File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0111, message 128

Date: Wed, 21 Nov 2001 22:36:11 -0600
Subject: Re: Ataraxia


I gather from the biographical references that we are similar in age. 
Maybe if I put things into the context of my own life a little, it will
help to explain better where I am coming from on this religion topic.

I am not a believer, I certainly don't have a faith perspective.
Whatever religious perspective I have these days is best described a
pagan epicurean.  (And it currently remains a church of one.)

I went to Catholic schools as a kid and by the time I was a senior in
high school, I had already turned atheist, converted by those crazy
preachers Nietzsche, Sartre and Camus.  

It was around this same time period I began taking drugs. I don't know
what it was like for you growing up in Great Britain, but in my home
town we mixed our politics with acid.

What drugs revealed was that the whole button-downed mind of rational
secular consciousness (the Western Enlightenment) was vastly overrated.  
There were possiblities to further extend the range of consciousness
that hadn't previously been explored.  The only ones who left any faint
trails in that pathless land were the religious mystics and shamans, or
at least so it seemed back then.

This new fangled interest in the united states of consciousness also
scared the hell out of the powers that be. Basically, their fear was
this. How do you keep em on the 9 to 5 after they've activated their
Ajna chakra?

Don't you find the entire relgious crusade against drugs like grass,
ecstasy, peyote and LSD hard to fathom unless it is simply about mind

Anyway, some of us became interested in religion back in the sixties and
the seventies because we saw it as a primitive mapping of a new
frontier.  What I am calling the religion of cyborgs is basically the
possibility that techology and drugs may be used to extend consciousness
beyond the limitations of the Western police state mentality or even
those permitted by the Enlightenment. (the whole egoic rational trip)

The questions still remain - who controls our mind? 
Us or Them? 
And who are we after we come back? 
Human or Cyborg?

In part, the significance of postmodern for me is this very changing of
the gods within consciousness. Of course, it is also very political. How
could it not be?

I was struck by the comments you made about everything being political.
I agree and believe that a big front in the political struggle is being
waged inside our heads.  

For the record, I no longer use drugs.  As they used to say I have
learned how to get high without them.  To quote from a prominent
twentieth century saint - Franz Kafka, if to write is to pray, then
today I truly believe in the power of prayer.

I hope this explains things a little better.

May Cthulhu go with you, my child.



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