Archive for cybernetic universe

Exegesis, Part One

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on July 23, 2011 by theclockworm

Since I’ve made the decision to continue dealing with these issues in this venue, I’ve had it pointed out to me that I should be a bit more specific about what Gnosticism is to me. I know my ideas and approaches differ greatly from pretty much any I’ve encountered; I’m aware of this. It need not be pointed out. If you’d like to tell me that, because I’m not Christian, I can’t be Gnostic, you’re better off simply finding something else to do, as your comments will be deleted. This is my space, and I’m under no obligation to suffer your judgments.

This is an attempt to articulate and disseminate the things I’ve come to understand or believe or feel are likely. To be clear: I value my ideas enough to think others might find them valuable too. That doesn’t mean I have any interest in starting a group, let alone a religion or anything of the sort. I’m not trying to make money, or gain adherents – I have other venues for that, venues that allow me to sleep at night.

I am inclined to believe in these fundamental ideas:

  1. That the Universe as it is experienced by people is somehow occluded, limited, or disconnected from the larger reality. This may be due to events which occurred at the beginning of our universe; we may be inside an ancestor simulation or something similar. Or it could be something else entirely.
  2. That these things are true within a larger reality which is rational and not supernatural, and can be understood, from some standpoint or other, rationally.
  3. That this understanding may or may not be able to affect change, but that there is no promise of any kind of salvation or redemption in this knowledge alone.
  4. That this realization of the limited nature of things does not translate into dualism; this sphere is part of reality, it is simply connected to the whole in a limited fashion. It may well be that the core of Gnosis is a sense of the fullness of things, and that the path toward that reality may simply be the path of exploration.
  5. That the universe is essentially cybernetic, and that various forms of interaction are possible without the existence of deities or the like.
  6. That certain forces may be accessed in ways which appear sentient without having real nature as an entity; this is a function of a cybernetic universe. Sophia is real, but only when she speaks to you. And she only speaks when spoken to.
  7. That these forces are not deities. Realization of this facet of reality and contact with it is an essential part of Gnosis, but the presupposition that it must be confined to the limited definitions of religious thinking is counter-productive.
  8. That many forms are fluid, and that the ‘invasion’ of “Gnosis” or revelatory information into one’s life is a function of the ability of certain forms to express intent.
  9. That events of sufficient complexity carry the burden of analysis. I did not come to these ideas because I found them interesting; I came to them by way of experiences I had which were best rectified with reality within the framework provided by Gnostic cosmology.
  10. That not all unusual events are simply coincidences; neither are they miracles, divine intervention, demonic temptation, or any sort of supernatural event. They may be directed insights into the complex interconnectedness of things – a realization essential to Gnosis.
  11. That the nature of the force which intrudes into our reality to provide such information is as yet unknown; however, it demonstrates intent as well as the ability to focus on one person. I am inclined to believe that it is a collective consciousness, perhaps composed of aspects of human beings living and/or dead, which seeks to free the physically-living from the conditions of our occlusion. It may also simply be the background force of consciousness in the physical universe. This force very well may be primarily characterized as a different point in time (aeon in its chronological application); it may emanate from outside our universe or our reality; it may be where we go when we die; it may be nothing, though I find that unlikely.
  12. That these events adhere to a conservation of energy principle; that is, perhaps in a simpler and less crowded world, only a burning shrub would sufficiently convey that the message might upset one’s current understanding of reality. However, in a world such as we now inhabit, much smaller events can convey these things just as well if not better. Finding a particular book, for instance, on a particular day, may be a stronger indication of something being wrong with your understanding of the universe than anything at all being on fire.
  13. That skepticism and rigorous intellectual openness are the only sacred practices. If, after rigorous self-questioning and critical thinking, an event seems to indicate something of importance, it very well may.
  14. That the validity of these things, or of anything, is not altered by how comforting they are. Again: I did not come to this because it made me feel good about life, or because it makes me feel better about death. I came to it because it came to me. Truth is worth pursuing, even if the end is not know.
  15. That, though secondary to the internal discussion, the importance of accurate, unambiguous language and terminology are important to a meaningful discussion of these things. The language of religion is often detrimental to the full and uninhibited exploration of these ideas as philosophical concepts.
  16. That there are no heretics. This notion is not a sword nor a shield, but rather a bigotry that should exist only within the closed world of orthodoxy and not within the sphere of philosophical speculation.
  17. That there is no seniority in these things. Having come first confers no special status on anyone. The ancients provide illumination; they are not the only source of light.
  18. That my understanding is imperfect.
  19. That your understanding is imperfect.
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Many Forms

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on July 19, 2011 by theclockworm

An analysis of “Trimorphic Protennoia” in context with the Cybernetic Reality Concept

A prosaic introduction to my concept of Cybernetic Reality can be found here. I am not referring here to any sort of “matrix” situation, nor am I talking about the notion of universe as machine in any traditional way. These constructs aren’t truly cybernetic. Briefly, I postulate that a less distinct or centralized mode of being may exist, one which can be temporarily called into function by an intent to communicate, but which is not rightly a being, organism, etc. Underlying this notion is the idea that thought, or more properly consciousness, may be a more basic component of the universe, one which naturally exists in many forms,  and which should be distinguished, ontologically and semantically, from “entity,” as well as from notions of unit such as “one” or even of same-reality continuity (the same stratum of related consciousness may be able to be accessed simultaneously by two other forces, and may at that point exist concurrently in distinct iterations that also overlay each other. A simpler example: ask the ontological question, ‘what is the numerical value of a video game which is played online, or which is replayed later?’ and apply the non-answers to this).

I have noticed some interesting connections in my reading of “Trimorphic Protennoia,” an ancient Gnostic text. Particularly as this concept applies largely to purportedly divine visitation, especially the Sophia phenomenon, I think it is worth a brief run-down.

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“I am the life of my Epinoia that dwells within every Power and every eternal movement, and (in) invisible Lights and within the Archons and Angels and Demons, and every soul dwelling in Tartaros, and (in) every material soul.”

Epinoia (Greek): Thinking on a thing; by extension of meaning, the power of thought, inventiveness; a purpose, design.

These statements seem to describe a situation where existence depends on a particular type of conception; it might be rephrased as “My existence is dependent on being contacted, via a purposeful thought process.”

Epinoia is often understood to be a kind of creative impulse, maybe a less intellectual force related to Gnosis. I believe it may have been used in a more technical sense, to describe entry into a system.

“I dwell in those who came to be. I move in everyone and I delve into them all. I walk uprightly, and those who sleep, I awaken. And I am the sight of those who dwell in sleep.”

The hypnagogic state, where phenomena such as lucid dreams and sleep paralysis also take place, is often the setting for “mystical” experiences of various kinds, in particular visitations. This state of un-anchored thought might be particularly suited for Epinoia-related contact.

“I am a Voice speaking softly. I exist from the first. I dwell within the Silence that surrounds every one of them… I am perception and knowledge, uttering a Voice by means of thought. I am the real Voice. I cry out in everyone, and they recognize it (the voice), since a seed indwells them.”

There is the implication here of a latent nature, one which connects in an inherent way with some mechanism in human beings. “Uttering a Voice by means of thought” again seems to imply that outside thought is causally connected to the utterance of the voice.

“I am the Voice that appeared through my Thought, for I am ‘He who is syzygetic’ since I am called ‘the Thought of the Invisible One’. Since I am called ‘the unchanging Speech’, I am called ‘She who is syzygetic’.”

Despite many applications of meaning, a syzygy is best described as the joining of any two entities without losing the individual characteristics of either one – a sort of portmanteau, if you will. This is the essence of a cybernetic relationship, except that there is a mutual access involved. It is not symbiotic or parasitic, but mutually cybernetic.

“‘And the powers all gathered and went up to the Archgenitor. They said to him, “Where is your boasting in which you boast? Did we not hear you say, “I am God, and I am your Father, and it is I who begot you. and there is none beside me”? Now behold, there has appeared a Voice belonging to that invisible Speech of the Aeon which we know not. And we ourselves did not recognize to whom we belong, for that Voice which we listened to is foreign to us, and we did not recognize it; we did not know whence it was.’”

There are also some interesting eschatological aspects of this text. I find the concentration on time in this passage to be interesting; in this instance especially, I see the use of Aeon as more distinctly related to “age” or “epoch.” In the next paragraph, the statement is made even more clearly: “I am the Aeon to come.” It seems as though that side of the word has been almost entirely ignored.

“And I hid myself in everyone and revealed myself within them, and every mind seeking me longed for me, for it is I who gave shape to the All when it had no form. And I transformed their forms into (other) forms, until the time when a form will be given to the All.”

This is an interesting inversion of Gnostic cosmogony; why will the All have form? It flies in the face of the simplified dualism that gets applied to these works.

“The Second time I came in the Speech of my Voice. I gave shape to those who took shape, until their consummation.”

Or maybe, someone just got their states of being confused. Maybe the author’s “form” is non-physical. Here again though, shades of interactivity in ontological mode.

For now, I won’t talk about the amazing missing lines (more meaningful in their absence?) or the uninspired grafting of Jesus at the end. This is one of my favorite of the Nag Hammadi codices.

Codex / Praxis

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on June 29, 2011 by theclockworm

On further reading, this document by Steven Mizrach is more than just a good start. It’s absolutely the closest thing I ever hope to find to my own ideas. I need to find out more about the person responsible.

I get the impression from what research I’ve done that this synthesis and analysis of ideas is separate from the way Erik Davis uses the word (and he did create it, after all). It seems to me that his use denotes an area of study, not a specific realm of philosophy that can be “subscribed to.”  In addition, I’m not quite sure where the community in question in The Document resides; there’s a bit of a hidden subject there. My next step is to find a copy of Davis’ book, as well as a good number of those referenced in the article, and see what I can find.

I have to say I’m happy that this differentiation exists. As neat as the term “techgnostic” is, I think it works better for the study of the areas of thought Davis is concerned with than for a system of ideas that are distinct from beliefs only in that I maintain a healthy skepticism, even in the face of seeming proof.

So if there is a community of people, in any sense of the word, for whom the ideas laid out in this document are relatively accepted, where are they? Do they have a name? A meeting place? If you fit the bill, I’d certainly like to know.

There are certainly areas where I differ from what’s put across in this piece. For instance, I never really thought about the process in terms of entropy, though it seems like a perfect fit. I would also quibble about the sort of justification for any and all “technological progress” that seems to be assumed here. It’s not about the chronological newness of information; it’s about the internal complexity, the richness, the quality of information. One need not throw caution to the wind and simply smash forward at all costs, shouting “progress,” to be part of the “solution.” Choices matter more in my world-view, not less; I’d hate to see it reduced to a kind of fatalism.

I also feel that a lot of applicable stuff here requires that consciousness be looked at as having some different qualities than other kinds of “information.” The “cybernetic universe” idea requires consciousness in order for the system not to remain inert. Also, plain and simple, I think it warrants its own branch of thinking.

Anyhow, this is only the beginning.

Any suggestions on a name for this area of thought?