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51  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: I have proof that GOD cannot be black!!! on: May 01, 2018, 03:37:39
Yeah I remember stuff like this. The Pulse was way wackier back then, lol. I think part of it may have been the early internet, and part of it was that this was before the split with Robert Bruce. A lot of the wackiness left with him, lol.
52  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Re: The Event - Mass Awakening - Dimensional Transcendence on: April 19, 2018, 05:46:55
Yeah for me... It was around 1998-99, and I was just coming to grips with the idea that there were things about this world which were not obvious to me only years before. I had been reading all of the Upanishads I could find. I read a bit online here or there too. I am sure some of you would remember "Spiritweb", hehe.... it was a collection of useful articles about meditation mixed in with heaping piles of new age lies, lol. But I read some of the latter, and entertained it. If some of what I thought about the world was wrong, why not other things? The big one that year was Niburu, which was coming in the year 2000. It was a dubious story to me, but then I kept an open mind. I kept an eye out to the sky for any signs as it was described to be approaching. Never saw anything. The date came and went. And the people on about Niburu started making new dates for next year. And they did it again the year after that. It was the perfect illustration to me that I should be careful about letting my "bs detector" become too lax.

I didn't believe per se, but I kept an open mind, and I didn't dismiss it as total rubbish until after the fact. I am very scientifically minded. I believe in reason and evidence. I have worked in an engineering field for years. I should not have supposed that for a minute that such a large object could be out there but unknown to science, but somehow I let that one slide.

That was probably the closest I ever came to the cult mindset. Now let's say I had a few more warning traits... like I had a broken homelife, no life prospects, I felt desperate, maybe I had been a person with some substance issue. Add a couple of those traits to my mindset at the time, and you have a person very vulnerable to cult-thinking.

It's sort of funny too... the same ones they've been using for years are still in use... 5th dimension / the greys / Niburu / Pole shift are still in circulation every 2 years or so, hehe.
53  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Re: Where do dreams take place? on: April 10, 2018, 12:41:54
To me, the signs indicate that dreams and projections both take place in our heads.

Note that this doesn't mean they are "unreal", or have no connection to metaphysical realities, just that the actual processing of our sense experience seems to be wired through our brains in both cases.

We have this idea that because we seem to be traveling away from our beds in a projection, that we have moved, and are therefore some other place, but my interpretation is that the movement all happens in a "mental space".

Some data points that to me back up this interpretation:

-our physical world personality is with us through all the experiences

-it is easy to wake from a projection or dream and be instantly "back" in our bodies, which suggests that we never left them to begin with

-even models that include some form of travel indicate that our physical body is always close by, but I think they are ignoring the obvious

-sense experiences from our physical surroundings often enter our dreams and projection experiences

-the same conditions which promote dreams also promote projections

-becoming excited often rouses our physical body and takes us out of the experience


My view of it all is that dreams and projections are closely related experiences; they exist on the same continuum, and only distinctions of the level of lucidity distinguish what we call a dream from a projection.

There will be others with different interpretations, of course.
54  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Re: The Event - Mass Awakening - Dimensional Transcendence on: April 03, 2018, 05:54:56
Well, honestly, it isn't new language to me. It goes back before my time to the 70's, when they would talk about a shift to the 5th dimension that would happen in 2 years. It always seems to be right around the corner. Very similar predictions were made when the new agers moved to the internet around 97, and a new audience was there.

The Heaven's Gate cult (which ended in mass suicide in 1997) took up the same message right on schedule, but at the last moment, changed their preaching to indicate that the adherents had to die at the right moment to be taken away by the Hale Bop comet.

I recall similar messages from groups from 2000-2003. It died down after that, but came back with a vengeance in the 2012 movement.

Ultimately, to understand what is behind it, you have to understand American cultism, and how it propagates.

Cult leaders look for people who are on the fringes of society, and who don't fit in. These people are usually either desperate, or want some major change in their lives. Sometimes they feel like they can barely hold on in their current state in society. These people are vulnerable to indoctrination. They are told a story about how not only are things going to change, they are going to change drastically and fast, and they can prepare themselves for the changes. This is the magic bullet for picking them up and getting them to the van.

The same core messages from these cults trickled into the new age movement, and spread to people who were outside the cults, but who were in a similar state of mind to people who would normally be vulnerable. We see them echoing even today.

I think that if you are mentally responding to messages like this, it is worth taking a step back, and asking yourself if you are in a similar state of mind.

 -Do you feel like you can't make it another 2 years on this earth as things are going?
 -Do you feel like you are at the end of your rope?
 -Do you feel like you are different from everyone around you?
 -Would you like everything to be different?

If you are coming to these ideas from this state of mind, you need to be aware that you may be vulnerable to this form of trickery.
55  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Re: Dancing into yourself on: March 07, 2018, 14:13:20
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FG1NrQYXjLU

Yeah I already do this all the time, hehe. I love dancing with headphones on... it is like a special moment that happens every now and then... like reality ramps up 5 clicks for just a little while!

I have also tried what Lumaza suggested in the past, and it is also amazing. I tend to still have some physical movement though, because it gets hard not to... but something about lying down while being in a state of "dancing" makes it a totally different experience... almost like one of the most intense things we are wired to feel as humans. I have been meaning to write a bit about this topic and several others connected at length when I have a big block of time!
56  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Re: Where is robert monroe. on: February 28, 2018, 23:18:25
Indeed. In contemplating the possible, it doesn't hurt to remember the known!

If you can't laugh at the death of a man who would laugh at his own death...
57  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Re: Where is robert monroe. on: February 27, 2018, 21:55:03
A safe answer!
58  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Re: Ayahuasca on: February 21, 2018, 17:16:38
I don't mean to jump on your back here Thomas, as I know you mean well as always, but just to clear up what I think is the opposition opinion here:

Quote
I think you guys might be underestimating the potency of a DMT experience.

I think most people here recognize that DMT / Ayahuasca is potentially the most powerful of all psychedelics widely available. The experiences people have with it are often profound, and often useful for giving a healthy person a new perspective to work with in their life. That isn't really in dispute. It is also fairly safe to use in the right environment and situation.

What I and others are taking issue with is the idea that these tools can be used to get a life badly off track patched up in a day. In this field there is a large escapist element. A lot of people are looking for a way to get beyond their day-to-day problems. Maybe they are in an unfortunate circumstance they would like to exit.

There are two separate concepts here:

-The idea of altered states of consciousness as a gateway to a more interesting life
-The idea of altered states of consciousness as a tool to fix your life

We have to be pretty careful, because we are talking about both concepts at once, so we have to specify which we mean at any given moment to be clear. I am concerning myself here with the second concept.

My argument is that if you would like to use altered states and a focus on your own thought patterns to improve the quality of your life, you have to do it slowly and carefully over a long period. It takes quite a while to cultivate a healthy state of mind and make it habitual. This is one of the long term benefits of meditative practices.

Something like Ayahuasca may supplement such a process, but it cannot replace your own practice and responsibilities. It will not fix you by itself. In fact, it may even unhinge a person who is already in an erratic state of mind.

Another example is MDMA being used in a clinical setting. The substance itself can be very useful for people in helping to overcome a number of metal disorders, like PTSD. But it is useful in a very controlled setting, and in conjunction with an introspective practice from the individual, directed by a professional.

I am emphasizing the need to sort out the problems in your life by your own effort, or with the help of a cognitive therapist (as opposed to a pill-pusher). The greatness of the eastern traditions is that they are predicated on the ability of the individual to improve their mental states through their own thoughts. This is the real gift any of these practices have for the world. It just isn't possible for substances alone to make this change, and I think we have to be careful to counsel individuals looking for a substance-based improvement without any other component accordingly.
59  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Re: Ayahuasca on: February 19, 2018, 02:54:38
From what I understand of the substance from readings over this past decade, and explanations from those who have taken part (plus my own experiences in this area), I don't think it will be quite what you guys are expecting it to be.

It is the type of substance whose biggest lasting effect is that it will help you create a new perspective for your life by showing you some things that you don't expect to work through in that moment.

You will not leave as a superhero, you will not start your career as "astral man". It will likely be a good experience, but it is not the sort of thing to place all your bets in life on. You need to do that yourself unfortunately, or fortunately. I can reason all this out from past experiences in my life that this heavily reminds me of. When I was quite a bit younger, I sort of viewed projection as a magic door to a more meaningful life... I mean, it both is and isn't. Most of the change happens inside you, and is based around your choices for how to view the world, and what mental states to cultivate in your normal life.

It is sort of like fantasizing about a vacation. The thing about vacations, is most of the year you aren't on one. You can't say to yourself, I will be happy once I am on the vacation. You need to work out your life so that you are happy when you wake up in the morning.
60  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Re: Stillwater's Dream Journal on: February 11, 2018, 14:51:02
Yeah it is nice to have those every once in a while! Being lucid through such an experience makes it even better! I never really tire of these flying experiences, and this one was particularly memorable!
61  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Re: Stillwater's Dream Journal on: February 07, 2018, 01:49:44
Feb. 5 2018

Hi all! Haven't made an entry in a while, since I have been pretty pre-occupied, so here is a neat one I remember very vividly this past night!

It has lots of themes which have come up in previous dreams in this list, including being back in University, and losing shoes!

-------------------------------------

So the first thing I remember is that I am walking through the streets of my old university, which are fairly different from what they are in real life. I am walking for around 20 minutes, and the sun is showing signs of setting, and it gets slightly foggy / hazy. I walk alongside a pitch for playing sports, which is lined with dim lights, and throngs of people. When I am closer, I can see that there are pillars of water jetting out of the ground for 30 feet into the air, at regular intervals, maybe 20 feet apart in a row. There are people shouting and panicing, and someone says, "The power is out, the poweplant must be venting! That is the water from the powerplant, nothing is holding it back now!" I recall for a moment that my university is run by a nuclear power plant (it isn't in real life, it is coal-powered, lol), and that this water is irradiated. I continue walking away from this scene a a fairly fast pace, not really wanting to be around the irradiated water.

I continue walking down the path, and it sort of meanders down a scraggly coastline. The skies are darkening, and there are dark clouds that signal a storm. People are rushing by me on the path, and the wind begins to pick up. People are carrying articles with them as they run past. One person was carrying what I guess was a guitar. Somehow I am not so phased by all of the commotion.

Something that regularly happens to me in dreams is that I will do this sort of "bunny hopping" flight technique, where I can hop into the air, and the wind takes me up with it, and I glide down with fair control after that. The way the wind is picking me up reminds me of that, and I start doing that again immediately. I do some short hops (for this technique) of about 8-10 feet into the air, testing it out again. Someone walks by and says, "Heh, you can do that too?" I nod and smile to him.

The wind is really picking up now, like tropical storm force. I have a little apprehension, thinking that the wind make "take me" far higher than I wanted to go, but I keep hopping anyhow. I give a big 12 foot hop, and indeed it has me. I am being pulled backwards now, and get quickly elevated to around 200 feet in the air, and then put out my arms, which have broad, invisible surfaces that resist the air like wings, and begin gliding along the coast. It is sort of like... I lift through the other scene like it was just a local haze, and things are getting brighter now.

At this point I think I gained full lucidity.

The scene has changed a lot in character. I am gliding down a midday coastline, about 80-120 feet in the air. I am in full control of my flight now, and I feel an ownership over it, like it is something that is my natural vocation. It feels like the thing that I ought to be doing, and everything is well because I am doing it now. The intensity of colors in the scene has really magnified, like they tend to in that lucid state. There is a rolling beach to my left, bordered by a red coastal cliff that goes on in patches to the horizon. The water isn't very deep, it is maybe 10-15 feet, and I can see the red of the sand below mixing with the color of the water. The water itself has a blue-green tint, and has regular white lines of peaks over it like a net. The whites in against the green in particular really evoke a painterly quality.

I am looking out at the whole scene, and I am remarking how much it feels like a painting brought to life... like the patterns feel just a tiny bit abstracted, everything feels idealized, like it was a carefully composed scene where everything was placed to be perfect. I am infatuated with the water and how perfect it is... it has a certain character that I am struggling to verbalize. When we paint, we sometimes capture these symbols from the natural world which say something to us... like the symbol of light rays falling through trees. This water felt like such a symbol, like it was both water, and a symbol of profound ease and well-being that was both real and a perfected abstraction. All the while through this the wind is whipping through my wings and hair, and filling me with a sense of exhileration that is mingling with the sense of ease and well being. 

I am thinking to myself that I can go on for quite a while like this. It is a perfect moment I don't need to leave in a hurry. A sort of funny thing happen then, where I begin to think about my shoes. I am wearing slip-on shoes which are a bit loose. The wind is tugging at them too, and one of them just manages to slip off of my heel, and plunge down into the water and sink. I circle around it, and see it down there through the crystal water, maybe 12 feet down. I feel pretty confident I can retrieve it. I dive down like a streamlined bird through the water, and cut through about 9 feet. I can just about reach the shoe, but I somehow run short of air... maybe the impact knocked some out of me. I swim back up to the surface and ready to try for another dive, confident I will get it this time. But I wake up now, and never get the try, hehe.


-------------------------------------

A few images can almost describe the scene, if you think of qualities from each of them. The first image really captures the shape and color of the cliffs, and the way the red of the sand came through the water. The second image describes the color of most of the water, and how luminous white peaks netted over it all. The image of the painting sort of describes what I mean by the water having this painting-like character to it, like it was almost on a canvas or a watercolor, with some abstraction to the massings of the water... plus the colors were even more vivid than what appears in any of these images.






62  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Re: The ethical dilemma of eating to live on: December 19, 2017, 03:57:46
Quote
I see your point, maybe it is valid to farm humans, if it is valid to farm any conscious unit.

Ha, at least you embrace the logical consequences! I can appreciate that.

Quote
Using the converse argument, one can eat things they can kill

But by using the word converse, it indicates you are probably aware that conditionals don't imply their own converses except under special situations.

Quote
The above scenario is basically the way we treat plant based food.

But from what we can tell of plants, they don't suffer in the ways animals can. If it turned out they could, then the ethical reasoning changes. It is mostly moot from the state of current knowledge. Sort of like saying, "if it turned out toys were alive, you would feel sorry for how you treated your dolls."

If my toys actually were alive, I would apologize to them when I found out. But is it that likely?
63  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Re: The ethical dilemma of eating to live on: December 11, 2017, 18:32:41
And many people are willing to kill and eat other people if they are hungry enough. If we applied similar logic to what it seems like you may be using here, the conclusion would be that farming humans for meat was also valid:


Some humans will harvest meat in times of need
____________

Therefore, harvesting meat in all times is justified


------------------

Some humans will eat other humans in times of need
____________

Therefore, eating other humans in all times is justified


------------------

The difference is that the "push comes to shove" part is invoking an extreme. At the extremes, all sorts of things go that wouldn't normally fly. So unless you want to also argue for canibalism in parallel as a bi-product of the argument, we have to be talking about everyday life not in a situation of need... meaning, all things being equal, if you could eat anything, what things would it be best to eat, and why?
64  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Re: The ethical dilemma of eating to live on: December 09, 2017, 14:14:20
Quote
If I couldn't kill it myself, I wouldn't eat it.

I think this is good reasoning. I feel like people would have a lot more respect for living creatures if they were forced to kill the things they chose to eat. The distance modern society creates in a supply chain is an issue I think.
65  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Liberation Sutra on: November 02, 2017, 15:47:07
But why post just the Hindi verses? It is a little misleading, since it actually a very new piece of work.

It is a poem / lyric written by a guy named Daniel Bellone in 2013 to accompany his music:


"Liberation Sutra:

"Enlightenment
Is
Liberation of life
Is
Liberation of the senses
Is
Liberation from the self
Is
Liberation from the mind
Is
Liberation from knowledge
Is
Liberation from conditioning
Is
Liberation from society
Is
Liberation...  "
66  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: The Discovery - Movie on: November 01, 2017, 04:58:33
Klingons aren't supposed to look that way!
67  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Re: ThaomasOfGrey's Dream Journal on: October 19, 2017, 23:59:57
Big events in our lives tend to show up as echoes in dreams. Even if we don't think of them in waking life, the rest of us remembers them.

I had something similar the other day... something that had happened 12 years ago that I just then dreamt of. I should write that one down too.

It makes me think about how things that have happened to us are effecting us in ways we may not be aware of...
68  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Out of Body Experiences! / Re: New perspectives on intimacy in dreams on: October 18, 2017, 23:36:01
Something that often gets confused with Buddhist doctrine (not that you should or shouldn't follow such doctrine, just laying it out as I understand it), is that people get the idea of pleasure and attachment mixed up. Buddhism is not anti-pleasure, it is anti-attachment.

For instance, eating a food we enjoy is perfectly fine. Eating that food in a way that would cause harm to ourselves or others is not fine, and Buddhism would tell us that it is because of attachment that we do the thing when it would cause harm. Eating one spoonful of icecream is fine. Eating one bowl of icecream is fine. Eating one every day of the year is not fine because it causes us harm. Buying expensive icecream when we should be using our money for something more important is another form of harm.

So in these non-physical settings of intimacy, a Buddhist would tell you to use harm as the deciding factor. Is someone harmed by acting one way or the other? If so, it is likely the wrong choice. There is nothing intrinsically wrong about such an act itself.

There is another issue at work here, that surrounds the idea of "sexual guilt". It is something a lot of people feel, and it surrounds the fact that sexual drives are outside of our control in some sense. People feel like they lack control over themselves because they are not directing their own sexual drives.

This sort of thinking is described in one of the Buddhist origin stories, where Siddhartha had just spent a long stretch of time practicing brutal asceticism. The story goes, that he had heard a musician tuning an instrument... and got to thinking about how when the string was tuned too loosely, it was useless for music, but when it was tuned too tightly, it could snap. The answer was in the middle, and that is where the music was. He reasoned that spiritual practice was the same. We should use our own self-discipline in guarding our mind, such that we don't cause harm through the error of attachment. But we should also not deprive ourselves.

He called this idea "The Middle Way".
69  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / Re: Error of Perception on: October 18, 2017, 23:11:29
Well... I guess it depends on context, like a lot of things. There are contexts where it makes sense to talk about objective reality, and contexts where it doesn't.

For instance, setting aside the fact that we have no purchase on what the nature of this reality we are experiencing is exactly, it generally appears to be internally consistent, at least on macro, sub-luminal-speed scales. For instance, 20 people are in a room, they agree between them that there are 10 oranges on the table. Let's put aside some of them being mentally ill, or under the influence of an evil sorcerer, or such things. I understand there are a host of caveats you can use to whittle away the substance of the claim that there are 10 oranges there... but such claims do have substance.

We have built a baroque edifice of science on the substance that the claim that there are 10 oranges can have useful meaning. A science which produces results that are dazzling beyond compare. We are all talking to one another with the assistance of devices which store billions of binary objective claims. If even one of those claims was erroneous in some cases, the entire system could fail.

The fruits of technology we have are pretty obvious proof that objective claims have useful merit in some contexts.

So what if the 21st person walks in, and says that there are not in fact 10 oranges, but 10 million, and that every other person in the room is in fact a jaguar? Well... I'd say that their perception was real, in the sense that all experiences are real, but also that in some sense, yes, they are guilty of an error of perception. They failed to perceive correctly the objective system. I don't care for the moment that the objective system could be an illusion fed to us in the form of individual subjective experiences... we often agree on the states of this system, and the fact that we are able to accomplish so much by at least treating the system as though it were objective tells us that that approach has at least temporary value.

Sometimes... there are 4 lights!
70  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: The Unsolvable Mystery of Reality Itself on: October 17, 2017, 08:34:07
Quote
There is still parts left unanswered though, what is the medium?

The answer to that question is so far beyond our reach it is almost unfathomable, hehe. No matter what we know about our current reality, we can't get past what you can call "Cartesian Doubt", because every reality frame may still be nested in another, matryoshka style, like you said. So say this world is a simulation, or a created reality controlled from one level higher, or an illusion, etc... how do you know when you are looking at the top?

71  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: The Unsolvable Mystery of Reality Itself on: October 16, 2017, 18:13:15
So I will just talk about the physical universe for a moment, because the meta-universe is outside of what is easily known, but it is probable that a lot of the rules that seem to hold here may also describe the larger picture.

There is this age-old question in philosophy of cosmology..."Why is there something rather than nothing?" Seems like there could just as easily have not been a universe, right? Also, why this particular universe? Why not any number of other ones (And don't bring in multiverse theory here, because that doesn't solve the problem of why THIS particular universe is the universe it is, and not another universe)? It seems there is something deeply arbitrary here. Either... this universe had to exist, and exist exactly as it does, because it was necessary for that to be the case, or else it was a contingent thing- it could have been this universe, or it could have been a slightly different universe... and that is a dense issue.

The question of, "why this particular universe" is pretty hard, but the question of "why this universe, and not nothing?" is a bit easier I think.

There are hints to answer that question in cosmological science and particle-physics. For instance, it is strongly hypothesized that the sum of all energy in the universe is zero. That is... when you add up all the energy in every vector, and all the gravity and matter and such, it all adds up to nothing. That is exhibit one.

Exhibit 2, is that particles and sub-particles will spontaneously come into being, and have been observed doing so. When the local energy in the quantum vacuum is too high in a particular spot, a pair of particles is made, one positive, one negative, opposite spins. Energy coalesces into matter by becoming a pair of balanced opposites.

There is this rule called the "conservation of mass", which states that the mass you have at the start of the event is the mass you have at the end. This is not exactly true, as we know that mass can be created and destroyed using energy as a currency. The rule which does hold is the conservation of energy... energy is not created or destroyed.... except this may not be true either. It may well be that energy is created in the same way mass is... by differentiation into opposites. Potential (non-being) becomes being with a zero sum.

So why isn't there nothing? Nothing might actually be unstable. It might be under direct risk of spontaneously differentiating itself into opposites, in an act of un-directed creation.
72  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / "300 years have gone by here" on: October 15, 2017, 11:18:18
A particularly vivid dream from a bit ago, with quite a lot of elaborate symbolism and intensity:

Sept. 29, 2017

We are walking through a medium-sized Belgian city late at night; the buildings are around 3-4 stories tall, with an 18th / 19th century character, in modern day. I need to be at a particular place in the city, but there is no fast way to get there using only the streets. There is, however a way to get there which involves walking through back alleyways and cutting through buildings. After crossing a couple corner shops and a few piazza-like spaces, we come to the final leg. We enter a building which has half the feeling of a museum, and half the feeling of a department store. Displays are arranged in a maze-like fashion, so getting through this building quickly is dependent on prior knowledge of the spaces. Some of the spaces are moderately lit, others are a bit dimmer. We probably travel around 150 yards through these spaces when we emerge back into another courtyard, which then opens into a fairly large square, basilican-type space.

This space, as opposed to the contemporary design of the displays, feels more like the 1650's... Jacobean in character. The room is two levels, and we are located on the balcony level which over-looks a lower open level. At the head of the lower space sit two figures. The figure on the right is a young woman dressed as a harlequin. She has a heart-shaped paddle with some message scrawled across it in black script; she is fairly full of figure. The man beside her is dressed as a medieval catholic pardoner, with a crucifix-topped staff; he feels very grave in disposition. There is a full court before them, engaged in conversation amongst themselves. The entire space is lit by dim, flickering candlelight. The walls are composed of densely-packed wooden millwork, laden with cloth banners which draped down from the higher levels. The floor of the space is composed of masonic figures of checkers in black, white, and red patterns, but only barely discernable for color in the light. I walked around the perimeter of this room along the balcony, passing behind the two presiding figures, and gazing down at them. 

As I entered another room just beside this one, my sight blacked out briefly and then I faded back in immediately. I was staring at the same room, but now much darker, and in a hazier state of mind. I felt the room being pulled into a frame at the opposite end of the room. A bell beside the frame began to toll, and suddenly the frame seemed to contain a “hungry portal”, that sucked the image of the back of the room into itself. I saw the bell stretching out to infinity as its tolls bent in tone, from full-sounding to something like muffled by water. Another figure beside me shouted to me, as he held onto a column engaged to a wall; his clothing was being whipped around, apparently by the winds created by the vortex ahead of us. He told me that this portal would “lead us to new lifetimes, if we chose it”. He let go, and I saw him pulled into the portal, melting into infinity like an object accelerating to the speed of light...an ever-elongating line.

I black out again, and when I came to again, I was back in the same room, the storm over. I reason that I must have been through the portal a time or few... some indeterminate number? The room beside, where the harlequin and pardoner presided earlier was now lit by a bit of light entering from outside, rather than candlelight. It was completely empty. I saw the paddle of the harlequin to remind me they were once there. I passed through the open courtyards, and back through the building that previously held the displays... it was now rundown, and contained furniture from a much earlier age. I passed through a good portion of the city, now completely empty. Eventually a street opened up to a bigger boulevard, and I walked into a corner salon. A few people were there, sitting quietly together. Most of them exuded this feeling of having very little “life force”... like they were not whole people, with conscious experiences, but rather wooden beings. A woman sat with her back to the boulevard windows, with a little light streaming over her. I had the feeling that she in particular was a real, conscious being. She looked on with a stoic, unchanging expression, which none-the-less had a small note of serenity to it. I noted her hair was cut in a medium-length bob- fairly straight and without much extra volume. I asked her how long she had been there. I said... “it must be lifetimes?” She nodded, and said, “yes, 300 years have gone by here.” I got the impression the people around her didn't change their situation very often, and that she had spent a good portion of that time sitting here in this same position, engaged in no activity. I asked her if she would like to come away and leave with me... telling her that there were other things to see and do out there, and that she could be happy enough, more than here. She made the smallest of smiles, and agreed to leave with me, and it felt like a massive gesture... like that miniscule emotion was multiplied many-fold by intent and depth of feeling. I remember feeling glad, and remarking that she had quite a pleasant face afterall.

The light from the corner salon seemed to come with her, and enter the spaces we passed through. It felt like she was seeing these places just outside her previous setting for the very first time, and was in awe that there were other places that existed that were so different from the salon.  I took her back to the harlequin's court, and she looked down at the space, seeing the same paddle there. We walked around again to the same room with the portal, and we both faded out again.
73  Dreams / Welcome to Dreams! / Re: Stillwater's Dream Journal on: October 15, 2017, 11:12:55
Sept. 29, 2017

We are walking through a medium-sized Belgian city late at night; the buildings are around 3-4 stories tall, with an 18th / 19th century character, in modern day. I need to be at a particular place in the city, but there is no fast way to get there using only the streets. There is, however a way to get there which involves walking through back alleyways and cutting through buildings. After crossing a couple corner shops and a few piazza-like spaces, we come to the final leg. We enter a building which has half the feeling of a museum, and half the feeling of a department store. Displays are arranged in a maze-like fashion, so getting through this building quickly is dependent on prior knowledge of the spaces. Some of the spaces are moderately lit, others are a bit dimmer. We probably travel around 150 yards through these spaces when we emerge back into another courtyard, which then opens into a fairly large square, basilican-type space.

This space, as opposed to the contemporary design of the displays, feels more like the 1650's... Jacobean in character. The room is two levels, and we are located on the balcony level which over-looks a lower open level. At the head of the lower space sit two figures. The figure on the right is a young woman dressed as a harlequin. She has a heart-shaped paddle with some message scrawled across it in black script; she is fairly full of figure. The man beside her is dressed as a medieval catholic pardoner, with a crucifix-topped staff; he feels very grave in disposition. There is a full court before them, engaged in conversation amongst themselves. The entire space is lit by dim, flickering candlelight. The walls are composed of densely-packed wooden millwork, laden with cloth banners which draped down from the higher levels. The floor of the space is composed of masonic figures of checkers in black, white, and red patterns, but only barely discernable for color in the light. I walked around the perimeter of this room along the balcony, passing behind the two presiding figures, and gazing down at them. 

As I entered another room just beside this one, my sight blacked out briefly and then I faded back in immediately. I was staring at the same room, but now much darker, and in a hazier state of mind. I felt the room being pulled into a frame at the opposite end of the room. A bell beside the frame began to toll, and suddenly the frame seemed to contain a “hungry portal”, that sucked the image of the back of the room into itself. I saw the bell stretching out to infinity as its tolls bent in tone, from full-sounding to something like muffled by water. Another figure beside me shouted to me, as he held onto a column engaged to a wall; his clothing was being whipped around, apparently by the winds created by the vortex ahead of us. He told me that this portal would “lead us to new lifetimes, if we chose it”. He let go, and I saw him pulled into the portal, melting into infinity like an object accelerating to the speed of light...an ever-elongating line.

I black out again, and when I came to again, I was back in the same room, the storm over. I reason that I must have been through the portal a time or few... some indeterminate number? The room beside, where the harlequin and pardoner presided earlier was now lit by a bit of light entering from outside, rather than candlelight. It was completely empty. I saw the paddle of the harlequin to remind me they were once there. I passed through the open courtyards, and back through the building that previously held the displays... it was now rundown, and contained furniture from a much earlier age. I passed through a good portion of the city, now completely empty. Eventually a street opened up to a bigger boulevard, and I walked into a corner salon. A few people were there, sitting quietly together. Most of them exuded this feeling of having very little “life force”... like they were not whole people, with conscious experiences, but rather wooden beings. A woman sat with her back to the boulevard windows, with a little light streaming over her. I had the feeling that she in particular was a real, conscious being. She looked on with a stoic, unchanging expression, which none-the-less had a small note of serenity to it. I noted her hair was cut in a medium-length bob- fairly straight and without much extra volume. I asked her how long she had been there. I said... “it must be lifetimes?” She nodded, and said, “yes, 300 years have gone by here.” I got the impression the people around her didn't change their situation very often, and that she had spent a good portion of that time sitting here in this same position, engaged in no activity. I asked her if she would like to come away and leave with me... telling her that there were other things to see and do out there, and that she could be happy enough, more than here. She made the smallest of smiles, and agreed to leave with me, and it felt like a massive gesture... like that miniscule emotion was multiplied many-fold by intent and depth of feeling. I remember feeling glad, and remarking that she had quite a pleasant face afterall.

The light from the corner salon seemed to come with her, and enter the spaces we passed through. It felt like she was seeing these places just outside her previous setting for the very first time, and was in awe that there were other places that existed that were so different from the salon.  I took her back to the harlequin's court, and she looked down at the space, seeing the same paddle there. We walked around again to the same room with the portal, and we both faded out again.
74  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Re: The ethical dilemma of eating to live on: September 28, 2017, 07:26:58
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If the answer to how much harm can we cause to grow is zero, aren't we dead in the water?


Exactly. Lots of ethical systems logically end with the assertion that the very best and most ethical thing is to off oneself. I ran into that one early as a kid, and to be honest, I still haven't fully refuted it. It is one of the great beasts of ethics out there.

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I feel like harming others for our greater good is what we do every single day, you can barely take a breath without doing it.

Yeah, if you take this world as a closed system, with no metaphysical context, it seems to be mainly about domination. The powerful dominate the weak. Again, if you take this world as a closed system, the thing all beings should strive for is the power necessary in order to avoid being dominated. It is very much in line with Nietzsche's view of the world, and the expression of the "great will to power".

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I try to use a scale of extremes to imagine spiritual profit, suppose that living on earth is the game and that game supports two states: being alive, playing the game; being dead, game over. By these standards winning the game is maximizing the units and the quality of the experience of each unit. Losing the game is some unsustainable arrangement that gravitates towards all the units dying.

Yeah, it is perfectly reasonable to speak in the hypothetical, so while I can't safely say "spiritual profit" exists, I am very comfortable with testing it as a starting point and seeing where the reasoning leads.

So in this common concept of ethics, we are trying for a system that results in the maximal well-being for the widest possible number of entities. The tricky thing, is it is still in the context of the domination and power struggle I mentioned earlier. It starts because some group feels like they know what is in the greater good. In order to realize this goal, they have to dominate reality around them in order to impose it. This is effectively what all political power is... asking for the right to the sole exercising of force over a given domain, in order to enact a given goal of their choosing, but we know that old Lord Acton dictum, that, "Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely".  There is the biological thing that happens, where the more power a person has, the less empathy their brain will produce. It is some evolutionary mechanism we have, where we only seem to value the wellbeing of others as long as we aren't winning. When we switch to winning, we switch to a strategy that maximizes our influence, and thus our number and quality of our mates, and / or the resources for our children is maximized.

75  Spiritual Evolution / Welcome to Spiritual Evolution! / Re: The ethical dilemma of eating to live on: September 27, 2017, 22:05:14
Quote
Maybe minimizing harm isn't the end of the argument though. Shouldn't it really be about maximizing spiritual profit while doing the least harm? There may be a point of inflection where one can say that it is necessary to cause a small amount of harm in order to yield a large amount of benefits for everything. Every decision is an active decision.

Well for me, I have no definition for spiritual profit. I cannot even say if it is a real thing or not, since it depends on all sorts of metaphysical assumptions I don't think it is safe to assume.

On the other hand, I think even a child can understand harm. They know what things are unpleasant to them, and they reason that other creatures shouldn't have those same unpleasant things visited on them. Children respect the feelings and safety of their family pets. It is self-evident to them that harm is a tangible thing.

But let's for a moment entertain the idea that spiritual profit may exist:

It really starts to lead to a dark place to me... because we start reasoning, "how much suffering is it ok to cause, if the result is positive for my growth?"

There is a sort of parasitic / vampiristic quality to that sort of reasoning to me. I am very uncomfortable with the notion that it is ok to harm others against their will if we determine it is for our own greater good.

Ethics leads lots of terrible, dark places if applied consistently actually.
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