Alex poses four questions about our relationship to extended consciousness realms and discusses the future of Skeptiko.
photo by: Skeptiko
What’s this war in the heart of nature?
That’s the extraordinary Jim Caviezel.
Why does nature vie with itself? The land contend with the sea?
From the extraordinary movie, The Thin Red Line.
Is there an avenging power in nature, not one power but two?
It’s a movie that poses a very big, big picture Skeptiko kind of question and in today’s show, a very rare solo show where I’m going to be pulling together a bunch of clips and asking for some input from you, in terms of directions I might go.
I wanted to start by playing for you a clip from a guy I really admire and have for a long time, Miguel Conner from the very excellent Aeon Byte Gnostic Radio podcast.
And deeper we go my beloved truth seekers, deeper into the wastelands of matter and graveyards of broken dreams. Please allow me to introduce myself and keep you company as you’re…
No need Miguel, I can do that. This clip you just heard is from a video that I’ve produced and just am releasing today on YouTube. I’m a little bit embarrassed for this because it’s taken me well over a year to figure out a way to put this together and put it out and it has some real flaws to it. The project was supposed to be a much grander project where I would bring you some of the ideas from some of the podcasters I most admire and I think are really changing our understanding of truth and reality and Miguel certainly fits that category and he’s one of the first ones I started with.
So let me play you a little extended clip from this new video, which you will find on YouTube.
Miguel Conner: I think the beauty of podcasting is that you can literally have a PC and a mic and very little else and you can connect with scholars in Oxford, you can connect with researchers in Australia, you can bring them into your room and then you can spread that information out.
What I like about Gnosticism is that you can take it as psychologically, spiritually or material. I mean, you don’t have to believe that there are these giant Archons in heaven oppressing your life, the Archon can be the boss of your job.
Write your own gospel and live your own myth and for my life, I’ve got my myth that I’m trying to live and my gospel.
Carl Jung said we have inner archetypes in mythologies that reside deep within our conscious and when we bring those our we can actually start changing the narrative of our life, changing our personas, changing how things go, and I think that tagline is what I really want people to know. I want people to have as much information as they can so they can write their own gospel and live their own myth, so they can, as I say in my show, create better than the creator gods and the butt slings in the establishment, because all of us have been programmed, all of us are living a story that was written by somebody else and it was the ancient Gnostics who said, “Enough of this. We’re going to write our own narrative. We’re going to create our own reality.”
Classic Miguel, Gnosticism stuff and I think, of course, that’s an important part of this larger question, which I’m going to get to in just a minute. But I do want to stop and say I hope you will checkout the Truth Bump video that I produced, and I have on YouTube, I hope you’ll share it with people.
I have some other ones in various stages of development, so if people really, really like it, I’ll try and push forward with that, but I basically abandoned that project because it just didn’t have any legs to it for me. But I throw that out there and offer it to you, to help guide if there’s anything there I need to pursue.
And along those same lines, what I really wanted to do in this show was give a roundup of the four questions I think that are really driving me forward, in terms of Skeptiko right now. And as I’ve said all along about Skeptiko, I’ve always viewed this as my personal journey shared with you, but that’s holding something back because it’s really a collective journey. Your input and your feedback really does make this an interactive process for me, but I’d like to hold onto the idea that this really is my personal journey and I decide where it goes.
So if you’ll allow me that little kind of egocentric kind of thing, I’m going to hold onto what I think are the four questions that are driving me forward, in terms of Skeptiko at this point.
Question number one, let me offer up this clip.
“I mean, for me it would be what’s consciousness because that’s totally baffling.
You know what I think, what I wonder, whether there really is no such thing as consciousness at all.
To that I’ve got to say, like, oh wow.”
Alex Tsakiris: You’re laughing, I’m laughing. What is so funny about that?
Dr Bernardo Kastrup: I mean, the idea that maybe consciousness is not there is probably the weirdest, stupidest idea ever conceived by a human thought. I mean, where does thought take place? It takes place in consciousness. So here we have consciousness speculating about the possibility that consciousness does not exist and it may not be there. I mean, the very thought is an in your face contradiction and the fact that something like this is not only seriously entertained but even verbalized by a person with the public exposure of the gentleman we just saw is a worrying sign of cultural sickness.
That, of course, was the very excellent Dr Bernardo Kastrup and while it may seem that the question that falls out of that clip is, are we biological robots in a meaningless universe, as you know from listening to this show that really isn’t the question for me anymore. I mean, it really was my question initially, a few years back, but now the question for me is something that Bernardo hit on there, which is, how can this still be propped up as a real question among, what are supposed to be the intellectual elites of science? It’s really a strange, strange situation and I think we have to continue to dive into that question head on, not just keep proving them wrong baby, proving them wrong, but saying, how and why are they promoting such nonsense?
So that’s question number one, are you ready for question number two? It’s from Dr Jeffery Martin who I interviewed a few episodes back about his rather amazing research into consciousness transformation, enlightenment, awakening, whatever you want to call it.
Dr Jeffery Martin: And it’s common in most of the mainstream population of humanity around the world. There’s just sort of this fundamental sense of discontentment that we all have at the root of our psychology and it manifests in all kinds of ways. In the extremes it’s fear and worry and anxiety and stuff like that, but no matter who you are, no matter how great your life is, you still have this sense that something’s just not quite right. So your mind is constantly trying to figure that out and this is normal, this is what psychology would consider normal and healthy.
So it’s just like this little shift that happens, way at the bottom of your psychology, away from that fundamental sense of discontentment and towards a sense that everything’s really okay.
So the question for me here, and it’s an absolute huge one, is there a reality to what he’s describing? Is our “normal” psychological state to be this experience of fundamental discontentment and actually, I don’t know even know how anyone can deny that, that’s just everywhere, that’s our culture.
But the second part of the question is really the most significant and that is, is there a way to change that? And let’s mirror that to the first half of the first question, the question I didn’t ask, are we biological robots in a meaningless universe? So the answer’s obviously no, we’re not. So we have this condition, we’re in this predicament and then is this predicament that our mind has created this continual dialogue of fundamental dissatisfaction with the way things are and is it possible to change that state, that consciousness? Is it possible to raise it?
Of course, this is what so many spiritual teachers throughout time have been telling us is possible, that there is a way to transcend that state. And I’m holding back from any kind of talk about extended consciousness at this point, I’m trying to confine it to our reality, if you will. And all of these terms, you can shoot holes in them as we all know. But these first two questions have to do with our reality.
So again, question two is, is it possible to awaken out of that state of perpetual dissatisfaction, perpetual discontentment with that internal dialogue that’s going on in our head? I think that’s an important question. That’s question two.
So the next two questions that are driving the Skeptiko mission at this point have to do with this extended consciousness thing that I always talk about and again, the words don’t exactly match up, extended from what? I mean, what are we to make of this reality and the other reality and why would we have this kind of dualistic, that’s extended, this isn’t? All of those problems. But you get what I mean, right?
So the third question is teed up, I think, by the following clip from Rey Hernandez who was recently on Skeptiko to talk about what he’s discovered from the first scientific survey of folks who have had ET contact experience.
Rey Hernandez: These are the next two findings, the initial two, which was that these were overwhelming positive experiences. Number two, it resulted in a positive transformation of the experiencer. Number three and four is that these experiences were primarily not physical, they were primarily paranormal. That was number three. Number four is that these experiences involve a manipulation of space-time and that in turn leads to the hypothesis that these experiences might be interdimensional and Jacques Vallée eluded to that over 45 years ago.
So one of the things that’s really interesting to pull out of that clip is this transcending of time and space. So we understand at this point that there is this extended reality, there’s an NDE reality, an OBE reality, an ET reality, a psychedelic DMT reality, if we want to stay with three letter acronyms. What is or relationship between this reality and that reality and more importantly, if that other reality, if one of its key characteristics is that it transcends space and time, then what does it tell us about this reality that is confined to space and time and does it suggest, as I think it might, that this reality is a lesser reality, if you will? Lesser in the sense that it’s further away from the ultimate reality.
And again, don’t pick on my words here because there are no words to talk about this stuff, but the basic concept is, there seems to be a lot of evidence pointing us to the ultimate paradigm shift that we really are looking at things from the wrong end of the telescope. We are in the unreal realty of time and space continuum where things have been locked down to work a particular way so we get this particular experience, but anyone who’s outside of that says, “Yeah, you guys are around this little tiny tip of this huge iceberg and that’s okay, you can get that experience but don’t get too attached to it because it’s really such a small part of the overall thing.”
So that is, I think, the third question for me, is, what is the relationship between this space-time reality that we occupy, and we play this science game in and we play this Skeptiko dialogue questioning game in? What is the relationship between that reality and some of these extended realities that we will never know but we do get bits and pieces, fragments of information back from?
So we do get information back from NDE science. We do get information back from ET contact. We do get information back from OBE. So, I’m asking, what happens if we filter that information through one very narrow filter and that is, what is the relationship between our reality and the larger reality. That would be, kind of the third question.
And the fourth question is very much related to that and I think it’s best teed up by this clip from my friend Gordon White at Rune Soup, from an interview that I did recently, but I have to say, I noticed that I hadn’t posted it on YouTube. So there is a YouTube for this as well, and actually there’s a video of me and Gordon, so it’s a good YouTube to watch, you can kind of follow along, kind of thing. So here’s that clip.
Gordon White: Here’s a thing. A 20th century technocratic project and you include all the people in it, like Bernays. So the technocracy thought it fell to these rich people to manage the development of the world and the west for our benefit. So it isn’t even just necessarily keeping us alone and afraid, that is a side effect of, “Well, we are the technocrats, we are better at running the world. So our competing narratives are here in the church and here in the family and so on. And what we actually want, because we are all of the doctors, we are all the educators, we are all of these kinds of stuff. You need to get it from us and we will manage this society and you will eat the right food and the population will grow or not at the rate that we determine. The economy will work. This is the demonic goal.”
So it’s funny, that’s why I wanted to start there, on a human level. That’s the kind of 20th century ideal I think they are shooting for. It is demonic. Like if you want to go to a higher level, then you’re talking about, what are the kind of metaphysical implications? I have no idea if any of these people realize they’re being ridden by demons but nevertheless, the goal of this kind of project is, in some literal sense satanic.
So there’s a lot there to pull apart and the demonic part is going to rattle a lot of folks, I’m sure. But it is kind of interesting how this clip brings us back full circle, in a way. So if the opening question was not, are we biological robots in a meaningless universe, but how does such a ridiculous meme remain intellectually viable? I think Gordon is, kind of trying to answer that question in saying, “Hey man, that’s the program. That’s the demonic game.”
But I broaden it a little bit and say the question for me is, what is the role of deception in this process? And I, like all of us, am reluctant in some ways to go there because I’m not sure it’s the right question. But we keep bumping into that reality, that Gnostic reality that I will create better than the creator gods because the creator gods are really making a mess of things.
So, there are so many layers to that because as appealing as that Gnostic sensibility is, it doesn’t really give us any hope of transcending outside of this little street fight. I mean, certainly not in the way that we talk about, for example, the recent interview I just did with David Sunfellow about NDE experiences and the potential that maybe exists for something that truly does transcend that back alley brawl between the creator gods and those of us who want to create better than them.
So, bring that back to the question is, what is the role of deception in all of this? Why is there deception? Why is there evil, as we’ve talked about many times on this show? And I think this question, as I’m stating it here, for me, gets to the deeper question of the nature of this evil, because it’s one thing to say that there’s evil in the world and that’s an evil doer, as our ex-president from many years ago, George Bush, said. And again, I’ve tried to bring it to more of a personal journey of, who are we, why are we here? Why are we clearly being deceived at various points in this process? What is the purpose of that? Who does that serve and why does that seem to be so much a part of the process and tricksters and all of the rest of that, almost at every turn?
So there are four questions for you. They are four questions for me, I should say, because as I said, those are the four questions that are on my mind and are, for the most part, driving my thoughts and ideas in terms of who I’m talking to right now and who I want to talk to. And it isn’t always, of course, a perfect fit, because sometimes somebody pops up and I want to talk to them, and they come on the show.
But I do feel good sharing with you these ideas and these directions and I’m certainly open to feedback and thoughts and ideas and discussion about these four questions and maybe you have an answer, maybe you can provide a shortcut to my learning here, which you’ve done many times in the past and I’d be totally open to again.
So if you do have any thoughts along those lines, please join me, Skeptiko Forum is always a good place, or you can email me. You can find the links to all of that stuff at the Skeptiko website – skeptiko.com or you can also find links to over 400 interviews all available there for free.
So that’s about it for this solo show, a unique one. I really don’t plan on doing many of these but there was an open spot in the calendar and it really turned out to be, I think, a fun opportunity for me to engage with you about this issue of direction and what’s on my mind along those lines.
So thanks as always for being there and staying with me and until next time, take care and bye for now.
More From Skeptiko
- David Sunfellow’s decades of study on near death experiences has led him to some clear-cut conclusions about the purpose of life. photo by: Skeptiko Satan: Fallen one, I am Satan, I am your god now. There is no escape. That …
- Rey Hernandez’s contact with non-human intelligence has led to the most comprehensive scientific study of extended consciousness experiences and the paranormal. photo by: Skeptiko [clip from Project Blue Book] Crazy about that saucer, eh? The whole town’s on edge about it. …
- Anthropologist Dr. Brian Hayden traces the long history of using supernatural claims to grab power. photo by: Skeptiko Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, you have been witness to the unspeakable horrors of the defendant’s heinous crimes. That’s a …
- Investigative reporter Sarah Westall dives deep into the the insidious cycle of human trafficking, prostitution and human compromise. photo by: Skeptiko (clip from the Sopranos) Forget it, this game is not for you. No, it’s just, you know, I was …
- Dr. Philip Goff is a philosophy professor who dares to challenge biological-robot-meaningless-universe party line. photo by: Skeptiko (clip from Dr. Strange) I spent my last dollar getting here you’re talking to me about healing through belief… You’re a man looking …
- Self-described materialist-atheist, Tom Jump debates near-death experience science. photo by: Skeptiko stop humming that song that’s Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg from the movie, The Other Guys could you not smile like that… now you’re asking me to mask …
- Robert Forte has lived at the center of the psychedelics/entheogens/mind control revolution. photo by: Skeptiko Do you know where you are, right now? I’m in a drug trial. What do you think is wrong with you? I’m sick. That I …
- Dr. Jeffery Martin thinks he has cracked the code to well-being — an impressive list of researchers agree. photo by: Skeptiko Intro Meow. What a bitch, am I right? That’s James Franco from the movie The Interview. No, you’re not …
- Gordon White of Rune Soup returns to talk Magic, ET and neo-liberal social engineering? photo by: Skeptiko I’m not much of a sci-fi fan. David (from the movie Prometheus): Am I interrupting, I thought you might be running low? But …