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Freedom of Being
 
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Below are the 15 most recent journal entries recorded in Conscious Self-Creation's LiveJournal:

Sunday, October 28th, 2007
12:04 pm
[onehalfwhole]
Question
Does this conscious "self-creation" stuf have anything to do with my Transformation?
Thursday, November 9th, 2006
12:23 am
[effrenata]
Napoleon Hill's Method of Creating Personalities.
In his 1939 book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill describes how he created a group of "invisible counselors" within his mind who developed into independent characters, although he continued to regard them as "purely imaginary".

His Account of What He DidCollapse )

Link: http://www.psitek.net/pages/PsiTekTAGR34.html

This is similar to how I make thoughtforms -- only it's not quite so literal with me, and I don't have a copy of Napoleon Bonaparte walking around in my head. Also, notice that all of Hill's soulbonds are male. Apparently he never thought of adopting Queen Elizabeth or Marie Curie. It's an interesting look at the culture of the time.
Saturday, September 30th, 2006
12:26 pm
[cherubrock33]
The concept.
Our concept of freedom is what drives us forwards,
that urge to expand boundries, limited options means death.
 We are a creative species, imaginative, and perhaps that's why
we are so successful, we try to control our enviroment, as opposed to always being at it's mercy,
and I think that is a very large evolutionary step.

It may just be a bunch of equations that make up reality,
that is the oppression,
and it's only a oppression because we are alive and
want to feel more alive.
Think about it from the perspective of a rock.

It's rains for a week straight,
there's a flood,
it's washed away to a distant place,
where it sits for a couple centuries.

 Rocks don't get sick or scared,
they don't feel lost or bored.
 A rock is an extreme example of getting swept away by the circumstances.


And though sometimes each of us is swept away in the circumstances,
we strive to eliminate it, and even appreciate it,
because we were born from circumstance.

We don't want to be children forever,
or we won't survive.

At the same time we don't want to get too ahead of ourselves and open too many new doors,
because we may endanger ourselves.

 Growing up is a long difficult process.

Perhaps one day humans will become godly,
wouldn't it be dissapointing if we failed to survive with our combined efforts?
But sometimes that's the way life goes.
Wednesday, February 1st, 2006
9:49 pm
[david_von_staal]
Can someone define what a soulscape is? Being a fan of ambient "soundscapes" I thought it'd be interesting to see what would pop up on LJ if I typed in "soulscape" instead, and I actually found communities on here with that as an interest. So can someone define what a soulscape is? The word alone is enough to make me ponder.
4:37 pm
[le_veritas]
Hello and Goodbye!
Finally, a community that already assumes I'm a narcissist!...That was a joke!....Ok, tough crowd. Well. I have already completed my background identity in the form of my entire blog. Anything other than what is written there is in a friends only category, which of them there is only one post- the most recent.
If anyone wants to read my site, I ask that they read from the first article to the top. That way you will be basing your judgment on the progression of ideas, and not of the wild nature of certain conclusions I tried to draw later on. If you have to read from the top, it's your choice. However, note that your choice is made on the fact that you are rushing into things. People who rush reading usually don't get it. It's to the wise old owls I call attention, because only they would have the time and whim to muse upon the fruition of my ideas.
Thank you all in advance, and good day,
Le_Veritas
Friday, October 21st, 2005
3:12 am
[effrenata]
"Conditional Free Will": Can a Psychology of Freedom Be Combined With a Sociobiological Perspective?
Here is an excerpt from an article titled Biological Perspectives in Criminality. Although the article is focused on crime, I find its analysis of biology and personal freedom quite relevant to human life in general:

The acceptance of biological explanations for human behavior has been thought by many to preclude the possibility of free will. This fundamental fear has resulted in a pervasive rejection of biological contributions to behavior. Although some behavioral scientists are deterministic in their views, attributing behavior to everything from socioeconomic conditions to neurochemical events, most individuals prefer to credit their own free will for their behavior. A compromise reflecting a more accurate position on the forces behind human behavior is widely accepted, however--the theory of "conditional free will" (see Denno, 1988, for discussion of "degree determin­ism," a related view).

In probabilistic or stochastic theories, numerous causes or alternatives are presented to explain an effect. Each cause has a certain probability of resulting in that outcome, in some cases a measurable probability. Because it is rarely the case that an effect can be associated with only one cause, some dynamic interaction of causes, working in concert, is frequently responsible for the final result. In the assessment of human behavior, a most complex phenomenon, it is particularly difficult to separate those causes to assess their relative contributions.

In accordance with probability theory, social human behavior is contingent on a countless number of possible decisions from among which the individual may choose. Not all of those decisions are feasible, however, nor are the resources available that are required to act on them. Choosing a course of action, therefore, is limited by preset boundaries, which narrows the range of possibilities substantially. Decision‑limiting factors include current circumstances and opportunities, learning experiences, physiological abilities, and genetic predispositions. Each one of these conditions collaborates internally (physically) and externally (environmentally) to produce a final action. The behavioral result is thus restricted to options available within these guidelines, yet it is "indeterminable" and cannot be precisely predicted. Stable individuals generally behave with some degree of expectability, however. In other words, certain patterns of behavior are a common individual characteristic, and some patterns are more probable than others in a given situation in a given individual.

The principle of conditional free will does not demand a deterministic view of human behavior. Rather, it postulates that individuals choose a course of action within a preset, yet to some degree changeable, range of possibilities and that, assuming the conditions are suitable for rational thought, we are accountable for our actions. Given "rational" thought processes, calculation of risks versus the benefits, and the ability to judge the realities that exist, the result is likely to be an adaptive response, that is, the behavior will be beneficial for the individual and the surrounding environment.

This theory of conditional free will predicts that if one or more conditions to which the individual is exposed are disturbed or irregular, the individual is more likely to choose a disturbed or irregular course of action. Thus, the risk of such a response increases as a function of the number of deleterious conditions. For example, a child with a learning disability may function well in society. With the addition of family instability, lack of appropriate educational programs, and a delinquent peer group, however, the learning‑disabled child may be more prone to maladaptive behavior, which may, in turn, result in actions society has defined as criminal. The child's range of possible decisions has, in other words, been altered.

* * *


This is quite close to my own philosophy on the matter. Where you are right now determines where you can go, what immediate paths you can take -- but the direction in which you go is up to you. If you on a mountain, you can climb down into the valley or follow the path over to the next hill. The fact that you cannot jump instantaneously to the other side of the globe (well, not with our current technology) is not a negation of free will, but simply a relative limitation of it.

This also raises interesting issues about personal responsibility. There is one extreme, sometimes called "blaming the victim" (New Agers like me are often accused of that), which involves giving a person full responsibility for bad consequences and outcomes even if he genuinely did not know of any better alternatives, and, in his then-current situation, had no way of finding any. (For instance: People in NOLA did not get out in time, although they presumably could have; therefore it is their own fault that they drowned.) On the other extreme, people are excused completely from responsibility due to whatever effects of heredity and environment supposedly "compelled" them to make the choices they did.

I think the middle position makes the most sense. One cannot evaluate someone's choices without knowing what they had to choose from -- not only externally, but internally. A person who lacks the IQ, knowledge, education or imagination to generate different possibilities, does, in fact, have less freedom of choice than a person with greater cognitive ability, even in identical external circumstances. We are only as free as we can imagine ourselves being. That is why I regard the enhancement of human consciousness as a necessary tool for freedom.
Wednesday, October 12th, 2005
7:13 pm
[effrenata]
New Community: TheUpwardSpiral
theupwardspiral is a new community for the discussion of Occult Transhumanism -- the interface of science and spirituality from a Transhumanist perspective. What will cyborg spirituality be like? How can we advance our own evolution on all levels of mind, body, and spirit? How does one integrate the findings of Western science with the insights of spiritual tradition and experience? All of these questions will be discussed here, and more. Practitioners of any spiritual, religious, occult, magickal or psychic path are welcome here, as are interested skeptics and the curious.
Thursday, September 29th, 2005
9:29 pm
[lokmarie]
The newbie would like to suggest adding androgyne to the list of interests
Friday, September 23rd, 2005
9:11 am
[carnivee]
new community
our_agitprop
The purpose is this community is to exchange ideas of how best to create mindfully political art and entertainment.
Sunday, September 18th, 2005
5:09 am
[effrenata]
Here's a form of self-alteration that I don't recommend, but which can be interesting to study:

Why Do Some People Want to Cut Off Their Own Arms and Legs?Collapse )

Original article here.
4:59 am
[effrenata]
Empathy and the Nonlocalized Self.
In this article on the biological underpinnings of empathy, researcher Brian P. Lewis makes this fascinating remark:

Brian P. Lewis of the University of California, Los Angeles, has argued that empathy can exist quite well without altruism. This is because the self isn’t necessarily located in a single individual. Therefore, we can empathize with and help someone else simply because we see ourselves in them.

In modem theories of the self, as well as in current evolutionary thought, important features of the self can be located outside of the person and inside others. The possibility exists, then, that empathy associated helping is not selfless but is rooted in the (usually implicit) desire to help that part of the self that is located in the other.
Wednesday, September 14th, 2005
5:03 am
[effrenata]
Self-Created Religion.
Article: Come, All Ye FaithfulCollapse )

The original article can be found on SFGate.com here.

One interesting thing about this article is that it presents a positive view of this phenomenon. The first widely-known mention of individually-created religion was the discussion of "Sheilaism" in Robert Bellah, et. al.'s bestselling work of sociology, Habits of the Heart, 1985. "Sheilaism" is the private religion of a nurse named Sheila Larson, who describes it as "just my own little voice". Bellah and other commentators of the time were relentlessly negative in their appraisal of Sheila's spiritual beliefs. In fact, one otherwise-respectable writer, Wendy Donigan O'Flaherty, even spoke of "the horrors of Sheilaism," a phrase that would make one think Sheila was committing human sacrifice. In actual fact, "Sheilaism", in Sheila's own words, consists of quite innocuous beliefs like, "I think God would want us to take care of each other."

In this 1986 article, Bellah reveals his position: he regards community-based religion not just as an equally-viable alternative to individual spirituality, but as superior. He assumes that a person cannot maintain a meaningful and active spiritual commitment without conformity to a group. He rejects, offhand, the possibility that solitary paths can have genuine relevance.

It seems that the tide is turning in this area. Having a unique, self-designed religious philosophy and practice is a privilege that more and more people are claiming for themselves. Once limited only to rare geniuses and mystics, "ordinary" folks are now listening to "their own little voice" -- not to lead nations like Joan D'Arc, but to lead themselves.

Bellah, I believe, is wrong in claiming that religious individualism prevents people from making connections. Folks do not need to believe the same things to interact meaningfully and learn from each other. The Eclectic Pagan and New Age communities, for instance, are quite active in sharing views and practices. There is room in the new religious milieu for both stable traditions and unique innovations, and every facet in between.

Current Mood: Joyful
Tuesday, September 13th, 2005
9:20 pm
[thehumangame]
a justification, perhaps.
Sexual Selection and the Mind

The theory of sexual selection holds that mate choice is an important factor in evolution in addition to survivability. When applied to humans, this theory can be used to construct narratives about the origins of quintessential human traits (like art, music, and humor) which might prove more satisfying than conventional evolutionary narratives.

In other words: We are what we are because that is what we liked, and this is the way it has always been with our species.
Monday, August 29th, 2005
12:48 pm
[alchmst]
Freeedom or being....
No, that's not a typo up there in the title. I find that if I act out who I really feel like I am, then I am "weird" enough to get sidelined by society. Rejection. But at the same time, I am at the point in my life where I really don't care whether I am accepted or not. So I am finally feeling more comfortable in my skin. In the society, it seems that I have to choose between freedom or being.

I am working or melding the two together.

Current Mood: calm
Saturday, August 27th, 2005
4:01 am
[effrenata]
Welcome to the Freedom of Being Millenium.
To kick things off, I'd like to post a link to a New York Times article, "All Cultures are Not Equal" by David Brooks, which talks about an emerging trend in the new century.

The title, and the manner in which the author slants his account, are somewhat misleading. Of course all cultures are not equal. Nothing in nature above the molecular scale is ever exactly equal to anything else. If you clone a cell, creating two genetically identical cells, the odds are vanishingly small that both will grow to the exact same size in microns, or live for the exact same length of time in nano- or picoseconds. So what? That's no reason why a thousand upon thousand different flowers shouldn't bloom and flourish.

And that, according to this article, is exactly what is happening in the world now. When the globalization of the world economy began, many feared that it would result in total homogenization -- everything controlled by a few large corporations, everybody drinking the same soft drinks, wearing the same tennis shoes, and watching the same movies. Instead, the global economy has generated innumerable niche-markets for different subcultures, preferences and lifestyles. And with them come "designer identities", rising above demographic constraints to embrace new definitions of self.

A couple of relevant quotes (with negative value judgements omitted):

Not long ago, people said that globalization and the revolution in communications technology would bring us all together. But the opposite is true. People are taking advantage of freedom and technology to create new groups and cultural zones....

The members of these and many other groups didn't inherit their identities. They took advantage of modernity, affluence and freedom to become practitioners of a do-it-yourself tribalism. They are part of a great reshuffling of identities...

Although the author focuses heavily on negative aspects such as separatism, inequality and conflict, I regard this development as fundamentally positive. For the first time in history, people around the world increasingly view themselves as free to create and choose their own identity, rather than merely accepting what is "given" by by birth, location and circumstance -- that is, by default. Increased mobility allows us to seek out those of like minds to form new geographic aggregations, shaped by choice rather than accident, while the rise of electronic communication allows us to form virtual communities across worldwide distances without leaving our seats.

As individuals take an active role in creating their sense of self, so also do we, as communities, form cultures and environments which foster such self-creation. And the cycle continues.

Welcome to the 21st century -- the age of Freedom of Being, identity by choice. This board is about exploring this new freedom, both on a cultural-historical level and an individual, practical one.

- Marlana, Anomia, Claribel &c., of Factio Effrenata, Anarchic Entity.
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