Forum posts made by aussiescribbler

Topic The Malignancy of Idealism
Posted 28 Apr 2012 01:50

You have yet to convince me that removing religion and thus paving way for the new philosophy that you feel Jesus taught is not another idealism. Sure, there are things that keeps the spontaneous acts of love from constantly appearing, but the moment you preach and "enlighten" people about it, like you are here and in your book (that you haven't read because I have plenty of other books that I need to read) it becomes YOUR idealism. Unless the barriers that hinders this new spontaneous philosphy are broken by time and people realising it themselves, but it needs to be taught, preached and understood then it becomes an ideal. Your saying "Why don't we do this instead?" In all fairness, this seems like a paradox to me.

I appreciate the fact that you take the time to debate these ideas with me here. While my book is short and would probably take less than two hours to read I understand if you have other calls on your time.

But I think these passages might make my approach more clear. I am not trying to preach. Rather I make my book available only on the off-chance that it may be helpful to others as the ideas contained within it have been helpful to me.

I offer these thoughts for what they may be worth. I trust that, if there is anything of truth in them, it will prosper, and if there is anything which is a mistake it will be seen as such and rightly dismissed.

So, to the extent that these ideas may be useful, it is a quality of the ideas themselves alone, and has nothing to do with the individual who gives expression to them. No doubt at this very moment many other individuals are expressing similar ideas, as any of us might if we learn to relax and be simply who we are and not who we think we should be.

A New World is Rising

If we have within us an original nature characterised by unconditional love which can be liberated when we feel secure enough to drop our armouring, then what about humanity as a whole?

Dogmas and forms of conformist social behaviour are to humanity what the inflexible character armour is to the individual.

But, just as a sudden breakdown of the armouring can be painful and destructive to the individual, the same applies to social or political structures. Racial conflict in the Balkans was kept repressed for decades by communist oppression. When communism collapsed a bloodbath ensued.

It is much better if repressive structures are gradually eroded by better understanding. But we don’t always have much control over what happens in the world. We can try to respond to the emergencies, but supporting oppression because its collapse might unleash violence probably wouldn’t be a good idea.

We can, however, see positive things happening in the world as well. The breakdown of old dogmas and conformist behaviours has allowed some of us to be more honest about aspects of our lives, such as sexuality, and has opened up a social space for the exchange of new ideas. If I had lived during the Middle Ages and tried to express some of the ideas I have here, if I was lucky I might have been able to talk to one or two people before I was executed for heresy. Today I might be dismissed as a loony by many, but at least I can reach an audience via the internet.

If dogma and social conformism and oppressive political structures are what is keeping our deeper nature as a species repressed, then, even though the collapse of some parts of that human equivalent to the earth’s tectonic plates, may release repressed hostilities that express themselves in violence, the overall direction could be towards health.

Jesus said of the last days : “You will hear of wars and rumours of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of birth pains.” Matthew 24:6-8.

To me this suggests the very thing I’m describing. The wars are the death throws of the old neurotic world, and the collapse of that world is necessary for the birth of the new.

Religious individuals may assert that Jesus was describing something supernatural which would include his personal return to earthly existence, but I believe that individuals who, for whatever reason, have access to their original nature often speak as that nature using the word “I” to refer to what is perhaps more properly thought of as “us”. During psychotic breakdowns individuals very often claim to be Jesus or God. Though they may be confused and what they say may be unreliable, they are merely acknowledging that what we term “God” can speak through any of us when armouring is either non-existent or broken. So the return is the return of the voice not the vessel through which it spoke.

Jesus also said this : “At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect - if that were possible. See, I have told you ahead of time. 'So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the desert,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.” Matthew 24:23-28

Here we can see that what is being referred to as “the coming of the Son of Man” is not something focused in an individual towards whom others can look for guidance. Rather the phenomenon is something which happens everywhere seemingly in a flash. This is consistent with the concept that the social space opened up by the death of dogmas, repressive regimes and social conformism allows for the decentralised improvisation of a new consciousness by those whose thinking has been thus liberated. I believe this book is a part of that, but only a part. There are many other useful ideas out there. And the internet is a key to this coming together of a new consciousness because it allows for completely decentralised communication similar to that found in the human brain. If we are to be one entity the internet will be our nervous system. The last sentence refers to the dying dogmas. A lot of people, like those vultures, will have their attention focused on those dogmas in their death throws, but the real action is happening elsewhere.

It should be emphasised that there is nothing supernatural about Jesus’ predictions. They are descriptions of a generalised pattern of events which would be predictable by anyone with insight into the operation of the system being observed, in this case, human society. Jesus was quite fallible as he predicted that these things would happen within the lives of his own generation.

To preach a form of idealism one needs to have faith in its rightness. My writing is not an act of faith but an exploration or excavation. I write what comes to me and only then look to see whether it has usefulness. As the ideas in my book have helped me to become free from often crippling degrees of depression and anxiety, and since others have written to me to tell me that my book has helped them, and since it has 57 five star ratings on U.S. I-Tunes, I would say that there is a certain amount of evidence that it has some usefulness. But as the extracts above explain I see my writing as nothing more than one articulation for something which is happening spontaneously in many people's minds anyway. While I am reassured when people say my book has helped them, I'm equally reassured when people say that I am not saying anything they didn't already know. There is nothing wrong with being unnecessary.

There are plenty of religions that aren't monotheistic or even polytheistic(and if you only have a problem with specific religions then say which ones you're talking about). Buddishm doesn't have any god at all. There's it all about insight. Hindu's have many gods with different qualities. The different mythologies have all gods that have flaws. Have a look at Greek Mythology and you'll see there's more drama there than in Days of our Lives. Hardly the perfect infallible deity that you're talking about, is it?

Because we were talking about Christianity I listed the things which I have a problem with in that religion, or in specific varieties of that religion.

Whether Buddhism is a religion depends on which definition of religion you use.

From The Free Dictionary :

re·li·gion (r-ljn)
n.
1.
a. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
b. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.
2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.
3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.
4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

If we take definition 1, then Buddhism is not a religion in that sense. However it is a religion if we take definition 3. When words are used so loosely it is hard to be precise in our statements.

But some of my criticisms apply to all religions other than Buddhism I think. All others seem to have belief in the supernatural. And even though the deities of ancient Greece and Rome were hardly perfect, devotees were expected to humble themselves before them.

And the belief in the Judeo-Christian God does not automatically mean that you have to fear him. I am a Christian and I do not fear God, because I believe he loves me and don't want me to come to any harm. I don't believe in the image of the vengeful judgemental God that will strike me down. There is no way that my faith makes me feel bad about myself. It's not because it's against the ten commandments that I feel bad when I lie, it's because I lie at all. I have a conscience that dictates my feelings, not my belief. Will I apologise to God because of my sins, of course, but not in any different way than I will apologise to family and friends should I hurt them. If feeling bad is selfishness then I guess I'm as selfish as they come, and to be honest I don't have a problem with it. I'd rather feel bad about the shit I do wrong than be apathic about it. Who knows, maybe I'm just unique and none of the 3 billion people on Earth that believes in a monotheistic God feels the same as I do.

Christianity is not entirely without an element of Jesus's genuine philosophy, a large part of which was to kill the idea of the judgemental God.

But why should you feel bad? If feeling bad benefited somebody then it might have a purpose, but since it stops us from enjoying ourselves and also makes us less available to be helpful to others I see no virtue in it.

Here is what I say in my book on the issue of complacency :

The key to happiness, mental health and being the most that we can be is absolute and unconditional self-acceptance. The paradox is that many of our problems are caused by trying to improve ourselves, censor our thinking, make up for past misdeeds and struggling with our negative feelings whether of depression or aggression.

But if we consider ourselves in our entirety in this very moment, we know these things :

1. Anything we have done is in the past and cannot be changed, thus it is pointless to do anything else but accept it. No regrets or guilt.

2. While our actions can harm others, our thoughts and emotions, in and of themselves, never can. So we should accept them and allow them to be and go where they will. While emotions sometimes drive actions, those who completely accept their emotions and allow themselves to feel them fully, have more choice over how they act in the light of them.

Self-criticism never made anyone a better person. Anyone who does a “good deed” under pressure from their conscience or to gain the approval of others takes out the frustration involved in some other way. The basis for loving behaviour towards others is the ability to love ourselves. And loving ourselves unconditionally, means loving ourselves exactly as we are at this moment.

This might seem to be complacency, but in fact the natural activity of the individual is healthy growth, and what holds us back from it is fighting with those things we can’t change and the free thought and emotional experience which is the very substance of that growth.

And the celebration of Jesus is partly that he died for our sins, but you exclude the most important part of it all; the ressurection. Just pulling the dying part is like going to church and have the wine but not the bread because it makes your mouth dry. You alter the concept of dying for our sins.

Here again we have the belief in the supernatural. I see no reason to believe that Jesus rose from the dead, was born of a virgin, turned water into wine, walked on the water or raised a man named Lazarus from the dead, any more than I see reason to believe that a man named Perseus slew a woman with snakes for hair or that King Arthur was handed his sword by a woman who lived in the lake. It is understandable that neurotic individuals, unable to acknowledge their own state of neurosis and thus unable to understand what made a non-neurotic man like Jesus special, should give expression of their intuitive awareness of that specialness by coming to believe magic stories about him. Which is not to say that those stories have no meaning. Jesus' ideas took on a new life after his death even if he did not. And to drink water with a loving individual like Jesus was no doubt like drinking wine with someone else. And there may have been a man named Lazarus who was returned from a state of spiritual death by Jesus insights.

I think much of what Jesus said also has been taken too literally. For instance he said : and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? John 11:26 Clearly he wasn't talking about literal physical death, because everybody who believed in him in his time did, in fact, die. I think he was talking about the spiritual death - the living death - of ego-embattlement, which makes us like zombies compared to the vital emotional creatures we were as children.

In one of the fragments of The Gospel of Thomas we find this description of the Kingdom of Heaven (or of God) :

Jesus said, "If those who attract you say, 'See, the Kingdom is
in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they
say to you, 'It is under the earth,' then the fish of the sea will
precede you. Rather, the Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is
outside of you. become acquainted with
will find it; become acquainted with yourselves, it is you who are the sons of the living
Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty
and it is you who are that poverty."

So it seems to me that Jesus was never promising an after-life in Heaven, but rather a practical path to becoming once more living expressions of God in this world.

And then there is : And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3. To me this means that the path to paradise involves rediscovering the ability to love unconditionally which we had when we were very young children. This is not something we need to learn, rather we need to unlearn the unhelpful ideas - such as idealism - which separate us from that inherent nature. When we were young children we had no expectations about ourselves, others or the world around us, beyond the expectation that our basic physical needs would be met. Any expectations that we might have about ourselves, others or the world necessarily alienate us from our capacity for unconditional love.

And saying that martyrs are nothing special is like spitting on their grave. People willing to die before changing their beliefs is admirable. You might consider it stupid, but would you call it stupid if I took a man with the exact same views as you, put a gun to his head and told him that if he didn't denounce the philosphy I'd kill him, and then shoot him as he refused? Because that's what a martyr is. You get killed because you don't wanna give up your beliefs.

I shouldn't have said that martyrdom is nothing special. I very much admire someone who has the integrity required to die for their beliefs, whether it be Jesus, Socrates, Spartacus, Joan of Arc, Giordano Bruno, or any number of Cathars, Jews and other heretics killed by the Catholic church or the women burned as "witches" by the puritans. I should have said that Jesus martyrdom is not what made him unique. There have been many more martyrs than there have been individuals with a philosophy as insightful and influential as that of Jesus.

I would have replied more, but it's 9 PM on a Friday and my brain is shutting down. Have a good weekend coffee

Topic The Malignancy of Idealism
Posted 27 Apr 2012 07:23

1. If you change "sin" to "good deeds" and "God" to "The Devil" and so forth, suddenly the entire Bible becomes a manifesto for Devil worshippers. One thing is your interpretation of the Bible, but if you start swapping words then you're altering the text to fit YOUR point of view. In a scientific way; you're altering the evidence to fit your theory, which is an unforgiveable sin in science and makes your entire point as useful as a boat made of creme cheese.

This would be true if I were picking words without reference to other ideas from within the religion. "Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." John 4:8. Thus Jesus said that God was love, so by replacing the word "God" with the word "love" I am doing something consistent with Jesus' philosophy. As for sin being another word for selfishness, if you look at the seven deadly sins you will see that they are sins of selfishness, of taking instead of giving or of self-agrandisment rather than generosity towards others. One definition given for the word "sin" is "Deliberate disobedience to the known will of God." Assuming that there is a God capable of having a will (and I make no such assumption) then to go against that will would be to give preference to one's own will against that of God. And what is that but selfishness. My aim in suggesting replacing the word "sin" with "selfishness" is not to change the meaning of Jesus' statements but to make them more plain by removing the mysticism which clings to words such as "sin". If we can see that sin is selfishness then each of us can see when we are a prey to it, but if sin can only be determined by reference to the will of God, then none of us can ever truly know in what it consists, because none of us can be sure that we know God.

2. How can you say that religion is nothing but evil? Won't you agree that it's more the practice and use of religion that should be criticised? One man will use the Bible as a reason to blow up an abortion clinic, while another man will use the Bible as a reason to start soup kitchens and help homeless people. Others will become priests and help people in funerals. For instance the priest in my grandad's funeral made the goodbye a whole lot easier than if he had been a shitty one. How can you call religion something bad when it makes death a less painful experience because they believe that the dead person will go to heaven and maybe not in the flesh but at least in spirit live on for eternety? Yes, all religion has it flaws, but isn't it more from the use?

I don't believe that I did say that religion is nothing but evil. I said that Christianity (in the sense of the religion, not in the sense of what Jesus' preached) has been very destructive. I don't think that is a controversial statement. We all know of the excesses of the churches. But to say that something is very destructive is not to say that it is nothing but evil. A monsoon is very destructive, but it is not evil, the rain it brings is needed. Certainly some people do good deeds because of their religious belief, but if their example leads other people to feel guilty and that sense of guilt leads them to behave more selfishly, then no net good may eventuate. Good and evil can only be assessed in a holistic way by taking into account the effect of an act within the social system. The more one does this the less clear it becomes what constitutes a good or evil act. What I do believe is that insight, honesty, open communication and lack of judgement have beneficial effects on the system. This is why I believe in Jesus' philosophy which promoted these qualities and which put forward the view that acts of generosity should be kept secret ( "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." Matthew 6:2). In this way the destructive side of generosity (i.e. that it makes selfish people feel guilty and thus increases their selfishness, since selfishness is the natural self-directedness of those who are suffering from such negative feelings as guilt) can be prevented. I think Jesus was spot on, but the founders of the Christian church, such as Paul, perverted his philosophy and turned it into its opposite. As George Bernard Shaw said : "Howbeit, Paul succeeded in stealing the image of Christ crucified for the figure-head of his Salvationist vessel, with its Adam posing as the natural man, its doctrine of original sin, and its damnation avoidable only by faith in the sacrifice of the cross. In fact, no sooner had Jesus knocked over the dragon of superstition than Paul boldly set it on its legs again in the name of Jesus." Introduction to Androcles and the Lion .

As for funerals, whether the minister or priest is doing the mourners a favour by saying that their loved one is going to an eternal life perhaps depends on whether or not that is true. Sometimes it is better to face up to the blunt truth of a tragic event. Some charlatans claim to help bereaved people by putting on an act of talking to the dead. This is widely acknowledged to be something which is detrimental to the healing process. My belief is that there is no existence for the ego beyond the grave. We may have an eternal "soul" but if we do it is a collective one, i.e. our body and its ego is filled with some of the universal consciousness (or God if you like) and when we die it goes back to being undifferentiated consciousness. So when I die I believe that I (as a separate entity) will have ceased to exist, but since the most blissful moments of my life have been those in which I lost to some extent that sense of being a separate entity rather than being a part of the whole, why should that be anything to view negatively?

The problems I have with religion are these :

1. The concept that God is perfect and that we should worship "him" separates us from God, encouraging us to feel bad about ourselves (something which makes us selfish) and causing us to hate and fear God as the perfect one who might hate us for our imperfections and might punish us for those imperfections.

2. A belief in the supernatural. This devalues the natural universe and leads to irrational beliefs which cause a split between ourselves and that natural universe which keep us from achieving psychological wholeness as individuals.

3. The concept that Jesus "died for our sins". He tried to show the way to freedom from selfishness and the suffering which accompanies it while he was alive. He failed. And he was killed because the sickest members of society can't stand to see someone who is healthy. But he left his philosophy behind him, so those who seek out its true meaning can still be set free by it. But the idea that what is significant about Jesus is that he went willingly to an agonising death rather than that he knew how to live a joyous and healthy life represents a second crucifixion inflicted upon him (and us) by the Christian church. Look at any church and you will find Jesus on the cross. The church loves that gruesome death because the church hates the life of the body. But many people throughout history have gone to martyr's deaths. That's nothing special. What is special about Jesus is his philosophy.

3. Where's the love when a bear kills the cubs of a fellow bear just so he can mate with the mother? Not to mention the sadistic nature of a cat when he toys with the mouse for a long time before it gets bored and finally kills the mouse.

I didn't say that animals are only capable of love. I explained that the need to compete for mating opportunities overrides the loving nature as the animal reaches adulthood in many cases. This is what happens in the case of the bear that kills the cubs. As for the cat and the mouse, the mouse is potential food. It may be true that the behaviour seems more cruel than is necessary, but love generally occurs within a species rather than between species (though that is certainly possible as we know if we are pet owners), but it is unlikely to occur between a cat and its food.

It's important to recognise that love is not compassion. Compassion is projected self-pity. Since it is likely that only humans are neurotic enough to experience self-pity it follows that only humans are liable to feel compassion. Love is open, spontaneous, honest communication. I grant you this is not an official definition, but it is the definition which seems most useful in understanding my own experience. A definition of love taken from Wikipedia is : "An intense feeling of deep affection." I use my definition because I find that I only feel "an intense feeling of deep affection" when I am being open, spontaneous and honest. If I put up some kind of defence or try to place some form of control over my communication with someone that stifles any ability to feel that "intense feeling of deep affection." And I think this is very useful for understanding the fragility of relationships between friends, lovers and family members. We may feel attached to each other, but whether we have those feelings of "deep affection" depends on whether we are being open, spontaneous and honest.

4. How can idealism be wrong if you strive for e.g. communism, and you truly believe that it will make the society a better place for everyone? That we will all recieve what we need and we will give back to society what we can. No more filthy rich people and no more greed. Sure, you can argue that they might need a reality check and that it will never function, but more or less saying that it's evil is pushing it too far.

They say that the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. The problem is that, in the absence of healing, anything which pushes society in one direction will inevitably inspire a push back in the other way. Because it is all unnatural, all a matter of discipline. Look at what happened in the Balkans. Communism forced people to work together and to repress their racial resentments, but as soon as that unnatural system (a system characterised by its own abuses of power by the leaders) broke down, all hell broke loose and near genocide eventuated. Would the slaughter and rape have been less savage if the conflicts had not been repressed so deeply for so long? We can't know for sure. But hatred of "filthy rich people" is not a reliable motivation for social healing. Jesus said we should love our enemies.

5. Satanism existed before Christianity. It's an atheist view of life that puts humans in the centre.

While it is true that the myth of Satan pre-exists Christianity, appearing in the Old Testament, it is hard to confirm stories of people actually worshipping Satan before the establishment of the Church of Satan by Anton LaVay in 1966. (And it is not clear that he and his followers were really serious about it.) But the point I was trying to make was that defiant opposition to Christianity in the form of LaVay's "church" or the lyrics of various heavy metal songs occur because of Christianity. There is no need to express defiance of something unless one feels, in some way, oppressed by it.

I believe that LaVay's philosophy was an atheistic one, and that is why I don't think he was serious about the Satanic mumbo-jumbo. Satan is a meaningless concept if there is no God.

But does an atheistic philosophy necessarily put humans in the centre?

Firstly I think it has to be acknowledged that we are, of necessity, the centre of the universe as far as we ourselves are concerned. Because we are the focal point from which we experience the universe, we can't be anywhere but at its centre. But does the universe have an objective centre? Maybe. If the Big Bang Theory is correct I suppose the point from which the universe is expanding is it centre. But I don't know enough about astronomy to make sense of these things.

But beyond the purely positional question, does atheism see man as the centre? Not necessarily. We are a product of the universe. One of the more complex products. But many an atheist will acknowledge that there might be other even more intelligent and developed beings existing somewhere out in space. The idea that the universe revolves around humans is one that most atheists would probably be loath to promote, given that science was wrong about the earth being flat and the sun revolving around the earth, etc.

Religious individuals, however, very often put man (or at least a deity based on man) at the centre of the universe. The concept of God as masculine, jealous, angry, etc., is a projection of human characteristics onto the universe. It seems as if it is the religious who are more likely to put something essentially human at the centre of the universe.

There is nothing wrong with the idea of showing only love and affection, but isn't it so that love suddenly becomes the ideal?

If it becomes an ideal it ceases to be love. If love is open, spontaneous, honest communication, then it is a process that has to be unconcerned with its own imperfections. Ideals are fixed. Something spontaneous can't be fixed.

Topic The Malignancy of Idealism
Posted 02 Apr 2012 08:15



It seems to me that you have a very odd way of defining the word. Here's how Merriam-Webster defines it:

Quote:
1 a (1) : a theory that ultimate reality lies in a realm transcending phenomena (2) : a theory that the essential nature of reality lies in consciousness or reason
b (1) : a theory that only the perceptible is real (2) : a theory that only mental states or entities are knowable

2 a : the practice of forming ideals or living under their influence
b : something that is idealized

3: literary or artistic theory or practice that affirms the preeminent value of imagination as compared with faithful copying of nature.

At first I was going to say that I was talking about the 2nd definition and not 1 or 3. On further thought though I think the views I expressed include 1 as well, though not 3.

The difficulty is that my post was an attempt to distill something at the very heart of the philosophy I have expressed in an ebook called How to Be Free by Joe Blow. (It's free on Smashwords). And what I was trying to express perhaps needs more explanation than I gave it to anyone who isn't familiar with the approach as a whole. I thought it could stand on its own. Perhaps for some it can, but for others perhaps it just gives the wrong idea.

But what I'm not talking about is zealotry, that is just an extreme version.

What I'm talking about is anything which gets in the way of us honestly embracing the reality of ourselves and our world. One thing I am not is a pessimist. I believe that we will achieve paradise on earth. That is not the belief of a pessimist. But it is also, in my case, not the belief of an idealist but a realist.

An idealist might envision paradise and then try to work towards it. He will fail and it will be his persistence of vision that will make what he longs for impossible. Because all that is healthy can only grow through a realistic and honest response to the present moment and the present situation. One of the principle influences on my thinking is a guy called Keith Johnstone, a teacher of theatrical improvisation. His masterpiece was a book called Impro : Improvisation and the Theatre . It may be intended as a manual for theatrical improvisation, but if one learns from it how to approach life as an improvisation, opening up to the full possibility of one's situation without self-criticism or pre-conceptions about goals then wonderful things happen. I believe that most innovators use this kind of approach whether they are aware of it or not. Steve Jobs could not have imagined an I-Pod or an I-Phone when he set out on his journey. Those who imagine the end of the journey never get there. Those who get to the place they seek very often weren't sure of what it was until they got there.

So the reason I see the first kind of idealism as destructive is that it stands between us and reality and it may lead us to hate those parts of reality that don't fit with our vision of the ideal. There is a reason why Jesus suggested that we love our enemies. Because if we hate those things or those people in the world which don't fit with the way we want our world to be - the greedy, the serial killers, the racists, the child molesters - we will continue to reinforce a world in which such forms of unhealthy thinking or behaviour exist. Only if we accept the reality of all people and all the world and honestly admit that we are all part of the same and no better than the murders, rapists, racists, Nazis, will we have the basis for a healthy honest realistic world in which these extremes of destructive behaviour don't exist. Because by denying the murderer/rapist/racist/Nazi that lurks behind our good citizen front we make the continued acting out of such forms of hostility by others inevitable.

I say here that idealism is the root of all evil. Elsewhere I've said perfectionism. I could also say repression or dishonesty. They are all part of the same complex.

Idealism is the desire to chose the dream over reality or to embrace only one half of reality. Only by openly embracing all of reality can we become whole as individuals and a species. Not only do I believe that this can happen. I believe it is inevitable. I think that makes me an optimist.

Here are some extracts from my book which may give some more context :

The Love of Perfection is the Root of All Evil

Most of us accept that it would be unreasonable to expect ourselves to be perfect, but we still see perfection as an ideal, something to be pursued. And yet to pursue perfection, if such a thing even exists, makes about as much sense as pursuing death.

If anything were ever perfect it would be sterile. It would be a dead end.

Everything wonderful in the whole universe has grown out of imperfection. That is how the creative principle of the universe works.

The universe is a system - a network of energy, some of which behaves in a particular kind of orderly way that we refer to as matter. This matter exists in a web of action and interaction with other matter and forms of energy. And some of that matter is alive and operating under its own internal direction as a subsystem of the whole. And the most complex form of that living matter is ourselves as we look out into the universe and try to understand it.

But how did we come about? Through a serious of mutations, i.e. imperfections. Perfection is a steady-state. But the creative principle operates through variation. An animal, for instance, is born which is not quite right, a mutation of some kind. If that variation, that imperfection, proves beneficial then something new and wonderful comes into existence, a new branch on the tree of life. And all of those imperfections led to us.

And yet we somehow became intolerant of our mistakes and imperfections instead of seeing them as an intrinsic part of the creative process of the universe.


***

Good is that which contributes to the health of the individual or the society or wider ecological system of which they are a part.

So what do we mean by evil? We could say that evil is anything which adversely effects the health of the individual or the system. But the term “evil” is a very strong one. Selfishness has a negative impact on the health of the system by interfering with the free flow of material, information or energy. But we wouldn’t consider minor acts of selfishness, like eating more than our share of a piece of cake, to be evil. Evil is a term we use to describe those acts which cause significant suffering or otherwise do major harm. The essence of evil is the imposition of the will. If we take something from somebody against their will - their life, their property, their dignity, their humanity - this is clearly evil. But also it is an act of evil to try to control another’s behaviour through fear or guilt or other forms of deliberate manipulation. The fact that such behaviour has a dire impact on the health of the individual and the social system can be demonstrated when we consider that the worst forms of socially-sanctioned cruelty we know of - the Holocaust, the witch burnings, the Spanish Inquisition, the stoning to death of women by the Taliban - have been the work of societies in which the repression and control of the individual through fear and/or guilt were the norm.

Of course there is such a thing as necessary evil. We have to impose our will on those who behave destructively towards others, etc. But it must be recognised that this does not solve the problem of evil. At best it contains it. But, more often than not, even this is an illusion and the act of using our will to contain evil sows the seeds of more evil behaviour. Only the healing of individuals and of society can actually decrease the incidence of evil.

But what we need to understand, if we are to understand ourselves, is our own impulses to engage in destructive or dominating behaviour towards others.
If we have such impulses they originate in a lack of acceptance of some aspect of ourselves. Hostility towards others or the need to control others is projected self-contempt.

It is commonly acknowledged that the hostility of some heterosexual men towards gay men is due to a lack of acceptance of their own denied homosexual impulses. The same applies to all forms of hostility. Those who wish to hunt animals for sport, or otherwise mistreat them, don't want to accept that they are animals themselves and thus physically vulnerable in the same ways. Those who wish to harm children feel threatened by their disowned inner child. Men who wish to harm women are threatened by their disowned feminine side.

Anyone who is fully accepting of themselves feels no hostility toward others. They may be troubled by the hostility of others and oppose it, but they will not experience feelings of hostility themselves. If a wild animal attacks us, we may be distressed and do what we can to protect ourselves, even to the extent of killing the animal, but, if we are sensible, we feel no hostility towards that animal, recognising that it is behaving according to its nature. Our feelings about the hostility of other humans would be the same if we did not have in ourselves something of what they express in their hostile behaviour. Those who scream for the death penalty after a vicious crime, if not loved ones of the victim, are those who know that they have within them the same kind of rage as the criminal and feel the need for a harsh penalty for such crimes in order to feel secure in their ability to control themselves.

From this we can see that evil behaviour originates in our neurosis (our divided state) and is not an expression of our primary nature.

***

I could accept that there were people in the world who raped, killed and tortured the innocent. I didn’t see this as a good thing, but it was at least honest. But it seemed as if dishonesty and hypocrisy caused more suffering in the world than violence, especially since they often led to violence.

And this is what I mean when I talk about our tendency to project the disowned part of ourselves onto the world around us and then fight against it. The reason that the one thing in the world I couldn’t stand was dishonesty was because my own dishonesty was the thing I was trying to disown. At the height of my neurosis I was going around being an idealistic do-gooder, working for an environmental organisation, but deep down I was just a pit of seething repressed hostility. My colleagues were praising me for my selflessness and generosity while my OCD was asking me whether they would still think so highly of me of I raped and killed their teenage daughter.

This is the nature of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. Everyone I’ve come in contact with who has it is scrupulously considerate of others, polite and concerned about always doing the right thing. But at the same time plagued by thoughts about doing things like killing babies or putting puppies in the microwave.

How I’ve come out of that situation is through finding insight into myself and others, which I’m presenting in this book, and learning to express any repressed hostility through sick humour rather than keeping it bottled up. I think that the only reason that these hostile feelings build up for those of us who don’t allow ourselves an outlet is because of an unhelpful framework of thinking about ourselves and the world. Once we have a framework which works, we feel little frustration and thus little hostility.

Of course to understand the context properly you might have to read the book, but hopefully this gives some indication of where I'm coming from.

Topic The Malignancy of Idealism
Posted 30 Mar 2012 20:25

Ideals do not exist in solitude. They need a framework, a perspective, a point of view to be seen from. An ideal that one person strives for may be just a waste of time to another. Ideals are one motivating force behind innovation. When one of our remote ancestors invented the wheel, he didn't do so to get closer to God, or because he thought Jesus wanted him to - he did it because it was an easier way to get all that mammoth meat up to the fire where it could be cooked. He knew that toting the meat over his shoulder was a helluva lot of hard work, and his ideal was to find an easier way.

Idealism is about improvement, about embracing the non-ideal and molding it, improving it, and making it over into something closer to the best it can be. If human-kind ever stops striving for the ideal, you may as well drive a stake through IT'S heart - it'll stagnate and die eventually, anyway. Might as well put the race out of its misery.

You have a very different definition of idealism from mine. In describing the invention of the wheel you are describing problem solving via improvisation. To me this is the antithesis of idealism. Idealism is perfectionism, and perfectionism kills improvisation stone dead every time by closing off any possibilities which might deviate from the ideal. A dramatic example of idealism stifling improvisation was the Christian churches hostility to any science which threatened its dogma. Or one could look at the way that "political correctness" stifles free artistic expression and intellectual discussion. Improvisation, creativity and discovery require an open-mind. Idealism is all about closing the mind.

Topic The Malignancy of Idealism
Posted 30 Mar 2012 20:17



I believe that your description of love being common with animals is mistaken.
Love is a purely a human emotion and not shared by animals.
Animals do take CARE of their offsprings but only to an age; beyond that age their is hardly any attachment felt.
A cow would never cry or weep if her grownup bull or cow is slaughtered. In fact she hardly recognize the offsping once grown of age.She will use her own 'son's sperm to get impregnated.
Second, and most important, animals mostly live untill they procreate; not with human beings.
We love even our grand kids to prolong our life's longivity, much beyond reproductive age.
Third,
It is not IDEALISM that is source of all destruction. It is greed to have access to belongings of others.
Almost all wars of history, including WWI & WWII were fought to have access to means belonging to others including land.
Those fighting in WWI & II were never disturbed about the Idealism or faith of others; they wanted access to land and colonize others colonies too.
Still more,
No emotion or feeling about any idealism is permanent. What is relevant today will definite become obsolete in future, near or distant future.
As man evolves, so does his idealism, though slower than physical evolution, because Idealism is a social phenomenon.
So are all religions fastly becoming obsolete.
Just to remind, the number of those not confirming to any faith, religion or IDEALISM is much greater than followers of all faiths or religions put together.

What you describe as love is actually attachment. Love is nothing more than open, honest, spontaneous communication. This continues among animals because, unlike humans, they are incapable of putting up emotional barriers, being dishonest or behaving in anything more than a spontaneous way. They don't discriminate on the basis of genetic kinship, as we tend to do, after the age at which their genes have been successfully launched into the world. A loving human doesn't necessarily mourn the death of a family member. I was very close to my father and mother, but I did not mourn their deaths, because they were old and suffering, and love is not about attachment but communication. I love the living. One cannot truly love the dead, because communication with the dead is impossible. How much actually physical affection animals show for each other depends on the species - apes and dolphins show a lot, cows are less demonstrative, but they certainly tend to peacefully co-exist.

It is true that greed leads to much destruction in the world. I acknowledge that with point 3 - the selfishness which is the natural self-directedness of those hurt by the struggle between idealism and defiance of its oppression. This struggle is both an internal and an external one. It leads to feelings of insecurity about one's self, thus making us desire reinforcement through wealth, etc. and it makes us vulnerable to political oppression and nationalism, among other things.

But idealism comes first. Then comes defiance of idealism. Then comes greed. And when it comes to war and many other destructive human phenomena, all three elements can get mixed.

It is true that many people don't subscribe to a faith. Religious faiths are not the only form of idealism. Socialism and Communism are forms of idealism. Pacifism is a form of idealism. There are many. I would say that evolution in idealisms - and any kind of social evolution - takes place much faster than physical evolution, but perhaps that is what you meant to say. I think what is happening in the world at the moment is that many forms of idealism are in their death throws. All idealism is, at base, dishonesty. I think what is happening is that, unable to maintain our lies, we are in the process of coming clean - coming out of the closet so to speak.

Topic The Malignancy of Idealism
Posted 30 Mar 2012 02:55

Our basic nature is to be unconditionally loving. As very young children we did not place conditions on our acceptance of others. We accepted them as they were regardless. Animals also love in this way, but when they become adults this nature is sometimes hidden beneath the need to compete for food and breeding opportunities. Adult dogs and cats in the wild can seem to be "red in tooth and claw", at least to those of us who might end up on the menu, but our domestic dogs and cats, having grown accustomed over generations to having their needs met by humans, are praised for their unconditionally loving natures.

Sometimes we humans have to compete over food or other necessities too. But the main source of human conflict is our thinking and specifically our attachment to ideals.

Idealism is like a dangerous conceptual virus, because it eats away at our capacity for unconditional love. It places conditions on our love of ourselves and of others by introducing the expectation of a certain kind of behaviour and eventually leading us to demand it. It is a particularly pernicious virus because we believe that we need it and that it is something which leads to improvement in ourselves and society. It doesn't. In fact it is the source of our capacity for evil.

It is only after we have been hurt by life in some way, and thus become insecure or neurotic, that we feel the need to cling to ideals of any kind. And usually we have been so wounded by the time our parents, our teachers or our religious leaders start feeding them to us.

Some believe that Jesus (on whose philosophy a very destructive religion was founded) was himself an idealist. I think this is a mistake, just like that religion. If one looks carefully at the description of his words and actions which we have and replace the word "sin" with "selfishness" and "God" with "love", etc., it becomes clearly that, unlike many who claimed later to represent him, he was not trying to insist on, or scare people into following, a moral code. He was simply describing our psychological state, offering comforting statements about it and providing advice on resolving conflict and promoting the healing of ourselves and our society.

Most, if not all, of the destruction wrought by humans comes from one of these things :

1. People trying to force themselves or others to conform to some ideal.
2. People retaliating against the oppressiveness of some ideal.
3. The selfishness which is just the natural self-directedness of those wounded by 1. or 2.

There is no objective standard for what is ideal behaviour. Healthy or loving behaviour is determined by consideration of the whole situation, but ideals exist in isolation.

Idealism and holism are incompatible. Idealism is the separation of that which is considered ideal from that which is considered non-ideal. A whole is something which is not separated. And anything partial incites its opposite. There would be no Right Wing if there were no Left Wing. There would be no Satanism if there were no Christianity. One group insists, the other defies and so society or the individual is torn apart.

To drive a stake through the heart of that vampire Idealism is to free ourselves from humanity's historic curse which had the power to turn us from beings characterised by loving playfulness into miserable and destructive ego maniacs.

Topic Porn Star's Lament
Posted 18 Aug 2011 07:45

I had a request to post these lyrics which I wrote to be sung to the tune of Falling In Love Again .

Face full of cum again
It’s so de rigeur
Spunk all in my hair
Let’s change it


Porn’s always been the same
Laid the same old way
Every single day
Let’s change it


Men wack off to me like monkeys at the zoo
Let’s cast some hot guys, so girls can do it too


Arse full of cock again
Poking in my poo
When I need the loo
Let’s change it


Mouth full of meat again
I’m a vegan girl
Think I might just hurl
Let’s change it


Porn’s always been so lame
By the second take
All the cums are fake
Let’s change it


Men wack off to me like monkeys at the zoo
Let’s cast some hot guys, so girls can do it too.

Topic Are men's bodies repulsive (or beautiful)?
Posted 06 Apr 2011 22:36

When it comes to beauty in nature I'm reminded of a line from one of my favourite movies - Withnail and I :

Flowers are essentially tarts; prostitutes for the bees.


Think about the entire animal kingdom, and which animals are beautiful to look at. Colorful birds. Tropical fish. Large cats. Maybe even wolves.

Are humans like these creatures? No. Our closest genetic cousins are chimpanzees.

Even the most beautiful human is nowhere close to the top of the animal beauty chain.

On the other hand, we don't generally want to have sex with eagles, leopards or manta rays (all wonderful creations).

I have no idea what my point is.

Topic Health, the Bible and You : Part 5 - Jesus Recommends Carrot Juice
Posted 04 Apr 2011 02:16

We all know that Jesus was a big believer in exercise. "If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles," He said. (Matt. 5:41) But what were his views on diet?

While Jesus sometimes practised fasting (see Health, the Bible and You : Part 4 - The Amazing Soul-Cleansing Diet ), and was not a believer in large portions (note the feeding of five thousand people with only five loaves and two fish), He did say much about the importance of eating healthy food.

Many believe that the Carbohydrate Addict's Diet is a new invention but it was Jesus who told the Devil that "man does not live on bread alone" (Matt. 4:4). He realised that our desire to pig out on carbohydrate rich foods such as bread, pasta and potato chips is a Satanic temptation which we must resist with all our might.

Though not entirely a vegetarian, Jesus no doubt concurred with Proverbs 15:17 : "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fatted calf and hatred with it."

In order to fully understand this proverb we have to first realise that when the word "love" is used in English versions of the Bible it is a translation of the Greek work "caritas", meaning "high in Vitamin A". This is the root word from which we derive the English term "carrot", itself a root vegetable.

This proverb is pointing out that it is better to eat vegetables or herbs with a high level of Vitamin A than to increase one's cholesterol by consuming fat-rich meat products. To consume too much fat leads to the lack of social approval ("hatred") that is so often shown towards fat people.

It was through a steady diet rich in Vitamin A that the blind were again able to see. We all know that carrots help you to see in the dark, whether that darkness be of a spiritual or external nature.

But will this diet help me to lose weight I hear you ask? Of course it will. A heavy person could hardly walk on water.

For more Biblical dietary advice just send $55 to:

One Born Every Minute Pty. Ltd.
c/o The big spender by the roulette wheel,
Caesar's Palace
3570 Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
U.S.A.

You will receive my special set of 12 audio tapes and, as a special bonus, two free booklets entitled, Did Pontius Pilate Suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? and Was Judas High on Twinkys™ When He Betrayed Our Lord?



Topic Fave sex/love scene?
Posted 04 Apr 2011 01:39

Sorry, I hit post twice.

Topic Fave sex/love scene?
Posted 04 Apr 2011 01:39

While I'm a big fan of Secretary in particular, and Maggie Gyllenhaal in particular (I like to imagine being Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart too, even though the sex scene there is brief), I'd have to pick the following scene from Julio Medem's Sex and Lucia (2001) with Elena Anaya, because of its playfulness and sensuality. If I were a woman I'd pick a scene from the same director's Room in Rome (2010), also with Elena Anaya showing her playful sexiness.

http://www.youtube.com/embed/1TM88-72BZo

Topic Are men's bodies repulsive (or beautiful)?
Posted 18 Mar 2011 02:57

re the rest of this post, I disagree with your statement that "If we want stable families we have to decouple the concept of sexual attraction from that of life partnership." Otherwise I might as well marry and procreate with a male buddy and then fuck his friends on the side to satisfy my sexual desires. I think attraction is just as much a binding ingredient in a good marriage as 'emotional compatibility'. Having an 'open marriage' is still not the norm in society, and we are by nature sexual creatures with desires and physical needs. If we don't have the inclination to have sex with our spouse, then the 'emotional connection' bit starts to unravel pretty quickly. At least it would for me.

This is good advice, however, for the guys that hook up with the beautiful trophy girls that are a psychological hot mess. And that's a fairly common trend, unfortunately.

I'm not saying that sexual attraction and life partnership can't coexist. What I'm saying is that sexual attraction is usually not centred on one person, so it makes a very poor basis for a long-term relationship. Long-term relationships are usually based on friendship or love. We may also be sexually attracted to a friend or loved one, but it is extremely unlikely that they will be the only person to whom we are sexually attracted.

The bases for friendship or love are patience, honesty, openness and generosity. These attitudes and qualities naturally build bridges between people which last. Friendship or love can develop between two people who are initially drawn to each other by sexual attraction. Even when the attraction is not mutual, and one partner is more interested in the other's money or connections, love or friendship could grow between the two if they are patient and open and honest and generous. I think the fact that it usually doesn't is because, when we desperately want something we lose touch with our capacity to exercise these traits, perhaps especially honesty.

The reason why our relationships with our friends, especially those of our own sex, are usually more stable and long-lasting than our sexual relationships is because we can be ourselves with our friends. When we are sexually attracted to someone, generally we decide that we had better try to be or pretend to be the person we think they want us to be as we think that this is the route into their pants. The same thing is true if we want someone's money or favours. But, if we are not really being ourselves then we are lying, and dishonesty is like acid to any form of relationship.

What guy is really going to be honest to his partner about his sexual feelings for other women? To his friends he says, "I was just down the mall and I saw this hot chick. I would have done her in a minute." Some women may be realistic enough to realise that that is what men are like and not take it personally, but few men will take the risk. And the same applies the other way. I'm sure there are many things women don't tell their partners for fear of upset them in one way or another. But if the man is in love with how the woman presents herself, and the woman is in love with how the man presents himself, then neither is in love with the reality of their partner, and thus they are not in love with each other at all. They are in love with their own illusions.

Also sex needn't begin with sexual attraction. My only sexual experience was with a friend. She was about 18 years older than me and I wouldn't have looked at her twice on the street. But we became friends through a common interest and later it led to a brief sexual relationship. A sexual partner doesn't have to be our ideal sex object, in fact, its probably better if they are not, because in the absence of a powerful need we can just relax and have fun.

I'm not saying that every marriage should be an open marriage. It just depends on what the individuals want. But I think open marriages can work. If a man or woman has a strong desire to have sex with other partners then I think it is often better to act on those desires than to repress them and thus stifle their ability to show love for their partner and their children, though only if they are able to be honest about their behaviour to their spouse. The problem with repression as a solution is that we cannot repress anything without repressing our capacity for love beneath it. Which doesn't mean we should run around living out all our impulses in an orgy of sex and violence and fast food consumption. The important thing is to acknowledge feelings and desires and find safe outlets for them when we can. Reading stories on Lush might be our outlet for our overflow of sexual desires. Watching "Rambo" or playing football might be our outlet for our excess aggressive feelings. As William Blake said : Better murder an infant in its cradle than nurse an unacted desire. If we find a substitute we are not nursing it. But you can see the sense of what Blake was saying when you look at the emotional devastation wrought by uptight, repressed individuals who, rather than acknowledge their unacted desires, take them out on others. An extreme historical example might be the puritans who burned the witches. It might be homophobes who bash those who are doing what they secretly desire to do themselves. But in minor ways we all have times when our relationships with others suffer because we can't stop thinking about the metaphorical chocolate bar we are denying ourselves because we are on a metaphorical diet.

Topic Are men's bodies repulsive (or beautiful)?
Posted 16 Mar 2011 22:37

I was reading this interesting article which also provoked some thought-provoking discussion :

http://goodmenproject.com/ethics-val...-or-beautiful/

Here is my thoughts on the subject. I wander away from the point a little bit perhaps, but what the heck :

We are not our bodies. We are in our bodies. Our bodies are an important part of us. But when you look at my body you can’t see my feelings. You can’t see the responses I have made - brave or cowardly - to the challenges my life has presented. You cannot see the pain I may be carrying from the things that have been done to me. You may see clues to these things. The lines around my eyes may speak of tears or the erectness of my walk may speak of pride. But when you respond to my body you are not responding to the totality of who I am.

When we long for affirmation, it is an affirmation of our value as a person. The fact that we may or may not be physically attractive doesn’t really come into it. But, if we can’t get what we really need, we may settle for what we can get. To be ignored might be worse than being appreciated for something irrelevant.

But this doesn’t mean that viewing someone as a sex object is a form of oppression. It can be, but it needn’t be. Largely it depends on whether we view them as only a sex object. It is possible to appreciate a woman for her intelligence, her kindness, her sense of humour, and her massive juggs. These things are not mutually exclusive.

My own experience as a heterosexual male is that beautiful male bodies exist and give me pleasure. I remember realising this when I was in high school. One of my Latin text books had a picture on the cover of a famous statue called Laocoon and His Sons. I was enraptured by Laocoon’s beauty. Later I had a similar reaction to the sight of Joe Dallesandro’s nude body in the movie Flesh (1968). I have no desire to have sex with those bodies. But to see them, and presumably, to touch them, is something that can give joy. And I know that a man is sexy when I would like to look like him.

As for being viewed as a sex object myself, I’d love it. I even like to delude myself that some women might see me that way. When I was with a woman I loved to be naked in front of her, but I think I probably enjoyed it more than she did. I want to be a sex object, but not enough to lose my flab or my facial hair or even comb the hair on my head most of the time. I want it, but not if I have to work for it.

But one advantage that men have over women is that an ugly man can be viewed by women as sexy. Look at Humphrey Bogart. It seems that character and personality play a bigger role in sexual arousal for women than they do for men.

So why do we find the body types sexy that we do? Leaving aside the exceptional tastes, such as desire for the very obese or those with missing limbs, etc., what we find pretty (and thus sexually arousing) in women tends to be a youthful appearance - the slimness of adolescence, the rosy cheeks of childhood, a lack of wrinkles and wide untroubled eyes, combined with those features which indicate a suitability for breeding - wide hips and large breasts. Sexual attraction of the male to the female is that of the genes seeking out a healthy non-neurotic mother for its offspring. In general the older we grow the more we collect the scars of emotional suffering and thus the more energy we have to put into nurturing ourselves and the less we have to nurture others. Thus physical signs of youthfulness, misleading as they sometimes are, are naturally associated with the ability to love a man and his children. (Sexual selection for youthful appearance is how we as a species lost our body hair.) What we see as attractive in a man is physical perfection, strength and a confident stance. These are the qualities we think will make him a good protector and a reliable long-living father figure.

None of this would be a problem if it were not for the fact that every single member of the human race currently alive is intensely neurotic. Neurosis is a cumulative problem which is only cured by complete understanding. Most of the time we deal with our insecurities by burying them deeper and trying to carry on. We’ve been doing that for a couple of million years at least and the problem has been getting worse to the extent that we can barely function any more as a society. For most of us, male and female, our lives are ones of quiet desperation. For myself I have to say that gazing at the beauty of the female form and a pretty face have been a source of succour in the abyss.

In this situation it makes little sense to continue to cling to the concept of romantic love. I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to fuck women I don’t even like. So how is sexual attraction the basis for an ongoing relationship, let alone a reliable foundation for the raising of children. Of course that doesn’t mean that it is not possible to find someone whose neurosis is compatible with ours and that that person cannot be someone with whom we enjoy sexual relations. But if we want stable families we have to decouple the concept of sexual attraction from that of life partnership. Fuck whoever you want, but if you are going to try to form an ongoing community or family, do it with someone with whom you can have an emotional relationship which is therapeutic to you both and to any children you might produce. We often acknowledge the damage done by people’s unrestrained behaviour, but less so the intense trauma we inflict on ourselves and our children by allowing our unfulfilled desires to make us bitter and hateful.

Topic Lady Porn Day - 22 February
Posted 21 Feb 2011 01:44

The Rabbit Write blog has declared 22 February Lady Porn Day , a day to celebrate porn for women and encourage women to talk about their experiences with masturbation and porn with each other and recommend porn sites to friends. The blog has an extensive Jilling Off Hall of Fame list of porn sites to check out and there will be lots of discussions of these topics on Twitter all week long. Just look for the subject line #ladypornday .

http://rabbitwrite.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/LPD_FOUNDTREATMENT_13.jpg

Topic Authors - recommend your own favourite story to Lush readers.
Posted 17 Feb 2011 23:17

I'm very fond of Vanessa's Island because, being a novel, I've spent a lot of time with the characters. And Transylvanian Roulette is, I think, my funniest story. But How Meggie Made Me Hard , which I just knocked out to amuse a lady friend and never felt I put much artistry into, is a favourite because the fantasy it expresses is probably the one I find most arousing.

Topic Fans of Dirty PMs and Filthy Fan Mail
Posted 08 Feb 2011 00:02

I like Rosie's idea of a button at the bottom of the story pages.

I think one advantage is that it can encourage someone to give feedback they feel uncomfortable being public in the comments, and yet still be encouraged to comment more personally if they feel like it. I remember getting a comment on one of my stories that pleased me immensely because they lady in question made no bones about the fact that my story had had the effect that is the aim of all erotic stories, but later the comment disappeared, perhaps because she felt embarrassed about revealing something so personal publicly. Getting such a response does the world of good for the writer's confidence in his abilities, but I too would be self-conscious about being too graphic in the comments box.

Topic Porno versions of famous movies
Posted 06 Feb 2011 04:58

I've been making up some descriptions of Alfred Hitchcock films if they had been made as porno films. I thought I'd post one here and see if anyone else wants to do something similar, maybe with currently popular movies. It could also be fun to make up parody titles like the ones they used to use for pornos in the 80s and 90s - Sperms of Endearment , Schindler's Fist , etc.

Psycho

Psycho is best remembered for its golden shower scene.

Frustrated office worker Marlon Crane is entrusted by his boss with delivering $40,000 to a client. Instead he takes the money and heads out on the highway. As night falls he pulls into a quiet motel that lies in the shadow of a creepy dark house. The clerk is a mousy socially awkward girl named Norma Bates. She shows Marlon her collection of stuffed birds and then leads him to his room.

Marlon is just washing off the sweat of his crime when the shower curtain is pulled back and there stands Norma with a huge butcher knife in her hand.

Marlon is so terrified that he loses control of his bladder and pisses all over Norma. Being a closet kink freak, this turns her on. She drops the knife, grabs Marlon's cock and drags him up to the dark old house for a fuck fest. Marlon thinks that all his Christmases have come at once, but he is a little troubled by Norma's insistence that he call her "Daddy"...

Topic Fans of Dirty PMs and Filthy Fan Mail
Posted 05 Feb 2011 06:57

I was just browsing at another erotic story site and found that they had a popular thread called "Dirty PM Fan Club" in which men and women who like receiving dirty PMs from other members let everyone know, saying who they like receiving such PMs from - male or female or any other specifications - and any of their kinky fantasies that PMers could indulge.

This seemed like a great idea to me. I love getting saucy messages from women of all kinds and like to give as well. The thing is that, unless someone says they like this kind of attention, one doesn't know.

And as a writer I'd love to get filthy fan mail from any women who like one one of my stories. Once again, not all writers want this kind of attention, which is why it is handy to have a thread where those who do can advertise the fact. Also, by putting in a call for some filthy fan mail here, you may attract some new readers.


So lets start brightening each other's days in more personal way and adding to our friend's lists by sending some PMs (pervy messages). Read it

Topic When was the last time you had sex? [BE HONEST]
Posted 04 Feb 2011 07:08

About 13 years ago. Boo hoo!

Topic Clearing Writer's Block....
Posted 03 Feb 2011 07:38

I think the biggest cause of writer's block is taking the writing too seriously and thus becoming perfectionist about it. The best way to get past the block is to make use of whatever ideas come to mind no matter how stupid or unworkable they seem to be. If they really are unworkable then you can always change them later, but the only way to get to the next idea is through the one you are not satisfied with.

The reason I don't write much other than erotica is that I don't take erotica seriously. If I were going to write a mystery story, let alone a serious deep novel, I'd be very fussy about plotting and characterisation and researching settings for the action. And I'd probably never finish what I was writing. But I can write erotica because it is trash where nothing really matters except to titillate and entertain. My expectations of myself are fairly low when I write erotica. Of course that doesn't mean that it is true of others. Of course there are great works of erotic literature, but that isn't what I'm trying for.

One of the best books on overcoming writer's block and setting free your imagination is Impro : Improvisation and the Theatre by Keith Johnstone. It is actually about improvising on stage, but the exercises he suggests and the basic philosophy of accepting and using your stream of consciousness have been tremendously helpful to me. In fact, I doubt if I would have started writing stories at all if I hadn't read his book many years ago.

Topic Share a Joke
Posted 28 Jan 2011 05:21

The scene is a divorce court somewhere in Disneyland. Mickey Mouse is seeking to divorce his wife, Minnie.

"So, as I understand it," summed up the Judge, "you wish to divorce your wife on the grounds of insanity."

"No," Mickey replied angrily. "I didn't say she was crazy! I said she was fucking Goofy!"

Topic What new avatar would you like for Parmach
Posted 20 Jan 2011 06:16

I like the Disney character.

Topic Selfishness
Posted 21 Sep 2010 20:40

Shopping, like masturbation, is therapeutic. If you are feeling unwell you take medication. That is the sensible thing to do.

There is a big Catch-22 when it comes to the question of selfishness. If someone points out that we are being selfish it is likely to make us feel guilty. If we feel guilty our suffering increases. Since our selfish behaviour is an attempt to find relief from suffering, these new feelings of guilt, actually make us more selfish. The criticism doesn't correct the fault it reinforces it.

We should never try to be a good person. If self-sacrifice or self-denial is need then we are fighting with ourselves. If we genuinely take care of our own emotional needs then, in our happy state, we are naturally generous. Only in such a state can we be helpful to others in a sustainable way. This is perhaps what is really meant by Charity begins at home.

Oh, and, by the way, I've never read The Selfish Gene either. I just look stuff up on Wikipedia and then act like I'm an expert. flower

Topic The Worst Person in America
Posted 21 Sep 2010 20:13

Those who hate freedom submit to the will of others. Does Michael Moore do that?

Topic Selfishness
Posted 21 Sep 2010 17:12

Richard Dawkin’s Selfish Gene Theory has given us insight into the way nature works. But perhaps it is also misleading. Perhaps the title should have been “The Self-Interested Gene”, because there is a difference between pursuing one’s own best interests and the pathological selfishness that characterises much of human behaviour.

Of course we pursue our own interests, seek what is beneficial to us and the genes of which we are an expression. How could we pursue someone else’s interests. We can acknowledge their interests and may accommodate them if there is some benefit to us in doing so, but ultimately our motives can only be to seek what we believe will benefit us.

It is part of the wonderful mystery of nature that all of these individual plants and animals, pursuing their own interests, can take the form of the integrated, efficient living system.

What we find only in humans is pathological selfishness, i.e. selfishness which acts like a cancer, threatening the healthy operation of society. Animals kill other animals for food and occassionally to remove mating competition, but they do not commit acts of genocide against their own species. Animals may fight over limited food supplies, but they will not stockpile more food than they need while their fellow species-members starve. If self-obsessed behaviour threatens the system of which the individual is a member then it is not in that individual’s best interests.

The pathological selfishness we find in human society is a result of neurosis, of psychological suffering. When we are sick and in pain all we can think of is ourselves. This is natural. Only the healthy organism can pursue its self-interest with due attention to the systematic conditions on which that interest depends.

We are not the only ones capable of experiencing neurosis. Dogs that have been beaten and animals imprisoned in zoos often exhibit neurotic behaviour. One is far less likely to discover neurotic behaviour in animals in the wild, but it probably occurs there too as a response to exceptional trauma.

To explain why we are so neurotic would take a long time, requiring an explanation of our history as a species and the way the experiences of our childhood impact on our self-image. But the nature of that neurosis is a deep-seated, very often subconcious, fear that we are inferior beings. When we feel depressed, this fear is very concious, we may feel intense feelings of guilt, or we may feel unworthy of loving interaction with our family and friends. We may feel so ashamed of our percieved inferiority or inability to “be a good person” that we kill ourselves. When we are not depressed we may be unaware of feelings of inferiority, but they clearly direct our behaviour. We all feel the need for material possessions and activities that “take us out of ourselves”. Only if it is suggested that we do without these things do we realise that without them we would feel great suffering.

Materialism is masturbation. It is something we use to make ourselves feel good when we are alone and can’t have loving congress with another person. Alone in the cage of our neurosis we need to be loved, but we are surrounded by individuals who are also enchained, who may occassionally shout that they love us but whom we cannot actually touch. But our flash sports car or our Armani dress or our original Picasso etching tells us that we are loveable. After all would someone who was not loveable own something so magnificent.

But the way out of our neurosis is simply to realise that we are not inferior. We are all of equal worth. We all came into the world with no knowledge of what it would be like and what we became was the inevitable results of a loving but unknowing being meeting up with a strange and dangerous and sometimes cruel human world. To be free is to realise that we have nothing to prove. And when we are free we can, if we so chose, enter into a loving communion with all other humans.

Topic The New Ten Commandments
Posted 21 Sep 2010 17:04

Mr. Hitchens talks a lot because he is in love with the sound of his own voice. I often do the same thing. I have an excellent voice with my own unique Midwestern twang (diction of American English).

You should recognize a bit of yourself, in his style, too...AS.

"Hi Mirror"

Yes, I can sympathise with Hitchens. If I were in the public spotlight I might feel that expressing myself briefly was too much like premature ejaculation. laughing6

But as to my writing style, while I sometimes use extravagant terms or express ideas which probably seem obscure to many, I do feel I express myself concisely and directly. I don't feel I'm a waffler or prevaricator. But perhaps that is something for other's to judge. sleepy2

Topic Sins Against the Flesh
Posted 21 Sep 2010 08:12

Hi LadyX,

I suppose you could call this an experiment in personal philosophy. I wrote down what came into my mind and left it until afterwards to decide if I really believed it. I do believe some of it, but some of it seems a bit excessive to me in the sober light of reflection.

The main inspiration for this train of thought was my love of the robust, rebellious, sensual and sex-positive religious writings of William Blake. I was also somewhat inspired by the movies of David Cronenberg, who writes dialogue like Long live the New Flesh (Videodrome, 1983) and He tells me that even old flesh is erotic flesh, that disease is the love of two alien kinds of creatures for each other, that even dying is an act of eroticism. (Shivers, aka They Came from Within, 1975)

The concept that we are made up of three parts - mind, body and soul - is one of the most persistent ideas in Western philosophy and religion. It was the orthodox belief in Ancient Greece and is a central principal in the dogma of such religions as Christianity, Judaism and Islam. It probably exists in many Asian philosophies and religions as well. Belief in ghosts and belief that there is a spiritual life after the death of the body rest on the idea that we have a soul which can exist separately from our body. My interpretation of Blake's words is that there is no such thing as a personal soul, but that the body is just a sense organ through which we experience a universal soul which exists within us and without us. That is a pretty hard concept to grasp. It is like if we were leaves on a tree. We think we have an individual existence, but in fact we are all just parts of the tree. The idea that we are separate individuals is an illusion caused by the limitations of our senses. Something like that anyway.

Nobody is telling me personally that there are sins of the flesh that I need to worry about, but the concept is very strong in much religious thinking, especially the form of Christianity expressed in Paul's letters in the New Testament and the puritan branches of Protestantism such as Calvanism. The concept is that the body, the flesh, is inherently evil and trying to push us toward "sinful" behaviour, such as adultery, sodomy, masturbation, gluttony (over-eating), sloth (laziness), etc. This philosophy holds that good actions can only come through self-discipline. The most extreme form of this belief is found in those sects which practiced self-flagellation. They felt that by torturing their body they could repress the evil within and become better people.

Now my view of course is different. While I believe it is advantageous, and very often necessary, to main some discipline over our bodily urges - I often feel a powerful urge to grab a strange woman's boobs or bum, but if I don't hold that urge in I will be arrested - I also believe that pain, either physical or psychological, tends to make us self-centred (try thinking of something other than your thumb after you hit it with a hammer) and pleasure, as long as we feel no guilt about it and as long as attaining it does not harm others, is healing, and thus gives us the freedom to open up to others and be a more loving person. I don't believe that loving people are better than selfish people, but I do believe that loving people are healthier, happier and more in sync with what I call God. So, if harming the body takes us further from God, then I think we can reasonably talk about "sins against the flesh".

Topic Sins Against the Flesh
Posted 21 Sep 2010 05:42

This is something I wrote a few years ago. I'm going through some of my old writings as I work on a book. This is an outtake. I want my book to stick mostly to careful reasoning. This was a rather volcanic declaration of the type that sometimes come in the midst of creative turmoil. But, it does seem appropriate for this site in a way :

Sins Against the Flesh

1. Man has no Body distinct from his Soul for that call'd Body is a portion of Soul discern'd by the five Senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age

2. Energy is the only life and is from the Body and Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy

3 Energy is Eternal Delight

William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Those who see any difference between soul and body have neither.

Oscar Wilde, Phrases and Philosophies for the Use of the Young

As both William Blake and Oscar Wilde pointed out, it is a mistake to think that we are made up of three parts - mind, body and soul. The body and the soul are the same thing. We are all made of the same flesh. And flesh loves flesh. It is only the embattled state of our mind which keeps us from communion with each other. A communion of the flesh. For it is flesh that unifies us and is immortal. The mind is mortal. The mind we have now is vastly different from the one we had as a child, and many of us lose our minds long before our bodies disintegrate to find new forms. For this is what flesh does all the time. The flesh of which we are composed today was a short time ago the flesh of the animals or plants we have eaten, and one day when this particular conglomeration of flesh proves no longer useful it will become plants and maggots and other forms in which it can experience the delight which is the natural experience of flesh.

There are no sins of the flesh. There are only sins against the flesh. It is a derangement of the mind which makes us believe we should starve ourselves or alter our bodies in painful ways. When a man kills another man for an idea, that is a sin against the flesh in service of a derangement of the mind. But when a man or an animal kills another animal to feast of its flesh that is an erotic act, because all flesh is one. Rape is the use of force to attack another’s flesh and is a form of repression of healthy sexuality, which is an expression of the natural love of flesh for flesh.

As Blake said, “A Robin Redbreast in a Cage Puts all Heaven in a Rage.” The ultimate blasphemy is that the mortification and restraint of the flesh is good for the soul. Since the soul and the body are one, the free expression of the body is the free expression of the soul. There is no spooky ghost soul which is benefited by such a denial of ecstasy. These deranged beliefs are the bars with which we make our own Hell.

The joys of the flesh are all around us to be enjoyed. It is only a false belief that we are unworthy of them which keeps us enchained in a life of slavery. We are slaves to the maintenance of property which gives us no joy, when the heavenly delights of the eternal flesh are ours for the enjoyment. If this is not insanity, I’d like to know what is.

Topic The New Ten Commandments
Posted 21 Sep 2010 03:17

Getting back to Christopher Hitchens, I have serious problems with his second and fourth commandments :

2. Do not ever even think of using people as private property or as owned or as slaves.

Why doesn't he just say :

Don't use people as slaves.

Using people as private property, owning people and using people as slaves are all the same thing. This is worthless verbiage.

But most importantly he says Don't ever even think... , by which he is claiming that some forms of thought can be immoral. This is an idea he criticises in the original Ten Commandments and then hypocritically propounds himself. Unless one believes in an all-knowing God who thus can read our minds, no thought can be immoral. I might think about going down to the local kindergarten and slowly torturing to death all of the children I find there. If I do not act on this thought, or give it expression, then nobody other than me knows about it, it can have no adverse affect on them, therefore it cannot be immoral.

4. Hide your face and weep if you dare to harm a child.

Why not simply, Don't harm children.

If somebody molests a child, the fact that they hide their face and weep afterwards is not going to do anything to undo the damage. Hitchens attitude seems to me to be virtually identical to that of the Pope - i.e. it is O.K. to molest a child as long as you repent (i.e. hide your face and weep ) afterwards. Hitchens wording is so weak and watery that it is like replacing Thou shalt not kill with If you kill someone, make sure you say you're sorry.

If I were a cynical person reading Hitchens wording I might conclude that his interest lies with the humbling of the molesters (and, by implication, any institution that covers for them) and not at all with the welfare of children.

Topic The New Ten Commandments
Posted 21 Sep 2010 02:40

Dancing_Doll : I wouldn't take the limited studies with LSD as solid proof of anything, merely evidence. It is very unfortunate that the prohibition on LSD in the United States in the late sixties ended research with a substance which appeared to hold so much promise for the exploration of the workings of the human mind and had the potential to bring about radical social evolution. But to understand the significance of the LSD research in context we have to recognise the limitations of the neurotic mind to perceive the holistic nature of reality. As R. D. Laing pointed out :

The condition of alienation, of being asleep, of being unconscious, of being out of one's mind, is the condition of the normal man. Society highly values its normal man. It educates children to lose themselves and to become absurd, and thus to be normal. Normal men have killed perhaps 100,000,000 of their fellow normal men in the last fifty years - The Politics of Experience and The Bird of Paradise (1990)

I know this to be true from my own experience. I've spent some of my life living in the mode of what our society deems to be sanity and I've spent some of my life in a diagnosed state of psychosis. By integrating the ability to function normally in society with the insights I reaped from my periods of psychosis I have gradually achieved something approaching wholeness as a human being. From such a perspective I realise that the state that society deems normality was one of blindness and sickness, only through the process of what society deems madness have I come to true sanity. And this is why I believe that those individuals saw more truthfully when on LSD than when they were not. LSD clearly breaks down temporarily those barriers in the mind which are the structure of our alienation, i.e. our insanity.

A lower order species will find their pleasure release in eating, masturbating or fucking. We can agree on that. But my point was that humans are a higher order complex species and therefore find their pleasure release in more complex activities, such as (to use your example) expressing and communicating through art. Many social species will interact with each other for pleasure's sake. To me, art is expression and communication, even stemming back to the hieroglyphics and cave paintings. Certain bird species will create elaborate nests that go beyond the requirements of basic functionality in order to advertise their talents to prospective mates. You can elevate all this and call it inspired by God... or you can see it as different levels of species complexities. In my opinion they are still aimed at similar basic life urges... finding a mate, procreation, social community and social expression, protection, and of course, eating, sleeping and fucking.

I see everything as more a matter of species survival and biology that provides the logic and drive behind our motives and desires, rather than a need to serve and be part of God. The latter is a symptom of being part of a higher-order species. We are more complex in the ways that we achieve our basic urges... but those core urges are still common to all living species.

But why are there higher ordered more complex species? If the survival drive were all that were at work then there would be nothing more complex than an amoeba? Amoebas can survive very easily in most environments, why mutate into something more complex and thus more fragile?

As I understand it, conventional ideas on evolution hold that the mutations which led to variations in species which could either survive or not survive based on fitness to the environment, where random mutations. But to me the existence of randomness seems as ludicrous as the existence of a supernatural God. Look as hard as we might in nature we see no randomness, all we see is intrinsic nature in dialogue with environment. A tree does not grow randomly. The intrinsic nature (or program if you like) within the seed realises itself when circumstances allow and grows in a way which is determined by the interrelationship of its intrinsic program and the environment with which it is in a state of interrelationship. There is no such thing as randomness. It is a logical impossibility. Everything that happens happens because it is inevitable. Even if we look at our very symbol for randomness - the rolling of a dice - we see that if we knew everything about the dice, the hand that throws the dice and the environment into which the dice is thrown, we could predict with absolute certainty the number on which it would land. To believe otherwise is to believe that there are exceptions to the law of cause and effect. We know that mutations occur in nature, but they are a product of the interrelationship of the specimen with its environment. Mutation is one of the processes by which an organism responds to its environment. The chance that an amoeba would mutate into a human over the relatively short period of time that life has existed on earth - about a billion years - without some internal unfolding program similar to that contained in the seed that grows into a tree, seems extremely unlikely.

It seems obvious to me that order, meaning, purpose and creativity are the principle qualities of the universe. Nature is orderly rather than chaotic. That is why our body can function as a living system. If it were not orderly we might simply collapse into dust. And everything has purpose and meaning. Your heart has the purpose of keeping you alive by pumping blood around your body. Bees have the purpose of facilitating the pollination of flowers. The sun has the purpose of providing heat and energy to the living things that live on the planets that spin around it. And everywhere we see creativity. We see lesser things becoming greater things.

You need not call the order, meaningfulness, purpose and creativity of the universe God as I do, but for an orderly, meaning apprehending, purposeful and creative living system to look out at the universe that threw it into existence and deny that those qualities exist there seems to me to be the definition of insanity.