The First Referendum

To set up a political system properly, first you need a mass referendum, with some proper philosophical questions, put simply so that anybody can understand them and ponder them.  Would have to be computable, so probably multiple choice.

We need to first of all get 90% agreement on some basic things, before a "51% wins" system regarding more localized, nitty gritty problems, can have a morally acceptable basis.  The 90% agreement level is the "Social Contract" or "General Will" level.  What was tacit must be brought to conscious attention and consciously agreed-upon en masse. What can be agreed-upon in this way is going to be extremely basic stuff (and in all likelihood pretty libertarian).  But all lawmaking thenceforth must take account of it, condensed as a set of guiding principles.

This level is where equality and a kind of veil of ignorance reigns.  Each decides the kind of society they want, in the broadest terms, and whatever principles are most held in common, most strongly, ought to form the guiding principles of the state.  The point of this is that the state then has legitimacy: one can be reasonably confident that, so long as the state behaves procedurally in a way that obeys those principles, then it will get no argument from the populace.

Also, children do not automatically inherit their parents' views, so the question is re-judged and retested, with each new adult introduced into the system.

It must be made clear to the people that TANSTAAFL.  All of that kind of political demagoguery has to be made impossible from the outset, because people will be as wary of it as they would be of a Ponzi Scheme.

Thereafter, politics is indeed the art of compromise.  Here are a bunch of social, political and economic problems.  There will be various, and variously principled ways, of going about solving them.  Have at it!  But always within the guiding principles laid out by the First Referendum.

Preliminary practices

Thoughts on preliminary practices:-

1. Sleep (early to bed, early to rise, etc.) - also, we're training to be Awake, aren't we?  So utilize the body's natural rhythms for being awake in the ordinary sense.

2. Water (important practical everyday point - could also cover "eating right" and all the rest of it).  I've actually been getting eating a bit more in control recently, have lost a few stone weight, and aiming to keep going.

3. Reflection on impermanence.  This includes on death, pleasures, my things, relationships, etc., etc.

In conjunction, qigong, and some aerobics and weights for physical health.  Mens sana in corpore sano.

Further on previous

The samaya, the commitment, to experience each moment as Awake X (with X being whatever your personality type is), is reminiscent of Francis Lucille's thing about, "living life as if it's the case that you are also a Universal and not just Personal awareness".

Not only but also.

OK, so there I am toddling along living my life, and stuff happens, and some stuff makes me happy and some stuff makes me unhappy or sad, and I have a characteristic coping reaction to all those goings-on.  And that includes not just emotional reactions but action reactions, what I do, how I respond.  That's my personality.  (Also cf. est's concept of "Racket".)

So what would it be like to be an awake version of that personality?  Imagine you're enlightened.  That's the basis of the practice - both in formal sitting sessions and throughout the day.

Anyway, that's somewhat similar to Francis Lucille's direct approach:-  upon investigating present, awake experience, one finds there's no reason to think it's personal, and it could be universal.  So live life as if it is universal, as if it's "God"'s consciousness.

Except I prefer the "awake" concept, it's more onomatopoeic, brings it home more.

I am an awake loser.  I am a loser, I've failed in everything I've done, I'm going to die, everything I do now will be dust, everything I take pleasure in will be dust.  I am a dead man walking.

Ken McLeod

No not the great s-f author, a Buddhist.  Solid lineage credentials (Kalu Rinpoche).  Does wonderful translations, and explains the Tibetan systems in a down-to-earth fashion that "brings it home" to the reader.

I'm definitely a Loser, so it seems my Yidam practice should be Awake Loser :)

I've also been reading some Co-Emergent Mahamudra stuff.  There's a lineage going back to Saraha and Maitripa which has some very clear pith instructions.

Reading this stuff makes me realise that there's a lot of fun to be had in just doing some of this meditation stuff, so long as you know what you're doing.  I think I'd need to start off with simple images - might be worth a try.

A bit of Dzogchen

Some Dzogchen (and similar) musings.

Dudjom Rinpoche

'So, to be brief, because the nature of mind, the Great Perfection, rigpa, cannot be established as any specific thing, state, or action, it has the original face of emptiness which makes it pure from the beginning, all pervasive and all-penetrating. Because the unobstructed lustre of Emptiness and the entire gamut of experience whether confused or transcendant are like the sun and its rays, Emptiness is experienced positively as everything and anything whatsoever and it has the intrinsic nature of non-dual awareness of the spontaneously arisen universe of pure quality. For this reason the recognition of the presence of what is, as the primordial natural state of being, the Real Self of the Three Buddha Bodies, intrinsic awareness as the union of light and emptiness, is called the vision of the inconceivable Great Perfection.'

(From here.)

As Stephen Jourdain has it.

Meditation = metis, the common sense (Kingsley)  Recognition of what's happening as happening, as present.  Cataloguing by the mind happens, but is not necessary, is not an intrinsic aspect of one's being, as one thought it was.  What's necessary and intrinsic is the sheer fact of experience-ing.  That is the essence of one's being, that sheer, ongoing factitude.  It's going on all the time, always has been (even at the time you became conscious of it happening, but by inference even before then).  And tomorrow it will still be "here", that ongoing ebb and flow of phenomena, arising, disappearing, arising, disappearing.  Yet THAT remains, adamantine-hard, indestructible presence of awareness.  Thou art THAT (and you both are, and are not, also, all that it includes).

This is something divine, surely?  How much more basic can you get, what more solid ground could you find?

But in being divine, it's not personal, and that's the scary part.  This mind is the ancient mind; it's you, but you in a deeper way than you've ever felt before, but in reaching that bedrock level, the sense of attachment floating around stops being attached to the personal phenomena appearing and disappearing in That One Present.  But the "I" thoughts start rushing, whirling.  The mind thinks it's going down the plughole.

Remain on that which is vividly aware of the mental sub-vocal and energetic (in this case negatively-charged) phenomenon "it's going down the plughole".  That fear was cognized, that thought brought to light.  So there's still that deeper you ever-present that you already are, and don't need to do anything to become.

Closing the diary bit

This blog was initially meant to be a public record of private mystical experiments.  Not that I've fulfilled the point of this blog at all, but anyway this morning I woke up with a strong presentiment that I need to strart a private diary.  A public record is all well and good, if it's edited highlights from a private record, but I think psychologically the record has to be private in the first instance, otherwise it's too inhibiting (in one sense) and too extrovert (at the same time).  I thought these problems could be easily overcome, but as I woke up this morening I realized I've lost some time.  Quite a lot of time, actually.

At some point I will be migrating this onto Blogger or something, and try and be more active in putting forth some ideas and the like, but it's no longer going to be essentially meant as a public record of what are essentially private matters (between me and God, so to speak).

More on the HSM

Why do we feel this constant pressure to correctly call what is "what is".  I mean it's a great ability and all - but it's also interesting to experience what's it like to _not know_, perhaps not even care? :)

Well, of course, survival - we seem to have a hyperactive "survival mechanism".  As a species we are driven to survive in a way few other species can, and this leads us to build up a fairly accurate picture of how the world is, that's more comprehensive than most other species'.  But we're kind of on autopilot with this mechanism.  We've reached a stage where life is easier for most of us than it has ever been before, historically and in absolute terms, yet we continue to build these mental and physical bulwarks and safety nets.

Yet it's ok not to know, it's ok to be at a loss - about something.  Because that not-knowing is occuring in a broader context of knowing (the generational coral of truth, foursquare knowledge).

One of the most interesting things I've seen of Richard Feynman is in an interview where he says "hey, it's ok NOT TO KNOW STUFF", or something to that effect.  This was in the context of a discussion of religious belief. 

The Ontological Argument and UBT/Telic Recursion in CTMU

It strikes me that there's some kind of similarity between the Ontological Argument and Langan's idea of UBT (Unbound Telesis - raw possibility as it were) and the self-refining process arising from it (Telic Recursion).  Telic Recursion is a possibility that's inherent in UBT from yea time (as it were), as merely one of its infinite possibilities; so it must actualize "eventually" (again, sadly as it were - I wish I could put this in more rigorous language and not be forced to rely on poetry - but isn't Metaphysics the poetry of philosophy? :) ).  That's very much like the Ontological Argument saying that the "most perfect being" if conceivable must exist.

I'd put it this way: in the infinite ocean of raw possibility that's the only thing that logically must exist, there's the raw possibility that this infinite ocean of possibility may come to know itself.  The mechanism of self-knowledge that it births out of itself is Langan's SCSPL, which serially actualizes that possibility of self-knowing, and is logically the only thing that can do so.

This is actually what the Ontological Argument was getting at, I think, but its proponents who have seen a pattern here, haven't been able to put it yet in a way that makes sense.  It has been couched in the form of conceivability rather than possibility, leaving critics (like Kant) a point of attack at the point between something conceivable and something actual.

Nothing = Possibility?

"Why is there something rather than nothing?"

If there's nothing, it follows with iron logical necessity that there's the possibility of something.  Nothing = possibility.

So possibility is what's logically necessary to exist, you can't get away from it.  If it can then be further shown logically that possibility must somehow issue in actuality also, then isn't the problem of existence solved?

(Can one say "nothing means 'not even possibility'?"  Word game.  "Nothing" must mean only: no actuality.)

Quote from Tim on a CTMU discussion

I've been having a pleasant metaphysical rambling discussion with someone called Tim on the comments section devolving from the CTMU critique I cited in the last post.  I rather like this passage:-

In a plural, to degree N, society of "I am", there are N creative beings. Each one inviolate. And each one with his own proprietary "Universe". Then, each I am is real amongst this real society, but there simply is no external "objective" society. Know "I am" can fully know another "I am"; that's the hard part. The god of the materialists, "the universe", turns out to be a lie. (And why were they not more skeptical of IT?!) Each "I am's" own "universe" is a derivative representation of his WHOLE noumenal mind - within the plural society of spiritually communing / potent MINDS.

Tim, if you drop by, can we have more along these lines (expand it a bit, a bit more detail)?  I particularly like the pluralistic aspect.