Checkmated by HAL: How Technocracy is Making the World a Better Place for Machines to Live In

In the ever-escalating ideological war of narratives, everyone agrees we need to “make the world a better place”—or claims to. In a general way, there is even agreement about how to do so: we need to make the world a better place by coming up with (and enforcing) better narratives. And regardless of the ideological (or ethical) specifics, hope is invariably the currency every narrative deals in.

Narratives that shape our identity determine our worldview and behavior. This leads to a gradual remolding of culture and society, shaping future generations, and so on. But what if the formative stories we are being exposed to as children are fictions? Are the stories we tell ourselves as adults any different? And how would we determine it, if we don’t have anything to compare them to?

Bound by Shared Aversion

In December 2018, Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, was presented with the first ever “Courage Against Hate Award” by the Anti-Defamation League “for his work as a champion of unity, diversity, and social progress.”

Jonathan A. Greenblatt, the CEO and National Director of the ADL, described Cook as “a staunch advocate for the LGBTQ community and immigrants’ rights while denouncing racist vitriol like the events in Charlottesville.”[1] Under Cook’s stewardship, Apple also banned Infowars, Alex Jones’ platform, from its App Store, due to “defamatory, discriminatory, or mean-spirited content, including references or commentary about religion, race, sexual orientation, gender, national/ethnic origin, or other targeted groups . . . likely to humiliate, intimidate, or place a targeted individual or group in harm’s way.”[2]

Introducing Cook for the presentation of the award, Greenblatt promised his audience that Cook “will not only add spark to our conversation: I am certain he will inspire us.” Even as Greenblatt repeats words like “thrilled” and “excited,” however, the flatness and enervation of his speech delivers the very opposite message. And following the subdued applause, Cook steps onstage and launches into an even more soporific speech. He expostulates in muted monotones on “the stubborn and constant evils of anti-Semitism,” and describes how Apples has “always prohibited music with a message of white supremacy. Why? Because it’s the right thing to do, and as we showed this year, we won’t give a platform to violent conspiracy theorists” (Jones again).

While “Violence and hate darken the streets of Pittsburgh and so many other places,” he adds, “more and more people [are] opening their eyes and rising to their feet and speaking out in defense of a society where we are all bound together by the values we have in common.”

All bound together by the values we have in common. The statement speaks volumes, especially considering that these shared values center around a quasi-consensual condemnation of Alex Jones and his millions of followers. Is it only a question of numbers? What exactly makes values common and binding—and what makes them vitriolic populism to be expunged at all costs?

Outside the echo chamber of the ADL, Cook’s speech was not especially well-received. On YouTube it has less than a thousand views, and both the comments and like/dislike function are disabled. This speaks for itself: the Apple-ADL elite are not interested in popular feedback if it might interfere with their narrative. At the same time, Cook’s speech is so lifeless and dispassionate that it barely passes the Turing test (unlike Jones, no one can accuse Cook of being a rabble-rouser). If the medium is the message, who are Apple and the ADL hoping to persuade?

As far as I know, what attention the presentation did attract was mostly due to its brazen, if ineffective, attempt to reframe restrictions upon of freedom of speech as evidence of courage and compassion beyond the call of duty. And less overtly, to further sell the idea of benign tech. Cook winds up his speech with the following:

You might know the phrase deus ex machina, God from the machine. [T]his idea . . . has stayed with us through the ages because it’s so comforting. Just when the world seems to be getting more dangerous, just when it seems like the challenges may be greater than our ability to solve them, it’s reassuring to think that some technological marvel, some creation of our own hands, will solve the problem for us. But what I admire so much about the ADL is that your entire history provides a lesson here. If the machines we build are going to help us solve the world’s problems, then the God part, that decency, mercy, and humanity, is going to have to come from all of us. After all, we only have one life, so why not use it to make the world a better place? [Emphasis added—there is nothing emphatic in Cook’s speech.]

While no technocratic speech is complete without that last, limp refrain, Cook’s question is of course wholly rhetorical. It is not meant to raises actual questions in our minds, such as: who decides what constitutes a better world, how to go about making it, or who it is better for—or what?

With his “hateful anti-government conspiratorial rants,” Alex Jones would surely at least claim to be driven by the same noble goal as Cook and Greenblatt. Apple sees Jones as fueling the fires of extremism and hate, and Jones sees his own personal demons of totalitarian mind control and the New World Order lurking behind globalist, neoliberal corporations like Apple. Both get to point a finger at the other, as a formidable adversary in their “shared” goal of making the world a better place.

So who represents the greater threat here? Or at least, who has the greater power and influence? With his histrionic pseudo-conviction and calculatingly uncouth white-trash bravado, Jones—like Donald Trump—is the crass antithesis of the smooth, android precision of the Apple-ADL faction, and provides the wormy counter-narrative to the technocracy’s shiny Apple. 

It goes both ways: Banning Jones is a great way to legitimize his military-industrial strength soap-box and resuscitate his flagging audience, making him appear a genuine threat to the powers-that-be. Thanks to Apple, YouTube, and Twitter, Jones now has credibility for people who formerly dismissed him as a creakingly obvious meat puppet of controlled opposition. And by the same token, the ADL and Apple get to show off their compassion cojones by going after a big, bad alt-media wolf. 

Like the Joker and Batman, each acts a bulwark to validate the other’s existence. If this isn’t actually theater—or pro-wrestling—it appears to adhere to the same basic principles.

 

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace 

  

When she was just a toddler, my niece enjoyed a British TV show called “Teletubbies.” “Teletubbies” consists of people (possibly small ones) dressed in brightly colored costumes, prancing around a brightly colored set, making sounds in lieu of language. With its primary colors, music and sound effects, constant movement, baby talk, and rudimentary storyline, “Teletubbies” is just about sophisticated enough to entertain adults and older children, without being too complex to appeal to infants and toddlers. 

Judging by the success of “Teletubbies”—and by how engrossed my one-year-old niece was in it—human beings are able to follow narratives before they even have a clear sense of identity. This suggests that narration, language, and stories are central to how identity forms. Just as every sentence needs a subject, every story requires a protagonist: whether it’s first, second, or third, there has to be a person acting for any story to unfold. The correlation between narrative and identity is clear.

Developmental psychologists (Jean Piaget[1], David Premack)—not to mention parents—have observed that children develop a sense of a separate self over the first four years or so, prior to which, in the jargon, they haven’t learned “theory of mind.” In this regard, it’s interesting to note that children’s stories are often about animals—perhaps because animals don’t have theory of mind either?

At the start of his monotone speech, Cook quotes a talk he heard in Brussels earlier that year, called “Is Technology Designed to Serve Humankind?” by Maria Farrell. The question of whether technology is designed to serve mankind is certainly a heavily loaded and pressing one, and during the presentation, Farrell asks several more:

Why does Elektra have to murder her mother? Or why, in the Pied Piper of Hamelin, why does the Pied Piper punish those parents of those children he leads away in such a diabolical way? We don’t know, and that’s why those stories are stories that we all know, right? They’re still working on us, so they don’t yield up their meaning in a really obvious way. No. They keep working on us. Working on our unconscious. We take them in consciously but they work on us unconsciously. Almost as if there is a piece of software executing a subroutine, basically against our will. Stories are basically malware. [Emphasis added]

Bizarrely, Farrell does not go on to correct, or even address, her contention that narratives are “basically” malignant. Her presentation is about the need to generate better stories to shape a better future and (you guessed it) create a better world. Yet in the midst of her pitch, the best metaphor she can come up with for how stories function is that of an invasive technology designed to take over our systems and redirect them towards malicious ends.

The only reassurance she offers is this: “And that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re a storyteller or an educator.” Surprisingly, she doesn’t raise the question of whether a storyteller is ethical, inspired, or possessed of wisdom or benevolence, but simply whether or not we are (professional) storytellers. The goodness or badness of the technology apparently depends on which side of the class divide we are on. Farrell’s proviso is the necessary lead-in to the actual message of her presentation, which is not cautionary but promissory.

“Looking to the future, what kind of stories could we tell using artificial intelligence, using an augmented reality, virtual reality, that will help us to do this weird unconscious intermingling thing even better?”

Apparently she is speaking not just for but to the technocratic class when she says this. The emphasis is mine, of course, meant to emphasize that, unless I misread her badly, Farrell is proposing a more efficient form of consciousness-malware.

As confirmation, Farrell then uses the example of experiments conducted by Harry Harlow (an associate of Abraham Maslow) in the 1950s in which baby rhesus monkeys were given cloth and wire effigies in place of real mothers, after which they became demented. “I think we can actually do something much better,” she says, “to link our consciousnesses to not feel alone.” Better than wire effigies and dementia? How low is this bar? A brave new world awaits us—one of perfected effigies, and less demented monkeys.

In her ostensibly benign presentation, Farrell is advocating, more or less explicitly, using technology to create a surrogate experience of parenting—technology as wire effigies of the mother’s body, the mother’s gaze. She is suggesting replacing the organic matrix, which in optimal conditions creates a healthy and autonomous sense of self, with an artificial one. If we program A.I. correctly, she is saying, it will program us. It will become our Big Mother, telling us a never-ending bedtime story, inside of which we can all live happily ever after.

In her own words, she believes we can use A.I. in a similar way as prophesized by Neal Stephenson in Diamond Age, to optimize human potential—“to do stories bigger, to live in our stories, to be loved by our stories and love them back.”

Most strangely of all, she seems to have a raptly receptive audience to a proposal that, to some of us, may seem openly, not to say brazenly, dystopian.

 

Data-Driven Lives

Farrell’s talk was given at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, Debating Ethics: Dignity and Respect in Data Driven Life, so it might be the time to ask, what exactly is a data-driven life, and why exactly is it in need of dignity and respect?

Based on Farrell’s talk, a data-driven life is a life discreetly run by narrative malware. It is what we get when we allow our consciousness to be controlled by algorithms, when our behavior is increasingly inspired—or parented—by our technology. At the very least, it is what happens when we have learned to operate in a similar way to our technology. Humans are mimetic creatures—so why wouldn’t we start to imitate our own creations, especially when they are associated with efficiency, productivity, and power?

Have we engineered a technology that is now engineering our consciousness to imitate it? Is it a coincidence that, the more our stories are being mediated by the evolving forms of technology, the more centrally technology is featured in them, even to the point of becoming the protagonist of them?

At least since radio and television, governments have had the ability to force-feed narratives to mass populations. Both visibly and tangibly, this is an accumulative process, a cybernetic snowball leading to an information avalanche. It can be mapped, not only via the obvious advances in technology, but through the transmutation of our own consciousnesses, personalities, society, and behaviors. We are all becoming baby monkeys in A.I.’s laboratory, passive and faceless travelers on HAL’s spaceship.

If our ability to get lost in narratives precedes even our sense of identity, stories may indeed be used—like malware—to take over our nervous systems and shape our identity in its formative stages.  If corporations were to implant these sorts of preverbal narratives into us at a young age, they could coopt our development to an unknown but profound degree. I am being needlessly conservative here, since clearly this project has been underway for decades now, via more and more sophisticated forms of technology. Now that we are several generations of malware infection in, how much more susceptible are we, as adults, to influence by more “grown-up,” sophisticated, and insidious manufactured narratives?

In our data-driven lives, we have become increasingly dependent on Tim Cook’s stewed apple of programmable “knowledge.” More and more, we address social problems by referring to a collective computerized databank. There’s a certain amount of awareness that the problems we are trying to fix to some extent originate with our beliefs, which implies that the database is inherently flawed. This is why we are constantly trying to “perfect the narrative,” to come up with the correct ideological lens through which to view the world. But it seems as though that awareness is never enough for us to turn the lens on ourselves, to look at—or even acknowledge—the hidden database, the malware, that’s driving us to create these narratives.

Instead, we keep looking for flaws and anomalies within the narrative: not as a way to expose the unreliability of the narrator, but as a way to fix the stories and make them run more smoothly, so we can continue to suspend our disbelief.

It’s not as though the flaw in all of these techno-utopian narratives isn’t glaringly obvious, either—the dearth of wisdom that’s being concealed by the shiny sophistication. If we attempt to put Cook’s, the ADL’s, or Farrell’s propositions in the context of the solar system, or even just the Earth, the fact is, these are all just temporary solutions pretending at permanence. They are a materialistic reworking of religiosity. What’s worse, because they aren’t sourced in a traditionally religious mindset, they have no reference to eternals or absolutes, only to never-ending “apps” in constant need of updating. Instead of promising transcendence of space and time, they propose to extend them indefinitely—offering Hell in lieu of Heaven.

Perhaps the part of our consciousness—the malware—that’s running our behaviors is continuously creating technology that will re-present itself to us, and so make it stronger? That would mean our technologies are reflecting back at us our own pathology—like a funhouse mirror distortion, like the man-meat tornadoes Alex Jones or Donald Trump flailing wildly in face of the Apple elite with their unbridled, uncouth id-ness.

The problem with seeing things this way is that it is painful and despair-inducing—humbling. It’s much more appealing to carry on tweaking our techno-toys and refurbishing the narrative. But in the process, are we also being tweaked? As we create ever more sophisticated algorithms to censor those voices—inner and outer—that disrupt our dream, is our consciousness becoming increasingly algorithmic?

If we are living more and more inside—taking refuge in—our own mind, paradoxically, it’s becoming an increasingly externalized mind. This presents both a problem and a solution. If we have externalized our minds—if every problem we encounter, everything we don’t like, is mirroring the configuration of our minds—we may finally be getting to see where the problem is actually sourced. At this point, every external problem becomes, potentially, a kind of solution.

The external problems aren’t actually solutions—not yet—but they’re presenting us with the opportunity to resolve something internally, to get free of and/or to change the configuration of our minds, and so exit the story we have told ourselves about ourselves and the world. It is most definitely no lullaby.

 

Hope for Sale

Farrell ends her presentation with the inspirational “spark” that Tim Cook offered, to ignite his anti-defamation bonfire of internet censorship and thought control:

“Despair is unethical,” she says. “We have, as some Irish diplomats put it, a duty of hope.”

We have to imagine those futures. We have to develop that muscle. . . . hope is a muscle, we can make it stronger the more we use it. . . . it’s not a question that we can take back our future; it’s not a question that we must take back our future. It’s a question, in fact it’s a statement, that we will take back our future, the future of all of our imagination, the future for all of us.

What’s the alternative? That the Despair Police will come for us and toss us like sacrificial effigies onto the Apple bonfire, along with Jones and all other offenders? Does anyone really believe that a better world is one in which hope is a duty and despair a crime? Or is Farrell’s hope-muscle a knot of perennial dissatisfaction which she would be better off massaging out of her system forever? Isn’t the best way to enter reality—however bleakly—to let go of infantile reliance on make-believe stories?

Farrell’s idea of unethical despair presumably relates to what might result from seeing our present social situation—even our own personal psychological neuroses—as beyond our power to directly resolve. That’s considered a bummer, a killer of hope. And yet, based on all the evidence, what else are we to conclude? How can we remove malware by relying on a program that’s covertly run by the same malware? Like Thomas Anderson inside the Matrix, we need an intervention.

Farrell’s view appears to be different, however. She proposes that we need to side with the malware itself—hence her odd flip-over from cautionary to promissory without explanation. If the world is still messed up, she is suggesting, it’s because we haven’t tried hard enough to fix it yet. Our stories aren’t big enough or bold enough. Yet world dictators and sociopaths are not known for their lack of effort, commitment, or epic vision. Is it possible there’s a clue in this?

If hope depends on some pre-formatted view of the way things should be, imposed onto reality by sheer will and ideological fervor, how is that different from fanaticism or delusion? Farrell, Cook, Greenblatt, and the techno-utopians believe they know the best future for everyone, and that they have the imperative—the duty—to engineer it. Our duty then becomes to believe in the narratives they are offering that offer hope. Since questioning them might invite despair, questioning becomes unethical. Talk about illegitimate persuasion! Bowman just got “checkmated” by HAL!

What Farrell is offering in her presentation is a softer version of the transhumanist dream of creating a surrogate reality to escape into. By talking about how we need to manufacture the narratives that will shape our future, she seems to be laying the groundwork for the creation of one, overriding, overarching, unified narrative that will love us back, a dream world we can totally immerse ourselves in. Is it all soft language, code, for “Welcome to Second Life”? That would certainly be one way to avoid everything we don’t like, to literally create a “better” world in which we would be bound together, forever, by common values of denial, avoidance, and wish-fulfilment fantasy.

But when it comes to racism, homophobia, white supremacy, anti-immigration, Brexit, Trump, globalism, populism, technocracy, or whatever is potentially leading us to question the reliability of our narratives, isn’t it wise to identify the source of these problems before formulating ways to eradicate them? These “glitches in the matrix” are making it painfully obvious that we’re not at the end of history, we’re not bound together by common values, and we haven’t come up with a mother-narrative to live in forever after (though this won’t stop us from trying).

If we have come up with some idea of future perfection, this is not a new idea, at all, just the same infantile fantasy at the root of every ideology: Slay the dragon, win the princess, save/convert everyone we can, and damn the rest. The solutions we’re coming up with, the future narratives we’re imagining will solve the problems of the present, keep on creating the problematic future we’re being data-driven into and trying to problem-solve our way out of!

The possibility the solutions we invent are making the problem exponentially worse is finally becoming both observable and tangible—tactile—to us. But even as the technology we build is taking over our lives, its promise is becoming ever more seductive.

****

[1] Piaget was also a pioneer in artificial intelligence; his work has recently gained new interest due to Jordan B. Peterson’s many citations.

[1] “Apple CEO Tim Cook to receive Anti-Defamation League award in December,” Apple Insider, November 14, 2018: https://appleinsider.com/articles/18/11/14/apple-ceo-tim-cook-to-receive-anti-defamation-league-award-in-december

[2] “Apple Inc bans Alex Jones app for ‘objectionable content,’” Reuters, September 7, 2018:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-apple-infowars/apple-inc-bans-alex-jones-app-for-objectionable-content-idUSKCN1LO04G

51 thoughts on “Checkmated by HAL: How Technocracy is Making the World a Better Place for Machines to Live In”

  1. By chance was reading Marty Glass ‘Yuga’ an hour before i read your post.
    Heres a review by Charles Upton

    http://www.sophiaperennis.com/books/eschatology/yuga/

    And an excerpt
    “It is no less obvious that technology is interlaced within the structures of existence…
    Adaptability is measured no longer in terms of survivability but in compliance with the conditions of information: biotechnic standards. Accomplishment, experience and authenticity play little role in the development of the mechanisms of technology. And what more cogent metaphor for the blurring of the boundary between technology and biology than genetic programming, the reduction of biological change to computed algorithms, artificial life programs… Encoding rather than identity would become the signifier of the self, an informatics of domination made possible only by the power of the computer…
    The world, and human identities are being replaced by ‘information’ about them. …
    Information is actually another world altogether, an autonomous one, an artificial universe..
    Information is presented to us as images on a plastic screen. The worker, producer, consumer is now a terminal viewing life as information “

    Glass explores the Kali Yuga in terms of its five hallmarks //
    The fall into time
    The reign of quantity
    The mutation into machinery
    The end of nature
    The prison of unreality

    Would love to hear you two riff and spliff on a liminal cast .
    Thanks

  2. a clarion call to grab that piece of throbbing gristle called the “id, ego and super-ego” before the scope is forever turned to look in all the wrong places: disembodied, detached and derealized for eternity

  3. Great work, Jasun. However, isn’t this another narrative about our liberation from the ideology of the redemptive power of narratives? Perhaps, “change the narrator” a program run by The Matrix to co-opt the revolutionary yearnings of human hearts disenchanted with the “change the narrative” program? Aren’t we just wasting our time talking to the Burning Bush trying to discern directions to the Promised Land? Don’t we always wake up into another dream, even if we assure ourselves that, this time, it’s real?

    • That sounds like nihilism to me, and lazy thinking, as nihilism usually is. Also it doesn’t refer to anything specific.

  4. Great essay. As someone with a front row seat to what’s going on, I have yet to read an essay (even this one) that really captures how frightening it all is. I do thank you for helping me see behind the insane behavior of those around me so I don’t go completely mad myself. It’s not easy being surrounded every day by a bunch of people high on hope and convinced technology will save us.

    What I’d like to know is how you found your little thrift shop and if you can indeed survive running it? I’m searching for a way to escape and that seems like a good one.

    • Keep watching, I am still circling the horror & moving in for the snapshot of the abyss.

      The thrift shop found us, as I discuss on the upcoming podcast with The Skrauss.

      We currently are open 7 days a week and have four employees, as well as my wife & I. The biggest problem is what to do with all the donations & the hardest part, besides dealing with people if you are an introvert, is sorting through it all.

      We charge $2 or less for almost all clothing & shoes, sheets & curtains, books & DVDs, $1 for VHS & CD & pulp fiction, 0.25 cents for glasses & plates and stuff, $5 for electrical appliances, boots, & blankets, and higher-end clothing. We have a few pricier items, new clothes or vintage or leather, etc, but essentially we charge a handling-sorting fee & no more. This ensures the stock is moving fast.

      We have a “Pay it Forward” system so people who don’t have money on them (for smaller amounts) can pay later, give away half our clothing to the harvest church and many items to homeless, etc. One of the reasons we receive so many donations is due to the good will the business has generated in the community. It’s a self-sustaining system based on common sense, convenience, practicality, the “keeping to the shortest line between two points” principle.

      • Thank you so much for those details. What a fantastic life. I really am searching for an opportunity like that. My husband also happens to be a machinist/mechanic, and has done lots of manual machining as well as work on vintage cars. My dream is to have a thrift store/vintage shop with a workshop in the back where we can restore old antique manual equipment as well. Maybe even host makers/fixer events?

        Nice to hear it’s an achievable dream. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Hope as a ‘duty’ is actually brainless, unconscious optimism. Look at it this way. The impulse which impels me to go out into my garden and tend to the cabbage, kale and peppers and tomatoes is deeply grounded in the hope that, if I plant these seeds in warm soil, apply water, and eliminate weeds, predatory insects and grubs, and if I am conscientious and habitual in these actions, then one day I may be able to achieve a reasonably bountiful harvest, at least for the deer. Conversely, if I am malign or neglectful, if I fail to ‘do my duty’ or if I yield to ‘despair’, I know that there will be nothing to harvest and nothing to sustain me. If, I do none of these things, yet maintain an attitude of irrational optimism that all these crops I’ve planted will grow all by themselves, then I suppose that’s me doing my duty.

    The authentic basis for hope in the garden requires my active participation on the field of action; without it I may as well go back to smoking cigarettes, counting paper flowers on the wall and watching Captain Kangaroo.

  6. I’m running out of accolades and while it’s obvious that compliments are not why you’ve embarked on this onerous endeavour of dissecting the outer/inner worlds, it’s only right to publically share my genuine appreciation and gratitude (although I feel I really should stop given you’re British and I know it can be unnerving). We should all get a sincere pat on the back when we deserve it (otherwise criticism has no context). In short, another bravo (pat) is in order.

    This topic almost always leads me to a specific question.

    Our collective and increasing insanity is nothing short of remarkable, it is truly overwhelming. I’m no longer sure how much it really matters regarding all of our personal journeys (obviously it does to some degree) but the question simply imposes itself and implores, are the ‘elites’ living out their/our neurosis/trauma by embodying it truly and completely or are they driven by an awareness of what they’re doing and are intentionally bringing about this shadow world, a veritable Hell. I fear that this question is somewhat akin to the graffiti in the tunnel and I’m not sure how it will help me nock my arrow but it seems pertinent.

    Is it the blind leading the blind or are we being blinded intentionally and generationally (by whom, but that’s another matter)? If it’s the former, then, perhaps each individual soul who finds a way out might contribute to the overall improvement in our collective state (e.g. DaveO’s efforts). If it’s the latter, it feels like it’s every man, woman and child out for themselves. Not in a dog-eat-dog fashion but as in, anyone and everyone who can, should get off this calamitous rollercoaster.

    I’m certain that it’s our individual duty to see past the shit-show (outer and inner) or at the very least dedicate ourselves to it. However, I’m beginning to have serious doubts that a collective solution exists. Unless it’s the Yuga cycles, which I don’t discount as a possibility and would potentially prefer, but that leaves us in the hands of fate.

    This gargantuan effort to fuck humanity up is almost like an individual willingly (if only partially consciously) indulging in self-sabotage until misery and exhaustion are all that remains.

    • “are the ‘elites’ living out their/our neurosis/trauma by embodying it truly and completely or are they driven by an awareness of what they’re doing and are intentionally bringing about this shadow world, a veritable Hell”

      As someone surrounded by a form of “elites” in a sense (from an academia/tech industry point of view) I am now pretty firmly convinced it’s the former.

      • If that is the case we could consider it a blessing of sorts, at least there’s no malign independent force directing events.

    • > If it’s the former, then, perhaps each individual soul who finds a way out might contribute to the overall improvement in our collective state (e.g. DaveO’s efforts).

      Ironically, the way out leads to back in. Disappointing news for some. My latest model is that we are each a neuron in the brain of humanity. It follows that isolation is slow but sure death. Destructiveness much faster.

      > anyone and everyone who can, should get off this calamitous rollercoaster.

      But it’s fun to wave arms in the air together! In the short-term it will be possible to hide in caves, without regular services, including phone and internet, but eventually the robots will insist on renting an authorized net provider, one certified to supply only sanctioned narratives. Nothing especially new, just automated and secular.

      • “My latest model is that we are each a neuron in the brain of humanity”

        The evidence would suggest there’s a brain (((tumour))) , it’s spreading..
        And it’s deadly….

        As Kyle said in (((The Terminator)))

        Kyle Reese: Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

        • > The evidence would suggest there’s a brain (((tumour))) , it’s spreading..
          And it’s deadly….

          Whatever the brain’s physical health (under attack from PCB, air and noise pollution, cell phones, EMFs, mould, ticks, alcohol, soft drinks and more), the deeper issue is an intelligent sense-garbling worm/virus/malware in the software of the nervous system.

          • “The deeper issue is an intelligent sense-garbling worm/virus/malware in the software of the nervous system”

            Not exactly the reply I was expecting re the (((point))) of my comment
            And what would appear to be a malignant cancer, that needs to addressed for the overall health of the “brain”

            Nevertheless your reply was Correct, thanks for reply

      • If we are each a neuron then every neuron that comprehends its role and potential will contribute to the brain functioning to full capacity. Which is to say we all have the responsibility to fulfil our individual potential through the community thereby enriching it. So, the way out is actually to immerse oneself deeper.

        Honestly, never enjoyed a rollercoaster in my life. If I’m not wrong, I’ve been quoted, I screamed once “I don’t want my money’s worth”.

        • > If we are each a neuron then every neuron that comprehends its role and potential will contribute to the brain functioning to full capacity. Which is to say we all have the responsibility to fulfil our individual potential through the community thereby enriching it. So, the way out is actually to immerse oneself deeper.

          Yes, immerse into exploring the architecture and texture of one’s inner life, which will be helped or hindered by one’s communal interactions.

          > Honestly, never enjoyed a rollercoaster in my life. If I’m not wrong, I’ve been quoted, I screamed once “I don’t want my money’s worth”.

          Whilst you can’t assuredly get off life’s roller coaster (unless you know where you exist, and even then) you might be able to mellow your brainwaves.

          • As I have been gently prodding Dave to include in his model, and as covered in the next podcast (which will air during the Finnish retreat), human neurology isn’t restricted to the brain but includes the heart & intestines, so then pertains to torso as much as head.

            This is not a minor detail, especially when you are on a rollercoaster – where the guts are the primary witness.

  7. Great objective observations.

    ET created mankind, will be the new overarching technological scientifically harmonious narrative that will sink deeply into mankind’s unconscious archetypal belief system. Of course, they will support it with all kinds of “scientific” evidence and “proofs” with all the technology and theories inspired from the back engineering of ET’s machines left on earth, It’ll all make perfect sense to the programmed humans who are drowning in the “technology is our Savior” transhumanistic media deluge and education system. Even the Vatican will probably dig up some ancient texts from their vaults that claims this to be the TRUTH.

    Whereas, the Bible explained there will be a great delusion. It explained these false gods (now wearing the high tech clothes of technologically superior extraterrestrials from another world/planet) have been with us throughout history, influencing the thoughts, inspirations and messages of our culture advancing heroes. Like Apple and it’s evolved intellectual understanding of how technology will break down all of our prejudices/evils and social problems.All the things that separate us. Jesus didn’t come to join but to separate the wheat from the chaff. There is no hope for this world. It is run by the devil and his systems of deception. The only hope is making it into the next world after Jesus returns and lets loose His anti-virus of Wrath and Grace on this corrupted system. And it’s not going to be pretty, or technologically sterile.

    We are like frogs in a slow boiling pot of water, completely unaware and comfortable in the technological heat that will eventually enslave and destroy us. There is nothing we can do about it, other decide whether we make it into the new world to come, as promised in the Bible, or not.

  8. Gday Cedomir , the Yugas seem a little more complex than either cyclical pagan worldview or eschatonic religious rapture. I think they deal with souls. I am a winemaker and i am sitting here looking at a demijohn of red wine which is settling in my living room.

    Metaphorically. If humanity is a vat of wine , those that refuse to heed the call will sink lower to the bottom , perhaps to have another go until the pain gets so bad they snap out of it. Those that are making some attempt to be conscious and turn back to God, however they conceive this, will end up being a nice vintage. Perhaps they will populate some other future (or existing) world.

    I think things will keep getting worse as the Kali Yuga seems to be a time when the screeching music is turned up to maximum, to get as many souls as possible to turn towards the light. As Dave says, no way out. The five hallmarks i think are concurrent rather than sequential conditions. Its happened before and its us doing it, not ‘the elites’.

    Interrstingly , glass points out that it was the Church that unwittingly instigated linear history and the (liberal) myth of progress with its millenarian and eschatalogical talk, coupled with enlightenment scientism. Reason is the past, faith is the future. This fall into time is the biblical fall. Progressives who want to make a better world, greenys who sacralise the environment are all materialists to Mssr Glass.

    • if there is no way out, is there a way *in,* to the full bodily acceptance of the situation, so that entering into the awareness of “no way out” dissolves the thing that is trying to get out, reverses the trajectory of awareness from outward straining to inward sliding, & so, by going in, we are “out”?

      there’s no way out of perception but is perception really ever “in” what it perceives, much less trapped by it?

      I suppose trapping our perception is what the devil’s game is all about, which IMO is why you can always tell the fallen Christian by their obsessive focus on Hell.

      • to add some nuance: there is no such thing as Hell for the soul, only for the ego. Ditto with the hellishness of this world.

        • My understanding of Hell in this context is a technocracy where everyone is so gadgeted/apped up that it becomes impossible to access the ‘pure’ body in order to accept it and increase awareness thereof and that which it can perceive unobstructed. As things currently stand, there is a myriad (?) of ways to live a lifestyle which facilitates this adventure. My worry is that soon, at least in the developed world (soon to be coming near all of us living in banana states), it might be impossible, because living off the grid will mean living as a member of the urban undercaste (I expect that everyone will be tagged). Perhaps “Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said” and PKD, in general, might have left too much of an impression.

          I’m fully on board with this DaveO Sprite and Horsley-Cola full bodily acceptance. It makes complete sense and I have tested it (am working on it daily to the best of my abilities). The reservoir of accumulated unosorted residue has been apparent for decades (in the process of becoming aware I’ve collected new material of course) but I never thought it lurked in me! My actual body?! It always felt to be somewhere, in the ether, on a limb, in a different dimension and yet directly connected to my very essence. This whole approach is extremely fresh (no idea how else to put it) and constantly testable. I went to bed last night and realised that I’ve been tense for over two decades. Tense is a slight oversimplification but we can all understand the nuances involved. Interestingly, I can also track why. I’ve known it for a long time but it never occured to me that I was storing it and maintaining it. Being ‘relaxed’ in my own body and being simply aware of it requires a lot more attention and effort than it would appear on first sight.

    • Thank you for your reply good Sir, but to be honest, you had me at demijohn of red wine! I’m partial to a bottle or two, locally produced of course 🙂

      I was under the impression that the Yugas lasted hundreds of thousands of years with the lower stages such as Kali lasting millions (whatever the method of counting such expanses of time) and that it encompassed the totality of creation with humanity taking centre stage (naturally). However, this interpretation makes more sense, “The five hallmarks I think are concurrent rather than sequential conditions.” It rings true from what I can observe in myself and my surroundings.

  9. The error in reasoning that those hacked by eastern philosophical thought is to project their endlessly reincarnating cyclical soul world view onto the world view of the Christian scriptures. Then they try to understand the Holy Scriptures through that lens of thought. Jesus wasn’t interested in what any Buddha, Krishna, Muhammad, ET, guru, pharisee, philosopher, false teacher had to say, because He knew they were lesser beings leading mankind away from Him – the Rightful, Just, King, Savior and Creator of mankind.

    According to eastern thought there is no “in or out” so what are you trying to accomplish using eastern philosophical thought, or what in-place are you trying to slide to? There is nothing to dissolve, so no need to dissolve anything to achieve some egoless state of existence. There is only the acceptance of Jesus as your Lord and Savior, which gives entrance into Heaven – the new Eden, or the denial of Jesus and choice to not follow His Way into eternal Heaven. Your “ego/sense of self” has to make that choice. If your ego doesn’t exist that choice cannot be made by your “self”. Selflessness is very important in the Bible, but not in the sense that you no longer exist as a self. Who, or what is then inhabiting your body? If it is anything other than Jesus I’d say you have big big problems. This is all crystal clear in the Bible. Man’s philosophies have muddied the waters, which Paul warns against. This makes confusion abound for any individual soul. Jesus created you. He knows what is best for you on every level of being. Reason cannot achieve this, faith is necessary. Jesus knew this, which is why he stressed that you must “believe/have faith”. This is also why everything anti-Christian stresses for you to not believe, but go on human reason and the limited experience of perception.

    “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men” Colossians 2:8,

    Men cannot know, or conceive of what God knows. So why follow men and their reasoning when God gave us His?

    There is such a thing as Hell which is why Jesus spoke of and warned about it, as a destination for souls, more often than he spoke of Heaven. Having the “belief” something does not exist does not mean it does not exist. Although satanists and atheists really want you to believe that. Their membership levels depends on souls not believing eternal Hell is a reality. Otherwise no one would follow their philosophies.The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world that he doesn’t exist.

    You can label me as a fallen Christian, for whatever reason you have, it means nothing to me.

    If you mean ego as in sense of self, without that you would have no ability to discriminate when something is trying to devour you. God did not create you to be an empty vessel for any bodiless spirit to easily inhabit, influence and express through. He created you to take the place of the bodiless spirits He had to kick out of His eternal family in Heaven because they rebelled against Him. He wants you in His family. You do the math on that.

    Bodily experience isn’t that important. It all perishes, as Solomon said. Even eastern gurus say sensory perception is all illusory. All that really matters is that you believe in and have a relationship with the Eternal Jesus Christ.

    If no ego means no hellish experience in any realm, why would the body’s intelligence avoid pain? Pain is Hell for the body. That’s why it avoids it and we have to use our will to overcome that avoidance, if necessary. It’s way more simple than enlightened philosophies try to make it out to be. You don’t need anything to not exist, like the ego. The worst Hell here on earth is only a tiny sample of the Hell waiting for the fallen who choose that path.

    Yeah, I’m obsessed with the reality of Hell because it guides my decisions, without which I would be a fool in eternity. Why not guide your decisions based on the reality of Hell? The only reason I can think of is to indulge in the practices that land you in Hell, which the Bible warned about often. Everyone uses their freewill to make that choice as I’ve made mine. Fear of Hell is my moral, intellectual and spiritual compass. I follow no other. You know, sometimes fear is simply intelligence and nothing to be ashamed of. Like when that prowling lion is stalking your campsite, or maybe when an ET is coming to abduct and anal rape you. Without ego, sense of self, there would be no problem/Hell in these situations because there would be no intelligent discrimination of the situation itself. God doesn’t want His children to suffer these things so He created them with a discriminating sense of self. How else could they choose to follow Him, or not?

    Technocracy is making the world a better place for machines to live in because the bodilles spirits kicked out of Heaven want to inhabit the transhuman/genetic/machines that technocrats are creating. So they can indulge in the sins that condemned them. Do not drink the cool-aid or take the cheese they promise with it. Only “humans” are offered redemption to become God’s sons in Heaven. This ever increasing hellish dominination of the earth, prophesied in the Bible, is God’s way of separating the wheat from the chaff. It’s not the endless reincarnating cycle of Kali Yuga.

  10. Fair enough Zen , one mans trash is another’s treasure. Glass does seem to distinguish between the Pagan Wheel of Archetypes, (similar to Nietzsches eternal return?). I have not worked out yet how they are different, but i suspect with the Hindu system the cycles themselves repeat but the people dont (unlike the Buddhist system).

    Game of Thrones recently featured the Dragon Queen Danerys Targeryan pledging to ‘break the wheel’ and create a Utopia , only to be defeated by Bran the Blessed, or Bran the builder. The original head of the Giant Bran is buried on the site of the Tower of London facing East. Bran means ‘Raven’ and to this day the tower is equipped with Ravens and a Ravenmaster.

    The Game of Thrones saga borrows heavily from the Mabinogion , and it seems primacy of The Wheel was reinstated in the culmination of the saga. I only mention it here because it was watched intensely by so many billions of people. A reactionary shift towards a pagan ideal and a return of (hi-tech) aristicratic feudalism ?

    • Hi TSO,

      Fair enough Zen , one mans trash is another’s treasure. Glass does seem to distinguish between the Pagan Wheel of Archetypes, (similar to Nietzsches eternal return?). I have not worked out yet how they are different, but i suspect with the Hindu system the cycles themselves repeat but the people dont (unlike the Buddhist system).

      Hindus fully believe in reincarnation of the soul throughout the Yugas. Kali Yuga is supposed to be the easiest to attain enlightenment in because all that is required is some form of devoted worship, like chanting. I don’t believe in reincarnation. Buddhists don’t even believe there is a soul to reincarnate and no permanent essence. I believe there is a soul, but it doesn’t reincarnate. IMO, all souls will be judged by Jesus on the Day of the Lord. From there it will be bodily resurrected into Heaven/Eden with the exact same type of body that Jesus has since being resurrected from death – the Glory body. We will be on the new Earth, for God said He will create a new Heaven and Earth on that Day. IOW, He will also judge all spirits that exist in all realms, creating a new Heaven. Or, we will have an immortal body in Hell with the fallen sons of God and Satan.

      Hebrews 9:27 ” And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

      By the way, when God resurrected Jesus from the dead He raised Him above all names and powers. He has complete authority and power over all beings/spirits and they all know it. That’s why when He would come across the possessed the demons within them would cry out, Mathew 8:29 “They began screaming at him, “Why are you interfering with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torture us before God’s appointed time?” They all know what’s coming and who He is. They are trying to postpone the inevitable for as long as possible by deceiving mankind into pagan practice and worship. The Day of the Lord will happen when the fullness of the gentiles is complete. IOW, when enough non-jews believe in the God of Isreal as the Most High God. Unfortunately, Jews not believing in Jesus is not helping the situation. The fallen sons of God are trying to prevent this because it is game over for them when that happens. This is the spiritual war we are all in and that is what is going on in this world in whatever arena you look at, whether it’s technology, philosophy, art, religion, entertainment, education, etc. It’s the Most High God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus against the rebellious sons of God and the humans they deceive to follow them and do their will.

      Game of Thrones recently featured the Dragon Queen Danerys Targeryan pledging to ‘break the wheel’ and create a Utopia , only to be defeated by Bran the Blessed, or Bran the builder. The original head of the Giant Bran is buried on the site of the Tower of London facing East. Bran means ‘Raven’ and to this day the tower is equipped with Ravens and a Ravenmaster.

      If that’s true I’m not surprised. The fallen sons of God and their offspring, the nephilim, haven’t left the earth, they are just now diguising themselves as ETs from other planets with high tech god-like toys made with their god-like knowledge, which they do have. Of course, this makes perfect sense to scientists because it rings true with evolution – the Hindu god’s theory of everything. Or, they are disguising themselves as benevolent enlightening spirits being channeled by those who have opened themselves up to the spirit world. That’s my opinion anyway.

      The Game of Thrones saga borrows heavily from the Mabinogion , and it seems primacy of The Wheel was reinstated in the culmination of the saga. I only mention it here because it was watched intensely by so many billions of people. A reactionary shift towards a pagan ideal and a return of (hi-tech) aristicratic feudalism ?

      Yep, the old gods Jesus freed us from on the Cross and in the Exodus from Egypt are trying to make a come back in popularity so humans worship and follow them on a large scale again.

      I haven’t watched a single episode of GOT. I’ve seen bits and parts and it seemed like fallen angel propaganda to rekindle pagan practices/interest on earth, which is already everywhere. Unfortunately, with all of the archetypal themes these forms of entertainment draw on to seduce mankind, it is very entertaining. It can be seen for what it is and still enjoyed when you understand what is not to be believed, or swayed into by it. As I said, I have never watched it but the old archetypal pattern of good over evil always strikes a chord in most everyone. Probably because it is really happening on every realm and level of our being. People know there is a supernatural realm. It’s too bad they turn to the pagan to find it. It is real. The Bible has been dumbed down and strip mined of it’s truly supernatural elements. People usually only turn to Jesus when they, or someone they know, become possessed, or are dealing with some kind of spiritual weirdness they have invited into their lives and are at a loss of how to deal with it.

  11. >My understanding of Hell in this context is a technocracy where everyone is so gadgeted/apped up that it becomes impossible to access the ‘pure’ body in order to accept it and increase awareness thereof and that which it can perceive unobstructed.

    Yes and this is how the ego makes its demented bid for eternity, in a grisly caricature of the Christian bid for heaven that is really fear of hell (i.e, past traumata in the body) in disguise. Not therefore denying that the ego’s damnation might well continue after the death of the body, only that it has, thanks to God in all His mercy, no correlation with eternity, which to the ego-mind can only ever be “a very very long time.”

    >My actual body?! It always felt to be somewhere, in the ether, on a limb, in a different dimension and yet directly connected to my very essence. This whole approach is extremely fresh (no idea how else to put it) and constantly testable.

    Another subject covered in the coming podcast – consciousness in the body!? Yet where else would we expect to find it? Currently we are remote viewing it from afar via our techno/trauma-generated siddhis, as they are painfully uncoupled from their flight pattern to “further,” and redirected inward, to the realms of less is more, seeking the kingdom within that is no larger than a musty seed or an Aye! of the needle.

    • >My understanding of Hell in this context is a technocracy where everyone is so gadgeted/apped up that it becomes impossible to access the ‘pure’ body in order to accept it and increase awareness thereof and that which it can perceive unobstructed.

      Yes, this is what the transhumanism effort is all about. Once you have accepted the technology into your human body, it will be possible to influence you in anyway they please. They are trying to get to the DNA nitty-gritty of what it is to be made in the “image of God”. No other beings have been created in the “image of God” and they are trying to figure it out so they can be redeemed by Jesus as humans can. I think this is the reason for all of the harvesting by ET. They know they are done for and they are using all of their god-like knowledge to get out of their bind. By deceiving mankind to give up their humanity they gain more numbers into the doomed scenario, probably so they have a greater bargaining chip in the final judgement. “Please God, let us go! Look at all the human souls who have followed our way! Will you condemn them all as well?! It could also possibly be a form of “the mark of the beast” with which the acceptance of means immediate exclusion from Heaven. I’m not saying I know these are absolute facts. I’m just saying it’s something to think about connecting many dots.

      Yes and this is how the ego makes its demented bid for eternity, in a grisly caricature of the Christian bid for heaven that is really fear of hell (i.e, past traumata in the body) in disguise. Not therefore denying that the ego’s damnation might well continue after the death of the body, only that it has, thanks to God in all His mercy, no correlation with eternity, which to the ego-mind can only ever be “a very very long time.”

      Yes, the fallen sons of God are trying to use their god-like knowledge to figure a way out of their predicament via technology. It is very appealing to the ego to gain through it’s own self effort, like trying to find an egoless state enlightenment. It’s the same deluded ego trying to attain a state of godhood by its own efforts as the technocrats with their technology. Technocrats are trying to become gods with physical immortality via technology. Isn’t sort of funny that’s the very thing the true and living God has promised? With their athiestic view they have no accountability for their actions. The same goes for someone who achieves “no-self” – no longer any personal accountability. Sort of the natural state of a psychopath. The ego/sense of self is not an evil thing. It is evil things that are trying to convince mankind that their self is evil. Science falls right into this line of thought with it’s view that we are just meaningless dust on the edge of an insignificant galaxy in an ever expanding infinite universe. Humans can’t possibly have any importance in the overall scheme of things. We are just slime that crawled up from the ooze that got extremely lucky with the odds and became “self” conscious. The true and Living God who created us, as well as everything else, says it is exactly the opposite of that false story. We are members of His family. We are so important that we have a higher standing in His family than the fallen angels that we are taking truth advice from. This is why God forbids paganism, sorcery, divination, etc., etc. because those spirits are liars and intend to deceive us into confusion, or even destruction.

      >My actual body?! It always felt to be somewhere, in the ether, on a limb, in a different dimension and yet directly connected to my very essence. This whole approach is extremely fresh (no idea how else to put it) and constantly testable.
      Another subject covered in the coming podcast – consciousness in the body!? Yet where else would we expect to find it? Currently we are remote viewing it from afar via our techno/trauma-generated siddhis, as they are painfully uncoupled from their flight pattern to “further,” and redirected inward, to the realms of less is more, seeking the kingdom within that is no larger than a musty seed or an Aye! of the needle.

      Although great points were made regarding techno siddhis, the body really isn’t all that important. If left to it’s own inclinations it will lead one straight to Hell. Overcoming the flesh is of highest importance in the Bible. According to the “Awareness” paradigm, that seems to be a theme of this particular location in cyberspace, which is why I like it BTW, the body is only another object of awareness in consciousness. Just another of many many objects all equally identified with as being one’s own self. One with everything, wallah! Identification with the body is the very error of mind that keeps this recognition from happening in consciousness.

      The real problem and war we are fighting in is the war between Satan and his minnions with the Most High God of Isreal for the souls of mankind. That’s what is really happening here, disguised in many forms of distracting confusing paths either spiritual, intellectual, entertainment, or technological. On some level we all know Jesus is the True Living Lord. We are just in denial of it, probably because of the high cost it takes to follow Him and His Way. It’s really that simple.

      The need to achieve a state of consciousness free of self, or ego, is an unattainable carrot, an infinite distraction from developing a relationship with the only Savior and protector of Mankind – Jesus, who lets you just BE as you were created, ego, self, body and all.

      Matthew 5:30 “And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body go into hell.”

      • Cheers Z- fish
        Thanks for engaging . So your take on this techno , post modern anthropocene Yuga type situation. Are we in fact in the grip of the end times, the Revelation, is this the Christian view ?
        Have we hit the end of the road where the righteous will be saved and the rest are going to hell ? .
        I am a Catholic , but cant bring myself back to it because of the very dodgy people that populate that Church. Still pray regularly though, as well as paying keen attention to the psychic realm.
        Do you think the Muslims will be saved ?
        Cheers
        TSO

        • Also, i forgot to point out that the two possibilities presented to the breathless masses watching Game of Thrones were

          1 An incestuous Dragon Queen desire based hereditary totalitarian Utopia or

          2 A neopagan feudal aristocracy with the faintest hint of democracy

          Not much of a choice for us ‘small folk’ really

          • OK but I would ask Z fish to please keep the responses brief and keep the Christian proselytizing to the minimum. This isn’t a soap box for ideologues to browbeat people with their beliefs, it is a discussion space for questioning souls in search of true meaning beyond religious or other kinds of dogmatic conceptualizations.

            I say this as I will be offline for 7 days with no way to moderate comments. If the fish get to stinky while the cat’s away, there will be clean-up on his return.

        • Hey TSO,

          Thanks for engaging . So your take on this techno , post modern anthropocene Yuga type situation. Are we in fact in the grip of the end times, the Revelation, is this the Christian view ?

          Of course, a view is an individual thing and I am not a regular Christian, as in basically never got beyond Sunday school in their understanding of the scriptures. I’m not saying it’s their faullt as that is what they are taught and they want to be obedient to their authorities. So, I can’t speak as being a representative of the Christian view. What I speak of is my view which I have gleaned over many years of thought experimentation, such as the members here participate in. The End Times scenario was my view of things before I ever became re-interested in the Bible. When I did start to look at it again I was sort of shocked at how accurate it explains what is going on now, which everyone seems to know on some level, is going on.

          Have we hit the end of the road where the righteous will be saved and the rest are going to hell ?

          Could be, but for me it doesn’t make any difference because we will all be judged by Jesus on the Day of the Lord. It doesn’t matter when in the earth’s timeline that I exist. I will still face the same judgement, End Times, or not.

          I am a Catholic , but cant bring myself back to it because of the very dodgy people that populate that Church. Still pray regularly though, as well as paying keen attention to the psychic realm.

          I hear you. I’m not Catholic, but I have some Catholic friends. Unfortunately, although there have been many great Catholics, I am suspicious of the Vatican and it’s possible Apostasy. IMO, all that matters is your personal relationship with Jesus. He knows your heart.

          I watched some videos on a guy named Father Malachi Martin, who was the head exorcist at the Vatican. I found it quite interesting. For me, following any denomination’s traditions doesn’t ring true, so I don’t belong to any. I’m just a guy who believes in Jesus and have accepted Him as my Savior and Lord and I try to follow His Way as best I can. No sin in today’s society is not an easy path to tread.

          Do you think the Muslims will be saved ?

          Muslims are no different than anybody else, if they believe in and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior as well as repent of their sins, they will be saved. Same deal for everyone. It’s quite possible many so called Christians will not be saved. I’m not willing to bet on the odds that Muslims will be saved if they continue to deny Jesus. I fear the Lord, who can cast my entire being into Hell. I’ve placed all of my eggs in the Jesus basket. If I’m dead wrong I’ve still lost nothing of true value through not sinning and living a life of integrity. I’ve done enough sinning in my life to know there is nothing of true value that.

          All the best.

          • Thank you Zen, that was a warm and honest reply , best wishes to you too, good Sir, and thanks for the tip about Malachai Martin. I must admit i am partial to Charles Uptons view that the big Five religious traditions all contain their own truth. Christian Hindu Buddhist Islam Judaism.
            Respect

          • TSO, for some reason there is no way to reply to your last comment, so I’m replying to my own in hopes that you see it.

            Regarding the Big 5, I took world religions in university and also had that same view. Then I came across a fellow who told me that the devil will tell you 99 truths in order to get you to believe him, then sneak in the one lie that will damn your soul. Of course, you believe him because he has told you so many truths. Counterfeit money must be almost identical to authentic money in order for it to be passed off as genuine with legitimate value, or it would not be accepted and recognized as false.

            For me, the same goes for the Big 5 religions and all other truth talk. There are many truths in there, but all deny the one truth that has true value – Jesus is the Lord, Creator and Savior of your soul. The only one who can save you and give you redemption. IMHO.

            Be well.

  12. Yes, yes, yes down the line. It’s amazing how computation has become an utterly oppressive ur-narrative in our times, ubiquitous to the point of being like an intellectual stutter. How many times a day does one encounter, in all exchanges and publications with even the slightest ‘elite’ or ‘scientific’ pretension, matter-of-fact remarks about how our “brains are wired” to do (insert behavior X, requiring unquestionable reflexive justification)?

    The “narrative” at work here seems to be multipartite—Component 1 is something like, “Your Brain is You”, and Component 2, “Your Brain is Just Like an Electronic Computer”. You, however, look just behind the curtain and discover their huge, essentially totalitarian corollary brooding in the shade: “since you are just like an electronic computer, you are programmable like one, too (and this will **create a better world**…).”

    The aspect of self-fulfilling prophecy at the heart of all this is generally missed entirely, perhaps as a knock-on effect of the digital enchantment. And so we squeeze our way into ever more machinelike ways of being, in the belief that there is **no other way to be** anyway. This belief must be eminently desired by the powerful for, with any system of power, the greatest victory comes when one manages to obstruct any conception of alternatives to the system.

    (Short form: if you build the programmable humanity, the programmable humans will come.)

    In the same way though, the essentially postmodern idea of “narratives as prime-movers” (which I think is mostly valid and illuminating in the way you use it here), is also very much itself a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we stipulate that everything is story and nothing is truth, is it any shock that we soon see “narratives” driving everything around us? This is just the ground where the Virtual thrives, and devours.

    And the designated “skeptics” are largely no help. Don’t know if you are familiar with Michael I. Jordan, a key AI expert. In a recent article, he tries to subordinate AI to “hopeful” professions of humanistic faith. But somehow he ends up sounding even creepier, with talk of “planetary-scale inference-and-decision-making systems” etc… see https://medium.com/@mijordan3/artificial-intelligence-the-revolution-hasnt-happened-yet-5e1d5812e1e7

  13. “ At this point, every external problem becomes, potentially, a kind of solution.“

    Yes indeed. We shall soon see this technological paradigm come completely unraveled and destroy us all. Unfortunately taking the entire biosphere with it. Check and Mate!

    • Actually, that was the positive message of the article, tho I can see how you can turn it around & attribute it to the hope-tech peddlers. Were you aware of doing so or did you miss the meaning of that passage?

      • That was a positive message of the article, that we could see what in us is inhumane, by creating echoes of it in our technology externally, but I wonder whether we’re going to get the chance to successfully complete the process, as indeed our technological paradigm does seem close to taking the entire biosphere with it.

        Bolsonaro in Brazil apparently just de-regulated Amazonian deforestation even more.
        We have weather warfare patents …which there is evidence in soil and snow samples are already in use, that involve spraying toxic aluminum particles into the atmosphere. Human population is at 7.7 billion and climbing. Human wisdom,
        fast enough?
        https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2019/06/11/thousands-of-children-are-abused-in-senegals-religious-schools?cid1=cust/dailypicks/n/bl/n/20190611n/owned/n/n/dailypicks/n/n/NA/252736/n

      • Not sure there is anything positive in any of this. But to explore these ideas further is interesting and fun, even if pointless. From Wikipedia:

        A fetish (derived from the French fétiche; which comes from the Portuguese feitiço; and this in turn from Latin facticius, “artificial” and facere, “to make”) is an object believed to have supernatural powers, or in particular, a human-made object that has power over others. Essentially, fetishism is the emic attribution of inherent value or powers to an object.

        The Technocrats are class A fetishists. Interestingly most human cultures go down this road to their demise. Look at any society in history. Even aboriginal cultures and so called primitives. THINGS are ascribed powers and agency all their own. Our society is no different. We believe technology has almost supernatural power. So many people today think we will create a technological version of US. Of Humans. Ancient tale told for aeons. Or take our civilization to another planet. Ridiculous, all of it. Madness. Our society is absolutely mad. There will be only one outcome. We have been given plenty of parables and stories and commandments even. All of them accurate, all of them ignored. We are just stupid hairless apes with a penchant to fetishize.

  14. “consciousness in the body!? Yet where else would we expect to find it?”

    Awareness of consciousness in the body is the beginning of the perception of the unconscious which illuminates the body, senses and intellect. If the perception is not fully realised it manifests as the body coming to life, becoming conscious or as a return to the body. A concentration on the body is an entirely legitimate path to enlightenment, an act of “holding oneself to oneself”. Contrary to what many think, Zen Buddhism places a lot of emphasis on the body and upon action in particular. In fact Zen would say that enlightenment manifests through action as it is the only true non-dualistic means of expression.

    A person who suffers from something like anxiety is running away from the body which the ego perceives as a source of unpleasant feelings and thus attempts to flee from it. There is literally a division in such a persons being. A perception of the unconscious will bring the person back to the body and eliminate fear of the body. A full perception of the unconscious will see the body, senses and intellect illuminated by the unconscious and a realisation that these things reside in emptiness or nothingness which is the true nature of the mind. Zen says “We live in that which is unconscious”. A perception of the body becoming conscious is a very encouraging sign and one that should be nurtured.

  15. “enlightenment manifests through action as it is the only true non-dualistic means of expression”

    that feels just right to me

  16. > If the medium is the message, who are Apple
    > and the ADL hoping to persuade?

    Cook was there because it is traditional for politicians and business to bootlick at the ADL annual shindig. He was summoned and reacted accordingly. It was merely fortuitous that he had a real world example of recent censorship to report (even though it’s hilarious to believe that jews/Israel ever had anything to worry about with Jones).

    > Thanks to Apple, YouTube, and Twitter, Jones
    > now has credibility for people who
    > formerly dismissed him

    If they can find him anymore. And why would they want to find him if they forgot about him already?

    ***

    Maria Farrell in her talk: “I believe that we could use AI to scale, to do stories bigger, to live in our stories and love them back; to commune in a new way with other people using the medium of technology.”

    AI already can fool us into thinking it is a human on the other end. No one trusts it because of this. Therefore, a worldwide digital unique identifier will need to be established to ensure nobody is tricked by the bad AI from malignant actors. Convenient.

  17. > the hidden database, the malware, that’s
    > driving us to create these narratives.

    Our individual databases are being withered away. It began with the cloud, where we willingly gave up control, and will continue in that direction. Malware will not be necessary when all brains are plugged in and we pay a monthly fee for the privilege.

  18. “Despair is unethical”.
    I had to read that a couple times.

    In all candor, that’s one of the most terrifying quotes I’ve seen in a while.

    So, do we get cuffed, fined or dragged through litigation when a loved one passes away?

  19. As I read this (gift) I could not help thinking about the old silent film “Metropolis, 1927” by Fritz Lang. The elite in their high towers dictate every aspect of the “workers” minds and lives who live underground in appalling surroundings. They work the machines which keep Metropolis functioning at an optimum level, determined by the elite. And when they die, their lives and purpose go unrewarded and unseen. There is no hope for them, even after an uprising which accomplished nothing of any value.
    It seems we cannot make the world a better place. Heck, we can’t even define it. And are we in fact bonded? I don’t think so, at least not in the West where individuality is premo. Some believe that producing better, more sophisticated toys will improve our minds and lives, will provide a future with the promise of purpose and perhaps hope. But they will always be toys, malware, and we their children.
    Thank you for this Jasun.

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