The Riddle of the Mind

Much of what I have been looking at on the blog so far pertains to what the Toltecs call The Riddle of the Mind. It relates to perception, self-awareness and how we interact with the socio-political world. Many, although they may deem otherwise, are only sparingly self-aware. One of the benefits of being in the university system for over twenty years is that you get to meet some very self-important people who are unaware of their pomposity, blind to it, whilst at the same time being crushingly and defensively insecure. Were you to suggest to some famous professor geezer that they were self-important and pompous, they would not countenance such a thing and get pissed off that you even have the temerity to suggest it; fully self-aware beings….

To solve the riddle of the mind, one needs to know oneself and one’s foibles, intimately.

So here is a riddle for you by way of a self-test and self-assessment:

On a scale where 0% is deep coma and 100% is a fully awake enlightened being, where would you rate your own self-awareness in percentage terms?

Is Humility Hard?

This question is very open. I suspect that genuine humility is scarce, what do you think?

One may assume that one has some humility, but one never knows until tested. There are many things which we cannot bring ourselves to either admit or do, because we lack sufficient humility. And humility may be in our minds, only for the little people. “I don’t have to do that”. It is a strange thing this humility.

There is a lot of arrogance and know-it-all in our modern times. Each of us has that very important opinion that must be heard and taken account of, even when that opinion is not a considered one. Because of the internet there are now hundreds of millions of soap-boxes. This is mine. Many fancy themselves arbiters of knowledge and wisdom, they may even make a living therefrom.

A part of humility must be knowing when and where your knowledge stops.

A part of humility is being responsible for your own actions and thoughts.

To understand humility, one has to look at its opposite “pole” self-importance, this is less scarce so there is plenty of it to see. It is probably easier to work at eradication of self-importance than it is to try to cultivate humility. One has to weed the flower bed, so to speak. And in focusing on this reduction of self-importance humility quite naturally starts to grow. Given space it just evolves. But whilst we are full of self-righteous indignation, pompous self-importance and vanity, there is no space.

Many would choke on this notion of humility. You can see public relations humility, say when a corrupt official pretends, goes on gardening leave, for strategic purposes. All the while they are spitting nails quietly. It is a humbling experience through which they do not gain humility, only resentment.

When we are brought face to face with our own ego, we do not like it overmuch. And even when we think we have it done, we are wrong. There are many false summits. Our vanity and arrogance can quickly flair up again.

Having cued this up:

Do I have humility?

Is it hard?

Is there any point in cultivating this humility thing?

Passive or Active?

“The full phrase ‘If the mountain will not come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain’ arises from the story of Muhammad, as retold by Francis Bacon, in Essays, 1625:

Mahomet cald the Hill to come to him. And when the Hill stood still, he was neuer a whit abashed, but said; If the Hill will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet wil go to the hil.

Present uses of the phrase usually use the word ‘mountain’ rather than ‘hill’ and this version appeared soon after Bacon’s Essays, in a work by John Owen, 1643:

If the mountaine will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet will goe to the mountaine.

 

A lot of people, corporations and the like assume that they are an epicentre of attraction. Their gravitational pull is strong, they are bound to attract. They are therefore pretty passive. An organisation might put up a few job adverts, an individual a dating profile. This may work to an extent and attract all kinds of responses. But maybe not that which you are seeking or need. You might get quantity but not quality.

To overcome this mind-set is not easy. Big business uses head hunters, but even these have a somewhat restricted pool in which to fish. In the above Mahomet acted out of humility and got off his butt and went to the mountain.

Having cued this up:

Am I sufficiently self-centred that all must come effortlessly to me?

What stops me from taking action?

That Which You Seek

In a world seemingly full of goals, targets, bucket lists, must-have and ambitions, people may be predicating that which they seek. By this I mean there is a tendency to think that something may be that which they seek. And so, people get busy doing stuff other than that which it is they are really seeking on a subconscious level. Some may not even be aware that they are seeking, others know they are seeking but they do not know what. The thing is most people are so darned busy that the notion and the shape of that which they seek remains submerged under the hectic waters of daily life. There is no space, no hole in the ice, for that which they seek to rise to the surface and begin to take shape.

If we listen to Rumi, that which we seek is already seeking us.

So maybe, as if by magic “it” will tip up at our front door, delivered by UPS. But I don’t think it works like that. If we wait around for long enough surely it must appear. If we are so passive, we are not yet a seeker, we are waiting for the delivery man who may have gotten lost. If we are more active then we become a seeker, exploring many avenues. And it being the 21st century those avenues point to the world wide web. But can you really find on the internet? It is less passive than waiting for the delivery man, yes, but still a computer screen is a computer screen and not an in-person experience. To become a finder as opposed to a seeker, one has to leave the office chair or the coffee shop Wi-fi. To find one must take at least a few risks.

Having cued this up:

Am I seeking something?

Do I even have a clue what I am looking for?

Is my approach working?

Homo In Silicio

Homo sapiens, a possible misnomer, is heading towards an entire new species, which we might deem homo in silicio. Already much of our time is spent on line and in our electronic worlds. There are advances in medical implants whereby the heart etc. is controlled by on board electronic devices. We have the world of wearable tech.

Before long it will be implantable tech. we may become microchipped like cats and dogs. Soon there will be a new rite of passage at say 18. Then we get fitted with our own transmitter/receiver and our SIM implant. We will get intra-cochlear headphones and an intra-jawbone microphone implant. Our heads-up display will be hardwired into the cortex.

Amongst us will be an army of clones produced from neither egg nor sperm. Many of us will change species and there will be a parallel evolution between homo in silicio and residual homo sapiens. It will be to be discovered if any Souls are willing to take on a cloned body, so we may have a new type of being entirely without Soul. Only those rich enough for the implant technology will become homo in silicio, they will communicate with the all the data sources and live increasingly immersed in the virtual worlds. They will seek to dominate the remainder of homo sapiens, who will develop empath and telepath qualities.

Homo in silico will give over control of pretty much everything it values to the onboard artificial intelligence. It will have virtual relationships via avatars, reproduce by electrically and visually stimulated ejaculation into glassware, the eggs harvested simultaneous with the SIM fitting rite of passage will be extracted from liquid nitrogen and genetically matched. No corporeal contact will ever be needed again and so homo in silicio will exist in a near hermetically sealed world devoid of viruses and bacteria, where high definition 3D holograms are the on board ersatz of nature.

In time there will be the war to end wars, in which the machine driven soft wet matter takes on the rest. It will be the war of the empath and telepath, against the computers and its hosts.

Coming sooner than you think to a world near you…

Hmnn… perhaps there is a movie script here….