Sep 16Liked by Andrew Cutler

Two fictional things this reminds me of:

"[T]his soul does not exist ab initio as orthodox Christianity teaches; it has to be brought into existence by a process of guided self-observation. However, this is rarely achieved owing to man’s unique ability to be distracted from spiritual matters by everyday trivia."


The nam shub of Enki plot from Snow Crash. C2 claims it was the word "I", a detail I don't quite remember directly. https://wiki.c2.com/?NamShubOfEnki

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Like many people, I suspect, using psychedelics I have occasionally totally lost all sense of myself existing as a personality, despite at least once being otherwise completely lucid. Whenever this happened to me I felt quite powerfully that I only really existed while in this state - I remembered other times I had been in this state as being somehow contiguous with the moment in which I was feeling that way. In other words, when I was in that state I believed that I only "really" existed while in that state, and I could clearly and vividly remember the few other times at which I had been in that state, while on the other hand my normal consciousness seemed like a foggy dream by comparison.

My question is, have you ever written about the relevance (or otherwise) of such psychedelic states inasmuch as they are related to your ideas about self-referentiality, the nature of ego, snake venom initiation, etc.

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Sep 20·edited Sep 20Liked by Andrew Cutler

You're doing God's work here bud. I love the ideas - this is the core missing piece of our times.

Personally I'm thinking about how much we've lost by throwing out all understanding and interest in a symbological view of the world. The change is relatively recent - in Europe only about 4-500 years ago, and in the rest of the world later. But so much accumulated wisdom and history exists in the myths of our species. This Substack is an excellent exploration of that wisdom.

I'm curious if you have any thoughts on whether the scientific revolution/method represents another 'step' in human consciousness, or a sea change of some sort? I'm convinced that we've gained a lot from science, but also irrevocably lost so much from abandoning credulity of myths. This loss makes itself most evident in social breakdown, but can be seen in other areas if one looks hard enough. Such as history and anthropology.

P.S. - Great use of the Flammarion Engraving. Choice.

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Sep 18Liked by Andrew Cutler

Initiation rites have continued through to recent times in many communities, even though recursiveness was already long-since evolved into the psychology of those peoples. Would we say that the rites were no longer necessary to establish self-awareness within the next generation but they were simply carried forth due to tradition?

I guess the answer has to be "Yes" because females in those places also gained self-awareness without those rituals (as do we in industrialized societies).

Or could one speculate that a worldview-shifting ritual is still required for most people, but we don't even recognize we're going through it because it occurs 1) gradually and 2) when we're too young to take note and remember the paradigm shift occurring within us -- i.e., learning the local language, all of which have the "I" concept fundamentally embedded into them?

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Radical Anthropology Group

Dec 5 Jerome Lewis and Chris Knight (UCL) When Eve laughed: The origins of language


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Great analysis

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