Shared posts

07 Jun 21:39

kaijew: goodnight sweet prince



goodnight sweet prince

05 Jun 17:54

icecreamsandwichcomics: But who said help *deafening x-files...


But who said help
*deafening x-files theme music*

30 May 17:09


25 May 17:55

How to Be a Good Friend

by Scott Meyer

There is something to be said for laughing at how bad things have gotten. Rick understands this.

When I was a comedian, I was accused of being a masochist, because the worse the setup, and the more uninterested the audience, the funnier I found everything. Many was the night that my opening act would be standing in a corner of the bar with no raised platform, a single track-light shining directly in his face, and Radio Shack’s least expensive microphone in his hand. He would tell a joke, receive an indifferent silence from the audience and the sound of me laughing diabolically in the distance, which would have made sense if not for the fact that I was going to have to go on right after him, and do twice as much time.



As always, thanks for using my Amazon Affiliate links (USUKCanada).

25 May 17:18

Coisas que aprendi na faculdade de publicidade #3

by Will Tirando

14 May 19:12

After nearly two years of sweat and pizza, my new full-length...

by thecondimentsquad


After nearly two years of sweat and pizza, my new full-length comic book Spaghetti Midwestern: Bricked is now available to read HERE. Enjoy!

14 May 19:11


10 May 20:23


by Carlos Ruas

O post Quem? apareceu primeiro em Um Sábado Qualquer.

09 May 16:33

News Puppy

by Nicholas Gurewitch

The post News Puppy appeared first on The Perry Bible Fellowship.

08 May 20:49

Recolhe a roupa

by Will Tirando

07 May 18:56

loadingartist:match made in heaven

07 May 18:52

Medo do coração

by Will Tirando

07 May 18:52

Driven to Greatness

by nedroid_wp

Driven to Greatness

07 May 18:43

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Vavilov


Click here to go see the bonus panel!

I checked and this is the funniest joke about Nikolai Vavilov ever written.

New comic!
Today's News:
07 May 18:13

calculando a força 2

by Carlos Ruas

O post calculando a força 2 apareceu primeiro em Um Sábado Qualquer.

07 May 18:12

Tirinha conjunta: Um Sábado Qualquer + Bom dia e tal

by Carlos Ruas

Chega uma hora em que você percebe que não é mais a nova geração de quadrinistas, 10 anos se passaram, uma nova safra surge e com ela Gabriel Lage. Conheci o Gabriel pessoalmente na CCXP, foi breve mas trocamos elogios e admiração. Daí veio a ideia de fazermos uma tirinha em conjunto. Segue o resultado: Um Sábado Qualquer + Bom dial e tal!

O post Tirinha conjunta: Um Sábado Qualquer + Bom dia e tal apareceu primeiro em Um Sábado Qualquer.

03 May 21:19


02 May 19:20

Me dê motivos para ir à escola

by Clara Gomes

02 May 16:40

Mentirinhas #1264

by Fábio Coala

Deu sorte que pegou ele de bom humor.

O post Mentirinhas #1264 apareceu primeiro em Mentirinhas.

02 May 16:26


by André Farias

Vida de Suporte - Educação


Suporte: Como assim você não quer mais ir à escola?! Se não estudar como vai escrever sem erros?
Garotinho: Corretor ortográfico.
Suporte: Tá… mas quando você precisar resolver uma operação matemática, como irá fazer?
Garotinho: Com a calculadora. Conhece?
Suporte: E onde você espera ganhar dinheiro sendo um completo ignorante?
Garotinho: YouTube.

Futuro sucesso no YouTube.

Educação é um post do blog Vida de Suporte.
02 May 16:25


by Nicholas Gurewitch

The post Shocked appeared first on The Perry Bible Fellowship.

20 Apr 20:31

Gupta On Enlightenment

by Scott Alexander

That story about the blockchain-based dating site gets better: its designer is an enlightened being.

I got this from Vinay Gupta’s wiki, which describes some of his thoughts and experiences. Since reading Mastering The Core Teachings Of The Buddha, I’ve been looking at a bunch of this stuff, and it’s interesting how it does (or doesn’t) converge. For example, from the MCTB review:

If you really, really examine your phenomenological experience, you realize all sorts of surprising things…one early insight is a perception of your mental awareness of a phenomenon as separate from your perception of that phenomenon.

And from Gupta:

The real process of meditation is paying real close attention to what is happening around you without passing it to the mind immediately for analysis…the mind becomes perceived to be another sense. You see, you listen, you hear, you smell, you think. Once you are aware that you are not your mind and your mind is basically a sense organ, it’s a thing that brings information to you, you enter the real work of enlightenment, which is: what is this me that the mind is bringing information to? And that’s the big one. That question is at the heart of everybody’s enlightenment process.

From the MCTB review:

The main point of [mindfulness] meditation is to improve your concentration ability so you can direct it to ordinary experience. Become so good at concentrating that you can attain various jhanas – but then, instead of focusing on infinite bliss or whatever other cool things you can do with your new talent, look at a wall or listen to the breeze or just try to understand the experience of existing in time.

From Gupta:

Building the instrumentation to keep your consciousness stable enough to put the attention on the thing, is about three or four years work. It’s like grinding a mirror if you’re going to make an astronomical telescope. It takes years to grind a perfectly smooth reflector. Then you silver coat it. Then you point it at the sky and now you can see the moons of Jupiter. It takes you years to design the microscope, you look into the water, now you can see the microbes and you just discovered germ theory. Building the instrumentation takes time. Years and years and years because you need long periods – 35, 40 seconds minimally – when there are no thoughts in the mind to be able to begin to turn the awareness onto itself. So lengthening the gap between thoughts means lowering the mental background noise.

There are lots of these matches. My first impression was that it’s a good sign that people are finally converging on being able to talk about this kind of thing in a sensible way. But here’s a point Gupta makes over and over:

The weird thing is – everyone who opens up the big door and looks out into the magical Universe where all the cosmic shit lives, sees something different. The purpose of religions is to enforce conformity on the mythology that floods your brain once you open up the cosmic forces.

If you are a strict moslem and you experience your enlightenment in a moslem context, the mystical model of the world that gets slammed into your head when you finally look at the Universe in that way, will be in conformity with the dominant culture around you at the time.

This is part of the reason that everything in Western culture went nuts when they discovered LSD, because you had all these people experiencing enlightenment outside of the conformity of the church. So rather than becoming Saint Ignatius of Loyola, you wound up as acid-crazed Bill. I’ve got this mythology of the Universe, and it’s all to do with Spiral Dynamics. My name is Ken Wilbur. Where the hell did that come from? He made it up and then told you it was cosmic law. Just like all the others did.

Everybody experiences the mythological aspects of enlightenment on their own terms, and if they are a slick talker, they can convince you that’s how it works, and then when you experience enlightenment, you experience the same mythology you were loaded up with.

This is how it really works. You’ve got your Buddhas and your Christs and your Mohammeds, and your Abrahams and all the rest of these people – they experience these cosmic states of consciousness, they generate their own mythology and then they run around telling you they’ve discovered the secrets of the Universe – you should do it their way now.

Later in the session, a questioner asked:

I don’t believe you. I think what you’re describing, getting rid of frameworks, is just a new framework. You’re just talking about another way of understanding consciousness. It’s the same as the Stoics and it’s the same as the mystics and it’s the same as Nietzsche, just another perspective. You didn’t talk about anything specific. You talked about some beautiful abstractions. It feels to me like the things you’re talking about in very abstract terms are the same things that every other philosopher talks about. You haven’t got rid of frameworks.

And Gupta answered:

Every individual who goes up there sees the same shit, more or less. And then you come back down and try and tell people about it in language, and you wind up building a model that you use to communicate. That is exactly correct. It’s the same shit.

So. I read Ingram, and I read Gupta, and they seem to be saying broadly the same stuff, and it appeals to me, and seems to fit with what I already know of the world, and gets me thinking that all this enlightenment stuff is starting to make sense. But (says the devil’s advocate) two Christian saints may have similar experiences of the Beatific Vision, write them down in similar terms, and the average Christian will nod and say it agrees with what they already know of the world (eg that it is run by a triune God who lives in the Empyrean). Does “scientifically minded, religiously tolerant people come back and say it’s all science, and also all religions are one” give us a better framework than “Christian people come back and say it’s all Christ”?

One possible escape from total relativism: forget about whatever’s on the other side of enlightenment. We can at least trust people to report on this side of the veil accurately, and that’s where some of the most interesting insights are. The description of what meditation is doing. The distinction between samatha and vipassana meditation. The idea of the mind as a sensory organ rather than the be-all-and-end-all…

…actually, wait, that one doesn’t sound very scientific at all. Maybe we should reframe it as talking about two different parts of the brain? Maybe this isn’t as easy as I thought.

I’ve been focusing a lot lately on the idea of the Bayesian brain and its input channels. Some input channels, like vision, are high-bandwidth; we get so much data about the real world that (optical illusions and PARIS IN THE THE SPRINGTIME signs aside) we usually see pretty much what is really there.

Other channels, like pain, are low bandwidth. This is why the placebo effect works – we get so little data about how much pain is coming from different parts of our bodies that even our strongest percepts are wild guesses, where we fill in the gaps with predictions and smooth away conflicting evidence. If our predictions change – ie we know we just got morphine and morphine lowers pain – then the brain will happily change its guesses. This would never happen with vision – I can’t use the placebo effect to make you think an orange crayon is blue – but pain is low-bandwidth enough that it works.

Reason is one of the lowest-bandwidth channels of all, which is why biases are so omnipresent and rational debate so rarely changes anyone’s mind. Most people revert to their priors – the beliefs of their tribe or the ones that fit their common sense – and you have to provide an overwhelming amount of rational evidence before the brain notices anything amiss at all.

It sounds like, in this model, enlightenment is effectively super-low-bandwidth. I say “effectively” because the bandwidth concept doesn’t really make sense here, maybe it has more to do with the alienness or uncompressability of the information. But Gupta seems to be saying that you will see it exactly as you have been conditioned to see it. That wouldn’t be too surprising. But it sure does suck if you’re trying to figure out which religion is true, or prevent people from becoming religious fanatics, or anything like that.

This is a pretty agnostic (in the sense of non-knowledge-claiming) description of what enlightenment is. But it does at least suggest it’s…something…in the brain…that goes through the normal perceptual process? Except that realistically if you see a rhinoceros the sense-data will be in your brain and go through the normal perceptual process, but that doesn’t mean a rhinoceros is just brain activity. Except that nobody was claiming that your perception of a rhinoceros is actually more fundamental than ordinary brain activity, and some people do claim that about enlightenment, so maybe this is telling us it isn’t? Or something?

Other interesting excerpts from Gupta:

Every tradition that has enlightened people has stories of wizards. The Daoists that run across water, all this Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon stuff, the European Alchemists – do you guys know about a guy called John Dee? Course. Course! What kind of audience do you think this is?

So John Dee for those who are not overly read, was Queen Elizabeth the First’s court magician. John Dee has one essential claim to fame, which is that he invented the concept of the British Empire. He wrote two books arguing that, as the Romans had used roads to create a trade network, and to move armies around an Empire, Britain could use ports and ships. So he invented the concept that we would reimplement what the Romans had done but with London at the centre.

John Dee’s primary work, what he was proudest of in his life, was a 400 page volume of angelic magic called the Enochian Magical System. So you look at this and you’re like, the guy’s smoking crack. Then you look at Isaac Newton. Newton’s laws of motion, colours, he named the colours of the rainbow. By the way he named the colours of the rainbow with seven colours, even though indigo and violet are the same colour. Because he needed one colour per planet and one colour per alchemical force. Three quarters of Newton’s work is alchemy and that’s all the stuff where everybody’s like “Oh Isaac Newton he was such a nonsense lover – all this alchemy stuff. Love the laws of motion though.” Because you’re not allowed to take the other side of these men’s work seriously because if you do – Voomp – Oh my fucking god – that’s really there! Yes, it’s really there.

The weird thing is – everyone who opens up the big door and looks out into the magical Universe where all the cosmic shit lives, sees something different. The purpose of religions is to enforce conformity on the mythology that floods your brain once you open up the cosmic forces.

I keep hearing people talk like this, but I would really like to see some analysis of how the Western hermetic and alchemical traditions match the Eastern enlightenment traditions. I know a bit about John Dee, and it all suggests he was a very weird and gullible person, and none of it sounds like meditation as the Buddhists and Hindus think of it. The same is true of Newton’s mystical researches. I’m open to arguments for why these things are really the same deep down, but somebody needs to actually argue it instead of just gesturing at it, and I’ve never seen this done well. Aleister Crowley was neck-deep in the western mystical tradition, hung out in Sri Lanka for a while studying yoga, and (when he wasn’t being deliberately obscure) is one of the clearest and most lucid writers I’ve ever had the privilege of reading – and even he never actually made this argument in any comprehensible way. Come on, people.

Lowering the mental background noise means going through all the emotional layers and all of the attachments that generate thought. A single emotion that you don’t really deal with properly can generate 5 years of internal chatter. Should I? Shouldn’t I? Should I? Shouldn’t I? You finally come back and it’s this deep feeling of uncertainty about your place in the world. You feel it – it goes away. You’ve been liberated of an emotion, that stream of thought stops. And as a result your mind gradually empties and empties and empties and empties.

If you’ve been taught that you are your mind, that process feels like dying. This is why there’s all this nonsense about the abyss in the Western magical tradition. “Oh the Abyss. Oh the Abyss.” You go to India; they’ve never even heard of the Abyss. Because in India they don’t think that you are your mind. So having mind go away “Really, that thing back there.” “Yes.” “I used to use that for saying mantras – now it doesn’t work any more.” Whereas in the West, if your mind stops, that means your identity is gone, and everybody freaks out and calls that the Abyss.

Okay, this is actually one of the better East-West mystical comparison theories I’ve heard.

So, how much meditation is a lot of meditation? Typically to get enlightened takes about as much work as getting a PhD. So you would expect it to be the dominant occupation of your life for something between 7 and 10 years, including working your ass off for your A-levels, getting through an undergraduate degree, doing a Masters, doing a PhD. Getting enlightened is about a PhD’s worth of work. Very few people in the West claim to be enlightened, even fewer of the people who claim to be enlightened are enlightened and even fewer of them are doing anything other than teaching.

About 15 I started to meditate, about an hour a day, sometimes 2. I was physically ill at the time; I had nothing but free time. Although I’m half Indian, I had no real exposure to Hinduism as a tradition. I just started to meditate because there was nothing else to do and it seemed to help. After 6 years of an hour or something a day, after a very, very intense, shall we say, “collaborative celebration”, in the morning after the trip, we were having a kind of debriefing session. In my head, as we were talking, I saw an amplifier, just a very simple aluminium amplifier with a big knob, little blue LED on it, and I saw my hand reach down and turn the knob off. And my internal dialogue completely stopped. This was about 1993, 1994 and it never came back.

Living in the condition of having no internal dialogue, no flow of thoughts, no flow of images, just Smack, into the present is quite an abrupt thing. For the first couple of weeks I thought I’d gone completely mad. Oh my god I’ve totally broken myself. I’m fucked. And I discovered that I could still go to work, and I could still socialise with people and I could cook and get through all the basic things of life. Nobody outside of me seemed to notice any particular change in my behaviour, even though I was lost in this rapturous state of total absorption with the world. Wow, this is amazing, woah! And then life continued.

I’d run right off the edge of every reality map that I had because if you go to a psychologist or a psychiatrist and say, by the way I did really a lot of meditation and my internal dialogue has totally stopped. Any ideas what I do now? Nobody ever winds up there in the West because nobody does enough meditation, at least they don’t do it right.

Actually, sometimes people do come to psychiatrists with these kinds of complaints. I usually try to explain what’s going on, and they usually tell me they were just meditating because someone said it relieved stress, and nobody warned them they could actually have mystical experiences, and this was not what they signed up for. Symptomatic treatment and a hard ban on further meditation successfully de-mysticize most of these people, and they are able to go back to their regular lives. I assume if there’s an afterlife some sort of cosmic wisdom deity is going to be very angry at me – but hey, I’m just doing my job.

19 Apr 17:05

Futebol dos pensadores

by Carlos Ruas

Tirinha desenvolvida pela equipe do @piadasnerds e desenhada por mim.

O post Futebol dos pensadores apareceu primeiro em Um Sábado Qualquer.

12 Apr 21:16

Viva Intensamente # 355

by Will Tirando

11 Apr 17:16

mEu, robô #6

by Fábio Coala

Robô de dominação intergalático em modo de procrastinação.

O post mEu, robô #6 apareceu primeiro em Mentirinhas.

05 Apr 19:38

Launching money into space

by Scandinavia and the World
Launching money into space

Launching money into space

View Comic!

04 Apr 18:13


by Laerte Coutinho

04 Apr 18:07


02 Apr 18:58

extrafabulouscomics: pt. II

23 Mar 20:06

Love is blind


Don't miss our next comic:

The post Love is blind appeared first on Fredo and Pidjin. The Webcomic..