THE following extraordinary account of the “Cause Célèbre” of Urbain Grandier, the Curé of Loudun, accused of Magic and of having caused the Nuns of the Convent of Saint Ursula to be possessed of devils, is written by an eye-witness, and not only an eyewitness but an actor in the scenes he describes. It is printed at “Poitiers, chez J. Thoreau et la veuve Ménier, Imprimeurs du Roi et de l’Université 1634.” I believe two copies only are known: my own, and the one in the National Library, Paris. The writer is Monsieur des Niau, Counsellor at la Flèche, evidently a firm believer in the absurd charges brought against Grandier.
Oh you, long-suffering one, my diligent reader, the faithful and dedicated viewer, who strives to find some sense and solace here… what can I offer you this time ?
Last week’s thrilling installment left you gripping the chrome plated handle bars on your plush black fake goat leather upholstered swivel chair, spinning around and trembling with trepidation, anticipation, adulation, and more… but recall how it all BEGAN… slam the brakes ! Deep breath !
So, my conclusion to studying the nature of reality, would be something like this. That to do it properly, is to do philosophy with one’s whole being, that is, you hang from sky by a thread from the top of your head, with the soles of your feet feeling the surface of the Earth, this ‘thing’, that is real, that has made you, and to which you belong, which you depend upon for your existence.
See, here is a depiction of a human, and it illustrates posture. I do not know about the high heels, that’s beyond my area of expertise, so far. But what I do know, it makes a difference, how you stand. So check. Spend five, ten, minutes. Is that a lot ? This is important. You are how you stand.
If you are not upright, you have to use very many muscles, all working and tensed, to stop you falling forward or backward. That uses a lot of energy and makes you tired.
If you balance yourself perfectly, you save all that energy, and feel much better. But that’s only one reason, not even a very good reason. The whole way you think and feel changes, by the way you stand, and then the way you move about. So this is practical philosophy, concerning being in, or on, or upon, the world.
Upon the surface of the hurtling spinning planet, under the sky. As a feeling, sensual, and a thinking, being. A complete being. A balanced being. Not doing anything else, except being a being. Being 100% aware of that.
The regular scientific doctors do say that posture effects many different physiological systems, blood pressure, the hormone levels, etc. That doesn’t interest me much, just do it and see how it feels, learn. Probably, if it feels nice, it’s good. 🙂
Walking on tip toe feels nice sometimes, maybe high heels can be like that ?
Right, a little more about dreams.
This came out a few days ago.
All my life I’ve been entranced by the brain. (I did a doctorate in brain research, and although I’ve done other things since, my passion for neuroscience and its implications has not dimmed). The brain is the mechanism by which we perceive the world — it’s the most sophisticated organization of matter in the universe (as far as we know); it’s matter aware of itself. Dreaming and sleeping, I suspect, are deep clues to human physiology and psychology.
I read through it all, and I am just about to shred it. And the people, whoever they are.
But then, what’s the point ? There’ll be another one next week, or next month, just as there was, last week, last month.
And I will be just as irritated, and the shredding won’t stop them. They never get anywhere, except that they kill off all the pleasure and mystery of being a human being, with their appalling arrogant hubristic declarations, from a position of authority which none on them have.
None of them have any idea at all how the brain works, what consciousness is, or how it works, or how dreams work, but they have all set themselves up as ‘experts’ and so they are required to perform to demand, just as if they were solicitors, economists, accountants, and you wanted an opinion.
Here’s the link, if you want to work your way through.
In my opinion, they are all stuck in the wrong paradigm, but I’ve already told you all that, so I shouldn’t belabour the point, but I can’t resist…
The brain is the mechanism by which we perceive the world
No, no, no, no, no, noooo, it is not.
‘The brain’ is a label that we have attached to a lump of jelly-like stuff that we have found inside people’s skulls.
There’s nothing ‘mechanism’, mechanical, machine-like, about it, at all.
‘Mechanism’ is a metaphor which humans came up with drawing upon the machines that humans had invented, over a long period of history, but particularly during the Enlightenment (Diderot) and the Industrial Revolution.
Humans did not invent the brain. They used their ideas, which they understood well, that they incorporated into machines, and then transferred those ideas and tried to apply them to the brain, in the hope that they might help to understand the brain.
‘A machine’ is a human mental construct, a thought form that a human mind conceives. Whatever the Universe is, whether it was created by ‘a God’, or whether it ‘is God’, or however you may wish to consider it and think about it, it precedes us, it made everything before we came along, and none of it had anything to do with ‘machinery’. That’s to do with Victorian cotton mills, water wheels, internal combustion engines, and the like. You can project those concept out, if you like, if you think they aid insight, but if you forget that you are projecting, then you are a fool.
Whether they have ‘explained’ anything about the brain, or not, is very much an open question, which we could discuss at some length. I think there’s a case to be made, the metaphor has confused and mislead. But it’s an interesting and complicated area.
What if we tried a different metaphor ?
Shock and horror. All the scientists and everyone all get educated, indoctrinated, with scientism, the standard orthodox materialist Cartesian ideology. That never considers any ‘other view’ as permissible. That would be heresy.
Here’s just one way it’s wrong.
Half an hour on Google informs the curious browser that neuroplasticity is a “magical” scientific discovery that shows that our brains are not hard-wired like computers, as was once thought, but like “Play-Doh” or a “gooey butter cake”. This means that “our thoughts can change the structure and function of our brains” and that by doing certain exercises we can actually, physically increase our brain’s “strength, size and density”.
Machines don’t do that. We could probably have understood that much sooner, except we thought brains were machines.
And see this
Biologists induce flatworms to grow heads and brains of other species
The work reveals physiological circuits as a new kind of epigenetics – information existing outside of genomic sequence – that determines large-scale anatomy. The finding that head shape is not hard-wired by the genome but can be overridden by manipulating electrical synapses in the body suggests that differences in species could be determined in part by the activity of bioelectrical networks.
So my hunch is that this ‘bioelectrical network’ of which they speak, this is what I am talking about, when I speak of soul, that is, the subtle body, that is, chi, ki, prana, L-Field, and Holy Spirit. And it is some kind of field, which extends beyond the visual physical form.
We know, from SCIENCE that the standard orthodox materialist Cartesian belief is WRONG. And have known for about a century. The ‘very clever scientists’ still all teach and get taught what they know to be wrong. Because they are all trapped in scientism, which is an ideology, and just as rigid and dogmatic as the other belief systems which they love to attack, ridicule and criticise, for example, the ‘Young Earth’ theories that claim that the Earth is only 6 thousand years old, or whatever, because someone says it says so in the Old Testament.
What we got from Descartes and early modern science, was the mechanistic models, that the human body is a machine, the brain is a machine, the world is a machine, the Universe is a machine, Newton’s Clockwork, and it’s all made of atoms like billiard balls, that bounce around and ricochet off one another, and all the trajectories can be measured and calculated, by clever mathematicians and engineers and doctors. Everything is rational, logical, and can, in theory, be understood.
It’s that manner of thinking which has given us the
The brain is the mechanism by which we perceive the world
But we know it is not true ! We know it is all wrong and not correct ! We know that the fundamental paradigm that gave rise to that view is obsolete and cannot be sustained !
There IS no separate ‘world’ that exists ‘out there’ that we ‘perceive’. Even if it appears that way.
As if there was some sort of ghostly being, living inside this ‘body machine’ that peers out, and watches what goes on, as an objective observer, a kind of attendant inside a tower, looks through a window and who makes notes.
That’s all nonsense and rubbish and SCIENCE has demonstrated, absolutely irrefutably, that it is nonsense and rubbish, because of quantum physics. It is impossible to separate the observer from the observed. They are the same thing.
The act of observation changes the observed. This is not conjecture, it’s established empirically by scientific experiment.
So the paradigm upon which science, the scientific enterprise, was based, has collapsed, and been shown to be unviable. And yet, they, the scientists, just carry on as if nothing had happened, making totally absurd and nonsensical statements, such as
The brain is the mechanism by which we perceive the world
I do not know what the answer to this conundrum is. But there’s no shame or embarrassment in that, because neither does anyone else. Perhaps ‘the brain creates the world’ would be more appropriate wording. But what about the guy with hydrocephalus and almost no brain at all, and a perfectly satisfactory normal social life and and advanced math degree ? Noticed by chance when he gets hospitalised for something else.
There innumerable anomalies that science chooses to ignore, rather than face the fact that the fundamental paradigm must be in error, and demands revision. You know, weird things, like a child gets a large blister on their arm from a burn, and their twin a hundred miles away, gets an identical blister, at the same time, for no apparent cause.
How does this work ? There is something going on. But the materialists, the determinists, stuck in outdated dogma and twaddle from centuries ago, cannot even look at the evidence, it frightens them so much, that their hubristic ideology must be abandoned.
You know, the sun shines, there’s warmth, on your skin. That’s one paradigm, the naive vernacular common sense folk wisdom. Then there’s the same thing, viewed through classical physics, as infra red radiation, or through quantum physics as subatomic particles, so you choose the perspective you want or need, and that choice frames the reality of the experience.
Here’s another angle
The fact that so much precognitive dream material comes to light when using free association suggests that precognitive dreaming occurs far more frequently than even its advocates typically assert.
There are a great many people, I read their comments almost everyday, who deny the existence of spirits, indeed, of anything spiritual.
What happens, is that when they have an experience, they assign it to their own personal favourite paradigm which explains it away, so to speak, that is, they rationalize, to their own satisfaction, and that’s the end of the matter, as far as they are concerned.
They’ll very likely quote some authority from their favourite paradigm, to reinforce their position. But that’s pointless, if it is someone who subscribes to the same paradigm, isn’t it.
So, that’s not really perspectivism, that’s the bog standard binary Manichean black and white view, where there are only two choices, either/or. And this is the way so many people get educated, and it is rather absurd. Part of the dumbing down, which reduces the population to kindergarten mentality, where your only options are for Tweedle Dum or Tweedle Dee. Every opinion has to slot into either the left box, or the right box, because there are only two possible views, mine, which is correct, and yours, which is wrong. As if ‘the world’ was a football match made of two teams.
Such people could be correct, by chance, in some cases, of course. If their paradigm did a good job at dealing with the evidence and left one better equipped for navigating the territory.
But, in practise, from experience, these people who deny the spiritual are just insensitive, they have a blind spot, and they are determined to keep it that way. Because it would be too unsettling and troubling to do otherwise.
When people make statements, such as ‘When you are dead, you are dead, there’s nothing else, no more to it, no afterlife’, or words to that effect, they are repeating dogma.
They have no evidence. They have not died, they have no experience upon which to form that conclusion. It’s second hand opinion, that has been passed down, since it was first spread around as propaganda and became popular, with the rise of atheist thought, several centuries ago.
Of course, one can pose the counter-argument, ‘Where is the evidence that there is some experience of something post death ?’ But let’s leave that for later.
What is of interest here, is perspectivism and the paradigm that you choose, or select.
If, indeed, you HAVE a choice. Many, even most, have none. They are indoctrinated, programmed, they believe that there IS only one valid perspective, and it is the one which they themselves subscribe to and insist upon, and, quite frequently, attempt to promote and evangelise to others.
But, imo, that is never an educated or intelligent position. Not for anyone. But it is the majority position. So there lies a problem.
Trying to argue, discuss, persuade, explain, using logical or reasoned discourse, on the whole, is fairly hopeless, fruitless, unproductive. You know, thoughtful individuals who are seeking answers will find their own ways forward, maybe, but just look at the mess that the internet has become, there’s very little constructive positive discussion, it’s mostly a battle with people throwing verbiage at other people whose ideas they do not like.
Michael Prescott makes the case very eloquently
When such a Skeptic is presented with evidence of the paranormal, he finds it deeply upsetting. He does not see it as a mildly annoying paradox or a funny, quirky story suitable for cocktail party conversation. He feels that it is an existential threat — a threat to the integrity of his ego, and therefore to his sense of self.
This is why Skeptics are stridently hostile to parapsychology research. They cheer when a parapsychology lab closes. They insist that parapsychology papers be excluded from peer-reviewed journals, on principle. They agitate to have parapsychology, as a field, ousted from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. If they were really interested in getting to the truth, they would want more research, more discussion, more openness. If parapsychology is a scam, why not expose it by making it as public as possible? But they want to shut it out of polite discussion or shut down the enterprise altogether. This makes sense only if they are motivated by a secret fear that parapsychology will prove them wrong (as, in my opinion, it already has).
A clear example of this psychology was on display in a public debate between Rupert Sheldrake and Lewis Wolpert. Sheldrake screened a short video about experiments involving a parrot who (unlikely as it may sound) seemed to exhibit telepathy. He saw that Wolpert had turned away and was refusing to watch. Later in the debate he pointed this out:
Well, I noticed that when the parrot film was showing, Lewis wasn’t looking at it! That film was shown on television and in [an] early stage of our investigations, he did the same then. They asked a sceptic to commentate. Lewis appeared on the screen and he said, Telepathy is just junk; there is no evidence whatsoever for any personal, animal or thing being telepathic. The filmmakers were surprised that he hadn’t actually asked to see the evidence before he commented on it, and I think, this is rather like the Cardinal Bellarmine and people not wanting to look through Galileo’s Telescope. I think we have a level here of just not wanting to know, which is not real science. I’m sorry to have to say it, Lewis.
Some people would see Wolpert’s refusal to watch as stubbornness or closed-mindedness, or as a debating tactic, but I think aversion to cognitive dissonance is likely to be the deeper explanation. It would have been almost physically painful for him to pay attention to a video that so directly challenged his beliefs. Instead he acted like a child who claps his hands over his ears and sings “La la la!” rather than hear upsetting words.
Because any evidence for psi or life after death is so disturbing to him, the Skeptic tends to avoid it whenever possible. But if he cannot avoid it, then he must find a way to neutralize it. The need is urgent, which is why the first available explanation consistent with his preconceptions is eagerly seized upon. This is also why Skeptics are “debunkers” at heart; their impulse is not to engage with the evidence but to dismiss it as quickly as possible.
This accounts for the tendency of Skeptics to come up with a quick-and-dirty explanation of any troubling phenomenon. Because cognitive dissonance is so painful for Skeptics, they often do not even read the cases closely — or if they do read them, they don’t absorb or retain what they’re reading. It’s a defense mechanism. Rather than engage with the material, which would make them deeply uncomfortable, they skim it, find the first detail they can “debunk,” and declare the case closed. They can safely forget it. Dissonance has been resolved, and order is restored. (Matt Rouge, a commenter here, calls this “the fallacy of the glancing blow.”)
Some people, noting the poverty of many ad hoc Skeptical explanations, decide that Skeptics are unintelligent or consciously dishonest. I don’t think this is true. While a few may be dishonest and/or not too bright, I believe most Skeptics are of above-average intelligence and are not intentionally deceitful. Their hastily proffered explanations fail because the Skeptic does not take the time to treat the material seriously. Like Lewis Wolpert, he just wants to avert his eyes from any troubling claims.
A Skeptic encountering evidence of the paranormal is like the stereotypical woman in a movie farce who discovers a spider in her hair. Does she pause to calmly assess the situation? No, she starts batting wildly at her head, screaming, “Get it off me!” In this state of mind, even the most intelligent and knowledgeable person will be hard pressed to think logically. Panic makes anyone stupid.
But what happens when the first, hastily contrived explanation fails? Then another explanation must be cobbled together immediately and affirmed with the same absolutism. If that one fails, another will be seized on, and another, and another — none of which will satisfactorily address the evidence (at least in the stronger cases), but all of which will serve to protect the mind from the agonies of doubt and ambiguity, which are simply intolerable.
On the other hand, many proponents of the paranormal have a high tolerance for ambiguity. Exceptions exist; there are paranormalists who are just as defensive and reactionary as any Skeptic. But for the most part, people who have made an in-depth study of psi and related phenomena are able to maintain a state of doubt for years without undue discomfort.
I believe that these two mindsets — a fairly high degree of comfort with ambiguity, versus an extreme aversion to ambiguity — are the major psychological divide between the Skeptical and paranormalist camps, and the main reason they so frequently talk past each other.
It doesn’t help that, in my observation, Skeptics are not good at introspection. They are largely unacquainted with their own psychology and thus blind to their biases. They may even flatter themselves with the belief that they are uniquely unbiased. Biases are for other people, not them. This is in line with their avoidance of cognitive dissonance; any admission of their own bias would create some doubt about their conclusions.
Of course, this type of psychology is not limited to Skeptics. It can be found in many people, including some who are very successful. More than a few high-ranking politicians and business leaders seem to have this mindset. It is, in some ways, socially advantageous. A person who permits himself no doubts can inspire others to follow him. “He must know what he’s doing,” people say. “He’s always so sure of himself.” Since most people are beset by doubts, they admire someone who seems to have none.
Insecure people, in general, are likely to idolize those who seem unafflicted by inner conflicts. They don’t realize that the appearance is a mirage, and that their heroes are merely exceptionally good at papering over their own doubts, concealing them even from themselves.
I have become so weary of tiresome opinionated fools making declarations that carry no sincere genuine serious thought, telling the world that ‘life has no meaning’, ‘there is no such thing as the soul’, blahblah.
If they had done some study, if they were familiar with the Egyptian and Tibetan Books of the Dead, for example, then that’s better than nothing. But how can anyone be so vain and conceited as to proclaim that they themselves know, better than anyone else, unless they have some basis for making that claim ?
It’s a kind of egomania. You might expect it from adolescents, teenagers, trying to impress their peers, but not from adults who are expected to carry some sense of responsibility for their own tongues.
But that’s part of what we are seeing, social breakdown, where everything turns to mush. Corrupted by junk TV, junk everything. Exploit the vulnerable by reducing standards and taking away values and morals for the sake of profit, because the only logic of capitalism is to mine every resource to destruction, until it is exhausted, until there is no more money to be made.
All the virtues, as they used to be called, stand in the way of that tide. Because to be honest and honourable means you don’t lie, steal and cheat, which means you miss out on the big cash bonus, the loot and plunder, that goes to the ones who do.
But I have drifted into a digression….
Oh well, if digress I must, who is going to stop me ?
To be strictly scientific, regarding matters like ‘after death’ and spirits, would mean being agnostic, it would mean maintaining the position ‘I do not know’, because, not having died, and not having any decisive evidence, the matter remains unresolved.
To make a firm declarative statement, is not science, it is superstition, it is scientism, a dogmatic belief, an ideology. Of course, a person is quite entitled to hold to such an ideology, just as they are entitled to be a jew or a communist or a scientologist.
But we don’t have an education that teaches people to be smart, do we, we have an indoctrination system, that teaches people to be stupid, and to believe that what they are being taught is the only possible and legitimate way the know ‘the world’, because it is ‘our’ way.
So, when you get up in the morning you see the Sun. But, it is not ‘the Sun’, is it. That’s some idiot static symbolic verbal concept. It’s that ‘thing’ in the sky, and it is not the SAME thing, as the one you saw yesterday, is it, that one has gone, forever, just as yesterday has vanished forever. And just as you are not the same as you were, the Sun is not the same as it was. The whole thing is new, and has never existed before.
And yet, none of this is clear, or apparent in the language, is it. The language we are forced to use takes us away from the reality and puts us into a fake imaginary static nonsense world that does not exist.
Here I am Me-ing, and there it is, Sun-ing, and here is the Day-ing. None of it repeats. Although it is similar, the change may be almost imperceptible. Even this mountain that has been here for millions of years, is not quite the same mountain as it was this morning.
The education system does not want people to know stuff, to have knowledge, to be happy, to be fulfilled, to find themselves, to be smart, to have strong resilient characters, to be moral, healthy and likeable individuals, or any of that.
It’s designed to produce what certain self-righteous, self-serving powerful people, with high status and power, think, or once thought, this soceity needed, to be economically competitive in the world, as a capitalist financial, industrial and military economy.
So they thought they would want certain kinds of people to be trained to fit certain kinds of tasks. As if humans are widgets and cogs to be components of a machine.
And those very wealthy and powerful people wanted, above all, to retain their wealth, power and control. So, the last thing they wanted was for anybody to be able to understand, other than themselves of course, how the machine worked and what it was meant to do. Which, essentially, was to make them even richer and more powerful, whilst keeping everyone else ‘in their place’.
I suppose, in some fictional tale, Ursula Le Guin, something like that might be okay, if that ruling group had amazing wisdom and insight. But they never have had. They have always been the same as most other people. Greedy, shabby, stupid, arrogant, short-sighted, cunning, scheming, grubby, conceited, vain men and women whose only ‘advantage’ has been having too much time, money, leisure, and influence.
And they have screwed up everything. That should be capitalised, more like a scream, than a shout. EVERYTHING.
They had the biggest and most powerful Empire that the planet has ever seen, so they assumed that they must be the smartest and most gifted people who had ever lived.
But that was not the reason. It was much more a few quirks of fate, and the fact that they were unbelievably cruel and insensitive, and able to justify and rationalise any absurd crap to fit their own insanity.
If you read up on the foibles and rituals of the Victorian and Edwardian aristocracy, they were all barking mad. I mean, from our perspective. They thought they were ‘normal’. But this is always the case. This contemporary British soceity thinks it is ‘normal’ to, say, bomb Libya into ruins, and to do all kinds ‘shocking’ of things which are made to appear acceptable.
All soceities are always like this. For the old Chinese, binding women’s feet was normal, for the Aztecs, ripping people’s hearts out was normal, for the Romans, killing thousands every afternoon in the Circus Maximus for entertainment was normal. It’s only with some distance that people get the ‘What the heck were they thinking ?’ sort of sense of proportion.
Our Western soceities are now going into steep decline, regarding all the values that we used to consider the most precious and distinctive, the standards that our forebears had thought were most worth fighting and dying for. Above all else, imo, freedom of speech, but there’s a very long list. It’s all rapidly slipping away. This is astounding, terrifying.
This is why I find it hard to concentrate on a coherent essay, because I get distracted by the current events. I’ve read quite a bit in my life, about what happened in WW1, in the 1920’s, 1930’s, WW2, and how some people at those times could see what was coming and see what happened in a fairly objective way, then tried to take steps to avoid seeing humans caught up in that stuff again.
But here we are, making exactly the same mistakes, allowing exactly the same bunch of people to cause the same catastrophes all over again, the exact same patterns repeating…
I find that my position on the socio-political spectrum has moved, rather swiftly, over the last year or so. Really, it probably dates from the start of the bombing of Libya, maybe a little earlier, the so called ‘colour revolution’ said to have been triggered by a fruit seller who self immolated in Tunisia. As far as I was able to establish, that was a hoax, and the individual remains alive and well. Such trickery, using the MSM, has now become standard procedure.
So this shift has been somewhat bewildering, not least, to me. But there is a logic to it, of a sort.
I believe that we are in a period of global ecological meltdown. That’s something I conclude from looking at the biology, ecology, climate science, and the geological history of the planet. I believe we will see this ‘thing’ that we call civilisation, or its advanced form, industrial civilisation, collapse, and that we are in a mass extinction event, where most of the life forms vanish, as has happened before, in the geological record. Of course, there’s important details about the time frame, but I don’t want to get side tracked just now.
So, this all means terrible chaos, death, suffering, as the current global human population struggles with all this.
I would prefer, being a humanitarian and compassionate sort of fellow, if possible, to limit the misery and horror, in so far as that is possible. That means, a managed descent, so to speak, an orderly and dignified ‘abandon the burning building’ or ‘the sinking ship’, rather than a mad stampede and kill anyone who gets in the way, and all the weak and small get crushed underfoot.
So, the way I see it, now, is that sovereign governments, with maximum individual freedom under consensual rule of law, are GOOD THINGS. Because, the other option is what we see….. death, violence, chaos, misery, on an increasingly ghastly scale, and more war. The Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
The beliefs and ideals that I used to hold to are not going to work, they have all been hijacked and corrupted. I see this in the context of anacyclosis theory, it appears that this always happens, historically. So, that’s my theoretical basis.
The people in power, at the moment, in the West, have a very different agenda.
All freedoms are to being removed, under a banner of ‘rights’, which conceals the real plan, which is global corporate fascism. The foolish and naive masses are thus so easily beguiled and lead into the trap… no true freedom at all… but I have done 5000 and must stop…