Re: An Integral Psychology

From: Jason Joel Thompson (
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 13:35:57 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Steve" <>

> I don't want to waste time on semantical arguments here ...

Pursuant to this I'd like to strip away some of the limiting ideological
garbage found in this conversation.

I think you're reading too much into what I'm saying Steve. Let's try to
keep this simple.

By definition, "limiting belief structures" are -limiting.- In some way.
Now, in many cases we can objectively determine the general impact of these
limitations and assign a general consequence to the persistence of such.

For instance:

The Jehovah's Witness' are averse to blood transfusions. JW Betty requires
a blood transfusion to live. Facilities exist to undertake the procedure in
a timely fashion. In the absence of her ability to remove and/or
"hack-around" (oh, just this one time,) her ideology, she will die.


Joe is a talented, intelligent introvert, and, like most humans, has an
unfortified self-esteem. Joe holds the belief that "doing nothing" is
better than publicly failing in the attempt. Joe procrastinates his goals.
Joe puts off that book he wants to write until "he has a firmer grasp on
it." Joe doesn't talk to the nice girl in the checkout line.


Theo believes that a passing comet is an alien space-ship, which he can
board by means of destroying his earth-bound material existence...

Now, we can debate whether a particular belief structure is limiting or
advantageous, but if we -agree- that a particular belief structure is
limiting, wouldn't you also hold that striping away such an ideology is of

but we have
> may differing concepts of "belief" ... which I think of as being
> emotional/subconscious to a greater degree than they are explitic
> and articulated. The notion of stripping away belief structures is
> less valid than notions of excorcising psychological imbalance
> (through hypnosis and psychotherapy).

Well, it sounds like your saying that the notion of "stripping away" is
unfeasible, rather than undesirable. I am not a therapist, nor am I a
psychologist or neuro-scientist. So, I can't really speak with intelligence
on this topic. I defer expertise of "the means" to those in the know. You
can consider my arguments as addressing "the ends."

Desirable ends: Removal of limiting belief structures.

> For example, I happen to think all the main world religions are
> intellectually "wrong" in making their various supernatural claims. But
> those who follow these religions do so for social and emotional reasons,
> are
> not open to persuasion out of their faiths by intellectual argument alone.

Again, I have never addressed the means in this discussion. Who says that
we need to use 'intellectual argument'?

However, I would be interested in attempting a reverse-conversion (if I
thought it would have a pleasant outcome.) Rational people can often
respond to rational arguments, despite powerful beliefs if the arguments are
given with patience and in a spirit of compassion. This I know.

> >In any case, observationally your belief is clearly wrong-- or do you not
> >see millions of ongoing examples of individual humans falling prey to
> >limiting belief structures?
> You are inserting a value judgement "falling prey" to "limiting" beliefs.
> But
> fairy stories &c. can be very comforting for individuals, and the
> psychological
> benefits may outweigh the intellectual doubts.

I agree that we should engage in a cost benefit analysis in making these
decisions. I probably disagree with the value of a large number of people
holding fairy tale beliefs for the sake of comfort.

Curious, when I abandoned my religion, I found I was quickly able to take
equal (or greater) comfort in my own capabilities as a human being as I ever
received from the impression that my life was being watched over by a
benevolent care-taker. (I appreciate, however, that people are different.)

> >Huh? I -do- have an ego (it's true) but in what fashion have you seen it
> >reflected unflatteringly in my previous post?
> Simply the over-concern with and drive for personal power .... I suffer
> this trait also on occasions.

Uh-oh... rant coming up...

Tut-tut! Steve! Please don't be one of -those- people!

I refer you to Nelson Mandela's 1994 Inaugural Speech:
(For the relgiosity averse: replace "God" with "Life")

Also, uh, I hate to say it, but your comments above are an example of what
I'm talking about. We have a fear of empowering ourselves-- perhaps we fear
that we are not responsible enough to deal with it? (Then we need to
empower our responsibility!)

Remember, personal power is not a bad thing. You -are- looking to re-invent
yourself as a posthuman entity, aren't you? Aren't you trying to defeat
death, liberate your existence from poverty, war, hate and hunger? Isn't
Transhumanism the ultimate manifestation of the empowerment of the human?

I'm talking about -increasing- one's drive for personal power. Not
deflating it (like so many societal factors seem to do.) I think we should
undertake that goal in a spirit of compassion, as I've stated, but do not
shrink away from the brass ring! Do not believe yourself unworthy.

 As a therapist, sometimes I find it good to
> boost the self-esteem and sense of worth of a client (ego-strengthening,
> Western way) and sometimes it might be useful to deflate the ego and stand
> back (ego-dissolution, the Eastern way).

The ability to dissolve one's ego is -also- an expression of personal power.
This is a paradox/truth.

> >You're going to make me do this again, ain'tcha? Okay...
> >Environments have decreased relevancy to our existence is we don't
> >get to "mentally interface" with them.
> No, aeons ago our ancestors' behaviour was governed by sunlight
> & the primal eye, whereas nowadays our E-1 brains have infinite-state
> capability (self-organising) since they are no longer governed by the
> organic
> (primal eye) external clock.


> >I'm not talking Rocket Science (tm) here either-- simply: a) be aware
> >of how we are capable of interacting with reality, and be) take advantage
> of
> >it to optimise our existence.
> We can't "interface" with reality directly .. merely model it and make
> abstract mental
> representations ... as well as painting it/ writing music/ explore it thru
> science &c.

Ugh. Whatever. Again, again. Fine ---> "a) be aware of how we are capable
of *indirectly* interfacing with reality."

You're aware, I hope, that your persistence in adding additional levels of
abstraction does not invalidate my statements.

> It seems to me that most roles & beviour are "learnt" at some stage on
> level, and thus all our behaviour is "pretence" or acting" even if we
> successfully disguise this pretence from ourselves! The best liars are
> who
> can convince themselves of their lies.

Again, I say: "whatever." If all behavior is "pretense," then -that's- what
behavior is. We live in a state of pretense-- that doesn't bother me. But
is it useful pretense? Behavioral 'truth' is a pretty darn grey subject,
wouldn't you agree?

> All I am saying is (1) understand this, and (2) use it to your advantage
> writing and editing your own script, don't pretend to be a character that
> others have scripted for you. There are better things to be than "human"
> this is just a tired old legacy label ... but then presumably we are all
> after/trans-human
> and agree with this statement?

Hey, you took the words right out of my mouth.


::jason.joel.thompson:: ::founder::

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