Thanks for visiting my site, I’ve started this blog to share interesting/profound thoughts and observations I find on my journey towards Gnosis. The majority will be quotes I pull from the books I read and sometimes original thoughts that I have. The overall scope of my reading is about us, humans, the mind, consciousness, science, philosophy, art, myth, magic, history, etc., etc. – generally all relating to the attainment of Gnosis. For me Gnosis is defined as knowledge gained through direct experience and the tradition that embodies that core of knowledge, wisdom, and insight of humanity to it’s real nature as divine – leading to the deliverance of the divine spark within humanity from the constraints of earthly existence.

Part of this journey also includes the study of tarot, for it deserves serious scholarly research and consideration. The Tarot being regarded as leaves of some sacred book from the ancient pagan world, intended as symbols of philosophic principles – holding the keys to the sciences of universal procedures – intended to illumine the mind through the instrument of a mathematically ordered symbolism. Carl Jung has said everyone is living a myth – it would be wise to know which one, so you know if it’s a tragedy. I think Tarot is best used as a tool to identify, communicate, and thus manipulate that myth. So I’ll also be using this blog to hone my insight and organize my thoughts, through the complex, multilayered world of the Tarot and its symbolism.

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The Redemptive Hero

Watching Son(s) of Sam on Netflix got me thinking about the human desire of wanting to be a part of a group, something bigger than yourself. This seems to be neurophysiological condition hard wired into us.

The problem being, not knowing if a group, organization, religion, cult, policy or the like, is dangerous or worthy of your time/sacrifice. There is one concrete and guaranteed principle you can use as a rule to determine if any said group is dangerous and should be avoided. That is: the group should never require you to sacrifice your individuality for the group.

Any group, society, organization, etc. that requires you to sacrifice your individuality for the “greater good” of the group is doomed to fail. This is a tenet that has been potrayed in the oldest myths – from the ancient Summerian’s to the Egyptian’s all the way through the East to the West including Christianity.

The “group/society” will stagnate and die without renewal from the heroic individual. That’s what these myths are essentially saying, that we need to embody and act out being the redemptive hero to revivify the stagnated state.

The most glaring examples of groups doomed to failure, from sacrificing the individual for the group being Communism and Fascism. This is how our laws are set up in every successful civilization – that there is something redemptive and divine in every individual, as a human being. This includes murderers, rapists, or any criminal – we acknowledge that there is something divine, worthy and capable of redemption in each individual. Whether you know this and/or believe this explicitly or not, this is what we all act out.

This is how I know Freemasonry, as a fraternal organization, is founded on safe and solid principles. They explicitly state that your first priority as a Brother Mason is your “vocation”, not just meaning your work, but meaning working on yourself, as an individual, is priority #1 – then comes your brothers and the lodge (the group).

So this applies to any group (ie. LGBTQ, cars, environmental, etc.), government, organization religion, etc., etc.. While this isn’t the only criteria, it is the first and foremost, one that CANNOT be infringed upon. If they want you to sacrifice yourself for the group (whether explicitly stated or not – typically it’s not and cleverly veiled) GET OUT! It will be doomed to fail and could be dangerous.

Slavery Will Set You Free

Nietzsche has said that in order to be free you first have to become a slave. What he means by that is you just don’t grow up from being a (free) child to the same (free) generalized individuality as an adult, without first dedicating yourself to some sort of discipline (ie. religion, sports, the Scouts, school, etc.), to become something specific – a voluntary slavery if you will – and that sets the foundation for developing your individuality as an adult.

The discipline sets you free to becoming an individual as an adult. I see this as a necessary step, one that cannot be dismissed or avoided.

If you don’t have the discipline to voluntarily commit yourself to becoming something specific, other than just being “yourself”, you will not develop an individuality as an adult. You’ll be a nobody, nihilistically wandering through life, constantly reacting, never in control, a slave to life’s burdens and suffering – never being able to “find” who you are.

This is the nihilism I’m seeing so much of today with my generation and the one’s under me coming up. You HAVE to have the discipline to dedicate yourself to becoming something other than what you are, or you’ll always be a nobody, just a slave to the harshest parts of this reality. In order to be free, you first have to become a slave, it’s better to choose something constructive to be a slave to.

Metaphorical Truth – Killing God?

Since Neitzche, many people have agreed with the notion that God, in recent generations, is dead. Meaning we aren’t religious anymore (ie. praying, living up to a higher power, engaging in ritual, etc.) and don’t believe in “God”.

While I agree that God is dead or dying in that sense, I believe, even in this current age, that God isn’t dead, God cannot die. To the ancients God(s) existed in the sky, in the forest, rivers, oceans, in our institutions, in our hearts and in our concious minds. God is majoraly a projection of our imagination into the objective realm to help make sense of the world. This doesn’t make God any less real than if he were to actually exist as a literal being – how human behavior manifest, the cause and effects of physical reality and the end results are the same, no matter how you think of God. This is one of those metaphorical truths. Just like it will increase the well-being of an individual acting as if a gun is cocked and loaded, acting as if God was real will increase the well-being of humanity.

This quote is what provoked this post and is relevant here:
“Debord also draws an equivalence between the role of mass media marketing in the present and the role of religions in the past.The spread of commodity-images by the mass media, produces “waves of enthusiasm for a given product” resulting in “moments of fervent exaltation similar to the ecstasies of the convulsions and miracles of the old religious fetishism”.”

God hasn’t died we are just worshipping new idols – God is now the new iPhone, drugs, vanity, or any unhealthy obsession/addiction. God exists in a very real – biologically concrete – way in our minds (it’s how our minds and imagination works), we cannot destroy Him so it would be wise to learn to worship Him in a healthy and constructive way, and to work towards cultivating our highest human faculties. So God isn’t dead/dying, we are only killing ourselves.

Heaven of the Wise, A Divine Science

Materialism is a comparatively modern invention of the human mind. Materialism not only ignores but actually denies the metaphysical factor in thought and action.

Man has exiled himself from the empire of Space and is satisfied to live without wisdom and die without hope. One of the primary functions of metaphysics is to incline the human reason towards an intelligent consideration of man’s place in divine plan. Metaphysics seeks to establish a closer harmony between divine will and human action.

Metaphysics does not infer blind faith, or the unquestioned worship of unknown gods, but rather seeks to establish a rational sympathy between heaven and earth, a conscious and intelligent cooperation between man and the laws that govern him.

A philosophical definition of heaven, as distinct from the modern theology’s concept, may result in a better understanding of spiritual factors. Theologies, blinded by their jot and title creeds, have come to regard heaven as a place, distant and formal, populated by a spiritual genus, and ruled over by a capricious anthropomorphic deity. This celestial despotism exists nowhere except in the imagination of the unenlightened.

The heaven of the wise is Space itself – an immeasurable empire extending throughout the uttermost extremities of Being. It is the empire of universal life, established upon the immovable foundations of existence. It is populated by a myriad of principals – luminous energies, as the ancient called them; gods, as it were known to the pagans.

Heaven is the empire of truth and fact. He who abides and truth and according to fact, abides in the celestial world. He who lives in his opinions and conceits, is exiled to the outer darkness.

Hermes said the law of analogy was the priceless key to divine mysteries. With the aid of this law the ancient philosophers explored the heavenly world, creating a divine science which they preserved in their temples, imparting its elements only to those whom they regarded as worthy of so noble a learning.

Manly P. Hall

First Principles of Philosophy

I want you to look upon philosophy not as an abstract and difficult word, suggesting arduous labor, but as a simple and friendly term standing for all that is good and all that is real in knowledge.

I want you to make philosophy the great work of your life.

I want you to think of it as the greatest building power in society.

The mastery of philosophy is the supreme accomplishment of which man is capable and the living of philosophy is the most noble of all arts.

In the process of perfecting its disciples, philosophy make use of every known form of knowledge and he who perfects himself in its principles becomes truly divine.

As religion, philosophy leads to the knowledge of God.

As philosophy it leads to the knowledge of self.

And as science it leads to the knowledge and mastery of nature.

In this present age theology leads to confusion. Science, to a hopeless unbelief. Only Philosophy can bring us to “the Golden Time we look for.” Only from philosophy can we derive that enlightened courage with which to face the day. Those who have light within themselves will pass triumphantly through the difficult years which lie ahead.

Manly P. Hall

The Language Instinct

I’m reading this because I feel that a better understanding of language will help me connect dots in my research. What exactly? As of yet I do not know.

One insight so far is knowing that language/words and thought/thinking is not the same. The foundational framework of human thought is not rooted in words. Humans have a universal mentalese utilizing representations and symbols – in essence we do not think in English, Chinese, Apache, etc.

This distinction really brings in to focus why the great ancient civilizations put such an emphasis on the universal language of symbolism. Saying that “symbolism is the universal language” is not just some esoteric occult nonsense, this is rooted in a deep transcendent reality modern science is just beginning to understand.

I think it’s fruitful to consider language as an evolutionary adaption, like the eye, it’s major parts designed to carry out important functions. And Chomsky’s arguments about the nature of the language faculty are based on technical analysis of word and sentence structure, often couched in abstruse formalisms. His discussions of flesh and blood speakers are perfunctory and highly idealized. Though I do happen to agree with many of his arguments, I think that a conclusion about the mind is convincing only if many kinds of evidence can converge on it. So the story in this book is highly eclectic, ranging from how DNA builds brains to the pontifications of newspaper language columnists. The best place to begin is to ask why anyone should believe that human language is part of human biology – an instinct – at all.

Steven Pinker

Better Thinking

Reasoning aside, we know that people often acquire their beliefs about the world for reasons that are more emotional and social than strictly cognitive. Wishful thinking, self-serving bias, in-group loyalty, and frank self-deception can lead to monsters departures from the norms of rationality. Most beliefs are evaluated against a background of other beliefs and often in the context of an ideology that a person shares with others. Consequently, people are rarely aa open to revising their views as reason would seem to dictate.

There are some things that we are just naturally bad at. And a mistake people tend to make across a wide range of reasoning tasks are not mere errors; they are systematic errors that are strongly associated both within and across tasks. As one might expect, many of these errors decrease as cognitive ability increases. We also know that training, using both examples and former rules, mitigate many of these problems and can improve a person’s thinking.

On this front, the internet has simultaneously enabled two opposing influences on belief: on the one hand, it has reduced intellectual isolation by making it more difficult for people to remain ignorant of the diversity of opinion on any given subject. But it has also allowed bad ideas to flourish – as anyone with a computer and too much time on his hands can broadcast his point of view and, often enough, find an audience. So while knowledge is increasingly open source, ignorance is, too.

Sam Harris

Out-Group Hostility – In-Group Altruism

A very interesting theory to contemplate. I feel this helps make sense of our current state of tribalism and morality.

Territorial violence might have been necessary for development of altruism. The economist Samuel Bowles has argued that lethal, “out-group” hostility and “in-group” altruism are two sides of the same coin. His computer models suggest that altruism cannot emerge without some level of conflict between groups. If true, this is one of the many places where we must transcend evolutionary pressures through reason – because, barring an attack from outer space, we now lack of proper “out-group” to inspire us to further altruism.

Sam Harris

Explains why it seems that we are constantly looking for a “they”, “them”, or “other” to transgress upon, contradictory to the altruism we show “our” own group.

The Moral Landscape

My new book by Sam Harris

There are facts to be understood about how thoughts and intentions arise in the human brain; there are facts to be learned about how these mental states translate into behavior; there are further facts to be known about how these behaviors influence the world and the experience of other conscious beings. We will see that facts of this sort exhaust what we can reasonably mean by terms like “good” and “evil.” They will also increasingly fall within the purview of science and run far deeper than a person’s religious affiliation. Just as there is no such thing as Christian physics or Muslim algebra, we will see that there is no such thing as Christian or Muslim morality. Indeed, I will argue that morality should be considered an undeveloped branch of science.

Sam Harris

Sterilized Christianity – Alchemist Redemption

This final value, the goal of the pursuit of the alchemist, is discovery and embodiment of the meaning of life itself: integrated subjective being actively expressing its nature through manipulation of the possibilities inherent in the material / unknown world. This final goal is the production of an integrated intrapsychic condition – identical to that of the mythological hero – “acted out” in a world regarded as equivalent to self. Production of this condition – the lapis philosophorum – constitutes the antidote for the “corruption of the world,” attendant upon the Fall [attendant upon the emergence of “partial” self-consciousness.] The lapis is “agent of transformation,” equivalent to the mythological redemptive hero – able to turn “base metals into gold.” It is, as such, something more valuable than gold – just as the hero is more valuable than any of his concrete productions. The “complete” alchemical opus – with production of the lapis as goal – is presented schematically in figure 66.

Alchemy was a living myth: the myth of the individual man as redeemer. Organized Christianity had “sterilized itself,” so to speak, by insisting on the worship of some external truth as the means to salvation. The Alchemist (re)discovered the error of this presumption, and came to realize that identification with the redeemer was in fact necessary, not his worship; that myths of redemption had true power when they were incorporated, and acted out, rather than believed, in some abstract sense. This meant: to say that Christ was “the greatest man in history” – a combination of the divine and mortal – was not sufficient expression of faith. Sufficient expression meant the attempt to live out the myth of the hero, within the confines of individual personality – to voluntarily shoulder the cross of existence, to “unite the opposites” within a single breast, and to serve as active conscious mediator between the eternal generative forces of known and unknown.

Jordan Peterson