Brainsturbator

So, What DO you believe in?

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The internet is a great tool --- already, we’ve been posed this question twice via email and we might as well try to sit down, work with crayons and legos, and really commit to a few beliefs.  A couple of our guiding principles, on paper once and for all.  This is way harder than it sounds.

At the BIPT, we don’t delude ourselves about “education” or “learning”.  As a teacher, there’s nothing more gratifying than than that magic moment when your student “gets it.” This is why you must actively punish them for understanding.  Don’t ever kid yourself into thinking teaching is even possible.  Your students will never get it—you can trick them into getting something else, but they’d never be able to teach that to you. 

So lie to your would-be students—they’ll either get the joke that nobody really understands anything and we’re all decieving ourselves to a literally unthinkable degree—or they will hate you bitterly.  Despite everything you just read, the following is completely true.

The internet is a great tool --- already, we’ve been posed this question twice via email and we might as well try to sit down, work with crayons and legos, and really commit to a few beliefs.  A couple of our guiding principles, on paper once and for all.  This is way harder than it sounds.

At the BIPT, we don’t delude ourselves about “education” or “learning”.  As a teacher, there’s nothing more gratifying than than that magic moment when your student “gets it.” This is why you must actively punish them for understanding.  Don’t ever kid yourself into thinking teaching is even possible.  Your students will never get it—you can trick them into getting something else, but they’d never be able to teach that to you. 

So lie to your would-be students—they’ll either get the joke that nobody really understands anything and we’re all decieving ourselves to a literally unthinkable degree—or they will hate you bitterly.  Despite everything you just read, the following is completely true.

1. We think the separation of mind and body was really dumb.

If you actually think about the logic Rene Descartes used to convince a whole culture that “mind” and “body” were somehow separate concepts, it’s not compelling, conclusive, or even very coherent.  We’re not clear on why it’s taken centuries for anyone else to reach the same conclusion.  Observe:

“While I could pretend that I had no body, that there was no world...I could not pretend that I was not.  From the fact that I thought of doubting the truth of other things, it followed I existed.  From this I recognized that I was a substance whose essence or nature is to think, and who’s being requires no place and depends on no material things.”

----from Discourse on Method

Before we even discuss neurology: here’s a simple test.  If this logic sounds reasonable, locate a firearm, load it with ammunition, and discharge about six rounds into your head.  If you’re still there thinking, congratulations! Boy, you sure proved us wrong!

Our larger point is that everything biology and neurology have taught us since ol’ Descartes penned that little gem has done nothing but prove him wrong.  The “I” of conscious experience is integrally tied to, and emergent from, the physical body.  The two are inseparable --- there is, at present, no clearly defined border between the mind and body, as there is between liver and the gallbladder, or between our cells and their mitochondria.

Science cannot account for how the “I” of conscious experience arises from the brain.  This is because science is having serious problems these days --- there are a lot of good ideas floating around, and Brainsturbator Dot Com is here to float them to you, the reader.  A short list of useful thinkers: Rupert Sheldrake, Chris King, Iona Miller, Jose Delgado, Aleister Crowley, Mae-Wan Ho, John Zerzan, Hakim Bey, Ray Kurzweil, and Daniel Dennett.

2. We think that humans function on programming and have the capacity to reprogram themselves.

Your personality is not you.  Your personality is the sum of all the humans you have interacted with and taken patterns from.  We learn how to walk, talk, move, dress, and behave by modeling other humans.  This begins with your parents and their social circle, then your own peer group and teachers, your media role models, every single person on television, and everyone else you’ve seen or heard from the moment you were born until right about five seconds ago.  However, you can also change your personality—through an act of will, you can alter your habits, you can alter your beliefs, you can alter how people percieve you completely.  Are you still you?

(That’s not supposed to be a deep question, the answer is “Fuckin’ Of Course I Am")

It is not polite or charitable to say that humans are robots.  Our culture is based on the idea of the free thinking, soveriegn individual, and our Constitution is written presupposing that as a universal truth.  But as any Buddhist knows, even achieving conscious awareness is a lot of work and takes constant, vigilant effort to maintain.  We are not born awake, that takes training and self-discipline. 

For anyone unfamiliar with this line of thought, start with this essay by Howard Bloom

For anyone interested in how to take control of their own “programming” (just a metaphor) we recommend the following: Prometheus Rising, by Robert Anton Wilson.  Undoing Yourself, by Dr. Christopher Hyatt.  LSD Psychotherapy, by Stanislav Grof.  Monsters and Magical Sticks, by Stephen Heller. And in the interest of total overkill for dedicated autodidacts, here is the Complete Works of Milton Erikson

Again, those are not amazon links, those are the complete books in pdf format.  Information is free and Brainsturbator loves you.

3. We think that there is some serious shit on the horizon.

We are not committed to any dates, because the past millenium has seen a failed prophecy every month or so, and because we have personally survived over 100 Ends of The World by our own count.  No nuclear winter, no comets, no solar flares, no pole reversal, no Y2K, no Rapture, no Armageddon, just the same breed of parasite, manipulating fear and ignorance.  The same holds true of politics - short of studying up on the business and science of oil and doing a global tour to assess the world’s actual supply, it’s hard to make a call on peak oil.  Many intelligent people question the official story of what happened on 9/11, but nearly everyone who has definitive answers about what happened that day is retarded.

Despite all that, it’s hard to deny that we stand at a point without precedent in human history.  Our population size, our technological power, our increasing interconnection, are all at levels our parents only dreamed of, and our grandparents cannot even understand.  Few people have noted that this upward trend is reflected in our bodies as well --- in all forms of athletic performance, world records go up every year.  Anyone who has watched the X Games for the past five years has a clear sense of what we’re talking about --- tricks considered impossible two years ago are becoming commonplace now.
The Singulary is only a human guess, and so is the ETA of 2012.  And yes, the Mayans who made those calendars were also humans, guessing.  Humans are very strange creatures: their solutions are frequently amazing, but somehow their explanations are almost always utterly wrong.  Humans have made most of their greatest innovations by accident and random chance.  The science establishment which has leveled entire cities and poisoned the planet have yet to explain why placebos work just as well as any presciption drug on the market.

So keep an open mind, but definitely be prepared.  As to how you prepare for the unknown, we don’t know, either.

5 responses to "So, What DO you believe in?"

  • avatar

    Sep 30, 2006 at 4:37 PM
    aloysius
    says...

    I think one of the most interesting and widely overlooked aspects of the 2012 mythos is that the Mayans didn’t necessarily believe that it would usher about the end of the world.  Rather, December 21st of that year is said to mark the beginning of what they called the 6th era of human conciousness, bringing about a vast shift in global thought.

    Yes, certainly, these are dark times.  I think most thinking apes would agree with that.  But are they the darkest we’ve seen?  Many are quick to say that we’re living in the beginning of the End-Times.  However, very few seem to remember the 40-some-odd years we sat on the brink of mutually assured destruction, during which the push of a single button could have obliterated all life on Earth for centuries.

    It’s early and I felt like putting my two cents in.  But come on, people; realize that humanity has been fascinated with its own demise since the rise of concious thought.  It’s a byproduct of being the only creature aware of Thanatos’ existence.  If and when the end is really coming, you’ll probably know.

    Personally, I think that Patton Oswalt paints a pretty convincing picture.

  • avatar

    Oct 01, 2006 at 7:06 PM
    thirtyseven
    says...

    I was --- I thought --- trying to convey optimism more than the darkness of present times.  With great risk comes great opportunity, and our whole species is perched on several cliffs at once, all day every day.

    I’m psyched to be here.

    (What worries me about those anticipating the apocalypse is the after-effects more than the ignorance.  History clearly shows that, again and again, the dates we set for the End of Everything never come.  What depressing is what history clearly shows after that --- that those “true believers” will rationalize this and become even more entrenched in their false beliefs.

    A. Quandary knows of which I speak, but for any curious eavesdroppers, google “When Prophecy Fails”.)

  • avatar

    Oct 02, 2006 at 11:12 AM
    PaleRider
    says...

    “But as any Buddhist knows, even achieving conscious awareness is a lot of work and takes constant, vigilant effort to maintain.  We are not born awake, that takes training and self-discipline.”

    Hmm. I suppose that I would have to agree that one is not “born awake” as you state however it has seemed to me that many children are “more awake” it is social brainwashing and societal expectation that takes away what used to come very naturally, the ability to be in the moment of now. In a certain sense Buddhist mindfulness seems to me to be a method of re-membering what we all had as children.

    At no point in my life, aside from some fleeting moments on marijuana and/or mushrooms, do I remember being more englufed in the present moment as I was, frequently, as a child—mostly while engaged at “play”. I do not think it was just me. While witnessing children at play it strikes me that they have absolutely no sense of time (at times) and are completely engaged and engulfed in the moment.

    As an aside—a bit off topic. I also recall instense day dreams that, now looking back bordered on pleasurable psychadelic drug experiences.

    At any rate I think many children are Buddhists without knowing it and its adults snatch away their pure being like a theif in the night.

  • avatar

    Oct 03, 2006 at 8:06 AM
    Khanverse
    says...

    that 7th era of consciousness is exactly what we believe (you know what i mean by we, 37) is happening right now.  It’s only the “final” era in the sense that humanity as such will cease to exist after another millenium.

    We believe this is the last millenia of the 7 millenia given to mankind after the development of the soul, conscience and global adoption of language (IE split from united consciousness)

    A new species will evolve that will be completely different, which also means completely unpredictable with much more refined and expanded senses. 

    This evolution will of course probably take thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of years and usher in a new epoch in the evolution of earth and the universe.

    But yea, the “world” isn’t ending anytime soon (got at least a billion to go)

  • avatar

    Feb 01, 2007 at 11:41 AM
    SHAMONKEY
    says...

    so what role do beings from other solar sytems, planets, galaxies, universes, and/or dimensions play in our evolution?  they most likely altered early man’s dna, and surely they aren’t finished playing/experimenting.  do you think they’ll let us destroy ourselves?  if they (and/or spiritual entities) do not exist, do not plan to help us, and/or are too far away to do anything, then I fear the worst for humanity and the planet.

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