Mysticism: Good or Evil?


A discussion largely based on material from the Neo-Tech movement, and from several sources which argue the opposite point regarding the pursuit of mysticism.  Neo-Tech sees mysticism as a throwback to primitivism, an evil, because it provides a welcome to authoritarian states and religions that promise surety and security where there is none, in exchange for personal and societal freedom, progress and prosperity.

If you could care less about this controversy or its arguments, arguments both for and against mysticism, but are more interested in simply understanding and developing the intuitive side of your being, you can skip all the material below and go to the page Intuition and Intelligence, Consciousness' Teammates.  But in doing this skipping, you will not only miss getting steeped into a controversy you can live without, but you will also miss some good, insightful comments in citations supporting both sides of the argument.

So, is mysticism the tool of evil doers and a regression toward a less evolved humanity, or is it the key to reaching the next step on the evolutionary ladder of human progress?

Both views have their enthusiastic proponents. In this overview of both arguments, I will take sides. But as with any complex set of arguments, black and white are thoroughly mixed up in the soups that nurture both sides of the debate over the merits or demerits of mysticism.

First let us explore the naysayers, those who feel strongly that mysticism is a throwback to a more primitive state of humanity that invites totalitarian control of the masses by the few. This is the unabashed view of the Neo-Tech movement, which exists on the web and has had an incredible number of hits on its multiple websites. In its pro and con message sections, and its selections, shows it is a great liberator to some, and Satan's personal website to others.

There is a website located at http://www.neo-tech.com/, and if you go to its 'Orientation' section (Warning: connecting to this link may get you an icon involuntarily installed on your desktop, quite harmless and an easy way to return to their home page, but also quite an irritating invasion of privacy in my view) you can get the facts on Neo-Tech, a movement that will help you destroy all tendencies to mysticism within, and help you remove the power of any and all external mystics over you. The result of applying Neo-Tech in your life is total control over the present and future, prosperity, happiness, love, and even living forever! This is an introductory statement (verbatim) from the afore named website:
 

"Neo-Tech is Dedicated to The Producer of Values

"You are the good, the innocent. Yet, throughout history, you have been defrauded of your earned prosperity and happiness. You have been victimized by the politicians, bureaucrats, theologians, pseudo intellectuals, and the white-collar hoax. For they live off your efforts, repaying you only with falsehoods, unearned guilt, and demands for sacrifice. In your innocence, you have unnecessarily accepted their frauds, usurpations, and abuses. Without Neo-Tech, you could never know with certitude that you, not they, are potent and hold the power to control life. But now, with Neo-Tech, you can forever break free from their hoaxes and usurpations designed to live off your efforts. You can take what all honest and productive human beings have rightfully earned, but seldom take: A guiltless life of prosperity, love, and happiness. 

"Neo-Tech is dedicated to you and to the discovery of the prosperity and happiness that belong to you. 

"Neo-Tech forever dispels ignorance in curing the disease of mysticism and eliminating its symbiotic neocheaters. Once cured, a person flourishes naturally and easily to guiltless prosperity and abiding happiness. Once free from mysticism and neocheating, a person seizes iron-grip control of both the present and future to prosper forever. ...Once armed with Neo-Tech knowledge, a person overpowers all mysticism and neocheating that tries to harm or diminish his or her life." 

Note: Naturally, if this is your first exposure to Neo-Tech, several words in frequent use need defining: Neo-Tech, mystics and mysticism, neo-cheaters and neo-cheating, etc. From the same web page identified with a link, above, come these definitions:
 

Neocheaters and Neocheating: 

"Now, for the first time, heads of states, religious leaders, elegant con artists, Mafia dons, most attorneys, some Nobel-prize laureates, many leading academe, certain well-known media personalities, certain entertainment people, some bankers, and even certain business people (e.g., white-collar hoax executives) are inextricably linked as soul mates. They all live by attacking the competitive value producer, competitive business, and competitive products. Yet, they themselves live uncompetitively, producing no long-range, net benefits for others or society. In other words, those people live as neocheaters or as just plain cheaters by usurping, attacking, undermining, and destroying values produced by others. ...Neo-Tech ends that secret, parasitical bond by forever dissolving the chains of mysticism and its mind-created "realities"." 
 

Neo-Tech:

"Neo-Tech is a noun or adjective meaning fully integrated honesty. Neo-Tech allows the guiltless creation of earned power, prosperity, and romantic love: 

"Neo-Tech is a collection of "new techniques" or "new technology" that lets one know exactly what is happening and what to do for gaining honest advantages in all situations. That technology is needed to be competent -- to guiltlessly and honestly obtain the wealth and happiness available to everyone but achieved by so few. Neo-Tech provides the power to profit in every situation by nullifying neocheating and mysticism not only in others but within one's own self. Indeed, Neo-Tech eliminates the harm of all mystics, false authorities, neocheaters, and their infinite array of deceptions. Neo-Tech lets a person gather all power unto his or her own self while rendering mystics and neocheaters impotent. 

"With Neo-Tech, all effort is directed toward achieving fully integrated honesty needed to act in concert with reality. With mysticism, all effort is directed toward rationalizing non sequiturs or deceptions needed to satisfy some feeling, wish, or whim arising from one's self-created "reality" or some external "authority". ...Neo-Tech is rooted in effort, objective reality, and value production. Mysticism, by contrast, is rooted in laziness, random nothingness, and value destruction.

"Neo-Tech is health. Mysticism is sickness. Neo-Tech is the opposite of mysticism. Neo-Tech heralds the end of mysticism and its symbiotic neocheaters. "

Mystics and Mysticism (with a return to Neocheating):

"Mysticism is defined as: 1. Any mental or physical attempt to recreate, evade, or alter reality through dishonesty, rationalizations, non sequiturs, emotions, deceptions, or force. 2. Any attempt to use the mind to create reality rather than to identify and integrate reality. 
"Mysticism is a disease -- an epistemological disease that progressively undermines one's capacity to think, to identify reality, to live competently. Mysticism is also a collective disease that affects everyone who looks toward others, or the group, or the leader for solutions to his or her own problems and responsibilities. The symptoms of mysticism are dishonest communication, out-of-context assertions or attacks, use of non sequiturs, rationalizations, jumbled or nonintegrated thinking -- all leading to mind-created "realities". Those symptoms are most commonly exhibited by neocheating politicians, clergymen, union leaders, lawyers, media commentators, university professors, entertainment personalities. Such public neocheaters are the Typhoid-Mary spreaders of mysticism. In fact, through the ages, the most virulent spreaders of mysticism have been those neocheaters who wangle respect and values from the value producers of this world. 


"Mysticism is a disease that blocks integrated thinking and brings stupidities through mind-created "realities". But mysticism is also the tool that neocheaters use to justify or rationalize the use of force, fraud, or dishonesty to usurp values from the producers. For example, mind-created "realities" are used to create false standards and guilt designed to beguile individuals into surrendering their earned values, power, and happiness. 

"Mysticism is a rebellion against life, effort, and the conscious mind. Mysticism leaves people with sour bureaucratic faces and is the neocheater's tool for plundering the value producers. 

"Mysticism is the only disease of the conscious mind. But as with drugs and alcohol, mysticism is seductively comfortable, like a warm, old friend -- until the destructive consequences and hangovers manifest themselves. 

"Mysticism is based on a false and destructive idea: the primacy of emotions over reality. ...Mysticism is the opposite of Neo-Tech. The mind-created "realities" of mysticism eventually render all life unto death. 

"Neocheating is defined as: Any intentional use of mysticism designed to create mind "realities" or false illusions in order to extract values from others. Neocheating is the technique for expropriating unearned money or power by manipulating mysticism in others. Neocheating is the means by which all politicians, clergymen, union leaders, many journalists, many academe, and most lawyers usurp power and values from the innocent producers. "

There is much more on this website, including explanations of why practicing Neo-Tech results in prosperity, freedom, a great sex life, and immortality. But the point of interest to me is this identification of mysticism and neo-cheating as the enemies within and without, respectively.

This is of interest to me because I feel I am in strong conflict with these ideas/ideals, while at the same time I feel strong agreement with some of the examples of bad or horrific neo-cheating: oppressive religions and states, and wars of conquest, are evil, in my book as well as in theirs. At the same time the worship, as it were, of the right to unhindered individual prosperity, especially with the dehumanizing of mystics who can be taken advantage of because of their belief systems, really bothers me at my core.

The denigration of any and all taxation by governments, or guilt- or fear-manipulation by religions or other belief systems resulting in a flow of wealth from the producers to non-producer parts of society, or to society at large, seems both selfish and shortsighted to me. After all, who builds and regulates the infrastuctures that allow the producer to produce and reach markets? Who regulates the society that provides both the work force and the consumers? It is governments at various levels and their onerous taxation. And both governments and religions often make efforts to make life more humane for humans, although it may be that the guilt and fear thing is sometimes abusive, but most enlightened religions teach love as the proper motive for giving.

Sacrificing some personal wealth to aid such collective action is a good, not an evil, in my opinion. Yet taxation is coercive and needs to be controlled, and religions can also be coercive and need to be limited in terms of their powers. We do not want a return to the melding of church and state seen that produced horror during the witch-craze, the Inquisition, or its modern reflections wherever and whenever fanatical religion takes a hold of the civil mechanisms for social and behavioral control.

The notion of sacrifice by individuals to aid the collective good is anathema to Neo-Tech. A quote or two from the definitions page cited above should illustrate the point:

"IMMORAL CONCEPTS: ALTRUISM AND SACRIFICE

"Genghis Khan an altruist? Stalin and Hitler too?  [see footnote 3, which follows the selected text] Yes, they were altruists as were Jesus, Lincoln, Mao, Schweitzer, Nader, Pope John Paul, and almost all other professional mystics and neocheaters. And as demonstrated in the Neo-Tech/Psychuous Concepts, all current religions and governments exist through altruism. 

"The dictionary definition of altruism is: "Uncalculated consideration of, regard for, or devotion to other's interests sometimes in accordance with ethical principle." Upon first consideration, the definition of altruism seems loving, kind, and good. In which case, how could Genghis Khan and Hitler relate to that definition? 

"Close examination of altruism reveals that its ethical principle and implications are human sacrifice. [see footnote 4, included as text below] Thus, the altruist accepts as ethical principle that human beings and their values can be sacrificed to others. And those human sacrifices can be made to anyone or for the sake of anything -- the gods, the tribe, the ruler, the fatherland, the system, the party, the "good", the poor, the cause...for the sake of enhancing the power or prosperity of any professional mystic or neocheater. 

"All current political and religious systems depend on the principle of altruism...the principle of forced or coerced sacrifice of victims to others. Altruism (as in Biblical mysticism) holds sacrifice as a good in itself, regardless of the means (e.g., force, coercion, fraud, guilt, deception, charisma), regardless of the recipients (e.g., dictators, presidents, popes, theologians, welfare clients), and regardless of the victims (e.g., war dead, taxpayers, business people, value producers). 

"Sacrifice is the opposite of productivity: Productivity creates values. Sacrifice destroys values. Sacrifice is contrary to human biological nature as demonstrated throughout Neo-Tech. Upholding the ideas of sacrifice or altruism involves accepting the nonreality of mysticism. And accepting such mysticism always requires evasive rationalizations. Indeed, mysticism, altruism, and sacrifice are purposeful reasoning defaults that are always harmful to human beings, thus, are always immoral. 

"Altruism and sacrifice are rationalized through mysticism. And mysticism is a reasoning default that accepts fake realities or nonrealities such as sacrifice, faith, dogma. Thus, all advocates of altruism are mystics or neocheaters by nature because they accept or manipulate the mystical concepts of sacrifice. 

"But why do people default on reason? Why do they evade reality to become advocates of altruism who promote sacrifice? Professional advocates of altruism are always, in a direct or indirect way, recipients of the sacrifices they promote. The booty is often unearned power. But the booty may also be or include unearned material goods, glory, adulation, love, respect, pseudo self-esteem, neurotic or psychopathic satisfactions. In any case, professional advocates of altruism depend on the sacrifice of others to fill their material needs, their self-esteem needs, their images of importance, their neurotic wants. In one way or another, all professional altruists are neocheaters who live off the forced or coerced sacrifices of productive people. For that reason, no professional mystic or altruist can be happy or experience psychuous pleasures."

{Note: consult the definitions pages for the complete definition of "psychuous pleasures," in a nutshell it is the adding of gratification of the mind to the gratification of the senses.}


"In addition, altruism and sacrifice are the vortex of all concepts, ideas, and philosophies that drain productive people of their earned values and happiness. In the long run, altruism and sacrifice fill the needs of no one. Instead, altruism and sacrifice always drain everyone. 

"Over the past 2000 years, altruism and sacrifice have destroyed untold values and billions of human lives. As identified by the Neo-Tech/Psychuous concepts, all current governments and major religions exist on the principles of altruism and sacrifice. But Neo-Tech shows: 1. how to negate all neocheaters; 2. how to avoid being victimized by mysticism or sacrificed to altruism; 3. how to forever collapse the 2000-year-old hoax of mysticism and eliminate its symbiotic neocheaters; 4. how to live prosperously, guiltlessly, and happily to the benefit of everyone. 

"Neo-Tech, an invincible tool to purge their own mysticism, to solve their own problems, to evolve into happy, productive beings. ...Happy days are here for everyone, forever."

End quoted section, now the two footnotes for clarification:

Footnote 3: "Hitler an altruist? He was the ultimate altruist in both word and deed: "The Aryan is not greatest in his mental qualities as such, but in the extent of his willingness to put all his abilities in the service of the community. In him the instinct of self-preservation has reached the noblest form, since he willingly subordinates his own ego to the life of the community and, if the hour demands, even sacrifices it." Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf, Houghton Mifflin, Boston."

Footnote 4: "Auguste Comte (1798-1857) was the first philosopher to articulate the ethical principle of altruism as sacrifice. His altruistic ethics held sacrifice as the goal of moral actions, regardless of the means, cost, or beneficiary. He projected selflessness and sacrifice as the ultimate good while positing self-interest as the antithesis of that good. (Reference: Comte's System of Positive Polity, 1877). 

"But Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) consciously and methodically laid the philosophical groundwork for the concept of altruistic self-sacrifice as a moral principle. Kant used brilliantly orchestrated, cleverly integrated non sequiturs to attack logic, reason, and the human mind. Kant is among the most destructive of all master neocheaters. His philosophy provides ingenious systems of noncontextual, inner logic that offers beautiful-sounding rationalizations for all violations of individual rights and destructions of values. Kant's works are essential for Fascism, Marxism, and every murderous neocheating regime of the twentieth century: Plato begot Kant, who begot the socialist's philosophical father, Georg Hegel (1770-1831). In turn, Hegel begot Karl Marx and spawned mass-murderers Lenin, Hitler, Mao. And, Plato begot the philosophical father of religio-conservatives -- Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1789). In turn, Rousseau spawned equally bloody mass-murderers: Robespierre, Pol Pot, Khomeini. ...All that blood, suffering, and destruction arise entirely through neocheaters manipulating unreal, arbitrary illusions and mind-created "realities" of mysticism in order to support their own personal, bogus livelihoods. ...No other reason or motive exists or has ever existed for purposeful death and destruction." 

The foregoing is obviously a mixture of undeniables with exaggerations, and illustrate, to me, the utter dominance of a limited but razor sharp logic and reason over feelings and understandings that may tend toward the mystical. For example, most people see a great difference between Hitler and Jesus, see a great difference between giving of yourself to another and sacrificing millions to aggrandize a few. It is a gut feeling that serves as reality and needs no further explication.

But when life-complexities are reduced to simple logical statements and exact reasoning is applied, the perceived world can be turned upside down into a factual world that is logically unflawed and can be reasoned out exactly, but in the meantime it flies completely in the face of what is commonly accepted as good or true among mere, mystically tainted humans. To me this illustrates the need for allowing intuition to sometimes overrule, but more often just temper, the intellect and its constructs, otherwise absurdities become seen as undeniable truths. The intellect is limited, hence its models, which help us be effective in our lives, are limited. We use intellect to achieve much. But its universe of what is known is clearly not all that is known, especially individually, but also collectively.

Neo-Tech, in great contrast, sees the triumph of the intellect over the intuition as leading to a higher form of human life, the creation of God-man, and the first true civilization, one that will spread all over the universe and achieve individual and collective immortality.

Where did Neo-Tech come from? The minds of men, of course. On another section of the web page labeled "storyproof" http://www.neo-tech.com/ -there is a fictional story, interwoven with a factual analysis, that displays the entire vision behind Neo-Tech. Snippets from the pages tell part of the story here:

"Postulate

"Beyond planet Earth''s mortal anticivilization, beyond dishonesty and irrationality, beyond aging and death shines a universal business civilization -- a timeless paradise of fully integrated honesty and widest scope rationality that create boundless values for conscious life.

"Hypothesis

"Orchestrating existence from both within and beyond space-time reign business Zons possessing the same minds as Earthlings. The only difference is that Zons are void of mysticisms, dishonesties, and irrationalities. Through universal businesses, they gain ever-expanding knowledge, create ever-multiplying values, experience ever-exciting love. Discovering their civilization verifies the sublimity of business dynamics and proves the divinity of value creators. ……The periodicity of existence provides not only proofs of an eternal business civilization, but also provides gateways to that civilization -- the Civilization of the Universe.

"Predictions and Proofs

"The ever-accelerating curve of business creations eternalizes life. That asymptotic curve moves ever closer but never touches the boundary of time. Riding that curve, business conquers space and time. Such a business curve embodies the art and facts of existence in predicting and then delivering the future. Discovering that business curve will prove (1) the postulate of a universal business civilization and (2) the hypothesis that Earthlings when free of dishonesties and irrationalities become transitional God Men and then eternal business Zons. Discovering that business curve moves man from the heroic image of American enterprisers expressed by Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) in his 1840 publication of Democracy in America to the omnipotent image of business Zons expressed by Mark Hamilton in his year 2000 web release of The Story.

"Art and Facts Create the Future

"Mark Hamilton''s novel, The Story, released January 17, 2000 on www.neo-tech.com reflects the universal art of business that creates the future. The Story steps beyond the anticivilization to obsolete fiction written before January 2000. The Story obsoletes fiction from Homer''s Iliad and Odyssey to Ayn Rand''s Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. Hamilton''s The Story reflects the eternal child of business -- always fragile, always needing protection, always requiring nurturing. Business is the artistic creator of the future -- never to be crippled, never to be abused, never to be defeated. To paraphrase the British writer C. S. Lewis (1898-1963), business not only gives eternity to life but gives beauty to eternity. ...Business delivers the means and passions to live forever.

"Art is the logos; facts are the proofs. Art sells; facts tell. Neo-Tech fuses art and facts to synthesize objective reality. That dialectical process lets conscious people accurately predict and then create futures of endless riches. Using Aristotle''s objective reality, Neo-Tech takes Earthlings as Platonic ""becomings"" and fuses them to Zons as Platonic ""beings"". That fusion synthesizes a universal business civilization here on Earth."

COMMENTARY: There is much more on these linked pages, but at this point it is really tempting to observe that there is an unmistakable return to mysticism here in the Neo-Tech world view: art and facts synthesize a new reality indeed! But, let's return to the Neo-Tech worldview after taking in a totally contrary point of view.

Penney Peirce, in her book "The Intuitive Way, A Guide to Living from Inner Wisdom" (Beyond Words Publishing, Inc. 1997) states that: "Intuition can bring increased success and satisfaction in every realm--be it material, emotional, or spiritual--and can also bring many joys, both tiny and great." (p. xiv) "Our own intuition is the catalyst for self-improvement and self realization, because when it comes to making deep and lasting changes in one's personal life, only subjective experience, not facts, register as real." (Ibid.) "You'll also realize that intuition is not the opposite of logic--it is a cyclical process, a comprehensive way of knowing life that includes both left-brain analytical thinking and right-brain communion states. This marvelous process has been called many things: the process of creativity, self-recovery, evolution, transformation--even enlightenment. In the end, the intuitive way is truly a spiritual path. Follow your intuition and eventually you'll experience your soul, in your body, as your personality. Intuition is a powerful tool that can heal the painful split we all feel between our earthly, mundane selves and our divine, eternal selves. When we realize that our spiritual knowledge is in us right now and always has been, we become filled with light-- light-hearted and enlightened." (Ibid., pp.xv-xvi)

I believe it is hard to draw a clearer boundary between the mystical approach and Neo-Tech, yet the two approaches have an astonishing amount in common: they both believe that our lives can be rich and happy through practicing the precepts they teach, and they both believe reality is shaped by our assumed internal descriptions of what life is and what we are. Peirce suggests the way to achieve a new reality is by stopping our "internal dialogue" (p. 88), because "By stopping our habitual internal description of ourselves and the world, we can open to endless new possibilities." (p. 89) The Neo-Tech approach is to redefine the world and ourselves with applied logic, while the mystical approach is to "spend timeless time in the silent place" and to "trust wholeheartedly the ideas and desires you find occurring to you immediately after you've been there. These perceptions are coming from your direct knowing, from your intuitive voice. Take note."

This type of advice makes the Neo-Tech believer cringe with disgust and horror. They specifically identify this approach as a regression into an unconscious state of being, not the progressing into an enhanced consciousness at all!

Neo-Tech thought on this exact issue was aided tremendously by Julian Jaynes' book, "The origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind." (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1976) In short Jaynes believes that in recorded historical time there was a shift from a bicameral mind that reflected a non-conscious way of being, needing authoritarian instructions at the personal level from the right brain (intuitive side reflecting voices of gods) and needing instructions from autocrats ruling in the name of and speaking the words of the gods. This system broke down because increasing complexity made the inner and outer voices of authority uncertain guides, and forced humanity to insert reason to survive. This was an irreversible step into consciousness, an evolutionary step. But bicamerality is still with us and manifests itself in the ongoing search for certainty from external authorities, be they religious or secular.

In reading Jaynes I never received the impression that he saw the mystical mindset, the search for intuitive input, as a throwback to bicamerality, but he definitely saw authority figures as evidence of widespread longing for bicameral certainty, and claims that "Prophets, poets, oracles, diviners, statue cults, mediums, astrologers, inspired saints, demon possession, tarot cards, Ouija boards, popes, and peyote all are the residue of bicamerality that was progressively narrowed down as uncertainties piled upon uncertainties." (p. 320) I do believe that the Neo-Tech discussion that, to me, extends the Jaynesian paradigm, does not contradict it or misuse it.  It is a logical application of that paradigm. Here is how the Neo-Tech interpretation goes (copious quotes coming up):

In their pages located at http://www.neo-tech.com/discovery/nt3.html, Neo-Tech has this (cut-out sections marked by . . ., in the original on the web, there are instances of ... and these are left as is in the cites below) discussion of bicamerality:

"CONTROLLING MYSTICS THROUGH THEIR BICAMERAL MINDS

"by John Flint and Eric Savage

"What is the Bicameral Mind?

"The bicameral mind is a human mind functioning in a particular, unconscious mode or manner...in the manner intended by nature. While the bicameral mind . . . exists in all people, it can be controlled or dominated by a special mode of consciousness developed not through mother nature but volitionally by each individual being. That mind control or domination can be exercised by an individual over himself and others. Or an individual can allow that mode of consciousness in others to control or dominate his or her bicameral mind. 

"The bicameral mind (two-chamber mind) is one that functions as an unconscious, two-step process. Automatic reactions and thoughts originate in the right hemisphere of the brain and are transmitted to the left hemisphere as instructions to be acted upon. The bicameral functioning is nature's automatic, learned mode of response without regard to conscious thinking. By contrast, man-made consciousness functions through a deliberate, volitional thought process that is independent of nature's bicameral thought process. 

"Until approximately 3000 years ago, man's brain functioned entirely in nature's automatic bicameral mode. But the automatic bicameral mind became inadequate to handle the mounting problems as societies became more complex. To survive, man was forced to invent a new way of thinking -- a new mode called consciousness that could solve infinitely more complex problems. That consciousness mode involved his newly discovered powers of introspection. His thinking process was further enhanced by new thoughts and insights created by comparisons done through metaphors and analogs. 

"Consciousness allows a person to make his or her own decisions rather than relying on nature's bicameral process that automatically follows learned customs, traditional rules, and external "authorities". Metaphors and analogs increase a person's range and power of thinking infinitely beyond nature's range. Yet, despite the great advantages in using the man-invented mode of thinking, most people today depend to various degrees on their automatic bicameral mentality and external "authorities" to make their decisions for them. 
"That bicameral mentality lures people into searching for "sure-thing" guidance from "higher authorities", rather than using their own consciousness for making decisions and determining their actions. Thus, in their search for prepackaged truth and automatic guidance, people seek "higher authorities": religion, politics, true-believer movements, leaders, gurus, cults, astrology, fads, drugs, feelings, and even forms of poetry, music, medicine, nutrition, and psychology. The bicameral mind seeks outside sources that will tell it how to think and act. ...Anyone can exploit the automatic bicameral mind in others by setting up "authorities" for influencing or controlling that bicameral mentality seeking external guidance. . . .

. . . "Understanding the bicameral mind is invaluable not only for controlling others but for avoiding being controlled by others. 

"The discovery of controlling people through their bicameral minds evolved from a more basic discovery made by Dr. Julian Jaynes of Princeton University. His discovery was first identified and then integrated in the following article written for the Neo-Tech Research and Writing Institute." 

What follows next on the web site is a superb digest of the Jaynes book. The title of this digest is CONSCIOUSNESS: THE END OF AUTHORITY, by Frank R. Wallace. I will refer you to reading it on the web page, and cite only its ending paragraphs where it is no longer a very intelligent summary of Jaynes' work ( in my opinion) but weaves Neo-Tech back into the discussion:

. . . "But, in reality, no valid external "authority" or higher power can exist or ever has existed. Valid authority evolves only from one's own independent, conscious mode of thinking. When that fact is fully realized, man will emerge completely from his bicameral past and move into a future that accepts individual consciousness as the only authority. ...Man will then fully evolve into a prosperous, happy individual who has assumed full responsibility for his own thinking and life. 

"Still, the resistance to self-responsibility is formidable. The bicameral mentality grips those seeking mysticism or other "authorities" for guidance. Those who accept external "authority" allow government officials, religious leaders, environmental and anti-abortion movements, faith, homilies, cliches, one-liners, slogans, the familiar, habits, and feelings to automatically guide their actions. The Neo-Tech Discovery demonstrates how throughout history billions of people because of their bicameral tendencies unnecessarily submit to the illusionary external "authorities" of parasitical Establishments, governments, and religions. Such submission is always done at a net loss to everyone's well being and happiness. 

"The Implications of Neo-Tech

"To some, the implications of Neo-Tech (fully integrated honesty) are frightening, even terrifying. To others, the implications are electrifying and liberating. ...The implications of Neo-Tech are that each individual is solely responsible for his or her own life -- responsible for making the efforts required for learning how to honestly guide one's own life toward growing prosperity and happiness. No automatic, effortless route to knowledge or guidance exists. 

"No valid external "authority" exists that one can automatically live by. To live effectively, an individual must let only the authority of his own consciousness guide his activities. All consistently competent people have learned to act on reality -- not on their feelings or someone else's feelings or doctrines. An individual must accept the responsibility to guide his or her own life in order to live competently, successfully, happily. 
"People knowledgeable about Neo-Tech have the tools to control all others who act on their bicameral tendencies. ...Equally important, people knowledgeable about Neo-Tech have the tools to control their own lives and destinies, free from crippling mysticism and harmful neocheating. 

"EPILOGUE: THE END OF MYSTICISM

"Neo-Tech I-V provides the knowledge needed for identifying the bicameral elements of any statement or action by anyone or any group (e.g., church, government, media, politician, priest, businessman, doctor, friend, parent, spouse, self). Armed with Neo-Tech, people can free themselves from the control or influence of mysticism and external "authority". And hopefully, by the year 2000, the discoveries of Neo-Tech and Neothink will have eliminated all vestiges of the bicameral mentality -- all vestiges of mysticism and external "authority". 

"Without the bicameral mentality, all mysticism and external "authority" will wither and vanish, for they have no validity except that which is granted to them by the bicameral mentalities. With political and religious influences disappearing, the mechanisms for "authorities" to harm individuals and wage wars will also disappear. Thus, if civilization is prospering by the year 2000, Jaynes's discovery along with the discoveries of Neo-Tech and Neothink will have contributed to that prosperity by ending the symbiotic, mystical relationships of bicameral mentalities with authoritarian societies (which now hold nuclear weapons). Such mystical relationships would sooner or later cause the annihilation of any civilization. 

"If our civilization is flourishing by the year 2000, rational human consciousness will have eliminated mysticism and external "authority" through fully integrated honesty (Neo-Tech). And without external "authority", governments and their wars will be impossible. Best of all, without external "authority" or mysticism, no one will be forcibly controlled, impeded, or drained by others. Without the chains of mysticism, non-aging biological immortality will become commercially available to every productive person wanting to enjoy life and happiness forever." 

The charge could well be made that I did not cite the material that I found very well done, and only cited the material that obviously shows a false prophecy about the year 2,000 (and betrays vestiges of a religious belief about end times contrary to Neo-Tech). But my real purpose is showing that these Neo-Tech people are quite horrified at the idea of entering the still space underneath your intellect and deriving life instructions from that region of your being. That is mysticism, and it is a reversion to pure individual bicamerality!

But, let's not forget what Peirce said, namely that "intuition is not the opposite of logic--it is a cyclical process, a comprehensive way of knowing life that includes both left-brain analytical thinking and right-brain communion states." This is in direct contradiction to the stated Neo-Tech definition of the mystical way of knowing.

Another authority with a useful point of view on this exact issue is Jonas Salk, whose very book title seeks to negate the idea that intuition and reason are antithetical: "Anatomy of Reality, Merging of Intuition and Reason" (Columbia University Press, new York, 1983). On page 107 Salk says: "Intuition is part of human nature; it is an expression of human nature. Its alliance with reason is an expression of what human beings have been given by nature to further the process of evolution." As if in direct contradiction of the central ideals of Neo-Tech, Salk identifies the exact same need as do the Neo-Techs, disparages existing institutions as inadequate as do Neo-Techs, but sees a very different solution (p.109):

"We are in need of a new philosophy, a new ideology, on the basis of which to organize ourselves in the future. This new philosophy, or ideology, might be called individual mutualism. It requires the collective to respect the individual and individuals to participate mutually in the collective. The same idea is shared in many different ways by religions and cosmogonies the world over; many of these were appropriate in the past but are no longer as useful now as they were when they were first conceived." Salk makes the concept of individual participation in the collective clearer by saying: "The human future seems to depend heavily upon the relationships that exist among human beings. The basic needs for survival and evolution are satisfied not by existence alone but by relationships that are mutually reinforcing. We need the help of others when we have reached the limit of our capacity to help ourselves. The impulse to give help and receive it and the desire to enter into mutually advantageous relationships are of great evolutionary value." (p. 118)

On a more personal level Salk states: "The mind of an individual who has reached the stage of evolutionary equilibrium would be in harmonious balance with the activities ascribed to each hemisphere of the fully developed and functioning brain. This may also be the state associated with the maximum degree of pleasurable sensation in body and mind." (p. 120). That last sentiment is echoed by Neo-Tech as being a result of following their path. Salk's prescribed path is different at the personal as well as the societal level.

A final authority I will cite against the prescribed path of Neo-Tech is that of Ken Wilber, author of "Sex, Ecology, Spirituality - The Spirit of Evolution" (Shambhala, Boston & London 1995). Wilber, like the Neo-Techs, also disapproves of Kant and the "rationality" that is 'grounded in the senses." (p. 511) He is also merciless in his humorous but sharp critiques of many types of mystics and holistic seers whose visions are limited, shallow, or self centered and who form camps that divide and fight. As an example of his sharp critical wording, the phenomenon of those who reduce reality to the atomistic level is described as "complete psychotic insanity" and the rhetorical question is stated "imagine the blindness and the violence of the mentality that acknowledges only atoms." Something in the Neo-Tech mindset makes me want to apply this to them, but that would not be fair.

Wilber cites several things from the works of Emerson and Schopenhauer that reflect both my own experience and belief. On page 287, for example, Wilber notes that according to Emerson our senses can blind us to a significant reality, and truer vision requires our intuition to be engaged to sharpen our perception by dulling our focus:

The quote from Emerson is in part: "Until this higher agency intervened [intuition], the animal eye sees, with wonderful accuracy, sharp outlines and colored surfaces. When the eye of intuition opens, to outline and surface are at once added grace and expression. These proceed from imagination and affection, and abate somewhat of the angular distinctions of objects. If the intuition be stimulated to more earnest vision, outlines of surfaces become transparent and are no longer seen. . . . The best moments of life are these delicious awakenings of the higher powers, and the reverential withdrawing of nature before its God."

Wilber continues by observing that "this does not mean that nature is apart from Spirit or divorced from Spirit or alien to Spirit. . . . All of nature, every nook and cranny, is in Spirit, bathed by Spirit, awash in Spirit; there is no point in nature that is not totally permeated and enveloped by Spirit."

Emerson called the all-permeating Spirit God, Wilber calls it the Over-Soul (p. 288). A few pages later Wilber creates with words what to me is the central gem in the whole of his vast book: the Over-Soul, that which is the one Self that is the basis for all Selves, is the motivator to morality. Citing Emerson and Schopenhauer as authorities, Wilber says: "in seeing that all sentient beings are expression of one Self, then all beings are treated as one's Self. And that realization--a profound fruition of the decentering thrust of evolution- is the only source of true compassion, a compassion that does not put itself first (egocentric) or a particular society first (sociocentric) or humans first (anthropocentric), nor does it try merely in thought to act as if we are all united (worldcentric), but directly and immediately breathes the common air and beats the common blood of a Heart and Body that is one in all beings.

"The whole point of the moral sequence, its very ground and its very goal, its omega point, its chaotic Attractor, is the drive toward the Over-Soul, where treating others as one's Self is not a moral imperative that has to be enforced as an ought or a should or a difficult imposition, but comes as easily and as naturally as the rising of the sun or the shining of the moon."

Wilber then shifts (pp. 291 and 292) to explaining in his words what Schopenhauer's view of what compassion is: . . . "compassion, which is to say: immediate participation, released from all other considerations, first, in the pain of another, and then, in the alleviation or termination of that pain, which alone is the true ground of all autonomous righteousness and of all true human love. An act can be said to have genuine moral worth only insofar as it stems from this source [the common Self]; and conversely, an act from any other source has none." To Schopenhauer's later observation that "as soon as this sentiment of compassion is aroused," "the difference between him and me is no longer absolute. And this is really amazing--even mysterious," Wilber adds that "The mystery, of course, is the mystery of the Over-Soul allowing us to recognize ourselves in each other, beyond the illusions of separation and duality."

It is interesting that Wilber connected Schopenhauer's "compassion" with "true human love." According to Irving Singer, in his "The Pursuit of Love," Schopenhauer was a pessimist (p. 14) when it came to the nobleness of romantic love, and felt that even the higher form of love embodied in his notion of compassion was an ideal, with most persons being thwarted in their practice of it by petty concerns or interests (p. 111). Wilber also points his sharp words of criticism at the modernist notion that sex, often rightly and more often wrongly associated with love, is the key to illumination, showing he has a lot in common with Schopenhauer. Singer explores all aspects of love, the need to give and receive love, and describes love as a main motivator of human action, but does not specify one type of love as the holiest or the superior one among the various types. In fact, about compassion he says (p. 114):

"A truly compassionate life is one in which caring about shows itself in a willingness to take care of. Without intruding upon the autonomy of the other person, our sympathy transforms itself into action. Feeling and behavior then make a total unity that manifests an ever-increasing capacity to love life wherever it occurs, and in itself. This goal may be unrealizable, as I myself believe, but it is worth striving for." A definite difference between Wilber and Singer, then, with Singer and Schopenhauer displaying two different degrees of pessimism about the current human ability for practicing true altrusitic love.

But Singer sees nothing wrong with the love of God so decried by the Neo-Techs. Pages 116 through 124 explore this topic, which is again a diverse topic with many different meanings, approaches and results. Page 122 wraps up a discussion of Christian love for God, using superlatives, but then also says it is not necessarily so that "religious love has exclusive value or must be a major part of everyone's life." But for those who believe and love God and believe God is love, God-love gives them what they long for, or indeed "what we all long for. The desire for an all-embracing love that is real and possibly reciprocal underlies our various attempts to love other persons. That is why religious love for a living deity more worthy of love than any alternative can be so compelling. It provides a framework within which all other loves may be accommodated in one fashion or another. It is a beautiful tapestry that the idealizing imagination weaves as either the background or the foreground of affective life. One would have to be aesthetically insensitive or spiritually dead not to recognize the grandeur of its design."

But there is also peril in religious love "arising from its tendency, latent though not always actualized, to assume that all other loves have subordinate value. The true believer will scarcely admit that sexual love, parental love, or any of the others, can be simply what they are in nature and neither a showing forth of God's love nor a circuitous way of loving him. To the extent that it denies the independent validity of predilections that are merely natural, religious love violates the integrity of any love that is different from itself." (p. 123) In other words, the "beautiful tapestry" that is woven as the "background or foreground of affective life" can, in a fanatical mind, also turn into an ugly, love-chilling blindfold.

We have drifted a little, not much, from making observations that show that the mysticism denigrated by Neo-Tech's savants is a caricature.  Except where the caricature fits. There is as much, in my opinion, in the new Age as there is in the established religions of the world in terms of authorities seeking power over others in small or great ways or numbers.  There are fanatics in the new Age as there are in mainstream world religions.  To use a business phrase surely heartily endorsed by Neo-Tech, let the buyer beware!

But the true mystical approach described by several sources, as cited here, and as in my own experience, involves integrating the intuitive and the rational to create an emotionally richer, more effective, and more affective life.  To me that is the right approach to understanding and living an effective and affective life. It is also the only approach to achieving a future society that provides opportunity for future generations to also have a rich and meaningful life. Society can be transformed into one that is nurturing of that type of fuller life.

And nothing in this mystical approach, in my opinion, precludes the ongoing development of science and technology. There is no spirit-body dualism, there is also no spirituality- technology dualism.

After all, without my computer and the world wide web we would not be sharing this (monologous so far) discussion at all!

Finally, it has to be asked:  is this Neo-Tech thing real or a hoax?  Visit the site, note the tens of millions who have visited the site, and assume that even if it is a very complex hoax, that it is extremely well argued and put together (I found no typos or spelling or verb-tense errors on any of the pages I read -- I am jealous!), and you can be sure it has its true believers whether it is intended to be a serious belief system or not!

But, true-belief-system intent or not, if it had not been posted on the web, I would not have enriched myself by asking myself "what is wrong with this picture?" and reaching within myself, and then outside myself to some excellent books, cited above, that reflected some of my dearest personal beliefs and contained some I do not believe of course, but diversity is to be celebrated, not regretted!).  With their help I was able to tell myself what was wrong with this Neo-Tech picture, and now I have told you!

And what if anything is wrong with the Julian Jaynes theory (link connects to a collection of descriptive, positive reviews found on the web)?  Simply that there are very, very few records from the times when writing first took hold in history.  Those items that there are tend to be stylized, major productions.  The very first instances of more individualistic writings are not far behind the epics cited by Jaynes.  Personal prayers and love poetry, for example, from many locales (I am familar with ancient Egyptian examples, mostly), suggest a very self-aware and  even modern approach to the complex internal/external emotional complex called love, and personal spiritual practices and feelings.  There is just no evidence to support this wild hypothesis, and I resent the oft-cited implication that the mystical experience is a throwback to this more primitive way of being.

I was quite surprised that a book on the Near Death Experience, for example, cited Jaynes as authority and assigned an ancient Egyptian NDE acount as an example of what Jaynes was talking about, a less conscious, bicameral-minded person.  I wrote a response to that book, and received a very nice reply from the main author, Dr. Melvin Morse.

Please, Take Me Home!