What’s with the discussions?

This blog has been active for 1,5 years now. It replaced my old Scientology blog as I wanted to move my open writing into any area that tickled my fancy. Like free will and other existential philosophical subjects, HP calculators and other technical subjects, as well as life and living.

This space is marked by many long and interesting discussion by very smart people with very different viewpoints. When I write somewhat controversial posts, the discussions usually counts several hundred comments, some even more than a thousand. This has become the blog on the Internet that gathers the most replies on specific Scientology-related subjects. Perhaps because it tackles the core philosophy of Scientology and possibly because it retains a fairly objective stance, being neither effusively pro nor toxically against. But rather exploring, evaluating and searching for areas to improve.

However, my interest lies not with Scientology. What occupies me is enlightenment, truth, free will and general improvement. Any tool should remain junior to an intended result. Except for my HP-41… it remains a solution is search of a problem. Being a nerd at heart, I luv my tools – but I still try to keep my eyes focused on the goals. I try to do what generates the best results toward those goals.

Do the discussions on this blog? Are they worth it? What are they worth? Almost a hundred comments per day is a lot. Maybe it’s time to end the discussions while on the top?

53 thoughts on “What’s with the discussions?

  1. I read your post and my heart sank.

    The TA is definitely still moving for some of us. I can see how it might not be for you, or not enough to be worth the time and trouble. If so, what guidelines might there be that could be followed by everybody that would create a fair exchange and make it worthwhile for one and all? Or, putting it another way, what specific things are you finding to not be worth your while?

    1. “However, my interest lies not with Scientology. What occupies me is enlightenment, truth, free will and general improvement.”

      Maybe the solution is to discuss those other areas, rather than Scientology so much. Actually, that might be what you are saying. 🙂

        1. Hi Tor, it’s people like you who are (and would continue to be) a great part of the non-Scn discussions! 🙂

  2. Hi Geir, good subject for a first comment 🙂 You’re the only one who can answers these questions, after all you can’t be responsible for what other people get out of this, can you. If the blog no longer captures your interest, so be it. Some things pass. But why end “on top” unless the number of comments was your goal?

    Also: do discussions in general need a goal? I for one like to compare this to free, fundamental research vs commisioned research; you get the most interesting results when you don’t set the goal but let curiosity and instinct lead the way 🙂

    1. Good points and food for thought. The number of comments was never a goal, that was only as a figure of speech 🙂

  3. I know it is probably a lot of work for you but I hope you continue these discussions. Though we’ve never met, your writings have had a tremendous influence on my life, starting with your Doubt Formula a few years back. Through you I’ve met (sort of) some very smart, insightful people like Maria and Vinaire and others.

    I hope you stick with it as you have stuck with the HP-41.

  4. The burden on your personal time is great. More than once, I’ve put seconds and minutes to the work of moderating these threads and found myself lacking. In other words, you work faster than I do.

    Quit while on top? I’m not quite following that, but if it’s too much to handle in the midst of an already full and rich life, I would understand and be grateful for the tremendous run that this blog has had.

  5. I am sure that if you typed in the right combination of numbers and symbols into The HP Calculator, it would give you the answer you need.

    1. Funny!

      Alanzo, your saving grace is your humor. You have really given me some good laughs. 🙂

    2. Challenge accepted.

      Could we agree on the outcome of this, then?

      01 LBL “BLOG”
      02 DATE
      03 TIME
      04 +
      05 1 E49
      06 *
      07 PI
      08 MOD
      09 LN1+X
      10 R-D
      11 FRC
      12 10
      13 *
      14 INT
      15 1
      16 –
      17 X<0?
      18 GTO 00
      19 4
      20 –
      21 X<0?
      22 GTO 01
      23 3
      24 –
      25 X<0?
      26 GTO 02
      27 "NO CHANGE"
      28 PROMPT
      29 LBL 02
      30 "OPEN DISCUS."
      31 PROMPT
      32 LBL 01
      33 "STOP DISCUS."
      34 PROMPT
      35 LBL 00
      36 "NUKE BLOG"
      37 AVIEW
      38 END

      1. The Scientology Forum and this blog have been a life changing experience for me and at this point completed a full learning cycle.

        I see it´s time for a change, and more like it, for a new cycle and I know you will not slow down your pace, so:

        “NEW BEGINING” and Godspeed Geir!

  6. OK Geir, why not do this ultimate thought experiment: Put all the Scientology threads into their own section and don’t bother to moderate them?

    After all, even slightly enlightened beings in a free society shouldn’t need a police force, should they? We should be able to police ourselves, no?

    Really objectionable posts such as pornographic or other spam could be reported to you for deletion, as it is done on The Scientology Forum

  7. Geir, you are a dad and run a company. The fact that you kept up with all these comments is fucking Herculean.

    I think you have created the one real place where honest dialogue on Scientology was really taking place without censorship. Where people all eventually learned to be nice often and rough rarely.

    I think every person here who has contributed has grown as human beings.

    Especially me.

    Here is an example of a discussion group ending:

    I was the member of the “Skeptical Buddhist Sanga” in Second Life. We met weekly for a few years to discuss Buddhist issues. By using chat on a topic, it allowed people to express their entire viewpoints in real time. I got a LOT out of it.

    But eventually we had to come to the point of stop TALKING about Skeptical Buddhism and … BE BUDDHISTS. And many of them went to help with the Secular Buddhist Movement. We even have a website now: http://www.secularbuddhism.org

    I became facebook friends with most of them, and it has been fun seeing them build up the Secular Buddhist movement into an actual movement!

    Me? I hung with YOU clowns!

    🙂

    The Second Life virtual sanga died out naturally when it ran its course … people stopped showing up for meetings.

    But a blog has no CLOCK. So this thing COULD go on a lot longer. Especially if it replaces real human interaction for some posters.

    You have come a long way since your Doubt Formula Mr. Isene. It has been a fun trip to type along side as you woke up from the implants from the ORIGINAL and CURRENT CoS. And don’t forget the lurkers! They’re waking up too.

    “Life is a mingled yarn, good and ill together.” – William Shakespeare.

    1. Well yeah!

      I´m a clown who has grown studying the enlightened ponderings of a hamburger.

      ” Life is amazing when you can learn the meaning of life from a piece of meat”.- Rafael Saavedra.

      1. 🙂

        You are kind Rafael.

        As grass-fed meat, this is the best I can come up with regarding a free-will-self.

        Because that’s what we all want right?

        Since it is impossible for a “something” to understand “nothing” then as meat stuff, I cannot understanding nothingness. (Referenced from the brilliant book “Nothing Matters” by Ronald Green.)

        So applying basic logic with assumptions …

        Premise 1. Emptiness/Form is possible, but nothingness is impossible.
        Premise 2. Free-Will-Self is the same as Free-Will kind of like how space and time are space/time.
        Premise 3. Free-Will is impossible.
        Premise 4. Things that are impossible do not exist in any possible cycle of emptiness/form.
        Premise 5. Anything that is not impossible is mandatory.

        CONCLUSION #1: “A Free-Will-Self is an impossible nothing not existing.”

        CONCLUSION #2: “An impossible free-will-self therefore mandates all possibilities.”

        But so then, does the Flying Spaghetti Monster! So does Santa Clause. So do you. So do I. Which leads us to the third conclusion:

        CONCLUSION #3: The prior two conclusions are downright silly and if true then silly is the master of all that is possible.

        So is it impossibly “possible” for Santa Clause to non-existingly “exist” as a being in the impossible realm and by his thriving in non-existence mandate all possibilities? LIke his impossible self manifesting the fat guy at Macy’s in a Red Suit at Christmas in a possible universe?

        BUT … he can’t mandate a real Santa in our Universe that has Flying Reindeer can he?

        If so and if not, then innumerable impossible selves are in fact co-creating all potentials simultaneously and the impossible is creating the possible.

        Sillyness … making … everything …

        What’s it mean? Donno. Meat can’t tell. But if I sit in Zazen as an impossible free will self NOT existing being both co-created by Santa Clause and by an impossible Will Harper with free will …

        ((CLOSES EYES … WAITS …))

        I kinda get a warm fuzzy. . .

        AND NOW I MUST CRUSH IT DEAD!

        Mwa-ha-ha!

        Hope is such spiritual morphine. And here is it’s biggest pusher: Joseph Campbell. . .

        “God is an intelligible sphere known to the mind and not to the senses whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere, and whose center exists right where you are sitting and whose center exists right where I am sitting and each of us is a manifestation of that mystery (AND CO-CREATORS OF IT.)” – Joseph Campbell (Caps not part of quote).

        I’ve always thought of Santa as not real. But maybe he’s more not real then I think …

        Meat Smash now. Meat make dumb idea die. Die dumb idea. Die.

          1. Dan Dennet already did and I think he is right.

            “Whenever you have variation, selection and heredity then you MUST get evolution, or design out of chaos without the aid of mind.” – Danial Dennet

        1. “Silly is the master of all that is possible”

          Thank you! ( I´m a silly clown)

          Meat thinks he is a thing. Silly clown thinks he is a no thing.

          Meat is in doubt. Silly clown too.

          Is doubt a thing? Maybe. But maybe it is a no thing.

          Nothingness can only be defined by meat as not being part of the set of things.

          Meat can not know if there is a super-set to the set of things, he can only hope emptiness/form are the only possible things

          Silly clown can only hope there is a super-set to the set of things.

          But nothingness is only impossible inside the set of things.

          Nothingness is possible outside the set of things, therefore, nothingness is mandatory in the super-set to the set of things.

          So Silly clown proposes the idea that there is a super-set which is made of Nothingness/somethingness………

          What? We are discussing free will? Oh. Die silly idea. Die.

  8. Geir, imo you should post in this blog ( your tool to achieve an intended result for you ) on the areas of your interest ( enlightenment, truth, free will and general improvement ). It is good to clarify that your interest do not lies with scientology so the commenters on your blog do not abuse of this topic. ( your blog is not one to reform scientology but to explore towards those goals previously stated ). If in doing so the commenters feel a gain , ok, it is good for us and if no, well, there are blogs and forums for scientology discussions.

    1. Yes agree. The tricky part is that so many of us have such extensive Scientology backgrounds, and sometimes little else, that our philosophy is peppered full of Scientology. So the simplest discussion of how to make the dog mind gets a pant-load of Scientology terminology and concepts. This may be intimidating for the lurkers or people desiring to post.

  9. For what it’s worth, I haven’t stepped into a Scn. Org. since the 90’s. Nevertheless, it’s the discussion of Scientology that most interests me. I became — dis-enamored — of the organization, in time; but there was clearly ‘stuff’ there that worked really well. It worked well for me and for many (though not all) others.

    I was a ‘low level’ PC with Ex. Grade 0 my highest attainment. But, you know, “Wow!” And the abilities I then attained, I still retain. Cost? Three years in the Sea Org. And, yeah, it was worth it. I would not, were it possible, go back and advise myself to stay away.

    But there was (and is) far too much hype.

    In this venue, I respond only occasionally; mostly I want to see how others, who have actually done more of the services than I, evaluate their experience.

    F.W.I.W.

    G.

  10. “What occupies me is enlightenment, truth, free will and general improvement. Any tool should remain junior to an intended result.”

    Me too. I participate in the Scientology oriented threads because they are there and it affords an opportunity to look at Scientology materials from various angles — one thing about Scientology, it sure is extensive. I find the right-wrong, pro-con aspect of the discussions of it kind of boring sometimes.

    I would be happy with just about anything about enlightenment, truth, free will and general improvement. For me, its all about widening viewpoints and getting to hear about what other’s have experienced or have explored.

    I would miss this blog terribly if you shut it down, but I do understand that it is a huge commitment for you time-wise. Especially if the topic is boring you or is of little interest.

  11. As regards the value of discussion, I think that a great summary is in the Berzin archives of Tibetan Buddhism — the Tibetans use debate as a learning tool and an aid in developing what they call decisive awareness (nges-shes).

    “The purpose of the debate is not to defeat the opponent – that’s not really what it’s all about. What one tries to do in the debate is to challenge the other person to think consistently. So a person makes a statement, and then the other person’s debating is going to challenge their understanding of this statement to see if they can be logically consistent with it. ”
    […]
    “And so, like that, he said that no matter what you hear, always check it out; and if it doesn’t fit in with what you heard before, and if you can’t really figure out what actually was meant, ask. Look it up, look it up in reliable texts, and ask reliable sources of information – various people – either the teacher himself or herself, or someone else, but don’t just write it down and take it as true if it just doesn’t fit properly. This is a very important principle when we are trying to integrate something into our lives, particularly something so crucial as our understanding of reality. We really need to have a correct and decisive understanding. ”

    http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/sutra/level1_getting_started/approaching_study_meditation/purpose_benefits_debate.html

    http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/archives/audio/fundamentals_tibetan_buddhism/level_getting_started/approaching_study_meditation/introduction_ways_knowing_and_debate/transcript.html

    In any case, as you know, I deeply appreciate your work in maintaining this blog and I truly would sorrow to see it go.

  12. The last time I felt it was too much traffic to handle was two years ago on my Scientology blog. At that time the traffic was one third of what it is here and now, but I still decided it was too much and decided to set up The Scientology Forum. It kicked off with real good momentum and got a good deal of really fruitful discussions from my point of view at the time. I shuffled the discussions from my blog over to TSF. Then I handed it over to someone else and haven’t been paying much attention to it ever since. Now as my life has expanded in many directions I am again standing at a crossroad, faced with a new decision; Left or right, or somewhere in between.

    1. Geir,

      I understand it’s a big commitment and time consuming considering the large number of posts – if anything, this shows how exciting the individual topics are.

      Whatever you decide is fine with me.

      I appreciate the opportunity to learn & realize many things and to originate/comment as I wish with others of like mind.

      I am truly grateful that you have given us this opportunity through your blog.

    2. Perhaps you could ask Claire to set up a section called “Geir’s corner” on the ScnForum for discussions to do with Scientology concepts on your blog – on the plus side you would not have to moderate the discussions, on the minus side, I observed from the last experiment on this that the discussions there rapidly derailed into “pissing” contests / rants for / against the good / evil character of Scientology and particularly of LRH and individuals tagged as “Scientologists” or “Critics.” That forum limps along now, very few participants. I personally find it impossible to have any real discussion on that forum as the “us versus them” mentality rears its ugly and not particularly useful head.

  13. Looking at this as objectively as I can, leadership done well is just a lot of time and attention consuming hard work. It crossed my mind for Geir to replace himself but I don’t see that working for each reason I can name that this blog is working. I know for sure that if I tried to fill his shoes the blog would fail since I have not the catalyst or “x” quality that Geir has which is making this an interesting cafe’ in which to meet.

    Maria might pull it off with a blog of her own.

    Valkov’s idea to have an uncensored Scientology division was good, however, as many times as I’ve discussed Scientology on this blog, I am kind of done with that for now except as a reference point. I am kind of played out except that if squirrel practitioners wanted to discuss specifics of auditing tech, what is working, what is not, why is it why is it not, I would probably follow that. For instance, I have run two different incidents which have date coincidence. Conventional logic tells me this isn’t so. But there it is anyway. I would ask others if they have any occurrence of this and what they did about it.

  14. . . . and one more idea would be for Marildi to moderate on a daily basis with Geir checking in as he can. His contributions would be in the form of ideas for discussion and commenting as he has time or interest.

    1. Chris, thank you very much for the vote of confidence but I’m not ready to confront even daily life without The Geir. 😀

  15. Chris said, “…as many times as I’ve discussed Scientology on this blog, I am kind of done with that for now except as a reference point. I am kind of played out …”

    I feel pretty much the same. And I would even say it like this – that I reached a kind of “EP” on the last discussion, a new level as concerns my interest or need to carry on with exchanges about Scn that aren’t actually showing any sign of being very productive for myself or others – in other words, discussions not getting any “TA” or (for the non-Scientologists here) going beyond the point of just grinding with no real benefit.. (And BTW, maybe a point of improvement would be for us each to clarify our Scn terms for the benefit of any non-Scn’ists, the way we define and quote references for other things we say.)

    Geir, what I am saying is that this is a CHANGE – and that it occurred in just the recent discussions. Apparently it was as a result of those for Chris too and I am guessing something of the same for you, not just because of the time coincidence of the above blog post but because I think something actually occurred for the group of us here.

    If I’m right about this, I would say it’s a really good WIN for the posters and a big achievement for you as the blog owner and moderator and leader of discussions. A very good achievment! I’ll add too that I would sorely miss the special beingness of this group and the comm lines that have developed, especially the one with you. 🙂

      1. Cool.

        Well, I guess it could work either way – you could be dissuaded or…persuaded that more changes are yet to come ;-).

        Not to be pushing you too much but you know me, aka Xena :-D.

        Seriously though, what you do has to work for you or it won’t work. And everybody knows that :-).

  16. Being a “has-never-been-in-Scn”, I really appreciate when discussions turn towards general philosophy and the bordelines towards physics, arts, you name it … 🙂

    I would really miss the blog if discussions are shut off … 😦
    But, I do see Geir’s problem … :-S

    I’ve also been so inspired by this “Nerdvana”-term that Geir “invented” that I am working on a song about my own musical nerdvana, incl. all sorts of weird chord progressions and beat patterns. There may come anything out of in the end, but it’s really great fun !! 😀

      1. Geir, I’m starting a book on “Zen Stories” that covers the points of view of many religious traditions.

        Every day, I’m posting such a story for the next year. If any inspire you, please feel free to repost them here.

        katageek.wordpress.com

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