Terence McKenna on the Ego

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Here's a very interesting video of a talk, by Terence McKenna, on the subject of the Ego. Terence McKenna is most well-known for his exploration of psychedelics, but this talk is more philosophical and environmental in nature. I haven't personally been investigating psychedelics, I've been focussing more on lucid dreaming and remote viewing, but I agreed entirely with what Terence says in this talk.

In many ways, it doesn't matter that I haven't been taking hallucinogens. Our body, in particular our pineal gland, is perfectly capable of manufacturing a whole host of tryptamines. It produces serotonin and melatonin regularly, to enable us to be awake and to sleep and dream, and there's no doubt it can produce DMT (di-methyl-tryptamine) and other potent hallucinogens if it feels in the mood. Meditation, yoga, focussed mental effort and other practices can stimulate our pineal gland to produce these exotic tryptamines without any need to ingest anything. Nevertheless, Terence's experiences seem to have given him a deep understanding of identity, ego, spirituality and the nature of reality. Definitely recommended.


The Academy of Ideas on 'Why You Should Strive for a Meaningful Life, Not a Happy One'

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Here's another excellent video from the people at 'Academy of Ideas'. This one's all about the difference between seeking happiness in our lives and seeking meaning. The idea itself of 'seeking happiness' is a thorny one and the video explains how this can lead to a deep sense of unfulfilment. In the last two hundred years, our leaders of society have put forward the idea that seeking pleasure can bring us happiness, but this is a fallacy as all pleasure is short-lived and increasing the pleasure intensity makes no difference to one's happiness. To put it simply, nothing outside can fill the hole inside. Even seeking happiness as a general concept doesn't work, as one inevitably substitutes material things, or objects of status, as 'tokens' to gain the gift of happiness.

Instead, as the video explains, if one dedicates oneself to striving towards positive goals, and when one reaches them one immediately strives towards the next positive goal, then one will be living a life that has meaning and one's moments of real happiness will increase. This path is invariably difficult, as it's running entirely against the easier, and very popular path of hierarchical servitude and short-lived hedonistic pleasures. This path of pursuing meaningful and challenging goals also usually confers little social status upon oneself, but its difficulty only increases the sense of achievement and the deep happiness it can bring.

Working out who will survive climate change

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This week, many youngsters in the United Kingdom have gone out on school climate strikes/demonstrations, inspired by Greta Thunberg. Elsewhere in Europe and the world, young people have been demonstrating about our governments' political inaction with regard to climate change. In relation to an article on the subject, I made this comment in the Guardian newspaper:

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"A while ago, I watched a documentary in which a Navajo elder, discussing environmentalism, pointed out that the United States had a Bill of Rights, but not a Bill of Responsibilities. Do you think it would be beneficial for Greta Thunberg to write up a Bill of Responsibilities, including such duties as only flying in an emergency, becoming vegetarian, using public transport or cycling whenever possible, buying less goods, and for people to public pledge to adhere to those Responsibilities? A demonstration is a good thing but it's gone the next day. Long term pledges by many people would have a definite, positive impact."

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My comment ended up being be the Guardian's favourite comment for their article, but unfortunately, my comment is irrelevant in terms of stopping climate change. Global warming is now effectively a runaway train. We have passed several environmental tipping points on Earth. Methane is bubbling up in our cooked Arctic, the top of our Greenland ice-cap is becoming dark and being rained on in the winter, Australia is becoming inhospitable, its wildlife dying and much of its farming is collapsing. California and Greece are burning up and a major Antarctic ice-shelf is on the point of collapse. We are much further along than even the IPCC admits; they are still talking about trying to avoid 1.5C of warming, when we are in fact already 1.75C warmer compared to 1750 AD (rather than their reprehensible 1850 AD benchmark). We are way beyond demonstrations and political pledges; that time has gone. Now, I think there are only three rational discussions worth having with regard to our collective future:

1) Should I have children and inflict a life of hardship and climate chaos upon them? For that is what will happen to the vast majority of people in the next half-century. Fortunately, some people are openly discussing this matter and deciding not to have children. It is still a personal decision, with many difficult aspects to consider, but as long as people are thinking about it, that's progress.

2) I must still do my best to limit my negative effect on the planet for my own peace of mind. The fact that climate change is now a runaway train doesn't mean that our acts aren't important. We still have to look ourselves in the mirror everyday and I think we will all review our lives after they're over. Our personal acts are of great importance to us personally because they tell us what we are as moral and spiritual individuals. To use an analogy, there are seven billion people on our planet, so one death seems insignificant, but it's still wrong to murder someone.

3) Seven billion people are not going to survive climate change. In a century's time, our planet will only support seventy million people, or seven million people. Which few will survive? The remainder of this article tries to answer that third question. Read More...

Keep them ill, keep them scared

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The United States of America, along with the United Kingdom and France, are very keen on Ancient Greek and Roman architecture. Their capitals are filled with columned temples, obelisks, triumphal arches and other visual motifs from those ancient, Mediterranean civilisations. These countries' also like to talk about how they've inherited a key process in collective decision-making, known as democracy.

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Democracy was developed by the Athenian city-state, and others, as a way to collectively decide what to do. Athenians would discuss openly their views on key subjects and then take a vote. This process is now used worldwide to decide national matters. This all sounds great but in truth, how much is modern, Western democracy really like Classical, Athenian democracy? Read More...

Secret Societies, Parasites and Climate Change

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A very unusual event happened this week in Britain. The current chair of the Police Federation, Steve White, is stepping down from his role, but before leaving, he has openly stated his concerns about the continued influence of Freemasons in the British Police. He felt that they were an obstacle to reform and modernisation of the police service. To quote from the Guardian article, White said:

“It’s about trust and confidence. There are people who feel that being a Freemason and a police officer is not necessarily a good idea. I find it odd that there are pockets of the organisation where a significant number of representatives are Freemasons.”


In my experience, it’s very unusual for any person in a senior role in the UK to criticise the Freemasons. Some might say that this because the Freemasons have only a minor influence in our country. Unfortunately, White’s comments indicate that a very different problem is present; that Freemasons have a very strong influence in at least one major organisation in our country. It has been common knowledge for a long time that the Freemasons are rife in Britain's police force, its judiciary, its civil service and its military. If this is correct, then Freemasons have a great deal of influence and control over the running of British society. Is this something we should be worried about? Read More...

Animated Aldous Huxley interview

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Here's a very good animated version of an interview with the writer Aldous Huxley, recorded in 1958. Huxley wrote 'Brave New World', a classic work of dystopian prophecy.

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In the interview, Huxley paints a picture of what we have to watch out for in terms of totalitarian control. Sadly, I think Huxley's warnings have mostly come to pass. Nowadays, our Western society may not have the obvious flavour of a communist/fascist totalitarian state but that is not because we are free of such control, it is simply that the powers-that-be have chosen a more glamorous, mesmeric system which still suits their needs and keeps us drugged but productive.

Huxley tellingly stated towards the end of the interview that the ideal result for the controllers is that the masses they control don't know they're enslaved or that they even
like their servitude and enslavement. This is not such a far-fetched situation. Tragically, many slaves in history have rejected freedom and returned to slavery because slavery guarantees food and lodging; freedom doesn't. For those that contest that we are still free, it's worth noting that even the mainstream press now accept that our emails are read, our internet browsing is collated and examined, we are identified automatically on CCTV, our social networking profiles are psychologically analysed, our smartphones movements are tracked, we can be detained without access to a lawyer for a month, we can be legally watched without evidence being required. The list is long. Some say that this keeps us safe but from what? Fear is a great controller, as Goering himself once pointed out. Read More...

John Cleese on Political Correctness and upsetting people

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I stumbled upon this very enjoyable short video interview with John Cleese on Youtube:


The interview includes an absolute gem of a comment from John:

"If people can't control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people's behaviour."


I very much agree with John's point that a culture of not wishing to upset people becomes a dangerous form of censorship. I talked about free speech in
a previous blog post and emphasised how important it is for people to be able to say virtually anything because without that freedom, we are very close to a society with many of the features of 1984.

For those readers that think upsetting someone is always bad, here is a scenario: You find out that your best friend's wife is having an affair. If you tell your best friend, he will be very upset but many people would agree that you should tell him regardless because he will eventually, after gaining a greater understanding of what is going on in his life, appreciate what you've done even though it has brought him a period of misery. Upsetting one or more people
because you care about them and that you believe they need to know that news can be applied to many other matters, of greater and lesser importance. It might not make you very popular but if you instead put popularity before moral duty, that places you in the realm of sociopathic narcissists and/or cowards. It's the unpopular, difficult but caring actions that help move us forward as a species. Long may they continue.