Colin Wilson

Discussion of the nature of Ultimate Reality and the path to Enlightenment.

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Tomas » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:17 am

Jesus (Hedonist) Christ already, Alex.

I've been to Israel several times and you're still here blowing hot air. Get your passport in order and hightail it on over there. Just shut the fuck up and drink your fucking kool-aid. This is your moment of glory, sweetheart.

You can report back to us at Genius what's happening over there all because of your butt-buddy (Obama) that you thought would be such a great president.

Believe you-me, you've said you have been struggling to get published, head on over there and you're writer's block will disappear! All of Israel's enemies are gathering around her. The UN votes on Palestinian statehood later this month. What is the Man behind the curtain telling Obama to do?

Finally. Was/is your Mother Jewish? .. well then, you qualify for Israeli citizenship. Yeah, yeah you can keep the American citizenship should things get too hot over there. You got money, you're not kidding anyone around here. Get on the winning team, go to Israel.

Your pal,
Tomas
Don't run to your death
User avatar
Tomas
 
Posts: 4318
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2005 2:15 am
Location: North Dakota

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Bob Michael » Sat Sep 17, 2011 3:07 am

cousinbasil wrote: The claim about disciples he left is preposterous as you would have no way way of knowing it even if it were in fact the case. Secondly, you are now calling his methods "tricks and gimmicks" while just a few posts ago you said: "Seems no one here is sensitive enough or awake enough to realize that everywhere men are machines, and are consequently as good as dead. I suggest studying some of Gurdjieff's works."

Clearly Gurdjieff was a deeply insightful man who could assist others along the path. But he couldn't lead others all the way. Hence his failure in spite of his considerably, but not perfectly, awakened or enlightened state of being.

"The whole foundation of man's essence has become the psychic properties of cunning, envy, hypocrisy, contempt, slyness, ambition, double-facedness." (Gurdjieff - 'The Unknowable Gurdjieff' - Anderson)

Here Gurdjieff's observation of the human condition is dead-on. The vast majority of the human species is innately, insanely, and irreparably self-centered and self-absorbed to the max, and in such a manner that they're not at all aware of the fact. Hence insanity has become the norm, the human standard everywhere. However there are a few exceptions, or as Gurdjieff also rightly observed, "there do exist inquiring minds, which long for the truth of the heart, seek it, strive to solve the problems set by life, try to penetrate to the essence of things and to penetrate into themselves." And it's become my task, as there are no others who are capable, of finding such relatively rare minds (which I'm coming to be better able to keenly discern) and assist in their radical transformation and human refinement. So again, Gurdjieff, due to some inherent limitations, never found any of these 'inquiring minds' or the right approach to help them truly and fully breakthrough.

Gurdjieff's last recorded words, spoken with difficulty to Jeanne de Salzmann - whom he appointed to a leadership role in carrying on his Work were: "The essential thing, the first thing, is to prepare a nucleus of people capable of responding to the demand which will arise.....So long as there is no responsible nucleus, the action of ideas will not go beyond a certain threshold. That will take time.....a lot of time even." ('Gurdjieff' - Shirley)

But Gurdjieff left no "responsible nucleus" (Ark) behind him, or if he did it was quickly sunk by his non-understanding or non-'responsible' followers. Which has been the case since the beginning of time with all men who discovered the true nature and essence of "Ultimate Reality" and tried in vain to convey it to some of their fellows.
User avatar
Bob Michael
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 2:08 am
Location: Reading, Pennsylvania

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:26 pm

AJ/TA,
Feuerbach wrote:But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence... illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness.

Feuerbach seems a bit confused here. He's just giving voice to the ability of this age in contemplating the relations between illusion and sacredness, preference and sign, reality as representation, and so on. Sadly he's stuck in the false dichotomy of a "realer real" and a "less real real". Of course we all know it's essence that matters - but this essence, how to prefer, copy, represent or keep it sacred? One doesn't regain anything by abolishing the supposed "unreal" pie in the sky. Actually one would destroy the very thing that has been able to lift humanity out of the sludge, or to define human vs the slug.

Marx remarks something similar in his theses On Feuerbach: "after the earthly family is discovered to be the secret of the holy family, the former must then itself be destroyed in theory and in practice". As above, so below. All the religious and metaphysical imagery, each and every fault one can find with it, is reflected in the faults of our relating down below. In other words: it's all in the metaphysics, baby! But not in some spectacular revolutionary death-wish like Marx often envisioned.

the Gulf War: it occurred for most everyone in an imagined space, a participatory space, while the 'truth' of it, the actual fact of it, what it intended and what it did, was likely radically different. It was unreal for those who watched the Spectacle but as real as real can be for those who experienced it raining down on them.

Ah yes. But all wars have been like that. It's only now that there's a more self-consciousness of perhaps an over-exposed, execrated case - but not fundamentally different at all with any myth of war and conquest so far. Perhaps we're finally starting to witness because of the transparency and exposure this age offers, the inner mechanics of these bloody processes?

Wouldn't 'value' be the general quality that encapsulates the important thing here? So, I am fond of saying 'the you and the me' which is similar to Buber's I and Thou but possibly closer to a strict Marxian definition (though isn't Judaism arch-Marxism on some level?).

Connections forge [a] reality, sure.

the real stuff of ourselves, in bodies, in time, here. The focus of 'spirituality' and religion and productive activity can only be here. Where 'else' is there?

It's just the horizon du jour. It's as real as the amount of connection or attachment one has to it. In past times the focus might have been way different. The philosophy of just bodies in time and space, here, you and me, remains then pretty modern stuff really. I believe all forms and spaces have been experienced quite differently in other ages, although through written language a slightly deceptive sense of commonality has been created over the ages.

And as you know I define 'nihilism' as incapacity to connect with Life and what is Living.

And you're thinking mainly about connections between human beings here, I'm sure. It's not difficult to see how the modern sense of life increasingly is being defined as that what happens between humans, the human relating. In quality relations, so hard to find, where in each others presence naturally some degree of sanity can be restored, some ease of mind can be nurtured and meaning can be generated. Is this what you are suggesting? But the other side of the coin is the dragging down and destruction people can engage in; "l'enfer c'est les autres", as Sartre remarked.

All in all the increasing valuation of the social and the interconnections between people as capital might be a sign of its reverse: that the social fabric is winding down and all these attempts to find commonalities is a counter-movement betraying its bankruptcy. And what is breaking down the social structures is not a lack of connections but a lack of awareness and vision ("strength", "violence", "force", "genius"). And as such all the senses are slowly breaking down too, demanding over-stimulation to be able to still feel alive. It's the same with any demand for the social: it just demonstrates its illness but does not constitute any road forward.
User avatar
Diebert van Rhijn
 
Posts: 5007
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:43 pm
Location: A∴A∴

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby cousinbasil » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:49 am

Bob Michael wrote:Clearly Gurdjieff was a deeply insightful man who could assist others along the path. But he couldn't lead others all the way. Hence his failure in spite of his considerably, but not perfectly, awakened or enlightened state of being.

If he like "everyone" else who has set upon the path of uplifting others has failed, I am not clear on whom it is you compare him with. How do you justify the standards with which you make an assessment like that?
"The whole foundation of man's essence has become the psychic properties of cunning, envy, hypocrisy, contempt, slyness, ambition, double-facedness." (Gurdjieff - 'The Unknowable Gurdjieff' - Anderson)

Here Gurdjieff's observation of the human condition is dead-on. The vast majority of the human species is innately, insanely, and irreparably self-centered and self-absorbed to the max, and in such a manner that they're not at all aware of the fact.

This implies that you are concluding and I don't want to be like the vast majority. Specifically how do you intend to ensure that you do not end up like the vast majority?
Gurdjieff's last recorded words, spoken with difficulty to Jeanne de Salzmann - whom he appointed to a leadership role in carrying on his Work were: "The essential thing, the first thing, is to prepare a nucleus of people capable of responding to the demand which will arise.....So long as there is no responsible nucleus, the action of ideas will not go beyond a certain threshold. That will take time.....a lot of time even." ('Gurdjieff' - Shirley)

But Gurdjieff left no "responsible nucleus" (Ark) behind him...

Just so. Neither will you, I daresay.

But you seem not to notice that you constantly lament the failure of your so-called enlightened humans to leave an Ark or a legacy for future generations, when you are a future generation to them and you ceaselessly quote them.

What is it that you expect to happen, Bob? Why don't you stop bellyaching about how miserable the state of humanity is and start to be part of the answer, if there even is one in your bleak vision?
cousinbasil
 
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:26 am
Location: Garment District

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Blair » Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:50 pm

Ooh man,don't like saying this..

bob if you aren't the solution then you're part of the problem.
User avatar
Blair
 
Posts: 1527
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 2:47 pm

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby cousinbasil » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:39 pm

Blair wrote:Ooh man,don't like saying this..

bob if you aren't the solution then you're part of the problem.

Exactly - I haven't said that because I don't like saying it, either.
Don't know if Blair was intending this, but I will take it a step further. Since I do not see the state of the world as a problem to solve - a thing that can or should be solved - I am not part of any solution, but I am also not part of any problem. You, Bob, are not even part of a solution to the problem you see. That makes you part of the problem.

I am grateful not to be a part of your world, where everyone is a soulless machine, everything is hopeless and doomed to perish violently any day now, and everyone who ever tried uplifting his fellows was a failure. The world I live in is far from perfect - the world you live in is unrecognizable.
cousinbasil
 
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:26 am
Location: Garment District

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Bob Michael » Wed Sep 21, 2011 12:50 am

cousinbasil wrote:If he (Gurdjieff) like "everyone" else who has set upon the path of uplifting others has failed, I am not clear on whom it is you compare him with.

Primarily myself.

cousinbasil wrote:How do you justify the standards with which you make an assessment like that?

By my own long and hard earned standards. Standards determined by a renewed sound, sane, natural human mind.

cousinbasil wrote:This implies that you are concluding and I don't want to be like the vast majority. Specifically how do you intend to ensure that you do not end up like the vast majority?

Yes, and I'm clearly not like the majority. And in retrospect I never was like the majority even before my rude awakening to reality and sanity. Unlike most people, due to favorable circumstances in the critical formative years of my life, the generally fatal societal enculturation that we're all influenced by never adversely affected the sound development of my brain.

cousinbasil wrote:Specifically how do you intend to ensure that you do not end up like the vast majority?

Due to the above factors it simply can't happen. Even if I were to be crucified by a mob.

cousinbasil wrote:Just so. Neither will you (leave an Ark behind), I daresay.

This may be so. Especially in light of the fact that there are so very, very few people capable of self-overcoming and being restored to sanity. But I remain hopeful that I'll succeed.

cousinbasil wrote:But you seem not to notice that you constantly lament the failure of your so-called enlightened humans to leave an Ark or a legacy for future generations, when you are a future generation to them and you ceaselessly quote them.

My days have not yet come to an end and I continue to learn from the mistakes, shortcomings, and failures of others who have gone before me.

cousinbasil wrote:What is it that you expect to happen, Bob? Why don't you stop bellyaching about how miserable the state of humanity is and start to be part of the answer, if there even is one in your bleak vision?

A person must first deeply realize the miserable and continually rotting state of humanity and his participation in the grand fraud if he's to ever awaken and rise above it. And quite frankly there is an answer and that answer is love. The return to love for the few who have been gifted with a sound foundation of this greatest of gifts or blessings. Human love from which alone Divine love manifests.

"Gurdjieff taught that there were three kinds of love. There was instinctive - that is sensual - love; emotional love, which depended on type and was more or less automatic; and conscious love, the love of real significance, unselfish and deliberate." (John Shirley - 'Gurdjieff: An Introduction to His Life and Ideas', pg. 251)
User avatar
Bob Michael
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 2:08 am
Location: Reading, Pennsylvania

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby cousinbasil » Wed Sep 21, 2011 2:06 am

Bob Michael wrote:My days have not yet come to an end and I continue to learn from the mistakes, shortcomings, and failures of others who have gone before me.

Then you can't call them failures, unless you admit with 100% certainty that you too are destined to be one.

I keep trying to make this same point and it seems to elude you, I am not sure why that is. I believe you must understand it just fine; therefore, you must be eluding it.

You seem like a person who will complain how the world ignores his needs and wishes, when all you really have to do is learn how to say please and thank you. And sound like you mean it.
cousinbasil
 
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:26 am
Location: Garment District

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Bob Michael » Thu Sep 22, 2011 8:36 pm

cousinbasil wrote:You seem like a person who will complain how the world ignores his needs and wishes, when all you really have to do is learn how to say please and thank you. And sound like you mean it.

I'm not complaining, cb, nor am I at all ungrateful, just clearly and fearlessly observing and pointing out the terrible dilemma the human evolutionary process has fallen into. Which is absolutely necessary if one is to become an effective player in its solution. And my views are neither new or unique. Though they may contain more depth of insight into the exact nature of problem than anyone else has ever had. Which is also vitally necessary in order to find the way out of the mess.

"To be human is to be in danger. By virtue of his possession of a unique nervous system, a nervous system which is much more plastic and educatable than of any other living animal, man is capable of confusing and endangering himself much more frequently. So-called civilized man of the Western world has befuddled and endangered himself to such a degree that he stands today on the brink of destruction - self-destruction. The atom bomb, the hydrogen bomb, and bacteriological warfare are not the overpessimistic prognostications of dweary Jeremiahs; they are terrible realities. The first has already been used. The other two are ready for use. That anyone should be willing to employ such instruments of destruction at all is commentary enough upon the sorry pass to which man has come. Such a pass that there are some who say that perhaps it would be just as well if Western man were to exterminate himself; it would certainly be one way in which to end all his problems." (Ashley Montagu - 'On Being Human' - 1951)
User avatar
Bob Michael
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 2:08 am
Location: Reading, Pennsylvania

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby cousinbasil » Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:39 pm

I'm not complaining, cb, nor am I at all ungrateful, just clearly and fearlessly observing and pointing out the terrible dilemma the human evolutionary process has fallen into. Which is absolutely necessary if one is to become an effective player in its solution.
But there haven't been any effective players in the "solution," according to you.
And my views are neither new or unique. Though they may contain more depth of insight into the exact nature of problem than anyone else has ever had.
If they were new and unique, they would be of little value, much like a maladaptive genetic mutation.

More depth and insight than anyone else has ever had? Here my friend is the crux of your grand delusion - which I think you know. It's what keeps you from being the part of any "solution," indeed, of recognizing the contradiction at the center of your outlook. You proclaim that the evolutionary process has placed man in a dilemma, when by nature the evolutionary process is at worst neutral. The existence of this "dilemma" necessarily implies some kind of vantage point - but you are saying yours is historically unique because it is one of more depth of insight than anyone who has ever lived, and therefore must be the correct one, or at least the best.

This is patent bullshit. Not only are you deluded, you are self-deluded. This is precisely the cause of your glaring lack of compassion, although I am quite certain you cannot see this or that you disagree with it wholeheartedly. You are in love with an idea. That idea includes yourself in some kind of quintessential role which you in reality cannot have.

But again this is not a personal criticism - I have no doubt you are intelligent and even caring in your way, but your delusion prevents you from expressing your caring as anything approaching human compassion. If an Ark can exist, then there are and have been many of them - your self-delusion will keep you from finding one. But if it is true that there is no Ark yet and one is needed, that delusion would keep you from founding one.
cousinbasil
 
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:26 am
Location: Garment District

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Talking Ass » Sun Sep 25, 2011 5:45 am

Diebert wrote:One doesn't regain anything by abolishing the supposed "unreal" pie in the sky. Actually one would destroy the very thing that has been able to lift humanity out of the sludge, or to define human vs the slug.
It is likely true that strict practitioners of Marxism would likely seek to 'abolish' many decadent things, perhaps in some sort of Soviet state things like that happened. And also in states that seem to have gotten fed up with the trickery of religious cults, like France, where the state intervenes in many different ways to control religious expression and expansion. But when you say that you don't 'gain anything' by 'abolishing the unreal pie in the sky' (though 'abolish' is rather a strong word) I think you may be wrong. The theology of Rudolf Bultmann seeks to do something quite like that: demystify the Gospel stories, bound to a mythologizing context:

    "It is impossible to repristinate a past world picture by sheer resolve, especially a mythical world picture, now that all of our thinking is irrevocably formed by science. A blind acceptance of New Testament mythology would be simply arbitrariness; to make such acceptance a demand of faith would be to reduce faith to a work"

So, instead of 'abolish' I would choose the word 'revisualize'. And with that I would accept that it is always Grand Ideas that have the potential to 'remove us from the sludge'. But a Spectacle about removal doesn't really contribute to that but rather keeps one mired. It is only removal that is removal. So, what IS 'removal' and what IS 'sludge'?

Spectacle as it has been defined might indeed be sludge and mire.

But all wars have been like that...
In some sense, sure. But qualitatively I think there is indeed something different when a real time war is depicted in the manner of a media Spectacle. Douglas Kellner seems to continue a 'Debordian' analysis and criticism.

    The 1991 war against Iraq was one of the first televised events of the global village in which the entire world watched a military spectacle unfold via global TV satellite networks.[1] In retrospect, the Bush administration and the Pentagon carried out one of the most successful public relations campaigns in the history of modern politics in its use of the media to mobilize support for the war. The mainstream media in the United States and elsewhere tended to be a compliant vehicle for the government strategy to manipulate the public, imperiling democracy which requires informed citizens, checks and balances against excessive government power, and a free and vigorous critical media (see Kellner 1990 and 1992). Indeed, if the media do not adequately inform citizens, provide a check against excessive government power and corruption, and adequately debate the key issues of the day, democracy is undermined. [From: The Persian Gulf TV War Revisited]

I think this indeed points to a novel aspect that should be taken into consideration. True, we may live in a reality that is no longer possible to decipher as levels of lies become more and more intricate, and even if one did decipher it accurately and truthfully it almost wouldn't matter: you'd be like Cassandra with the prophetic capability and the correct vision but no one would listen to you, no one COULD hear you.

    "In Greek mythology, Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. Her beauty caused Apollo to grant her the gift of prophecy. In an alternative version, she spent a night at Apollo's temple, at which time the temple snakes licked her ears clean so that she was able to hear the future (this is a recurring theme in Greek mythology, though sometimes it brings an ability to understand the language of animals rather than an ability to know the future). However, when she did not return his love, Apollo placed a curse on her so that no one would ever believe her predictions. She is a figure both of the epic tradition and of tragedy, where her combination of deep understanding and powerlessness exemplify the ironic condition of mankind."

Diebert wrote:It's just the horizon du jour.
While it is true that anything can become an 'horizon' (a real horizon or a false horizon to place it dualistically), in actual fact there can really be no horizon except the horizons of actual earth-space. I think one is intuitively and practically bound to establish this horizon axiomatically. I don't even think it is too hard to make a list or a chart of what must be considered 'really real' (and valuable) and what should be thought of as secondary and tertiary. Doing so is a good exercize. If one floats up into all sorts of wordy metaphysics, well, that right there might be evidence of the process of Seduction by Spectacle.

And you're thinking mainly about connections between human beings here, I'm sure. It's not difficult to see how the modern sense of life increasingly is being defined as that what happens between humans, the human relating. In quality relations, so hard to find, where in each others presence naturally some degree of sanity can be restored, some ease of mind can be nurtured and meaning can be generated. Is this what you are suggesting? But the other side of the coin is the dragging down and destruction people can engage in; "l'enfer c'est les autres", as Sartre remarked.
No, it goes far beyond that. It is essentially the whole Earth-Sphere in which we are existing. It is true that I am also thinking about humans and their connections, but I think the only real and sane relationship to Life is one that defines Life (earth-sphere, dirt, trees, ocean, clouds, water) as being the most basic and hence 'most real' things. It is a question of defining a platform.

And as such all the senses are slowly breaking down too, demanding over-stimulation to be able to still feel alive. It's the same with any demand for the social: it just demonstrates its illness but does not constitute any road forward.
All this seems to be true, but occasionally I wonder if perhaps, at least in so many ways, we are living in one of the best periods for human beings ever. So, we turn into terrible complainers and wind up deeply insatisfied and deeply critical when, in fact, things have gotten tremendously better. Then, I come back down from that trip and feel all that weiight of terrible disatisfaction. Finally, I am willing to concede---with certain qualifications---that we seem to have NO IDEA what a road forward is...
fiat mihi
User avatar
Talking Ass
 
Posts: 846
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:20 am

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Talking Ass » Sun Sep 25, 2011 6:19 am

And so, tying the two trends of this thread together, what if The Way Forward and The Ark both looked like this?

Help IS coming, this I promise, but it isn't what you expected...

(This photo was sent to me by my good friend Nikos Buttercup. On the back of the image he wrote, "Oy, you have no idea what I went through that day! They wanted to do a shot of the Goddess returning to the earth-sphere and I was, of course, all in favor. But the model wore no underpanties, I.kid you not! In this photo you can almost read my thoughts, 'I will not get an erection, I WILL NOT get an erection...' ")
fiat mihi
User avatar
Talking Ass
 
Posts: 846
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:20 am

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby cousinbasil » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:59 am

that we seem to have NO IDEA what a road forward is...

unnh...What you mean we, Kemosabe?
cousinbasil
 
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:26 am
Location: Garment District

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:26 pm

Talking Ass wrote: Finally, I am willing to concede---with certain qualifications---that we seem to have NO IDEA what a road forward is...

Ain't that the truth? Even the highest god of gods not knowing, the whole of heavens and earth just not knowing what will be next. Wonderful.

Talking Ass wrote:...occasionally I wonder if perhaps, at least in so many ways, we are living in one of the best periods for human beings ever.

Perhaps but isn't it more true to form to say we've NO IDEA how it really compares? Each period one cares to define has its own rules and conclusions drawn relatively to itself.

Talking Ass wrote: So, we turn into terrible complainers and wind up deeply insatisfied and deeply critical when, in fact, things have gotten tremendously better. Then, I come back down from that trip and feel all that weiight of terrible disatisfaction.

Bad digestion? There's some terrible suffering underneath all experiencing which can sometimes look like heaven, the same thing other times like hell. Often just plain lukewarm and ungratefully one might spit that one out.

Sweet in the mouth, a stone in the stomach but really indescribable in the sewer!
User avatar
Diebert van Rhijn
 
Posts: 5007
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:43 pm
Location: A∴A∴

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby cousinbasil » Sun Sep 25, 2011 10:02 pm

Diebert, once again reading God's mind, wrote:Ain't that the truth? Even the highest god of gods not knowing, the whole of heavens and earth just not knowing what will be next. Wonderful.
So you're surprised when the sun comes up, Deebs?
cousinbasil
 
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:26 am
Location: Garment District

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Bob Michael » Sun Sep 25, 2011 11:55 pm

"Nietzsche conceived a terrifying picture of the modern world - a picture which has been steadily repeated ever since. He saw the decline of culture - with education replaced by mere educational knowledge; he saw the universal play-acting which helps us to compensate for the lost substance of our souls - our way of living "as if;" he saw the numbing boredom brought by unlimited sensation; he saw the din of a sham spirit in which nothing grows anymore, in which all talk and no one listens, in which everything is talked to death and sold out. Nietzsche showed the desolation of breathless acquisitiveness; he showed the trends brought by the machine, the mechanization of labor, and of the significance of the rise of the masses." (Karl Jaspers - 'Nietzsche and Christianity')

But who has not been so hopelessly twisted, warped, and jaded neurophysiologically by this ongoing evolutionary deterioration or rotting of the human species to clearly see the tragic spectacle, let alone have the fortitude, strength, and stamina to fully rise above it while maintaining his sanity and will to live - "will to power"?
User avatar
Bob Michael
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 2:08 am
Location: Reading, Pennsylvania

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Talking Ass » Mon Sep 26, 2011 6:27 am

"If we affirm one moment, we thus affirm not only ourselves but all existence. For nothing is self-sufficient, neither in us ourselves nor in things; and if our soul has trembled with happiness and sounded like a harp string just once, all eternity was needed to produce this one event---and in this single moment of affirmation all eternity was called good, redeemed, justified, and affirmed." (The Will to Power)

"For the new year ... Today everybody permits himself the expression of his wish and his dearest thought; hence I, too, shall say what it is that I wish from myself today, and what was the first thought to run across my heart this year---what thought shall be for me the reason, warranty, and sweetness of my life henceforth. I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer." (The Gay Science)
___________________________________________________

There is a Nietzsche quote to support any tendentious opinion a person might have. Create or destroy as you see fit.

With 'yea-saying' whole new vistas open up for a person.

I suppose one might put oneself in Nietzsche's position and rhetorically ask: What would Nietzsche have thought of a man who has dedicated his life to predicting and desiring annihilation for the determined hordes?

In the simplest terms, wouldn't Nietzsche HAVE to oppose these dreary declarations, simply in the spirit of contradiction?

"In every word he contradicts, this most Yes-saying of all spirits; in him all opposites are blended into a new unity..."

Laugh at me if you MUST, Bob, yet I am doing the best that I can! And I say with Nietzsche, nay I bray it to all who will listen: 'I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful".
fiat mihi
User avatar
Talking Ass
 
Posts: 846
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:20 am

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Talking Ass » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:22 am

And so finally (this just came to me) I feel Bob that instead of couching all that venom in imagining a terrible fate for those wretched, vile masses, you may do better to YOURSELF desire their utter destruction! Own it! Become the herald of it! That hellfire, nuclear incineration, unspeakable wounding, charred death, vaporization of beloved children, complete, irreparable destruction come upon them FOR NO GOOD REASON except that they are malformed, incapable of higher emotion, dull, die-cut, vulgar and ugly. Make this your 'yes-declaration'!
fiat mihi
User avatar
Talking Ass
 
Posts: 846
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:20 am

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby cousinbasil » Mon Sep 26, 2011 8:17 pm

Talking Ass wrote:And so finally (this just came to me) I feel Bob that instead of couching all that venom in imagining a terrible fate for those wretched, vile masses, you may do better to YOURSELF desire their utter destruction! Own it! Become the herald of it! That hellfire, nuclear incineration, unspeakable wounding, charred death, vaporization of beloved children, complete, irreparable destruction come upon them FOR NO GOOD REASON except that they are malformed, incapable of higher emotion, dull, die-cut, vulgar and ugly. Make this your 'yes-declaration'!

He already has -
cousinbasil
 
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:26 am
Location: Garment District

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Bob Michael » Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:44 pm

"There is some basic flaw in man." (Nietzsche)

Indeed there is, but Nietzsche, in all his brilliance and deep insightfulness, never quite put his finger on it. Nor has anyone else thus far. J. Krishnamurti perhaps came the closest to figuring it out, but he lacked the strength and the courage to bear the full and total truth of the matter.
User avatar
Bob Michael
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 2:08 am
Location: Reading, Pennsylvania

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Talking Ass » Sun Oct 09, 2011 4:24 am

An article describing the positive and improving aspects of the present:The Better Angels of our Nature.

"The central thesis of “Better Angels” is that our era is less violent, less cruel and more peaceful than any previous period of human existence. The decline in violence holds for violence in the family, in neighborhoods, between tribes and between states. People living now are less likely to meet a violent death, or to suffer from violence or cruelty at the hands of others, than people living in any previous century.

"Pinker assumes that many of his readers will be skeptical of this claim, so he spends six substantial chapters documenting it. That may sound like a hard slog, but for anyone interested in understanding human nature, the material is engrossing, and when the going gets heavy, Pinker knows how to lighten it with ironic comments and a touch of humor.

[...]

"Since 1945, we have seen a new phenomenon known as the “long peace”: for 66 years now, the great powers, and developed nations in general, have not fought wars against one another. More recently, since the end of the cold war, a broader “new peace” appears to have taken hold. It is not, of course, an absolute peace, but there has been a decline in all kinds of organized conflicts, including civil wars, genocides, repression and terrorism. Pinker admits that followers of our news media will have particular difficulty in believing this, but as always, he produces statistics to back up his assertions.

[...]

"To readers familiar with the literature in evolutionary psychology and its tendency to denigrate the role reason plays in human behavior, the most striking aspect of Pinker’s account is that the last of his “better angels” is reason. Here he draws on a metaphor I used in my 1981 book “The Expanding Circle.” To indicate that reason can take us to places that we might not expect to reach, I wrote of an “escalator of reason” that can take us to a vantage point from which we see that our own interests are similar to, and from the point of view of the universe do not matter more than, the interests of others. Pinker quotes this passage, and then goes on to develop the argument much more thoroughly than I ever did. (Disclosure: Pinker wrote an endorsement for a recent reissue of “The Expanding Circle.”) "
__________________________________________________

Noam Chomsky: The Most Dangerous Moment in History

More in-depth: Lessons of the Cuban Missile Crisis
fiat mihi
User avatar
Talking Ass
 
Posts: 846
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:20 am

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Diebert van Rhijn » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:55 pm

Talking Ass wrote:On Pinker :The decline in violence holds for violence in the family, in neighborhoods, between tribes and between states. People living now are less likely to meet a violent death, or to suffer from violence or cruelty at the hands of others, than people living in any previous century.

There is a problem with using relative figures here. Some absolute amount of X violent deaths on 100,000 citizens might not be changing much with 1,000,000 citizens, but what does it say?

Violence might be not in each circumstance linkable to population numbers at all. And there's no known reason to think that it should be. Perhaps there's a maximum amount of violence at a given time or place, like some internal ceiling. And there are many other potential factors. Therefore these statistics become useless at a fundamental level for drawing any conclusion on total violence, potential or actual.

Pinker also cannot explain properly why violence actually rose between 60's and 90's in the last century while many aspects of civilization would actually have increased by his standards.
User avatar
Diebert van Rhijn
 
Posts: 5007
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2005 4:43 pm
Location: A∴A∴

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby cousinbasil » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:45 pm

Diebert wrote:Pinker also cannot explain properly why violence actually rose between 60's and 90's in the last century while many aspects of civilization would actually have increased by his standards.

I haven't read The Better Angels, but I did read the Blank Slate. If they are written in a similar fashion, then one might be advised not to expect the author to explain much at all. The BS (he should have been more careful with the title) is soft science at its softest. Pinker demonstrates that he is widely read and that somehow his vast research has rendered him indiscriminate. This is disheartening, because my gut feeling - entirely personal and unsubstantiated by hard facts - is that the central thesis of The Better Angels - as I have heard it summarized in reviews - is correct. I would sincerely appreciate a firmer footing for my admittedly vague "gut feeling." But the BS was intellectual pond scum so I would imagine the BA was another occasion to go on a speaking tour, sell books, and be the Carl Sagan of the behavioral sciences.

But Diebert, I think Pinker might dismiss your objection by saying this is a mere 30-year period and could just be an aberration, one that proves the rule.
cousinbasil
 
Posts: 1395
Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 8:26 am
Location: Garment District

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Bob Michael » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:46 pm

"And so I walk the streets, aware of the pervasive ugliness of the people in this most fortunate nation (USA), the lines of hurt and anxiety and greed around their eyes and mouths, the imbalance of their walk, the deformation of their bodies. Oh no it is not genetic. Civilization has twisted and scarred those bodies as surely as it has damaged and tortured the face of the planet. And I consider the subtle hate that often underlies the most casual interchange. And the specific karma we have built up in this country by our specific treatment of blacks and Indians and orientals, the result of which we now suffer and will go on suffering. And the self-righteous hostility among some of those who march for peace ("Peace On You," one of the signs reads). And the bristling animosity in some who would loose their "love" on the world. And the physical and psychic garbage in the dwelling places of some who proclaim the new lifestyles. And the elitism and divisiveness among the theorists and activsts who would create a reformed culture. And the growing intransigence of those who would maintain the old culture. And the impersonal greed of the giant corporations and unions and governing bureaucracies. And the weight of the past, the ponderous, ever-pressing, immovable weight, as heavy as the earth itself." [George B. Leonard - 'The Transformation']
User avatar
Bob Michael
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sun May 10, 2009 2:08 am
Location: Reading, Pennsylvania

Re: Colin Wilson

Postby Talking Ass » Mon Oct 10, 2011 1:36 am

    As a man is, so he sees. As the eye is formed, such are its powers. ---William Blake

It was obvious that I posted a blurb about an optimistic book on the market to contrast with Bob's deeply dreary and negative view of the present. I haven't read the book myself and don't think I will. I will assume that such a book takes its place among a plethora of books that are contrived and sold (to earn money) in an environment of entertaining intellectualism. Authors meet with their agents and come up with book-ideas that, when actualized, are sold in the market. One reads those materials in which shine the colors of one's own being, one's own 'spirit'. I would imagine that based on the tendentiousness and bias and avarice in the pubishing world it is very difficult to arrive at an accurate view or interpretation of 'reality'. (I would refer to all the mad-hatter opinions about Pres. Obama as an example. I've seen essays---long, serious essays---that described in amazing detail how Obama was a mass hypnotist! How with intonation and gesture he enchanted the innocent mass of Americans and like a devilish pied-piper leads them down a trail to a Soviet socialism.)

There is a kind of hysteria afoot in the 'intellectual' world and my impression is that it is hard to resist it, hard to build defenses against it.

So, what is more interesting to me than the specific facts as brought forward by Pinker (and I would ask you Diebert why you would focus on the smallest detail when the context is so much more interesting and potentially thought-provoking) is the issue or the question of how we relate to the present, to ourselves in the present, to this very platform in which we are living, to material existence. Cutting to the chase, allow me to present dear Bob as Exhibit 1. I will attempt to suggest (since proof is impossible) that his ideas and opinions are based not in any sense on Reality, but rather on deeply psychological manifestations of contempt, fear, violence, and even a sort of hatred of humanity, which is to say super-misanthropy. But it seems clear to me, or at least highly likely, that this 'mood' has nothing to do with exterior reality and everything to do with an inner reality that is 'projected' outward. In this a man is possessed and dominated by dark spirits who rule him, who drive him along. One asks, Where is the exorcist or the magician who can, with superior skill in handling spirits, come along side him and drive the demons out?

Now, it should be made clear that ascribing 'demon possession' (and I mean this in a more Jungian sense as 'possession by unconscious complexes', etc.) to Bob is in fact a statement about all of us. We all are possessed by idea-structures, by unconscious factors (complexes that need to become conscious), and by 'moods'. I would also like to suggest and by suggestion propose that, in its way, the Genius Forum has much to do with 'possession', and that the men who founded it are indeed 'possessed'. What possesses them? (And by extension what possesses us). This for me is the crux of the question, the most interesting question that can be asked, and it is the question (a group of questions really) that I ask as a result of spiritually entering into this 'sphere', of swimming in these bodies of intellectual water here.

    It is a sign of creeping inner death when we can no longer praise the living. ---Eric Hoffer

Essentially, the mood is one of pure contempt for 'reality', for the female and the feminine, for humankind. It is a mood born from intense (self-) dissatisfaction which is projected outward. It is not so much that Bob differs from any of this from QRS generally. There is at some inner point a desire to annihilate it all, which links it to Christian apocalyticism (as I have often said), and they seem to be 'birds of a feather' and they squawk to similar tunes. I suggest this is linked to a deep and abiding Nihilism and in a sense a pure hatred of life. Naturally, one who hates life must desire death: suicide. So, I again suggest that, here, there are some really rather dark, unprocessed, deeply unconscious forces at work in people. Death-drive I suppose.

I think that one must at this point broach the subject of 'thinking disorders'. As everyone knows I have often insisted (and gotten lots of resistance for it) that there are currents of pathology and 'mental illness' in this place. Perhaps a more accurate term is Thinking Disorder? And perhaps the lesson for 'all of us' is to become aware of what possesses us and how we are possessed by ideas, and that under ideas there exist strange forces, strange spirits?

Now, it seems to me that Bob with his George Leonard quote more or less proves my point (or some part of it). What is curious for me is that I met George Leonard once and I remember it quite well, I don't know why. I think I was 17 or so and it was at an Aikido class. What is interesting (since I know very little about him) is the memory of my impression of him. Recalling that, I remember a man who seemed to me to 'oppress with the heaviness of his spirit'. He is a tall man, lanky and unattractive, and he seemed to give off a vibe of superiority, perhaps something of extreme arrogance. I decidedly did not like him.

It is interesting to pick apart his deeply cynical view of 'man' which is linked to a very popular, post-war, Sixties acid freak-out about the state of the world, the spiritual state of man. Now the question here is very, very interesting, since we so very much live in the intellectual aftermath of a huge upsurge of dynamic 'spiritual' energy which indeed represented a valid and even 'healthy' freak-out about the state of things. And not only was there a freak-out, a meditation while high on peyote and looking down over oneself, one's origin, one's social structure, one's family, one's relationships, there were also whole new patterns of living that were proposed, whole 'new' ways to connect and reconnect with Life. Well, there is a great deal about 'all that' that is relevant to such a conversation that can't be gone into here, except to suggest the mood that comes through a song wich, I suggest, suggests so much: Woodstock. With its connection to Blake and to American Transcendentalism---if to some it appears ridiculous---I don't think such a suggestion of both profound confusion, a personal sense of being deeply lost, as well as the (blind?) hope and wish that a truer road and reality manifest itself, is at all out of place here. I would ask once again: What are the spirits that possess us? Where do we place our love and our hope?

Finally I suggest (once again) that OVERALL the moods and spirits and suggestions and ideas that are fundamental to this Forum...are ones that are DEEPLY FLAWED. But, I don't see 'deep flaw' as a hopeless condition but rather a necessary place to go and one that is unavoidable. But I do suggest that, after going through the dying, one HAS to come back to life again. The Eternal Return should not be (only) a vision of Hell and a recognition of what is hellish, but an awakening to what is heavenly. (I would also suggest, perhaps 'alchemically', that such a Heaven is only accessible (even if it is 'merely' an imagined, 'psychological' heaven) through levels of unity with the female and the feminine, which does not necessarily mean 'woman', but of course that is another subject).

    For everything that lives is holy, life delights in life. ---William Blake

______________________________________________

My personal, late-teenage impressions of George Leonard have no relevancy to his influence as a philosopher. I grew up in a place that was crawling with people who became quite influencial in the 'human potential movement', Esalen, etc. I used to think they were all half-baked, pretentious snots, and as kids we used to ridicule them all. Here is a page that described his links to the Souther Dissident Tradition. George Leonard. (A couple of posts down on the blog).

    "As one of the pioneering journalists of the Civil Rights Movement of the 50's and 60's, George was very mindful of the reach and influence of Southern progressives through journalism into the hearts and consciousness of Americans. Hodding Carter and his opposition to Japanese internment in WWII as well as the outrageous racial injustice all around him, Ralph McGill and the Atlanta Constitution, Ronnie Dugger and the Texas Observer, Willie Morris and others, right down to one of our personal favorites, the late lamented Molly Ivins, who we agreed made “bush-whacking” into an art form. George was a proud player on this Southern team, with his early feature coverage of the renascent Civil Rights Movement for Look (the largest of the photojournalism magazines, in an era when the rich documentary text and imagery on current events affected the national consciousness, often in a deeper, more thoughtful way than some of today's fleeting bombardment of web and tv coverage). And of course along the way he was also the first to take an early pulse of the 60's generation and find that it was very different indeed from “PTSD” trance of the post-War, Eisenhower, red-menace years. Which is what led him to Esalen, where, as they say, the rest is history."
__________________________________________________

I didn't see this until recently. Tomas wrote: "Was/is your Mother Jewish? .. well then, you qualify for Israeli citizenship..."

Actually, if you have one Jewish parent or a grandparent who is/was Jewish, you qualify for Israeli citizenship. I think they use the same criterion as did the Nazis. It would of course be sort of absurd if you could be sent to a camp because of a Jewish grandparent...but not be able to return to Israel.

"The rights of a Jew under this Law and the rights of an oleh under the Nationality Law... are also vested in a child and a grandchild of a Jew, the spouse of a Jew, the spouse of a child of a Jew and the spouse of a grandchild of a Jew [...] [But] the Law of Return ... excludes any "person who has been a Jew and has voluntarily changed his religion."

My mother was indeed a Jew, yet rather unconventional. Here, you can see for yourself. I snapped this just as she was saying 'But you look so thin!'
fiat mihi
User avatar
Talking Ass
 
Posts: 846
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:20 am

PreviousNext

Return to GENIUS FORUM

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests