Teeming Links – July 18, 2014

FireHead

William Binney, the ex-NSA code-breaker and whistleblower, says the NSA’s ultimate goal is total population control: “Binney recently told the German NSA inquiry committee that his former employer had a ‘totalitarian mentality’ that was the ‘greatest threat’ to US society since that country’s US Civil War in the 19th century.”

“New research finds having a mobile device within easy reach divides your attention, even if you’re not actively looking at it.” (This explains a lot about an increasing number of my daily interactions with people who literally cannot maintain interpersonal attention for more than 30 seconds.)

There just has to be a Ligottian corporate horror story buried somewhere in this: Financial Times reports that businesses are increasingly using big data, including social media footprints, plus complex algorithms to make hiring decisions.

You can still be a passionate reader, but it’s getting ever harder to make a career of it: “A less-heralded casualty of the digital age is the disintegration of the lower rungs of the [publishing] ladder that have long led young, smart readers into the caste of professional tastemakers.”

Steven Poole says that, whereas the disciplined cultivation of spontaneous, effortless action along the lines of Taoism’s wu wei is a great thing, the counterfeit cult of consumer “spontaneity” encourages psychological and social chaos and numbs us to morally reprehensible sociopolitical conditions.

John Michael Greer lays out, in his characteristic elegant prose and with his characteristic lucidity, a vision of the deindustrial dark age that may await us.

Theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli argues cogently that science, philosophy, and the humanities in general all need each other: “Restricting our vision of reality today to just the core content of science or the core content of the humanities is being blind to the complexity of reality, which we can grasp from a number of points of view.”

Astrophysicist, author, and NPR science blogger Adam Frank reflects on the “science vs. religion” debate in light of Eastern philosophy.

If you “hear voices,” is it brain disease, communication from discarnate spirits, or perhaps the very voice of God? Tanya Luhrmann and three co-authors of a new study observe the profound impact of cultural assumptions on the subjective experience of voice hearing.

The ancient history of dream interpretation points to humanity’s insatiable hunger for the divine. For the ancients, every slumber held the promise of the numinous.”

Speaking of dreams, a recent study published in the journal Human Brain Mapping finds that psychedelic mushrooms put the brain in a waking dream state, with profound worldview-altering effects: “[T]he mushroom compounds could be unlocking brain states usually only experienced when we dream, changes in activity that could help unlock permanent shifts in perspective.”

David Luke reflects on psychedelics, parapsychology, and exceptional human experience: “Psychedelic researchers since the time of Huxley and Osmond have been fascinated by exploring the apparently parapsychological affects of these drugs. Rightly so, because the implications of such research for understanding our capabilities as a species and for understanding reality itself are deeply profound.” (I’m happy to report that David will be contributing an article on the relationship between drugs and the paranormal to my paranormal encyclopedia.)

Finally, it looks like my adolescence (and also a significant portion of my twenties) wasn’t so egregiously misspent after all, since Dungeons and Dragons has now influenced a generation of writers: “As [Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Junot] Díaz said, ‘It’s been a formative narrative media for all sorts of writers.’ ”

 

“Fire Head” image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

About Matt Cardin

Teeming Brain founder and editor Matt Cardin is the author of DARK AWAKENINGS, DIVINATIONS OF THE DEEP, A COURSE IN DEMONIC CREATIVITY: A WRITER'S GUIDE TO THE INNER GENIUS, and the forthcoming TO ROUSE LEVIATHAN. He is also the editor of BORN TO FEAR: INTERVIEWS WITH THOMAS LIGOTTI and the academic encyclopedias MUMMIES AROUND THE WORLD and GHOSTS, SPIRITS, AND PSYCHICS: THE PARANORMAL FROM ALCHEMY TO ZOMBIES.

Posted on July 18, 2014, in Teeming Links and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Dr. T. M. Luhrmann’s research shows that the reason U.S. residents in the sample experience distressing voices is often caused by war trauma . In other cultures the voices are more friendly . I studied the history of sorcerers used for reconciling war trauma in Vietnam. They also assist U.S. soldier veterans, and they placate the demands through ritual offerings in Vietnam not only of the Vietnamese angry ghosts but all soldiers and all people they “hallucinate” there – a word I can never use with a straight face – are treated the same way that is with offerings whether they were North or South army or whether they were American. They will even adopt American spirit guides into their guardians pantheon to worship. That is why they’re healthier today with voice hearing than people are in other parts of the world.

    • http://whyshamanismnow.com/2013/01/laying-souls-to-rest-in-viet-nam-with-dr-edward-tick/

      Vietnamese shaman, Nguyen Ngoc Hoai, speaks to the souls of the dead in her country. In this way she and a Society of Shamans have located the remains of 10,000 soldiers, allowing the families of the dead to lay these wandering souls to rest. Join our guest Dr. Edward Tick, host, Christina Pratt, and her Vietnamese guests. Dr. Tick, the author of War and The Soul, rediscovered the archetypal path necessary to heal the unique wounding of war by working effectively and deeply with traditional shamanic practices in the indigenous cultures of Greece, Native North America and Vietnam. Through his non-profit organization, Soldier’s Heart, Dr. Tick uses psycho-spiritual, cross-cultural, and international reconciliation practices to bring healing to veterans, communities and nations recovering from the traumas of war. He and his guests from Vietnam join us for the next Society of Shamanic Practitioners sponsored interview. In this series we explore how contemporary shamans are meeting the challenge of their world where the relations of things are profoundly out of balance. How are these shamans meeting this extraordinary need today?

      a podcast

  2. “New research finds having a mobile device within easy reach divides your attention, even if you’re not actively looking at it.”

    I find anything within physical reach or within sensory perception divides my attention. A book nearby or a cat on my lap will make me a less attentive listener. Just as listening to someone talk makes me a less attentive driver.

    But I’m easily distracted. The entire world divides my attention. This is why I tend to always be in the middle of reading hundreds of books and often with a few dozen tabs open on my computer.

    I do all this without needing to carry a smartphone. Imagine what level of distractedness I could achieve with more personal technology on my immediate body.

    “You can still be a passionate reader, but it’s getting ever harder to make a career of it”

    This is why I’m a parking ramp cashier. I get paid to sit there and, in between customers, I read books. I’m not being paid to read books, but I do get paid while reading books—the same difference, as far as I’m concerned.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *