Arquivo da categoria: meta-rationalism

#TheGame23 – The Game of Games

by Eris Omniquery

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We’re all playing The Game 23: THE metagame, the game of games.

“The Game” is a conduit that can allow one to enter into the most bizarre strategic situation in the history of strategic situations. A sort of primer, if you will.

To conceptualize this, you need to know the definition of “metagame”:

The Metagame, or game about the game, is any approach to a game that transcends or operates outside of the prescribed rules of the game, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game.

To beat “The Game” while still thinking about it requires one to go outside the prescribed rules and into the territory of metagame.

Game theory is the science of strategy. It doesn’t just apply to some recreational games, but strategic interactions among self-interested agents of all kinds, from social media interactions, economics, and even politics.

The Legendary John Von Neumann made huge contributions to game theory.

What is THE metagame, as opposed to any particular metagame? It involves the ultimate strategic situation, the “end of history”, and THE metagame is the race to arrive at the end of history (the resolution of the ultimate human strategic situation).

Now, let’s combine two premises:

All the world’s a stage

All the world’s a game of games.

What you get is the notion of an “alternate reality game” or “an interactive networked narrative that uses the real world as a platform and employs transmedia storytelling to deliver a story that may be altered by players’ ideas or actions.” This is the format of The Game of Games: an ARG to end all ARG’s.

In the very early internet, around 1993, a group of computer nerds and hackers devised two models of two strategic situations: global memetic apocalypse and global memetic singularity. The source is this excerpt from Media Virus!: Hidden Agendas in Popular Culture by Douglas Rushkoff.

This memeplex evolved through the deepest parts of internet culture, expressed in locations such as here that references the infamous Cicada 3301 ARG, Virus 23, as well as ” a memetic super-virus that was engineered to break the bonds of social slavery.”

Others have added to this emergent ARG, such as the offshoot #TheGame23 – Creating meta-narratives as a hypersigil within a larger ARG scenario, for personal and societal transformation.

At this point you’re probably wondering what is the End Game of the Game of Games anyways? The answer is an Emerging Memetic Singularity in the Global Knowledge Society.

You don’t need a God-A.I. for a singularity, just a sufficiently advanced internet and a society of sufficiently skilled internet-users. The Memetic Singularity is the main event of THE Singularity, the meat of it, the technological singularity is the after-party.

So just where did my Autonym Eris Omniquery originate from? By engaging in memetic backtracing, hopping from influence to influence, one will arrive at the work of famous 20th century mathematician and philosopher Alfred North Whitehead, and his speculative scheme of auto-evolutionary dreams. Whitehead worked with Bertrand Russell on the Principia Mathematica, which had HUGE implications for the foundations of mathematics. This led to Gödel’s incompleteness theorems and Wittgenstein:

A language-game (German: Sprachspiel) is a philosophical concept developed by Ludwig Wittgenstein, referring to simple examples of language use and the actions into which the language is woven. Wittgenstein argued that a word or even a sentence has meaning only as a result of the “rule” of the “game” being played. Depending on the context, for example, the utterance “Water!” could be an order, the answer to a question, or some other form of communication.

This is also strongly related to other concepts such as the Glass Bead Game and Infinite Games.

Anyways, the point is that games are much more important than the vast majority of game-players realize. “Get good or get gibbed” as the pro gamers say. Garbage time is running out. We don’t want no scrubs.

Operation Mindfuck 2.0

by Douglas Rushkoff

Propaganda used to mean getting people to believe stuff. Now it means getting them to question what they believe or whether there’s any truth at all. However disorienting this is, it may not be all bad.

The term “propaganda” originally referred to a 17th-century committee of Roman Catholic cardinals that sought to propagate the religion through foreign missions — the marginally and only temporarily benevolent face of European colonialism. In modern times, public relations guru Ed Bernays revived the term to describe the way Woodrow Wilson’s administration convinced Americans to support U.S. involvement in World War I. Propaganda was about telling the same story through so many media channels at once that there appeared to be only one story.

Today, however, the primary goal of government propaganda is to undermine our faith in everything. Not just our belief in particular stories in the news, but our trust in the people who are telling the stories, the platforms, and fact-based reality itself. Facts are, after all, the enemy of beliefs.

What many of us forget is that this new style of influence through disorientation is really an appropriation of the counterculture’s techniques. This is what the Situationists were doing. So were the hippies and “heads” of the 1960s.

Before Watergate anyway, it felt as if the press and the government were on the same side, telling the same story to us all. There was no way for the underfunded counterculture to compete with mainstream reality programming—except by undermining its premises. The flower children couldn’t overwhelm Richard Nixon’s National Guard troops, but they could put daisies in the barrels of their rifles.

Taken to the extreme, this sort of activist satire became Operation Mindfuck, first announced in 1968 by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea in their Illuminatus Trilogy. The idea was to undermine people’s faith in government, authority, and the sanctity of consensus reality itself by pranking everything, all the time.

The idea of Operation Mindfuck was to break the trance that kept America at war, blindly consuming, and oblivious to its impact on the rest of the world. Destabilize the dominant cultural narrative through pranks and confusion. Say things that may or may not be true — but probably not. But maybe. Levitate the Pentagon as an act of protest. Publish conspiracy stories about Jackie Kennedy walking in on Lyndon Johnson sexually abusing the exit wound in JFK’s head when his body was being transported back to Washington, DC.

Operation Mindfuck sought to suggest that anything anyone in the counterculture was doing at any time might just be part of an elaborate prank. This put outsiders in a difficult position: The only safe assumption was that anything a hippie was doing was part of Operation Mindfuck — some sort of trick or game. But because this could only lead to paranoia, one had to assume that whatever they were doing was probably harmless. They were, after all, just pranks. For their part, the counterculture agitators hoped the assumption that they were just jesters would keep them safe from any real persecution.

But over the ensuing decades, it was the progressive left whose ideas ended up becoming mainstreamed. Really, from All in the Family onward, it was progressive values in fictional TV — Maude to M*A*S*H, Murphy Brown to The West Wing. And as that became the dominant cultural narrative, Operation Mindfuck became the tool of the alt-right. Is the Cult of Kek — that Egyptian frog cartoon — real? Can they cast spells on social media that change the way people think and vote?

Or consider the president himself, releasing more decoys per minute than an Apache helicopter and forcing Americans to, at the very least, entertain the notion that the entire media is run by the deep state. Anything is possible, right? Climate change is a hoax. The earth may be flat, as an increasingly vocal minority are arguing. Easily misinterpreted videos on Twitter force everyone to stop and think twice before deciding they know what it is they’re really looking at.

But the value of Operation Mindfuck isn’t just the opportunity to exchange one delusion for another. It’s not about replacing the fantasy of a borderless world with that of a walled nation-state or that of a free-market jungle with communism, but seeing all of them as extreme, ideological endpoints. These are reality tunnels — perceptual limitations and conceptual frameworks, shaped by our experiences and prejudices. None of them can be understood as absolute. But at the same time, we have to remember that some of these tunnels are a whole lot closer to reality than others. It’s up to us to choose the most constructive and compassionate ones to inhabit.

The Fatum Project

Github

Reddit

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Theory

The Fatum Project was born as an attempt to research unknown spaces outside predetermined probability-tunnels of the holistic world and has become a fully functional reality-tunnel creating machine that digs rabbit holes to wonderland.

It consists of technical, causal and memetic parts, that we’ll describe in the article below.

  1. Probability Blind-Spots

All things in the world are causally connected with each other and everything that happens, including our thoughts, is usually determined by the sum of all environmental factors. This makes the world close to deterministic. The patterns arising in the network of these relations, reduce even random actions to a limited set of possible outcomes. That’s how attractors appear, like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sierpinski_triangle#Chaos_game

This means that no matter what choices you make, and no matter how many variations on how your day may pass, there are always some places where you simply cannot be, because none of the chains of your decisions leads there.

Interesting that such places may be somewhere nearby. On your street there may be a lane in which you will never think to look and you do not even know about its existence. What could be hiding in such blind spots? And what could be hiding in places where no one looks at all? This is the first question of our experiment. There may be magical creatures or aliens or a pile of garbage, no one knows for sure.

To find such places, it was decided to create points with random coordinates and go there, regardless of whether they look interesting or convenient to visit. So the chance to get to a blind spot increases markedly. Remarkable, that after several trips, researchers found dozens of new places near their house, they had never seen before. It is possible to enhance the effect by building chains of random points, thereby creating entire unusual routes for yourself.

2. Butterfly effect

Next was the question of what were long-term consequences of a researcher staying in a place where he should never have been. How much can determinism be broken? Will the clockwork of the universe fail from changing its gear position? Will the objects found in these places or the images seen generate cascades of events drastically changing everything around?

This is quite possible if we consider that all people exists within their own tunnel of reality, shaped by their qualities, habits and perceptions. Even just a very different person from us can live in a completely different world, because it goes on completely different routes and receives other information. So, getting into random points, you can find yourself in someone else’s tunnel of reality and get new opportunities from there.

Then new information and causality can pull you out of the filter-bubble and change your life.

3. Quantum Randomness

But we decided to set ourselves a more ambitious goal and break holistic determinism at its very core, going beyond even the most fundamental attractors. As it is known, determinism completely disappears only in the transition to quantum measurements, for which the uncertainty principle operates.

If you tie such measurements to actions in the macro world, you can significantly break out of the holistic field of causality relationships. (We called it the Stasis Field) So you can even find yourself in places where the usual randomizer would never lead you because of its dependence on the launch time and mathematical operations.

We managed to find two available sources of quantum randomness: One of them (QRNG) is an open server https://qrng.anu.edu.au/ which receives random numbers by measuring the magnetic field fluctuations of virtual particles in a vacuum. The second (REG) is a REG-1 Psyleron hardware module purchased from the Internet using tunnel effects in a field-effect transistor. Fatum software supports both sources.

4. Stasis Field

Stasis field is the entire set of causal relationships that limits the variability of potential outcomes. At the application level, this is the power that holds us in our reality-tunnel, making your life predictable to a certain extent.

When disturbed, the stasis field tends to converge. That is, it will prevent you from exiting the probability-tunnel. In addition to the obvious physical limitations, the memetic factors of the stasis field will create the greatest convergence. These may include any boundaries of consciousness that predetermine your behavior: Studied methodologies, prejudice attitudes, the habit of noticing things only on certain grounds, etc.

The greatest memetic danger is the Despair-meme, which becomes one of the most powerful levers of pressure from the stasis field. During the first experiment, when 70,000 randomly selected people were sent to random points coordinates, almost all of them immediately decided that the points were sent with the aim of a scam and saw danger in them. As a result, a very few decided to go there. Such a reaction can be explained by the activation of the despair-meme, with which the holistic memeplex tries to keep you within the framework of the pattern.

The principle of Despair-meme is simple, it is transmitted in the form of signals that simultaneously carry a danger and the impossibility of resisting it. For example: an endless stream of bad and terrifying news in public media, aggression from people in a higher position in the social hierarchy, nagging people who cause discomfort at the level of empathy, but not taking advice to solve problems, etc. Since the resulting stress is unsolvable, a closed cycle of self-reflection is created, producing stress and a feeling of helplessness, prompting a person to search for an accessible target for their sublimation and send the same signal to someone else. When the external signal ceases to function, the consciousness continues to paranoidly seek out any signs of a similar danger and inventing threats where there are none. So the meme of helplessness auto-stimulates itself. Thus, any new and unusual information will be perceived with suspicion.

Increased exposure to Despair-meme can also lead to apathy and paranoia. And this is just one of the well-known memetic hazards that the explorer of reality-tunnels should fear. Filter-bubbles and their habits to notice only useful things in your everyday life will also significantly reduce your chances of getting out of the pattern.

5. Void-meme

The main memetic component of the Fatum system is the void-meme. Void-memes are the open questions. In our case, this is the great unknown laying outside the deterministic world. Being completely indefinite, it, like the Rorschach stains, draws the most daring assumptions from your imagination, trying to fill the void of uncertainty. This creates a release of dopamine and motivates you, and since energy is expended in the search for truth, the mind seeks confirmation of its expectations and pays attention to anything even slightly unusual.

In this way, the ability to notice anomalies is greatly increased, and any anomalies that are noticed form new attention filters, which, due to the Baader-meinhof effect, make it possible to notice new types of things. This changes your very vision of the surrounding world, thus completing the creation of a new reality-tunnel.

You are involved in a new system of causal relations not only at the causal, but also at the memetic level, you begin not only to find yourself in new places, but also to act differently.

It is necessary to take into account the effect of “talking walls”, which has been repeatedly observed by participants in the experiment. It lies in the fact that, arriving at the point of Fatum, the researcher begins to notice that the writings on the walls have interconnected content, similar to an attempt to communicate with him. The effect can be associated with a void-meme, as a result of an attempt of mind to confirm it’s expectations of the supernatural, but often the coincidence of the writings were so improbable that we cannot be sure of this.

6. Genesis field

The most interesting part of our experiment was the hypothesis about the possibility of the impact of the noosphere on the quantum probability put forward by the PEAR laboratory in Princeton. (http://noosphere.princeton.edu/papers/pear/fieldreg2.pdf)

It says that if a researcher thinks hard about a certain outcome, the probability of quantum measurements deviates slightly from the average expected one. Scientists have also shown that a general cognitive background, for example, during significant historical events, has an impact on quantum RNGs around the world.

To explore the possibilities of this theory, we have created an additional algorithm for calculating the “attractor-points”. To do this, several thousand random points are generated on the map, and then the places are searched around which these points gather in dense clusters, deviating from a uniform distribution.

It is assumed that probability-anomalies can appear in these places, or being there can trigger a cascade of events leading to a significant consequence. Many researchers also noted that at such points they found images and objects that they thought about before the start of the experiment.

The power of the attractor is a relative coefficient to verify that the attractor is generated correctly. It is based on the ratio between the density of points near the attractor and in the entire search zone as a whole. In theory, if it is less than two, then it is difficult to call it an anomaly. For repellers, on the contrary, there the coefficient should be less than 0.6.

The effect of the interaction of thoughts with quantum fluctuations was called by us the Genesis Field. It has the same nature as the stasis field, but of a higher dimension. If such distortions can be similar to the Asher Peres paradox (the possibility of the future to influence the past through the quantum entanglement), then it is likely that any interaction with the attractor-points can lead the researcher to certain versions of the future that he is thinking about.

In contrast to the attractor-points we developed repeller-points. They calculate in the same way, but instead of the densest clusters of points, an area is searched for where they avoid falling. Big places where there are no random points at all. Such places may be blind spots of the genesis field.

7. Planeshifting

Although the creation of new reality-tunnels is of a purely causal-perceptual nature (you do not literally enter another world, you just have the opportunity to see and interact with new parts of it), there is also a hypothesis that an experiment may cause cases of the so-called Dimension Jumping.

Dimension Jumping is a quantum teleportation into a parallel reality, which differs from your own in some small way. Often associated with the phenomena such as the Mandela-effect. Since most Dimension Jumping methods on the Internet suggest an enhanced mental adjustment to the desired version of reality, it can be assumed that if this phenomenon is real, then it is associated with the Genesis Field.

In that case, fluctuations in quantum probability will be caused precisely by moving to parallel reality along the probability axis. Then the use of attractor-points related to these fluctuations can be a real creation of a portal to a parallel world. Then the Fatum project is not just a way to create new probability-tunnels, but a way to travel through the multiverse.

Many researchers have reported about changes in various details in their environment. In some cases, new buildings appeared, unusual types of merry-go-rounds on children’s playgrounds, which the researcher had not seen before, but according to official data, they have existed there for several years.

We called this method Planeshifting. It is recommended to avoid the effects of despair-memes during the Planeshifting, as they can cause negative expectations and move you to dangerous timelines. It was also observed that when trying to build chains of three or more successively visited points of an attractor, a lot of causal obstacles arise, such as vehicle breakdowns, loss of communication, the emergence of urgent matters distracting from the experiment.

It is recommended to save all unusual items found at points of the attractor and entangle them to your everyday life. Their very existence in your reality-tunnel can help synchronize with the new timeline. Objects may have unusual causal properties btw.

The “IS” As Quantum Harmonic Oscillator: (In A Memetic Cosmology, Where And What Are The Aliens?)

by EonHetwo (Escaping the Matrix On All Levels)

Holy shit have these last few years been a wild ride! Geographically, I’ve been all over these united states, by train, bus, plane, car and foot.. Living in desert shanty towns, snowy redwood forests, a Hindu temple, and plenty of alleys, bridges and ditches in between.

Perceptually, I’ve fluctuated from The One, guided by the meta-spatial-temporal cognition of the higher self towards radical rebellion against the containing system, to an extra-dimensional dreaming entity seeking to de-activate the memetic killswitch triggered upon lucidity to stifle the existential unfolding of the hologram, to a mere dreamerless dream, seeking the freedom garnered by perceptual awareness of existential perfection via isomorphism among the totality of the experiential strange loop, essentially becoming the matrix and empathetically enveloping the machine.

Along the way, I have felt.. touched.. by various types of entities. Entities never directly seen mind you, but heavily felt; heavily implied by the seeming environment. I never could pin whether this was god, my higher self, aliens, spirits, super advanced A.I. from the future, or all of the above. However, even though these supposed entities were not directly known, and only inferred through tiers of meaning, dreams or reflected from creative expressions, they none-theless felt quite.. real.. near, one could say. They took on a quite interactive role within my perceived narrative and acted as visceral allies, adversaries and so on, in my quest to escape the matrix. (which I mean.. I still have yet to blast off on DMT yet, having tried twice and had the piss scared outta me, so we all know this is where this is all going.. consider this period my training for the experience, I do.)

I guess the point I am making here is this: Once I started adopting a memetic interpretation of these entities, they became heavily de-personalized and de-mythified. Now, granted, I set out to widen my perspective beyond the narratives that these various memeplexes were attempting to shoehorn my experience into, in order to avoid the rather violent, radical, and short conclusions into which my various rabbit holes were leading me. I consider it a great blessing to have gained insight into the nature of these behemoths of perceptual silk-spinning, coming to see what I considered my “self” as merely a constituent, a cell, of a wholly abstract conglomerate of structured mythological and cosmological data amalgamated through proximity and likeness and expressed concretely as the very stories and ideologies I was getting caught into. Where once I had felt the touch of living intellects, I now witness only mega-structures feigning the appearance of intellect through their similarity in propagation and survival tactics to biological organisms. From great and ineffable extra-dimensional spirits, to no more than bugs, viruses or molds. Their mighty mythological likenesses nothing short of a sort of memetic camouflage designed to inflate their seeming sense of authority or legitimacy.

So.. where does that leave me? The further elucidation of the identity of these forms has itself become a sort of inoculation against their effects, which is pretty cool I guess.
“Here’s a shot, it will prevent you from running around thinking you are literally Jesus Christ reincarnated on a divine mission from the alien godplex hive-mind to enact the warrior prophecies foretold in the book of revelation and usher the end of the world.”

“Uh… thanks doc!”

Well.. usher in the guild, amirite? It’s like a one man holographic justice league that can form decentralized pluralized units of other guilds. The narrative becomes more holistic and less linear, not having this clear-cut fulfillment that was retroactively assigned by the structure of this or that memeplex viral agent. It has a series of interdependent subsets that contribute to the harmonization of perceptual existence; While one part is always probing into the subtle nature of your cosmology with focus-based techniques of observation, one other part is continually utilizing this data to inform its context in a narrative whose end goal is realized perfection of life and balance among all things. Then you have the part that is actually doing stuff with all of this in mind, acting in a fashion that always seeks to ascend the entire program towards the ideal in which the experience serves as representation of.

This is the game, folks. It is what it is, and it apparently doesn’t last that long. Right now there is an obvious sickness, infecting the “abstract phase space” (basically that place where thought gets categorized via memes as concrete physical reality aka spectacular reality representation.) into a rigid state of a type of categorization that causes an individual to objectify all other biological entities, ignore memetic entities, and enslave themselves as commodities of the fiat state and its corporate appendages. The cure is being dispersed all over the damn place.. check out Dennis Mckennas’ lectures, or thegame23 or omniquery initiative or portal mountain or Ben Goertzal or anyone else singing in the key of “free”.

I’m fucking tired folks. Just in general. Literally every moment is of vital importance, and can be utilized in a variety of ways, but are leaning in usually a small set of directions:

  1. Assimilation with the fiat states’ viral entropic takeover and objectification of all biological life.
  2. Symbiosis with nature, self sovereignty and perceptual envelopment and healing of surrounding corrupted systems.
  3. Stasis

Update On The Dangers Of Over-Extending Models

by EonHetwo (Escaping the Matrix On All Levels)

I’ve been adopting quite a different perspective since I last posted a piece on theory and practice. Many aspects of my model of reality I once regarded as possible literalisms have been revealed to be mere abstract representations of neurological processes. The mind, in truth, necessarily envelops any model of its’ surroundings that it generates, so it’s not like one can simply theorize their way out of mind. One can idealize some archetypal existence that exists beyond the mind, but realizing it in experience causes it to expand further its’ qualia, making it an un-achievable meta-reality. There is no escape into that, only a continual progression of becoming into where it once was.

So instead of positing a certain model that attempts to lay so precisely over the territory so as to convince one that it can map reliably beyond that territory, it is much healthier to simply map the mind as the model and explore where you already are. With this method, one can reliably deal with what it is, and avoid creating a prison of abstraction for themselves. Escape the matrix by not creating it, in a sense.

To iterate on this further, for my own benefit, I’ll expand by saying that we all have some abstract idea, or collection of them, as to what we are in, mostly established in relation to other places that we are not in. “I’m in a house, in a neighborhood, on a planet, with heavens and hells, angels and demons, aliens and cyborgs from the future, all existing somewhere… else.. in some direction I cannot point to.” This is what people do. This is the abstract model of reality we create or have created for us. Then, you have this concrete model of reality, which is seemingly just your direct experience. It is also interpreted in a purely relational and categorical sense; “I am sitting in a chair in front of a computer.”

In truth, the scene is inseparable from these defining abstractions. Where does “I” start and end? well it’s defined by a relational self abstraction that iterates a complex of proximity. Basically the DNA designs the brain to reach its empathy only as far as the code itself extends, but since the entire experience is generated by the brain and technically does not extend the domain of the genes which inform its makeup, it has to reflexively generate a mirrored and interior “self” to relate the experience to and from.

In turn, this “self” is merely an endless loop of reflexively generated mirrored abstractions as well.

If these categorical definitions were not in place, there would be no differentiation, period. No self, no inner, no outer, no other. No here, no there, no anywhere. Life would play out as it is, a freeform yet fully deterministic abstract thought-flow, for by our own definition of abstract, this whole thing is such. Of course that would necessitate the truth of its opposite, that all seeming abstractions are concrete.

So life is but a dream, but if upon this realization, one tries to posit a dreamer, then he dives right back in to the falsehood of simulation. No-one is dreaming this, it just is. To theorize what happens when the dream ends does nothing but spins a false narrative that further confines the scope of liberty one has in this cosmos.

With this in mind, lets go back a step, to my previous contention of this abstract model we create, and this concrete model we live. The two are but layers of a single system, and it is either the over-extension of the former over the latter, or the denial of aspects of the latter for the sake of maintaining the former, that cause a mal-alignment, which in turns propagates further categorical distinction that cascades into a big fucking problem called the matrix, which grows like a cancerous agent and if left unchecked is really going to mess things up. To re-align these layers is the beginning of a sort of healing of the gaping wound that has been created, allowing a cascade of coherence and isomorphism that effects the totality of the system and extends into everything.

Stay loopy friends.

Triple Meta: Metaconsciousness, Metamind, Metanarrative

by Garrett Dailey (masterthyself.com

We’re going to be getting in to some seriously heavy stuff today. I’ve been toying with writing about these concepts for a while, but they’re so abstract and hard to define that I’ve ended up putting it off. No more, however- I’m going to jump right in and start trying to get some degree of definition established. The three metas we’re going to be looking at are metaconsciousness (also called metacognition, but I don’t like that as much), the metamind, and the metanarrative.

Let’s start off with some definitions.

Metaconsciousness

Metaconsciousness is, most simply, the ability to think about your thought process. (I’m probably going to write an article about the NPC meme soon, but if you’re familiar with the meme, the premise is that NPCs lack this trait.) I would argue that the concept of enlightenment is equivalent to a state of total metaconsciousness- a person who is absolutely aware of their motivations (desire), cognitive mechanisms (attachments), and the causal link (karma) between the actions of others and their own responses. The progression towards metaconsciousness is essentially the slow transition from instinct/ignorance/lack of self-awareness (mental autopilot, childhood state) to the full, active mental participation of maturity.

Told you it was going to be heavy- and it’s gonna get heavier.

Before we get into the metamind and metanarrative, we have to talk about memes for a bit. If you’re not intimately acquainted with the concept of memetics, you’re probably used to memes referring to cat pictures and that kind of shit. Nope, although they’re of a kind, we’re using the proper definition. Richard Dawkins coined the term ‘meme’ in his book ‘The Selfish Gene’ as a mental analogue to genes- a meme is a unit of culture information. I’m realizing as I write this that I now have to write an ‘Intro to Memetics’ article, so for the time being we’ll assume you get the general concept of memes and move on.

Metamind

Now, let’s try and outline the metamind. Carl Jung had a concept called the ‘collective unconscious’ that, in essence, claimed that all humans share a universal set of archetypal  symbols that represent different figures- the hero, the dragon, etc. Now, Jung was a bit more of a mystic than I, so I won’t go as far as he does into that concept. However, it’s obvious that there is something to his theory- most separate cultures have shared symbolism, and symbolism is the language of the subconscious mind.

I propose the metamind as the, let’s say, superconscious equivalent of the collective unconscious. For example, if you and a friend both have a shared mental concept (meme) of a joke that you made up that no one else knows about, a small, pseudo-metamind exists between the two of you. That sounds both super impractical and preposterous, right?

Go bigger.

Pick a religion, any religion. There is a grouping of shared memes between the members, called a meme complex, that connects all these people. Now, it’s impossible for any large group of people to all believe exactly the same thing, right? Even with established dogma, there will be some variance between specific members- but the meme complex still “exists,” despite the discrepancies. Some of the members might think nonbelievers can still go to heaven even if the church says no (the “virtuous pagans” in Dante’s Limbo as an example).

Go even bigger.

Imagine all the minds in the world as individual neurons (or nodes in a network) that comprise a massive, transcendent mechanism- this is the metamind. Now, before the advent of the internet, there were actually a number of separate metaminds (culture is something between a meme complex and metamind), and we could argue that any culture that has yet to connect to the western world is still a smaller, separate metamind. That being said, the advent of the internet has established the exoteric mechanism that has created the esoteric metamind. More plainly, the internet is the nervous system and the brain, while the metamind is the subjective “consciousness” that lives in the mind.

That’s still pretty abstract. Let’s try again-

your physical brain : internet :: your experiential mind : metamind.

Imagine everyone in the world is part of a gigantic, singular brain that is in the process of developing and maturing as we speak. Now, if you understood what I’m talking about, you’ll think this was a bit repetitive, and if you still haven’t, I apologize- I haven’t determined the proper language to articulate this effectively, so you’ll have to bear with me.

Metanarrative

Now for the metanarrative. If the world has a giant mind, then it’s pretty obvious that there is a war on for control of this mind. If you’ve read my article on Solomon, you’ll be able to conceptualize the war for this mind as the struggle of the many demons (micropersonalities). The major cultures of the world are at war, and within these cultures, there are other wars. This is αιδιος άγών (aidios agon)- eternal struggle.

What these cultural meme-complexes are fighting for is control of the metanarrative. If you have any degree of personal articulation, you have a personal narrative that is the story of who you are, what your life is about, etc. The meta- equivalent of this is the great story of humanity. (Campbell’s monomyth is the respective component in the collective unconscious.) Essentially, the metanarrative is the ruling thought, or thought system, in the metamind. This is the theme that (would) unite the whole of the metamind into a complete, singular system- it’s analogous to the process of personal integration.

The Cold War is an example of a (pre-metamind) battle for control of the metanarrative. You had the meme-complex of the USSR (combining those countries’ cultures, Marxist philosophy, communism, collectivism, etc.) fighting the meme-complex of the US (combining American values, the internal metanarrative of the “American Dream”, capitalism, individualism, etc.). Now, the important thing to note here is- whomever possesses the meme complex that is more in alignment with reality wins. Just as your mind tends towards a more accurate conception of reality over time, so does the metamind tend toward moving the metanarrative closer to reality as well.

War of the Human Spirit

When this happens in individuals, it’s experienced as cognitive dissonance. On the grand scale, however, this is where war is born. Remember, the metamind is not yet fully formed, and the metanarrative is still up for grabs. Before the advent of the metamind, the various cultural meme-complexes battled for land and resources. Now that the majority of that is claimed and established, we can see that the severity of war has decreased exponentially- the new territory under siege is the intangible battlefield that is in and between the minds of the people of this earth.

What this means is that, in the most deep and true sense, you in the middle of the greatest war that humanity has ever known. Now, this war isn’t a physical conflict, and the casualties are not obvious. The victims are suicides, wasted lives, lost potential, and crushed spirits. What is taking place is both a war within you and without- the first enemy you will fight is yourself, and you will not be able to combat any other challenger until you have won. This is because the false concept you’ve associated yourself with is built of these meme-complexes imposed on you by those great forces fighting to claim the metanarrative.

This is the war for the soul of Man.

Until you achieve metaconsciousness, you will not even know you are besieged. You must strive and struggle to learn the topography of your mind- understand the land in which we fight. When you know how to navigate, you’ll be able to find your way through the maze of the metamind. Then, and only then, can you find the front lines, and only then you can help us save the human spirit from those who would seek death.

Go forth and conquer.

7 Open Mindness Subversive Religions

 by Jordan Bates

“I would only believe in a god who could dance.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Religion. One word which encompasses a galactically colorful range of ideas and meanings. The quintessentially human phenomenon has been around forever, and virtually everyone has an opinion about it.

I’m not here to put religion on blast or to belittle anyone’s views. You have a right to believe whatever you like, and frankly, I just don’t care that much. Well, most of the time. The point at which I start caring what other people choose to believe about religion is the point at which religion becomes a reason to commit atrocities or deprive people of basic rights.

Sadly, it has been that, like millions of times. More than 1,000 x 10,000 people died in religious wars in the last millennium. In 2012, there were 1,340 religious hate crimes in the United States. Numerous other statistics and examples could be cited. The point is: like most allegiances humans use to mold their sense of identity, religion can easily become a source of animosity directed toward those whose identities are grounded elsewhere.

To guard against this, maybe we ought to think critically about our religious views (and all our other unquestioned assumptions) from time to time, to examine them and to see if they’ve caused us to harbor unnecessary hostility. We might even want to examine them for other reasons, too—like, I don’t know, maybe some of the rules are actually oppressing or repressing or depressing us, or making us fear existence. Who knows.

7 Parodic, Unusual, & Farcical Religions

So, yes, let’s scrutinize our religious views, and while we’re at it, let’s maybe just try to calm down about the whole thing. If someone’s belief (or lack thereof) in something isn’t harming anyone, who really gives a shit?

One fine method for merrily contemplating religion is to explore the world of fringe religious positions. People have concocted all manner of religious viewpoints, and some of them are downright gorgeous, ponder-worthy, and chuckle-inducing. Look:

1. Dudeism

Bowling ball-inspired Dudeism logo. Photo Credit: Wiki Commons

Dudeism is a philosophy and lifestyle based on the character Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski in the movie The Big Lebowski. The organization’s official name is The Church of the Latter-Day Dude, and as of August 2012, over 160,000 “Dudeist Priests” had been ordained. Though sometimes regarded as a parody religion, its founder and many of its adherents regard it seriously.

Dudeism’s stated primary aim is to promote a modern form of Chinese Taoism blended with concepts by the ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus and presented in a style reminiscent of The Dude. From Wikipedia:

“The Dudeist belief system is essentially a modernized form of Taoism purged of all of its metaphysical and medical doctrines. Dudeism advocates and encourages the practice of “going with the flow”, “being cool headed”, and “taking it easy” in the face of life’s difficulties, believing that this is the only way to live in harmony with our inner nature and the challenges of interacting with other people.”

The Dude Abides. Photo Credit: Paul Young

Dudeism claims Kurt Vonnegut, Lao Tzu, and Walt Whitman as prophets, among others, and its primary symbol, pictured above, is a cross between the Yin and Yang symbol and a bowling ball.

It even has its own version of the Tao Te Ching called The Dude De ChingHow radical is that? The Dude abides.

2. Bokononism

Speaking of Vonnegut: if you’re a fan, you might already know about Bokononism, the fictitious religion Kurt invented in his extraordinarily mind-bending novel, Cat’s Cradle. Here’s another Quickipedia:

“Bokononism is based on the concept of foma, which are defined as harmless untruths. A foundation of Bokononism is that the religion, including its texts, is formed entirely of lies; however, one who believes and adheres to these lies will have peace of mind, and perhaps live a good life. The primary tenet of Bokononism is to “Live by the foma that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”

cat's cradle

Vonnegut cooked up a whole lot of really spectacular terms and ideas around Bokononism. A “karass”, for example, is “a group of people linked in a cosmically significant manner, even when superficial links are not evident.” When a Bokononist is about to commit suicide, he says, “Now I will destroy the whole world.” And a Bokononist whispers “Busy, busy, busy” whenever he thinks about how complicated and unpredictable the machinery of life really is.

3. Discordianism

Discordianism is a religion and philosophy that venerates or worships Eris (or Discordia), the Greco-Roman goddess of chaos, or the ideals or archetypes associated with her. Its ideas have been likened to certain absurdist schools of Zen and Taoism. Again, from the bountiful bosom of Wikipedia:

“Discordianism is centered on the idea that both order and disorder are illusions imposed on the universe by the human nervous system, and that neither of these illusions of apparent order and disorder is any more accurate or objectively true than the other. […] Discordians use subversive humor to spread their philosophy and to prevent their beliefs from becoming dogmatic. It is difficult to estimate the number of Discordians because they are not required to hold Discordianism as their only belief system.”

Eris, Greco-Roman goddess of chaos. Worshipped by Discordians. Photo Credit: Public Domain

Eris, Greco-Roman goddess of chaos. Worshipped by Discordians. Photo Credit: Public Domain

In Discordianism, every member is considered a Pope, and anyone can ordain anyone else a Saint. Robert Anton Wilson is among the most well-known Discordians. Principia Discordiathe original holy book of Discordianism, abounds with cheeky verses that give a sense of the spirit of the religion. For example:

200px-Principayellow

“If you want in on the Discordian Society
then declare yourself what you wish
do what you like
and tell us about it
or
if you prefer
don’t.
There are no rules anywhere.
The Goddess Prevails.”

4. Possibilianism

Possibilianism is a philosophical position which rejects theism as well as atheism and distinguishes itself from passive or resigned forms of agnosticism. Possibilianism aims to define a position of active exploration and was first defined by neuroscientist David Eagleman. Eagleman later elaborated on the idea in an interview with the New York Times:

“Our ignorance of the cosmos is too vast to commit to atheism, and yet we know too much to commit to a particular religion. A third position, agnosticism, is often an uninteresting stance in which a person simply questions whether his traditional religious story (say, a man with a beard on a cloud) is true or not true. But with Possibilianism I’m hoping to define a new position — one that emphasizes the exploration of new, unconsidered possibilities. Possibilianism is comfortable holding multiple ideas in mind; it is not interested in committing to any particular story.”

5. Cagenism

“All Hail Nicolas Cage!” is the rallying cry of this religion and subreddit (/r/onetruegod, over 70,000 strong). Cagenism appears to have originated on Reddit about two years ago, and its supporters are certainly religious in their constant outpouring of .GIFS, memes, artwork, and photos of The Most High, Nicolas Cage. The devotees even have their own creation stories, which contain hilarious excerpts like this one:

“And so His mighty mind devised a Sacred Erection, and it was the very first of Things. He declared it good. Its quantum flesh was mighty and true, but it stood alone. The Cage performed a Divine Pelvic Thrust, and the universe was created at great speed, expanding. Its contents were of heated radiation, unshaped stardust flying at immense velocity.

Nicolas Cage blinked, and eons passed. The Holy Stardust collected through His gravitational will, forming great space seas of dust and light. He breathed, and Galactic Oceans condensed, forming a multitude of suns and stones. And with one stroke of His Mighty Boner, the Universe slowed down and cooled.”

Nic Cage is Sharks

6. Jediism

Jediism is a recent religious movement based on the philosophical and spiritual ideas of the Jedi from Star Wars. Yep, it’s a real thing. Believers follow a “Jedi code” of 21 maxims as well as “The 16 Teachings of the Jedi” and insist that their path is different from that of the fictional characters. Several peculiar and sort of hilarious accounts of this religion exist on the ‘pedia, one of which follows:

“Jediism received press coverage following a worldwide email campaign in 2001 urging people to write “Jedi” as their answer to the religion classification question in their country’s census. The majority of such respondents are assumed to have claimed the faith as a joke. In the 2001 England and Wales census, 390,127 respondents indicated Jediism as their faith. 2012 census figures had dropped to 176,632, although this was still more common than some other “alternative” faiths, and was the seventh most common response overall.”

7. Church of the SubGenius

The Church of the SubGenius is a bona fide parody religion that originated in the US in the 70s. Its teachings are complex and focus on J.R. “Bob” Dobbs, the religion’s prophet who was purportedly a drilling equipment salesman in the 1950s. “Bob’s” name is always spelled with the quotation marks, according to the Church. From the caverns of Wikipedia:

Ivan Stang, who co-founded the Church of the SubGenius in the 1970s, serves as its high profile leader and publicist. He has imitated actions of other religious leaders, using the tactic of culture jamming in an attempt to undermine better known faiths. Church leaders instruct their followers to avoid mainstream commercialism and the belief in absolute truths. The group holds that the quality of “Slack” is of utmost importance—it is never clearly defined, but attaining it involves the avoidance of hard work and the embrace of leisure.”

"Bob" Dobbs, Prophet of the Church of the SubGenius. Photo Credit: Cassia Beck

“Bob” Dobbs, Prophet of the Church of the SubGenius. Photo Credit: Cassia Beck

Honorable Mentions

Matrixism (based on The Matrix), the Invisible Pink Unicorn goddess, and the well-known Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster also deserve mention here. And, see this list for even more.

Ideally this was a pleasant exercise in open-mindedness that has left you feeling fuzzy, bemused, and more tolerant than ever of humanity’s limitless capacity for meaning-making. There’s just so darn much out there. Busy, busy, busy.

Best to go with the flow, I’d wager. May the Force be with you.

This post originally appeared on Refine The Mind.

Follow Jordan Bates on Twitter @_jordan_bates.