Rationality and altered states of consciousness

From: Gordon Worley (redbird@rbisland.cx)
Date: Mon Sep 16 2002 - 14:44:38 MDT

A number of things have been said on this list that are wrong. Of
course, I might still be wrong, but if I'm wrong enough Eliezer or
Michael Raimondi will probably have something to say about it.

Rationality is not opposed to many of the things that people have been
claiming that it is opposed to. Rationality is not opposed to `higher'
or `altered' states of consciousness per se. Rationality is only
opposed to those things which separate you from reality and from the
truth. To say that rationality is opposed to anything is also a little
misleading. There is no cosmic struggle (that I know of, anyway)
between the rational and the irrational/arationl. The Universe is, by
default, arational. Rationality is a force that some processes draw
upon to accomplish work nonaccidentally (evolution and human thought,
for example). There is a struggle in your mind between irrational and
rational thought, though.

Raising consciousness sounds like part of rational thinking to me.
Becoming more aware of reality is essential to rational thinking.

Having a certain oneness with the Universe is not opposed to rational
thought, either. Ego-death (death of self image) is a good thing: it
vastly reduces observer-bias.

Can things be done now to make acceptance of the Singularity easier?
Possibly. When it actually happens, though, I bet everyone on this list
will still be shocked to see it actually happening. Rather than trying
to prepare people for the Singularity, your time would be better spent
actually making the Singularity happen by recruiting, raising money,
coding AI, etc..

Humans are not addicted to Zero-Sum games. For more information on
this, I recommend the excellent book /Zero-Sum/ by Robert Wright.

Gordon Worley "Man will become better when
http://www.rbisland.cx/ you show him what he is like."
redbird@rbisland.cx --Anton Chekhov
PGP: 0xBBD3B003

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