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Just paid a quick visit to that site.

"The two basic kinds of immortality available today in Information Philosophy may not satisfy those looking for the "after-life" . . . but there is a medical technology solution visible on the horizon that should satisfy most persons."

Visible on the horizon? Please. Talk about wishful thinking.

But more to the point, I sincerely doubt that most people would be satisfied with a medical solution to immortality. I know I myself find the idea repulsive, especially compared to what I see as the true state of affairs.

Bruce Siegel's a good guy, but I don't want to spend eternity in his shoes.

If that section on immortality is representative of Information Philosophy, then for my taste it's atheistic, materialistic, cold, and depressing.

Forgive my bluntness, but the page looks like something Dawkins or Randi could have written.

In the Carlos Castaneda books* the culmination of the "sorcerers" teachings is that there is an objectively real "M space" that is infinite; objectively real because, theoretically two individuals could lock the perceptions onto the same M space and perceive the same reality.

Practically speaking, this would never happen *exactly*. However, the perceptions could be close enough that that individuals could agree on salient aspects and form a consensus reality.

Castaneda is taught that humans are, first and foremost, "luminous beings"; that is to say energy encased in an aura. There is an internal/external perceptual interface mechanism called the "assemblage point" on the aura. The assemblage point is, conceptually, very much like the receiver on a radio, with M space being the radio waves.

For Castaneda (and his teacher, Don Juan), "reality" is constructed when the "assemblage point" is made to mesh, like a lock and key, with facets of M space.

For Castaneda, constructing reality is only indirectly related to belief or thought and, usually, in an undesirable way because belief and thought can cause inflexibility of the assemblage point due to loss or fixation of energy. This is an important nuance. In order for the assemblage point to move - which sorcerers seek to do - the being must have free energy. .

Holding the assemblage point in a fixed position is, according to Castaneda, contrary to the natural human condition and it takes energy to keep it rigid.


Thus, thought and belief are to be suspended using various means, such as psychedelics, meditation techniques and repetitive activities.

So thought and belief are not forming the world from M space directly. That is the assemblage point's job. They do, however, cause the assemblage point to stick.

E.g. Believing in flying purple hippos and thinking about them really really hard will never cause them to exist. You may see one after a while, but that is not objective. It is an hallucination. It cannot be used for any sorcery purposes. Worse, it may just cause insanity and certainly a waste of precious time and energy.


The sorcerers art is to free the energy necessary to move the assemblage point and then to employ the "intent" to move it to specific bands of possibility in M space.

This makes sense to me. Simply *believing* that walking over the edge of a cliff won't kill me because there is a magical bridge in the air that will hold my weight won't work; ever. I fall and die. OTOH, Actually entering into a new reality, by aligning with an new objective band within M space, where, who knows, the cliff isn't even a feature of the environment or there is some previously unperceived feature that can suspend me, will work (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yt_9XAsD4cw ).

Again, it is not a matter of belief or thought. It is a matter of actually aligning with objective features in M space.

* While Carlos Castaneda has been discredited - and rightfully so IMO - as an anthropologist and it seems clear that he became a destructive egomaniacal cult leader later in life, I do think his first books were valid and based on conversations with real shamans, who he amalgamated into a single personality (Don Juan). I think he also had a gift for synthesizing the information into a comprehensive system.

As for information content in M space, Castaneda says that the source's emanations are like an infinite array of filaments of light that can align with the same inside the "cocoon" of luminosity that is a living being (note: a being cannot perceive *all* possibilities in M space; only those for which there is a lock/key relationship within the luminous cocoon).

The emanations not only contain information, they also contain energy. They are "alive" in a sense. Also, as energized information, they act as "commands" on the perceiving being. Once the assemblage point has moved to a receive particular band of emanations, it *must* perceive the resulting reality and that reality is complete; a closed system.

I think this is why it can be so difficult to have a conversation with some people regarding the nature of reality. If their "assemblage point" is set in a different (albeit slightly different) band, then they really are experiencing a different world than we are. It may be that skeptics, for example, actually live in a world where there are no spirits, etc.

The only way to reach an understanding between people on these matters is to cause their assemblage points to shift to where they, and we, are sharing a consensual reality.

But then the truth wouldn't be that spirits are real or not real - rather than reality is fluid and infinite.

Interesting comments on Castaneda, No One. I'm not familiar with his work in any detail. As you say, his later work has been discredited, but his earlier work may still have merit.

Bruce, I agree that the linked site is materialist in its orientation, but it still looks like a good resource, though I've barely scratched the surface of its content.

Here's a quote from the site that perhaps balances Bruce's quote:

"Information philosophy explains how humans are free to do good. Just as an individual character becomes good through good works (Karma in the Atman), the Sum of all human good works is seen as the manifestation of a "world soul" or matrix of information (Brahman) which can encode the immortality of each individual.

"Information philosophy is a world-historical moment in Hegel's sense of Absolute Spirit, a peak of the meditation in the Nietzsche/Heidegger metaphor, a process philosophy in the Whitehead sense of a return to temporality, and a natural noosphere in Teilhard's image, when the mind realizes and recognizes itself as part of the cosmic ergodic process of information accumulation, as co-creator of the universe.

"Man is Free. God is the Good. And you can Know."

They also say that Information Philosophy is an "idealist" philosophy, but then say it is built on a material foundation, so I'm not quite clear on their position. But in any event, the above quote doesn't sound like Randi or Dawkins to me.

"Information philosophy explains how humans are free to do good."

So what is "good"? Order? Complex numbers? Elegant equations?

Phooey.

Interestingly, Christopher Isherwood was a great admirer of Castaneda's early books; and I recall in his diaries Isherwood saying that if what Castaneda wrote was made up then - such was the power of those books - that made him one of the great all time writers of fiction!

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