My Quest for Sanity

For the past three days I have been repeatedly performing the following mental operation:

“Imagine that you never read any documents claimed to be produced by telepathy with extraterrestrials. Now gauge your emotional reaction to this situation. Once calm, ask yourself what you would believe about the world in this situation. Would you accept materialism? Or would you still be seeking mystical answers to the nature of reality?”

I am still asking myself this question. Why? In the struggle not to believe things that are false.

I believe things that are, apparently, patently absurd. Things like:

“I incarnated from another planet, vastly advanced in spiritual evolution relative to Earth, in order to help Earth transition from the third dimension to the fourth dimension. My primary mission is to generate as much light and love as possible, because this light and love will diffuse throughout Earth’s magnetic fields and reduce the global amount of strife and suffering while helping others to achieve enlightenment. I am being aided in this mission by extraterrestrials from the fourth dimension who are telepathically beaming me aid packages of light and love.”

These beliefs, and many others like them, are important to my worldview and I use them to decide my actions. Because I like to think of myself as a rational person, it is a matter of great concern to me to determine whether or not they are true.

I have come across nobody who can put forth an argument that makes me question these beliefs. Noboby except for one person: Eliezer Yudkowsky. This man did what no other could: he made me doubt my basic beliefs. I am still struggling with the gift he gave me.

This gift is the vision of being a rational person: one who believes things that are verifiably not false.

So many incredibly intelligent people believe patently absurd things. It is so, so difficult to escape from these cognitive traps. If my beliefs are wrong, I want to be one of the fortunate ones who escaped from his insanity.

As an example of this type of insanity, consider Eliezer Yudkowsky. He believes:

“Within the next 50 years, humans will create an artificial intelligence powerful enough to increase its own intelligence, which will go into a positive feedback loop of intelligence increase until it becomes so intelligent that it is able to solve all solvable problems and, overnight, usher in an era of unimaginable perfection, at which time humans will live out the rest of eternity in a state of Edenic bliss.”

Yudkowksy has devoted his life to bringing this event about.

Are my beliefs weirder than Yudkowsky’s? And if Yudkowsky, the only man who was able to bring me to question my weird beliefs, dearly holds beliefs that are almost as weird as mine, is there anybody in the world who can help me with my problem?

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  1. #1 by Eric on June 15, 2011 - 11:16 pm

    One of the reasons I so enjoy your blog is that you are not just willing but actively interested in dissecting your world view, which also happens to be my world view. I enjoy this because most everyone else who shares this world view isn’t very interested in the dissection and can leave one feeling a bit imbalanced.

    I have pondered the weirdness that is the Ra contact many, many times. I have never as a result of these ponderings become very much more satisfied than I was prior to doing so. It would be self referencing to say that this is the Law of Confusion working perfectly, and I apologize for offering it so. 🙂 In short- I really don’t think there is any way to validate a belief system in a scientifically rigorous manner. An atheist or materialist would by this point be complaining quite loudly that because this is the case their own view point is the only valid one. Be that as it may, there is no way to disprove him. At the end of things, we’re left with a choice. Follow what can be proven, what is known to be true with certainty. Or- take a leap of faith and embrace what speaks to the heart. The leap is not difficult, the faith however can be.

    I have no direct experience of God or the unseen, so I rely on faith that it is true / exists. I am further content in this view as the alternative is, in my opinion, bleak at best. Research shows that the odds of human mortality is 100%. We’ll all be gone give or take the next 80-100 years. It’s my view that even if there is no afterlife, no Ra or Law of One, no god or greater purpose other than anything we can see and experience here on Earth, I would have lived a good (or preferable) life with my ideas of metaphysics and personality development.

    I also find the topic of sanity interesting. If we are to agree that sanity, as apposed to insanity, is “correct” and that it falls in line with what the majority of human beings agree to be “right”, “true” or “valid”, then I’d find myself in a position where being insane seems a lot more appealing. 🙂

    Sorry if this has missed the heart of your post- but I felt compelled to share.

  2. #2 by antitheology on June 16, 2011 - 3:00 pm

    Thank you for sharing, Eric! I appreciate your thoughts. I agree that there is a lot to be gained from mystical ways of thinking, even though buying into them requires some sort of leap of faith. I have been very much puzzled by this faith/skepticism duality, in that I am strongly drawn to both of these poles. I don’t have any solutions to offer. I would leave you with this passage from Q’uo (http://llresearch.org/transcripts/issues/1997/1997_0406.aspx):

    “Gradually, the ship sails until there is no land to be seen. The seeker finds herself completely lost. This is the precise position from which the life of faith is lived. Faith is not that which is connected to reason. The apostle known as Thomas was one who did not believe the disciples who had seen the one known as Jesus returning in resurrection glory. Thusly, Thomas the Doubter has become a character with which many may find a common identity: that desire for proof, that craving to put the finger in the wounds of wrist and foot and the great wound upon the side of the Creator’s Son, so-called, into which he would wish to place a hand simply to be sure that he was not wrong in placing his faith. And the one known as Jesus blessed and welcomed Thomas the Doubter, and yet he also said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

    There is a persistent lack of seeing, a continual lack of proof, in the worldview of the seeker, for those who move by reason, deduction and proof there are many things to control, to plan and to order. For the one who has set off upon that sea that is the path of the spiritual seeker these conveniences are forbidden. To offer proof would be to take away from the seeker the opportunity to live by faith alone.”

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