Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Excerpt from:
“The Book On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are”
by Alan Watts

Here is someone who has never seen a cat. He is looking through a narrow slit in a fence, and, on the other side, a cat walks by. He sees first the head, then the less distinctly shaped furry trunk, and then the tail. Extraordinary! 

The cat turns round and walks back, and again he sees the head, and a little later the tail. This sequence begins to look like something regular and reliable. Yet again, the cat turns round, and he witnesses the same regular sequence: first the head, and later the tail. Thereupon he reasons that the event head is the invariable and necessary cause of the event tail, which is the head's effect. 

This absurd and confusing gobbledygook comes from his failure to see that head and tail go together: they are all one cat. The cat wasn't born as a head which, sometime later, caused a tail; it was born all of a piece.
A head-tailed cat.

Our observer's trouble was that he was watching it through a narrow slit, and couldn't see the whole cat at once. The narrow slit in the fence is much like the way in which we look at life by conscious attention, for when we attend to something we ignore everything else. 

Attention is narrowed perception. It is a way of looking at life bit by bit, using memory to string the bits together—as when examining a dark room with a flashlight having a very narrow beam.

Perception thus narrowed has the advantage of being sharp and bright, but it has to focus on one area of the world after another, and one feature after another. And where there are no features, only space or uniform surfaces, it somehow gets bored and searches about for more features. 

Attention is therefore something like a scanning mechanism in radar or television, and Norbert Wiener and his colleagues found some evidence that there is a similar process in the brain. But a scanning process that observes the world bit by bit soon persuades its user that the world is a great collection of bits, and these he calls separate things or events. 

We often say that you can only think of one thing at a time. The truth is that in looking at the world bit by bit we convince ourselves that it consists of separate things; and so give ourselves the problem of how these things are connected and how they cause and effect each other. 

The problem would never have arisen if we had been aware that it was just our way of looking at the world which had chopped it up into separate bits, things, events, causes, and effects. We do not see that the world is all of a piece like the head-tailed cat. We also speak of attention as noticing. 

To notice is to select, to regard some bits of perception, or some features of the world, as more noteworthy, more significant, than others. To these we attend, and the rest we ignore—for which reason conscious attention is at the same time ignoreance (i.e., ignorance) despite the fact that it gives us a vividly clear picture of whatever we choose to notice. Physically, we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch innumerable features that we never notice. 

You can drive thirty miles, talking all the time to a friend. What you noticed, and remembered, was the conversation, but somehow you responded to the road, the other cars, the traffic lights, and heaven knows what else,  without really noticing, or focussing your mental spotlight upon them. So too, you can talk to someone at a party without remembering, for immediate recall, what clothes he or she was wearing, because they were not noteworthy or significant to you. Yet certainly your eyes and nerves responded to those clothes. You saw, but did not really look.

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Delusion of Positive Thinking

There are 2 layers of clear duality in the idea of “positive thoughts” and it’s basically about deluding your already deluded mind into believing shit that you have no idea about or no fundamental basis for. Deluded is never a good state to be in and can only lead to disappointment, depression and in extreme cases actual suicide, even “positive” thinking. Being delusional about the state of your plight cannot lead to a good quality of life.

However the problem that most people face in these things is that they view Schopenhauer style, radical pessimism, as the only other option, which is itself just another form of delusion and frankly is exactly the same thing as radical optimism. The fact of the matter is that you cannot know jack shit about what’s going to happen in 5 minutes, never mind further down the road, and most thoughts are centred on the past or future for the purpose of extrapolation and calculation of potential outcomes, completely out of your control. But our monkey brains can’t tell the difference between reality and thoughts.

All you can really do is weigh up likely outcomes and try to be as honest and rational about it as you can. This will give you a much clearer picture of what your life will look like, and as long as you keep trying and doing your best i mean… You reap what you sow ya know?

Among the ‘new agers’ you’ll hear things like “Not judging the world as good or bad and mentally labelling everything by silencing your mind can also drastically change your life” which i can tell you from experience IS a fantastic improvement over the conventional paradigm. But then launch into subjective nonsense like “Change all thoughts to positive and create a positive mind-set” where the determination of something as positive is exactly another form of judgement of experience.

This is an example of the failure of the new age movement in that they talk about things which are fundamentally accurate (i.e. that non-judgement is liberating from emotionally destructive cycles) but package that in with calling that non judgement itself “good”. Quite often people interpret it as just calling EVERYTHING “good”. I’ve had honest to god enlightened beings tell me that rape and murder are “perfect”.

Figure out what non judgement is before you talk about not judging stuff. In terms of what you DO think about the world and what may or may not happen, in terms of living your life, being an optimistic realist is better. Not in that it’s inherently better or a superior point of view. That would be fundamentally fictional stuff. It’s superior in that it’s not fundamentally delusional or based on beliefs. It’s the honest attempt to put together an accurate view of reality to interact with and filling in the blanks of what you can’t know with the middle case scenarios, not the best, not the worst, the middle. Because there is no way to objectively tell the future.

It’s foolish to think that how you think about things has no effect on your experience of reality. But likewise it’s foolish to think that your thoughts about reality create it. You are in no way separate from the reality you appear within and as such whether it’s fundamentally real or not doesn’t affect the fact that you are there as part of a flow of some form of existence. To think that your thoughts about it affect it beyond your own subjective experience of it is fundamentally delusional by definition.

On a kind of tangent this also alludes to the question of your own existence as a separate agent from reality that does anything to it as opposed to an integrated part of it moved by the forces experienced. And the former is the conventional view point and is itself fundamentally flawed and baseless. Spiritual guys have been saying it for millennia and neuroscientists are saying it now. There is actually no you of any kind.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Make No Idols

Ciaran is nothing but a peer. Even conversations about how he's not special will put it in your head that he must be special because he gets this kind of conversation. Nix that shit ASAP. He's a peer, nothing more.

“I'm not sure I'll manage that until I get as good as Ciaran. But then again, I will get as good as Ciaran, so it's only a temporary problem.”

You’re already as good as he is. He’s nothing even remotely special.

It is fucking easy to free people when you actually have people to free.

It’s fucking easy. But ignoring shit is paramount. Not engaging with it. And instead saying
"Yeah, but do this". GATE GATE GATE GATE GATE.

You don't have to engage with all the crap someone says. That’s how you have an interesting conversation. This isn’t about having an interesting conversation. It’s fundamentally about dispelling myths and beliefs. It’s far more important that their minds are taken off distractions exactly like “having an interesting conversation.”

Defeating an argument is all well and good. But it’s not the goal of what you do and will only leave the target feeling defeated and quite likely bitter at you and therefore retreat rather than engage.

“Martin, does that actually work? Can't they then just dismiss you as someone who won't talk to them properly?”

That’s where there is finesse.

On Ruthless Truth forums it’s entirely at your whim. I literally used to go like this:
Slave: "<Insert inane postulate>"
Me: “DISTRACTION” and point back to the gate.
And you have no chance of them walking away simply because of the atmosphere of the RT forums. It’s why they're so spikey. The atmosphere of the place screams for attention like fuck.

It’s a direct ego challenge and to the ego bound it’s pretty much impossible to resist going back. It’s why i ALWAYS say "they'll be back", because they always are, unless they're free.

Irritatingly freeing someone makes it a relatively simple feat for them to just walk away. But that’s where we're playing law of averages on the forums really

But that’s the forums. Outside of the forums is a different game. Out on other forums on the internet, in chat dialogues with random strangers, in dialogues with other people it’s kind of different purely because it’s out of context.

But you don't even need to be that spikey for the same effect elsewhere. 1 on 1 works best for actually freeing people for the simple reason that you don't have a bunch of dickheads agreeing with the status quo. There’s no social acceptability to escape into just because it’s more comfortable.

Such is the state of honesty on a larger scale that most would rather nod along with the status quo than engage with an idea that is foreign to them.

The day Ciaran freed four people it was all 1 on 1 in chats.

Actually every story from every arbitrary enlightened guy, enlightening someone else, hasn't been in satsang. It’s been in 1 on 1 session. Adyashanti tells the story of a dying cancer patient that woke up, in the face of their own death, as a result of him visiting them in their home. This paradigm existed because in that scenario there's no way to look to someone else for acceptance of that person’s paradigm of reality.

That’s what is craved by the asleep. It’s actually what other enlightened people are criticising when they criticise how RT does things as a group. This is why it’s important for you, on an individual basis, to know you’re not doing that yourself and that’s also why cutting people out when they’re on RT is sometimes so effective. They become excluded from even the validation they receive by being ripped on.

So what do you do when you don't have that advantage? How do you stop people dismissing you for not engaging with their arguments then?

Basically, I’m not a fan of the forum incursion method, quite a controversial position to hold around RT, but i see serious flaws in that method. What Stephen did that got him a lot of kills away from RT though is excellent.

What got Stephen kills was that he would do this:
Slave: "Here's the story of my life" on some random forum
Stephen: "Wow, great story man, here's a link to my blog"

Trolling and mass incursions like what we did to bentinho are excellent. But not because they really freed anyone, they do one thing. It raises awareness that there's another way. That there’s someone else doing the enlightenment thing without the frills and niceness that everyone’s wrapped around it. I’m sure we’ve all experienced the nicer aspects of enlightenment, but they’re consequential, not a way to it.

Where Stephen has done a few liberations out on his own he’s done them mainly in the comments to his blog. Comments he got by putting his blog out there in the above example on forums.

But my point is that you don’t NEED to be in the Ruthless Arena by any means to HAVE the Ruthless Arena.

As a liberator your job isn't to be a philosopher. It’s not to be a psychologist. It’s not to be a teacher. It’s not any kind of conventional label that really has any cohesive meaning. Your job is the deduction of reality, even if that means deducing that you don't or can’t know something and responding to situations in that way. This is fundamentally what’s called “right action”, thoughtless but reasoned purposeful action.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Emotional Inspiration Part 2 - Why are you listening lately?

So why Metal? I mean really. Why do I listen to metal? Well here’s something I noticed. Rap music makes me depressed.

I have, and always have had extremely eclectic musical tastes.  But rap makes me depressed and metal makes me happy. Is this because of the content of the music?

Rap is, for the most part, very aspirational and tends to be focused on acquisition, potential riches and triumph over problems. Metal tends to be pretty self-hating and destructive. So erm… I doubt it’s the content. So what is it?

When I was a kid I listened to metal because i really looked up to my oldest brother and he listened to stuff like Metallica, Megadeth, Napalm Death, Slayer. The list goes on. I remember feeling a certain amount of acceptance from my brother when I expressed an enjoyment of the music he liked.

When I was 16 I was pretty consistently happy for about the first time in my life and that period of my life was very much focused around music. Around that time was the nu metal revolution and the rise of bands like slipknot and my circle of friends were very much into that.

So the associated memories in those particularly emotionally turbulent formative years stuck to the music I was listening to pretty hard.

Conversely, when I was about 13 I was about the most unhappy I had ever been.

Ostracised from my peers, a collapsing family life and what seemed like endless problem after problem. During that time as I had started listening to Eminem and other rappers. I had taken to listening to them all the time. And while I enjoyed them at the time and still do enjoy them now, if I listen to them for any prolonged period of time I do get functionally depressed.

So the link between the music and the mood isn’t really the content of the music. But the context through which its viewed, the perceptual lens through which all things are viewed, the culmination of experience remembered and forgotten. 

Deterioration of Spirit

"The human race, the deterioration of the spirit of man. Man undermining himself, causing a self-willed, self-imposed, self-evident self-destruction."
-From The Prisoner Of Second Avenue

Emotional Inspiration Part 1 - What are you listening to lately?

Without meaning to spam slipknot stuff they are a band that’s been in the front of my consciousness lately for one reason. They’re what I’ve been listening to lately.

This kind of infatuation that is developed is something of a key to understanding the state of your condition.

The song that you listen to today is the song that’s stuck in your head tomorrow. Sometimes there are events that remind you of a song and it gets in your head again. Other times, and this is the interesting part, sometimes when you listen to a song it jogs associated emotional patterns and memories.

But this is the really cool thing. It’s not sometimes. It’s all the time. Your emotions are affected more by your sensory input than your thoughts about the sensory input. Its why people are more prone to act on their emotions than their rationale.

Granted some people are more into different kinds of sensory input. Smell is famous for being an extremely effective emotional memory catalyst. But just about any sensory stimulation will invoke an associated emotion if that thing, or something similar, has been experienced before.

The Number 42

What is the meaning of it all? It’s a common question and at a glance sounds like the whine of an angst ridden teenager. But I mean, isn’t that a question that should be asked? And in fact there's a very simple answer.

There isn’t any.

I mean it comes down to that.

There isn’t any inherent characteristic in anything that would be called “meaning”. The only meaning that exists is imagined. But that’s how it always is. Every single thing you ever thought had meaning only had it because of the meaning you imposed upon it as a part of the assessment of your own subjective experience.

Now…  What’s wrong with that? I mean why is the meaninglessness of it all looked at like it’s a bad thing? I mean that is, in itself, adding a meaning to it. Why do that?

Well there are a number of evolutionary psychological reasons but suffice it to say. To a human, what is meaningless is discarded. It’s what made us efficient as a species.

So when one is to say that life is meaningless it jerks the reaction of “Then why not throw it away?”. And simply my response to that is, “Why would you?” there is no reason to.

It’s startlingly simple really. And that’s just it. There is that kind of simplicity to the world and it’s so outside of what is commonly held up as a wonderful, magical, really really good thing that it’s difficult to come to terms with all of the implications of the sheer meaninglessness of it all.

But don’t get me wrong. The subjective value and worth of something isn’t useless. In fact it’s entirely useful indeed. 

I mean look at something like chemo therapy.

To anyone healthy it’s simply poison and is of nothing but negative value. But to a cancer patient it’s ridiculously useful. But will the cancer patient think to themselves in quiet contemplation how ironic it is that they violently require chemo while sick but someone healthy violently would not want chemo at all?

No. they couldn’t give a fuck. They’re too busy dealing with the notion of their own potential death. It’s an odd sort of thing really. Recognition of the meaninglessness of it all just subtracts the artificial imposed and for the most part destructive meanings we apply and instead leave us free to experience reality as it really is and basically add and discard meaning to and from meaningless things at a whim.

In short. The number 42? Its as good an answer as any.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Wait and Bleed

What a way to start a new dystopian style blog about enlightenment than with a song that i feel sets the tone of this new venture. This isn't going to be about feeling good. Its not going to be a blog about being nice. Its going to be a blog about harsh honesty in the form of supreme self destruction.

Destruction of the fundamental mental construct ruling and ruining your life. Seeing its not a real thing is great. After that is the destruction of all that remains. All your happy and nice feelings about the world and everything in it are as equally false and damaging as the things that you loathe and fear.

Everything you love and all things you revere only hold that significance because its what you imbue it with in your head. I have no interest in niceties. My only interest is the utter destruction of all you hold dear and your motivations for holding it in such high regard.

This is the ultimate self destruction. The end of holding up pretty words like they are made of purest gold and taking them to pieces to see what their actual significance is.