The Devil

Question of The Day March 16, 2013 ~ The Devil

Do you believe in The Devil (regardless of how you wish to name that)? Do you believe in Evil? Do you believe that there is an ancient awareness (Eckhart Tolle termed this The Pain Body), that resonates with negative emotions in human beings and can act through humans when in that vibratory alignment?

Short answer is no.
I do not think there is any conscious evil.
What there does appear to be are many evolved patterns that are extremely selfish and non-cooperative in certain contexts (usually contexts of extreme duress). These patterns have many of the characteristics of evil, and seem to be inherent to all of us, though trigger more readily in some than in others.

In the absence of knowledge of how evolution works, and the sorts of pressures that games theory exerts on the selection of behaviours, the idea of a devil is a close first order approximation of what actually seems to be going on in human behaviour.

[followed by]

Hi TL

I spent a year or two studying Crowley about 35 years ago, and he seemed to be a semi scholoastic on an adrenaline fuelled ego/power trip, with a fair dose of P T Barnum’s “One born every minute” and also a liberal dose, of “the bigger the lie, the more people who will believe it for longer” (which paradoxically is also logically a truth). And there also seems to be a fair dose of him simply accepting a set of premises that remained undistinguished and unchallenged in his thinking, and led him logically down the path he took.

I am cautiously optimistic for our common future.

My studies of the history of science, the history of philosophy, and history itself; set in a context of a modern scientific understanding of epistemology and ontology (how do we know what we know, and what do we mean when we say we know something), gives me a framework of understanding of this universe in which we live that is both lawful and uncertain (in roughly equal measure) that is based on a scientific understanding of the function of brain and thence awareness that is both intuitive (mystic) and rational (in roughly equal measure).

This approach has allowed me to distinguish many underlying causes of both the individual human condition, and the social human condition; and again, both are equally important, for while we all exist as individuals, we all exist in a social and historical context; and these social and historical contexts are as important to who we be as our own intuitions and reason.

We are very complex entities, in a very complex reality; and there is absolutely no way to meaningfully reduce reality to such simple ideas as right/wrong or true/false – in this sense, all such simple binary notions are myths (ideas required as a first step toward appreciating an infinity, and ideas that must be abandoned in favour of ideas that more closely approximate infinities – and no finite entity can ever fully appreciate or enumerate and infinity, so all such models must remain approximations, however complex they be).

So to me, there are classes of solutions to the problems of the human condition that are ecologically and “spiritually” sustainable in the long term, and they require that we think beyond the paradigm of markets and money, and embrace cooperation at entirely new levels; and technology at entirely new levels.

And there do seem to be some ancient truths that will remain eternal – like “the price of freedom is eternal vigilance” – for what else can it mean to be “free”?

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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