Re: techno-animisn (was) Japanese Dynamism

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Mon Jun 19 2000 - 15:29:24 MDT

"Steve" <> writes:

> >But it is equally important to point out that sprituality doesn't have have
> >a thing to do with religion. All to often, religions get a walk- over
> >victory when it comes to sprititual things. I see sprituality as something
> >that gratifies you emotionally, and that could be consumerism for instance.
> I thought that spiritualism was the ability to be self-disciplined allowing
> you NOT to have to rely on material thrills. Surely it is normally seen as
> "opium" or compensation for the dispossesed who cannot buy themselves
> instant gratification?

I disagree. Spiritualism, as I use the word, deals with what we
consider central, meaningful, sacred. That can of course be expressed
by self-discipline, but it could just as well be expressed by sacred
hedonism or making grandiose amounts of money. It all depends on the
central values of a person. It is just that the ascetics somehow got
better PR :-)

> Yes, I think there is some mileage in comparing virtual reality computer
> (game) worlds with magickal and spiritual questings and vision. Hypnotic
> and psychological addiction applies to both technology and shamanism. Why
> techno-paganism doesn't seem pan out is that the essential link with
> *nature* is broken .... so unless you take your notebook to a remote glade
> or desert wilderness then light a bonfire to feel more in touvch with the
> elements ... I find it hard to take techno-shamanists seriously!

Isn't this an unnecessarily dualist view? After all, New York city is
also nature.

Of course, that doesn't mean that much of technoshamanism isn't silly,
but I think the real problem is that people mainly play with it, just
thrilling of doing something that is against the old traditions but
not really daring to invent a new one. A bit like the cyberpunk
movement before it died. The real issues of making a good spiritual
system are unity, completeness, consistency and all that. That takes a
lot of work and dedication.

> >Science is the yoga of the West :-)
> Certainly they both have longevity, better mental functioning/ wisdom and
> good health as core aims.

It can be deeper than that - the above is just exoteric stuff, nice
side effects of something more profound. After all, a yoga master
wouldn't say the goal of yoga is to produce somebody who can sit in
meditation for days without getting aches, just as many scientists
would not say that the real reason they try to understand the world is
to make a better sun lotion. There are of course some such yoga masters
and scientists, but there are also spiritual (in my meaning of the
word) motivations involved.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

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