Books/mythology/metaphysics discussions moved to: loopingworld.com

This means that the site here won’t (usually) be updated and I’ll eventually copy all of book-related posts over there. The rest of the stuff will stay here for as long the site stays up (not planning of pulling it down for the foreseeable future).

UPDATE: I’ll sporadically still post here, but it will be for writing about roguelike development, tracking my own (lack of) progress, or other quirky gaming things.

Posted in: Uncategorized | Tagged:

Kabbalah VS other religions

This post has no answers and only doubts, but reading it you’d see what is that Kabbalah is (or wants to be). This is an “answer” to the 12th self-study lesson (a introductory study) and it contains my doubts about it. To see the self-study you’d have to register here, for free. There are 14 lessons in that self-study.

I’ve also included the 12th lesson (about 25 minutes) if one doesn’t want to go through that registration, but I actually encourage you to register and watch the rest as it’s all quite interesting and at least enriching.

I was rewatching lesson 12 of the self-study and got some doubts. I know that Kabbalah can’t be understood simply logically, but as long I’m not “there” I still have to relate to it with my own logic and the ideas I get from the lessons.

It seems to me that the difference between Kabbalah and other religions is not the one described in that video. The difference I understand is that Kabbalah is entirely about spirituality, so it isn’t interested about the physical world. This marks a true difference with all other religions as all religions (as far as I know) do have systems of rules that apply to corporeality. From what you can or can’t eat to when and how you should pray. Even anthropologically all religions were “meant” to regulate the corporeal world and build a certain society.

But instead I can’t stop my doubts about what is explained in the video. I only know well Christianity since it’s where I’m born but, while the people could certainly believe that it’s about “bribing God”, that’s not a good representation of that religion, and the real one isn’t very different from how the Kabbalistic model is described.

The part that gives me the doubts is that one could say that the Kabbalistic process is equally “delusional”. As long the upper light is invariable and the events also invariable (so what changes is solely the self), then it means that the pain itself can’t be stopped or diverted. The pain is instead “understood”, as one, through bestowal, would perceive the “long range”, so the wider purpose beside the egoistical self.

Which essentially would lead one to “endure” the pains of life in the name of a greater purpose that says: there’s indeed a purpose, and it is good willed. One could see his sons killed in front of him, or go through great pains, but always knowing that there’s a “meaning”, and that life is eternal.

So it is true that the suffering is always relative to a perspective, and if one shifts the perspective a momentary suffering becomes bearable. Through life eternal all suffering is bearable as it is momentary. But both these ideas are essentially “consolatory” and Kabbalah would be defined itself as consolatory, as it is all based on two principles that regulate the rest:

1- That life is eternal (and so suffering momentary)
2- That God is good willed, and everything happens for a purpose

If one had the CERTAINTY of those two points, then it is true that pain would be bearable. But isn’t this perspective consolatory and delusional? As you can’t change what happens to you (invariable upper light and events) you have to “endure” it, hoping there’s a good willed purpose even when everything looks very bleak.

The other difference between the Kabbalah and religion is that in religion the salvation or the enlightenment, more often than not, happen after death. So they are “promises” of salvation or enlightenment, and one lives with the “hope” that they are true, clinging desperately to these ideas as they can only justify the pain of life, and give life a sense.

Kabbalah is different as the promise of attaining the “upper world” is here and right now. You say it’s a “science” as it has to be experienced and attained personally, first hand. It’s not a theory or an abstract idea. But the skepticism here is about “when”. One listens to the video courses, reads the books and slowly understands what is Kabbalah, but what’s that ideal point that brings back up to that “tangible certainty”? The distinguishable certainty that Kabbalah is a science and not a consolatory delusion?

I’m explaining the subjective point of view: one comes to Kabbalah trying to learn, but learning leads me to define these ideas of life eternal and purpose as “consolatory”. This can only be solved through a certainty. In other religion you achieve that certainty through “faith”, but in Kabbalah faith is not required, as having doubts and asking questions is encouraged (as in science). I am right there.

Posted in: Uncategorized | Tagged:

A fairy tale escapism

Some quotes from a randomly found article.

What does cultural materialism do? It seeks “to allow the literary text to ‘recover its histories’ which previous kinds of study have often ignored” although the “relevant history is not just that of four hundred years ago, but that of the times (including our own)

The cultural materialist is likewise “optimistic about the possibility of change and is willing at times to see literature as a course of oppositional values”—oppositional, that is, to the “structures of feeling” that are the “dominant ideologies within a society” (Barry 183-4). This creates a need to consider “ALL forms of culture” (183), or in other words to climb deeper the way Oedipa does.

Oedipa’s paranoia could well be called optimism, faith that she is not crazy, but that a structure exists in which she CAN find answers. In fact, she can hardly afford NOT to believe it, with so many showcases of that structure materializing around her.

This cultural materialist optimism about “the possibility of change” would suggest, in both cases, that the disinheritance serves the characters for the better, directing them toward a more enlightening epiphany of their place in the world.

In fact, this theme persists in many examples that find room in those branches of that tree. This theme is better defined as a fairy tale escapism, the classic stepping into another world in hopes of a higher understanding. Could it be that, for example, THE MATRIX of the Wachowski brothers has more in common with LOT 49 than just postmodernism?

Like Neo of THE MATRIX, she seeks an escape from isolation and ignorance into a Wonderland where if nothing else she might feel free.

Everything from a rabbit hole and a looking glass to a wardrobe and a vision becomes a doorway into an underworld, or simply ANOTHER world in which the characters at least hope to find clarity.

Wonderland, the Matrix, Never Land, Narnia…these are only advantageous to their guests so far as they can provide a better way for them to see themselves.

This is an escape and indoctrination into a world to the extent that the visitors become “aliens” to their own original setting, no longer contributing to its dominant morality. Alice cannot forget Wonderland, Neo chooses to remain separate from the Matrix, and Oedipa, apparently, cannot continue unless as “unfurrowed, assumed full circle.”

The cultural materialist would best identify with the question Oedipa asks herself: “Shall I project a world?”

In this case, the theory and the texts do not simply validate each other, but instead confirm the structure to which they belong. This structure, in its very essence, seeks to “project” in a variety of ways new worlds by which to interpret reality.

Posted in: Uncategorized | Tagged:

A “key” to unlock the mystery of Fringe’s Observers

This will have spoilers for Fringe, that you should watch if you haven’t already.

One point that Fringe seems to underline is that the Observers observe the flux of time, as from an external position. Looking from the outside in. What triggered the whole disaster is the fact that the Observers observe “time” without perceiving themselves in it. That’s why September messed everything when Walter(nate) saw him and was distracted from finding a cure for Peter. This intervention from the Observer was accidental (and everything else was an attempt to try to “fix” it). And again this is because the Observers can observe everything but make mistakes because they don’t perceive themselves (and so the impact they have on reality). This is again confirmed (episode 1, season 4) by how naively the Observer replies to the guy asking him for what he needed those TV parts (to make the machine needed to erase Peter from time).

Now bring all that within our reality, take Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle: “observations affect the observed so as to obliterate the observer’s hope of prediction. i.e. his uncertainty is absolute”

“Given these changes in scientific thinking, we are now in possession of the truism that a description (of the universe) implies one who describes (observes it).”

“Implies” as: in the picture. A kind of recursive loop (for more on this read: “Godel, Escher, Bach”):

So the Observers in Fringe are like a metaphor of what is going on in our world. Those Observers are incapable of seeing themselves in the picture and so make an “objective” observation. With the point being: we also are observers who are incapable of perceiving reality for what it is.

There’s actually an “happy end” though, as these theories seem to ultimately lead to an amplification of freedom.

I mean, these Observers are fucking retarded. It wouldn’t be that hard to put on a wig, or even make an invisibility cloak.

About this and everything below on this blog. I found out that Bakker is miles ahead of me. As I should have expected. Maybe I’ll write about that next.

Posted in: Uncategorized | Tagged: