Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An Attack on the 10 major Pillars of Christianity.

I want like to take this time to form a full scale assault on what I belief are the 10 core pillars of the organized religion called ‘Christianity’. It is my view that these views are not logical, and do not represent a fully enlightened spiritual perspective.

1. Anti-Abortion argument – Christians often pride themselves as being passionately against abortion. One can see hard core Christians protesting abortion near US abortion clinics. First of all, abortion hinges on the assumption that upon conception, the zygote has something called a ‘soul’ that is worth preserving for ethical reasons. To me, this is illogical thinking. The ‘soul’ is a very fuzzy concept, a concept that is rooted in a deep fear of death humans have. The truth is that the zygote at the very early stages has no brain, no heart, no spinal cord, and not even any pain receptors. Therefore, you are not killing ‘anything’. There is nothing there. It would be like saying that by boiling an egg, I am a chicken murderer. Clearly most people can identify that this is a bogus argument. However, we become totally insane when thinking about the death of a human fetus and zygote. To me, this represents a deep ingrained biological conditioning that evolution instilled in our genes in order to ensure we would work hard to keep babies alive and healthy. What is ironic is that suppose zygotes did have a soul, then abortion should be perfectly ok, as there is something eternal that will be recycled, but Christians do not even think about that deeply. They react emotionally, and say abortion is wrong because killing is wrong. However, they lack imagination and the ability to see exceptions to the rule. There are always exceptions, and someone who tries to apply one rule to all situations is a dolt. Killing is perfectly okay in many situations such as early stage abortion, the mercy killing of terminally ill patients who are suffering, and many others. Christians typically cannot see the utility of killing someone whose life isn’t worth living, and they no longer have a will to live, as the suffering is too intense. Christians are often callous, without compassion, and unable to feel for anyone because they are blinded by their belief system. Belief systems are the real evil of mankind.

2. Anti-sex argument - Christians often preach the importance of celibacy, and the fact that sex is evil, and a sin, and all the rest of it. Sex is part of our biology, and it is necessary for reproduction. It is also used for couples to express love and affection to each other. The problem is an attachment or addiction to the experience. Any pleasurable experience has the potential to totally take over your mind and consciousness, and that is the real danger of the sexual experience. However, to try to make people feel shame for merely having sexual drives and wanted to engage in the act is wrong. People need to have the right relationship to their sexuality. They cannot use it as an emotional crutch, or for emotional dependency. It is a drive that needs to be satisfied, and should be done so calmly.

3. Anti-homosexual argument - This is one of the most idiotic arguments Christians come up with. The fact that gays choose their sexual orientation, and therefore they are defying god by going against the natural order of heterosexuality. What a crock of crap. First of all, nature produces homosexuality in many other species, and those species are not guided by choice, they are guided by instincts. Humans have instincts. That is the reason why when men are walking in a mall or down the street, they find themselves staring at a beautiful woman, and they didn’t choose to do it. It was a programmed behavior. Genetically programmed. And homosexuality is a programmed behavior. People do not choose their orientations. They are attracted to who they are based on conditioning, so you cannot condemn someone merely on something as superficial as sexual orientation. Shame on Christians everywhere.

4. Just belief in Jesus and you’ll be saved argument – This is just bizarre. People tell me to just accept Jesus into my heart and I will be saved. I wish it was that easy. I am a follower of truth and a follower of enlightenment and enlightenment is tough mental work, it is questioning your thoughts, and your opinions. It involves working at making your mind as logical as possible without any crutches, dependencies or belief systems. To me, a belief system is a pacifier for the soul. It is comforting and provides security, just like the mother’s tit, but eventually you need to stop suckling the breast, and move on to cold ice water.

5. The bible is a historical document – Again, before the industrial revolution, guess that the most corrupt corporation was on the block – The church. So corrupt that the US constitution was written in such a way to remove all power of the church because they saw it as a threat to the functioning of a stable nation and democracy. So the church has a history as being a dark force that held back scientific thinkers and philosophers. Don’t you believe that such tyrants in power were capable of manipulating and distorting the bible in order to control the masses? I think it is very possible and self-evident if one examines a lot of the illogical contradictions that litter the bible.

6. Creationist Argument – Christians hate evolution because it doesn’t sit well with them. They do not want to believe that humans are not special and designed by a loving creator. Evolution explains why humans are imperfect, why there is evil, as it suggests we share a lot of behaviors with the animal kingdom, which is self-evident if you observe a tribe of humans, and then observe a group of baboons. You will see many similarities. This explanation is scientific, and it does not defy the cause-and-effect nature of reality. A Christian’s alternative is always illogical, illogical meaning they expect you to suspect all your reasoning facilities, and believe the impossible. Namely, they want you to believe in supernatural intervention that breaks the very rules of reality. They expect magical thinking, and if you bring up the law of cause-and-effect, and how reality never violates that law, they become angry and say that god can do anything. nonsense! If god can do anything, maybe he should save the 30,000 children that starved today in a puddle of their own urine and feces. Then they say oh we cannot even begin to understand the reason god does the things he does. I think we can understand everything, and we shouldn’t settle for mental blocks in our minds to settle for a belief in a personal sky daddy promising an afterlife.

7. Blind generosity argument – Christians also pride themselves on their giving spirit, but I noticed that they usually always want recognition for their good deeds. Doing something noble shouldn’t have underlying selfish motives. Christians love to do good things in order to gain brownie points in god’s nice list. They are like children trying to be good all year in order to get on Santa’s nice list. And they rarely put much thought in how they should discriminate who gets the good deeds and who doesn’t. Sometimes their choices are totally counter intuitive to rationality. For instance: they might say that we need to help the weak, so they give money to some homeless alcoholic on the street, and of course, what does he do? He tells them he will be able to eat tonight, which pleases the Christian, but then he skips down to his local liquor store, and blows it on a jug of Jimmy walker.

8. Satanic possession as an explanation for evil argument – I’m amazed when in discussion with Christians, how many still believe in nonsense such as satanic possession, and they use such explanations to explain evil. From everything we know and understand about psychology, everything we know about mental disorders, personalities, and how the mind works, people continue to invoke some magical devil force as the puppet master behind human actions. Christians are notorious for the preference of creating imaginary good and evil battles in some far off metaphysical space, and these forces are for some bizarre reason interested in fighting over who controls our species. This is like a bad super hero action flick. It’s all just too cartoony to believe. Humans do not become possessed; evil is the result of cognitive errors in reasoning, which is based on brain function. Brain function that can be understood in terms of cause and effect and one can actually analyze the causes responsible for delusions, mental blocks and immoral behavior.

9. Miracles happen argument – Again, Christians who believe in miracles expect us to accept without question the fact that events can happen that violate cause and effect. Christians need to believe that Jesus was magic, you know like a modern day Harry Potter. Maybe Jesus secretly had a wand under that religious garb of his, who knows. That is what faith is all about, it is about turning off your logical brain, and opening your mind up to the stupid. The stupid meaning accepting non sense as fact. And if you try to reason with a Christian, you will not get very far because their thinking isn’t guided by an acceptance of cause-and-effect, it doesn’t have to be, because magic is possible, so they do not have to listen to the voice of reason. If you try to explain that in ones day to day experience, no event EVER EVER violates the law of cause-and-effect, they simply do not hear you, they block it out, they know all the answers.

10. Faith as a virtue – You know that nagging skepticism and doubt that the human spirit naturally has, you know as a corrective mechanism so we as spiritual beings do not get snarled indefinitely in our own delusions, well Christians expect you to turn that part of your brain off, and just accept the whole parcel of Christian contradiction and illogic without question. And they call this whole notion of believing something without evidence or reason a virtue! The fact is that it is a virtue to remain skeptical, remain in doubt, doubt will lead you. Do not simply accept a belief because it feels good, or provides you with security, spiritual status, companionship, or that nagging feeling for a father figure who cares, Do it because it feels true which is a rarity indeed.

Why Anarchy is a horrible idea

Before I begin, let me start by suggesting that there are many variations on anarchism philosophy, but most share one common idea - absence of government or any enforced authority. Now, the basic assumption anarchists make is that they believe authoritative institutions are the problem, and that if we do away with certain institutions then society will be better off. However, my position is that there is nothing inherently wrong with institutions or even corporations for that matter, it is the people running them. Human nature is the problem. Moreover, without institutions, the same behaviors will emerge, only the power shift will be more local than national. For instance: In countries in the middle east without federal institutions, tribalism naturally takes root which is actually more brutal. Punishments for crime is decided by a small number of tribal leaders whom usually have less moral restraint than politicians or who are guided by outdated brutal religious texts. So it is human nature and natural to create hierarchies of power, but a wise person can be in power without abusing it, whereas an unwise person will cause mischief and havoc. Authority and hierarchy is necessary because in our modern civilization there is need for management. Any service or good needs management so a hierarchy will naturally take place. And where there is a hierarchy, there is authority, someone who you need to listen to. This system can work well in business if the manager has a decent character, meaning if they respect employees and do not abuse their power. Moreover, I tend to view governments and corporations very similar. Both are created by the people for the people. They are intended to provide the populous with goods and services, whereas government has the extra duty of regulating the activities of corporations and maintaining order within the society. And any developed country has a sophisticated legal system and internal auditor that helps to keep the behavior of government in check. It is not a perfect system, but is far superior to anything the anarchists advocate. An institution with authority is not a major problem if the proper regulations are in place. And of course, corruption and atrocities will take place, but that isn't a problem with government or corporations. Their intended function is to provide the populous with some vital good or service. Some anarchists advocate that every society should abandon government altogether, and simply allow private corporations to supply all the services and goods that the government currently does. The major problem with that arrangement is many services do very poorly when they are privatized such as a fire department or police force. Not to mention, some of these forces need to be universal, as you cannot have competing police forces fighting for the crime in the city, it just doesn’t make rational sense. And if you take away government, the regulations on corporations will no longer exist, and so corporations will naturally evolve to become a much more immoral and neurotic force. A corporation without regulations will naturally become less beneficial to the society, as they will cut corners to boost profits, pay less for wages, engage in corrupt and dishonest activities and all the rest of it. However, I can understand the anarchists desire to want a better society, but you cannot get there by eliminating government. The solution at present is more of the same in any liberal nation - a dualistic system of corporations under the supervision of government and law, and the government under the supervision of law and the populous. Basically a well regulated system for both government and corporations. However, if the majority of people were enlightened or valued wisdom more than anything else, corruption in government and corporations wouldn’t be as ramped anyway. This is true because a wise person isn’t tempted by the pleasures of power, so they do not become insecure when the threat of losing their position comes into play. And they will not be as greedy at the expense of the populous because their desire to serve the society and improve it will outweigh any short term reward greed provides. I will leave you with the primary problem of anarchists, they ignore human nature, and try to simply attack the superficial institutional structure, but such a strategy will only cause the same problem to manifest in another form. It is like playing the wack a mole game, you may hit one mole on the hit, only to see it resurface in another location. And that is the primary problem of the ideology of anarchism. The removal of institutions will simply cause humans to form power structures locally such as religious tribalism, community governess, and so on. And the same corruption will emerge at the local level as well, only with less oversight, and probably more brutality.

Debunking Modern Conspiracy Theorists Like Glenn Beck And Alex Jones

If you ever listen to any full length radio show by either of these two clowns, you should notice a pattern. Both are very easily excitable, and both make countless wild conclusions based on their own desire to feel the effects to be overwhelmed mentally. The problem is that you have two emotional people who are unable to analyze data coldly without coming to wild conclusions to make them feel threatened, paranoid, under attack, angry and all the rest of it. Conspiracy Theorists are basically cognitive junkies. They become addicted to the emotional reaction that falsely interpreting data gives. Allow me to give some examples – In an interview – Both believe that the Federal Reserve is run by elites who want to global currencies to fail in order to implement a new global currency and adopt one world government. So they take something that is true such as the Federal Reserve is doing a lousy job because it tends to cause inflation, and they stretch that fact in order to come to all sorts of wild conclusions. They take a truth such as leaders tend to make mistakes and abuse power, and they stretch that truth in order to come to all sorts of wild conclusions. They envision “Big Brother” in America as a bunch of villain like elites who are sitting around a business table thinking of new ways to inflict suffering on the populous. While corruption and evil atrocities are quite possible from governments and corporations, they blow things way out of proportion in order to make their arguments sound more dire, exaggerated and fantastic. The view of reality is very cartoon-like, and their goal is to not enlighten the public, but merely overwhelm them emotionally, so their followers will think irrationally as well.

They remind me of really bad spiritual gurus who inspire people to set the bar lower cognitively. Basically, any rational person will not have to spend too much time listening to either of these two bozos before they see how their minds function. They also assume that human beings without wisdom are much more crafty, cunning and clever than they actually are. The contradiction in their thinking is that elites can be both incompetent and super-villains at the same time. They try to artificially construct a view of reality that resembles a cross between Austin Powers and the new Batman movie, but such combination defies all laws of reason. My main argument to debunk these jokers is that incompetent leaders or even corporate elites have a very difficult time rallying enough support to get anything major done, and they certainly do not have the loyalty to keep big secrets a secret. So to suggest that the world trade center terrorist attack was an inside job is just plain stupidity. George Bush could barely get a bill passed or keep the fact that he snuck a beer at work to his wife. Do you really think any group within office or even corporations could pull something like that off? Glenn Beck and Alex Jones need to grow up, mature, and retire from the hysteria industry. They are snake oil salesmen of the worst kind.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Criticism of David Bohm

The work of David Bohm also had an impact on my spiritual development. Bohm was definitely a significant scientific figure in the field of physics, and his discoveries and intuition drove him in the direction of mysticism, where he met Jiddu Krishnamurti. First of all, I’d like to go into some of his body of work to which I agree. He spent quite a bit of time in his books talking about the importance of dialogue where all the parties drop their assumptions, beliefs and preconceived notions, and simply listen and speak openly. This view was quite idealistic, and actual dialogue for most people ends up being a bit messier. You have one person in a group who wants to do all the talking, and the parties involved believe their unique position in the correct one, so there isn’t much listening on part of anyone, only an attempt to teach from all parties involved. Many discussions end up getting off track into areas not all that spiritually significant. However, Bohm had noble ideals, but when put in practice, they tend to fail. Bohm also had the position where he believed that the observer and the observed were one movement, and that the division is an artificial construction invented by cognition. Bohm, who was heavily influenced by Jiddu Krishnamurti sometimes used sloppy wording such as suggesting that ‘Thought’ is the problem. He also explained that the thinker erroneously believed that he is choosing to think, whereas the truth is that thinking is caused by deterministic factors. The last part makes sense. It implies that free will is an illusion, which I agree with. However, Bohm and Krishnamurti often talked about an ending of time, as an ending of thought. This is confusing, as what they should have stated in that the timeless is realized when thinker realizing that thinking is ultimately caused, and that thinking can be rooted in irrational emotions, and therefore some ‘thought’ is trash that shouldn’t be taken seriously, but examined and critically negated. Sometimes the lack of subtlety in their language was confusing.

Bohm also talked about his explicate/implicate order theory where the world of form or appearances that we see is constantly dying, and being reborn from a deeply order that we are unable to detect. He imagined a sort of enfoldment process where particles vibrated in and out of the explicate order, sort of like breathing. This sort of theory is fine to discuss, but Bohm and Krishnamurti would often bring up theories such as this to imply that perhaps enlightened consciousness was immortal. Basically, they were looking for ideologies to support a belief in an afterlife. As a philosopher, I see the danger in that sort of thinking, because one has to question the motive for wanting to cleave to afterlife fantasies, when the truth is the activity is probably rooted in a fear of death, and it is safer to simply stick with ‘what is’ and what we can be certain of in the here and now. However, Bohm had a powerful and intuitive imagination that surpassed most of his contemporary physicists at the time. Even Albert Einstein was unable to accept some of his theories such as non-local interaction between hidden quantum variables, which is generally accepted today. Einstein couldn’t accept of the novel QM theories proposed by Bohm because they seemed to conflict with Newtonian physics, and Einstein expected QM to behave according to that model as well. Bohm was also able to criticize the QM professors of the day who were content with mathematical models that made far too many assumptions, and didn’t come close to capturing what was taking place at the quantum level. Bohm realized that the math should be secondary, and discovery, imagination and experimentation should be primary. He was basically discontented with how many scientists where satisfied plugging numbers into incomplete theories, without thinking much about what it all meant. In hindsight though, I think Bohm may have been a tad na├»ve. Despite his understanding of causality, he was notorious for being a tad too open to individuals who preached superstitious phenomena and pseudoscience. Bohm was probably guilty of creating an unrealistic image of Jiddu Krishnamurti, and becoming severely attached to him, as during one of their last spats, Bohm suffered a serious depression afterwards, to which he needed to be medicated for. Overall, Bohm was a complicated intellectual with many strengthens and many weaknesses. A radical mind in many ways.

The Psychology Underlying Evil Dictators.

This is a blog exploring the psychology as to why dictators tend to do all the wrong things while in power. One can even observe evil acts committed from the very individuals who overthrow brutal regimes with the most noble of intentions for the people. This is observed by the tendency for new leaders to commit some of the same atrocities as the former regime that they were so passionate in overthrowing. To understand the dynamic completely, one has to consider that leaders without an understanding of human nature or wisdom of the self will almost always act out evil that they themselves would have condemned when they were not in a position of power. I would like to explore some of the primary reasons why – First of all, a person in power is rewarded with certain pleasures, financial security, prestige and respect. A leader without wisdom can easily become addicted and dependent on the new identity that power gives him. And the very thought of losing that power becomes a source of intense fear and insecurity because the person cannot imagine what they could possibly do with their life that would give them the same egotistical satisfaction, as the pleasure and security that being a powerful leader grants. So where there is an addiction to pleasure and security, there is fear. And without wisdom, a person in power naturally allows the position to inflate their self-image to the point where they are no longer recognizable to the man they were before. So power is self-inflating to the ego, and this is where justification comes in. The leader is not aware of what power has done to their person, and now they are faced with opposition, people who believe the country should be run differently, or people who simply want their position of power for themselves. Now, the leader will not be aware of the fear they now exhibited with the very thought of being tossed out for another person, so they start a series of justifications used to protect their own position. They may think something like “If I do not put an end to this opposition, they will take control the country, and it will lead to violence and disorder, so I must crush this opposition. So the leader may have them killed, or have them thrown into jail without a proper trial, or they may pay off the police or the judge to hold a sort of mock trial to make it look like the opposition had committed some offense worthy of jail time. The main thing is that they come up with all sorts of justifications to rationalize committing some evil action.

Such behavior is the enemy of democracy, as democracy is supposed to allow open debate and voting in new leaders to prevent corruption from taking root. It is also important to note that dictators from a communist ideology are almost always guaranteed to commit atrocities or make fatal errors that negatively affect the population. This is true because communist governments try to control most industry, which doesn’t work because they have a difficult time being an expert in any particular field so nothing runs properly. This creates a desperate environment where protest, revolt and extreme forms of opposition emerge, which puts the leader in a precarious position where he must respond. He usually makes fatal errors because to fix the country, he would have to admit that he was wrong about his political ideology, the form of governance, thus allowing industry to privatize. However, most communist leaders will not do that because in order to do so they must admit fault, and allow corporations to replace some of their power, so in effect they must give up a certain amount of control they have over the nation. Giving up control tends to give men anxiety, especially ones without wisdom. Dictators also tend to commit atrocities more often than elected officials because there is less oversight with a dictator, as there are no checks and balances established to keep their behavior relatively sane. Dictators essentially make the laws, and so the law doesn’t have to apply to them. However, with a democracy, there is usually a long tradition of a more sophisticated legal system that operates independently of the leader, so criminal charges could be filed if the situation warranted it. Moreover, a leader without legal oversight is free to attempt to control the population according to their own personal preferences, and their own subjective system of ethics. And the problem with that is it is very common for an unenlightened person to weld a system of ethics that actually singles out minorities, or attempts to force the populous to conform to strict rules that are often times contradictory, bizarre, or not well thought out. That is why the US constitution was such a revolutionary document. It was written by intellectuals where were trying to minimize the influence of irrational forces such as religious institutions, and the occasional bad seed that came along with violent and savage tendencies.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

My Criticism of U.G Krishnmurti

I studied U.G Krishnamurti directly after being exposed to Jiddu Krishnamurti’s work. The two complement each other well, and U.G’s work helped to be pull away from the mystique that I had created around Jiddu Krishnamurti. U.G helped me to start to be able to think critically for myself without always relating everything back o j. Krishnamurti’s philosophy, as I had thought I had found an all-encompassing philosophical body of work. U.G’s teaching is more rough, rugged, and dirty. He often tells people off who cannot learn, tells them to go away, gets angry and all the rest of it. A total opposite style from Jiddu Krishnamurti who is always very polite, collected and mindful of the listener. U.G. is like the dog of enlightenment. He reminded me a lot of the stories of Diogenes, who existed in the time of Plato and Socrates. U.G. is useful because his teaching causes you to move away from your dependence on the teacher, and not to create an idol over him. However, U.G is often so extreme that his body of work is often difficult to make sense of. He contradicts himself, and doesn't try to correct or elaborate, and he tends to condemn and reject every other body of thought in order to get the student to think for themselves, but this technique causes the student to be heavily dependent on his language as well. He also rejects that anyone else has ever understood enlightenment, which simply isn’t true, and one never knows his motivation for deceiving the student in such a way. U.G is just as dismissive and contemptuous towards empirical science and empirical thinking as Jiddu Krishnamurti, and I don’t believe it is necessary. They could have just stated that science can be helpful, but wisdom should be primary.

Instead, U.G was notorious for becoming irate at even the mention of someone such as Einstein or even Jiddu Krishnamurti. Those close to him admit that he harbored an unnatural hatred, jealousy and resentment towards Jiddu Krishnmurti for much of his life. Apparently, U.G behaved differently around people who he believed had no potential for enlightenment, and this caused problems in deciphering his exact body of work because some of it wasn’t met for ears who could think for themselves. As a result, it is difficult to judge his entire body of work as a whole because everything was recorded. Also, he did very immature things to people who had very little potential such as making up wild lies and claims such as the story of his physical transformation, and many other wild tales. One has to question his decision to do this, as it illustrates a certain lack of responsibility. At root, I don’t think U.G thought deeply about the negative karma that could be left behind from his work. He also choose to become very rude to people who showed no potential for enlightenment, which caused them to become even more dependent and in awe of him. And then he feed that image by wearing anti-guru type clothes, and all the rest of it. However, when he spoke seriously, his speech was often bang on of what I would consider the principles of enlightenment. When U.G joked with the audience that he stated was just a dog barking, in many ways, he was correct, although it was confusing because sometimes he sounded like a mature sage, and other times a immature child. Such a technique for teaching wisdom is questionable at best. I enjoyed U.G the most when he was serious or playful, yet respectful. When he started putting on his anti-guru act, and became screaming at people to get lost, I wanted to find the remote control, and change the channel.

My Criticism of Jiddu Krishnamurti

Jiddu Krishamurti was definitely a significant spiritual force that had quite an impact on my own development. Despite its own character flaws and errors in reasoning, he provided one of the first bodies of philosophical knowledge that I could use to reflect upon my own experience. What I respect about his body of work is his ability to speak plainly, with language that can be understood by anyone. Many of the European philosophers were guilty of making their language overly complicated, which I had a difficult time understanding at that time period in my life. Whereas Jiddu Krishnamurti spoke slowly, used plain words, and repeated himself constantly. Perhaps it was his simplicity and lack of an overly complicated intellect that I was attracted to. It was something that hit home hard and quick, despite how thick my mind probably was at that time period. When he said something like, “Attachment is when you prefer something pleasurable, and feel fear in its absence of even the thought of its absence.” This was language I understood. Krishnamurti’s writings reminded me a lot of the Buddha, and he did possess a certain degree of rationality, discipline and spirit that I admire. However, he had some serious flaws in his character and thinking that led me astray and confused me for some time. First of all, from time to time, Krishnamurti described peak experiences which he interpreted as being connected with the source or god, and then he became overly sentimental about the experiences, and also concluded that he was immortal. This is dangerous thinking for anyone, but for a 21 year insecure male, all that sort of thinking could do is cause a lot of confusion, envy, yearnings for power, and hero worship. The other problem I had with him is that he became overly sentimental and emotional over the beauty in nature. His poetry was a sort of drama, a form of theatre or entertainment, and his presentation caused me to become quite confused with how an enlightenment person ought to perceive nature. I ended up feeling inadequate when I observed a mountain and didn’t feel the same intensity to which Krishnamurti did. I thought that I must not be enlightened yet because I didn’t feel the same intensity of emotion for nature’s beauty. The other major flaw in Krishnamurti’s reasoning is that he often concluded that thought or cognition was the problem for man, and that man needed to transcend thought altogether, and achieve some sort of hypersensitive attention not distorted by thought. It was a confusing idea that is not correct. One doesn’t abandon thought altogether, just delusional thinking, or thinking that is not logical.

Krishnamurti also expressed a continuous contempt for science and empirical thinking, which I think actually complements spirituality. Actually much of the behavior of the self can be discovered, described and summed up in the field of psychology. He also constantly downplayed the importance of science while in discussion with David Bohm, a physicist who dedicated most of his entire life to science. It is difficult to determine whether he did this merely to influence Bohm to let go to many of his theories that he was clinging to, and became mentally snarled to, or if Krishnamurti was a tad dismissive of any work done in the scientific field because it wasn’t what he was good at, or what he was doing. The truth is probably a mixture of both. Apparently, Krishnamurti tried for much of his friendship with Bohm to get him to let go of some of the empirical theories that he felt could transform man, but he wouldn’t. And their friendship eventually broke off when Krishnamurti publicly announced that Bohm hadn’t gone through any sort of spiritual transformation at all. Bohm went into a deep depression, and their friendship never recovered, despite the years of intense dialogue.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Why Andrew Cohen is a dangerous guru.

Despite Andrew Cohen’s dedication to the pursuit of enlightenment, he makes many fatal errors spiritual seekers before him and many after him will make. And it is these fatal errors in thinking that potentially makes him a threat to not only himself, but to all those around him. Before I begin, I think Cohen has some decent material in his body of work, but how much of it has seeped into his consciousness is quite debatable. So allow me to go into the primary criticism of this post – in countless interviews involving Cohen, I have noticed a pattern emerge, a deficiency in his thinking that he is not willing to recognize. In my opinion, as humans, we are basically stuck with our biology, and we are inherently flawed creatures, with no hope of wisdom eradicating all of our shortcomings. However, wisdom can eradicate some shortcomings, such as clarifying ones thought, making ones arguments more sound, and allowing one to observe reality as it is. There is a ‘but’ though. The ‘but’ is that we are hardwired to behave and think like animals to a large degree, and there are just some things that wisdom cannot penetrate. One other major issue I have with Cohen is that he believes its perfectly acceptable for his students to become emotionally attached to him, and never cut off ties. This creates a horrible environment for students where they are often beaten up mentally, develop a submissive relationship to him, and allows Cohen the teacher to stay in a position of power, where he is the constant center of attention.

Imagine large waves hitting a coast line; it is capable of eroding most of the coastline, making a beautiful sandy beach with sea grasses, and an abundance of life. However, there is that one giant chunk of bedrock that just won’t break down, regardless of the number of storms, and regardless of the intensity of the waves. Cohen ignores that giant chunk of bedrock staring him right in the face. He prefers illusions such as “when you are perfectly enlightened, you can do no wrong!” Seriously Cohen, with that sort of talk, you can justify any behavior, and ignore all sorts of wrong action. It is dangerous thinking that quite frankly perturbs me. I think if I saw Cohen while walking alone down a back ally, I might slowly turn around, and scurry the other way. Moreover, some of the worst tyrants and dictators in human history had similar attitudes, as they thought their minds were closely aligned with god, that they could do no wrong, and whatever action and thought came to their mind must be the will of enlightenment. That is what concerns me the most, the thought that Cohen doesn’t filter, challenge or negate his own cognition anymore. The skepticism of his own mind has long vanished, along with cautiousness in behavior and action. Such a blatantly erroneous conclusion also gives rise to a sort of artificial confidence, a stride in one’s step that I find unsettling, it is like Cohen has become possessed by a demon. And the demon is a series of incorrect conclusions that give birth to a sort smug overly confident center that feels invisible, but also better than the world. It is amazing that as spiritual students, seekers continue to buy into Cohen’s erroneous attitude wholeheartedly. Just imagine if you needed lifesaving heart surgery, and before the operation, the heart surgeon entered your bedside, and asked if you had any concerns. And just imagine that you asked him what your chances of surviving were, and he told you not to worry because he could do no wrong on the operation table, and to be a perfect heart surgeon, one needs to be a confident egomaniac, how would you respond? I know how I would respond – I would either request another surgeon, or pull the IV out of my arm in horror, and make a run for the parade.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Criticism of Ron Paul

My Criticism of Ron Paul

Before I begin, let me express the fact that I do have quite a bit of respect for Ron Paul, and the spirit he speaks from. He has a moral conviction and concern for society that is relatively rare. In many ways he is a very wise economist, but in other ways, he is a boob that cannot see past the limitations his own ideology. A common mistake of men is to simply adopt one ideology, and believe it to be a fundamental truth that is all-encompassing, and can be applied to any situation. Ron Paul makes this fatal error unmistakably. However, first of all, let me be a bit gentler with Paul. I don’t want to rough him up too hard, at least at first. I would like to go into where he actually gets it right. He gets the economic theory mostly right: his critique of the US monetary policy is bang on, as it is important to acknowledge his in depth understanding of how excessive inflation caused by central bank’s mismanagement can bring a currency to its knees. He is also very critical of unnecessary military action and spending, and other foreign policies that breed perpetual war and conflict. While in the presidential debates, I observed courage in Paul that was not present in any other candidate. His major points I agree with is his criticism of US monetary policy, foreign policy and the corrupt relationship corporations have to the US government. However, as a strict libertarian, Paul is… well, how do I say this politely, blind as a bat in many ways. Actually, that metaphor is a tad harsh. How can I be gentler – Paul is more like a bald eagle that is capable of soaring high and seeing great distances and big pictures, but when he flies over certain landscapes, his wings suddenly stop working, and he haphazardly does a nose dive, and an inevitable face plant into the hard earth below. Of course, he isn’t aware such errors, but I will attempt to point them out here.

First of all, Ron Paul is against all forms of taxation, which is very extreme. Taxation is necessary if you want any sort of government funded entitlements, which most of the populous wants. So from the very beginning, Paul alienates many of the listeners when he says he wants to do away with the income tax, and all tax for that matter. However, his major error in thinking is when he assumes, like all libertarians do, that the ‘free market’ can magically fix any injustice and problem of fairness in society. Libertarians demonize governments as if they are a lot different than corporations. In my opinion, governments are subject to the same corruption as corporations, and that is why you need to regulate both, to keep corruption in check. However, libertarians view any action by the government as interference in the ‘free market’, like they are throwing a wrench into a finely tuned system. However, the mortgage collapse, (caused mostly by deregulation) is overwhelming evidence that the ‘free market’ is not a magically self-fixing system. People in high places of corporations can bring an economy to its knees if they do the wrong thing, which can be prevented with government oversight and regulation. Moreover, because corporations and government are run by imperfect people, doing the wrong thing on a massive scale by either institution can have dire consequences. This happens because it is human nature to be more concerned with one’s narrow short term personal gains then the big picture, or the health of the society as a whole. That is why I believe Regulation is needed for both corporations and government, to keep human nature is check. This suggests that human nature is the problem, not the institution. That is the major flaw of libertarianism – It assumes government is the primary demonic target, while I believe it is merely a vehicle for people to act out their inherent character flaws. The bottom line – A man who blindly believes in any ideology wholeheartedly as fundamentalism, without examining human nature as the primary causal factor is not making sound logical observations, but blinded by the limited scope of his own belief system.

A Response to John Horgan's "The End of Science"

John Horgan makes some incredibly sober predictions about the direction science is heading.  According to Horgan, the scientific community is increasingly cleaving to a fantastic trans humanistic future where the homo sapiens resembles something in akin to a Borg crossed with Star Trek’s Jane Kathryn Janeway. I suppose at best it would be a small victory and possible orgasm for trekkies everywhere.  However, he points out that such an outcome is unrealistic, especially in the time frame that many of these anti-aging pill popping enthusiasts are predicting.   And then there are scientists who are super content studying the aimless and mundane, and their life’s work doesn’t have a hope in hell in inspiring any sort of profound change. They spend most of their days counting the poop rings on the inside of a crustacean anus, or they attentively watch the mating behavior of chimpanzees while stroking their own swollen members. It is debatable what positive effect such work could possibly have on the future of humanity.  Imagine the amount of financial resources that are wasted at educational institutions every year to these thick spectacle wearing supposedly academics.   
Ideally, science is supposed to be about discovery, which results in novel new ways of thinking, and possibly invention. And any novelty of Invention should in principle make the human condition more tolerable.  Horgan suggests that the hayday for such discoveries is over, and that we could be heading in a direction where paradigm shifting discoveries slow or have even ended. And combined with increasing threats from a myriad of irrational and random forces, his prospects for the future of humanity isn’t as optimistic as some of the academics within the present transhumanism movement.  I tend to fall somewhere in the middle of Horgan’s position and someone like Ray Kurzweil.  
 The way I view science presently is that the species has mastered some of the basic foundational theories necessary to move into more difficult areas such as the human body and robotics, which I see as two significant areas that will probably continue to make slow gains over the next few centuries. Slowing the aging process is probably possible, but not to the extreme that Kurzweil hopes.  Realistically, science will probably extend life expectancy 15-25 years every century, and I could see some novel new theories within cell biology, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence that may help to accelerate those fields. However, I tend to be less optimistic that such changes will come in a short period of time.  Basically, if I was Ray Kurzweil, I would become a bit more comfortable with the reality of dying because the borg hive queen isn’t beaming down to transform and tweak his biology anytime soon.