(pholk) Mon 5 Jul 99 13:40
well, I'm not going to argue about this. I think you would agree that the noosphere is about more than simply the high tech marketplace and what operating system wins market share. On the other hand, if the internet has something to do with the creation or manifestation of the noosphere, then we have to take seriously the fact that many people don't have any access to it exactly because the internet *is* so closely connected to the market. Which is not to say that the idea is wrong; it is definitely more Roman Catholic than Protestant, which makes sense since a Catholic theologian proposed it. It implies (taking the market structure into account) a hierarchy of "access" to the Holy/Divine/Source/whatever, with the "sacred technicians" being those in the high tech industry. Again, there's nothing necessarily wrong with this, depending upon your theology. As for the meaning of cooperation, groups of people can cooperate with each other and yet compete with other groups of people who are cooperating with each other. Like different corporations or market models in the capitalist marketplace.... You can either read this to mean that somebody wins and somebody loses, or that everybody wins (some sort of progress is made or something of the sort). But when we say that everybody wins in that model we usually say that it is competition, rather than cooperation, that drives "movement." I'm not arguing against the noosphere idea at all; I'm intrigued by it, in fact. I have just never seen anyone, among those who see the internet as its manifestation, treat satisfactorily the fact that the bulk of the world does not have access to its power in the way that some do, and that access is primarily an economic concern. Again, it mainly comes down to theological differences, I think, and visions about what inclusion, progress, global thinking, and so forth might mean. I'll be quiet now... :) Back to The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow!!!
Steven Solomon (ssol) Mon 5 Jul 99 16:15
<Back to The Life of Fitz Hugh Ludlow!!!> Perhaps, <pholk>, but you're getting at some of the same questions that I have. First, I'd like to hear <dpd>'s take on this, in light of his current writing adventure, as well as his last. There are shared themes.
Don Dulchinos (dpd) Tue 6 Jul 99 17:59
sure are - part of my book will be about the many other models of wholeness, from Buddhist to Jungian, that have arisen in history, and where Fitz Hugh certainly placed himself thematically if not explicitly. These models may actually point to other ways the noosphere manifests itself - the Internet is obviously the most trendy. Interesting writers like Michael Grosso view so-called psy events like telepathy or precognition as spontaneous manifestations of the formation of this noosphere - what he and others call Mind at Large - and events that point to "non-local" methods of communication in a quantum physics sense. this needs a lot a more exposition than I can do here for it not to sound like shallow new age posturing, unfortunately. So watch for the book! (or reed Grosso's The Final Choice, if you can find it.)
Steven Solomon (ssol) Wed 7 Jul 99 05:50
Not to get too scattered here, but you're also at the very early stages of another writing venture; one looking at the history and possible future of the Greek Mystery rites. Is that correct? Again, perhaps you can make the tie-in between all three of your literary investigations.
Don Dulchinos (dpd) Wed 7 Jul 99 08:00
actually, that one is done, and may very well be published by Autonomedia as well (knocking on wood til knuckles bleed). the tie-in to Fitz Hugh is the view that mind altering substances are a legitimate spiritual technique. the tie-in to the noosphere is more tenuous, except to say that the Greek book is about the persistence of religious and mystical themes through centuries of cultural change. the ancient Greeks apparently had concepts like a noosphere, though I haven't had time to really research that.
Cynthia Dyer-Bennet (cdb) Wed 7 Jul 99 10:46
The Greek Mystery rites? Can you elaborate on that, dpd?
Don Dulchinos (dpd) Fri 9 Jul 99 13:30
the Eleusinian Mysteries were the main religious observance of pagan Greece and Rome for about 800 years or so. the core activity of the mysteries was, of course, a secret, but evidence points to ritual inebriation with a potion called kykeon. this and other elements aare quite in common with indigenous shamanism as it has been practiced around the world right through contemporary times, and I believe I've made the case that the same elements and themes pervade Judeo-Christian civilization as well through the centuries.
Don Dulchinos (dpd) Fri 9 Jul 99 13:36
following are some notes on a documentary about Eleusis that I wrote a few years ago.
Don Dulchinos (dpd) Fri 9 Jul 99 13:37
Notes from documentary "The Sacred Way", an episode of the PBS/WNET series "Travels" Written by Michael Wood This documentary makes a great case for the survival of the Eleusinian religion in modern Greece. The Eleusinian Mysteries were a harvest festival - end of September - it was a mystery - literally "secret initiation". It was marked by a 14 mile pilgrimage from Athens to Eleusis. When Englishman Edward Clarke came to Greece around 1800, he found the statue of Demeter described by Pausanias (2nd C. Roman tourist and initiate), still venerated with lit candles, flowers, and women prayed to it to make fields fertile - these women called her St. Demeter. What we know of Rites: there was a dramatic presentation, a display of sacred objects. A relief now in the British museum shows Demeter handing to someone a golden ear of corn - restoring life to the world. The pilgrimage began at the Agora (thousands gathered who had been accepted/certified in the Spring - only requirements were they must speak Greek and must not have committed murder. Along the Way, pilgrims rested at a fig tree, supposedly given by Demeter. St Sabbas Greek Orthodox church is now on the site. It is partly built from bits of the old temple to Demeter. People come here for cures, and it is especially reputed to help women with breast cancer. To the Greeks who come here, "bread has never lost its sacramental quality" says Wood. Next landmark along the way was temple of Zeus - now there is a church, St. George's. There are still offerings of animals made here. At modern Greek funerals, traditional food "Koliva" is prepared from wheat, barley, nuts, raisins and pomegranite seeds. They still eat the koliva over the grave, the "seeds of life". Further on lies the Church of Daphne, or the Church of the Laurels (sacred to Apollo) - an ancient temple of Demeter/Persephone was also there. Near Salamis, pilgrims bathed in lake owned by Eleusinian priests. From here, pilgrims could see Eleusis under the horned mountain (two peaks together). On the plain of Eleusis was where Greeks believe Demeter taught agriculture to mortals. Now it is an industrial area. Light was fading as pilgrims reached Eleusis. There the pilgrims were subjected to ridicule and abuse by villagers. The Way was lit by torches. Temple remnants show wheat, poppies, pomegranites. Until the 1930's, villagers danced by torch light for the earth mother, until police put an end to it. Candles held by the Greeks on Christian Good Friday reflect torches at Eleusis. The ceremony climaxed at sunrise. Several thousand watched the mystery plays. According to a Christian commentator, an ear of wheat was displayed in silence. A New Testament quote may reflect an earlier ritual - "Are we not like grains of wheat, except that we die, we may not be reborn." King James - "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." The first fruits of harvest are still baked in a loaf (around Easter) and brought to the old chapel where Clarke had found the statute of Demeter. The chapel is dedicated to "the old holy woman", a phrase related to Mary, but called by these villagers "the lady inside the seed", the old attribute of Demeter.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Fri 9 Jul 99 14:39
If the Mysteries are associated with Demeter, then it would make sense if the potion was based on rye ergot, no?
Steven Solomon (ssol) Sat 10 Jul 99 05:36
There is a strong possiblitiy that it was a fermented brew that used rye, and quite possibly rye ergot. I believe that's a theory advanced by Albert Hofmann. Don, wasn't there a notion of personal death and rebirth in the Mysteries? This would provide some connection both to ancient and contemporary Christian philosophy, and certain currents in psychedelic psychology.
Don Dulchinos (dpd) Sun 11 Jul 99 10:49
yes to Hofmann (with Gordon Wasson - The Road to Eleusis just came back into print.) yes to death and rebirth themes, which were almost certainly grafted onto Jewish history and messianic cults in the Hellenized middle east to form Christianity. The thing about the Demeter myth is that the journey to the underworld - a metaphor for death - is old as Osiris (actually goes back to Assyrian myth I think) and as contemporary as African or South American shamanism, the latter definitely mediated by visionary plants.
Don Dulchinos (dpd) Sun 11 Jul 99 10:52
oh, and I always thought the ergot connection was interesting - the synthesis of LSD by Hofmann came out of research he was doing on ergot based on its well known folk use by midwives for inducing pregnancy. the conflation of fertility and drugs, and death and rebirth in the eleusinian mysteries and the transmissoin of these themes over time is very dense material. I'm pretty proud of my book, but as in the case of he Ludlow biography, I wonder what a real scholar in the field could have done had he or she the courage or integrity to pursue these unpopular subjects.
Sharon Lynne Fisher (slf) Mon 12 Jul 99 08:23
I think you mean inducing labor, no? Ergot can cause abortion if it's used early.
Don Dulchinos (dpd) Tue 13 Jul 99 17:19
>inducing pregancy - duh. Sharon is correct.
Steven Solomon (ssol) Thu 15 Jul 99 06:59
A generous reader sent along the following url for the transcribed text of "The Hashish Eater". <http://www.lycaeum.org/~sputnik/Ludlow/> Unfortunately, when I followed the link, it came up with an error page stating that the site was recently restructured and the page was not found. I assume that they'll get it straightened out shortly, so give it a try. At the very least, anybody tempted to do so will find <http://yage.lycaeum.org/> of interest!
Steven Solomon (ssol) Thu 15 Jul 99 07:03
A little more poking around came up with the following working url, <http://shaman.lycaeum.org/~sputnik/Ludlow/THE/index.html> !
(my|pi)thical (satyr) Sun 18 Jul 99 19:19
...or just http://lycaeum.org/~sputnik/Ludlow/ The server error page that comes up from the original URL states "USER SITES MUST be accessed without the "www" in the address."
Steven Solomon (ssol) Mon 19 Jul 99 16:31
Fine. So now i'm supposed to actually read the instructions ;-)
(my|pi)thical (satyr) Mon 19 Jul 99 18:16
Hee! I thought it was a more-than-slightly unusual arrangement.
Infradibulated Gratility (ssol) Sun 11 Mar 01 18:25
This just in from well.com... >WELL members' page highlights: What are the connections between the use of mind-altering substances by natives of the Americas and the religious roots of Western civilization? Author Don Dulcinos offers a scholarly examination of the issues.< You'll find the article @ http://www.well.com/user/dpd/shaman.html.
Don Dulchinos (dpd) Sun 11 Mar 01 18:34
and a mention there of the new book on themes discussed here, Forbidden Sacraments, in production at Autonomedia. (and they finally added an online purchase feature at www.autonomedia.org
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