked any of my ideas. You think my “cut into Star Trek” message is dystopian, so why was it one of your favorite podcasts? Is it because I specified exactly which Neo-Aztec-Capitalist conspiracy it is that you need to set yourself apart from?

  7. Jasun
    Posted August 6, 2017 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    Aneel: My guess would be that most of those who listen to this podcast or follow my writing would agree that we already live in a dystopia and that the way out is not by thinking big but thinking differently. I suppose your vision might seem like thinking out the box to some but is it really, or is it just a personal spin on the same old utopian/ubermenschian ideas that have been rattling around since Atlantis sank into the ocean? The reason you don’t see the world we are in as already truly dystopian, in my opinion, is that you are essentially aligned with the powers of this world (I know you profess to resent government impingement on your rights, and so on, but your complaints are minor compared to the truly oppressed). The powers of this world are those who are skilled at hiding their egos with a mask of intellectual humility, while building their personal death-star-ships and making offerings to the Sun in exchange for immortality (& downplaying the small efforts of ordinary people to alleviate local human suffering). This latter by the way has certain obvious (and ominous) parallels with Aztec rituals and even Nazi philosophies (sun worship, sacrifice, secret technology, desire to please/placate a nonhuman power). It’s unfortunate you wont take the time to read and absorb Prisoner of Infinity, since it maps out this kind of grandiose displacement activity (and even shows how it is rooted in early exposure to shows like Star Trek), and how this dystopia superculture extends itself by luring people such as yourself into utopian fantasies of scientistic transcendence instead of looking at and owning up to their own broken, traumatized conditions, and willingly placing themselves into quarantine for the good of the collective. So the uber-virus continues to spread.

    I am not sure that people saying this is their favorite podcast is necessarily meant as a compliment to you, by the way. Or at least not to your message. You could ask them.

    • Posted August 6, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      How can you deny that to those living a few hundred years ago would not regard your life as a utopia in comparison to the lives they had then? If you get sick help is available. You can earn a living-wage in a relatively stress-free job in a thrift store connecting with people each day. All the needs of your body and mind are met with abundance. You have inexpensive, instant communication with nearly every other person on the planet and get to blog, podcast and pontificate to what looks like 1400 followers when you are not in the thrift store. I state that things could be better, but a dystopia? Really? What complaint do you have that is affecting you?
      John de Ruiter and Whitley Strieber probably have an opinion on who needs to quarantine himself, for the “good of the collective,” as you put it. You wrote The Matrix Warrior with the firm belief that you were the messiah: the “One.” You were then traumatized when no one would listen to you. You made a second attempt to become some type of leader a number of years later with SWEDA and failed again. It’s now a sour grapes story: out of jealously for succeeding where you failed, you attack JDR and Strieber to resolve the trauma you experienced by those failures. Can you own up to this?

      • Isaac
        Posted August 7, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

        It’s funny how this podcast/blog seems to always be dealing with what’s on my mind.

        Can we complain about being in a dystopia if we live more safe and comfortable lives than virtually any human in history? What I think perhaps you’re missing or disagree with, Aneel, is that if our society and culture are fragmented and frankly disgusting, the abundance and comfort we have seem pointless and dissatisfying (especially if they’re separating us from genuine connection and love).

        But at certain level it seems Jasun must take the position that civilization is the problem, that civilization itself separates us from our spirit or soul. If we’re to rope in Aztec culture and Altantis, we’re basically saying civilization has always been corrupted by those with utopian ideals and masks of humility – and perhaps those are not traits of individuals but of whole societies being expressed through the “elite.”

        Which more or less would seem to bring us back to the fall of man from the garden of eden – with the knowledge of the gods, we are no longer animals and forced to suffer.

        Perhaps I’m still in my prison, but I’m more attracted to Nietzsche’s philosophy than any vaguely Christian love based philosophy. Though on one hand, I wonder what kind of advancement I desire that’s of more value than human connection and love, on the other hand I wonder if this kind of pontification is only possible because the ubermensch-ian strongmen have built us a society of abundance. If we still had significant want, maybe we wouldn’t worry about whether the humility of our leader was genuine or a mask used to manipulate us – we’d just care if they could lead us to food, shelter and comfort.

        As much as I agree that “utopian fantasies of scientistic transcendence” are used to manipulate and to justify horror on personal and global scales, I’m not sure grandiose displacement activities are inherently worse than local, suffering-alleviation based displacement activities. It seems both have always existed, and maybe both must exist side by side for either to have value to a “civilized” mind. Maybe the ordinary people need something grandiose and pointless like a Pyramid or spaceship to feel like the small pieces of love they share to get by have a higher purpose.

        But even this is a false dichotomy. Nietzsche’s philosophy didn’t strive for immortality, was not at all scientistic, and wouldn’t align with secret technology or attacks on the masses to make them easier to control – The ubermensch isn’t one man who is beyond the others, the whole species is to be ubermenschen, they are the next step of evolution – which has become a troubling phrase after Huxleys got their hands on it, but as a basic idea is hardly objectionable. Now I’m just defending Nietzsche, but that gets back to the point I wanted to make.

        This stuff turns into philosophy at a certain point. Desiring technological advancement and space travel are quite natural desires for the industrious human mind, and even if they have been used to manipulate, many concepts used to manipulate are true on some level – that’s why they are effective in manipulation. We don’t throw out love when we see someone use love to manipulate, and I fear on some level Jasun wants to throw out everything associated with the Huxley-New Age social engineering since it’s obviously been used to manipulate. But isn’t it as philosophically valid to strive for utopia/immortality as it is to strive for love and connection?

        The most entertaining aspect of the podcasts, for me, was the animosity that seemed to be bubbling beneath the surface of your conversation, which the audience has only the slightest pieces of information from the conversation to understand (we (or I) don’t know your two’s personal history). As someone who loves to listen to others conversations, you don’t often get to hear two people with some real tension between them have a conversation about interesting topics, so this was an unique experience. While I found Aneel frustrating at first, by the end I felt Jasun was trying to “attack” you for not living up to his own personal beliefs.

        “You wrote The Matrix Warrior with the firm belief that you were the messiah: the “One.” You were then traumatized when no one would listen to you.”

        I don’t think this attack works, Aneel, because one theme of Jasun’s work now is about how many (himself included) are/were deluded through this Joseph Campbell/Stanford Research institute/individual on a spirit quest framework that was/is pushed by occultists and intelligence agencies. And I think Jasun could rightly characterize some aspects of your transhumanist ideas as rooted in this same, individualistic, hero-mythos savior complex – as you seemed to say you are chosen by the stars to build them a circulatory system, and you will do this not just by inventing something amazing like an android, but by perpetuating yourself though eternity as that android.

        The subtle (and less subtle) attacks admittedly added interest to the podcast, but I don’t think they make either of you look good here or in the podcast. Jasun’s sardonic comments referencing Aneel’s wealth allowing him to live in a bubble and casually dropped accusations of utter inherent contradiction seemed out of place coming from the one in the argument arguing for love, compassion, and opening a space for the other to be vulnerable. And the idea that if Aneel doesn’t agree with Jasun’s argument, that he must then be deluding himself and mind controlled by Star Trek (to put it in coarse terms) came off strangely to me when listening, and I think it’s what has instigated these personal attacks from Aneel. Aneel can just as easily accuse Jasun of being deluded, that talking to people in your shop is just a small way for you to pass the time after having experienced bigger, mind-expanding ways in your past – that both are things to occupy our minds till we die. I get why Jasun would want to push back against this prisoner of infinity/occultist trap he fears others will fall in, and might say there’s a difference – that human connection and love are realer than tech-sci immortality dreams, that love and connection are not rooted in delusion. But at a certain level, as I said before, it’s just personal philosophy, no? Maybe Jasun is oversensitive to the prisoner of infinity problem because he experienced it fully, while Aneel is undersensitive to the delusions of the problem since he has not looked at them squarely. Maybe some middle-ground between human connection/love and ambition for technological immortality (or spiritual evolution) is not only to be desired, but what will inevitably be the future and what is our past.

        I think it’s my contrarian nature that makes me argue for whichever side seems less powerful, because I didn’t agree with almost anything Aneel said. But to my ears, and maybe it’s related to something in your two’s past, Jasun seemed ready to go on the attack and to diminish Aneel’s ideas. Perhaps a more loving approach would have made Jasun’s arguments stronger, not just because it would be more consistent with his argument, but because it could have exposed the problems in Aneel’s philosophy without having to impose his own philosophy onto Aneel’s.

        I think I’ve gone on enough, hope this mostly makes sense and doesn’t come off rudely. I’ve had this podcast conversation on the mind lately and well, hell, I wrote all this, not gonna delete it now – hope it can give some insight into how one person saw the conversation.

        • Posted August 11, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

          I first came to know Jasun through his Stormy Weather podcast that he started in 2008. Jasun claimed to be a sorcerer. Then, after a series of events, he negated all of that as boo-foo-ka-kah. Basically, he couldn’t get the sorcery to work, so he turned on it and then went on the attack against JdR and Strieber, with those attacks being somewhat ad hominem. Would Jason deny that JdR and Strieber are successful at sorcery and/or occultism?

          If you want to check out you can listen to Dream Girl posted there to see that android life need not be devoid of love and connection. Are you saying something cannot love and connect because it is robotic? Have you not watched Electric Dreams?

          You seem to allege that I might be delusional for thinking that we need to transfer our consciousnesses into androids to live for eternity so that we have enough time to deliver a starship to the galaxy. My opinion on this is that it either it goes that way or we end up like Atlantis: pretty much FORGOTTEN. For all we know, alien species might be hovering about waiting for us to completely trash the planet so they can take it over.

          You wrote: “I didn’t agree with almost anything Aneel said.” What didn’t you agree with?

          • Isaac
            Posted August 11, 2017 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

            Do you not see how imagining android immortality could be seen as a coping mechanism for a lack of loving human connections? – Not necessarily as a personal failing, but as part of a society that encourages dissociation and wants to distract from that pain it’s inflicting with individualist dreams of being a hero who gains immortality? Some of your answers here and in the podcast betray a lack of loving human connections and that you may in fact be in a bubble as Jasun said – specifically you say you socialize with the waiter as an example of making connections, but Jasun was talking about making a place for people to be vulnerable in his shop (when it makes sense) and to engage with them on their level, which is significantly different than having a pleasant chat with someone who’s paid to be pleasant to you while you’re out to eat.

            I think sorcery and occultism are largely in the past elite control BS and now intelligence projects, and Jasun has made quite convincing arguments that Strieber was a likely a victim of some kind of MK-ultra style conditioning and/or elite child torture.

            You still haven’t explained why the android needs to have your persona. Why not an android that is hell bent on doing the duty of the stars? Why does it need your stomach? Though a perfect human android replica will probably not be possible for thousands of years if ever at all, don’t you think that if we got to that point of technology, we could probably travel the universe as humans? Sure, our bodies would die, but we would have children. Why the focus on personalized androids when the space travel and just basic robotic elements are much more practical and necessary?

          • Posted August 13, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

            You wrote, “Strieber was a likely a victim of some kind of MK-ultra style conditioning and/or elite child torture.” Yes, go back to WW II, Werner von Braun, and the Third Reich’s plan to take over the world via a fake ET invasion. It seems that Strieber fell prey to one of the 1600 Nazi occultists from Operation Paperclip. While they never attempted to pull off the fake ET invasion, some victims were programmed to condition the masses to accept the possibility of the existence of ETs, but I’m sure Strieber has no idea about any of this. It seems to me that Jasun’s inability to remember his days before age 7 has to do with him being a mind-controlled Fabian socialist… that’s what his writing makes him look like to me and explains why he attacks those victims of fascism like Strieber or a technotronic capitalist like me.
            My persona is “hell bent’ on fulfilling its duty to the stars, so that is the most efficient way to give the stars what I imagine they want. As far as it needing my stomach, it needs a third chakra control center to replicate “gut” intuition. I think space travel by humans is a lot further off than by androids. You can turn an android off for a million year journey but I don’t see that as something a human would want to undergo.

  8. Posted August 8, 2017 at 1:35 am | Permalink

    This dreams about AI, cyborgs, post humanism etc. are funny. The dreamers do not realize to what extent their dreams rely on finite energy sources and other non renewable raw materials. Just go to an amazon server farm, where their cloud is hosted. Watch the trucks bringing new hard drives to replace the broken ones all day long. And imagine the thousands and thousands other server farms where the same is happening. Jason did podcasts with JM Greer and Kunstler. Listen to them Aneel and rewire. I am not afraid that your dream comes through. In the not so distant future the plug gets simply pulled. I am afraid what will happen to you and your like when you are alone with your blathering egos and looping speakers. Without artificial cloud repeaters. That will be your trauma and I expect the worst.

    • Posted August 15, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Any disaster that could cause the scenario you paint to play out would do a lot more harm to humans than machines and also I don’t foresee it happening, for whatever that opinion is worth. To me, you seem like a fish that is saying that gills are fine and there’s no need to develop lungs to dwell on land.

      • Posted August 16, 2017 at 12:42 am | Permalink

        Of cause this will do harm to human beings. I do not care about machines. Your phantasies rest on economics of infinite growth in a finite world. And by all your care and enthusiasm about machines you simply do not notice how they are manufactured and powered. They are powered by the blood of the earth which was spent carelessly and wastefully. And the consequences are already visible, if you notice or not. Anyway, I find your point of view and your visions abominable, a soulless and materialistic version of the Kali Yuga. With your uploading of what you think you are (what a pitiable effigy) you are just opening the way for intra-psychic forces from below. That Hideous Strength needs weak puppets that have inured and closed themselves to the spark of sanctity that resides in every human being.

        • Posted August 16, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          An android based in silicon would call you a “machine” based in carbon. A lifeform based on silicon can have the “spark” you refer to, or at least emulate it, in which case I’d have to ask what the difference really is. What is it about this “soul” you refer to that makes an android less eligible to have one? In the scenario I paint, Constitutional rights would attach to the transcender after the human body dies. That such a being is lesser can only be described as some type of neo-racism.
          An android would have an environmental impact orders of magnitude lower than a human, so don’t blame androids for the need for “infinite growth”; humans are the bigger load for the environment. Do you really believe humans will be able downshift to sustainability?
          This Hideous Strength and intra-psychic force… what are you talking about here?

  9. Gary
    Posted August 8, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    I found the first hour excruciating and maddening. It’s so strange, this argument that because subjectivity cannot be immediately shared, that it’s a good idea to pretend it doesn’t actually exist at all. But when A broke it down, I think his form of humility was expressed as a voiding of the self, claiming that the self is of no importance, that only one’s duty to others was of real value. Therefore, why not just die to be replaced by an android? Is there a bit of ironic reducto ad absurdum logic joke going on here? Or the bitter irony of one whose inner life has been mocked by those to whom he owes filial loyalty? Or is it a dry and disturbing farce of the technocratic economist’s view of humans?

    Aneel, I ended up liking you in the end of the first hour and through the second, with your crazy theories about celestial grandparents and blood cells. I have to recommend Husserl’s Crisis of the Western Sciences for an antidote to all this unconscious Comte BS that floats around pretending to be objectivity. I think you would see how Husserl’s approach to subjectivity could unmoor your zeppelin.

    • Posted August 11, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Since you liked the red blood cell and celestial grandparent analogies, let me continue those by saying that you are sandwiched in between atoms, molecules, and organs in the microcosm and solar systems and galaxies in the macrocosm. You are born into and army charged which securing the survival of all matter that has form in its fight against entropy. Problems arise when people in this army forget that they are in the army and think that the lives they have been given here are some type of free gift. There no free lunch. I think Jasun senses the bondage we are in, and writes that we are prisoners of infinity. The infinities of the microcosm and macrocosm challenge us to integrate with them, but in a military context. The red blood cells are the privates, the heart is like a sergeant, the mind is the captain, the Sun is the colonel and Sagittarius A* is the general in the galaxy. If you don’t believe me, note that when you are born, the technocratic economists issue you a corporation with your name in all caps. Look at your drivers’ license and bank statement to see how this is done. Again, your life here is not some type of free gift, and you are tracked in your performance. You refer to this as a joke or a mockery… whatever… yes, we’re being “played.” We know that what is in there between those two eyes is suffering. Sorry, but that the nature of things. Everyone gets to choose how to deal with this simulation we are trapped in. If we can’t get out of it should we at least not take control of it?
      You wrote: “But when A(neel) broke it down, I think his form of humility was expressed as a voiding of the self.” That’s right. In the context of being in the army, your subjective experience needs to be kept to yourself except in carrying out your duties. It is understandable that you want to know what your subjective experience actually is and find answers to all these existential questions. What do you want to know? Jasun is all hung up on some traumatic experience that he cannot even remember, but he is sure that it is messing up his day-to-day life. That’s nonsense. He forgot what happened as a defense mechanism, so why try mess with the fix and remember what some crazy animal did when he was five? That guy is probably dead by now anyway. Everyone has been and is being traumatized as a result of the current setup. What is happening to some is a horror-freak-show nightmare of nearly unimaginable proportions. The only message worth hearing is that you need to take control of the simulation to stop the trauma.

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