Friday, December 22, 2006


Evolutionary psychology shows us that everything human is based on adaptive changes to environmental pressures and that modern consciousness deeply reflects those environmental pressures as the sources of all our behaviors. Religionists want us to believe that if humans do not have some hypothetical superbeing to base our moral values in, then we are lost. They tell us that atheists must live in a meaningless universe if we do not pay allegiance to some hypothetical superpower outside ourselves to give meaning to our lives. On the contrary, evolutionary psychology gives deep meaning to all human behavior by finding the real roots of that behavior in the very nature of being human and not because we are things made of mud driven by immaterial forces to our goodness or badness. Further, as Sam Harris shows in his definition of “spiritual practice”, humans by the very nature of their psychological makeup via evolution must always be in pursuit of “spiritual” awakenings and have been on that spiritual journey since consciousness first evolved at some indeterminate time in the distant past. By his definition, to be human is to be spiritual and has nothing to do with the existence or non-existence of hypothetical superbeings.

"Investigating the nature of consciousness directly, through sustained introspection, is simply another name for spiritual practice. It should be clear that whatever transformations of your experience are possible after forty days and forty nights in the desert, after twenty years in a cave, or after some new serotonin agonist has been delivered to your synapses—these will be a matter of changes occurring in the contents of your consciousness. If he loved his neighbor as himself, this is a description of what it felt like to be Jesus while in the presence of other human beings. The history of human spirituality is the history of our attempts to explore and modify the deliverances of consciousness through methods like fasting, chanting, sensory deprivation, prayer, meditation, and the use of psychotropic plants. There is no question that experiments of this sort can be conducted in a rational manner. Indeed, they are some of our only means of determining to what extent the human condition can be deliberately transformed. Such an enterprise becomes irrational only when people begin making claims about the world that cannot be supported by empirical evidence. " —Sam Harris in The End of Faith

Photo I call, Crossing the Strait.


Found this in a pile of papers ready for discarding. For six years, I published, wrote for and edited my own literary microzine, called George & Mertie’s Place. Occasionally, I wrote comic horrorscopes (sic), and the following is one of them:

According to our metaphysical source, the symbol of Aries is made by a perpendicular line with two half-moons at the top, both turned downwards so that they hold nothing. The forgetfulness that you fear will approach with advancing age is merely a lifelong, natural condition for all Aries and is as understandable as the fact your mother never trusted you with good china.

Our source further foretells: The moons cannot hold anything, hence we say that Aries people spring swiftly into action.... Unfortunately, since Aries are also forgetful, they frequently spring into wrong actions. An Aries of our acquaintance forgot she was standing next to the Grand Canyon. A second found himself plunging into the wrong motel room—not all accidents end up badly, but in his astonishment at finding a nude couple in bed, he did trip over the photography equipment scattered about the room. President Ford is an Aries.

Since Aries are ever upside down and cannot hold onto anything, their sex lives are terribly haphazard. They frequently argue about who should be on top, and 69 is a number that contorts them into frightful complications. Especially avoid entanglements with other Aries and seek partners who know their elbow from a teacup. And don't fall head over heels in love this month—you won't survive it.

Finally, beware of social engagements in April. Some esoteric astrologers explain the sigil [sign] as a primitive diagram for the implosion and explosion of spirit in and out of the material body.... Be forewarned, avoid restaurants and other close encounters—bodily explosions are apt to offend.

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