Science of the SpiritS


Are plants conscious? Science writer says yes

Venus flytrap
Annaka Harris, a science writer focusing on neuroscience and physics and the author of Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind (2019), challenges us to reflect on two points:
1) In a system that we know has conscious experiences โ€” the human brain โ€” what evidence of consciousness can we detect from the outside?

2) Is consciousness essential to our behavior?
The editor notes, introducing an excerpt from the book:
"But how sure can we be that plants aren't conscious? And what if what we take to be behavior indicating consciousness can be replicated with no conscious agent involved? Annaka Harris invites us to consider the real possibility that our intuitions about consciousness might be mere illusions."


The WEF isn't a cabal, it's a cult

World Domination in An Age for Lucifer
This book explores a strange new spirituality about to enter into competition with other established religions. My purpose here is to convince you that its emergence is probable, if not inevitable.

I begin this exploration with an unproven assumption based on Darwinian evolutionary principles: a new predator will appear on our planet, an evolutionary prototype designed to prey on humans. Another assumption then follows: this predator will evolve gradually and incrementally from humanity, just as we apparently evolved from lower forms to prey on them.

A further assumption suggests that these predators have already appeared as evolutionary prototypes, as new humans with advanced methods of survival and new forms of spiritual expression and religious organization designed to support and advance their predation."

โ€” Robert C Tucker, An Age For Lucifer: Predatory Spirituality & The Quest for Godhood
an age for lucifer
Robert C. Tucker was a Canadian psychologist who worked with an organization called COMA - Council On Mind Abuse (not to be confused with his namesake, an American political scientist who covered the Soviet Union and wrote a biography of Stalin).

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SOTT Focus: MindMatters: Does Free Will Exist? Yes, Obviously - and Other Answers to Big Questions

batman free will
Today on MindMatters, we dive into Chris Langan's essay collection, "The Art of Knowing." In the process we discuss free will, Libet's experiments and their interpretations, reality theory, morality (relative? absolute? both?), why we need bad situations in order to grow, and Batman (the greatest superhero).

Running Time: 01:35:00

Download: MP3 โ€” 130 MB


Danger-zone Psychopathy

gary cole office space movie boss
Gary Cole as โ€œBill Lumberghโ€ in Office Space (1999).
If you could go ahead and read this article, that'd be great. Oh, and I'm also gonna need you to subscribe, kay.

Are psychopaths smart? Contrary to the impression some may have of the psychopath as evil genius, the reality is not so romantic. According to Lobaczewski, they are less intelligent on average, and you won't find many, if any, super geniuses among their ranks.

Of course, that's not to say that there aren't smart psychopaths. Their bell curve is just shifted down a bit to the left (if Lobaczewski is correct). Which means you're probably just as likely to encounter a relatively smart psychopath as you are a slightly-more-than-relatively smart normal person. Here's how he put it:
The average intelligence of essential psychopaths, especially if measured via commonly used tests, is somewhat lower than that of normal people, albeit similarly varied. However, this group does not contain instances of the highest intelligence, nor do we find technical or craftsmanship talents among them. The most gifted members of this kind may thus achieve accomplishments in those sciences which do not require a correct humanistic worldview or technical skills. (Academic decency is another matter, however.) (Political Ponerology, p. 111)
As I wrote in the footnote to this paragraph, whereas psychopathy's interpersonal/affective traits are associated with higher verbal intelligence in the current literature, the antisocial traits are associated with lower general intelligence.


The Left's Grasp

© VITSTUDIO/SHUTTERSTOCKRight or left-brained?
Or, how a pre-frontally damaged left-hemispheric oligarchy grasps at whatever they can in a desperate attempt to control something divorced from reality.

I've written a little of Iain McGilchrist's The Matter With Things, and I'm guessing I will be contemplating this work for a very long time to come. As I was reading parts again recently I cannot help but make the obvious correlations between the nature and actions of the left hemisphere and the nature and action of the global psychopaths attempting to take over the world.

For those not familiar with McGilchrist, he is a psychiatrist, philosopher and author who's primary thesis is that the western world is leaning toward a left hemisphere perspective. He has taken two master works (The Master and His Emissary, and The Matter With Things) to tease out this idea to an extraordinary degree of rigour.

I've done a series based on part of the last chapter of The Master and His Emissary if you are interested in the complete vision of a left hemisphere dominated world - it looks frighteningly like Orwell's 1984, 21st Century China, or the WEF.

The left hemisphere is all about our capacity for utilisation (to make use of things), expressing the will of the ego by acting on the world, manipulating the world for some utility. Whereas the right hemisphere is very different and has a broader scope. The right hemisphere could be thought of as responding to the world beyond itself with an understanding of the 'whole', the 'big picture', if you like. McGilchrist offers that the left hemisphere is about ap-prehending (from Latin ad + prehendere, to hold onto) and for the right hemisphere com-prehending (from cum + prehendere, to hold together) when interacting with the world.


Zooming our way into oblivion

laptop computer on desk
Look at all of the wonders that technology has brought us! I am certainly not going to start listing them here; it would take volumes to come up with even a partial list. We can bask in the marvels that technology has made for us in our modern world.

What would we do without this special form of human know-how?

That being said, there is a shadow to everything, and people are just as familiar with this darker side of technology as they are with the brighter side.

Needless to say, we have been inundated with the disasters of our insatiable desire to create conglomerations of various individual components that when properly animated with some sort of power source "do" something that we find useful, exciting, and entertaining โ€” or deadly.

Most of this inundation comes from fanciful science fiction stories about killer robots and strange mechanical implants or, the most horrific addition to this plethora of "bots gone bad" โ€” nanotechnology โ€” tiny cell-sized, or even smaller, mechanical creatures that can penetrate the inner sanctums of our body and wreak a special sort of bedlam.

Comment: One might say it is the result of a left brain dominant world.

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SOTT Focus: MindMatters: The Big Questions, Consciousness, and Gurdjieff - A Talk with Alan Francis

alan francis
What is the purpose of esotericism? How might we view humanity's trajectory in light of the many seemingly negative developments we see on a more or less daily basis? What are the personal challenges in raising consciousness and awareness in oneself - and how may those be seen against the backdrop of a world gone backwards? And what does it even mean to be living in these times in the larger and even cosmic sense?

This week as we are once again joined by Gurdjiffian student and teacher Alan Francis (International School of the Fourth Way) who discusses these themes in both broad and personal terms, bringing his astute observations to the fore to answer the questions many of us have right now about where we may be, collectively and individually.

Running Time: 01:10:54

Download: MP3 โ€” 97.4 MB


David Ray Griffin (1939-2022). The Man and His Work: A Synopsis

David Ray Griffin (1939-2022)
How big can a mind be?

If we're lucky, we have threescore and ten years โ€” in a very big wide world, full of history โ€” to experience as much as we can take in.

Threescore-ten is not nearly enough, but some extraordinary people manage to encompass and give order to a lot of it.

And some even more extraordinary people manage to rise above their own lives to interpret creation and the fabric of the universe as having consistent meaning across cultures and throughout the ages.

David Ray Griffin was Professor of Philosophy of Religion and Theology, at the Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University, from 1973-2004. With his senior, Dr. John Cobb Jr., he co-founded the Center for Process Studies in 1973.

Griffin has stated that "the task of a theologian is to look at the world from what we would imagine the divine perspective, one that would care about the good of the whole and would love all the parts."

Not only was David an outstanding theologian and one of the two best-known living scholars of Alfred North Whitehead's process theology (the other being John Cobb): His books also spanned the related fields of postmodernism, theodicy (defence of God against evil), primordial truth, panentheism, scientific naturalism, parapsychology, Buddhist thought, and the mind-body interaction.

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SOTT Focus: MindMatters: Gurdjieff, Death, and Help for the Dead with Joseph Azize

According to the vast "afterlife" literature, those who have passed on sometimes send signs, or even communicate through dreams or visions. But what if the support that many living claim to experience from their loved ones isn't unidirectional? Can one, in fact, help those who have passed to come to greater peace and understanding at their soul's new station in 'life'? For those of us familiar with the ideas, exercises and philosophy of G.I. Gurdjieff, it may come as some surprise, and perhaps delight, to learn that Gurdjieff sought to address such a question - how to give "help for the deceased" - particularly for those who were once close to us.

This week on MindMatters we are once again joined by inimitable Gurdjieffian scholar and Maronite Priest Joseph Azize whose paper "Gurdjieff's Help for the Deceased" delves into this subject. Join us as Joseph shares his research, insights and personal experience with some very little known exercises of Gurdjieff's - and explains not only the means from which one could honor and assist our loved ones (should they require it), 'essence to essence' as it were - but also to help grow and develop one's own self and Being.

Running Time: 01:42:02

Download: MP3 โ€” 140 MB


Entire gender industry based on failed study that disproved scientist's theory: Psychiatrist

Miriam Grossman
© Blake Wu/The Epoch TimesMiriam Grossman, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, in New York on Sep. 23, 2022.
With schools teaching sex and gender ideology beginning in kindergarten, the Biden administration encouraging early medical treatments for gender dysphoria, and social media influencers discussing the topic, a record number of adolescent girls believe they are transgender and are transitioning to live as males.

Concerned adults are sounding the alarm on the lack of scientific studies to support transgender medical treatments that permanently alter a young person's physiology and leave their mental health issues unresolved.

Child and adolescent psychiatrist Miriam Grossman, who has been a mental health professional for 40 years, said the gender industry is built on the lies of one troubled psychologist.

"The person who came up with the theory was Dr. John Money, and he came up with this idea that a person's biology โ€” their body, their chromosomes โ€” is completely separate from their feeling of whether they are male or female," Grossman said during a Sept. 23 interview for EpochTV's "American Thought Leaders" program.

Grossman said the industry surrounding gender ideology โ€” from gender clinics and hospitals to transgender pride flags and the emergence of a transgender civil rights movement โ€” is based on a concept that was never proven to be true.

"In fact, the opposite was proven," she said. "This whole concept of having an identity as male or female being completely separate from your biology has actually been proven incorrect by John Money's experiment."

Comment: Here's a talk given by Dr. Grossman earlier this year at the Miami National Conservatism Conference: