Re: Gematria, Cryptology, and Extropic Mysticism

From: Anders Sandberg (
Date: Wed Nov 15 2000 - 11:47:16 MST

Matthew Purdon <> writes:

> First, let me say that after 3 days, I'm really digging this list serve. I
> haven't been part of one for a long while and I'm throughly enjoying the
> depth of thought and intelligence exhibited in the various threads.
> Anders, thanks for a good quick overview about mysticism, sprituality and
> magick. Yes, I think most of Crowleyian magick is rather archaic and he did
> get too caught up in supernatural experiences or states of consciousness.
> However, I think that magick is a legtimate tool for focusing the will an
> producing change. By practicing magick, you are able to focus your
> consicousness in ritual so reinforce new thought connections. NLP and
> cognitive therapy may be better tools than most magick. But it seems that
> most people practicing magick are riding the regress express back to the
> archaic. Could magick be re-invented. I think yes.

I have exactly the same view. Long-time readers of this list may
remember that I actually did study magick fairly seriously once upon a
dark age :-) but abandoned it for psychology and cognitive
neuroscience - they seem to work much better, have empirical support
and you avoid getting those colds after chanting at a crossroad all
night :-) There are some valid and interesting phenomena there to
investigate and use, but re-inventing magick is a huge task.

> As for mysticism, I agree with your statement:
> >Where it may be
> >helpful is on the emotional level, in getting a feel for how wonderful
> >the universe is or how we ourselves fit in with it.
> That is why mysticism has power to generate insight. It centers you in the
> universe so you can connect with you deep will. I think that mystical
> practices are necessary to strengthen that part. Once you have the insight,
> than yes, follow it and test it rationally. But when I go to my rational
> thought for insight, all I get is a bunch of weighing pros and cons and feel
> de-centered.

As Damasio pointed out, rational acting requires us to have an intect
link between our biological decision systems ("thinking") and our
value systems ("emotion"). People who have damage to this interaction
think rationally but when they act in practice their bad evaluation of
what is good or bad make them do completely stupid things. This is
likely true to a lesser degree about most of us: we need to re-tune
our values and link them with our thinking in order to live
productive, rewarding lives.

> After reading the extropian principles, I understand the need to put
> emotions and insight in their proper place. However, it seems to me that
> there's too much minimization of those too qualities of human life. Yes,
> much of human experience and history has been plagued by unchecked emotion.
> But let's not reverse the swing in the opposite direction. I would prefer
> to see an understanding put forth that expresses a relationship between
> insight, emotion, and rational as though they were equals, each with their
> own realm of action. Do any extropians view it this way?

I think Max expressed it quite well in his talk at Extro 3, where he
spoke about the need for civilized emotions. The goal is not to become
an emotionless robot, but rather like Spock of Star Trek, who did have
emotions but mainly positive, useful ones like loyalty, curiosity and

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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