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Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 42
Loc: Calgary
the pattern in reality
    #607179 - 04/13/02 10:36 AM (22 years, 5 days ago)

The Pattern In Reality
and how to go insane looking at it

So far, the funniest day of my life was when I confronted the mushroom in front of my bathroom mirror. I had been staring at other things in the mirror all my life, staring at everything and anything except me. Instead of looking at my face, or my flesh, my body or my soul, I decided to look at me. What am I? Who the fuck is that in the mirror?

I was standing there, staring. To the outsider looking in, I was a stunned, quavering human. But in my mind, in me, everything was beautiful. In those brief minutes, the thoughts kept rolling in, splashing through my consciousness. Looking truth straight in the face is more beautiful than I imagined?remember to breath? For every great thought I?m rewarded with the feeling of awe, the feeling of discovering the truth. The kind of feeling any bathroom philosopher loves to feel! But that?s just what I felt. What I thought is more difficult to put into words; any psychonaut can attest to that.

I looked at my own self, right there, right in the eyes. I challenged him to a staring contest. He didn?t play fair, because he had the advantage. He was just a collection of light beams, he wasn?t sentient. Not alive like me, he couldn?t feel wounded looking at himself. Or could he? That is me, right there. Yet? I don?t look like me! My face is growing, shifting, my skull larger than usual. My face a swirling vortex, sucked into some black hole. At times like this, I have no choice but to ask: ?Are you an alien?? Yes. No. That?s a hallucination. I?m looking at the expanded me. Look past preconceptions. Look at yourself. Not your eyes. Look up. Look at yourself, your brain. Yes, that?s it. You can see yourself now, can?t you? Isn?t it great? Come closer? closer?

And I went closer, and closer, staring right at my brain, threatening to touch the mirror, when my eyes moved for a better look: both up there, both looking directly at my brain. Perverted crossed eyes. A sight so shocking that I had no recourse to save my sanity except to explode in laughter! That?s it! I just got the joke of humanity! We are our brains, just look at your brain in the mirror to find out! The punchline got lost somewhere in that swirl of hilarity. One of those insane inside jokes. It was ball-bustingly funny, and I doubled over, holding onto my scrotum just to make sure it wasn?t being smashed to a pulp. These will create copies of my pattern.

Before I got up on the floor I had forgotten the joke, but I was still chuckling. I looked back at myself, brain. Even with my eyes in their usual position, my reflected eyes just don?t look the same. They are inverted, Thatcherized. While stoned I learnt how to shift focus slightly to make words float on the pages of books. Now I could add this to my repertoire: mushroom eyes. Kippered, smashed, mashed, destroyed! Completely geschtonkenflapped! The night went on for hours, and the notebook filled up with insane scribblings, nearly to the end. More writing than ever before; I was happy. Fulfilled, reconciled with reality. Ahhh?

The next day, panic! What if any of it was real? What if these visions that I had were real? Aren?t they? If I experience something, then it must be real. What kind of reference point did this reality have? My mind must be it, I thought. My mind right now, is sober. There are two types of facts about my past. One, what I experienced. Two, what occurred prior to that experience. And prior to the past, I had eaten a cubensis mushroom. This silly little fungi was consumed, sacredly, by me. And at the time that I began having the hallucinations, your honor, was one hour after said consumption! So, through a process of deduction, we can conclude that the mushroom had something to do with it. The culprit, the criminal catalyst of the whole organization, was a shy smiling psychedelic mushroom!

What did it all mean? Was my mind poisoned by this mushroom, causing me to go insane for three hours? Everyone says it?s poison. The government, the church, my friends, and probably my family if I had asked them. And what would I say if someone asked me: ?Why does a mushroom do what a mushroom does?? Well, I?d be perplexed, and, looking at the grim reality of nature, conclude that the mushroom is defensively poisonous, a common-sense result of natural selection. They?re poisonous because they don?t want to be eaten. Evolution, baby! But does that answer really have any truth to it?

I think so, but I think it?s just the first twist in the outrageous truth. The mushroom is a product of evolution here on Earth, and like any life, it would rather live than be eaten. Hence poison. Yet I get a little antsy when people degrade evolution so much by thinking of it only in terms of ?survival of the fittest?. Life is so much more than that. I can?t accept that this mushroom formed for the purpose of poisoning humans, especially with such a divine poison. A poison that can?t kill you unless consumed in outrageous amounts. Brilliant strategy, mushroom ? but I know you are smarter than that. A wide variety of mammals eat mushrooms and other psychedelic plants. They don?t die, and neither do we. On the contrary, we seek them out for consumption, we even raise them in colonies to be devoured. I ask: why do humans have more complex reactions to mushrooms than an ape? Why do apes have more complex reactions to mushrooms than a bear? And why a bear over a dog, or a deer over a squirrel? Clues to the pattern.

I understand the confusion of being asked so many questions at once, having too much information thrown at you. I?ve been through it enough. The answers are so easy to feel, to communicate them seems impossible. Stone, language, paper, computers, phones, satellites, internet? we?re getting better at communicating all the time. Yet we?re still unable to describe the mushroom. The only way to know the mushroom is to meet one, greet one, and eat one! You can?t hear the truth about the mushroom from your friends or on the news. You either know, or you don?t. You either had the pleasure of meeting one, or you haven?t. You live in knowledge, or ignorance. Enlightenment or bliss. Pick your paradise, or pick your poison. Are you in the loop?

My brain has looked at reality and brought back models of it. Patterns. Everything I see are patterns, and patterns are made of nodes. Each node is made of a pattern, which is made of nodes, which are patterns, and so on and so forth. The things we have created are based on this simple yet subconscious principle: things do not appear randomly, they are patterns created by combinations of nodes. If we properly arrange a set of wooden boards, nails, cement, etc, we can create a house. A house doesn?t appear instantaneously, it is bound by time and spatial arrangement. So to does this principle hold for the rest of known reality.

The human body is a pattern made up of nodes: two arms, two legs, a torso, a head, two hands, two feet, etc. Each node is a pattern: the arms are separated at a joint into the upper and lower arm. Same for the legs. Our hands have four fingers and a thumb each, our feet have five toes each. The fingers are patterns of joints, bones, skin, flesh. Our head has a brain, a skull, a face. A face has a nose, two eyebrows, two eyes, a mouth, two ears. A nose, an eye, a mouth, all made of patterns of other body parts. A mouth made of a pattern of teeth. Teeth made of a pattern of calcium and other minerals. Calcium made of molecules, made of atoms, made of quarks. Our brains, too. Made of segments, the neocortex, the hippocampus; it?s a huge list. Each segment made of a pattern of brain cells, neurons, axons and so on. Each made of chemicals and molecules, atoms, quarks, etc. What does it all mean? Do the patterns have any meaning? Of course they do. Those patterns make up our brains, they make up us. We are nodes. Nodes make patterns. So what pattern are we making?

Other brains must be noticing the same thing. They are learning patterns in reality and shaping their brains accordingly. Different people obsess about different patterns. This makes them individuals, unique. Every day we talk about the pattern in reality. We try to figure it out and understand it. We tell each other which patterns we like, which patterns we hate, and why. We ask others what patterns they know about. We try to create new patterns, improve patterns, destroy patterns.

If patterns exist, and they do, then what about their opposite, randomness? Randomness exists too, although I can?t prove it. Patterns are made of randomness, each one has a unique signature of randomness. Randomness, in some form, has been transformed into patterns, and now these patterns hold back randomness. From randomness was born our universe, our pattern.

The laws of the universe: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and weak nuclear forces, time, space, dimensions, etc. These patterns are among the very basic, shielding us from randomness. Our galaxy, our solar system, our sun, and our Earth are all patterns shielding us from the chaos of randomness. These patterns grow in complexity, from the beginning of the universe to our present time. Patterns, when in abundance, shield the center from chaos, allowing for more complex patterns to arise. The complexity of the Milky Way allows for the existence of the Solar System, which allows for the existence of the Earth. The Earth allows the existence of life. Single celled bacteria allows the existence of multi-celled bacteria, which allow greater organisms to arise. Plants, fish, insects, reptiles, dinosaurs, mammals, apes, humans. Humans form societies, complex cultures, which allow more complex individuals to arise. The great scientists, philosophers, prophets, and other minds of genius are not flukes, they are born out of a stew of humans that allowed and helped these revolutionaries to exist. A complex culture is more likely to birth a genius than a simpler, chaotic culture. Our brains are growing more and more complex, mimicking better patterns, learning and passing on knowledge, picking and choosing ideas that best match reality. My brain can never understand reality, but I can make a model of it that makes the most sense.

If you think I am insane for believing all this, then you are half wrong. The real reason that I am insane is because I believe that randomness is the incomprehensible imprint of an infinitely complex pattern.

=|) minds are growing

Edited by sunconscious (04/14/02 03:50 PM)

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Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 42
Loc: Calgary
Re: the pattern in reality [Re: sunconscious]
    #607183 - 04/13/02 10:39 AM (22 years, 5 days ago)

hi all!  this is the introduction to an essay i am writing... the formatting is missing :frown:

let me know if you want to hear more!  :smile:

=|) minds are growing

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Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 07/12/99
Posts: 4,805
Loc: On the Brink of Madness
Re: the pattern in reality [Re: sunconscious]
    #607305 - 04/13/02 01:29 PM (22 years, 5 days ago)

If I want to hear more about fractals and complexity, I'll just look at some of my old notes from a few years ago when I, too, was a determinist bastard.

No matter how you slice it,
Pure pattern = No hope

Just because patterns emerge doesn't mean that there is one, universal, grand pattern that is responsible for EVERYTHING. Although that is a very elegant postulate, the lack of hope gets to me. What about the lots that some of us were "dealt"? Should we just accept our fates and get on with being miserable? Should we even bother trying to "go against the grain" of our "fate"?

"Well, only if it is your fate to do so..."
So, the whole concept of "should" has no meaning in this world? Ethics are irrelevant? Fuck compassion (unless it is your fate to be compassionate)?
I don't disagree with the libertarian's stance on this, but there is more to this than just the moral implications of determinism being true.

Most people who like the whole Alan Watts perspective tend to take the compatibilist argument. However, their argument amounts to semantics and manipulation of concepts... it seems like they're just settling for a nice, happy, simple explanation.

There really isn't a name for my stance on the free will vs. determinism debate. But I think I take the mean between the two extremes. Between pure randomness (not something that just "seems" random) and pure cause-and-effect determinism. I like to call it the Dirty Fractal Edge.

Note: In desperate need of a cure...

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Registered: 04/07/02
Posts: 158
Last seen: 21 years, 11 months
Re: the pattern in reality [Re: sunconscious]
    #607673 - 04/13/02 11:47 PM (22 years, 5 days ago)

even though i've never had the so-called hallucination i wouldn't call that one, i see that shit every day man, i'm so used to my fucked up perceptions it seems normal to me now, I smoked weed last night, it was funny because i waited for the high to come on, well it never really did seem as how i was already high on something else, if i could tell you what i would. life story: born, verbally abused, shitty unfulfilling life, ate some shrooms a couple years ago, got high, hit a lampost at 170km/hr, didn't die, read some books on spiritual enlightenment a few months ago, got high, wait, something doesn't make sense here, how can reading a book make you high, fucked if i know, been meaning to eat some more shrooms lately, found god, found hell, found heaven again, tried to forget i exsisted, tried to forget the world, still here, why, i serve no purpose, i have become heaven and hell, can't handle it, going nuts, thought i gave a shit about myself today, realized i didn't, gonna smoke some more bud tonight, mybe i'll give a shit tomorrow, hope i do, god doesn't look to kindly on people who think like that, wish i could stop thinking like that but it's just so fucking hard sometimes, every time i feel the divine light i pray for god to take me away, but then he tells me, hey mike you can't leave yet, you have so much left to do with your life, oh shit thats probably just my ego talking, damn ego, once i thought god wanted me to be a healer, i said sure but then realized the impossible task of healing myself, so i guess the point of this all is that, exactly, there is not such a thing, we just live, die, and live again ( exsist ), but what about my weird high, that doesn't fit at all with there being no point in anything, now the question is, where do i go from here? fucked once again if i know.

insanity with a plan, a plan to stop exercising truth as compared to breathing thin air, but to experience truth as all there is to experience, for what do i not already have that exsists? All i can do is enjoy the ride.

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Registered: 03/14/01
Posts: 443
Loc: MA
Last seen: 21 years, 1 month
Re: the pattern in reality [Re: sunconscious]
    #607960 - 04/14/02 09:55 AM (22 years, 4 days ago)

I thought that was a really good post sunconscious, nice job.

Thermodynamics tells us that the natural state of the universe tends toward entropy, or chaos. But then why do we see more and more order being generated with the evolution of life? All processes tend toward disorder because it is energetically favorable. To create order requires a lot of energy input, which is not always available. What life has evolved to do is to gather energy from its surroundings (either by harnessing sunlight or eating other organic matter) and using this concentrated energy to create orderly constructs. For most life these orderly constructs are their bodies, but human consciousness has recently been able to do so much more. Now we can create order everywhere, in our habitats, in our environment, and even in space. We do this because obviously it is more efficient to be orderly than disorderly. We generate patterns (and even when none exist we imagine them) because it is much easier to make sense of an ordered universe than a chaotic one. This is was life is at the most basic level: a machine that uses energy to generate order. More and more evolved forms generate more and more order. Where will it stop? When life on Earth has run its course, all the order created will once again revert back to chaos from whence is started. This is the way of nature.

I liked your description of your trip too. I would like to hear more when you have it.

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Registered: 01/15/02
Posts: 720
Re: the pattern in reality [Re: sunconscious]
    #608236 - 04/14/02 05:05 PM (22 years, 4 days ago)

"in every order there is chaos, and in every chaos a secret order", if someone knows, can he please remind me who said that?

regardless of a possible higher order behind the chaos that rules the universe, you would never imagine that under this chaos on planet earth right now, someone is trying secretly to force his order, would you?

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Registered: 05/23/00
Posts: 275
Loc: a hidden microutopia at t...
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Re: the pattern in reality [Re: cHeMiCaLbLuE]
    #608300 - 04/14/02 06:16 PM (22 years, 4 days ago)

chemicalblue: as below, so above... as within, so without...

drugs can introduce us to concepts and things we aren't mentally or physically ready for. but all they do is raise your awareness, they don't *tell* you anything. as a matter of fact, once you're aware, they can actually become a hindrance to further understanding, as can any other form of mental escapism.

i dunno you or what you feel or think, but from your posts it sounds like you are trying to get way ahead of yourself. first develop your willpower. find an inner peace. it's hard when you're in shitty environments but its not impossible. its just a more difficult test, and if you can do it and win out over the negativity in your life, you'll be all the stronger for it. don't deceive yourself about why you do something, be truthful. educate yourself, don't worry about educating other people - they have to do it on their own, and besides you can't teach other people things you don't fully understand yourself. all you'll be doing is making things harder.

i empathize with what youre going through.. just learn to be patient and calm and methodical and don't worry. and do what need to be done to get where you need to go.

"If Nature (or 'God') has given you so much pain that you cannot do anything else other than be with it, then there is a message here: you are not expected to be doing anything else! In other words, spending time -- even long periods of time -- just feeling pain is a legitimate calling in the eyes of God and Nature. Assuming that you are making at least some effort to purify and evolve consciousness by being with pain in a skillful way, you are engaged in productive and meaningful work."

"The shaman is a healed healer who has retrieved the broken pieces of his or her body and psyche and, through a personal rite of transformation, has integrated many planes of life experience: the body and the spirit, the ordinary and nonordinary, the individual and the community, nature and supernature, the mythic and the historical, the past, the present and the future."

"The lonely struggle with the forces of nature, during which one is at their mercy for better or worse, is a requirement of shamanic training, because only when the apprentice becomes aware of his smallness and helplessness, when he becomes modest and humble, can his spirit blend with these tremendous forces. An awareness of the interwoven mystical unity of nature is an essential experience during initiation of of the shamanic view of the world in general."


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