Wind to our sails!

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Wind to our sails!

Postby Lúthien » Mon Jul 18, 2016 6:39 pm

I’ve thought long and hard about what to do with the Ilsalunte Valion forum.
It’s nothing new: you all know it has been all too quiet for several years.

We could of course let this situation continue indefinitely.
There’s nothing against doing that, the cost is minimal.
Unfortunately, the reward has been equally minimal.

One of the most frustrating things about the whole business is that not one single newcomer since 2009 has actually managed to become active.
I don’t know if that’s just because there simply aren’t any more that have this particular interest and capabilities.
Maybe I’m doing something completely wrong. I don’t know; I can only say that I did my best.

But whatever the case might be: with the current level of activity and number of members, the ship isn't going anywhere.
And that's not good. We lack the momentum to make speed.

Here's an alternative that I want to propose to you. Please, read it and tell me your thoughts.


Some three years ago I got to know Miguel Conner, the guy behind thegodabovegod.com and the “Aeon Byte” series of podcasts that now spans over ten years.

I offered him help building a new website, which was badly needed at the time.
I got to know him a bit. He’s authentic. If in doubt, just listen to one of his podcasts: he usually introduces them with 10-15 minutes of his own take on the subject or book at hand. He’s very dedicated to gnosis, apparently starting from personal experiences he had, like most of us.

Because he covers quite a wide spectrum (everything that falls under “gnosis”), his site draws quite a number of listeners and visitors.
I asked him last year if he would be interested at all in having a discussion forum. He thought it was a great idea, but that he lacked the expertise, time and energy to set one up. But I was welcome to set one up, as long as it did not cost him more time next to the podcasts and articles.


So. What if we would expand Ilsalunte Valion to include other gnosis besides our Tolkienian variety, and link that to thegodabovegod.com?

It could mean an influx of members having a much more solid background than some of the otherkin-associated folk we’ve been seeing hopping in and out IV again during the past years, often without writing one word.
It is my hope that among these people there might be some that would find what we do interesting; after all, divided as the gnostic community might be, I understood that Stephan Hoeller enjoys a great deal of respect by practically everyone - which would be a very good “bridge” to our content and philosophy. Something similar goes for Lance Owens.


Anyhow, I think it is the best change ever to put IV more in the stream where it can be found by people who could possibly help our ship to sail further.

For as it stands now, we’ve been in the doldrums for far too long. We need some winds in our sails.

Here’s some points we should consider:

  • it does not mean that we should necessary lose the URL westofwest.org, nor the name Ilsalunte Valion
  • we could keep any part of the existing Ilsalunte Valion forum “as is”, possibly accessible / readable for the existing members (ie. you) only
  • we could also choose parts of the existing forum, to open up to the “general gnosis” membership

And, more in general about the gnosis forum as a whole:

  • to visitors, it should be made clear whether it is “a place to discuss gnosis” in a more academic way, versus “a place to DO and report about gnosis” or, even, “a place to learn gnosis” (for as far as that is possible).


Please DO let me know your thoughts. I long to move ahead once more.

novaer,
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Eruannlass » Thu Jul 21, 2016 7:01 pm

Suilad, Melleth vell ~

Since you've interacted with Miguel for some time, and feel that connecting IV to his organization (?) and web presence, would potentially draw more devoted members to IV, then I say it can't hurt to try and find out what the results are.

I went to the web site, and since none of his current blogs really caught my interest, I linked through to his YouTube channel, and found some more interesting material there. Listening to what morphed from a cosmic intro with illustrative movie quotes (which I like, since I watch so many), to an interview, I connected with the concepts, even though not fully familiar with terms like 'Demiurge,' but I found out from reading one of his blog entries, proved engaging.

The one I picked was 'How to Write Your Own Gospel and Live your own Myth.' https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raJSM-eLQTY
The meat of the interview, etc...starts at about 9:30. He's also got one called 'Jung and the Active Imagination.'

In general, I think that gnostics may be more on our wavelength, perhaps inclined to incorporate a lot of Biblical ideas/characters to a marked degree, but at least able to grasp what we do, and why. If there is one concern I have about proceeding, it would be how visible will IV be within this larger framework? I ask because his main webpage has a lot of full color pictures and scrollwork fonts that draw the eye a lot more than a link would. The banner ads over to the right are more noticeable, if the Forum would be represented over there. Also, providing the link to the Facebook page would be helpful, and I can post a link back to whatever presence we would have with Miguel.

I think my other concern is how would we respond to folks that are perhaps just here to engage in philosophical discussion ~ which is fine ~ but which draws from their worldview, and seeks to link those ideas/concepts to the Legendarium? We've worked consistently over the years to avoid folks that strive to label all of the Lore as allegory for something else. The example I see a lot is that the Ainur and the Valar are angels, and not possessing of any functionally independent divine strength, ie ~ sub~creation. It's always annoyed me.

But, I'm digressing.

Those are my thoughts on the subject, and will respond to points that others make when the time comes.

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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Lúthien » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:23 pm

Suilad,

thank you, you raise excellent points.

re. Miguel: on his website you can see only a few shows; the rest is downloadable for paying members only - that's how he makes some money from the thing. It is interesting that people indeed are willing to pay even if he also puts all those shows on YouTube and iTunes for free as well - the links are even advertised on the site. Apparently people like it to have it all conveniently together.

Apparently you did find those YouTube ones as well, great!
I'm not interested in all of them, either. Many are interviews with writers somehow related to the subject, and not all of those strike a chord with me.
There are some shows though where he manages to touch something within me as well - in particular the one where he criticises the consumerist new-age trends (I think it is called "evils of New Age") - you know, stuff like "The Secret" and that sort of things ... "carbohydrates for the soul".

There are, incidentally, two or three shows where he also talks about Tolkien. I think they are the ones where he chats with Lance Owens. They might be nice to give a try, as Lance is particularly good in creating a bridge between Tolkien and Jung.

I had some trouble getting Miguel's particular style at first: in particular because I could not tell if he was being ironic or not. Strange, because now I know him better I can't imagine that any more.

Anyhow:

In general, I think that gnostics may be more on our wavelength, perhaps inclined to incorporate a lot of Biblical ideas/characters to a marked degree, but at least able to grasp what we do, and why.


What I have understood by now is that there is a strong similarity between what is often referred to as the central Gnostic Myth - the story about how the Creator split into a number of sub-entities. One of those was Sophia (wisdom), and I think that she had a son with which things went horribly wrong even though Sophia is definitely "good". This son is known as the Demiurg - the half-maker, that is. Gnostics assert that this Demiurg is in essence a false god. He is very powerful but also clumsy and somehwat evil (I think), masters matter and our material existence, but he is not the true god. That is why gnostics intend to "awaken" and find Sophia and the true god again.
Jesus Christ is, in that context, an ally of Sophia and an opponent of the Demiurg.

This is quite like Tolkien's creation myth, where Iluvatar created the Ainur, and one of them was Melkor, who went down into creation and caused a lot of trouble. Especially for mortals.
You could say that the creator == Iluvatar; Sophia corresponds supposedly with Varda or another Vala, and the demiurg is, of course, Morgoth / Sauron.
This theme recurs in other stories as well, most recently maybe in "The Matrix", though of course in a very science-fictionized setting.

I think that what we could have in common with "general gnostics" is to acknowledge the common ground, and hopefully interest more people in the Tolkienian variety of gnosis. It helps a great deal that two respected people in the gnostic community (Stephan Hoeller and Lance Owens) do indeed try to get this across as well.
As I see it, it could therefore happen that there might be individuals who could be interested to study the Legendarium in the way that we do.

What I do NOT know, is to what degree "general gnostics" are also interested in "doing gnosis" as we practice.

You could say that 'talking about gnosis" is one thing, but doing it something completely different. The forum should also reflect that. I feel that we have always had a very strong accent on "doing" while the larger gnostic community is much more about "talking" and, maybe "studying".
In that respect we could possibly stimulate people to become more active in that regard, whether in the Tolkienian, or in another sense.

And reversely, I think that we could also benefit from seeing how gnosis works in other contexts. We can only gain from it, be more rich and varied.
And if you don't like it, there is absolutely no need to change in whatever way.

Personally, I still feel as uniquely devoted to the Tolkienian variety as ever. That is simply how I am.


If there is one concern I have about proceeding, it would be how visible will IV be within this larger framework? I ask because his main webpage has a lot of full color pictures and scrollwork fonts that draw the eye a lot more than a link would. The banner ads over to the right are more noticeable, if the Forum would be represented over there. Also, providing the link to the Facebook page would be helpful, and I can post a link back to whatever presence we would have with Miguel.


This is indeed VERY important.
First, it is not so that I intend to merge IV into Miguel's website. That would not work for the reasons you mention, but it is also technically not doable.

We're thinking of creating a link in the sidebare of Miguel's site, marked "Forum" or whatever name it will have or graphic - and clicking that takes you to this forum. There will also be a page describing it in short.

On this forum we will then also have a link back to the website, in the form of a similar button or link.
I did something similar for the website of the Leiden Observatory. There is also a user forum there, and it is linked to the main website via the menu.


Try to imagine it like this forum ... we will add a level on top, with categories like 'general gnosis discussion', 'books', ... 'Ilsalunte Valion' - and all of IV can then be under that last category. As I said, that could be accessible to us only, plus possible newly interested.

That is in any case how I see it until now. The one thing that I still haven't figured out is what other top level categories there should be. But that will become clear at some point, I expect.


Hope this helps!
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Lúthien » Thu Jul 21, 2016 8:49 pm

I see I missed one paragraph of your response. I'll answer to that tomorrow, I'm going to bed now!
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Lúthien » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:02 am

... continuing:

Eruannlass wrote:If there is one concern I have about proceeding, it would be how visible will IV be within this larger framework? I ask because his main webpage has a lot of full color pictures and scrollwork fonts that draw the eye a lot more than a link would. The banner ads over to the right are more noticeable, if the Forum would be represented over there. Also, providing the link to the Facebook page would be helpful, and I can post a link back to whatever presence we would have with Miguel.


Maybe I misunderstood you here yesterday, and you meant just how visible the link to the forum would be on the godabovegod.com website?
As I see it now, it would not just be a link such as this one, but something like that "My Amazon Wishlist" thing that you can see in the right sidebar there.

Additionally, there could be a page on the site itself with a short description or introduction. Or maybe an article featured on the frontpage as well, though that would inevitably be temporarily (in Wordpress, articles are inherently temporal, featured on the frontpage for a while; though you can always go back to them).
I suppose Miguel could also mention it at times in his regular articles, for instance something like "if you want to discuss this further go here [link])

About the Facebook page link: since the Facebook page is dedicated to Tolkien-related gnosis, it would refer to the Tolkien-related section of the forum only, not the forum as a whole. It might be a good idea, but wouldn't it be a bit confusing for users?

Because then you'd have something like this:

Image

How do you see that?

Eruannlass wrote:I think my other concern is how would we respond to folks that are perhaps just here to engage in philosophical discussion ~ which is fine ~ but which draws from their worldview, and seeks to link those ideas/concepts to the Legendarium? We've worked consistently over the years to avoid folks that strive to label all of the Lore as allegory for something else. The example I see a lot is that the Ainur and the Valar are angels, and not possessing of any functionally independent divine strength, ie ~ sub~creation. It's always annoyed me.


Exactly. Yes, this is one of the things I partially addressed above already. It's important and one of the main considerations about the whole thing.
It's actually a few distinct things:

- one is, as I mentioned above, that talking about gnosis is one thing but doing it something very completely different. We've always been particularly focused on the doing part, though the talking was always part of that, too, of course. But that is a very different sort of talking as "academic" talking, or philosophical discussion - at least, for the most part. That is because it is always borne from personal experience, while academic discourse takes as much distance from personal involvement as possible. It's even a prerequisite to do science: to be "objective". It is one of the things that tends to irk me a great deal in the Tolkien society culture. I've even written articles in the Dutch magazine Lembas about it, in a bit lighthearted manner, but still trying to defend the practice of magical participation that Tolkien himself advocated.
The Monster and the Critics is the best example there, because in that story of the old man and the tower that he built, Tolkien explains what the essential problem with the scientific, academic approach is: you zoom in on the details trying to find explanations, links, etcetera - but in the process you destroy any possible understanding of what the tower was built for. The man had built the tower so that he could see the sea when he climbed it; but because the people who wanted to figure out what he did started by tearing the tower down in order to study the stones they would never find that out.

It is important to keep this in mind. I don't think "academic discourse" should be discouraged or something like that, but we should make it very clear that there are other approaches, and that they not always go well together. Therefore, we should take care that a portion of the forum dedicated to "magical parcticipation" should not be overrun by hordes of nitpickers who will question and comment on every comma of someone's experience.

It is my belief, mostly based on personal experience, that gnosis is a talent that should in any case at first be encouraged, nurtured and protected. Only then can it grow stronger and can eventually stand up and defend itself - this even happens within one and the same person.
After all, you don't expose someone who just took their first painting class to ruthless criticism, either.

- another one, partially overlapping the above, is that it could indeed be so that general gnosis and Tolkienian gnosis are not fully compatible. Of course, gnosis, being such a highly personal endeavour, should never be dogmatic in the first place. There are so many versions of gnosis as there are gnostics.
I think we should make it a prerequisite that anyone who would want access to the Tolkien / IV-part within the larger forum should at least respect the larger framework of what we're doing. Otherwise they have no business there.

I actually see this more as an exciting opportunity than as a problem, because as I already touched on above, there ARE many parallels between the Legendarium and other gnostic myths. I think that the Legendarium differs mostly from other gnostic myth in its perspective: it is mostly told from an Elvish perspective, or in any case from the perspective of elf-friends. If you would describe Middle-Earth and all that happened in the first, second and third era from the perspective of a mortal human, say, living in Harad, or somewhere under the rule of kings who thought Sauron wasn't all that bad after all - or, indeed, from the perspecive of the King's Men of Númenor - then you'd have something that would look a lot like the more unpleasant manifestations of fundamentalist religion.

You could argue that the Faithful in Númenor could have had an outlook not unlike what is described in the Gnostic Mythology: being aware that what most people consider God is actually an imposter (Sauron / Morgoth) and that there is a real god beyond that - and even that indeed, the divine can be found within themselves, too (their lineage of the Threefold Race).
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Lúthien » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:14 pm

There's one other thing that came to my mind by association.
It is not directly related to the above, but I want to share it still.

It is from Jung's Red Book. At one point he has dealings with the God Izdubar, who is then eventually almost mortally wounded by Jung's own, modern rationality (I'm a bit shaky on the details, I should re-read it). Then, Jung is horrified by what he has done. He realises he loves that God and doesn't want him to die. He feels pity and sorry for him, and responsible for what he did. He wants to help him.
But at first he has no idea what to do. How does one save a dying god? That god is too heavy and too large for Jung to carry home, to safety.
Then, he gets an insight: if I can get him to admit he's "fantasy", I could save him.

1: "My prince, Powerful One, listen: a thought came to me that might save us. I think that you are not at all real, but only a fantasy."
Iz: "I am terrified by this thought. It is murderous. Do you even mean to declare me unreal, now that you have lamed me so pitifully?
I: "Perhaps I have not made myself clear enough, and have spoken too much in the language of the Western lands. I do not mean to say that you are not real at all, of course, but only as real as a fantasy: If you could accept this, much would be gained."
Iz: "What would be gained by this? You are a tormenting devil."
1: "Pitiful one, I will not torment you. The hand of the doctor does not seek to torment even if it causes grief. Can you really not accept that you are a fantasy?"
Iz: "Woe betide me! In what magic do you want to entangle me? Should it help me if I take myself for a fantasy?"
I: "You know that the name one bears means a lot. You also know that one often gives the sick new names to heal them, for with the new name, they come by a new essence. Your name is your essence."
Iz: "You are right, our priests also say this."
1: "So are you prepared to admit that you are a fantasy?"
Iz: "If it helps-yes."

The inner voice now spoke to me as follows: while admittedly he is a fantasy now, the situation remains extremely complex. A fantasy cannot be simply negated and treated with resignation either. It calls for action. Anyway, he is a fantasy-and thus considerably more volatile- I think I can see a way forward: I can take him on my back for now.
I went to Izdubar and said to him: a way has been found. You have become light, lighter than a feather. Now I can carry you."

I put my arms round him and lift him up from the ground; he is lighter than air, and I struggle to keep my feet on the ground since my load lifts me up into the air.
Iz: "That was a masterstroke. Where are you carrying me?"
1: "I am going to carry you down into the Western land. My comrades will happily accommodate such a large fantasy: Once we have crossed the mountains and have reached the houses of hospitable men, I can calmly go about finding a means to restore you completely again."


I wanted to share this because it is an illustration of what I believe is the essence of the whole problem with the imagination in modern thought. Rationality is a powerful thing, and using that indiscriminatingly has the by-effect of killing something essential, something that we cannot really live without: rationality declares everything outside itself to be essentially false and without worth. This nearly kills Izdubar. But he can be saved if we manage to elevate the imagination back up to the level of truth again, to a place at least as important and essential as rationality.
I think that that is what Jung says here.
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Meneldur Olvarion » Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:15 am

Sorry, I'm coming to this discussion a little late. Perhaps my email notifications for new posts got disabled back in the day.

Lúthien wrote:What I do NOT know, is to what degree "general gnostics" are also interested in "doing gnosis" as we practice.

You could say that 'talking about gnosis" is one thing, but doing it something completely different. The forum should also reflect that. I feel that we have always had a very strong accent on "doing" while the larger gnostic community is much more about "talking" and, maybe "studying".
In that respect we could possibly stimulate people to become more active in that regard, whether in the Tolkienian, or in another sense.

Indeed, "doing" vs "talking/studying" is a dichotomy that has been around for quite some time, in many different but closely related contexts. Terence McKenna speaks of it in this clip about the clash between 'Scripturalist' and 'Experientialist' Fundamentalist Christians: [link].

What makes IV rather unique in a small 'g' gnostic context, at least in my opinion, is the focus on the 'doing' through whatever method. Or, it was, back when people were doing anything (i.e., before the cessation of significant posting activity, which is all the evidence an external observer has that gnosis has occurred and subsequently reported upon).
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Lúthien » Sat Jul 23, 2016 6:49 am

Perhaps my email notifications for new posts got disabled back in the day.

That's because that "notify all" plugin doesn't work with the current version of the board. I even considered upgrading it myself, but it would be a major effort because they re-wrote the plugin format completely since the last major version. It would be a bit of a learning curve, and I did not have the time for that yet.
Maybe there's an alternative already ... I'll have a look.

Incidentally, I did mention it in the mail that I was going to post it on the board as well. But I suppose that's easy to miss.

Anyhow, that's very interesting what Mr. McKenna is saying!

I've seen that subdivision in many areas: for instance, Robert Pirsig talks about "philosophy" vs. what he calls "philosophology", meaning "the activity of philosophising" vs. "the (academic) study of what other philosophers have said". It's interesting that what is usually understood as "philosophy" is actually not that, but "philosophology". Indeed. philosophising yourself is usually discouraged.

The same thing goes for art: there's the ones that do it, artists; and the ones that merely talk about it but never engage in it themselves: art historians or critics.

It's also exactly the division that ran through the elvish language community, where the academics more or less frowned upon those who wanted to "do it"; they deemed the whole area only suitable for an academic approach and considered the "doers" as immature and overly romantic. Actually, when I was active on the Elfling list in the beginning of 2008 (where Eruannlass found me) there was a long-drawn discussion going on about this.
The funny thing is that on several occasions since then, for instance on the Omentielva meetings, I noticed that the Academics have indeed a very poor pronunciation - because they never exercise it :)


I'm happy with all the background info! It is very helpful in thinking about setting up a new situation.
If you have any other ideas, bring 'm on :)
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Lúthien » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:29 am

We discussed possible categories for the forum some time ago. This is from a mail exchange:


There’s a kind of rough categorisation for Miguel’s shows on his website:

- gnosticism
- personalities
- altered states
- Jesus
- Mary Magdalene
- judaism
- christianity
- occultism
- paganism

Of those, I suppose that ‘Altered states” might be of interest to Dave, too. Or maybe we should create a category 'Shamanism'?
And maybe some of the categories could be combined. And we could add Tolkien to the list, so that this might be a first draft, in no particular order:

- General gnosticism
- Christianity (Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Judaism, Nag Hammadi, …)
- Shamanism & Altered States
- Paganism
- Occultism
- Imaginative gnosticism (Tolkien, … ?)
- Landmark personalities (Jung, Tolkien, Philip K. Dick …)
- Gnosticism in popular culture (the Matrix, …)

It should also have a section dedicated to “doing gnosis” - whether as an art form, or meditative, or entheogenic.
So many ideas, and so little time … :)

Addition by Miguel:

I’m game. I think we could add a serious UFO section, where people only give us hard data or they relate UFO as Jung did (in psychological terms). I’m all about people sharing their experiences, but put some work behind it as it relates to the entire field. Just like one would do in the rest of the forum. The forum shouldn’t be about validating one’s delusions and illusions (but working through them with reason and artistry).

Miguel
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Meneldur Olvarion » Sat Jul 23, 2016 9:11 pm

Lúthien wrote:Of those, I suppose that ‘Altered states” might be of interest to Dave, too. Or maybe we should create a category 'Shamanism'?

Yes, I think a separate category for shamanism is a good idea, as most of the people you see online experimenting with altered states with various psychoactives (for example, on Erowid), frankly, are going about it in almost exactly the wrong way. That is to say, for them it is intended to be 'recreation', as you can tell by the common Modern expression "recreational drug use". I say 'intended' because with real entheogens (as opposed to synthetics like MDMA and ketamine) the experience is likely to be an ordeal, rather than a pleasant diversion. That is even the case with what is termed "ordeal shamanism" in which no entheogens are involved, of which the most commonly known versions are the Native North American Vision Quest or even the Sun Dance. Of course, ordeals can happen with synthetics also, but that is usually a result of unintended overdosing, rather than an expected meeting with the spirits of one's plant ally. Sometimes, such overdoses are even an impetus to seek out the real thing(s) -- or so I have read on Erowid.

So, perhaps a category under shamanism for altered states -- unless there is to be a separate category for what I can only term "The General Stoner"? S)
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Lúthien » Sun Jul 24, 2016 3:39 am

I never heard about "ordeal shamanism", so I read this. Would you consider that a good resource?

It seems to me that much of that seems intended to lessen the hold of the ego.

Of course, it should be good to provide such information especially if we would in some way encourage shamanic practice. I'm not sure, but I have a hunch that most people that we would see would not be the typical thrill seeker, but it won't hurt to be a bit careful.

Would you say that "altered states" is a subcategory of shamanism only?
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Meneldur Olvarion » Sun Jul 24, 2016 4:41 am

Lúthien wrote:I never heard about "ordeal shamanism", so I read this. Would you consider that a good resource?

It's OK. When I was writing my post above, I Googled for more professional anthropological references, but I didn't hit any in the first couple of pages, anyway. Raven Kaldera is a neopagan writer, but it seems clear to me that he has at least a nodding familiarity with professional sources, versus some of them that go on and on about "The Burning Times!!!" (by which they mean principally the various Inquisitions) and blame Christianity for all the evils of humanity (even as ISIS is lopping off heads and bombing various public venues).

Here's another one I just found that is a bit rambling, but does go into some detail about what shamanism originally was, and what it has become under of influence of New Age cognition: [link].

It seems to me that much of that seems intended to lessen the hold of the ego.

Yes, that's exactly the case. Otherwise you get way too much interference from it. Some of the Buddhist traditions have a great term for that: "The chattering of the Monkey Mind."

Of course, it should be good to provide such information especially if we would in some way encourage shamanic practice. I'm not sure, but I have a hunch that most people that we would see would not be the typical thrill seeker, but it won't hurt to be a bit careful.

Yes, that's true.

Would you say that "altered states" is a subcategory of shamanism only?

Not exactly: to use a mathematical metaphor it is "necessary, but not sufficient". That is to say: without it, you're going to have a very hard time quieting the monkey-mind, and (probably) not much deeper information is going to get through the noise, unless you've had some sort of altered states training (which is what meditation does). OTOH, ol' Joe Sixpack can get drunk out of his mind, and have some prophetic dreams (which will probably be perceived as nightmares to him) and will likely only say "I had a horrible dream!!!". But, it isn't impossible that such an experience could get him thinking, "But wait...in my dream, Aunt Becky was just diagnosed with cancer, and I just had a phone call today in which Uncle Bob said that that really happened!" & so forth. Whether someone does anything with such an impetus is highly personality-dependant.
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Meneldur Olvarion » Sun Jul 24, 2016 8:35 am

Re: Jung and God Izdubar interaction quoted above

I am just about to go to bed and thus don't have the time to ask this question in the length it deserves, but I understand that most Modern people seem to have this problem in that they believe (or, more accurately, I deduce from observing them that they believe) that rationality supersedes all other thought-forms. I think even you (Luthien) mentioned that to me at several different times as something you struggled with. But, the thing is, rationality (especially scientific rationality) is a tool designed to deal with duplicatable, observable, and quantifiable phenomena. Most gnosis is none of those things, and most other events of the psyche aren't either, even malfunctions (e.g., schizophrenia in its totality, not just as a collection of observable symptoms).

So, given that: isn't using rationality to try to, let's say, "understand what is meant by 'God'" sort of like trying to remove a hex-head nut from a power supply with a brick hammer? I mean, it could be done (after a fashion), but not without destroying the device.

Or am I just some weirdo who will not rest, unless and until, he's found the proper tool for job x? ;)
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Lúthien » Sun Jul 24, 2016 2:47 pm

Meneldur Olvarion wrote:... (or, more accurately, I deduce from observing them that they believe) that rationality supersedes all other thought-forms. I think even you (Luthien) mentioned that to me at several different times as something you struggled with.


Yes, indeed. I have relied on that rationality so long and so thorough that it's quite a piece of work to deal with sometimes. That rational voice can be very annoying, even though it will never be able to fully dismiss the other side any longer, or cover it up as it had been pre-2008.

Maybe I'm a bit of an exception in the sense that the imaginal side is just as stubborn; they seem to balance one another on average.

(Will respond to the rest later)
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Re: Wind to our sails!

Postby Lúthien » Mon Jul 25, 2016 3:29 am

Meneldur Olvarion wrote:So, given that: isn't using rationality to try to, let's say, "understand what is meant by 'God'" sort of like trying to remove a hex-head nut from a power supply with a brick hammer? I mean, it could be done (after a fashion), but not without destroying the device.

Why yes, of course. This point is elaborately addressed in the Red Book. I remember one line in particular:

"Have you counted the murderers among the scholars?"

What I found striking about the interaction with Idzubar is not so much that it wounded the object under rational scrutiny but even a god - while it is also made clear that that particular God is much loved and respected by Jung.
It's collateral damage, I mean. Something dies or gets hurt because something else (the rational method) works - and gets applied indiscriminately.

And of course also the message that we must change the godhead into Fantasy in order for it to heal and be restored - which is exactly what Tolkien did.



Meneldur Olvarion wrote:Or am I just some weirdo who will not rest, unless and until, he's found the proper tool for job x? ;)

I don't think so :)
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