Reading Lila – Sanity


‘What makes people sane?’ … the way to really deal with insanity … is to turn the tables and talk about truth instead. If objects are the ultimate reality then there’s only one true intellectual construction of things: that which corresponds to the objective world.

But if truth is defined as a high-quality set of intellectual value patterns, then insanity can be defined as just a low-quality set of intellectual value patterns, and you get a whole different picture of it. When the culture asks ‘Why doesn’t this person see things the way we do?” you can answer that he doesn’t see them because he doesn’t value them. He’s gone into illegal value patterns because the illegal patterns resolve value conflicts that the culture’s unable to handle.

… In a subject-object world trance and hypnosis are big time platypi. That’s why there’s this prejudice … They’re best nudged as close as possible to the empirical trash heap called ‘the occult’ … But since they do exist, what you have is an empirically observable case of empiricism being overthrown.

The irony is that there are times when the culture actually fosters trance and hypnosis to further its purposes. When you enter a movie theatre you know that all you are going to see is 24 shadows per second … an illusion of moving people & objects. Yet despite this knowledge you laugh when the 24 shadows per second tell jokes and cry when the shadows show actors faking death. You know they are an illusion yet you enter the illusion and become part of it and while the illusion is taking place you are not aware that it is an illusion. This is hypnosis. It is trance. It’s also a form of temporary insanity. But it’s also a powerful force for cultural reinforcement …

… in the case of permanent insanity the exists to the theater have been blocked, usually because of the knowledge that the show outside is so much worse … the insane person is running a private unapproved film which he happens to like better than the current cultural one. If you want him to run the film everyone else is seeing, the solution would be to find ways to prove to him that it would be valuable to do so.

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Reading Lila – Do You See the Light?


The Dharmakaya light … a huge area of human experience cut off by cultural filtering … he didn’t think of this light as some sort of supernatural occurrence that had no grounding in physical reality … nobody sees it because the cultural definition of what is real and what is unreal filters out Dharmakaya light from 20th century American ‘reality’ just as surely as time is filtered out of Hopi reality, and green-yellow differences mean nothing to the Natchez.

… he thought that the light was nothing more than an involuntary widening of the iris of the eyes … makes things look brighter … but despite filtering by the cultural immune system, references to this occur in many places, scattered, disconnected and unrelated. Lamps are sometimes used as symbols of learning. Why should they be? A torch … symbol of idealistic inspiration … ‘I’ve seen the light’ … When a cartoonist wants to show someone getting a great idea he puts an electric bulb over the character’s head. Everybody understands … Why?

In a Metaphysics of Quality … this light is important because it often appears associated with undefined auspiciousness … Dynamic Quality. It signals a Dynamic intrusion upon a static situation. When there is letting go of static patterns the light occurs. It is often accompanied by a feeling of relaxation because static patterns have been jarred loose … it was probably the light that infants see when their world is still fresh and whole,before consciousness differentiates it into patterns; a light into which everything fades at death … the breakup of static patterns of the person’s intellect as it returned into the pure Dynamic Quality from which it had emerged in infancy…

… when he had wandered freely outside the limits of cultural reality, this light had been a valued companion..

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Reading Lila – Facts & Culture


Anthropologists,when they are not being self-consciously ‘objective’, tend to be very interested in new things … Anthropologists see over & over again that insanity is culturally defined … each culture has different criteria for what constitutes it … Anthropologists found that schizophrenia is strongest among those whose ties with the cultural traditions are weakest … psychoses, which are an extreme form of culture shock, emerge … because the cultural definition of values … has been changed …

… psychiatry can’t really deal with all of this because it is pinioned to a subject-object truth system which declares that one particular intellectual pattern is real & all others are illusions. Psychiatry is forced to take this position in contradiction to history, which shows … that one era’s illusions become another era’s truth … [also] in contradiction to geography … one area’s truth are another area’s illusions … not only does insanity vary from culture to culture, but sanity itself also varies from culture to culture …

… in the psychiatric wards … what the patients showed wasn’t any one common characteristic but an absence of one. What was absent was the kind of standard social role-playing that ‘normal’ people get into … the insane see this role-playing & resent it … Your static value system filters out the undesirable opinions & preserves the desirable ones … it isn’t just opinions that get filtered out. It’s also data.

We build up whole cultural intellectual patterns based on past ‘facts’ which are extremely selective. When a new fact comes in that does not fit the pattern we don’t throw out the pattern. We throw out the fact … a contradictory fact has to keep hammering … sometimes for centuries, before maybe one or two people will see it. And then these one or two have to start hammering on others for a long time before they see it too. Just as the biological immune system will destroy a life-saving skin graft with the same vigor with which it will fight pneumonia, so will a cultural immune system fight off a beneficial new kind of understanding with the same kind of vigor it uses to destroy crime.

… there’s nothing immoral in a culture not being ready to accept something Dynamic. Static latching is necessary to sustain the gains the culture has made in the past. The solution is … to look for those factors that will make the new information acceptable: the keys.

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Reading Lila – Insanity


No one wants to admit it, but that’s really the reason the insane get locked up. It’s not just that they have absurd ideas that no one else believes. What makes them ‘insane’ is that they have these ideas and are a nuisance to somebody else. The only thing that’s illegitimate is the cover-up, the pretense that you’re trying to help them by getting rid of them.

… As long as you’re stuck with the old conventions, insanity is going to be a ‘misunderstanding of the object by the subject’. The object is real, the subject is mistaken. The only problem is how to change the subject’s mind back to a correct comprehension … But with a Metaphysics of Quality the empirical experience … is an experience of value patterns produced by a number of sources …

When an insane person … or a hypnotized person or a person from a primitive culture, advances some explanation of the universe that is completely at odds with current scientific reality, we do not have to believe he has jumped off the end of the empirical world. He is just a person who is valuing intellectual patterns that, because they are outside the range of our own culture, we perceive to have very low quality. Some biological or social or Dynamic force has altered his judgment of quality. It has caused him to filter out what we call normal cultural intellectual patterns just as ruthlessly as our culture filters out his. Obviously no culture wants its legal patterns violated … That’s what mental hospitals are partly for. And also heresy trials. They protect the culture from foreign ideas that if allowed to grow unchecked could destroy the culture itself.

… [he] had seen that the psychiatrists were … required to deal with insanity as cultural representatives … priests saving heretics. Psychiatrists seemed to fear the taint of insanity, much as inquisitors once feared succumbing to the devil. Psychiatrists were not allowed to practice psychiatry if they were insane. It was required that they literally did not know what they were talking about.

To this … they could counter that you don’t have to be infected with pneumonia in order to know how to cure it and you don’t have to be infected with insanity to know how to cure it either. But the rebuttal to that goes to the core of the whole problem. Pneumonia is a biological pattern … scientifically variable. Insanity … is an intellectual pattern … it has no physical/biological reality. No scientific instrument can be produced … to show who is insane and who is sane. The scientific laws of the universe are invented by sanity. There is no way by which sanity, using the instruments of its own creation, can measure that which is outside itself and its creations. Insanity isn’t an ‘object’ of observation. It’s an alteration of observation itself …

… Insanity always exists in relation to others. It is a social and intellectual deviation, not a biological deviation. The only test for insanity is conformity to a cultural status quo. That is why the psychiatric profession bears such a resemblance to the old priesthoods. Both use physical restraint and abuse as ways of enforcing the status quo.

That being said, it follows that the assignment of medical doctors to treat insanity is a misuse of their training … [they] are trained to look at things from an inorganic and biological perspective … their cures are biological: shock, drugs, lobotomies, and physical restraints … [he] had seen that if you want to get out of an insane asylum … persuade them that you fully understand that they know more than you do and that you are fully ready to accept their intellectual authority. That is how heretics keep from getting burned. They recant.

… In time this strategy has brought [him] enough smiles to get out. It made him less honest … more of a conformist … It wasn’t a happy solution, to always role-play with people he had once been honest with. It made it impossible to ever really share anything with them. Now he was more isolated than he had been in the insane asylum …

Now, years later, his resentment … had lessened … somebody has to deal with the degenerate forms of society and intellect. The thing to understand is that if you are going to reform society you don’t start with cops. And if you are going to reform intellect you don’t start with psychiatrists. If you don’t like our present social system or intellectual system the best thing you can do … is stay out of their way.

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Reading Lila – Ruthlessness


… the Metaphysics of Quality says that what is meant by ‘human rights’ is usually the moral code of intellect-vs.-society, the moral right of intellect to be free of social control. Freedom of speech; freedom of assembly, of travel; government by consent … According to the Metaphysics of Quality these ‘human rights’ have not just a sentimental basis, but a rational, metaphysical basis. They are essential to the evolution of a higher level of life from a lower level of life. They are for real. But what the Metaphysics of Quality also makes clear is that this intellect-vs.-society code … is not the same as the society-vs.-biology codes of morals that go back to a prehistoric time. They are completely separate levels of morals. They should never be confused …

Is society good or is society evil? … in one level society is the higher evolutionary pattern and in the other it is the lower. Unless you separate these two levels of moral codes you get a paralyzing confusion … [that] dominates all thoughts about morality & society today … There are no chains more vicious than the chains of biological necessity into which every child is born. Society exists primarily to free people from these biological chains … has done that job so stunningly well intellectuals forget … and turn on it … with shameful ingratitude. [because of this] Today we are living in an intellectual and technological paradise and a moral and social nightmare.

… the 20th century intellectual faith in man’s basic goodness as spontaneous and natural is disastrously naive … a devastating fiction … cannibalism, not cooperation, was a pre-society norm … American Indians … ambushed & tortured [other tribes] … maybe it is man’s basic goodness which invented social institutions to repress this kind of biological savagery in the first place.

… the Metaphysics of Quality concludes that the old Puritan & Victorian social codes should not be followed [or attacked] blindly … They should be dusted off and re-examined, fairly and impartially, to see what they were trying … and actually did accomplish towards building a stronger society. We must understand that when a society undermines intellectual freedom for its own purposes it is absolutely morally bad, but when it represses biological freedom for its own purposes it is absolutely morally good. These moral bads and goods are not just ‘customs’. They are as real as rocks and trees.

… the Metaphysics of Quality concludes that [ the destructive sympathy by intellectuals toward lawlessness in the 60’s ] was really stupid … The idea that biological crimes can be ended by intellect alone, that you can talk crime to death, doesn’t work … The instrument of conversation between society & biology has always been a policeman or a soldier and his gun. All the laws of history … Constitutions & the Bills of Rights & Declarations of Independence are … instructions to the military & police.

… ’racism’ … goes all the way back to square one, to the subject-object metaphysics wherein man is an object who possesses … culture … it goes on to reason that because it is immoral to speak against a people because of their genetic characteristics it is therefore also immoral to speak against a people because of their cultural characteristics … and Science says there is no morality outside of cultural morality, therefore any moral censorship of minority patterns of crime … is itself immoral. That is the paralysis …

… the Metaphysics of Quality says … that to say a cultural pattern is an integral part of a biological person is like saying the Lotus123 program is an integral part of an IBM computer. Not so. Cultures are not the source of all morals, only a limited set of morals. Cultures can be graded and judged morally according to their contribution to the evolution of life. A culture that supports the dominance of social values over biological values is an absolutely superior culture to one that does not, and a culture that supports the dominance of intellectual values over social values is absolutely superior to one that does not.

It is immoral to speak against a people because of the color of their skin, or any other genetic characteristic … But it is not immoral to speak against a person because of his cultural characteristics … these are changeable and they do matter … The fight to sustain social codes isn’t a war of blacks vs. whites … or poor people vs. rich … or … stupid people against intelligent … It’s a war of biology vs. society … and intellect, to end the paralysis of society, has to know whose side it is on, and support that side … Where biological values are undermining social values, intellectuals must identify social behavior … and support it all the way without restraint. Intellectuals must … limit and destroy destructive biological patterns with complete moral ruthlessness the way a doctor destroys germs.

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