An Interesting Path To A New Secular 'Religion'


[I] want to take you through an interesting line of thought, starting with creativity, and ending with something profound.

Unfortunately for all of us, creativity is terribly time consuming. You cant sit down and say “I’m going to be creative now”, and cram through it like you can with calculations, or organizing or planning which rely on reason and concentration. Creativity requires free association, trial and error.

We don’t think of creativity it as research and development, but it is. We merely artificially separate aesthetic, philosophic, scientific, technological and procedural forms of creativity by the concreteness of the information we have two work with. While we can see actions in procedures, technological and many scientific objects, philosophic and aesthetic are almost entirely imaginary. We have to ‘observe’ them introspectively. And worse, we cannot ‘see’ into our intuitions to analyze and observe our creativity at work, but we can examine what it is that we do and hypothesize about it – something which Daniel Kahneman has than thankfully given us a language to describe.

Now, I have made a habit of creative thinking, by keeping my mind in that kind of space nearly full time. Although as an autistic it’s a lot easier to stay in that mode than people more in the middle of the curve: neurotypicals. But it is a luxury to afford the ability to conduct research and development (“Creativity”) full time. And while scientists avoid the acknowledgement of their work as a luxury good, artists and philosophers never do, and technologists and proceduralists never have to: they get paid for what they do.

Myself, I don’t see any difference, and never have, between creative approaches to humor, the arts, literature, philosophy, the sciences, technology and processes. I have done work in all but humor which I am tone deaf to, and science: something which requires too often getting your hands dirty- which I have an objection to. But I had to work very hard for many years to obtain the freedom to specialize in creativity. Most creatives endure economic hardship to practice creativity: it is only for a few that creativity is other than a luxury good.

But creativity is an expertise that at least most of us can improve upon. It is not unlike meditation in that it focuses your mind, but unlike meditation it attempts to solve a problem through what I consider guided dreaming. Free association with direction.

I think part of the hard work of becoming a non-procedural writer is in learning how to conduct guided dreaming, while at the same time, quickly jotting down a narrative of the dream. You don’t start out that way of course. You start out by planning your work, and gradually develop increasingly meditative states of mind, while at the same time writing down your observations of the internal visualizations.

–the three degrees of meditation–
So in this respect, I view this form of meditative creativity as the highest achievement of the disciplined mind, stoicism as action-oriented the middle ground, and buddhism as the lowest level of achievement in which we seek to do nothing whatsoever.

I am not fond of buddhism but I think that especially for women it may be more important to quiet the impulsive chaos of the female mind that it is for them to focus on action or creativity. I think for most people but more often males, it is perhaps better to focus on actions, since we are not troubled by the chaos of the female mind. For a few of us, who are most often if not entirely male, theoretical creativity is the only use our minds are really fit for.

For these reasons I think any new ‘religion’ or form of spiritualism, will not need to come from the buddhist, stoic, or creative schools of thought, but from all of them. We could easily cleanse buddhism of it’s mysticism, and represent all three as three different skills, dependent upon our individual human needs.

If this form of discipline was mirrored with ancestor rituals, and a return to the pagan celebration of nature, then I think that is the highest form of religion possible that we currently could construct for mankind.

–Rider and Elephant–
Until recently, I didn’t understand what form of skill that I had taught myself. It wasn’t until I tried to resolve the differences between buddhism and stoicism that it became clear to me that it isn’t so much that either is right, but that they each try to apply the same technique to the problem of mental discipline: gaining control of our “system 1”: the search engine we call ‘intuition’, and putting that miraculous machine to use: helping the rider of our consciousness control the elephant of our intuition.

–Adding Nature and Ancestors—
Really, mythology in the Greek and Roman models, absent family hierarchy, is all any people needs. We could celebrate, read and study the great people throughout history in each of the four disciplines of organization: Morality(words), Justice(force), Commerce(trade), and Craft(art, science, tech, manufacture, and construction). All of us would be better off with a libertarian theology (patron saints), than authoritarian (monotheistic god). Authoritarianism is a means of generating hostility and conflict. I think most of us would rather celebrate (remember and learn from thinking about) Alexander, Aurelius, Jefferson, Michelangelo, and those like them, than any mythical god. And we would be better of for it.

Nature is already set to restore to celebration, but we must restore our civic responsibility for the commons, and incorporate the problem of excessive reproduction in that sentiments.

–Should vs Can–
There are very few opportunities to establish a new civic cult, and formal institutions and the rapid change of formal institutions is the most secure means other than organic expansion. Given the right opportunity and incentives we can. And I think I know what that opportunity is, what incentives we use, and what institutions we rely upon. But I’m going to talk about that some time in the future.

For now, I’d like to get across the very interesting idea that Creativity, Stoicism, and Buddhism can be combined into a secular cult that can provide an answer to post-mystical civic religion.

Followup Comments:

I have to go down this path. I will not end up as one of the racists. Arguments against something are futile. Arguments for something are actionable.

I know it’s frustrating for people to watch, but I have to be able to address comparative evolutionary strategy in order to make the weakness of our model, visible to us. I can almost do it.

Religion is something that I am working in the background since I want an answer to the complaints of religious conservatives. And in order to demonstrate that I’ve captured all of the unstated properties of western aristocracy I simply have to address religion. Not in terms of ‘how do we return’ but in terms of ‘why did it work’.

I had a hell of a time with both operationalism and performative truth. And I burned a few friends and relationships solving that problem. But from my perspective I’ve completed operationalism by tying it to testimonial truth. That was what prior generations failed to grasp. They were looking for a totalitarian answer, to the problem of truth, but no such thing exists. Mises failed because he lacked the ethic of testimonial truth, and relied upon pragmatic truth. Hayek got lost in psychology and universalism, rather than evolutionary biology. Brouwer and Bridgman and their followers are still looking for platonic and totalitarian truth. Macdonald is too interested, as is the HBD movement in genes. The mainstream is interested in institutions. Myself I am interested in the metaphysical assumptions that reflect our evolutionary strategies. And I think that I have found a better means of exposition than the others have. In the sense that it is possible to capture necessary and universal morality in law articulated as property rights, while
voluntarily constructing contracts on top of those laws to perform voluntary exchanges – rather than to construct new laws.

I still cannot quite reduce the problem of pathological altruism to simple statements that people can empathize with as well as understand. How our universalism won’t work for the rest of the world, and how it won’t even work for us. I have to reverse the value of altruism from something we treat as sacred, to something that we treat as profane: suicidal. I know I can do it. I just need to work at it a bit longer. We cannot extend the family universally unless everyone also extends it in return. And demonstrably, others will not do so. And it is wise from them not to.

Anyway. Once I have that line of thinking done, I should have the entire picture. Right now my outline is I think, the broadest ever attempted. We will see if I succeed.

But while aristocracy is clearly my preference, propertarianism doesn’t recommend anything. It’s just the logic of cooperation. The institutional means of producing the level of trust that is tolerable for any polity.

Thanks for the kick in the pants tho.
Just please keep in mind that I’m conducting my experiments (testing my arguments) in public. It’s just R&D. Its how we fail that we learn from. What remains is that which is most likely true.


Curt Doolittle 

Well, Christianity wasn’t appealing, but we know who it appealed to and why. As far as I know, Christianity was practiced by less than 10% of the population and most of the persecution myths are just that. Had justinian not wanted to adopt byzantine (middle world) totalitarianism, and enforced christianity and closed the other schools, we might have never had the intellectual dark age, even if we had the economic one caused by the arab conquests.

When a population is mobilized, whether in contemporary america, or industrializing england, or in imperial rome, the disconnected peoples look for artificial tribes. This is why the english advocated tolerance for multiple churches – so labor would find company.

The USA did it with civic organizations. Now we do it, I don’t know how – because we are alienated as hell and simply mollify our anxiety with consumption and participation in artificial families and tribes created by television.

Women, slaves, and the disaffected found the promise of familial love from fellow church members attractive.

Not complicated really.