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Blind Boy Apollo
and the All-White Astronauts

New Age "Asiatic" thought ... is establishing itself as the
hegemonic ideology of global capitalism. (Zizek)

Saturday, August 6

a circle jerk of mutual self-adoration

Here once again is Abraham Maslow, as quoted by Edward Hoffman in The Right To Be Human: A Biography of Abraham Maslow (1988).
If we want to answer the question, how tall can the human species grow, then obviously it is well to pick out the ones who are already tallest and study them. If we want to know how fast a human being can run, then it is no use to average out the speed of the population: it is far better to collect Olympic gold medal winners and see how well they can do. If we want to know the possibilities for spiritual growth, value growth, or moral development in human beings, then I maintain that we can learn most by studying our moral, ethical or saintly people.
The problem here, of course, is that there are objective metrics for height and speed, and no such consensually agreed methods for measuring morality or "saintliness."

Keep in mind (if your read Manifest Destiny III) that Maslow is the same individual of whom Publishers Weekly said: "This apostle of self-actualization and creative 'peak experiences' was an intensely private man who rarely discussed his own mystical highs." Au contraire, PW. This was the guy who founded transpersonal psychology. And if that isn't all about mysticism, I'll eat my hat.

separated at birth
Take Frances "Transpersonal" Vaughan. Please. The first time I saw her name was on a the cover of Shadows of the Sacred: Seeing Through Spiritual Illusions. Ah, I thought, at last someone is writing about how all this spiritual bullshit is just an illusion, how this fascination with all things mystical is rotting people's brains. But my guess was just so wrong. I wouldn't have been surprised had I done then what I did just now: searched the full text of Textbook of Transpersonal Psychiatry and Psychology. Here are some initial, very partial results...

239 pages with references to spiritual in this book

And that's all you really gotta know. However, looking a bit deeper -- thanks to the magic of Amazon's new bib-cite reporting -- I see that Textbook references 27 other books (a surprisingly small number for a "textbook"), among which are included:

And last but not least...

Shirley MacLaine and the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Alright then. OK. I think I'm beginning to get a feel for this odd brand of "psychology." I think. I could be wrong though. Ken Wilber might be a clue -- a man addicted to spiritual rocket science. No, really. That's what they call people who "chart" the market. As in Wall Street and so forth. Rocket scientists. I found something else recently that reminded me of him. It's from a very funny article called Fictitious Tibet: The Origin and Persistence of Rampa-ism. There's much more to say about this paper, which is a rich resource in itself, covering as it does, a British plumber named Hoskins who had a hyper-fertile imagination, to say the least, the ever-entertaining occultist Madame Blavatsky, her charlatan-in-arms Colonel Olcott (in the Library with the Lead Pipe), and piece-of-work extraordinaire, Annie Besant. But for now just the clip that reminded me of Ken Wilber.

Oh, but I guess you first need to know that Hoskins "was" also T. (for Tuesday) Lobsang Rampa, who wrote a number of books about his "experiences" as a Tibetan Buddhist monk; see e.g., The Third Eye. And another one called My Visit To Venus. Anyway, sorry about the unfortunately necessary innterruption. The bit that reminded me of Wilber was this...

Long before Rampa, the whole range of quasi-mathematical spheres, diagrammatic arrangements, levels of existence of consciousness, master-and-disciplehood, hoisted on a style of self-indulgent, self-aggrandizing rhetoric, was more or less created by Blavatsky. Medieval Christian writers, the Hermetics and a large number of kindred thinkers and their products had indeed presented a wide vista of quasi-mathematical, impressionistic imaginary structures; earlier, of course, Jewish mysticism with kabbalistic, Talmudic, and earlier medieval Rabbinical moorings might have set the example for the medieval Christian writings of this kind, unless the Christian writers were -- or were also -- inspired by whatever filtered through to them from the Greek and Hellenic esotericists, the Pythagoreans and a large number of neo-Pythagorean writings spread through the Hellenic world. Medieval Christian scholars did not read Greek, and whatever they did know about these esoteric systems they obtained through Latin translations. Nobody knows to what degree Blavatsky was familiar with any of this.
To completely communicate the sense of that passage, I guess we need an example of a quasi-mathematical diagram of levels of existence and consciousness. No problem, just gimme a sec to google Wilber. Ah, here we go...

Healing in Psychotherapy and Spirituality

I'll say

A Theory of Everything: An Integral Vision for Business, Politics, Science and Spirituality

"Figure 2: Ken’s Uncovering of the Ontological Dimension
of the U: Gross, Subtle, Causal"
from "Mapping the Integral U - A Conversation between
Ken Wilber and Ottto Scharmer" (PDF)
WILBER: "Typically the gross/waking state is a cognition of 'it.' It’s a state where the thinking process tends to be fixed on 'its,' or anything that can be described in 'it' language. Thus, when someone is seeing everything from the outside, that person is using cognition that is distancing. This is a classic waking, or gross object oriented process, even though there are indeed conceptualizations that occur."
Now, I don't know about you, but I had a regular satori orgasm when I saw that. Though I don't know that I wouldn't have said "somersaulting" instead of "suspending." However, this is a mere nit, I agree. Overall, Wilber's vision is just so... I dunno, I guess I want to say so fuckin-A profound!

His stuff always reminds me of when I used to stay up all night doing black beauties -- amphetamines that I boosted from the hospital pharmacy where I not only worked, but was in charge of all the narcotics (no lie). In the peculiar state produced by that speed, I once worked until dawn on a math problem, the solution for which turned out to be x=x. So I know what Laurie Anderson was on about. And I almost feel I understand where Ken Wilber is coming from.

what is integral naked?
don't miss the trailer!

But back to our transpersonal Textbook. Reading on, I find the following "explanations" in the first chapter, which is titled "Introduction and Definition of Transpersonal Psychiatry"...

Transpersonal psychiatry... extends the standard biopsychosocial model of psychiatry to a biopsychosocial-spiritual one in which the the later stages of human development are concerned with development beyond, or transcendent of, the individual. [p4]
Ohmygod. So does that mean we're talking...?

Yes, that's right. It means we're talking...

G H O S T S !
The meanings of the terms transpersonal and spiritual must be... sharply differentiated from the term religious.
I think this is so that M. Scott Peck's devil worship won't be excluded.
Numerous studies [unreferenced] have set the incidence of mystical experience in members of the general population at 30 to 40%. [p.5]
Now that is surprising, especially seeing as how the incidence of clinical psychosis is considerably lower. Alright, alright, enough of this. But in closing, let me just say that, as an over-the-hill ex acid head, I feel confident is saying:

these people are all over-the-hill acid heads!

Ex or not, I won't hazard a guess. But look at all this talk about dope! No wonder they're having visions and hearing things. The bios and pics are taken from the DVD series, Transpersonal Conversations. Click on the pictures to see the Amazon pages. And if you >>> click here <<< you can see a video clip of Christina Grof talking about Esalen Institute.Very, very exciting stuff (not). Damn, I wish I could afford the whole set!

Frances Vaughan, Ph.D., is one of the earliest leaders of the transpersonal movement. A prolific author and theorist, Dr. Vaughan has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than 30 years. Her now-classic book: The Inward Arc, has become a standard text in transpersonal education. And her work with "Healing Awareness," meditation in psychotherapy, and intuition is considered ground-breaking and seminal in the transpersonal field. She is the former President of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology and has served on the Board of Editors of the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology for many years.
Charles T. Tart, Ph.D., is one of the original transpersonal theorists and early founders of the field. His classic text, Altered States of Consciousness, influenced a generation of consciousness explorers and scientists (as well as a feature film). And his work as a parapsychologist has placed him at the top of that field as well. A renowned meditation teacher and consciousness researcher, Dr. Tart also holds a black-belt in Aikido. He is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of California, Davis, and continues to teach and research at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, CA. .
James Fadiman, Ph.D., is one of the founders of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology and an early President of the Association for Transpersonal Psychology. He has also served as an editor for the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology for more than two decades. He is a teacher of Sufism and co-author of several text books on transpersonal subjects. An early LSD pioneer, Dr. Fadiman studied with Dr. Richard Alpert (AKA: Ram Dass) at Harvard and became one of the first Americans to scientifically experiment with LSD and other psychedelics under an official US Government license.
Stanislav Grof, M.D., Ph.D., is one of the original founders of transpersonal psychology along with Abraham Maslow and Anthony Sutich. Dr. Grof is credited with naming the field and is the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association. He is one of the world's first LSD pioneers and author of dozens of books on non-ordinary states of consciousness. He co-created with his wife and co-author, Christina Grof, Holotropic Breathwork, a powerful experiential method of therapy and self-exploration.
Ralph Metzner, Ph.D., is one of the earliest psychedelics researchers in the country. In the 1960s he became part of the fabled "Harvard Psilocybin Projects" along with Harvard professors Dr. Timothy Leary and Dr. Richard Alpert (AKA: Ram Dass). Dr. Metzner is well known for this work in consciousness research and eco-psychology as well as his research and writings on psychedelic mushrooms, shamanism, and indigenous consciousness-expanding practices.

If you've been paying extra close attention to this site, you may recall that the last guy above, Ralph Metzner, also appears in the Mystic Bourgeoisie Table of Contents under the chapter head "Postwar Whitewash"...

In The Well of Remembrance: Rediscovering the Earth Wisdom Myths of Northern Europe former Tim Leary pal Ralph Metzner writes: "...the Nazis appropriated certain themes that they claimed to have found in Germanic myth and combined them with illusory assumptions about Aryan racial supremacy. One could say that the Nazis laid a curse on Germanic mythology." Conversely, one could say that talk about a "Germanic psyche" (p. 10) is a load of racially attuned (let's call it) Jungian bilge.

Psychosis or Transcendence

spiritual madness

The Work of a Legendary Critic: Rock'N'Roll as Literature and Literature as
Rock 'N'Roll

"Institutions of higher learning that have adopted insights from transpersonal psychology include the
California Institute of Integral Studies,
Saybrook Institute in California, and the

Naropa School of Underwater Basketweaving
in Boulder, Colorado."

~ from the Wikipedia article on Transpersonal Psychology
(mildly hacked)