virus: Re: virus-digest V3 #61

Reed Konsler (
Sat, 6 Mar 1999 11:53:58 -0500

>Date: Fri, 5 Mar 1999 19:31:06 +0000
>From: Robin Faichney <>
>Subject: Re: virus: Re: virus-digest V3 #60
>In message <026201be6736$5d6445a0$04a2bfce@proftim>, Tim Rhodes
><> writes
>>Reed wrote:
>>>The mind is massively parralel, it is only in a
>>>particular kind of perception ("Level 2") that
>>>we experience it as serial.
>>Very nice! I'll have to quote that in the future.
>You already did. :-)
>But I have to dissent. I'd characterise the L2/L3 difference in
>this context as: experience, in itself, is always serial, but in
>L3 (or thereabouts) you can get past the belief that there's
>really only one thing going on, and allow for parallelism. (It's
>also, for those of a technical bent, about becoming more aware of
>pattern recognition and less focussed on symbolic processing.)
>- --

Well, I can't speak for other people's experience. To be honest I'm not sure exactly what Richard meant when he wrote about "Level 3"...I can only tell you what I understand it to mean.

I don't experience life serially. Every event, every word, every action in my life resonantes on multiple levels of meaning. I perceive things from a rationalist, a Christian, and a Zen/karmatic mystical level instantaneously simultaneously. Those are the meta-narrative metaphors which I usually operate with, but at times I've experienced "The Force" a la Star Wars.

It's not easy to balance the streams of consciousness, expecially where they are dissonant. Another thing I found incredibly difficult, when I first started to understand the world this way, was excluding other people's worldviews. After forcing open part of my mind I realized the hard way that it's important to close it, again...and selectively. A totally open mind is inevitably a tool of evil.

This is what, I think, Richard means by not "living and let live" and what I mean by expressing faith. Accomodating multiple inconsistent worldviews doesn't mean accomodating ALL worldviews. Some perceptions are quite twisted and terrible. Fascists, sadists, angry fundamentalists...they remind me of Stephen R. Donaldson's "Gibbering Ravers"...insane people who's insane ideas will warp you if you listen too closely.

"Level 2" is a defense mechanism...a closed consistent worldview. A shield against the insanity. Richard's book isn't shy on this point, breaking through to the next level is not an act without risk. To shatter the prison of serial perception is a euphoria unlike any begets grand visions, and the charismatic find it easy to attract lost sheep to their call.

To access "Level 3" you don't have to be wise, good, or even mature. I wish it were so, but in a way Richard is slow to admit "Level 3" is a kind of the psychoanalytical, not common sense. Psychosis and enlightenment shouldn't be confused...ever. This is what Christ mean when he said we should be wary of prophets that have suffered head wounds.

The critical difference, the difference which makes the step control. Self-control, self-reliance, openness to criticism...discipline, maturity. The key elements of this discipline are <reason>, which affords deep, strong, clear thinking...and <faith>, which provides the moral compass. If you lack either, you cannot navigate the "Level 3" ocean for long. People know this, instinctively. This is why they cling to their shoals, reefs, and islands for dear the "fundamentals"...the FUNDAMENT, as in the solid Earth.

Or they sail their ships, and pray to Neptune that no great force of nature will capsise their journey. But, this I know: At least at one metaphorical level, we can walk on water. We can part the seas. I can't...not yet. I'm still paddling in the shallows, learning to swim.

This is, for instance, a reason that I often refuse to read things that people recommend to me unless they tell me WHY I need to read it. I don't want to read the rants of evil people becuase I know that I will naturally try to see the world from their view...and that is dangerous. When I'm older, more stable, more experienced...then maybe I can confront those great evils. For now, I recognize my limitations.

Like I said, I can't speak for anyonbodies experience except my own.


  Reed Konsler