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Richard Grannon
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PostSubject: the lucifer principle   Wed Oct 01, 2008 10:55 pm

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PostSubject: Re: the lucifer principle   Thu Oct 02, 2008 10:01 am

Interesting stuff. It reminded me of a chapter on Competition vs Co-operation in 'How Are We to Live?: Ethics in an Age of Self Interest' by Peter Singer.

Mythologically speaking, Lucifer tempts us and gives us access to knowledge and experience we are not always ready to handle Twisted Evil We listen to our base selves for a second or two and then our higher selves are left to pick up the pieces. I know that's not exactly what the clip was saying, but I'm interested in the way people have used religion, myth and symbolism to answer these questions.

Nice to see those clips from 'Metropolis' too!
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thugsage
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PostSubject: Re: the lucifer principle   Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:14 pm

really cool...

i have to start by saying that having stayed for a time in an ashram, and the guru culture that comes with it, it reminds of what my guru used to say:
(paraphrasing) "i am god and devil"
the gita is based off of this a bit. not a real physical battle (though it may have been based around one) but a metaphysical one where whithin oneself it behooves us to stand by our good propensaties as they attempt to defeat the evil ones. the ratio of evil (95) is much larger than good (5). or in gita terms--the kauravas vs. the pandavas (fits the finger tip part of evolution, the part that says we're infinitely more intimate with our animal natures).

i have a suspicion that the animals that are always paired with many of the deities from that part of the world may also be metaphors for some qualities that were overcome in the gurus that probably represent those deities (pre- myth). i have a wicked snake tattoo coiling from my right fist all the way up my arm--got no problem embracing my inner, erm, devil--when the time comes. love the metaphors, love the philosophy. that the guys laying on a bed, uhm, didn't know what to make of that? affraid scratch study

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PostSubject: Re: the lucifer principle   Thu Oct 02, 2008 1:02 pm

This actually reminded me of an article I read by Jim Morris called Chimps with nukes. I'll just quote part of it.

Quote :
In Jared Diamond’s book, The Third Chimpanzee, he points out that we share about 98 percent of our DNA with chimpanzees, which is not much greater than the difference between chimps and bonobo pygmy chimps. He also postulates that human behavior is merely an elaboration of basic primate behavior. Bands of chimps hold a territory and the young males instinctively patrol its boundaries, keeping watch for leopards and the young males of adjacent bands who sneak in and steal bananas. When that happens they beat them up or kill them if they can.

I’ve found that a great deal of puzzling human behavior becomes perfectly clear if one thinks of our species as chimps with nukes.

All of our statecraft and “military science” is an elaboration on the theme of stealing and protecting bananas. We just do these things more intelligently than chimps, which is where the real danger lies. A behavior pattern that results in a dead chimp may make sense. One which results in a dead planet does not.

There is probably no one of average or better intelligence who does not believe that war, the way we wage it now, is insane. Yet we keep doing it, blaming each other, captive of our primate genes.

Contrary to what I can only call our ethnocentric Narcisissm that makes humans into something other than an animal I don't think there's all that much special about us as a species. As far as I can tell the only thing we have that truly sets us apart is language in the sense that it enables us to send knowledge from one generation to the next. If we had to reinvent the wheel in every single generation, how far would we have come? Would we even have fire? We'd probably be just like chimps or gorillas and so on. Many animals have proven themselves to be inventive, making tools for all sorts of purposes, but they can't really do what we do and improve upon the inventions and discoveries of previous creatures. With them, knowledge dies with the creature. Anyway... the point is, I think we are just a bunch of chimps with nukes, only; we can write and talk.

BTW... I found a longer version of this clip some time ago where there's more stuff being said.

The longer clip.

So I can't find much to go against the first part. With "nature red in tooth and claw." but the solutions Mr. Bloom proposes sound more like happy-talk to me. It's such a fundamental part of pretty much anything biological that it'll always be there to rear it's ugly head. It may be possible to redirect or sublimate some of those tendencies into more benevolent directions like he suggests, as long as the stakes are low but when push comes to shove it's back to nature.

It's like something I read about the nazi gas chambers. They dropped the gas pellets down a pipe in the rooms, so it would seep out from holes near the floor and rise up. And there were all sorts of people in the gas chambers. Young and old, men, women, children, healthy and sick. People with morals and values that I'll assume is representative of most people. What would happen when the gas started seeping out was that people would panic. Go primal, or back to nature. The body collectors would find them after the gassing in a huge pile, stacked all the way up to the ceiling. Infants at the bottom, children over them, then women, then the old, and the strongest men on top. All scraped up and beaten in the struggle to climb on top, and all this for a minute or two more to live... Would these people consciously do it if they had their wits about them? Few of them I suspect... (but always a few.)

It is as if something vetoes away our conscious mind and says, "fuck the human, let's bring out the ape, or the lizard." Now of course in that situation we could probably write it off as adrenaline panic. But if you take the monkeypile, as I like to call it, as a metaphor, the pattern seems to pop up whenever the going gets tough. In some ways you could even say it reflects society in general, but more abstractly, just in the sense that power prevails and the weak tend to get stepped down under. But back to hard times, look all sorts of broken down societies, I.e., in Africa, the Balkans... Bands of strong males rule, and the hierarchy goes along the tendency of the monkeypile. And this isn't adrenal panic, it's just what happens when a semi-artificial and very fine tuned social machine breaks down and there's less abundance and safety than people like. It's very connected to instincts that have enabled creatures to prevail and pass on their offspring for millions of years.

It is possible to go against the instincts. some times it's easy, other times it's extremely hard. It may require willpower and ingenuity, but it is possible to go against them all I think. But how many people are willing or even able to do so? I guess everyone is able, but for some it is more of a theoretical possibility than a practical option. Especially concerning something like this. Stop being the blabbermouth nuke-monkey so we can become the mythical Homo Sapien, paragon of animals? I doubt it...

It's the sort of thing that an individual must choose to do on his own almost as a religious thing along the lines of what you're mentioning Russel Sage. Actually I think even the Islamic jihad thing is supposed to be this very thing. An inner battle. Except of course that it's such a handy tool for making people go to physical war for you. Guess that's a danger with metaphors... They're almost made to be misunderstood. And some people are quick to make use of that. I think what Bloom says makes sense from an individual perspective, but when applied to saving the world and so on it's more like idealistic happy-talk.
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PostSubject: Re: the lucifer principle   Thu Oct 02, 2008 2:47 pm

...nice,

as an aside. i used to wonder (jokingly) if some of us resembled chimps (quick to get territorial and go on hunting parties) and others resembled bonobos (choser in DNA i think even than chimps--who solve all their differences by the odd behavior of fornicating). i used to call my George Bush vs. Bill Clinton theory Twisted Evil drunken
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PostSubject: Re: the lucifer principle   Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:21 pm

I take your point RichB, but not sure that using the example of people struggling to not breathe in agonizingly painful toxic fumes is a fair or good one to make your case

... its a bit like saying let me put a flame under your hand and see if you cant pull it away, or let me put a plastic bag over your head but dont convulse when you start to asphyxiate

these are biological responses that over ride conscious thought processes- where immediate pain is present, as in your gas chamber example, I dont think any judgement can be made... if the floor was red hot the same thing would happen whether it was a room full of civilians, zen bhuddist or bhodisatvas, the entity will fight to avoid agony regardless of moral or spirtitual notions

now if you reduce the immediacy of the agony and allow the conscious entity the time to engage in "higher level" conscious thought then we will have examples of people in those same concentration camps giving their food to weaker members of the group even if they know the result of their actions will lead to malnutrition which will slowly and painfully kill them (non-immediate agony/destruction of the self)

we will accept pain and self destruction if given the chance to realise that it is the "better thing to do"... set a person on fire though and no intellectual thought can be processed at all, let alone notions of morality- in a way Im comparing your gas chamber example to being set on fire to make the point that it is very immediately painful.

"Monkeypile" is a bit of a callous metaphor for murdered people dont you think?

If you wanted to describe Bankers as a "monkeypile"-

now THAT is an example of humans treating other humans like shit for their own personal gain that I could get behind...

...treating each other this way not to avoid pain but with no other motivation than pure greed. A far darker example of animalistic behaviour because this is being done consciously in a cool and sober state of mind, day after day, year after year. Empires have always been bulit on slavery and human suffering but come on, Even parasites dont kill their host!

Also Remember that throughout human history there are many many examples of selfless behaviour, these same alpha male "monkeys" who hold the guns and kill the enemy- the example of warfare in the balkans and africa is used- are the ones prepared to fight to the death for a principle or to protect the weaker members of their own "tribe" (or is it "pack" for monkeys??)

Warrior alpha male culture may well be built on the animalistic notion of kill, conquer, rape and pillage but without self sacrifice bulit in, how effective is that culture and that species? The strongest warriors throught history are the ones prepared to die for their cause (a non immidiate gratification higher conscious "notion"- you cant kill, eat or fuck a "cause" can you?)

Does the phrase"survival of the fittest" mean survival of the strongest or the survival of the species that best "fits" its environmental demands?

If Dawkins is right and we are just the bearers of our "selfish genes" then our genetic imperative isnt the gratification of the individual its the gratification of the wole species- therefore cooperation and non destructive competiton are actually the "natural way" and being civilised isnt just a posturing mask that must inevatibly slip.

However Nature is "red in tooth and claw", for sure. For a species to survive many have to kill members of another species. How many species of animal kill there own though? Which species is the most murderous?

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/03/0315_060315_meerkats.html


Quote :
Animals killing their own species' young is not particularly rare across the animal kingdom.

Some animals also like to kill other animals just for fun, torturing them first ... even the lovely cutesy dolphin

http://www.ignorancedenied.com/showthread.php?t=2934

But to be honest, I really think anything less than humans aspiring to greater things is defeatist at best and at worst cowardly... The fact is we ARE conscious, we DO know the difference between right and wrong and the reason those pellets were dropped down pipes was so that the dropper could be far enough away to not listen to the screams of the dying.

so instead of examining the seeming immorality of those at the top of the "dead monkey pile" inside the gas chamber we would probably learn more from examing the behaviour of the guy or gal outside the chamber who popped on their uniform in the morning, clocked on at work at the concentration camp and had a job of being "pellet dropper"


I cant get behind the "chimps with nukes" thing, chimps with nukes dont work tirelessly to help others- everyday each and everyone one of us gets up and goes to work doing things we really dont want to do specifically to further the quality of life of at LEAST one other person for no other reason other than that we care about them

"chimps with nukes" indeed...

MOST everyday, ordinary people just dont match that description- there is a dreadful film for girls called "Love Actually", the one good and valid point made in the film is that airport arrival lounges prove that love and kindness are very commonplace and very much alive and well.
Yes, so is cruelty and ignorance but come on... a little perspective.

People, left to their own devices dont necessarily go all "Lord of the Flies"

Another example is ebay- was built on the notion that most people are good and trustworthy- if they werent ebay would of had to of been shut down a long time ago, if we were "chimps with nukes"

... another example is my business, for every dickhead I encounter there are at least another 500 cool, happy, balanced groovy people to counterbalance them.

We doubtless have the capacity to act like "chimps with nukes" but to say that is all we are is disengeuous in the extreme in my opinion. Just doesnt reflect every day reality.
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PostSubject: Re: the lucifer principle   Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:31 pm

cool, groovy, balanced people like you lot by the way, who by debating this prove that you are more than "selfish violent chimps" Very Happy

a forum is an example of progress by cooperation SOLEY at the highest level of conscious thought- our only currency here is "ideas" and we are giving them freely

how pleasant! on that happy note Im off to drink a cup of tea eat a shortcake cookie with belgian chocolate chips and watch QI Cool
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PostSubject: Re: the lucifer principle   Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:08 pm

...can't argue with that mate. i think i (personally) am being cynical when i don't dig deeper. sometimes i think there's a part of my brain that acts on the assumption that there's really more to us all, but then there's cheeky punch line slut side of me that can be cavalier about 'representing' the things you addressed that i actually do believe if pressed. kinda like a griping session with an implicit knowledge that things are groovy enough to gripe, then get my latte after--with buttered scones. What a Face

my guru used to also say that we're the only rational beings in the animal kingdom--and that there's something at least symbolic about our journey to being upright (spine vertical vs. parallel to the ground). if i didn't believe, i wouldn't meditate, reach out to folks who are skint, etc...

now...where's my lunch. bananas again!!! dang!
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PostSubject: Re: the lucifer principle   Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:39 pm

Just to clarify, the example was meant to illustrate how people who were presumably normal moral people did something they'd probably never do if given the choice in a calm setting. Simply put, biology has a way of taking priority. Like the fire example you mention. So it's not that I'm trying to condemn them for being immoral. I was going more for pointing out like you say that they could have been Buddhist masters and still... Biology has a strong pull. It would be a bit unreasonable to condemn the people seeing that the parts of their brains where morality means something probably weren't even online at the time. Biology... Adrenaline panic stuff. Survival instinct.

It is possible to go against these instincts. I have seen a video of a Tibetan priest being burned alive, just sitting there... And I've seen pictures of suicides where people have climbed into the fireplace and just burned themselves to death. I read of one guy who disemboweled himself and started tearing out his own guts. Determination! Like they say about that stuff, nothing is too painful for people to do it to themselves if they are truly determined. In defense of the gas victims, being probably just normal civilians working, eating, living and SNATCH --> concentration camp. So how prepared could they have been? They were led to believe they were going to take a shower. As edgy as the example may be, a pile of monkeys is the best description I have for it. Their humanity went offline when the adrenaline and panic sent them into condition black. And they became entirely primitive creatures instead.
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PostSubject: Re: the lucifer principle   Thu Oct 02, 2008 7:53 pm

I think that monk was vietnamese



the self discipline to be able to override that biological unconscious response... amazing really
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PostSubject: Re: the lucifer principle   Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:51 pm

Check out the book 'The Dark Side Of Man' Tracing the origins of male violence. By Michael P. Ghiglieri.
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