Hey, I’m on Spotify!

…and iTunes, Apple music, Google Play, Amazon, Deezer, Rhapsody and Tidal.


Not because I have any ambition to earn a dollar on this, but just because I can.

Having published Nittenåttifire, it was about time I also published some music. Enjoy ❤

129 thoughts on “Hey, I’m on Spotify!

    1. +1 – Good luck to Geir with his music.

      And thanks to aotc for posting the link to that absolutely brilliant article – truly uplifting reading on my morning break today. Here are the author’s concluding lines:

      “‘More Than Allegory’ [title of the author’s book] is my attempt to restore balance to the cultural debate by denying atheo-materialism its illegitimate claim to rational high-ground. Religion doesn’t contradict linear logic, it simply transcends it. Religion doesn’t contradict empirical evidence, it just looks at dimensions of experience that atheo-materialism arbitrarily ignores. Religion isn’t composed through linear steps of reasoning, but intuitively sensed in the obfuscated trans-personal depths of the human psyche, which are anchored on primordial truths. Religion isn’t wish-fulfillment, but intuitive realization. And it is atheo-materialism that constitutes an engineered attempt to safeguard one’s sense of meaning, not religion. Religion had already sprung spontaneously from the depths of the human psyche since much before the perceived threats that motivated wish-fulfillment maneuvers.”

          1. Aotc and Geir. I thought the aricle was more than “interesting.” For me, it spoke to the underlying principles of virtually all the discussions and debates on this blog! At the one end of the spectrum of worldviews (all of which are sincerely felt, IMO) is the idea that we as individuals are not in control of anything in our lives. At the other end Is the idea that we can control at least one thing – ourselves. As Spirit. This is because Spirit is not part of the physical universe, even though the mind/ego is the product of the cause-and-effect principle of this universe. And to the degree an individual identifies with mind/ego, s/he will think and act as the product of that principle.

            The article makes a compelling case that there is more to existence that a linear, scientific world. That view of reality is based on the belief in no ultimate, timeless truth – i.e.that nothing is independent of the physical universe and its laws. This is a view held to be true in spite of the fact that, as the article points out, people of all ages have directly experienced their own beingness as conscious awareness. Beingness is not merely the mind/ego, which is only a creation – a fiction – based on indoctrination and prior effects.

            When people, through direct experience, are aware of the reality of Spirit – or become aware of it, either by intuitive perception or by means of meditation or some other religious or spiritual practice – that awareness transcends ego and enables them to cease identifying with egoic consciousness, to cease being its effect. And in the words of Adyashanti, they now identify with their true nature, the essence of which is Spirit, and they operate from the inherent values of Spirit – that is, such things as truthfulness, unity, peace, gratitude, love.

            1. Yes. I agree. This is also supported by the fact that the universe as a system cannot be all there is if it is consistent (as covered numerous times before) – and all scientific experiments points to the universe being consistent.

            2. Yep. Godel’s laws was one thing I had in mind when I was writing that post, along with a couple other points that have been discussed here. 😉

              I especially liked the inference in the article that there actually is a non-relative basis for thought and behavior – not just because of how forlorn existence would be without one (even though that too is true!) but because it a higher level of truth.

              Here’s a 7-minute portion of the Adyashanti talk I was alluding to as regards the inherent values of Spirit:

    2. “Hey Geir, thought I’d post this here in case you (or anyone else) is interested: . . . ”

      Thanks AOTC, Bernardo Kastrup is good for a laugh if I’m in the mood to be assaulted with straw man nonsense about how theism has been ruined for the theists by all those scientific facts. A true believer in affective filter hypothesis, he should debate Vinnie.

          1. Just “Yes”? Nothing more?

            Come on, you can’t just knock an argument without stating your reasoning for doing so. That’s a logical fallacy called Assertion, “where someone tries to argue a point by merely asserting that it is true, regardless of contradiction.”

            How about a sincere discussion on this point, once and for all?

            Or are you experiencing too much cognitive dissonance because your own religiously-held belief system has been challenged? (Ref: Katageek’s algorithm for how to handle the dangerous question. 🙂 )

            1. “How about a sincere discussion on this point, once and for all?”

              Sorry Marildi and AOTC, I wrote three different posts days ago from my phone to address your posts and have just this minute discovered they didn’t post. I should learn to just wait until I can use a computer. Sometimes my posts go out but I seem to need to “reply” a bit differently when using my phone. Anyway, I am really frustrated because the words I wrote were so golden that you and aotc would immediately have acquiesced and joined my own self worshipping cult but alas, as with so much truth, the words as-ised and can never be regurgitated again. That was really an opportunity missed. . .

            2. I’ll give you points for humor, at least. 😀

              But I see from your latest comment that you’ve decided to join the fray after all. More on that later…

      1. I would say the same thing about Vinaire, except he has such a tiny group of followers that my laugh would be hard by less than a handful.

        1. “I would say the same thing about Vinaire, except he has such a tiny group of followers that my laugh would be hard by less than a handful.”

          True. I’m curious why you know that. Are you paying attention?

            1. “I followed a link to Vinaire’s blog a few weeks back and noticed. Why do you think it’s true that he doesn’t get much attention?” I think it’s because his comm cycle is fucked. He’s my friend but that friendship suffers friction. And though I admire what I consider are good ideas, he’s not tentative when fleshing them out. And he doesn’t listen. On the other hand, he is a good guy in terms of contribution, giving free tutoring in math. I have been the appreciative recipient of his time and attention. His demeanor is different when he’s wearing his cramming hat – he’s friendly, warm, and helpful while Skyping. It pains me to see him suffer these faux pas that he seems to not learn from. I hang with him because I consider him a friend who actually has exchanged with me in abundance, so his bad manners sort of take a back seat to that. That’s just the way it is with our friends and relatives sometimes, we’re all a mixed bag. We kind of have to take it or leave it.

            2. Chris, this is a wise and loving description, and spoken like a true friend. On top of it, even though this is a public platform, it isn’t really a public belittling or disgracing since it expresses the understanding you have of him – and shouldn’t offend Vinnie himself if he should happen to read it. After all, he isn’t the only one who suffers from the attachment to ego – we all do, and just as much so, in our own ways. Unless, of course, we have already attained enlightenment – in which case I don’t think we would involve ourselves with the searching type of discussions we get into on blogs.

              In any case, my hat is off to you!

              Now how about giving me some of that understanding? (joke 😀 )

            3. “Now how about giving me some of that understanding? (joke 😀 )”

              Always! 😛 My personal and unfounded or verified opinion with Vinnie is that his entitled upbringing clashed mightily with his abusive Sea Org experience. It is a sort of PTSD spectrum malady. NoW what’s YOUR excuse?!? hahahaha

            4. You mean my excuse for Vinnie? Well, if I were to make my most educated guess, and one based on my own set of views and filters, it would be that he already had those comm-cycle outpoints when he went into the SO. And the SO never handled them – to their discredit and/or that of the tech.

              Or did you mean my excuse for myself? I make no excuses (just to make you wrong! lol).

              Seriously, though, I have no more excuse than most of the others here who tried to ruthlessly invalidate the other person’s wrongness without using good ARC while doing it. 😀

            5. “You mean my excuse for Vinnie?”

              No, I was joking you about you… I wrote too much about that. The reason I let myself go was that many of us regulars posting to Geir’s including Vinnie are frustrated about his posts and I was just commenting on the gorilla in the room. We all root for him and then go awwww when he biffs. I went to far with it.

            6. Chris: “I went too far with it.”

              I don’t necessarily think you went too far with what you wrote about Vinnie. I wouldn’t backpedal it, if I were you. Even with the intention of “tough love,” it wasn’t all that tough. And Vinnie can take from it what indicates and ignore the rest.

              Besides, as a real friend, you sort of “owe” it to him, IMHO, and you can always follow up with ARC, as needed.

            7. “Besides, as a real friend, you sort of “owe” it to him, IMHO, and you can always follow up with ARC, as needed.”

              To be clear, I wasn’t writing that to Vinnie, but really just honestly answering Geir’s question but tapped into my frustration when I did so as it seems that my affection for Vinnie doesn’t bring us closer. Maybe I’ll go visit.

            8. Chris: “To be clear, I wasn’t writing that to Vinnie, but really just honestly answering Geir’s question…”

              Got it. However, what I had in mind was that there’s a good possibility he would see your comment. I would bet that he looks through the threads from time to time.

              “…but tapped into my frustration when I did so as it seems that my affection for Vinnie doesn’t bring us closer. Maybe I’ll go visit.”

              Maybe it’s as “close” as some people like to be, or are able to be.

            9. “Maybe it’s as “close” as some people like to be, or are able to be.”

              Maybe. But if we were in the same town, I imagine having coffee and talking lofty talk with him. Same as the rest of you.

            10. “In person Vinaire is very likable and sympathetic and helpful.”

              Well, that’s how I think of him. Writing on a blog shifts his gears somehow. He doesn’t agree that he should need to be differently than he is. I guess that’s his prerogative, but it’s not what I want for him and for me or for any of us here.

            11. If he insists on being himself, he should heed his own advice and decide what is him, cuz he’s very, very different in person and in writing.

              (…hoping he reads this)

            12. Yup, we all have to decide that. Maybe I’m too flexible and so get no where. I really dunno. Did you ever read his story of getting into Scientology? I think its a great read because its non-fragile. There is an innocence in that story which is compelling to me.

            13. “In any case, my hat is off to you! Now how about giving me some of that understanding? (joke 😀 )” Just to be sure I give you a deserving acknowledgement without any joking, thanks for the nice comment.

            14. “Chris, this is a wise and loving description, and spoken like a true friend.”

              I do love him. He’s like the older brother that I admire and wish he was, just as Geir is like the younger brother that I admire that I wish he was, just like you are like the sister that I wish you were. My feelings are stronger than maybe makes sense for people that I write to here at Geir’s and Vinny. I’m not sure all the reasons that is. There are several others I feel strongly about here. Maria Templeton has vanished and I miss her. I do not have a good feeling about her absence. KG has wormed his way into my heart and Rafael is like the brother I could’ve shared bunk beds with growing up. It is with pleasure that I wonder at my affection for you all and others. One of the factors that make me vulnerable to declaring my love for my friends is their own vulnerability and ceaseless wonder and curiosity about the world around us.

            15. Chris: “It is with pleasure that I wonder at my affection for you all and others.”

              Thanks, Chris. I like every one of the guys here too!

            16. And to be clear with you Geir, I have not agreed with his passive-aggressive attacks on your OT8 status. You’ve never held that out in front of you as a special qualification except when it was completely relevant. It is moments like that I have formed my opinion about the overall negative effect that Scientology has had on my friends like Vinnie.

          1. Well, the article gives a good explanation for what I’ve witnessed with many ‘new’ atheists/materialists over the years Marildi (and some ex-scientologists too lol ;). There’s certainly something deep going on.

            1. “There’s certainly something deep going on.”

              Yes. Lying about the substance of the “soul” of a person and then holding that soul hostage strikes deep. Hubbard spent years cobbling the false premises of Scientology together. Hubbard, one of the greatest narcissists of our lives, created such a complicated morass of lies that we still waste our hours and minutes arguing about it.

              In the article “How Militant Atheists Stole Your Sense of Meaning to Enhance Theirs,” “Kastrup doesn’t actually have an argument and defaults to logical fallacies such as seeming to coin the term militant atheo-materialism without mentioning it, and so begins his whining as a pretense that this terminology is extant language. Even if I go to the trouble of ciphering the idea, atheism and materialism do not go hand in hand. One of Godel’s points that “materialism is false” just casts the rest of his assertions in an odd/dark light and lends credence to the fact that “genius is domain specific.”

              Militant means combative and aggressive in support of a political or social cause, and typically favoring extreme, violent, or confrontational methods. In the world in which I live, religions are the most militant social organizations with which I’m familiar. Kastrup’s litany is an example of pot calling the kettle black.

            2. Chris: “…atheism and materialism do not go hand in hand.”

              Definitions of materialism:

              1. preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual, intellectual,or cultural values.

              2. the philosophical theory that regards matter and its motions as constituting the universe, and all phenomena, including those of mind,as due to material agencies.

              http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/materialism

              So how would materialism not go hand in hand with atheism? (Not a rhetorical question.)

            3. “So how would materialism not go hand in hand with atheism? (Not a rhetorical question.)”

              Marildi, atheism is a lack of preoccupation with “higher powers” and is irrelevant to a preoccupation with the material. The theist who wrote that definition has a preoccupation with higher powers and groups “without gods” as a rejection of god. No atheism who has thought this through would reject a concept which he does not hold. For example, I reject L. Ron Hubbard. I am an anti-Scientologist because I consider that cult think to be a real and present danger to free thought everywhere. There is definitely a Scientology. But I am not anti-God. There is no God as theists describe, therefore nothing to reject. I am a-theist, without God. Now if God should turn up, I might have to reject him at that point. I am anti-Islam because it is real and present and I am against it. See? It is not splitting hairs. It is caring about the names of things. If we cannot understand the words, then the discussions become muddy and misunderstandable as well. And I KNOW you agree with me on that one!

            4. aotc: “Well, the article gives a good explanation for what I’ve witnessed with many ‘new’ atheists/materialists over the years Marildi (and some ex-scientologists too lol 😉 ”

              Well said, aotc. I’d say that you are the resident “Still waters run deep” member of this band. 🙂

        1. Hey aotc, The fact that higher powers presence is missing. Great claims require great evidence. Only the theist objects to this. I am thinking of Gods or of OT powers or even of Clears as higher powers. Until there is something there, it doesn’t exist emperor.

          1. Chris: “Great claims require great evidence. I am thinking of Gods or of OT powers or even of Clears as higher powers. Until there is something there, it doesn’t exist emperor.”

            But have you looked at all the evidence for “OT powers,” i.e. paranormal/psi powers? I’ve posted quite a few videos and links that point to irrefutable scientific evidence for these “powers.” And I don’t recall that you ever commented on any of those posts.

            Maybe they were too long and your bias kept you from even looking? Here’s a very short one, under 5 minutes, which nicely summarizes this whole topic:

            1. “And I don’t recall that you ever commented on any of those posts.”

              I watched the Dean Radin video. I get that he is excited that Edison, Curie, and Newton had healthy interests in the occult. I hear him complaining at the lack of interest in the occult in AAAS (science) calling this “taboo.” He states that per Alan Wallace (a Buddhist) their is no extant technology capable of detecting magical effects. (But maybe he has not heard of Hubbard’s Electro-Psychometer.) Though he asserts that evidently these magical powers are real and true I didn’t observe him to offer up one scrap of supporting evidence. I am not trying to be a kill-joy, I am willing to listen and look at what you want to point at. I am missing what I think you wanted me to see in the video.

              I think that it is worth noting that Edison, Curie, and Newton are remembered for their successes in Physics and Chemistry, and not for their successes in the occult. Maybe one day that will change.

            2. Chris: “He states that per Alan Wallace (a Buddhist) there is no extant technology capable of detecting magical effects.”

              Actually, he said “…capable of detecting CONSCIOUSNESS.” And that would make sense as consciousness is not a material substance – that being the only thing that can be detected/measured by the tools of science.

              Chris: “(But maybe he has not heard of Hubbard’s Electro-Psychometer.)”

              The e-meter doesn’t detect consciousness; it detects the energy of thoughts and mental images.

              Chris: “Though he asserts that evidently these magical powers are real and true I didn’t observe him to offer up one scrap of supporting evidence. I am not trying to be a kill-joy, I am willing to listen and look at what you want to point at. I am missing what I think you wanted me to see in the video.”

              As I said in the previous comment, that video was just a brief summary – but that, like the other videos I’ve posted, it does “point to irrefutable scientific evidence for these ‘powers'” I was referring to the powers you had mentioned – “OT powers or even of Clears as higher powers.”

              If you are truly interested in the evidence (and not just fixated in a religious dogma that refuses to even look in this area) here’s a link that lists out dozens of peer-reviewed papers – each with a link to the paper itself. The list includes papers on the following research:

              – Healing at a Distance
              – Physiological correlations at a distance (such as the remote sense of being stared at, or physiological connections between twins)
              – Telepathy & ESP
              – Survival of Consciousness (as in near-death experiences)
              – Precognition & Presentiment
              – Mind-Matter Interaction

              http://deanradin.com/evidence/evidence.htm

              On that same page, there’s also a list of books on this subject of psi phenomena, and websites with articles, and videos… Take your pick. 🙂

            3. So can i assume that Dean Radin is lying about detecting consciousness or hasn’t he heard of Google? Hubbard also ridiculed biology and called it a dead end. Was Hubbard lying? Detecting Consciousness in the Vegetative Posted by Steven Novella on November 6, 2013 People in a vegetative state, usually as a result of brain trauma or anoxia (lack of oxygen) by definition have no signs of conscious awareness or activity. The definition, therefore, is based largely on the absence of evidence for consciousness. Of course, arguments based upon the absence of evidence are only as compelling as the degree to which evidence has been properly searched for. In recent years technology has advanced to the point that our ability to detect the possible subtle signs of consciousness in those presumed to be vegetative has increased – mainly through functional MRI scans (fMRI) and electroencephalograms (EEGs). There has been a steady stream of studies demonstrating that a small minority of patients thought to be vegetative actually display some signs of minimal consciousness. The latest such study was recently published in Neuroimage: Clinical by a research team from the University of Cambridge. But let’s back up a bit first. Even prior to evaluating vegetative patients with fMRI and advanced EEG techniques, several studies showed that a detailed neurological exam specifically designed to detect the most subtle clinical signs of consciousness could find such signs in some patients who were diagnosed as being vegetative by more standard neurological exam. According to one study as many as 41% of patients diagnosed as vegetative were really minimally conscious, meaning they had subtle signs of consciousness, but still cannot wake up, converse, or act purposefully. Other studies have shown that use of a bedside EEG is a cheap and portable option for properly detecting patients who are minimally conscious rather than vegetative. Then fMRI began shining an intriguing light into the brains of some of these patients. One early study used fMRI to image the brain activity of an apparently vegetative patient when asked to imagine themselves playing tennis or walking around their home. The researchers were able to show that the patient would demonstrate the appropriate pattern of brain activity (compared to the established baseline) when later asked to repeat the task. This was a stunning finding, and has later been replicated in other patients. The current study falls into this category. The researcher examined the brains of eight healthy controls while performing the task of listening to a stream of words and counting the number of times the word “yes” or “no” appeared. They then repeated the task with 21 vegetative patients. Of those, 17 showed no brain activity at all, three showed brain activity but it appeared to be random, and one patient displayed brain activity similar to that of the eight healthy controls. The results of this study suggest that one of the 21 vegetative patients was able to direct their attention at the task in a way that was indistinguishable, by fMRI, from a healthy person. While extremely interesting, the big question remains – what does all this mean? The first question we always have to ask is if these results are reliable, or could they be due to an artifact or some error in the protocol. fMRI technology is still very tricky to use, and notoriously produces false positive results when not used carefully. The results have been replicated enough, however, that at least they should be taken very seriously. There is also another reason to accept the results are probably real. One interesting pattern that has been fairly consistent in the research is that those in a vegetative state from trauma are more likely to demonstrate signs of consciousness than those resulting from anoxia. This makes sense in that anoxia damages the entire brain, and such diffuse injury does not leave much potential for residual brain activity. Brain trauma, however, can be very non-uniform. There may be parts of the brain relatively spared and still able to participate in consciousness. Further, trauma may cause focal damage resulting in paralysis or sensory impairment that hides signs of consciousness. Assuming, therefore, that the results are real, what are the implications? From a theoretical point of view, what we want to know is – what is happening inside the mind of those people who appear vegetative but have fMRI activity in these studies? This is the one thing we really want to know, but just can’t at this time. The fact that the brain is showing activity in response to environmental stimuli, even abstract stimuli such as instructions to pay attention or imagine oneself playing tennis, does not mean that the person is experiencing that activity. We still may only be witnessing some component of attention or information processing without the brain being able to generate sufficient activity to produce anything that can reasonably be considered consciousness. This is, in fact, what I strongly suspect. Further I believe this is a reasonable default assumption lacking compelling evidence to the contrary. From a practical point of view, what do the results of this research mean? Is there a difference in prognosis or response to treatment for those who display fMRI activity vs. those who do not? The answer so far is probably not and no, respectively. While it is true that those in a minimally-conscious state have a very small potential to experience modest neurological recovery, while those who are truly in a vegetative state have no possibility of any meaningful recovery, this difference is slight and has practical implications for only the very rare patient. There are also currently no effective treatments for those who are vegetative or minimally conscious. The hope is, however, that treatments may be developed. In that case, the minority of vegetative patients who do show brain activity may be the ones to benefit from potential future treatments. One such treatment involves implanting computer chips (or electrodes attached to computer chips) that enhance the activity of the parts of the brain involved in consciousness and wakefulness. fMRI technology may help us identify the minority of patients who could potentially benefit from such a treatment. Another potential development that is often discussed in news reports of this fMRI research is the use of the technology to communicate with those who are vegetative but have brain activity. I am highly skeptical of this potential, however. It is certainly reasonable to research this to discover what the potential is, but I would recommend extreme caution. As I stated above, the fact that the brain can respond to stimuli does not necessarily mean that there is a conscious mind present capable of communication. Further, the risk of such research is that non-specific or random responses will be over interpreted as communication – something we have seen with every research program into communicating with those who cannot communicate normally, including animals and those with cognitive impairments. No such study has been attempted so far, and I am curious to see the protocols and results. Conclusion Using advanced EEG and fMRI technology to study the brains of those who appear to be vegetative is an exciting development that promises to teach us something about brain function and consciousness. This research further holds out the promise of identifying patients who may benefit from yet-to-be-developed technology. At the very least it can reassure families that their loved-ones have been thoroughly examined and properly diagnosed. For those patients who demonstrate no brain activity at all, the family does not have to worry that they are actually locked in, or that they are prematurely abandoning hope for recovery. Proper diagnosis and prognosis is essential when dealing with the comatose, and this technology will greatly enhance the reliability of diagnosis. Those patients who do show some brain activity despite appearing vegetative are now in a diagnostic gray zone. There is an indication of brain activity, but we just do not know yet what to really make of it. This is truly an area requiring further research.

            4. “Chris: “So can i assume that Dean Radin is lying about detecting consciousness or hasn’t he heard of Google?”

              This would get us off the subject we were on – which was supporting evidence for what Radin spoke about in that video [psi phenomena] – and into the topics of (1) what is meant by “consciousness” and (2) whether it can be DIRECTLY detected. As for the latter (2), even in the article you quoted, the author referred to “SIGNS of conscious awareness” and “EVIDENCE for consciousness.”

              And on the meaning of “consciousness” (1), I looked over the “Conclusion” at the end of that article and saw that he ended it with this: “There is an indication of brain activity, but we just do not know yet what to really make of it. This is truly an area requiring further research.”

              In any case, let’s not Q&A about the meaning of consciousness and the lack of agreement about what it is exactly (which Radin also acknowledges, even in that short video). And let’s also not Q&A about the specific research discussed in that article, i.e detecting evidence of consciousness in the vegetative state.

              Getting back to the subject being discussed, you were objecting to there being “no supporting evidence” for Radin’s claims about psi phenomena, and I gave you a link to many peer-reviewed papers. Did you even look at them?

            5. This is indeed an area of contention where a person’s underlying beliefs and confirmation bias comes to the surface. One believe and will swallow whole or one disbelievs and disregards or dismisses as a knee-jerk reaction.

            6. Right, Geir. And in discussions, we have the opportunity to see for ourselves what our underlying beliefs actually are – and to test our ability to apply mindfulness to them. 😉

            7. Has it helped you spot any of your own? And can you say which one or ones?

            8. I have talked about that many times on my blog through the years. Like my tendency to have positive confirmation bias on Scientology, on LRH, on the Bridge, on the Admin Tech and on the Study Tech. And then my confirmation bias toward structure, strict logic and predictability. All these have loosened up considerably, if not completely gone by now. And then there is my blog post, “I am wrong”. So I guess I have covered all that I can see for now. But I will make sure to keep you all posted if I spot more.

              What about you?

            9. Like you, I too spotted my positive confirmation bias on Scientology, LRH, and the tech. I don’t know if you saw it, but just yesterday, on the comment thread of your post “You are turning away from the truth!…” I specified what I thought was the biggest missing piece in the tech and the reason for its downfall and for LRH’s. (That was in an exchange with thetaclear).

              Unlike many others, however, I haven’t done a complete pendulum swing regarding Scn, LRH and the tech. Which ties in to other subjects where I have enlarged my views, since that was largely based on having those topics (Scn, LRH and the tech) as similar datums or datums of comparable magnitude with which to compare. Subjects ranging from how to think for oneself to what existence is all about.

            10. I suspect that when people discover they have been taken for a ride or sold a bridge, they will often turn around and violently react to the seller of that bridge and ensure all responsibility is assigned to that seller and none to oneself. Even though the person my admit he was “gullible”, no real responsibility is taken and a full blown blame is launched. ESMB is full of this. Learning from such experiences is not facilitated by blaming.

            11. “Learning from such experiences is not facilitated by blaming.”

              Right you are. It isn’t even facilitated by them blaming themselves, as blame is different from taking responsibility. And LRH isn’t the only one who made that observation, starting with ancient teachers before him to those that came along after.

              However, since studying a bit of the ancient philosophy of non-duality and the modern versions of it, I’ve come to see that “taking responsibility” is usually too unreal for people. The pain they endured is what is real to them – or some other type of conditioning that determines how a person responds in life.

              Every one of us – except those who are awakened – is caught up in an image of “self” that basically dictates how we see things and how we react. This largely other-determined “self” – also called ego – includes the education and cultures we have been part of and indoctrinated by, as well as our own personal experiences. I think that – the ego-self – is the basic barrier to true freedom.

            1. “So you think absence of evidence is evidence of absence?”

              I think absence of evidence is an absence of evidence. i live in a magnificently evident world greater than I can envelope. it’s right there. Asserting one’s belief in fantasy role playing as one’s core belief of existence doesn’t seem reasonable to me — anymore.

          2. Regarding evidence or not of consciousness. I believe part of this lack of agreement and apparent bias (it may or may not be there so is apparent) might be explained by understanding and applying “levels of evidence” as used in scientific research. Until a known and repeatable means to measure consciousness, along with the concurrent evidence that consciousness is what is being measured, then the hard sciences will resist acceptance. The hard sciences have their own dogma just as religion does and it is very slow to change.

            In the levels of evidence case studies, clinical experience, expert opinion and individual case control study are the lowest levels and does not make a dent in knocking off the pedestal randomized control studies, etc. Part of this is the actual system and “rules” of scientific research. A similar view is also seen when comparing hard sciences of chemistry, physics, etc with social sciences of political science, economics, etc.

            Personally, I believe the field of biology is the interface between the physical world and the realm of consciousness. That is the first area we can observe adaptation of an animated physical form which would show some degree of consciousness or intelligence. The “adaptation” of rocks from wind and water as they are eroded is not based on any consciousness. We would all have to agree what we mean by, and require to support, when we bring up “evidence.” Evidence or lack of does not change the underlying valid facts but it does change how readily many will accept these facts.

            1. Still awakening – I largly agree but I do think the evidence is harder and tighter than it’s given credit for because it has to work against the scientific establishments underlying assumption of materialism. 400 years in we’re still at the beginning of the age of science and, in the West at least, although the roar of religion is retreating, it can still be heard and some scientists mistakenly believe its a zero sum game between the two.

              The issue is mostly a metaphysical one anyway (the high priests of scientism/ materialism try even to denigrate that to shore up their worldview).

              Fluid compensation is the best explanation I’ve seen to understand this.

            2. “The “adaptation” of rocks from wind and water as they are eroded is not based on any consciousness.”

              I haven’t gotten to know you but have enjoyed reading your posts. An argumentum ad populum fallacy in this context seems premature to me unless you have understood consciousness in a narrower sense than I have. Also, making a distinction between the physical world and the realm of consciousness seems to be dissolving with the current understandings of neuroscience. I don’t yet have a feel for your opinions regarding these domains of physical, mental, spiritual, etc.,. ~Chris

  1. Bernardo Kastrup (Facebook post):

    ‘It’s interesting how the most vile and militant atheists seem to be precisely disillusioned former cult members or religious fundamentalists. I have never been indoctrinated into religious dogma so have none of that biased, emotionally-charged impulse towards compensation that obscures a clear mind. I am thankful for my liberal education because it has allowed me to be clearheaded about religion today, and embrace it at a deeper level than most former-religious-nuts-turned-atheist-nuts seem to be capable to comprehend.’

    Sums things up rather well.

    1. Yes, I do see this tendency of ex-cultist swinging waaay over to the other end and become as extreme as they used to be, only on the mirroring side. Just look at ESMB and you will see what I mean. Maybe the extremism is in the person and not the cult?

      1. “Yes, I do see this tendency of ex-cultist swinging waaay over to the other end and become as extreme as they used to be, . . .”

        That may be accurate of me. I may be approximately as extreme as I ever have been in every endeavor.

      2. “Maybe the extremism is in the person and not the cult?”

        I think it is both. Abrahamic religions are extreme. Extremely harsh, loving, forgiving, judgemental, and inconsistent with something brilliant or stupid to say for every occasion. Yet not all Abrahamic followers are extreme. Religious adherence like genius like is domain specific. I think these predilections are hard wired into the individual.

        1. Maybe cults tend to attract the extreme. And maybe this can help explain the extremely polarized discussions regarding e.g. Scientology – a totally fringe cult with virtually no real influence anywhere. People tend to jack up the importance of Scientology – how Important it is to Mankind or how Dangerous it is to Man.

          1. “People tend to jack up the importance of Scientology – how Important it is to Mankind or how Dangerous it is to Man.”

            I can see that. I have spent quite a bit of time examining my own tendencies toward cult belief and understand a few of the reasons I was so perfect. But in the final analysis, not extreme enough. I think it is fair to say that I needed to see results and reasons to stay on board. If these had been met, then the self sacrificing lifestyle may have been alright.

    2. “Sums things up rather well.”

      It might once you’ve hit the dead end of your theistic argument. When your thought process has ground to a halt, you can call it “summed up.” The simple ad hominem of calling people “vile” and “nuts” who’ve truly given themselves to and had the religious experience makes a liar of kastrup when he says, ” I have never been indoctrinated into religious dogma so have none of that biased, emotionally-charged impulse towards compensation that obscures a clear mind.” This is patently false. Politicians and preachers make up anecdotes like this in order for the pot to call the kettle black. It is fallacious from the major premise on through its misguided conclusion. The theist is still asserting the emperor’s clothes are pretty while the atheist won’t stand for it and says, “Nope, that man is naked.”

      Katageek’s algorithm handles this adequately. The next argument is to tell me that I am not spiritually astute and to return after my OW writeup, exorcising of body thetans, and accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior. Then and only then will I know and that knowledge will be by faith. What? I’m mixing my metaphors? Yep. That’s because there aren’t very many variations of them and the same old tired ones keep being retold as though Mankind hasn’t listened to 10’s of thousands of years of them.

  2. This book helped me to separate out what is meant by god, or Providence or sublime.

    This book is a all time must read, IMHO. One must remember and in his mind to change the “f” to “s” as was the old style of writing, when one reads this book.

    The chapters on the Rise & Progress of Language are quite interesting, and I think most people would agree.

    I got hooked onto scientology partially from reading the “problems of work” and “new slant on life”. Those books did help me.

    But this book by Hugh was an eye opener.

    https://archive.org/stream/lecturesonrheto31blaigoog#page/n17/mode/2up

    https://archive.org/stream/lecturesonrheto31blaigoog#page/n163/mode/2up

  3. Chris – ‘I think absence of evidence is an absence of evidence. i live in a magnificently evident world greater than I can envelope. it’s right there. Asserting one’s belief in fantasy role playing as one’s core belief of existence doesn’t seem reasonable to me — anymore’.

    From the fact that the material world exists it does not follow that the material world is all there is.

    A person clear-headed on this topic see’s this, emotionally invested new-atheists, not so much.

  4. ” From the fact that the material world exists it does not follow that the material world is all there is.”

    You could read this blog from front to back, and you won’t see that argument. Theists invent that as a straw man because atheists won’t swallow their Bullshit. I capitalize to show reverence to your I-maginary gods.

  5. “A person clear-headed on this topic see’s this, emotionally invested new-atheists, not so much.”

    Theists queerly frame this debate because theism is a argument. Atheism is no argument at all.

    Zero sum game? Not a goal of science. You’ve simply noticed the trend. Or alternately, can you identify the last scientific fact abandoned in favor of a theological one? As Marildi would say, not a rhetorical question.

  6. Chris, I think this is your misunderstanding:

    A-theism means without God (‘a’ meaning without). But under that umbrella term we have different positions:

    1. Merely withholding belief in God (Agnosticism)
    2. Going further and stating that there is no God (Atheism)
    3. The question is meaningless (Positivism)

    All fall under the umbrella literal meaning of ‘no God’ but you can see that they are different statements. Atheism as used in 2. has always been used in philosophy of religion to mean the positive statement there is no God. Only in the last decade or so have ‘new atheists’ tried to redefine atheism to escape the burden of proof that come from making a positive claim.

    I respect agnosticism but I think atheism (2.) is motivated by what Kastrup describes in his essay.

    1. Thank you aotc, I appreciate your sentiments. Let me illuminate your misunderstanding about me. My stance is the theist pretends to know things which are not facts while ignoring an infinite universe of observable things. While remaining in the domain of the observable (not the imaginable), the sciences continue to chip away at what can be shown, duplicated, and repeated without pretending to have leaped “outside” the physical. As a small child, and standing in the front seat of our station wagon, I loved to go for rides to the store and whatnot with my father. I was continually amazed that I could look down the street to the end of the block and my vision seemingly reached the end of what was, yet driving there would reveal another whole street or length into which we would then drive. We never reached the end which seemed profound even to a 4 year old. My disrespect to the charlatans of theology is the presumption that the physical is already known. Theist assertions that their invented non-physical is the unexplored frontier is disingenuous because that exploration can only be done through their faith in the words of our self appointed spiritual leaders. Again, I pose the legitimate question, “Which scientific fact has been discarded in favor of theology to the betterment of Man?” I assert that the theologist is lazy and afraid. Their admonishments to “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” are in fact malevolent humbug.

      1. Chris,

        It’s what the best metaphysics and science is saying that points to atheo-materialism being false, not gaps in the knowledge.

        Most of the scientific evidence for God isn’t in what we don’t understand but in what we do understand.For example, the best scientific evidence is that the universe began a finite time ago. This isn’t a religious statement, it’s a statement of what the current science says. So unless you think the universe popped into existence uncaused (much worse than magic), the inevitable question is how did it come into being.

        I don’t know how I would feel if I’d spent decades in a cult Chris (just a paltry three years for me). I’m just offering up a few points to consider 🙂

        1. aotc: “Most of the scientific evidence for God isn’t in what we don’t understand but in what we do understand.For example, the best scientific evidence is that the universe began a finite time ago.”

          That’s a good point. aotc. I will just add to the discussion, that from what I’ve heard, the Buddha claimed to have recall of a number of big bangs (I forget how many it was) – and I’ll also say that, regardless of anybody’s recall, there could very well be a scientific explanation for the creation and then destruction of one physical universe after another.

          However, not all religious belief is in a personal God, in any case, as most theists believe. For example, some religions believe the universe to be the manifestation of a single “entity,” sometimes called “spirit” as that word implies the existence of something that can’t fully be defined in physical terms – although it may be the case that the physical is simply a manifestation of this all-pervasive “spirit.” And the personal observation of many through the ages has been that this entity called “spirit” – or “the universe” or even “God” – has its own intentions or thrust, its own qualities and nature.

          1. That’s the video, but it should have been added under my reply to Chris. (I’m going back to bed now. 🙂 )

        2. “For example, the best scientific evidence is that the universe began a finite time ago.”

          Thanks aotc. I appreciate your kindly stated words. The BigBang together with the extant universe is an ongoing process like plate tectonics or the weather are ongoing processes.. There is no evidence of which I am aware that there was “no moment before that moment.” Nothing in human experience educates us into what would be a static state. All that we know and all that we see points to worlds without beginnings and without endings. Beginning and ending are human abstractions, and so we mark them with birthdays, anniversaries, and obituaries. Yet, no one argues when the first rainstorm began nor do we consider the earth was created and formed into a currently static state. What we do know about is change, and a built in calculus predicts forwards and backwards from current states and processes. We do not know about static states but we are able to extrapolate forward and backward predicted future and previous dynamic states from what we can learn of these processes. Some believe the universe began from nothing exploding out from the BB. I don’t believe that aspect of belief is science and so I’m not investing in it. I’m also acutely aware that my senses aren’t adequate to perceive more than a sliver of the processes going on around me, yet through technology we build better sensing instruments to widen our perception. OTs cannot perceive the universe better than this, but they can pretend to. I just do not have the hubris to claim that I was there at the beginning, got my theta-friends together and said, “Let’s create a physical universe.” I’ve practiced not knowing what I don’t know until the discomfort dissipated and I can stand it. This is freeing and I recommend loosing the bonds of ideologies, especially religious and political ones. In this way, my mind remains open to receive new knowledge regardless of any consequences.

          I feel that I’ve derailed this thread from Geir’s spotify post long enough. We should move, maybe all these comments over to say “turning from the truth are you crazy” or other newer post so that the ideas line up better with the OP.

          1. I was thinking the same about this exchange being off topic, but all the replies at least keep the attention of readers on this page, where Geir’s spotify can be read as a starting point.

            Also, it’s a good idea to keep the whole exchange on one thread so earlier posts can be seen – and the ones not replied to can easily be dismissed. For example, you still haven’t replied to my question of whether or not you took a look at that long list of links to peer-reviewed papers on telepathy and other psi phenomena.

            1. Geir, are you sure you want to give Chris an easy way to get off the hook? 🙂

              Sorry if you feel we’ve distracted from your post, but I think it’s too late to close the barn door. The horses have already escaped. 😦

        3. “I don’t know how I would feel if I’d spent decades in a cult Chris (just a paltry three years for me). I’m just offering up a few points to consider :)”

          No worries. We’ve all lived and gotten experiences and hit potholes and bumps in the road. It’s all good. You’ve been here and around here at Geir’s for quite a while but I can’t remember whether you should know that my eldest adult daughter’s mother is still in the SO at Int in San Jacinto, CA. I have moved on in life with my wife of 17 years and 4 more children including my now grown stepson. I live a full life, rich in friends and love and don’t want for necessities, we even have extras. Nothing softens me like a kind word the way you’ve expressed to me in the last couple posts. Ultimately, this writing back and forth to one another is not a serious activity and people shouldn’t take me too seriously. ~Chris

          1. Glad to hear life is good for you now Chris. I derived a lot of hope and meaning from Scientology and it’s tough to unmoor oneself from hope and meaning. I found myself grasping for something else to hang onto. On top of that there’s the lost time and sense of betrayal that you must have felt.

            I do agree with Hubbard though (and others!) who say the best revenge is a life well lived. Sounds like you’re getting your revenge in good Chris 🙂

            1. Thanks aotc. Unmooring oneself from fixed mental structures is not necessary while we exist entirely within the corresponding frame of reference and have no use for tolerance. Living broadly requires broad thinking. Hope and meaning are not intrinsic to the universe but something we abstract. For me, hope, meaning, and especially freedom begins where unmooring begins..

              Yes, I am doing fine. Scientology is not. My family keeps a candle burning in the window for Jane. As we are advancing in age and as cult life is a younger person’s game, the SO will soon have no need of her. 26 years have already passed but we will be waiting when she needs family and shelter.

      2. Chris: “While remaining in the domain of the observable (not the imaginable), the sciences continue to chip away at what can be shown, duplicated, and repeated without pretending to have leaped “outside” the physical.”

        You may very well be right that there is no need to “leap outside the physical.” It seems that what is currently considered to be “non-physical” is actually energy phenomena that consist of frequencies too high for the current tools of science to detect – and that those energies can be explained in quantum physics terms. This is outlined in the following talk by the astronaut Edgar, who describes the scientific evidence for his quantum hologram cosmology.

        :https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d08stqUr0yY

      3. Well, CRAP.

        I HATE to support the theists Chris (even though I am biased in that direction regarding mathematical realism).

        … BUT …

        Your question “Which scientific fact has been discarded in favor of theology to the betterment of Man?” to me sounds incomplete.

        To answer it as stated …

        The steady state universe was discarded for the Big Bang and obviously Genesis Chapter 1 got that right. So, in this case a “fact” was disproven by a theological document.

        … AND …

        To your point, the fact was disproven by Science NOT Theology. Theology got a lucky guess right.

        But, right is right – lucky or not.

        Now, when you look at the methodologies of science verses the methodologies of Theology, your question makes more sense to me.

        “Which religious theology has consistently proven things reproducible over science’s ability to consistently proving things reproducible?”

        And in the real world, we go to the doctor and not a witch doctor anymore and blood lettings are SO 1700s.

        1. It could be argued that giving contort to those in dire need has been consistently delivered better by religion than science. Probably still today.

            1. Ok. I get your point. Let’s go with the benefits of Pure Science over Religion:

              Polio Vaccene
              Norman Bourlog saving a billion people’s lives with agricultural science.
              The discovery of vitamin C and the elimination of scurvy FOREVER.
              HP calculators!

              Yeah. The HP calculators have lessoned the suffering of MILLONS! 🙂

          1. Geir, does your contribution to this exchange mean it’s okay with you that we complete the discussion? I think Chris might be hoping otherwise. 😉

          2. “It could be argued that giving contort to those in dire need has been consistently delivered better by religion than science. Probably still today.”

            I’m behind in my reading and just saw this. I don’t understand your slant or vector. This statement is wild compared even to Scientology’s claims of bettering human rights. Firstly, it is not the mission of science to deliver comfort to those in dire need. Second, in spite of that I would write a long pro-con listing of scientific contributions vs religious contributions to maybe not the instantaneous comfort but to the long term comfort and health of humanity but anybody can do that and anyway you may be joking. Are you?

            1. Ask the billions of people who seek comfort in their church and experience that they do get it. Science doesn’t give anywhere near such comfort. Real or imagined is entirely beside the point of course.

            2. “Real or imagined is entirely beside the point of course.”

              Ah! I get it. In delusional bizarro world religion offers comfort. I had a feeling that’s where you were going.

            3. “Comfort lies in the eye of the beholder. So comfort is comfort.”

              Got it. The comfort a S Afrikaner feels about apartheid and the comfort segregation brings to a KKK member are both comfort. The warm spreading comfort of a heroin needle and the rush of that first big paycheck and the snuggle of a warm blanky just out of the dryer are comfort. Religion offers comfort too. And the Devil offers comfort too.

            4. “Real or imagined is entirely beside the point of course.”

              Agreed. Comfort real or imagined is still comfort. IF we could remove one or the other from humanity, which do you would result in the greater decrease in comfort?

              Science comfort: shelter, food, electricity, technology, hospitals, automobiles, road and bridge construction, airplanes, trains, ocean going vessels, spaceships, rockets, comm satelites, cell phones, GPS, medicine, medical MRI, xray, surgery, shared world view, social stability in a socially unstable world. Religion comfort: Shared world view, prayer, meditation, social stability and confidence in a socially unstable world, someone to blame and someone to thank.

              There is an old saw that I learned when growing up about God as the Holy Spirit. It is written that the Holy Spirit is the Great Comforter. And it is told that if a person is already comfortable, then the Holy Spirit will make you uncomfortable so’s He can comfort you!

            5. This seems like a classic case of a loaded question – basically reeking of bias. You are stretching the products of science far beyond what is normally accepted as results of science, and limiting the comfort reported by e.g. Catholics from their religion. If you would rephrase the question, carefully extracting all your bias in this matter, I could be able to answer the question.

            6. I wonder if we removed either religion or science from the world, which would result in the greatest decrease in comfort, either real or imagined.

            7. I don’t know. My own preference would be to rid the world of all religions. But I am humble enough to realize that I do not have the answer to your question.

            8. … however, I am pretty sure if you asked this question to one million random people in a cross-section of the world: “What gives you the most comfort; science or religion?” that the majority would lean towards religion.

            9. You may be correct, but you changed my question. When I read it, it supports a bias because comfort is not the goal of science. If the question can be angled to cause the person to think about what provides their comfort, I think it would be interesting to ask each question to separate groups to see whether the framing of the question matters.

            10. Humanity doesn’t need any more science. What humanity needs is to land all the accumulated science to every single person on this planet. The current science level is enough to create a high, high, high level of comfort for all, for some few billion years. And of course, many, many more churches with different versions of religions ( scientology included, sorry marildi ). And a lot of art like this of my dear friend Erica del real:

        2. “The steady state universe was discarded for the Big Bang and obviously Genesis Chapter 1 got that right. So, in this case a “fact” was disproven by a theological document.”

          Thanks for fixing up my question, I typed it on the fly. Plus, you can’t take my opinions or questions too seriously. As usual, love your humor. Especially about Genesis getting it right. That IS funny. Yes, regarding methods of gathering knowledge, “science is forever a hunting trip” while theology is a “vacation at a Club-Med resort.”

          1. science is forever a hunting trip” while theology is a “vacation at a Club-Med resort”
            😃😃😃
            And don’t forget even poor people can get it😁

  7. Thinking a little, the armed forces are the best paying masters for the science oriented guys on this world. After all they develop weapons against the communists, the capitalists, the muslims, the immigrants and the outer space aliens to name a few. Unfortunately these ” defense ” forces kill the best part of human beings in the process:

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