“The border between the Real and the Unreal is not fixed, but just marks the last place where rival gangs of shamans fought each other to a standstill.” ~Robert Anton Wilson
Guerilla ontology is a philosophical method coined by Robert Anton Wilson. Its intent is to expose people to radically unique ideas and concepts in order to invoke cognitive dissonance and a state of “generalized agnosticism.” It promotes open-mindedness and new ways of perceiving and adapting to reality.
Guerilla ontology is the study of being –taken to the nth degree. It’s anti-brainwashing. It’s Meta-insurgent. It’s self-inflicted philosophy. It’s all about raging against the dying of the light. The light being truth and openness, freedom and liberation. It prevents fixed and dogmatic thinking from creeping in and f****** up vital flow states and adaptive, intuitive discovery.
Guerilla ontology is the philosophical worldview that recommends swimming against the tide in order to gain the kind of wisdom that neither seeks authority nor submits to it. It’s another way of applying the concept of crazy wisdom to entrenched dogma. It seeks to enlarge the soul, light up the brain, and liberate the spirit; while emphasizing risk-taking and courageous vulnerability as vital skills one must master in order to remain fluid and flexible regarding the vicissitudes of life.
“To be human is necessarily to be a vulnerable risk-taker; to be a courageous human is to be good at it.” –Jonathan Lear
Cultural conditioning, political propaganda, and indoctrinated brainwashing are all problems that have ailed human beings since time immemorial. Operation Minfuck is all about poking holes in our cup of certainty, melting down the golden pedestals of idolatry, burning down uppity high horses, upsetting outdated apple carts, and continuously unwashing the brainwash. No matter how comforting the brainwashing may have been.
Indeed. Unwashing the brainwash begins at home. If we unwash our brain again and again, we might earn the right to unwash the brainwash that ails everybody else.
Operation Mindfuck is the daily practice of unwashing the brainwash, even if it doesn’t seem to be necessary. It’s done despite ourselves, and in spite of our petty placations and sentimental comforts.
It’s strategically going against the tide in order to learn something new. It’s embracing insecurity (leap of courage) in order to expand on healthy security (stretching comfort zones). It’s honoring paradox in order to push the Fibonacci sequence of thought ever-closer to the Phi of enlightenment. It’s courting the unexpected in order to maintain curiosity, wonder, and awe. It’s shunning orthodoxy so that the unorthodox may breathe.
In short: Operation Mindfuck is about questioning to the nth degree. It’s about shocking the settled system, waking up the sleeping soul, and agitating the tired and boring routine. It’s about getting down to the roots in order to distinguish vital necessity from invalid opinion. It’s untangling unnecessary knots of thought. It’s peeling away superfluous layers of cultural conditioning in order to reveal the Desert of the Real.
The focus here is on breaking things down to their core, to their fundamental essence. Once the cornerstone has been unveiled, the philosopher’s stone can be used to align opinion with universal validity. That’s where Operation Dissonance comes into play…
“The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off.” ~Gloria Steinem
We break taboos in order to destroy the power they have over us. Once we’ve broken their spell, we realize that the taboo was nothing more than a cultural abstraction of an abstraction. We’ve all at once distinguished necessity from indoctrinated opinion. We’ve unveiled the cornerstone. And now we are free to use the philosopher’s stone to build a healthier more open-minded perspective.
When we come to such revolutionary realizations, we are left with a liberated outlook. We are free to turn the tables on dissonance by lampooning it. We’ve strategically gotten ahead of our sentimental connection to it using Operation Mindfuck, so now we can more clearly evaluate our disposition. We are now open-minded enough to ridicule it, satirize it, and mock it with ruthless incredulity. We can transform it into art.
This applies to cognitive dissonance as well. Cognitive dissonance is merely the discomfort experienced when two worldviews clash. The key with Operation Dissonance is figuring out which worldview is healthier, and thus more valid. And then discarding, but learning from, the unhealthier one (Way easier said than done).
But the critical ingredient here is having a strategic sense of humor about it: the ability to take a step back from the dissonance and have a laugh. Mostly at ourselves, using self-deprecating humor that loosens us up and makes us more flexible in the face of our discomfort, and thus more likely to maintain our open-mindedness once we’ve “come up for air.”
If all of this sounds counterintuitive, that’s because it is. Sometimes in order to get at what’s healthy we must break away from what’s comfortable. Sometimes revealing a deeper truth means discarding a truth that we’ve always held dear. Sometimes progressive evolution will feel like regressive devolution, and the only way we’ll know for sure is in hindsight. Indeed. As George Bernard Shaw cryptically surmised, “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
“Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.” ~Tom Robbins
Guerilla ontology is all about subjugating the small-picture codependent agenda to a big-picture interdependent perspective. It is in this sense that the ontological (the being and the becoming) is dependent upon the guerilla (the insurgent and the rebellious).
The intellectual insurrection of Operation Mindfuck leads to the open-minded ontology of Operation Dissonance. Being and becoming comes from undoing and unbecoming. We think outside the box so as not to get stuck in rigid thinking. We stretch our comfort zone so as not to get too comfortable. We question so that we can break away from outdated answers. Expansion comes from strategic destruction. New order comes from the reordered disorder of an older order (say that ten times fast). Advancement comes from getting out of our own way. Especially regarding cognitive dissonance.
This is precisely why the cycle must continue. A mindfuck a day keeps the brainwash away. Making self-interrogation a daily practice is critical, not only for healthy self-improvement but for the healthy evolution of the species.
This is the essence of Operation Re-mindfuck: keeping the cycle going so as to maintain a fluid and flexible mindset that leverages open-mindedness against dogmatic and fixed thinking. It’s adaptable and robust. It cultivates an outlook that simply takes things into consideration without the need to believe in them. As Aristotle wisely stated, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Operation Re-mindfuck is the epitome of entertaining newer and newer mind-blowing thoughts, all without accepting them.
We keep the cycle going in order to keep life going. So that life wins out over entropy. So that progression wins out over stagnation. So that empathy wins out over apathy. So that health, truth, and liberation win out over disease, deceit, and slavery. We implement Operation Mindfuck so that open-mindedness wins out over close-mindedness. We implement Operation Dissonance so that healthy updated worldviews win out over unhealthy outdated worldviews. Indeed. We play the Infinite Game, despite all the petty finite games, in order to keep the game of life itself progressive and healthy. Operation Re-mindfuck just keeps the cycle going. We are free to continually free ourselves into further freedom.
This is all easier said than done, of course. But, as the great Spinoza once said, “All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.”
Physicists Suggest All Matter Could Be Made Up of Energy ‘Fragments’
Matter is what makes up the Universe, but what makes up matter? This question has long been tricky for those who think about it – especially for the physicists.
Reflecting recent trends in physics, my colleague Jeffrey Eischen and I have described an updated way to think about matter. We propose that matter is not made of particles or waves, as was long thought, but – more fundamentally – that matter is made of fragments of energy.
From Five to One
The ancient Greeks conceived of five building blocks of matter – from bottom to top: earth, water, air, fire and aether. Aether was the matter that filled the heavens and explained the rotation of the stars, as observed from the Earth vantage point.
These were the first most basic elements from which one could build up a world. Their conceptions of the physical elements did not change dramatically for nearly 2,000 years.
Then, about 300 years ago, Sir Isaac Newton introduced the idea that all matter exists at points called particles. One hundred fifty years after that, James Clerk Maxwell introduced the electromagnetic wave – the underlying and often invisible form of magnetism, electricity and light.
The particle served as the building block for mechanics and the wave for electromagnetism – and the public settled on the particle and the wave as the two building blocks of matter. Together, the particles and waves became the building blocks of all kinds of matter.
This was a vast improvement over the ancient Greeks’ five elements but was still flawed. In a famous series of experiments, known as the double-slit experiments, light sometimes acts like a particle and at other times acts like a wave. And while the theories and math of waves and particles allow scientists to make incredibly accurate predictions about the Universe, the rules break down at the largest and tiniest scales.
Einstein proposed a remedy in his theory of general relativity. Using the mathematical tools available to him at the time, Einstein was able to better explain certain physical phenomena and also resolve a longstanding paradox relating to inertia and gravity.
But instead of improving on particles or waves, he eliminated them as he proposed the warping of space and time.
Using newer mathematical tools, my colleague and I have demonstrated a new theory that may accurately describe the Universe. Instead of basing the theory on the warping of space and time, we considered that there could be a building block that is more fundamental than the particle and the wave.
Scientists understand that particles and waves are existential opposites: A particle is a source of matter that exists at a single point, and waves exist everywhere except at the points that create them.
My colleague and I thought it made logical sense for there to be an underlying connection between them.
Flow and Fragments of Energy
Our theory begins with a new fundamental idea – that energy always “flows” through regions of space and time.
Think of energy as made up of lines that fill up a region of space and time, flowing into and out of that region, never beginning, never ending and never crossing one another.
Working from the idea of a universe of flowing energy lines, we looked for a single building block for the flowing energy. If we could find and define such a thing, we hoped we could use it to accurately make predictions about the Universe at the largest and tiniest scales.
There were many building blocks to choose from mathematically, but we sought one that had the features of both the particle and wave – concentrated like the particle but also spread out over space and time like the wave.
The answer was a building block that looks like a concentration of energy – kind of like a star – having energy that is highest at the center, and that gets smaller farther away from the center.
Much to our surprise, we discovered that there were only a limited number of ways to describe a concentration of energy that flows. Of those, we found just one that works in accordance with our mathematical definition of flow.
We named it a fragment of energy. For the math and physics aficionados, it is defined as A = -⍺/r where ⍺ is intensity and r is the distance function.
Using the fragment of energy as a building block of matter, we then constructed the math necessary to solve physics problems. The final step was to test it out.
Back to Einstein, Adding Universality
More than 100 ago, Einstein had turned to two legendary problems in physics to validate general relativity: the ever-so-slight yearly shift – or precession – in Mercury’s orbit, and the tiny bending of light as it passes the Sun.
These problems were at the two extremes of the size spectrum. Neither wave nor particle theories of matter could solve them, but general relativity did.
The theory of general relativity warped space and time in such way as to cause the trajectory of Mercury to shift and light to bend in precisely the amounts seen in astronomical observations.
If our new theory was to have a chance at replacing the particle and the wave with the presumably more fundamental fragment, we would have to be able to solve these problems with our theory, too.
For the precession-of-Mercury problem, we modeled the Sun as an enormous stationary fragment of energy and Mercury as a smaller but still enormous slow-moving fragment of energy. For the bending-of-light problem, the Sun was modeled the same way, but the photon was modeled as a minuscule fragment of energy moving at the speed of light.
In both problems, we calculated the trajectories of the moving fragments and got the same answers as those predicted by the theory of general relativity. We were stunned.
Our initial work demonstrated how a new building block is capable of accurately modeling bodies from the enormous to the minuscule. Where particles and waves break down, the fragment of energy building block held strong.
The fragment could be a single potentially universal building block from which to model reality mathematically – and update the way people think about the building blocks of the Universe.
Republished from TheConversation.com under Creative Commons
Neuroscientist Claims That Consciousness Itself Is Its Own Energy Field
A neuroscientist has suggested in a new theory that our consciousness is derived from a field of electromagnetic waves given off by neurons.
The study published last month in the journal Neuroscience of Consciousness is entirely based off a theory absent of tangible evidence. However, the author of the research Johnjoe McFadden said that his hypothesis could offer a way forward for robots that think and feel emotions.
McFadden believes that neuron waves of electrical activity get sent out and as they propagate across the brain, they help compose our entire conscious experience.
Johnjoe McFadden, is a molecular geneticist and director of quantum biology at the University of Surrey. McFadden points to flaws in other models of consciousness as the reason that we don’t have sentient artificial intelligence or robots capable of achieving consciousness.
McFadden’s hypothesis swerves away from most traditional neuroscientists, who generally see consciousness as a narrative that our brain constructs out of our senses, perceptions, and actions. Instead, McFadden returns to a more empirical version of dualism — the idea that consciousness stems from something other than our brain matter.
McFadden’s theory adapts the idea of “dualism,” which is the belief that consciousness is a supernatural force. Dualism has long been rejected by scientists and ruled pseudo-science, but McFadden has attempted to apply a scientific explanation for the idea, which hasn’t been done before.
Neuroscience news reports that the theory is based on scientific fact:
“The theory is based on scientific fact: when neurons in the brain and nervous system fire, they not only send the familiar electrical signal down the wire-like nerve fibres, but they also send a pulse of electromagnetic energy into the surrounding tissue. Such energy is usually disregarded, yet it carries the same information as nerve firings, but as an immaterial wave of energy, rather than a flow of atoms in and out of the nerves.”
It’s also a fact we have an electromagnetic field surrounding our brain is well-known and is detected by brain-scanning techniques such as electroencephalogram (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG) but has previously been dismissed as irrelevant to brain function and supernatural. Instead, McFadden contends that the brain’s information-rich electromagnetic field is, in fact, itself the seat of consciousness, driving the ‘free will’ of an individual.
“How brain matter becomes aware and manages to think is a mystery that has been pondered by philosophers, theologians, mystics and ordinary people for millennia,” McFadden said in a press release published by Medical Xpress. “I believe this mystery has now been solved, and that consciousness is the experience of nerves plugging into the brain’s self-generated electromagnetic field to drive what we call ‘free will’ and our voluntary actions.”
Ann Arbor becomes latest city to decriminalize “magic” mushrooms and other natural psychedelics
(TMU) – The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, has effectively decriminalized psilocybin or “magic” mushrooms along with other natural psychedelics in the latest sign that public opinion across the U.S. is continuing to turn against prohibitionist policies.
On Monday, the Ann Arbor City Council unanimously voted in favor of a resolution that would make it the city’s lowest-ranked law enforcement priority to the investigate or arrest anyone planting, cultivating, purchasing, transporting, distributing, using or possessing entheogenic plants or plant compounds.
The resolution applies to all psychedelics derived from plants and fungi, including psilocybin mushrooms, ayahuasca, ibogaine, mescaline, peyote and other substances with hallucinogenic properties deemed illegal under state and federal law.
The council also requires the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office to halt the prosecution of those involved in the use of entheogenic plants and plant compounds.
Ann Arbor now joins a growing list of cities including Denver, Colorado, and the California cities of Santa Cruz and Oakland that have decriminalized all entheogenic plants. Other cities including Chicago and Austin are considering similar measures. A ballot measure that would legalize the use of psilocybin in therapeutic settings will also be voted on in the state of Oregon this November.
The move to de-prioritize law enforcement around psychedelics was spearheaded by the efforts of local grassroots advocacy group Decriminalize Nature Ann Arbor, or DNA2.
At the beginning of the year, councilmembers were skeptical about any move to decriminalize psychedelics. Since then, they’ve found themselves convinced by evidence of the therapeutic and spiritual benefits of psychedelics, including for mental health treatment and treating addiction, reports MLive.
Councilmember Zachary Ackerman cited the opening of a $17 million psychedelic and consciousness research center by Johns Hopkins Medicine as proof of “the tremendous potential of these future medicines.” The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore is currently conducting clinical trials to find out whether the drug is suitable as a prescription drug for the U.S. market.
Councilmember Jack Eaton described the council’s unanimous backing for the decriminalization resolution as carrying on the city’s legacy of backing the local decriminalization of marijuana during the 1970s, when the plant was still illegal under state and federal law.
The resolution doesn’t allow for the commission of crimes or any significant violation of state or federal law, and any use of entheogenic substances that pose a threat to public health and safety could require intervention by law enforcement bodies.
In the resolution, entheogenic plants are defined as the full spectrum of plants and fungi that contain indole amines, tryptamines and phenethylamines “that can benefit psychological and physical wellness, support and enhance religious and spiritual practices, and can reestablish human’s inalienable and direct relationship to nature.”
The resolution also states that psychedelic substances can be used to address substance abuse problems, addiction, recidivism, trauma, post-traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, grief, cluster headaches and other debilitating conditions.
“The use of entheogenic plants, which can catalyze profound experiences of personal and spiritual growth, have been shown by scientific and clinical studies and traditional practices to be beneficial to the health and well-being of individuals and communities in addressing these conditions,” it states.
Psilocybin mushrooms are currently considered a Schedule 1 narcotic by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
However, psilocybin – the main chemical component of the mushrooms – was designated as a “breakthrough therapy” by the FDA in 2019 due to the positive results of psilocybin in treating depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health problems.
Studies have also shown how a microdose of psilocybin—far from the level needed for a full-blown trip—actually increases the creativity and empathy of participants.
Other researchers have also found that psilocybin has provided effective help to patients struggling to quit other addictive substances such as cigarettes.
The newfound recognition of psilocybin therapy as a valid treatment has eroded old stereotypes of psilocybin as some intoxicating and hallucination-inducing party drug that drives its users insane – a reputation that largely grew out of the hippie counterculture of the 1960s when they were widely known as “psychedelic” or “magic” mushrooms.
The resolution further notes that entheogenic plants have been the basis of spiritual practices by human cultures for thousands of years, yet those who seek them for the sake of improving their health and wellbeing must risk arrest and prosecution to obtain them.
“Decriminalization of naturally occurring medicines is necessary for progress,” councilmember Jeff Hayner said in a press release from DNA2 last week, reports Detroit Metro Times. “We can no longer turn a blind eye towards the wisdom of indigenous peoples, and the bounty the earth provides. I have been moved by the testimonies of those who have found profound relief from the use of entheogenic plants.”
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