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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 15, 2011 11:29PM

What is not subject to debate and should not be subject to debate is the teaching offered below. Though from the Christian Greek Scripture, it fits perfectly with all major practice traditions. One need not go to India to put this into action.

One does not need to seek authentic initiation into some great Hermetic Mystery or find some hidden lodge whose few practitioners are conservators of an uncorrupt tradition, untainted by modernity.

Toss the Emerald Tablet aside. Put the enneagram into the trash compactor.


Matthew 25:31-46

Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

If you worry that moneydirectly given will support street crime or addiction or be embezzled by parasitic moocher buddies, give it to a social worker at your county hospital or your local food bank. Or make sure to tip well, because your server or barrista may well have sore feet or an aching back.

If Jewish this is a mitzvot, if Buddhist this is Dana and if Muslim this is zakat. And if you dont answer to any of these labels, to do this is to simply be a human being knowing that for us all its a hard battle.

If you are Hindu, do this for those outside of your caste.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 15, 2011 11:31PM

Final note: Interpret this literally, not allegorically. This isnt gnosticism.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 22, 2011 09:19AM

David Ickes and Pseudoscience--Case Study

Does the claim meet the qualifications of a theory?

Very few claims that aren't true actually qualify as theories. Let's review the four main requirements that a theory must fulfill.

1) A theory must originate from, and be well supported by, experimental evidence. Anecdotal or unsubstantiated reports don't qualify. It must be supported by many strands of evidence, and not just a single foundation. You'll find that most pseudoscience is supported by only a single foundation.
2) A theory must be specific enough to be falsifiable by testing. If it cannot be tested or refuted, it can't qualify as a theory. And if something is truly testable, others must be able to repeat the tests and get the same results. You'll find that this feature is truly rare among pseudosciences; they'll generally claim some excuse or make up a reason why it can't be tested or repeated by others.
3) A theory must make specific, testable predictions about things not yet observed.
4) A theory must allow for changes based on the discovery of new evidence. It must be dynamic, tentative, and correctable. You'll find that most pseudoscience does not allow for changes based on new discoveries.

Is the claim said to be based on ancient knowledg?
This is a sure sign that the claim is not based on scientific evidence, and it's intended to fool you into thinking that because the ancient Chinese believed it, it must have merit. In fact many true theories are not very old at all, because they've replaced older theories as knowledge has increased. Generally, the more recent the evidence, the better scientific foundation it has.

Was the claim first announced through mass media, or through scientific channels?Real discoveries go through an unbiased peer review process, which results in publication through scientific journals. When a belief is first announced through the mass media, like Pons and Fleischman's cold fusion experiments or like the Steorn Orbo perpetual motion machine, there's generally a reason its proponents chose not to subject it to the scrutiny of peer review.

4. Is the claim based on the existence of an unknown form of "energy" or other paranormal phenomenon?Loose, meaningless usage of a scientific-sounding word like "energy" is one of the most common red flags you'll see on popular pseudoscience. Terms like energy fields, negative energy, chi, orgone, aura, psi, and trans-dimensional energy are utterly meaningless in any scientific context. Approach with extreme caution.

Do the claimants state that their claim is being suppressed by authorities?

This is usually a really frail excuse for why mainstream scientists don't take their claim seriously, why the product is not approved by the FDA, or why scientific journals won't publish their articles. You'll often hear this in the form of a conspiracy of the medical establishment to suppress a quack cure because it's in the interest of the medical industry to keep you sick. In fact, any doctor or pharmaceutical company that could develop a new cure would make a huge fortune; they'd never suppress it. The same goes for auto manufacturers worldwide who are said to be "suppressing" new efficient engine technologies.

6. Does the claim sound far fetched, or too good to be true?[/b
]When something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Does the claim truly fit in with what we know of the way the world works? How often do claims that turn the world upside down really turn out to be true? Approach such claims with extreme skepticism, and demand evidence that's as extraordinary as the claim.

Is the claim supported by hokey marketing?Be wary of marketing gimmicks, and keep in mind that marketing gimmicks are, by themselves, completely worthless. Examples of hokey marketing that should always raise a red flag are pictures of people wearing white lab coats, celebrity endorsements, anecdotes and testimonials from any source, and mentions of certifications, colleges, academies, and institutes.

Does the claim pass the Occam's Razor test?

Is there a simpler, natural explanation for the claim that does not require any supernatural component? Are results consistent with the placebo effect or the body's natural healing capacity? Can a stage magician duplicate the psychic's feats? The Law of Large Numbers states that a one-in-a-million event usually happens to everyone about once a month, and since Occam's Razor says that the simpler of two possible explanations is usually the right one, don't leap for a supernatural explanation just because you happened to dream about your grandmother on the night she died.

Does the claim come from a source dedicated to supporting it?Science works by starting with a null hypothesis and searching for evidence. Pseudoscience starts with a positive hypothesis and supports it with questionable research and anecdotal reasoning. It's unlikely that an institution dedicated to the promotion of any given claim will present any type of evidence other than that which supports their claim, and its bias should be given serious consideration.

10. Are the claimants up front about their testing?Any good research will outline the testing that was done, and will present all evidence that did not support the conclusion. Be skeptical of any claims that do not detail testing methodology that was thorough and responsible, including external verification and duplication, or that do not provide evidence unsupportive of the conclusion.

11. How good is the quality of data supporting the claim?Watch out when testing data might be susceptible to observational selection, which is the counting of hits and not the misses, like we see with television psychics. Watch out when sample sizes are too small to have statistical significance, as with most clinical trials of homeopathy. And especially watch out for hastily drawn causal relationships: the assumption that because the relief occurred after the remedy, the remedy must have caused the relief.

**Corboy note: Lots of set ups claim to be 'certified' or 'accredited'. That isnt enough. Certified/accredited by whom or by what organization? Fact check, fact check, fact check. I have read adverts for programs in clinical psychology claiming to be 'accredited' but it turns out the accreditation is not by the American Psychological Association--APA accreditation being gold standard. And one program that says its APA accredited only mentions in a footnote that their APA accreditation is on probationary status. Not a good sign. Its your life and your future professional reputation--and your student loan debt-- you cant be too careful out there. .

12. Do the claimants have legitimate credentials?

Be aware that there is a huge number of unaccredited institutions (which are often just bedroom offices) giving out degrees in just about anything. Be aware that some institutions claiming to be accredited received their accreditation from unrecognized accreditation bodies. Finally, be aware that genuine accredited universities often have programs in unscientific fields such as chiropractic, naturopathy, and acupuncture. You must be vigilant. To see just how vigilant, go to and get your own Ph.D. in the field of your choice in seconds, for free.

13. Do the claimants state that there's something wrong with the norm?

When real research is presented, it consists of the evidence that was discovered and the conclusion. It does not go off on alarmist rants about how the food we eat is dangerous, how we're destroying the planet, how the government covers up its evils, or how you're going to hell if you accept evolution. When a claim is presented as an alternative to the wrongs of the status quo, it's a sign that the claim is probably based on ideology or philosophy rather than science.

14. Is the claim said to be "all natural"?
As we've see time and time again, by no definition can "all natural" mean that a product is safe or healthy. Consider the examples of hemlock, mercury, lead, toadstools, box jellyfish neurotoxin, asbestos — not to mention a nearly infinite number of toxic bacteria and viruses (E. coli, salmonella, bubonic plague, smallpox). In many cases, synthetic versions of natural compounds have been engineered to make them safer, more effective, and able to be produced in large quantities.

15. Does the claim have support that is political, ideological, or cultural?
Some claimants suggest that it's moral, ethical, or politically correct to accept their claims, to redirect your attention from the fact that they may not be scientifically sound. In some cases, such as Young Earth Creationism, proponents use the court system to force schools to teach their claims as fact. Generally, when a theory is scientifically sound, even if it's brand new it will eventually find its way into the educational curriculum. Good science is done in the lab — not in the courts, not in protest marches, not in blogs, and not in church. A political or cultural campaign to legalize or promote some product or claim is a major indicator that it's bogus.



Look at Icke's material in light of the Pseudoscience test and see how it matches up.

- David Ickes

from wikipedia. )

David Vaughan Icke (born April 29, 1952) is an English writer and public speaker, best known for his views on what he calls "who and what is really controlling the world." Describing himself as the most controversial speaker in the world, he has written 18 books explaining his position, and has attracted a substantial following across the political spectrum. His 533-page The Biggest Secret (1999) has been called the conspiracy theorist's Rosetta Stone.[1]

Icke was a well-known BBC television sports presenter and spokesman for the Green Party, when in 1990 he had an encounter with a psychic who told him he was a healer placed on Earth for a purpose. In April 1991 he said on the BBC's Terry Wogan show that he was a son of the godhead—though he said later he had been misinterpreted—and predicted that the world would soon be devastated by tidal waves and earthquakes. He said the show changed his life, turning him from a respected household name into someone who was laughed at whenever he appeared in public.[2]

He continued nevertheless to develop his ideas, and in four books published over seven years—The Robots' Rebellion (1994), And the Truth Shall Set You Free (1995), The Biggest Secret (1999), and Children of the Matrix (2001)—set out a moral and political worldview that combined New-Age spiritualism with a passionate denunciation of totalitarian trends in the modern world. At the heart of his theories lies the idea that the world is becoming a global fascist state, that a secret group of reptilian humanoids called the Babylonian Brotherhood controls humanity, and that many prominent figures are reptilian, including George W. Bush, Queen Elizabeth II, Kris Kristofferson, and Boxcar Willie.[3]

Michael Barkun has described Icke's position as "New Age conspiracism," writing that he is the most fluent of the conspiracist genre. Richard Kahn and Tyson Lewis argue that the reptilian hypothesis may simply be Swiftian satire, a way of giving ordinary people a narrative with which to question what they see around them.[4


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 04, 2011 10:08AM

How Classically Educated Westerners May Have Become Enchanted by Tibetan Rinpoches, Tulkus, Lamas and Idealized Shambala?

Much of Western education has, since the Renaissance, been influenced by Plato's ideas. Plato, in his Republic, speculated about the possiblity of creating a society ruled by 'Guardians' a trained elite. In shorthand, this was popularized as the notion of the philosopher king, a superior being entitled to rule over inferior, less evolved mortals.

It came to me as a startling discovery that, according to Dodds in his book, The Greeks and the Irrational, a strong Thracian/Central European shamanic component influenced Greek thought, and entered Greek religious thought via Pythogoras.

After the terrible defeat of Athens in the Pelopannesian War, and its collapse from a participatory democracy into a series of dictatorships and a lethal crackdown on objective searching questioning of traditional religious beliefs, Plato reacted to this by incoporating much material from Pythagorean religion into his work.

Dodd's book, The Greeks and the Irrational is now readable via Googlebooks. Dodds suggests and gives evidence that Plato's 'Guardians' are a fantasy of Pythogorean shamans trained to rule benevolently over society. Even reincarnation of the occult daimonic self, a shamanic idea, was incoporated by Pythagoras into his vision, and later parts of this influenced Plato's later works such as Timeaus and Phaedo--the very dialogues most cherished by Western gnostics

Read here and if Google books permits, the entire chapter.


Now consider that Tibet was full of shamanic practices (Bon) prior to the arrival of Buddhist influence and that its old shamanic traditions and deities were incoporated into Buddhism.

What you have, dressed in red and brocade, are shamanic Guardian rulers, passing from one body to another.

Westeners who had been previously exposed to Plato, either via rigorous classical education, or more fleetingly, in popularized text book summaries, who then encountered all this Tibetan material would have felt a shiver of recognition.

A seeming fulfilment of the Platonic vision of a society ruled by 'philosopher kings' seemingly better than the scientifically jaded West.

What this actually shows us is the extent to which shamanic practices are encountered in old cultures and how resilient shamanic traditions have been when later belief systems are brought in, either by intellectual refugees such as Plato, or by missionaries such as Padmasambhava.

In the case of Tibet, Platonic hopes were not fulfilled. When Younghusband's expedition reached Lhasa at the beginning of the twentieth century, and forced the Tibetan government to allow entry, one officer was so horror striken at the wretched condition of prisoners liberated from the dungeons of this alleged Buddhist paradise, he wrote, that it was worth all the hardships of the journey to have been able to liberate these sufferers from their prisons.




And Heinrich Harrer, in Seven Years in Tibet, a man who loved Tibet and its people and was entrusted with tutoring the Dalai Lama, wrote that he spent much of his time assisting the rich grandees of Lhasa. They sought Harrer's assistance asking him to write on their behalf to place orders for gems and precious materials to be sent to them from dealers in Europe.

The money for those pearls, corals and other jewels was exacted from their serfs who worked the land and suffered abominably.

Old Tibet was probably the closest that any society ever came to living out Plato's program of enlightened rule by guardians and the result was not pretty.

Its not pretty whether the guardians operate by shamanism dressed up in Buddhist trappings or operate from Maoist Communism.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: October 04, 2011 03:37PM

This is a recurring idea, Guardians, Illuminati, the divine right of annointed kings, the chinese Immortals etc.

Not such a surprising notion when you consider that the powerless minds of all children are shaped from birth by contrastingly very powerful adults who wield absolute control over the child's environment and the cultural influences that the child is exposed to.
Psychology recognises that these early powerful influences remain, often unrecognised as drivers of thought and behaviour, as phantom authorities in the individual mind.

I think that David Icke, with his version of a cosmology ruled by an ancient bloodline of semi-mortal reptilians, is making a direct but still covert appeal to the phantom communities of childhood authorities that reside in everybody--by nature of their socialisation experiences in childhood-- whether they are classically educated or not.

He is attempting to gain authority for himself amongst his followers by tapping into these phantom communities of authorities that exist and influence to a greater or lesser extent, in some form or another, in everybody who has gone through a socialisation process--which means anyone who has survived childhood.

He is appealing to the residual fear of authority (whether legitimate authority or not) that is very real in a world where temporal authority in monopolised in certain classes and strata of people, and crossing or questioning that authority can lead to very real and unpleasant consequences.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/04/2011 03:57PM by Stoic.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 04, 2011 10:07PM

Dear Stoic, you nailed it. And, here is a morsel from Professor Dodds. On page 242 he wrote of the process of assigning divine status to rulers, even to athletes and writes


So far as they have religious meaning for the individual, ruler-cult and its analogues, ancient or modern are primarily, I take it, expressions of helpless dependence; he who treats another human being as divine thereby assigns to himself the relative status of a child or an animal

And that includes gurus, tulkus, rinpoches, anyone considered infallible or the source of every desperate hope.

Dodds wrote that during and shortly after the conquests of Alexander, Greek science and culture reached a height that would not be reached again until the sixteenth century. For in the second century, this almost open society a society on the verge of creating a scientific method, pulled back. There was too great a gap in culture and education and social contact between the intellectual elite and the vast majority of persons.

"We have noticed evidence that in third century Athens a skepticism once confined to the intellectuals had begun to infect the general popluation; the same thing was later to happen at Rome. But after the third century a different kind of interaction shows itself: with the appearance of a pseudo scientific literature, mostly pseudonymous and often claiming to be based on divine revelation, which took up the ancient superstitions of the East or the more recent phantasies of the Hellenistic masses, dressed them in trappings borrowed from Greek science or Greek philosophy, and won for them the acceptance of a large part of the educated class. Assimilation henceforth works both ways; while rationalism of a limited and negative kind (eg today its the fad for deconstruction, relativism and post modernism in the form of reality is what you agree it is or what you think it to be or feel it to be-Corboy) continues to spread from the above and ddownwards, anti rationalism spreads from below and upwards and eventually wins the day. (Corboy interjection BNP gaining seats in the European Parliament. Parents refusing to get their kids immunized despite Wakefield being unmasked as an utter fraud and millions of dollars of rearch finding no statistically significant link between autism and vaccines. Presidents of the US witholding research monies from stem cell research and refusing to recognize global warming, crying in the night about the sanctity of stem cells while sending hundreds and thousands of young persons to be maimed in body and soul in search for non existant weapons of mass destruction WMD).

Dodds tells us more:


"Astrology is the most familiar example. It has been said that it "fell upon the Hellenistic mind as a new disease falls upon some remote island people." But the comparison does nto quite fit the facts, so far as they are known. Invented in Babylonia, it spread to Egypt, where Herodotus appears to have met with it. In the Fourth Century BCE Eudoxus reported its existence in Babylonia, along with the achievements of Babylonian astronomy but he viewed it with skepticism. and there is no evidence that it (astrology) was taken up, although in the Phaedrus myth, Plato amused himself by playing his own variation on an astrological theme.

(Corboy Note that Eudoxus can see astrology as different from astronomy. This distinction was not made again until Johannes Kepler stated to Giordano Bruno that he, Kepler was using mathematics for the purposes of astronomy, not astrology, when presenting his theory of elliptical planetary orbits. Kepler did cast horoscopes, but, like Eudoxus could make a distinction between mathematics used for scientific astronomy vs when used for astrology-see Francis Yates Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition)

Dodds then notes a change


About 280 BCE more detailed information on astrology was made available to Greek readers by the writings of the Babylonian priest, Barossus without (it would seeem) causing any great excitement. The real vogue for astrology seems to start in the second century BCE, when a number of popular manuals, especially one composed in the name of an imaginary Pharaoh, the Revealations of Nechepso and Petosiris begin to circulate widely, and practicing astrologers appear as far afield as Rome. Why did (astrology) occur then and not sooner? The idea was by then no novelty, and the intellectual ground for its reception had long been prepared by the astral theology which was taught alike by Platonists, Aristotelians and Stoics, though Epicurus warned the world of its dangers.

One may guess that astrology's spread was favored by political conditons. In the troubled half century that preceded the Roman conquest of Greece, it was particularly important to know what was going to happen. One may guess also that the Babylonian Greek who occuppied the Chair of Zeno encouraged a sort of 'trahison de clercs' (the Stoa had already used its influence to kill the heliocentric hypothesis of Aristarchus which, if accepted, would have upset the foundations of both astrology and the Stoic religion)

"But behind such immediate causes we may suspect something deeper and less conscious; for a century or more, the individual had been face to face with his own intellectual freedom and now he turned tail and bolted from the horrid prospect--better the rigid determinism of astrological Fate than the terrifying burden of daily responsibility.

Rational men like Panaetius and Cicero tried to check this retreat by argument, as Plotinus was to do later, but without perceptible effect; certain motives are beyond the reach of argument.

Dodds then tells us another development from this time.

"Besides astrology, the second century BCE saw the development of another irrational doctrine which deeply influenced the thought of later antiquity and of the whole Middle Ages--the theory of occult properties or forces immanent in animals, plants, and precious stones. Though its beginnings areprobably much older, this was first systematically set forth by one Bolus of Mendes, called 'the Democritian' who appears to have written about 200 BCE. His system was closely linked to magical medicine and with alchemy; it was soon combined with astrology to which it formed a convenient supplement. The awkward thing about the stars had always been their inaccessibility alike to prayer and to magic. But if each planet had its representative in the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms, linked to it by an occult sympathy, as was now asserted, one could get at them magically by manipulating these earthly counterparts.,,,from the first century BCE onwards, Bolus begins to be quoted as a scientific authority comparable in status with Aristotle and Theophrastus, and his doctrines became incorporated into the generally accepted world view.

Dodds 247


In his introduction to The Greeks and the Irrational, Dodds tells his readers how he was at the British Museum, in the gallery housing the Parthenon sculptures.

It appears that Professor Dodds had a quality that made him approachable. Because he described how, in that gallery, he was approached.

"..a young man came up to me and said, with a worried air, "I know it's an awful thing to confess, but this Greek stuff does not move me one bit"

Dodds tells the reader, 'I said that was very interesting: could he define at all the reasons for his lack of response?

The younger man reflected for awhile, and said, "Well, its all so terribly rational, if you know what I mean."

Dodds continued in the introduction, 'I thought I did know. The young man was only saying what has been said more articulately by Roger Fry and others. To a generation whose sensibilities have been trained on African and Aztec art, and on the work of such man as Modigliani and Henry Moore, the art of the Greeks, and Greek culture in general, is apt to appear lacking in the awareness of mystery and in the ability to penetrate to the deeper, less conscious levels of human experience."

Dodds went on to demonstrate the extent to which Greek literature and art and culture was actually permeated with an awareness of mystery and of forces far beyond what could be accounted for by logic and introspection--and how the Greek atttitude changed over time.

But what worried Dodds most deeply was that by the end of the 4th century BCE, the Greeks had come close to creating an open society (in Popper's sense) had come close to a full on experimental-scientific method--but society lost its nerve and pulled back.

The Stoics in Athens arranged for the theory of Aristarchus to be condemned--the Stoics taught that the Sun was the visible image of divinity, not one among many stars.

Heresy trials in which subversive thinkers were exiled or made to recant appeared following the defeat of Athens. Socrates, teacher of enlightened self interest, stood his own teaching on its head by staying put, and choosing suicide despite many arrangements made by friends by which he, like others could have fled.

And Dodds tells us how suddenly, following the defeat of Athens, we find archeological evidence of an upsurge in magic--large quantities of curse tablets are found in Attica in tombs dated to this post war period.

Dodds writes:

"(With the foundation of the Lyceum(Aristotle) in 335 BCE, down to the end of the second century BCE this period witnessed the transformation of Greek science from an untidy jumble of isolated observations mixed with a priori guesses into a system of methodical disciplines.In the more abstract sciences, mathematics and astronomy, it reached a level that was not to be attained again before the 16th Century and it made the first organized attempt at research in many other fields, botany, zoology, geography, the history of language, literature, and many human insitutions. Nor was it only in science that the time was adventurous and creative. It is as if the sudden widening of spatial horizon that followed Alexander's conquests had widened at the same time, all the horizons of the mind. Despite the lack of political freedom, the society of the third century BCE was in many ways the nearest approach to an "open" society the world had yet seen. ..for the first time in Greek history, it did not matter where a man had come from or what his ancestry was...along with this levelling out of local determinants, this freedom of movement in space, there went an analogous levelling out of temporal determinents, a new freedom for the mind to (self consciously)
choose to travel backwards in time, and choose at will from the past experience of men those elements which it could best assimilate and expoit. The individual began consciously to use the tradition instead of being used by it. This is most obvious in the Hellenistic poets whose position in this respect was like poets and artists today. ..the rationalized psychology of Aristotle was matched by a rationalized religion.

(Dodds Greeks and the Irrational, page 236-40.

Ponder this. One could choose whether a particular tradition or literary style was appealing for a particular purpose. One could choose a method that was 'modern' or 'antique' or 'archaic', the way we can self consciously assert agency in relation to language and subject matter today. The poets who wrote Homeric material were inmates of thier method. Hundreds of years later, one could choose whether to imitiate thier style or go for something more modern. One had the ablity to look at ones subject matter objectively.

And that meant that in this age, Greeks who had a certain educational level were faced with a staggering number of new choices. And, in a few decades, had fled from them back into the child's world of magical thought.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 05, 2011 11:27PM

Hermes Trismegistus a Mother Sauce for Cooking Up a Myriad of Cultic Entities

If one of these cultic entities fits the criteria posed by Robert J Lifton or the LGAT (Large Groups Awarness Trainings checklist, then its no longer a cultic neutral, non mainsteam belief system, but a CULT.

Another suggestion for continuing education.

Read at least the first 4 chapters of Frances Yates book Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition and then make certain pay attention to the last chapter.

If you take time out to do this (you can request this book on loan from your library if it isnt in the stacks) you will have multiple shocks of the familiar. Not because Hermetic ideas are magical or true, but because this is one belief system among many that has had a very long presence in Western culture, one that has influenced literature, art, down to the present day, but that most of us do not study in any objective manner or see as having its own history, as one set of beliefs among many.

First, anyone struggling free from a cult based on Western esotericism that calls itself or its teacher unique, may find it helpful to learn that this material is really old hat and that the teacher was merely adding his or her own bells and whistles, claiming sole ownership.

Two, much of the Hermetic material resembles material found in later Sufi cosmologies. There was a staggering amount of cultural exchange between Hellenistic Greeks and Romans and the peoples in areas along the Silk Route (Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, South Pakistan) and the Incense Route (Alexandria, the Nile, East Africa, Arabia Felix (now known as Yemen and Trucial Oman) and the monsoon routes between those places and the Deccan coast in Western India.

The later Sufis could easily have incorporated the same material, that, further West, was written down in Greek and attributed to Hermes Trismagistus. Astrology began in ancient Sumeria and continued in Babylonia (Syria/Iraq, Kurdistan, Turkey)

Anyone trying to recover from a screwed up teacher in Sufism who claims your infidelity will leave you stranded in some astral limbo is threatening you with stuff from Hermes Trismegistus--or from whoever the sources were that the Greeks and Near Easterners incoporated into their Hellenistic age of anxiety gnostic materials.

That stuff is man made by anxious or greedy persons. It is not from G-d, the Merciful, the Just, the Compassionate.

This hermetic belief system is rather like what French chefs in classic cuisine call a 'mother sauce' or a grande sauce'. There are only 5 mother sauces but from those five, hundreds of variations can be created.


The Five "Mother" SaucesA sauce is the crowning glory of any dish. From the basic "five mother" sauces,
there are literally hundreds of variations of sauce that are used to dress, ... - 12k - Cached - Similar pages

The Five Mother SaucesAs long as chefs continue create amazing dishes, amazing sauces will be born.
Although there is an endless aray of sauces, there are only five "Mother" sauces. ... - 47k - Cached - Similar pages

A mother sauce is one in which adding just a few ingredients here and there will yield a multitude of different sauces, but all with one of the mother sauces as its foundation.

Read those first four chapters of Yates book and you will find an unknowledged 'mother sauce' that comprises roots of the Western intellectual cuisine.

Anyone who starts out using bits of Hermeticism is using stuff thats part of the deep operating system of the Western mind. Modern science and scholarly text analysis have found Hermeticism to operate from false premises. In the Renaissance, Hermeticism was mainstream and the cultural cutting edge.

But after Isaac Casuabon and Isaac Newton, Hermeticism was relegated by the mainstream and the intelligentsia to the cultic milieu. maintained its hold on the imagination.

Casanova, Cagliostro (18th Century), Eliphas Levi, Madame Blavatsky, (19th Century), Rene Guenon, Crowley, Gurdjieff, Rudolf Steiner (Anthroposophy), L Ron Hubbard continue to use versions of it. (20th Century)

The great hazard in the 20th century is that many unethical persons were using this culturally potent Hermetic symbolism and combining it with fiendishly efficient modern social technologies (Large Group Awareness Trainings) combined with much more effective methods of trance induction (use of stories as narrative) than even the old hermeticists were aware of.

In popular culture you have it continues to shape the unconscious imaginatin and emotions, despite being relegated to t
If you read Yates book or at least its first 4 chapters and the last chapter, you will see that many new age types and authors are getting rich creating rehashes of the same old source material.

And you gotta read this yourself. Much of the material about this book online is written by people who subjectively believe this stuff, are inmates of the belief system, and are not capable of writing about it in objective terms as a belief system.

The rationalist Greeks were the ones who taught us in the West how to maintain a 'critical' stance--the ablity to stand outside whatever is being examined or discussed or debated--a stance that is adult, and has energy and pleasures of its own.

Yates gives summaries of four of the Hermetic treatises translated by Ficino in the mid fifteenth century, at the command of Cosimo d'Medici. It was assumed that the Hermetic texts were more ancient than Plato and contained the priscine/primordial wisdom, held by the ancient Egyptians, taught to the Greeks. To Ficino and his successors these texts elicited both awe and hope. Some of this material had come through to Europe during the Middle Ages, but was considered evil and unholy.

Ficino came away with a vision of harmonizing the human mind with the entire cosmos and that if one followed the Hermetic hope of 'As above, so below, all is one' a person could turn their own minds into a mirror of the cosmos, magically empower his personalty and be able to act in a way to manipulate matter.

To Ficino and the Renaissance Hermeticists and those inspired by them, these Hermetic texts had the psychological and emotional impact of 1) finding X rays and detonating Uranium 235, 2) A Unified Field Cosmology that seemed to pull everything together and 3) Landing on the Moon/Finding a New World and FINDING THE GREAT HIDDEN SECRET

---all this in the form of texts.

Yates gives us the material from four of the Hermetic texts translated by Ficino, to convey the sense of utter wonder and stunned hope he and others felt.

She waits until the final chapter to give us the full account of how Isaac Casubon, a great scholar of Hebrew, Greek, Latin and French, demonstrated that the Hermetic texts did not predate Christianity at all, but were instead composed in a style of Greek that dated them as written during the Second Century BCE, right at the time Christianity already was inn existent, in many varieties of Christianity, alongside very many forms of gnostic belief systems. Casubon showed that these Hermetic texts were not sources of primordial wisdom but were productions of the late Roman period, an age of anxiety, and that these texts incorporated many of the irrational Hellenistic ideas described by Dodds as religionized science and religionized philosophy that people sought when retreating from the high point of rationalism and the point at which the Greeks had almost created experimental scientific method and mathematics. The other tip off is the extent to which the Hermetic texts teem with astrological material and even contain a treatise (Asceplepiades) describing how to draw down divine/astral influences into talismans or statues.

As I read the description of how to divinise statues and other inanimate objects, I was reminded of descriptions of how to create Tibetan stupas.

This isnt what the Buddha taught. Its shamanism with extra bells and whistles.


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 13, 2011 11:24PM

The more things change the more they stay the same

Alexander the False Prophet by Lucian of Samosata



AN account of the false priest of Asclepius, Alexander of Abonoteichus. It has been discussed in detail by Cumont in the Mémoires couronnées de l’academie de Belgique, vol. xl (1887).

Although Alexander achieved honour not only in his own country, a small city in remote Paphlagonia, but over a large part of the Roman world, almost nothing is known of him except from the pages of Lucian. Gems, coins, and inscriptions corroborate Lucian as far as they go, testifying to Alexander’s actual existence and widespread influence, and commemorating the name and even the appearance of Glycon, his human-headed serpent. But were it not for Lucian, we should not understand their full significance.

Alexander’s religious activity covered roughly the years A.D. 150-170. The cult which he established outlasted him for at least a century. It was highly unusual in its character, as Cumont observes. Sacred snakes were a regular feature of sanctuaries of Asclepius ; but to give a serpent a human head and style it the god incarnate was a distinct innovation. Moreover, the proper function of Asclepius was to heal the sick, who passed the night in his temple, expecting either to be cured while they slept or to have some form of treatment suggested to them in their dreams.

But at Abonoteichus we hear nothing of incubation, and only incidentally of healing; the “new Asclepius” deals in oracles like Apollo, and gives advice on any subject. This, together with Alexander’s extravagant claims of divine descent, confirms Lucian in his appraisal of him as an out-and-out charlatan, aiming to play upon the gross credulity of the times and to secure the greatest gain with the least effort.

Lucian was in a position to know a good deal about Alexander, and clearly believes all that he says. Without doubt his account is essentially accurate, but it need not be credited absolutely to the letter. Lucian was no historian at best, and he was angry. In the account of his relations with Alexander he reveals his own personality more clearly than usual, but not in a pleasant light.

The piece was written at the request of a friend, after A.D. 180, when Alexander had been in his grave for ten years.



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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 28, 2011 04:17AM

Resource list--the persons named in Rajneesh's talks.


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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: November 05, 2011 06:10AM

Ran into a sports friend I had not seen for years. She waxed evangelical about something called 'The China Study'

"Read it. It'll change your life."

I went to google and put "pseudoscience" into the search slot.


If you only put The China Study into the google slot, still get some contrary opinions.

So...if someone says something will change your life, fact check it first.

You want to be reasonably sure it will change your life in a good direction.

(Note: If we were to prevent cancer and heart disease, whats left to die from? Alzheimers?'

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