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The Social Cosmology

Even as a kid, I noticed that the hierarchy of heaven suspiciously resembled the social organization of humans here on earth.  As an adult it is clear that the heavenly order is a metaphor for idealized human society.  Atheists might say religion is stupid and false.  Religion is true, though, in the language of symbols.  Symbols are very powerful because they are rooted in the collective consciousness—everyone intuitively understands them, even if they don’t know it.  Literal-minded modernists think themselves logical and above-it-all but in their pride they have deafened themselves to the deeper dialogue.  From politics to policies their initiatives backfire because they engineer structures without understanding the less tangible natural forces.

If heaven is the ideal social order of the rulers, hell is the concept of the ultimate counterculture.  In between lies earth where ordinary people are subjected to the ebb and rise of the great forces fighting for their souls.  In the social cosmology, the highest status people live in heaven and their most dangerous enemies are from hell.  As the ruler represents the state itself, there can be gods of other abstractions such as love, wisdom, or war.

About a decade ago I started intuitively thinking of cultural conflicts by this model of Zoroastrian/Christian dualism.  I realized that in a society of hundreds of millions of strangers, those known to all are best thought of as gods who are not people but divine representations of concepts and ideals.

Humans can only process around 150 personal relationships, the Dunbar number.  The demands of mass society are so astronomically beyond those limits, we need to repurpose our mental constructs to process our environment.

The memetic spaces that used to be occupied by polytheistic deities and animistic spirits are now used to comprehend entities whose every word is heard by millions.  This was how I came to understand people’s reverent attitudes to celebrities, athletes, or royal families who will never personally know or care about them.

Even where the stars are selfish and dysfunctional, it is little different than reading about Zeus’ serial infidelity and Hera’s spiteful revenge or Apollo getting his sister’s best friend killed out of jealousy and then punished for it with exile to the mortal world.

The reality show dynamic has an unmistakably mythological feel to it.  People are hard-wired to be receptive to archetypal human narratives about the interaction of abstract concepts because it has been a reliable means of transmitting complex ideas to simple, illiterate people since prehistory.

Cain and Abel have sibling rivalry fueled by jealousy that any of us can understand.  Through this conflict that culminates in the first murder, we understand the depth of the ancient rivalry between farmers and herders.  Trying to explain things logically is by comparison a very feeble way to communicate, especially back before everyone had modern levels of information exposure.

In modern times people still understand the world through these primal archetypes.  If you try to talk to the average person about the strengths and weaknesses of Trump’s policies, the conversation does not typically go far.  Trump is one of the great lords of hell since he has opposed the established order and acts contrary to the supposedly genteel manners of the ruling class.  If I try to explain Trump’s reasoning to someone aligned with the status quo, I may as well be trying to persuade a Christian that Lucifer had good reasons to rebel against God.

I have found this heuristic to be a very useful way of analyzing and predicting how a group will perceive the world.  Sure enough, those who see Trump as the devil have raised great idols to him that would not seem amiss in a traditional Balinese procession of demons.

Likewise, I thought of Hillary Clinton as a high goddess of the establishment and it proved to be an excellent way to model the social reality.  When she fell, it was clear from the reactions of overwhelming despair, even from people who reluctantly voted for her, that greater forces were at work.  They had witnessed nothing less than the fall of a goddess from the top of their pantheon and the ascent of a victorious devil.  Viewed in this context, the magnitude of their hysteria and the violent methods they are now willing to employ make a lot more sense.

From watching the cultural unraveling of 2016, the hierarchy more clearly revealed itself.  As far as I could figure it looked something like this:

Olympians:  Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, MLK, Harry Potter, Gandhi, John Lennon, Lincoln, Mandela, Dalai Lama, Mickey Mouse, Coca Cola, Apple
2nd Tier Gods: A list celebrities, Nancy Pelosi, Che Guevara, Noam Chomsky, Frida Kahlo, Zuckerberg, Daenarys from GoT
Angels/Mythic Heroes/Paladins of the Light: Actors, Musicians, Athletes, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedhan, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Steven Hawking, Jackson Pollock
Saints/Martyrs:  Malala, Emmet Till, Matthew Shephard, Anne Frank, Tibetans, Trayvon, Galileo

How they perceive hell:

Greater Evils: Trump, Hitler, Voldemort, Holocaust, KKK, Nazis, Putin, Russia
Lesser Evils: Bannon, Timothy McVeigh, Saddam Hussein, Columbine shooters, Goebbels, Himmler, Goering
Greater Demons/Dark Angels: Alt-Bloggers, podcasters, youtubers, twitter accounts who get millions of visits.  Alex Jones, John Wilkes Booth, David Duke, Dylan Roof
Demonic Centurions: Less popular internet personalities with a steady following, “neo-nazis”

I hesitate to try my hand at defining a dissident cosmology yet because it is still settling into place and none of the factions would agree.  Figures like Trump, Bannon, or Spencer play prominent roles in that hierarchy, but at the moment it’s hard to know if that will be true even next year.  Nevertheless I can guess at some of the divine archetypes.

The Holy: 40k’s God Emperor of Mankind, Kek/Pepe, Gnon, Dune universe, Men of Gondor and Rohan, Starship Troopers(Heinlein book), Space Marines, The Joker, Bane, Harrison Bergeron, Marcus Aurelius, Pinochet, the red pill

The Underworld:  Sauron, Uruk-Hai/Orcs, the Zerg swarm, Nurse Ratched, Grendel’s Mother, the Borg collective, Big Brother, Diana Moon Glampers, Trotsky, Lenin, Alinsky, the blue pill, Le Happy Merchant

That’s all of that I will do for now.  I feel like I’ve gotten the idea across.  Feel free to expand on it, critique or make your own in the comments.

See Also: Election 2016: The War In Heaven

Abstract Reasoning is What Makes Us Human

In movies, the good guys are always emotional acting “from their hearts” while the bad guy lives in his mind creating elaborate plans usually losing in the end because of some variation of “he doesn’t understand the power of love.” In the philosophy of movies, emotion and love is what makes us human.
In real life, the capability of abstract reasoning is what sets apart higher from lower humans and humans from other animals. The person who can ponder the root causes of poverty is more effective than someone who from blind compassion for a picture of a starving kid in a magazine donates to charity and helps pay the “non-profit” CEO’s salary.  The price of not having abstract understanding is to be parasitized and preyed upon.

Humans have moved towards abstract concepts for a long time and some breeds are more advanced than others.
Language itself is a system of symbolic abstractions and is part of the human species as swimming is to fish or burrowing to a mole.
But since civilization, levels of abstraction have gone far beyond what most humans are able to handle.
Consider the concept of interest on a loan, for instance.  A considerable percentage of humans max out their credit cards or mortgages and are then taken by surprise when the compound interest spins out of control.  Or let’s look at estimating probability, something people are really bad at.  In a society of rational humans the only gambling would be against other players, never with unfavorable odds against the house.
The difference is who can understand abstractions and who cannot.
In general, peoples who have lived in complex civilizations longer are better at it.  It comes as little surprise that Jews, Syrian Alawis and Christians, Lebanese Maronites, and Armenians do well wherever in the world they go.  They are all mercantile peoples who spent thousands of years living on top of some of the world’s major trade routes.
Meanwhile, peoples new to the abstractions of civilization struggle to deal with laws, commerce, and the concept of the state.  Unable to formulate long term plans and heavily selected for binging in times of plenty, they become impoverished and hopelessly addicted to drugs and junk food.  Whether we’re talking about the Pima, the Pygmies, the Samoans, the Sioux, or the Aborigines, the problems are always the same, the only variation is degree.

Plato grouped humans into three categories.

Bronze – Ordinary workers and merchants engaged in their work with little awareness beyond their own wants. In Enlightenment philosophy, whether by communism, capitalism, or even libertarianism and anarchism, these people are supposed to be the rulers. That’s why these ideas when unalloyed by common sense never work. Mob rule, tragedies of the commons predictably result.

Silver – Those with enough awareness to be granted some measure of power without selfishly abusing it.  They have enough foresight to understand at least part of the big picture and some ability to think of the longer term within the context of their role. They are the middle management of society, the officers of humanity. They don’t take bribes(they can understand how it damages the credibility of the entire system), they keep utilities cheap and reliable, the trains arrive on time.  They make sure things work.

Gold- Those with enough awareness to understand the complexities of the macroscale and reason beyond oneself.  Those who can best do this are those who should be managing societies.

To care about anything that occurs after one’s death, for example, is irrational in the most literal sense. A bronze-soul squeezes the world for all it’s worth as long as they’re alive. What should it matter if the nation were to fall after they’re buried, or the entire human race to meet its demise?
The difference between a higher man and the stampede is to grasp the highly abstract idea of a future beyond oneself in the endurance of one’s work, deeds, ideas, and seed—to perceive beauty in what we will never see, touch, or taste for it’s own sake.
There’s a Greek proverb: “A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
Taking delight in what has not yet happened is pure abstraction, but for those capable of it, it is as real as any present and tangible pleasure. As real as are imaginary numbers and infinity to a mathematician.

People are only equipped so far by nature to deal with groups of up to 150.  Abstraction is the only way for limited human beings to work around the limit set by the Dunbar number and be able to reason out the workings of a mass society of millions of people.
A lower human given charge of a nation handles millions of people with the package of instincts appropriate to a small tribe.
What is a great famine that kills millions so long as you, your family, friends, and closest followers are safe?
It makes no sense to care about people we don’t know so long as it doesn’t affect us. It very much makes sense to sacrifice a million strangers we don’t care about in a war to get what we want. Why not abuse and neglect as it pleases us? They’re all just a statistic. To perceive beyond this, a human must use abstraction and imagination.

Ironically, the lower human ruler also projects his warm instinctual feelings for a small group onto many and preserves a million who are destroying everyone else out of crass sentimentality.
The higher being sees a rook is not worth a pawn and does what must be done.
Where the lower man is ruthless, the higher is merciful
And where the lower is generous, the higher crushes.

The gold soul has the same animal instincts as the bronze but it has the quality of consciousness that allows it to reflect on its nature while the bronze just follows its program like any other animal.
The high human can reflect on its own instinctual drives, figure out the purpose of each, and reason the best course to realize the “intended” goal.
The drive to socialize and observe social norms is there to further our survival in a group and to aid the survival of the group itself against other groups.
So if in charge of millions, we ought to use intellect to further the group as an appropriate instinct would, if it existed.
The drive to breed is there to spread our genes.
So we ought to understand that instinctual gratification with contraceptives is an illusion.
Where instinct is not enough, the greater human formulates strategies.
Faced with relentless change, human animals flounder in aimless despair like pandas with their bamboo forests burnt down.
High Humans change their survival strategy with the times.

Reconciling Jared Diamond With HBD

In his book, Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond comes up with a multitude of convincing explanations as to why some human populations ended up creating civilizations and others did not.
Among critical factors he identifies:
-Availability of large domesticable animals for riding, carrying, ploughing.
-Availability of promising wild cereals.
-New crops shareable from East-West (same seasons) as opposed to the considerable seasonal obstacles of sharing from North-South.

Diamond has some fascinating insights but from page 1 his mission is to argue that all human populations are fundamentally the same. Despite doing much to create good discussion, he’s more interested in upholding his personal ideology rather than searching for a whole truth that may not fit his desired specifications.

This seems to come in part from the erroneous but entrenched assumption that major change in human populations takes tens of thousands of years.
This notion is nonsense of course. The nature of the human race shifts every single generation. As societies change the rates of success of different survival strategies must change with it.

I’ve seen that Human Biodiversity adherents tend to deride Diamond for his simplistic views on human genetic differences.
However, I see no need for this.

Diamond for the most part seems to have everything pretty much right but screws it up with his wishful thinking.

The horse and wheat make huge differences in making one society more complex than another.

But we can just as easily note that a more complex society selects for people who think more abstractly and on a larger scale.

If we want to reconcile Diamond with HBDsphere, why not just formulate it like this:

Wheat, the horse, or an East-West continent resulted in more complex societies. In more complex societies, higher reasoning ability increased the odds of reproducing. Today, we predictably see some major differences in reasoning ability between historically isolated populations. Overall, higher reasoning ability tends to correspond with societies that have had more complex systems of organization, for longer.

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