Spiritual Guidance For The Non-Religious Libertarian

I find that the more I learn about Austrian economics and libertarianism, the more independent my analysis of other issues becomes.  I no longer view people with doctorates as being the all knowing gods I once made them out to be in my youth.

These days, when a PhD economist tells me that printing money produces prosperity, I know he is full of crap.  In fact, I view most of what people with PhDs tell me as being full of crap because they all have the same underling agenda with all of their lies.  I take nothing at face value anymore.  I look at all the possibilities being presented by all sides on any particular issue and use my own logic to arrive at my own conclusions.  No longer do I accept the word of those in “authority” positions as being gospel.

One area of thought that I find myself revisiting often is religion.  I was raised a Lutheran and I was forced to attend a Lutheran grade school until I got older and convinced my parents to send me to a public school, which was better in most respects given the conditions of learning at the Lutheran school.

My inner-self, even from an early age, did not accept the massive list of contradictions that make up the Lutheran doctrine.  I have looked at other religions as well, but I found them to be loaded with the same contradictions and irrational thinking as Lutheranism, so I pretty much threw in the towel as far as organized religion was concerned.  I felt that if there was a God, if he wanted me to know something he would have built whatever it is he wanted me to know right into the natural laws of the universe – enter Austrian economics.

Austrian economics HAS taught me that if I want to live a more comfortable life in a more comfortable world, the only way this can be achieved is through the application of the golden rule by society as a whole.  It is interesting that morality is not forced upon us by some great all powerful being, yet if we reject the golden rule, the natural laws of the universe will make our life a living hell.  Conversely, if we were all to obey the golden rule, life on this Earth would approach a state of Nirvana.

Consider that if God did impose his will upon us, then by definition we would not have free will.  We would be automatons controlled by God.  Little robots to do his bidding. It matters not if he gave us the choice of disobeying, we would still be bound to do his bidding under the threat of coercion.  Does that sound like something a supposedly all powerful, all knowing, all loving being would do?  Do people really think an all powerful God would create something only to torture it for eternity if it failed to obey his orders?  That sounds more like a human politician than an infinite all powerful being to me.  Clearly the history of organized religion on this planet is rife with political corruption and violence.

In other words, the natural laws of the universe make it clear what behavior leads to the most prosperous outcome for humanity.  Organized religious doctrine is not necessary for humanity arrive at a “correct” moral code.  The “correct” moral code is written into the fabric of the universe itself.

Setting morals aside for a moment to look at deeper spiritual issues, I find that science  is not capable of finding an acceptable cause of human consciousness.  By that I mean, I don’t think science will EVER be capable of arriving at a satisfactory answer to this question no matter how far technology or our understanding of the human mind progresses.  The reason I believe this to be true is because in order to explain phenomenological experience, science first must explain how inanimate unconscious matter can produce experience.  Any attempt to do so using materialism violates fundamental principles of logic and physicality.

The “emergence” of consciousness violates scientific materialism in the fact that we know the particles that make up the human brain are not conscious themselves. For the materialist explanation of consciousness to be a scientific truth, all properties of a system must be reducible.  Yet with consciousness we KNOW that is not possible.  As Bedau puts it, “How does an irreducible but supervenient downward causal power arise, since by definition it cannot be due to the aggregation of the micro-level potentialities? ”

For example, if I have a collection of red balls, it is impossible for me to arrange those red balls in such a way as to produce a gold colored square.  It is simply not possible because the components I’m working with don’t have the properties of being gold in color or square in shape.  The same principle applies to the human mind.  The current scientific explanation of consciousness is akin to magic in all respects.

Which of these statements sounds more irrational:

1.  If you arrange non-conscious physical bits of matter in just the right kind of configuration, you will create a human consciousness that is capable of experiencing the material world it is composed of.

or

2.  Consciousness is a fundamental component of the universe, in the same way gravity and the electromagnetic force are fundamental components of the universe.

To me, answer number one seems more irrational than answer number two.  Granted I could be wrong on this point, but I doubt it.  For those of you who agree with my logic, I find this to be a very satisfactory explanation for the human soul.  The human soul is pure consciousness, and it is not limited by the  physical body.  The physical body is simply a vessel for consciousness to undergo physical experience.  Without the physical, all that exists is knowing.  Knowing is not the same as experiencing.

We can know what up is, but unless up and down exist, it is impossible for us to ever experience what up is.  We can know what love is, but unless love and fear exist, we can never experience what love is.  It is impossible for us to appreciate good without the opposite of good existing for us to compare it to.  What better way to experience these things than to do so within a physical realm that is distinctly separate from our true selves?

I would also like to point out that if the materialist explanation of consciousness were correct, it would automatically mean that there is no such thing as free will.  If consciousness is a by-product of deterministic bio-chemical processes that are governed by the laws of physics, then there is no room for free will.  Free will becomes nothing more than an illusion under such conditions.  In order for consciousness to exist as free will, it must be detached from the determinism that governs our physical world.

I have put together a collection of theological works for you to consider that come from this viewpoint of consciousness being a fundamental part of the universe and “God” being the confluence of all that “is” and all that “is not”.  In other words, life is God experiencing God by creating the conditions for God to explore all that God is not.  I hope you find them as fascinating, enlightening, and thought provoking as I have.

Conversations With God : An Uncommon Dialogue (I recommend the audio book from Audible), by Neale Donald Walsch

I really like Walsch’s books.  I think he hits the nail on the proverbial head with a lot of his insights.  Even if you don’t believe he is really “talking to God”, the philosophy espoused is mind bending.  The books will definitely make you think about things from a different perspective.

A video interview with Neale Donald Walsch and Eckhart Tolle

Famous Cardiac Surgeon’s Stories of Near Death Experiences in Surgery, with Dr. Lloyd Rudy

Cardiologist on the Near-Death Experience, with Dr. Pim van Lommel

Scientific Evidence of Rebirth, by Dr. Jim Tucker

Near-Death Experiences on the Intensive Care Unit, by Dr. Sam Parnia

Near Death Experience of a Neuroscientist, with Dr. Evan Alexander

BBC Near Death Experience Documentary

I know that’s a lot of stuff about near death experiences, but it’s not so much the experiences themselves that are the issue as is the philosophical insights that people bring back after having one.  For example, the vast majority of near death experiencers do not report meeting a God that is anything at all like modern religions make God out to be.  For the most part, they say that God is the pure emotion of love and that in the non-physical realm of consciousness, love is something that is tangible and visible.

What Walsch says meshes nicely with what the experiencers are claiming and it also happens to mesh very nicely with what we know to be true about Austrian economics and natural moral codes that uplift the human condition.  At its core, Austrian economics is really about teaching people how to love others as they love themselves by explaining why doing anything else results in a worse condition for humanity.

  • F4kingit

     “the fact that we know the particles that make up the human brain are  not conscious themselves”

    How do we “know” this? First of all, I can’t imagine how it could be proved given that we don’t know what consciousness is, so there’s nothing to compare it to, and say “it’s not that.” But second, it’s conceivable that basics of consciousness are in atoms (perhaps they can sometimes decide which spin they have) and this could, in theory, accumulate. The analogy of red balls into a golden square wouldn’t apply in that case because you assumed each red ball had 0 consciousness.

    • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

      How do we “know” this?
      Because no physicist has ever seen a subatomic particle engage in conscious behavior.  Waves of matter or particles of matter always obey deterministic laws of physics.  If they did not, the universe would not function the way it does and the study of physics would become a pointless exercise.  

  • Jack

    I am so glad someone brought this up because it just seems so obvious to me. About the time that I kinda woke up and started asking questions I got
    involved with a girl who is very spiritual (her mother is a medium and she didn’t grow up with any Christian influences) while at the same time I
    discovered Austrian Economics. So I was kind of exposed to the two ideas at the same time. I saw in both the idea that if you will it and are willing to work for it you can make it happen (though spirituality usually just focuses on the willing part).

    If you’re interested in looking into where Christianisty came from I recommend a book I just recently read a book called Astrotheology and Shamanism: The Pagan Roots of Christianity by Jan Irvin. It has opened my eyes quite a bit. It’s a book inspired by the work of John Allegro who was one of the translators of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the author of The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross. Basically, his research shows that Christianity is just a conglomeration of a bunch of older pagan religions and the the Bible is just cobbled together from a bunch of different religious texts. The kicker is that all these older pagan practices revolved around fertility and “magic” mushrooms. It’s a pretty wild idea (especially when they get into the idea that perhaps the mushroom helped us evolve our consciousness) that speaks to me on a gut level…a lot like when I first started studying Austrian Economics and the Electric Universe. Are they 100% right? I don’t have a clue but they definitely shed some light on the inconsistencies I’ve noticed in standardized religion. I was sort of raised Catholic but thought about it in the same way as you thought of Lutheranism.

    If you haven’t watched him check out Bruce Lipton Where Mind and Matter Meet:

    Another book that’s pretty interesting is the Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot.

    There is definitely more to this thing we call reality than what the PhD’s would have us believe.

    Great article.

    Jack

    • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

      Thanks for your input Jack

      • 77Jack

         No problem.

        Bruce Lipton btw has no real connection to the mushrooms..well at least the video I posted doesn’t touch on that subject. He’s a cellular biologist who cloned and studied human cells for 20 years. He realized through his study that these bodies of ours are like TV’s and we are like the TV channels. If you’re watching channel 13 and your TV dies the broadcast is still going out there’s just nothing to pick it up. The broadcast is God and each channel or frequency is us. That’s basically his analogy…it’s been awhile since I’ve watched this so I may have butchered it a little, but what you were talking about reminded me of it.

    • Scott Gaff

      Does that mean the faerie rings are a cover up of ancient pagan rituals? Is the crown a king wears symbolic of this ancient ritual? I’ve always assumed the scepter originated from ancient Egypt or Sumeria as paintings of Osiris depicted him holding an ankh… the tree of life? the caduceus? is the witch’s broomstick also related?

      “especially when they get into the idea that perhaps the mushroom helped us evolve our consciousness” check out Terrence McKenna if you’re interested in this concept.

      • 77Jack

         Yeah, McKenna is sited in Astrotheology and Shamanism quite a bit. This line of thinking is just so fascinating. I’m thinking I’ll read Allegro’s book next but I definitely will be reading more of McKenna. There’s also a list of authors in the back of A&S.

        They didn’t talk specifically about faerie rings but I would assume that they were just an extension of the mushroom itself because the mushroom was associated with enchantment and the land of faerie…of course I’m just surmising from the little I’ve read so far.

        I’m not sure about the crown or the ankh but the ankh does look like a mushroom. The witch’s broomstick, however, they did get into. Apparently, some women would make a kind of psychedelic paste (which was green) that they’d rub on their skin sometimes their face but mostly it seems they rubbed it on the broom stick and road it or inserted it in their vagina. Priests who wore the skull cap would soak the cap in a psychedelic solution and they’d shave the tops of their heads raw so that the substance would get into their blood stream faster. Also they had a halo of hair so it wouldn’t drip into their eyes as well as have other symbolic meaning.

        They do talk about the tree of life and the the of the knowledge of good and evil…which were the mushroom. But also could be the plasma column between the Earth and Saturn…or both.

        If you Google any combination of amanita muscaria, mushrooms, christianity, pope you’ll see some images like this:

        http://tinyurl.com/bnoqk6s

        The symbolism is everywhere.

        • Scott Gaff

          “but the ankh does look like a mushroom.” duh, of course. that makes more sense, as it being the symbol for fertility gives it a connection to the tree of knowledge.

          “some women would make a kind of psychedelic paste (which was green)” explains why witched on Halloween (wizard of Oz) are green. That’s if the green witch was a part of pop culture before Wizard of Oz.

          “Priests who wore the skull cap would soak the cap in a psychedelic
          solution and they’d shave the tops of their heads raw so that the
          substance would get into their blood stream faster.” Carried into Catholicism.

          “But also could be the plasma column between the Earth and Saturn…or both. ” is this from the same books, or are you inserting knowledge from elsewhere, ’cause i heard of this concept before (Hyperboria– it makes sense if you take the world tree from Norse mythology literally).

          “They didn’t talk specifically about faerie rings but I would assume that
          they were just an extension of the mushroom itself because the mushroom
          was associated with enchantment and the land of faerie…of course I’m
          just surmising from the little I’ve read so far.” I was thinking the faeries dancing around the mushroom ring could have been real people indulging in druidic ritual.

          it is really fascinating stuff regardless of how much you have to shift between what could be and what might be a giant leap. Biblical symbolism has really fascinated me ever since i read Carl Sagan’s Dragons of Eden. If DNA can pass knowledge down to future generations, then why couldn’t there be a collective consciousness composing ancient texts through dreams or hallucinations of ages gone by? I’m not sure about Native Americans, but i know African tribes have similar myths involving trees and the origins of man and women. i don’t exactly remember what the myths entail, but further analysis might show them to be radically the same (at least when interpreted with conclusions in mind from studying the more developed myths of the Occident and Levant; maybe even the Far East and the Vedas).

          • 77Jack

             The faerie ring sounds plausible I didn’t think of it that way. I’m sure they talk about it in other books. Hopefully I live a few hundred years so I can catch up on all my reading haha.

            I’m fairly certain every culture around the world has world trees and origin stories that are all very similar. Which could imply a collective consciousness or that they all experienced the same thing in the way back before writing and such.

            The plasma column I mentioned was in reference to the Electric Universe Theory (http://tinyurl.com/84bqos5) and the Saturnian Theory (http://www.maverickscience.com/saturn.htm).

            My ideas of “what is possible” and “what is a giant leap” have drastically changed over the past few years. The thing I remind myself is that we really don’t know much. None of us were alive 5,000 – 10,000 or 1,000,000,000 years ago…everything we “know” has been filtered through other peoples’ biases and world views. So, what we may have come to believe as “possible” or “impossible” really may only a person’s or a few people’s opinion(s) that’s been propagated over the centuries. The scientific method may be perfect, but the humans who use it aren’t and people tend to lie to themselves from time to time.

            That’s why I think it’s important for us as individuals to take the leap necessary to explore those things the mainstream believes are untrue…truth isn’t reached by consensus.

            Oh before I forget if you want to read a theory about memory being inherited check out Rupert Sheldrake (http://tinyurl.com/5xe99j) I haven’t spent much time on it so I can’t tell you too much about it but it might interest you.

          • Scott Gaff

            the electric universe theory… yeah Suede did post a few items related on this site, but i didn’t watch the video or read into it. i should go back to it, though.

            i mentioned “giant leap,” but as you said it doesn’t necessarily mean bunk; verification doesn’t involve falsification anymore unless it jumps out at you. If an idea is reasonable, then it should be looked into, but science itself already has the answers, despite how implausible scientific theory itself might seem. The humans who use the scientific method not being perfect and biased (and perhaps liars) has truth. The scientific community makes errors of reason all the time (strict adherence to methodology) and are frequently discredited in their conclusions all the time. So, in other words I’m agreeing with you.

            I’ll definitely check out Rupert Sheldrake.

          • 77Jack

             Actually, that’s how I found this page, I’d read some of his posts at the EU site.

        • Scott Gaff

           Also, amanita mushrooms aren’t psychedelic, they’re a deliriant (think delirium as opposed to schizophrenia). It’s more a state of confusion, senility, rather than the euphoria (hahahaha), distortion of time, hallucinations or oneness with God (or Buddha/ Sophia; which ever one is embodied in your dreams) that’s attributed with psilocybin.

          • 77Jack

             Well I believe psychedelic means “mind opening” or “soul manifesting” and Amanita muscaria would definitely fit in there and so would other substances such as cannabis. It is different from the psilocybin in the book they describe the muscaria as an out of body experience and the psilocybin as opening your third eye. They definitely don’t make it out to be a really fun experience, vomiting, shakes, sweats…it’s to tear away the veil and find out who you really are rather than something done for pleasure.

            In the book they use psychoactive and entheogen more than psychedelic. And though the focus is on the muscaria they touch on ayahuasca, DMT, peyote, manna, soma, cannabis and quite a few others. 

          • Scott Gaff

             “Well I believe psychedelic means ‘mind opening’ or ‘soul manifesting’
            and Amanita muscaria would definitely fit in there and so would other
            substances such as cannabis.”

            Psychedelic means a variety of things in popular parlance, but as drug classifications Amanita, psilocybin, and cannabis are all hallucinogens, but not psychedelics. The point being I don’t think amanita is consciousness raising in the sense of finding God, however used by Shamans for spiritual guidance.

            “It is different from the psilocybin in the book they describe the
            muscaria as an out of body experience and the psilocybin as opening your
            third eye.”

            that clarifies what i was wondering. they do differentiate between the two.

            “They definitely don’t make it out to be a really fun experience,
            vomiting, shakes, sweats…it’s to tear away the veil and find out who
            you really are rather than something done for pleasure.”

            Kind of like a David Lynch movie, which isn’t a joke. I like Lynch, even if i don’t know what his thesis is in his works. He uses dreams, spirit guides and transcendental meditation/ OBE to “tear away the veil and find out who” the main protagonist really is.

            “In the book they use psychoactive and entheogen more than psychedelic.
            And though the focus is on the muscaria they touch on ayahuasca, DMT,
            peyote, manna, soma, cannabis and quite a few others.”

            I’m sold, especially if the books delves into Gnostic Christianity. so, while McKenna focuses on psilocybin awakening the rational/ ingenious mind of man (Adam the ground crawler picking mushrooms looking for grub the ambrosia of the Gods or the Manna), the other book focuses on the “spirit” or “dream world,” something we find in even the most ancient texts such as the Epic of Gilgamesh.

          • 77Jack

             “The point being I don’t think amanita is
            consciousness raising in the sense of finding God, however used by
            Shamans for spiritual guidance.”

            I don’t think I ever said specifically that amanita muscaria brought one to God or allowed one to speak to God. It’s, from what I got from the book, a way to find out who YOU are. It’s done in the dark alone and apparently one feels as though they die and have an experience and then wake up the next day able to evaluate their experience. So it expands your consciousness…perhaps not in the same way as psilocybin but it does expand it all the same.

            Of course I’ve never done it so I can’t really say anything with absolute certainty but, considering people have been using it for thousands of years, its symbolism is enmeshed in our history and it has been demonized by the organized religions, it must mean that it and the other entheogens do something for you…and that something is opening your consciousness in one aspect or another.

            Different entheogens do different things…in a sense each plant has something unique unto itself to teach.

            That’s what I got from the book anyway.

          • 77Jack

            I’m glad you’re interested in reading the book. I think it’s a great intro or overview because it gives you quite a bit of info while at the same time getting to hungry for more…the tip of the iceberg I guess you could say.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Matt-Ancap/100002210402123 Matt Ancap

    Great article. I’d love to see more stuff like this. Guess I’ll have to send a few bitcoins already!

  • JohnBoy

    Herp Derp! Look at all the geniuses on this board.

    I can’t believe the arrogance in this article and in the comments. Tell me how you’re all so much smarter than the scientists and the PhD’s out there. Please do. THEN explain to me why you constantly cite their works as fact.
    That’s all I need to say.

    • http://www.libertariannews.org/ Michael Suede

      Some PhDs tell the truth, but many more tell lies to further their own agenda.

      The difference between ancaps and most other people is that the ancaps are concerned with determining which PhDs are telling the truth before deciding to cite them.  They do this by comparing and contrasting all of the arguments made and then choosing the most rational argument based on common sense.

      If I cite a doctor, its because he’s making sense.  If I reject a doctor’s opinion, its because he is making irrational arguments in the face of counter-arguments or data.

      God gave us a brain for a reason.  We are not supposed to be unthinking drones that reject all reason in the face of a PhD’s arguments.

  • ForlibertyNow

    Have you heard about DMT?

  • Tim Keegan

    I want to put this out there for your thoughts and comments. According to Wikipedia there are two forms of the Golden Rule:
    (Positive form): One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
    (Negative/prohibitive form, also called The Silver Rule): One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.If we follow the Golden Rule in its positive form, ones’ good intentions could mean less liberty for others. For example, “I want to be protected from terrorists and so we need to go to war to protect others” or “I would want help if I were unemployed so we need to provide unemployment benefits for others”, etc. I prefer the Silver Rule. It is presumptuous to think that everyone else would like to be treated like you.  

  • Christopher Shelley

     “It is interesting that morality is not forced upon us by some great all
    powerful being, yet if we reject the golden rule, the natural laws of
    the universe will make our life a living hell.  Conversely, if we were
    all to obey the golden rule, life on this Earth would approach a state
    of Nirvana.”

    This is brilliant.