Author Archives: Kenneth

About Kenneth

I am an anthropology student at UCR. As well I am a poet and writer. I am interested in states of consciousness, whether through chemically preturbing the brain, or just meditation. I have discovered recently though that a lot of times when someone describes a meditation as equivalent or like a Psychedelic drug, for the purposes of mental safety, you are better off taking the drug. Let's just say there is a reason why George Harrison stoped doing TM. I love comic books. Particularly the more Psychedelic kind like the Silver Surfer, Green Lantern, and Doctor Strange, as well as anything by Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, and Grant Morrison. I am also fascinated with 50's literature, and Jazz. To me the two go hand in hand. From Allen Ginsberg, Aldous Huxely, Henry Miller, Herman Hesse, to Kerouac, all these are forms of art that have done much to promote the progressive mind and awake us from the wild hallucination of the American Dream. In a spiritual sense I am a non-theist, as well as a pantheist. For purposes of art and poetry I have leanings to polytheism, as it is good for the imagination. However I do not care whether God or gods are real, but the insight that such experiences whether real or a figment of my mind can teach me. Therefore, I use the term non-theist. I tend to incorporate the impersonal aspects of Scandinavian spirituality in my daily life. I am also inspired by Zoroastrianism, and practice Tripura Tantra.

Today’s Saviors and Superheroes

anonymouse_s640x427Picture yourself an average citizen on planet earth.  You know as a fact the system is wrong yet you are not sure what to do.  You go about your daily life starting with a cup of joe and a shower before work.  You slept in so you may not even have time to cook a proper breakfast.  In that case you may have a bowl of cereal which may not be too healthy for you, but is inexpensive.  You ask yourself “why is the food which is luxury so expensive while the food I need, I cannot afford?”  Regardless, you obey the routine and go about your day.  You go to work.  If you are in the United States, you are lucky if you can call in sick or have a paid vacation.  Life is not as convenient for you as it was for your parents or grandparents when they were young adults.  The prosperity taken off the backs of indigenous people’s from the west of Africa and in the Amazon of Brazil that began in the 1950’s is deteriorating.  You receive a text on your phone.  As you look at it you may not see the man held at gun point in Kenya so you can have the precious mineral that helps your phone operate.  Yet you know something is not right.  You know deep down that you are not happy with the regiment of your day.  Deep down you know the system has made it mandatory for you to be an addict just to get by.  You know this as you take a sleep aid to go to bed early so you can wake up on time.  How you have your morning coffee to keep you awake.  One day you go on youtube.  Maybe you just want to be entertained by something funny.  Not looking for anything in particular but you just want to wind down and forget about the day.  Out of shear curiosity you click on a random video.  Then a figure pops up.  It’s a drawing of a suit with its arms behind its back.  The message in the synthesized voice says “Greetings Mastercard.”   You watch with anticipation as the voice gives them an option to cease in stopping free speech on the internet.  The voice may sound kind of creepy.  Maybe a little scary at first but there is something in you that is building hope.  At the end of the message the voice says “We are Anonymous.  We are Legion.  We do not forgive.  We do not forget.  Expect us.”  You are unsure what you just saw, but as you go and watch PBS or RT, you see that whoever Anonymous is, they did in fact crash MasterCard’s system.  This says they mean business!

                What does this indicate?  It indicates the very nature of this entity called the internet.  Alexander Bard, a philosopher from Stockholm illustrated in Berlin how for ages information only came from the top down and how the invention of the internet has just severed that line.  In this day with the invention of the internet information can come from wherever.  The pitfall is that most of the information is Poppycock.  The upside is that just about the most accurate information in the world is available online if one knows where to look. 

                Many Folklorists and religious scholars see the Adam and Eve story as symbolic of the transition from foraging to agriculture.  How after Adam and Eve ate from the tree, they had to till the soil, wear clothes, woman had to be submissive to man and once out of Eden (foraging) they can never return.    All of which are traits of agrarian society and the origin of property.  The invention of humans that made cities and States possible.  This is neither good or bad.  There is much mankind can be thankful for due to agriculture in terms of the innovations that came from it.  However agriculture combined with the idea of ownership is what led to stratification, patriarchy, even slavery and last but not least warfare.   So while the invention of farming brought us out of Eden, the internet may bring us back.  The way Timothy Leary said Psychedelics would.  😉

                So where are today’s superheroes one may ask?  When is superman coming to save the world?  When will the savior come or return to cleanse the world of its ills?  Who is this savior?  Who is this superhero?  No use waiting, because he is not coming.  But there is good news.  You can be this savior or you can be this superhero!

                To begin, examine what a superhero is.  Before they were called superheroes, these comic book icons were called mystery men.  Though on the surface these characters may be filled with ego as they were made from the egos of some nerdy pulp writers.  However if you take a closer look, they are an example of a high standard of altruism.  This concept was borrowed heavily from Nietzsche’s idea of the ubermensch.   Superman as well as Batman, Spiderman, ect . Do incredibly kind and heroic acts.  They often get despised even by the people they are saving.  But they wear a disguise as they do not want recognition for the heroic deeds they do.  They as Zarathustra says “righteousness for the sake of righteousness alone.”  Even in the case of Batman who was at first out for revenge against the murderer of his parents.  Once he had revenge he realized that crime still exists, and that he must not stop doing his job.  Batman is a good example with where this essay is going as he does not have any special powers.

                As for the savior!  The original savior idea came out of Zarathustra’s message of the Saoshyant meaning bringer of hope or happiness.  Unlike later views of the Saoshyant, Zarathustra did not say that this figure will come.  Zarathustra advocated that we all strive to be Saoshyants and bring the paradise here to earth right now.   

With the invention of internet we are in a day where all human beings can be Saoshyant.  The truth is humans always had that opportunity.  The internet is now practically handing it to us.  And yes.  Superheroes are real in this sense.  You do not have to be known for what you are doing when you do right for our environment or for humanity.  You may not have to be a hactivist, but you have a means to get the message across and be heard.  You have the means at your fingertips to organize.  You no matter how small you may see yourself in the world can make a major shift in the world perspective to create Heaven here on earth.  Anonymous are not only today’s superheroes, but today’s saviors.  We the people can be one or both if we choose, and if you have a computer, the tool is available to you.

                  Like the superheroes of Marvel and DC comics Anonymous has a secret identity.  You never know who they are.  They could be your neighbor or classmate, or work colleague.  Never the less like Spiderman he/she could be a teenager.  The Anon will go about their day and when near a computer provided no one is looking will open a proxy server, go on a Gmail account or twitter that does not have their real information and put on their secret identity.  This person will go on irc not telling the other Anon’s his/her real information.  They discuss an injustice happening in the world.  It could be something big like the shutting off of the internet in Egypt.  It could even be a local incident like the teenage girl who was raped and killed by the guys on the high school football team but the courts were trying to dismiss it.  Either way whether one agrees with their methods they are working to protect the common person from tyranny.  So on the irc these Mystery Men and Women vote to see if these atrocities should be leaked.  If by consensus all agree, they hit their target. 

Wait a minute?  How did the internet suddenly flip back on?  Pepper spraying the faces of college students?  Fine Mr. police officer, we will just post all your information.  Bet you thought there would not be consequences eh? 

                Here is the genius of the whole thing.  Anonymous, as well as Arab Spring, and the Occupy movements all over the world do not have leaders.  This is the strength of this global rebellion.  It is useless to arrest someone.  It is also useless to assassinate anyone.  There will always be replacements.  In a day in age where we are handed the chance to be savior’s, who needs leaders?  The internet is uniting the collective.  While agriculture created hierarchy and male dominance the internet is doing away with it.  It may take a while but like all shifts, it happens sooner than we realize.  Perhaps the dominion of the Great Intellect is happening now as it has always been happening.  It’s just a matter of waking up to the possibilities of having a paradise here on Earth.  Sure there are camera’s and they are watching us, but we carry our own camera’s in our cell phones and we are also watching them.  When a cop is using excessive force he will be recoded and leaked on youtube.  While we are all losing our privacy because of the entity called the internet, those on the side of justice and truth will not face the repercussions as much as those whose injustices rely on secrecy. 

                Syntheism which has its foundations in the teachings of Zarathustra, as well as Nietzsche, Aldous Huxley, ect. strives for direct action against institutions that create inequality and injustice.   Syntheism may be thought of as idealistic as Island by Huxley is one of the society types we stand for.  However it is an idealism that promotes the ultimate realism.  Where the phrases “never” or “will not happen” do not have a place in the ideology of the evolution of human ethos.  As Aristotle once said “In pursuing an ideal, we may assume what we wish, but must avoid impossibilities.”  i.e. we not only as Syntheists but as citizens of mother earth,  must never assume the impossibilities in the goal itself, but must be realistic and go by the step by step process while we work to achieve our vision.

 

Tantra: Transcendence, World Affirmation, Ecstasy and Bliss

Much confusion has been spread around about what Tantra is. Common questions that come up are “You mean like Tantric sex?” or “Tantra, that is all about sex, right?” Well not quite. To say such a thing is like claiming that every bicycle is a Schwinn. Yes there is an element of sex, or sexuality that is within Tantra, but at the same time this is not the sole purpose.

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When asked what Tantra is there can often be confusion because Tantra is not a method that could be described, but more an experience. Where Tantra is unique to most Indian spiritual practices is that it is heavily female centered. It is an Indian practice where a lot Yogi’s, Swami’s, or Guru’s are in fact women. Because of this Tantra will have a different view of Moksha than most Indian traditions. In general Moksha would be liberation from the physical world. Your average Tantrist would define Moksha as liberation from separation of the mental, physical, and spiritual world. Because Tantra is based heavily on feminine principles there is an emphasis on eliminating binaries dualities. This could be male and female, Higher or Lower, Left or right, mind or body, Spiritual and Material ect. The purpose of Tantra is to eliminate the binary within these terms as these are terms that intensive agrarian societies have used as a way of control. Instead Tantra strives for complimentary opposites.

So what is Tantra? The best way for me to describe it is that it is a goal to get to a state of being that is a combination of ecstasy and bliss. Were reason is good, but not everything is limited to it. Where the conscious self observes all reason, thought, feeling, and desire so that all will be directed in ways that are beneficial to the practitioner, so that you do not have to be some great ascetic to attain inner stillness or enlightenment.

The compatibility with Tantra to Syntheism is that the view of God is not something separate from Nature or oneself.  The purpose of Tantra is to see all existence as sacred.  To see us as the very universe exploring itself.  Since there is little difference between spiritual atheism and pantheism, and since Syntheism does not separate between spirit and matter, the goal of Moksha as I described above would be something that a Syntheist could apply to their daily lives.  If for no other reason than most Syntheists live in a culture based on duality and such a practice could help the Syntheist unlearn this cultural conditioning that he/she has been brought up with.

Many people and practitioners that come to Tantra have their spiritual and material goals connected. Tantra for many people who experience it (as it is not for everyone) increases ones charisma, charm, and compassion as well as reason. At the same time aiding in personal relationships, be they romantic, friendships, family, or business. The idea is that desire, passion, and even the ego are not bad in and of themselves, but are aspects of our being that need to be directed. Through being conscious of these very aspects of our being we can be better at accomplishing our duty or “darma” in this world and eliminate boundaries to the service we can give the world. That every mundane endeavor is in fact a spiritual one and through our duty we bring happiness and peace to the world we live.

Kenneth