what's happened to Michael Hoffman from egodeath?
#1
hello,

I have been looking over Michael Hoffman's website http://www.egodeath.com and notice that it is just too 2007 which is over 2 years ago now. I tried to find out what he is currently doing but cannot find out. So I am wondering if anyone knows here?

I was shocked to find that author of The Alphabet versus the Goddess had died---Seems often you look away for a while and someone's died!
I hope not same for Michael Hoffman, but one of reasons I am curious
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act ~ George Orwell
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#2
I don't know.
I am not a big fan of his work. He did some good research, but he also had some ideas that I could not get behind.

I don't know what happend to him :?: :?:
Love
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#3
He did made some significant contributions with some of his passages from which I feel I learnt a lot. The website has been up like that for quite some time yes, but does that make the information old fashioned? Thought not. Something that is known to be just too [insert year here] is typically something for communities with monkey's, but hey, copying phrases slips in without too much of our notice eh? See it with the whole "epic" internet hype.

No idea what Micheal Hofmann is up to, but his work has been appreciated. Moving on from putting things into perspective through a language code has it's limitations since there comes a point that one understands it all without having to go through an internal dialogue. And he has written ample information. Over-analysing in the long term has been known to be the death blow for more than one amoung the psychedelic/entheogenic culture.
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#4
Yes I know what you mean.
I find his words very clonky and hardly poetic

And his idea of a static determinism thingy doesn't appeal.

I found a very good critique of his work, but I dont want to overdo the negative. I admire his unique take, but not his insistance that ONLY his theory is the truth/right way--That like over-analytical ness is also a big no no
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act ~ George Orwell
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#5
I think his insistence that only his theory is the right one, is what I couldn't get behind.
Love
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#6
I discovered his website some weeks ago.

I was strucked when reading his analysis of Rush lyrics. I have been a fan of this band for a couple of years and never glimpsed the LSD/ego death related signification of their lyrics.

I have no idea of what he has became since 2007 though.
I miss GOD as well.
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#7
Hoffman has been on sabbatical since 2007, i vaguely remember him saying he would return to work on ego death theory in 2009 but it hasnt happened yet, hopefully some time soon he will start posting the ego death yahoo group (which is well worth reading as well as his main website, lots of useful information there)

he definitly isnt dead

magickmumu a écrit :I think his insistence that only his theory is the right one, is what I couldn't get behind.


he has never made any such 'insistence', quite the opposite he has specifically said that his analytical/intellectual approach is vital but also not the only approach to finding the truth

it's strange how the only critisism of his work that appears on this thread is directed at something he never said :?:
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#8
zezt a écrit :I find his words very clonky and hardly poetic[


he isnt trying to be poetic, he is trying to be absolutely precise, clear, explicit honest etc and i dont think there are any psychedelic writers who have explained the psychedelic experience as clearly as him


zezt a écrit :And his idea of a static determinism thingy doesn't appeal.


what do you mean 'doesnt appeal'?

the model of timeless determinism (which isnt 'his', he takes it from Rudy Rucker) is meant to explain the experience of psychedelic death and rebirth, you feel as if you 'die' (or go permanently crazy) when you trip too hard because consciousness is raised above the temporal stream of events so that you perceive time as if it were a static block instead of (the usual experience way time is perceived) as a flowing stream of events
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#9
Hey max. I forgot to mention that I did listen to your podcast, after I had been looking for informations about M. Hoffman.

Nice interview !
I miss GOD as well.
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#10
MelloTrip a écrit :Hey max. I forgot to mention that I did listen to your podcast, after I had been looking for informations about M. Hoffman.

Nice interview !


Thanx! Smile

Ive been thinking maybe i should ask him to do another interview for Psychonautica, it would be an excuse to find out exactly what he is up to, if anyone can suggest some questions i could put to him that would be much appreciated
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#11
Brugmansia a écrit :The website has been up like that for quite some time yes, but does that make the information old fashioned?


egodeath.com is probably the most advanced piece of writing in the world, it is years ahead of the rest of psychedelic academia, it is the start of a 'conceptual revolution'
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#12
It's unambiguous for sure, I share your idea with egodeath.com being the most ahead of all. I do believe its concepts of entheogens will somehow strike within our future society since we'll soon shift ourselve to a living world which faces hollowness and predictability so much that it leads to a mental devastation. With soon, I meant a few centuries from now on. I might not have been comprehensible enough in my last post perhaps, since topicstarter wondered about M. Hofmann, I just assumed that he may have moved on (not from the belief in his egodeath theory, just having focus for other pursuits/projects/works) because he felt he had written sufficient and ample information already. Theories don't need to be all time extended to be accurate, in fact, it often makes them less concrete than before.

No need for an update on egodeath.com, the size of documentation is just perfect for what it is. It's completely luminous.

I imagine how God would react if he was still here, "Micheal Hofmann, who the fuck is he? An emperor? Someone who wants a million licks on his shoes?", oh dear, God, Ahua and CM should be put back in here some day. mrgreen
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#13
Something doesn't appeal about the idea--if I have him correct--that there is a deterministic dimension where our actions are kind of like known

I know Michael is very influenced by Alan Watts, who I have read quite a bit, and from what I dig of Alan's take on the timeless it is not NOT being in control but of discovering spontaniety, and purposeless

I loved Watts because of his poetic way of communicating, hence Michael's more computer-like metaphors dont do it for me so much, though I really love how he sees the utter significance of entheogenic experience as being central in myth, fairytale, religion, philosophy etc and how 'meditation' is nowhere as potent a source of inspiration

So Max, can you summarize what he is saying for you and why it is so important please? In YOUR style? Wink
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act ~ George Orwell
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#14
i think it starts with the term egodeath which is the first term which can be misleading.... for me it's all about the not-identification with the ego and not about it dying, however the process the ego can undergo after "psychonautic lucidity", is metaphorically not too badly described by the term "death". death always represents change.

i wonder if i can contribute more when i actually have read a text on that website...
i'm so disgusted by the world of today.. Sad
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#15
zezt a écrit :Something doesn't appeal about the idea--if I have him correct--that there is a deterministic dimension where our actions are kind of like known


No that isnt what the theory is saying, ego death theory isnt a treatise of metaphysics, it is primarily a cognitive phenomenological model of the ego death experience. So it isnt saying which dimensions exist or dont exist, rather it is saying what happens on the cognitive level in the deep 'life-changing' psychedelic experience, when a person experiences dying then being reborn with a new transformed level of consciousness. The idea of timeless determinism is intended to model the ego death experience, not to state some 'fact' about the universe

zezt a écrit :I know Michael is very influenced by Alan Watts, who I have read quite a bit, and from what I dig of Alan's take on the timeless it is not NOT being in control but of discovering spontaniety, and purposeless


Yes the theory is based very heavily on one particular essay from Watts called something like 'zen and self control' from the book 'this is it', Hoffman holds that one essay on very high regard. Watts says in that paper that 'self-control' is paradoxically impossible, like walking along by picking up each foot with your hands and moving it, or making a car move forwards by sitting inside and pushing the dashboard. The 'self-controller' entity is extraneous, unnecessary and ultimately impossible

Ego death theory is based around that central insight of Watt's, the ego defined as the 'self-controlling homunculus' which sits inside the head and steers the person's thoughts and actions, is a logical paradox. In the ego death experience the paradoxical nature of ego becomes intensely problematic, resulting in schizophrenic disintegration and the permanent cessation of ego-identification

zezt a écrit :I loved Watts because of his poetic way of communicating, hence Michael's more computer-like metaphors dont do it for me so much, though I really love how he sees the utter significance of entheogenic experience as being central in myth, fairytale, religion, philosophy etc and how 'meditation' is nowhere as potent a source of inspiration


Hoffman has stated that his aim is to theorise in a clear explicit and non-poetic way in order to unambiguously convey the ego death insights. Poetic aphorisms fail to be explicit and unambiguous, so he avoids using them in favour of absolutely clear non-metaphorical language. The 'computer' comparison is not meant to be understood metaphorically but rather literally, the human mind IS a computer, - ie an information processor. Just like all computational systems, the human mind is vulnerable to Gödelian logical incompleteness, and that is the cause of ego death.

Meditation is not a valid means of religious mental transformation because it does not reliably deliver the intense mystical/religious state of consciousness. Religion and mythology all consist of collections of metaphors for religious mental transformation, ego death theory is the first ever non-metaphorical description of this transformation
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#16
maxfreakout a écrit :The idea of timeless determinism is intended to model the ego death experience, not to state some 'fact' about the universe



If i were the one to judge, i'd say it seems to me that this conclusion to the subject is sort of inappropriate in the preclusion of mutually exclusive assumptions, appearing to be based on opinion rather than knowledge.

maxfreakout a écrit :Meditation is not a valid means of religious mental transformation because it does not reliably deliver the intense mystical/religious state of consciousness.


so you know for sure that NO HUMAN BRAIN ON THIS PLANET does not religiously mentally transform ordinary states of consciousness into mystical/religous states of consciousness simply by meditating? if you know it i want proof, cuz i DON'T BELIEVE it.

however i tend to agree with the analogy of logical incompleteness and this being a cause for ego death.

but you REALLY think you have borrowed the meanings of language codes exclusively??

to me it's not really surprising we experience ego death while taking psychadelics, as the ego-death-experience is often about oneness and singularity, just like what the REAL DEATH EXPERIENCE seems to be. and it's not more surprising, that the ego-death-experience can be accompanied by feelings of insanity, separation, etc etc, regarding the FACT that a lot of the time when sober what we would do is to separate ourselves in the mind from our environment and vice versa, CREATING VIRTUAL INSANITY....

so be wary my fellow psychonauts for the moment, when that virtual insanity attempts to become real insanity!!!!!!!! be yourself and know yourself is the best advice and whatever happens laugh!!!


peace :weedman:
i'm so disgusted by the world of today.. Sad
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#17
maxfreakout a écrit :
zezt a écrit :Something doesn't appeal about the idea--if I have him correct--that there is a deterministic dimension where our actions are kind of like known

No that isnt what the theory is saying, ego death theory isnt a treatise of metaphysics, it is primarily a cognitive phenomenological model of the ego death experience. So it isnt saying which dimensions exist or dont exist, rather it is saying what happens on the cognitive level in the deep 'life-changing' psychedelic experience, when a person experiences dying then being reborn with a new transformed level of consciousness. The idea of timeless determinism is intended to model the ego death experience, not to state some 'fact' about the universe

zezt a écrit :I know Michael is very influenced by Alan Watts, who I have read quite a bit, and from what I dig of Alan's take on the timeless it is not NOT being in control but of discovering spontaniety, and purposeless

Yes the theory is based very heavily on one particular essay from Watts called something like 'zen and self control' from the book 'this is it', Hoffman holds that one essay on very high regard. Watts says in that paper that 'self-control' is paradoxically impossible, like walking along by picking up each foot with your hands and moving it, or making a car move forwards by sitting inside and pushing the dashboard. The 'self-controller' entity is extraneous, unnecessary and ultimately impossible

Ego death theory is based around that central insight of Watt's, the ego defined as the 'self-controlling homunculus' which sits inside the head and steers the person's thoughts and actions, is a logical paradox. In the ego death experience the paradoxical nature of ego becomes intensely problematic, resulting in schizophrenic disintegration and the permanent cessation of ego-identification

zezt a écrit :I loved Watts because of his poetic way of communicating, hence Michael's more computer-like metaphors dont do it for me so much, though I really love how he sees the utter significance of entheogenic experience as being central in myth, fairytale, religion, philosophy etc and how 'meditation' is nowhere as potent a source of inspiration

Hoffman has stated that his aim is to theorise in a clear explicit and non-poetic way in order to unambiguously convey the ego death insights. Poetic aphorisms fail to be explicit and unambiguous, so he avoids using them in favour of absolutely clear non-metaphorical language. The 'computer' comparison is not meant to be understood metaphorically but rather literally, the human mind IS a computer, - ie an information processor. Just like all computational systems, the human mind is vulnerable to Gödelian logical incompleteness, and that is the cause of ego death.

Meditation is not a valid means of religious mental transformation because it does not reliably deliver the intense mystical/religious state of consciousness. Religion and mythology all consist of collections of metaphors for religious mental transformation, ego death theory is the first ever non-metaphorical description of this transformation


Good explanation, but I do not agree with your/Michael Hoffman's assertion that the mind is a computer. I am aware that it is common in these post modern times to use the metaphor, but not to confuse that with "is"!
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act ~ George Orwell
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#18
thanks for clearing that up mate, i think that's just what i wanted to say!! mrgreen
i'm so disgusted by the world of today.. Sad
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#19
I don't agree that the mind is a computer.
And I do not agree that meditation isn't a valid mean for spiritual (and religious) mental transformation.
I agree that psychedelics are great tools for spiritual transformation. But psychedelics and meditation are two different things, why compare them. Why does it all have to be so black and white. It makes no sense to me.
It's like comparing a car with a bicycle. Both will get you from one point (state of mind) to another.
And how can Micheal Hoffman say meditation does not deliver intense mystical experience. There are enough people who claim to have had these experience trough meditation. However this is not the same experience as a mystical experience on psychedelics. How could it be? It's something completely different. That's why I find this whole debate pointless.

Have you ever tried meditation in combination with psychedelics?


Ego death.
With psychedelics it's easy to have mystical experience and it might feel as if the old ego is dying. However as you (as psychonauts) may have noticed the ego always comes back.
These experiences I think are useless if you don't do something with them. Psychedelics may lead the way, but they are no magic pill. There need to be work done on the self to change ego consciousness.

I have experience my ego dying many times. And it are these experiences of dying during a psychedelic session that made me doubt this theory.

So what do you think?
Love
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#20
Michael Hoffman there is a part about religious freedom to psychedelic use. And the religious experience. My understanding of religion is that it has a believe systems. A set of rules to follow.
That's why only churches like the Santo Daime and the Native American church are allowed to use these medicines.
I don't believe religious freedom is enough.
I want Freedom of spirit. We should not settle for anything less.

Opaque lens podcast is called shamanic freedom. I like that name because that's what I mean.
Shamanic freedom to be master of your own body and mind.


I don't know what Michael Hoffman feels about this?
what do you think about this?
Love
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#21
yeah mate i agree. my definition of ego death rather more supports the strength of the notion of non-attachment a.k.a. non-identification with the mind and it's countless forms of thoughts it cultivates, too, in order to see clearly the metaphorical clouds we probably had been creating in front of our mind's eye(s), and of course then advance to seeing what it really is that these clouds had been holding concealed from the light of our consciousness shining thru the blackness of the intricate instruments we seem to have there for measurement and tracing purposes of some fucked up SUPPOSEDLY intedeterministic energy manifestation-form, with which we supposedly interact for our whole lives.

so how could we know how michael hoffman feels about this?? i suppose we could ask him??

well i think the thing that differs is the experience itself from person to person, that's why it may seem to make sense to create a unifying model, to display experiences better to others, but exactly this fact might make it a difficult task to acomplish, really. however i think the positive approach towards the subject deserves it's respect, regarding the almost obsessive nature of the brain's motivations to wanting to explain everything.
i'm so disgusted by the world of today.. Sad
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#22
BrainEater a écrit :If i were the one to judge, i'd say it seems to me that this conclusion to the subject is sort of inappropriate in the preclusion of mutually exclusive assumptions, appearing to be based on opinion rather than knowledge.


it isnt based on either opinion or knowledge, it is based on explanatory cohesion, the concept of timeless determinism comprehensively explains why time seems to stop flowing in the ego death experience

BrainEater a écrit :so you know for sure that NO HUMAN BRAIN ON THIS PLANET does not religiously mentally transform ordinary states of consciousness into mystical/religous states of consciousness simply by meditating?


I know for sure that this ^ is NOT the case, some people (who have abnormal brain-chemistry relative to the general population) genuinely do manage to attain altered states (and sometimes also the resulting religious transformation) of consciousness without using drugs (such as by meditating, or by being schizophrenic), it is very rare, but it certainly does happen sometimes. However it is in some sense a fallacy to call this 'drug-free', since the brain creates its own endogenous drugs without having to ingest them from outside

the point that Hoffman makes is that taking drugs is the ONLY ergonomic means to reliably, repeatably, safely trigger these states of consciousness. It is really a point about statistical efficacy, entheogens are the only statistically efficaceous means to repeatedly trigger intense altered states, for (statistically) normal people with normal brain chemistry. Entheogens are the only means by which intense mystical/religious experiences are accessible 'on-tap' for everybody

Entheogens are 100% effective at triggering intense altered states, whereas meditation is more like 1% effective

BrainEater a écrit :but you REALLY think you have borrowed the meanings of language codes exclusively??


I dont know what you mean by this question, i havent 'borrowed' anything :?

Hoffman's theory is the first and only explicit systematisation of transcendent knowledge
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#23
zezt a écrit :Good explanation, but I do not agree with your/Michael Hoffman's assertion that the mind is a computer. I am aware that it is common in these post modern times to use the metaphor, but not to confuse that with "is"!


it isnt mine or Hoffman's assertion, it is rather the prevailing modern psychological understanding of the mind (computationalism), it is almost universally assented to within academic psychology and philosophy (and other fields that deal with the mind)

but i agree with what you are saying, essentially that ego death theory might turn out to be another metaphor and not as 'literal' as it claims to be, maybe words can never be truly literal

Hoffman's theory is totally 'up to date', it is a theory of the modern era, it uses all the most modern terminology and concepts, and the computational theory of mind is an example of that, it is the modern, prevailing theory of how the mind works

Why dont you agree with it? I think it makes a lot of sense, the mind receives information as inputs (such as sensory information), it processes that information, then it generates outputs (such as thoughts, emotions, actions etc.), that is precisely what a computer does
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#24
magickmumu a écrit :I don't agree that the mind is a computer.


why not? It does exactly the same thing that a computer does (it processes information)

magickmumu a écrit :And I do not agree that meditation isn't a valid mean for spiritual (and religious) mental transformation.


To put the point more directly, meditation doesnt allow you to access intense mystical/religious states of consciousness repetably and reliably, whereas entheogens do.

magickmumu a écrit :But psychedelics and meditation are two different things, why compare them. Why does it all have to be so black and white. It makes no sense to me.


It is very important to compare them, because modern popular spirituality and religion is entirely anti-drugs, therefore modern spiritualists who are taken in by the lies that are commnly spread about drugs, end up in a situation where they never get the chance to access the intense altered states for themselves. By comparing them you highlight the fact that enthoegens are vastly more ergonomic for experiecing altered states


magickmumu a écrit :It's like comparing a car with a bicycle. Both will get you from one point (state of mind) to another.


this comparison doesnt apply to meditation and entheogens, because meditation does NOT repeatably and reliably get you from the ordinary state of consciousness to the intense altered states of consciousness, whereas entheogens always do

magickmumu a écrit :And how can Micheal Hoffman say meditation does not deliver intense mystical experience.


Because it doesnt reliably and repeatably deliver these altered states for the majority of people, so Hoffman is simply stating a fact that pop-spiritualists always hate to admit


magickmumu a écrit :There are enough people who claim to have had these experience trough meditation.


there are certainly *some* people who achieve altered states through meditation, and very rarely indeed *some* people are able to repeatedly and reliably trigger these states by meditation, and Hoffman acknowledges that

But the point is that *every* person is able to have these experiences by taking drugs, there is no other means except drug-taking that can make this claim (ie the claim of 100% efficacy, every time)

magickmumu a écrit :However this is not the same experience as a mystical experience on psychedelics.


the cognitive dynamics are essentially the same in any case, whether it is psychedelics, meditation, schizophrenic psychosis or whatever, the experience results from the loosening of cognitive associations, that is the phenomenological underpinning of the mystical/religious state of consciousness no matter how it occurs

magickmumu a écrit :Have you ever tried meditation in combination with psychedelics?


i never take drugs without meditating, for me, taking entheogens just IS meditating. i think a major conceptual problem here is the definition of 'meditation', many people seem to define this word absurdly narrowly, it does NOT just mean 'sitting crosslegged', the real meaning of 'meditation' concerns reflective thinking

magickmumu a écrit :With psychedelics it's easy to have mystical experience and it might feel as if the old ego is dying. However as you (as psychonauts) may have noticed the ego always comes back.


after the fullblown ego death experience, ego does not 'come back' except in a very limited sense, it is just a ghostly shell after ego death, no longer a taken-for-granted, substantial, literally real entity, that is the essence of the permanent psychological transformation

magickmumu a écrit :These experiences I think are useless if you don't do something with them.


The psychedelic experience alone is only half of what is required for metaphysical enlightenment to occur, the other half is the subsequent integration of the experience. This has traditionally been the role of mythology, religion and perennial philosophy, now it can be done by studying ego death theory

magickmumu a écrit :Psychedelics may lead the way, but they are no magic pill. There need to be work done on the self to change ego consciousness.


psychedelics are the magic pill that causes the magical experiences to occur, but the full psychological transformation requires a basic grasp of perennial philosophical concepts in order to integrate and make sense of the experience

magickmumu a écrit :I have experience my ego dying many times. And it are these experiences of dying during a psychedelic session that made me doubt this theory.


the theory explains precisely WHY and HOW the ego has this tendency to 'die' when it encounters the loosened cognitive state, in terms of the concept of frozen-future timeless determinism
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#25
magickmumu a écrit :Michael Hoffman there is a part about religious freedom to psychedelic use. And the religious experience. My understanding of religion is that it has a believe systems. A set of rules to follow.


it is only the lower, non-transcendent version of religion that requires 'rules to follow', whereas from the point of entheogen-inspired higher/transcendent religion, the very notion of 'having to follow rules' is logically self-defeating (ie it contradicts the principle of timeless determinism which the religious experience reveals)

magickmumu a écrit :That's why only churches like the Santo Daime and the Native American church are allowed to use these medicines.


everybody is 'allowed' to use them, nature put them there for humanity to use. However the criminal liars who falsely claim to control the world will fuck your life up if they catch you, so try not to get caught

magickmumu a écrit :I don't believe religious freedom is enough.
I want Freedom of spirit. We should not settle for anything less.


i dont think there is any real difference, religious freedom is the highest form of freedom, because religious experiences are the highest level of experience
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#26
i don't agree. Sorry max i don't buy into all that.
Love
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#27
IMHO, religion is the fast-food of spirituality.
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#28
Interesting topic...

Citation :the model of timeless determinism (which isnt 'his', he takes it from Rudy Rucker) is meant to explain the experience of psychedelic death and rebirth, you feel as if you 'die' (or go permanently crazy) when you trip too hard because consciousness is raised above the temporal stream of events so that you perceive time as if it were a static block instead of (the usual experience way time is perceived) as a flowing stream of events


Citation :‘Fatal snake-bite’ indicates ego death upon seeing all one’s thoughts as timelessly pre-set and given. To be cured of snake-bite and made immune to it is to continue life after ego death, purified of misattribution of the source of one’s thoughts and power of will.


Second quote is from egodeath.com

I feel like I've experienced this ego death the first time I took LSD. During the trip, I did feel like I went "permanently insane" and that time did stop. But afterwards, the way I interpreted the whole experience was that it gave me "another way of looking at things" by providing me an altered look at my world, and thus made me realize how beautiful our world, and all of living things are, which resulted in this "rebirth".

What I want to know, is how he comes up with this fact that our stream of thoughts is "frozen" and pre-set? And it seems, at least from his point of view, that greeks, romans, eastern religions..etc all knew about this.
(This is probably answered on his website, but I haven't had the time to go through all of it yet ;o or maybe I just didn't understand. Alot of it is hard to grasp, especially this universe block stuff!)

On another note. About computers and brains, I thought I should mention this TED Talk, because it tackles exactly this.
You say that computers and brains are similar because of the whole "input-output" analogy, but in this talk, Jeff Hawkins explains why he thinks otherwise, and his view on how our brain works. It is 20mins long, but very interesting, and I felt that what he had to say made quite some sense, so I suggest you give it a full viewing Smile And let me know what you think about it of course!

http://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_hawkins_o ... uting.html
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#29
maxfreakout a écrit :
zezt a écrit :Good explanation, but I do not agree with your/Michael Hoffman's assertion that the mind is a computer. I am aware that it is common in these post modern times to use the metaphor, but not to confuse that with "is"!

it isnt mine or Hoffman's assertion, it is rather the prevailing modern psychological understanding of the mind (computationalism), it is almost universally assented to within academic psychology and philosophy (and other fields that deal with the mind)

but i agree with what you are saying, essentially that ego death theory might turn out to be another metaphor and not as 'literal' as it claims to be, maybe words can never be truly literal

Hoffman's theory is totally 'up to date', it is a theory of the modern era, it uses all the most modern terminology and concepts, and the computational theory of mind is an example of that, it is the modern, prevailing theory of how the mind works

Why dont you agree with it? I think it makes a lot of sense, the mind receives information as inputs (such as sensory information), it processes that information, then it generates outputs (such as thoughts, emotions, actions etc.), that is precisely what a computer does


It is clear to me that mankind--and this is known throughout its history, tends to use its present state-of-the-art technology to try and use to explain the natural world and the body and mind.
Didn't Rene Descartes use menchaistic terms to desribe his theories, as has Freud, etc--so it is nothing new. NOW they use their computer model, and then confuse it with the reality of the mind. Computationalism is mechanistic, and the mechanistic explanation and action, from that premise, is one of the big reasons for the mess we are in!

I find it odd wrong that you would choose a set and setting with a psychedelic with the set that you are a machine/computer?
It is destined to be futile. It is better to know that you are not a machine but a biological organism and in essence you don't know who or what 'you' are--it is a mystery what we are. Currently science cannot explain (as if it ever could or will) consciousness, nor matter.

My understanding of the ego is that all of us have them. But some pretend they don't or can get rid of them through whatever means. many wish to escape from them, and use various drugs, including alcohol (which is a drug), and various habitual pursuits so as to attempt to escape, and/or divert attention away from through work, and other activities.

Psychedelic ritual is the going into what we are doing. Like you seem to say, it is real meditation--as in journying into what you are thinking and feeling. NOT negating thinking like much Eastern 'meditation' is about, in order to get a 'quiet mind', but really experiencing thoughts and feelings come alive in extraordinary deep way, and the feeling of reality interconnected. What is the ordinary ego to do with this...? If it 'dies' what does that mean?
In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act ~ George Orwell
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#30
i think it dies metaphorically, cuz it doesn't have it's OWN life anyways, and we might say that obviously it represents a mechanically acting and reacting device, to which YOU give life. so this description makes it appear like a machine in it's functions, however i agree that this is only to get a better understanding of it, disregarding the true nature of the innate bonds we have with our conscious, unconscious and subconscious elements that define our so called personalities.
the analogy with dying is all about rebirth, but i fathom that the relationship most of us have towards death is childish, primitve and fueled by fears, and that's why we obviously don't seem to be able to describing what we feel below these mind-layers, thru which it seems we might need to cut thru like thick steaks. also our attitudes towards rebirth look like pathetic shite-flies taking circular excursions over piles of excrement..

maxfreakout to me your view of meditation is narrow, and it feels like you want to resist it, whatever that's supposed to mean. to me meditation is not about reflective thinking, but about awareness and not the thinking itself. the thinking is just a byproduct and with meditation we try to purify the means by which we SYNTHESIZE OUR THOUGHTS?? to me meditation is thriving for oneness, oneness being the holiest, most naturally state one can be in.

also i like the analogy of the mind to a computer, but i think it's incomplete or a bit misleading and if elaborated further it could provide a good insight, however it should be clear that biological information processors have a fundamental difference to normal machines. we fail to see the importance in the difference, just like a computer fails to be a conscious being like we are.

therefore it might seem obvious that it is just plain stupid to dismiss the ego as a mind-agent or program which we need to hunt down, kill, or destroy, as it is a integrated part of what we call "ourself". i think it's better to see it like a flower that needs to be cared about in order to grow healthy and flourish!

i think the labels we seem to be quarrelling over clearly display our limited ability to use words to describe specific acquaintances we made with abstract ideas.
i'm so disgusted by the world of today.. Sad
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