Please write in OTHER groups!

  • Please write in OTHER groups!

    Posted by Don Salmon on September 24, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    Hi folks:

    This group is not really meant for discussions. I just created this since I made a commitment several weeks ago to help contribute to making this website an active and inviting place to discuss Iain’s writings and vision.

    As I said in the group description, surely you have 5 minutes a week. You don’t have to compose a masterpiece. It could as simple as, “Hmm, never thought of it that way before. Could you say more about A, B or C?”

    There. There’s your post for the week. If 10 of you agree to spend time (the above would only take 10 seconds) we could have a really lively set of discussions. Hopefully it will morph into something a wee bit more than “could you say more” but that’s enough for now.

    I’m also watching a lot of British TV and learning to use the word “wee” – endless possibilities for topics!

    Craig Matheson replied 4 months, 3 weeks ago 5 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • Matt Dorsey

    October 17, 2022 at 2:23 pm

    No problem, Don! I’m doing my best to add plenty of new content for discussion. Hopefully the two new groups I’ve started will help.

    • Don Salmon

      October 18, 2022 at 7:22 pm


  • John Ehrenfeld

    December 12, 2022 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for your encouragement, but this site is a nightmare. It is painfully slow and cannot keep up even with my two-finger typing.

    • Jamie R

      November 25, 2023 at 9:51 pm

      I agree. I just joined, and I am thoroughly disappointed. For a paid site, I expected something a little… better?

      I mostly joined because I am in a situation where it feels like I am being suffocated by a bunch of excessively left-brainers with no self-awareness, and I feel pretty alone. Would be nice to connect with others who “get it.”

      I guess I thought there would be a traditional “discussion forum” type area of this site, but whatever this is, it is extremely clunky, non-intuitive, and does not facilitate a community atmosphere. Ironically, everything is sub-divided in a way that makes it all feel very separate and atomized. Something Iain himself would probably say doesn’t help a community atmosphere. I can’t believe I’m paying for this crap.

      • Don Salmon

        November 25, 2023 at 10:29 pm

        Hi Jamie – I fully agree. I created this little discussion group about a year ago, when this new site was put in place, and quickly realized the site is VERY difficult to navigate.

        A few months ago I moved my online courses to one of the best community sites I’ve ever seen – Mighty Networks. I’ve been on that platform for several months and week by week my appreciation grows. I’ve wondered about suggesting to the administrators moving to MN – but I know it took months of hard work behind the scenes to settle on this.

        Meanwhile – heres a proposal: you’ve found your way here and obviously have a passion for this. Rather than navigating through the site, have some discussions right here, without defining or confining them.

        I’m too busy to focus on this project now, but in about 1/2 year I want to take the writings of McGilchrist, B. Alan Wallace, David Bentley Hart and several other excellent writers (perhaps Bernardo Kastrup as well) on the problems of naturalism/physicalism/materialism. But I want to try to write about them (and make videos and music as well) so people can get a much deeper EXPERIENTIAL feel of the problem – AND the many solutions (oddly, neither McGilchrist, Hart or Kastrup say much at all about contemplative practice – yet Wallace makes that the very core of ALL he writes). And I want to present this in a way that a 14 year old of average intelligence with no prior knowledge of science or philosophy and no practice of meditation can relate to it, and see how it affects their life.

        If you’re interested in any of this – including anything even distantly related to it – why not start by writing about your interests right here. And in fact, if you convince me, maybe it would be worth the effort to get the administrators to consider moving to Mighty Networks.

        • Jamie R

          November 25, 2023 at 11:11 pm

          Thanks for your reply, Don.

          What you are suggesting sounds like something I would be interested in participating in several years in the future.

          With regard to convincing the site managers to use a different platform, that I would be interested in participating in in the very near future (lol)

          However, at the present moment I kind of just came here looking for like… a support group for oppressed right-brainers? Long story short: I am currently doing a Master’s degree in Social Work. I did not know before applying to this program that both social work as a profession and social work education are controlled by these governing organizations that are extremely controlling, micromanaging, and pretentious. Intuitive learning is not welcome here. Creativity is not welcome here. Self-determination is not welcome here. “Evidence-based practice” (read: reductive materialism) is the only valid form of social “work.” These people can’t even assign a 6-8 page paper without giving 3 pages of micromanagey guidelines for what the paper should be like.

          I graduated from one of the world’s elite universities about 10 years ago with both a social science BS and a humanities BA. With honors. Where I am now, I feel like I am being fed baby food from a scientific measuring spoon. Nothing is challenging, it’s all shit I already know, (and/or things I can critique, but they don’t want to hear it), but they don’t allow you to use other academic credentials or work experience to exempt from or test out of required classes. I am not being challenged in any way. In fact, I feel like they are asking me to revert to a less intellectually mature state of mind just to meet their bullshit requirements. It’s completely demotivating.

          The assignment I’m trying to work on today is called “your beginning philosophy of social work”. The idea is to articulate your philosophical/ethical etc point of view with relation to your future career/goals etc as a future social worker. The paper should be 3-5 pages, including a literature review, and should be “thorough” (lol). I am a 39 year old adult with a tons of both experience and exposure to philosophy, critical theory, etc. Lots of things have informed my perspective on this. Also, 3-5 pages is barely room for a literature review, even if that was the whole paper. I asked the instructor if I could write a longer paper, and she said no. I said I would need at least 20 pages to “thoroughly” discuss my perspective on this topic. She didn’t care, and said I should learn to write concisely (lol again).

          From my perspective, it seems like the assignment guidelines have assumed a particular kind of student – one who is around 22 years old, just finished their bachelor’s degree, has little philosophical exposure, and little writing experience. The instructor of this course is way too attached to the rules of the assignment she created to make room for a student who does not fit the description of the student she designed the assignment for. As a result, it is an educational disservice to THIS student, because I am going to have to write a fake paper just to conform to her expectations, rather than doing genuine work that would contribute to my own growth. Classic left-brainer bullshit. No flexibility. Extreme attachment to predetermined rules. Inability to revise rules or expectations when it becomes clear that the world does not fit your expectations.

          Please bear in mind, this is just one small example of the kind of things I have been dealing with every day in this program. Rigidity, pretentiousness, imagine themselves at a level of intellectual sophistication that they do not in fact possess, constant micromanaging, inability to see anything outside the blinders they have put on or the assumptions they have made, etc.

          If I was paying for this nonsense, I would have left after 2 weeks. Lucky me, I got a full scholarship with stipend to do this, so I actually feel trapped into doing something I’d rather not do (I come from a low-SES background, so passing up a free master’s degree would feel unwise). I have resigned myself to putting up with this for the next two years to get the piece of paper that says I can do what I want to do (I intend to become a therapist).

          As a person with strong right-brain-leaning tendencies, this is hard for me. I love to explore and try new things and be creative. Having to confine myself and check a bunch of boxes to fulfill the expectations of some bureaucratic, pretentious cult that has become so infected by fundamaterialism that it has lost any sense of spirit or imagination about what “social” work could be makes me want to literally scream.

          Someone please give me a hug and a joint.

          • Don Salmon

            November 26, 2023 at 3:46 am

            Hi again,

            Yeah, I don’t even have much time for that first project yet – I’ve got a small group of 15 folks who chat about it from time to time but nothing’s likely to get off the ground till the middle of next year.

            Meanwhile, the situation you’re in now – worth some support, group hugs, for sure.

            In the 1970s and 80s (I know, you weren’t even born, and toward the end, barely more than a toddler) I was in a joyfully right brain world; East Village, NY City, pianist-composer, mostly doing improv music with avant- garde musicians/actors and dancers. Yet I knew from my teens that some day I would have to learn some legit psychology because ultimately, I wanted to write and explore a new form of “yogic” psychology. It was SO much fun working as a musician.

            I came THIS close to doing an alternative – and very right brain – doctoral program, which also would have been great fun, but I realized at some point, I had to do a mainstream program – doctorate in clinical psych.

            Not fun.

            Virtually every box you checked off – bureaucratic, fundamaterialist, rigid, linear, superficial, not even useless but the entire teaching staff had less psychological insight than just about any 2 dancers/musicians/actors I knew.

            The thing about social workers – the whole background, for decades, is a kind of strange mix of modernist bureaucratic thinking AND genuine deep heart empathy, kindness and compassion. It may not look like the heart stuff is there in school – where the left brain to genuine heart caring ratio is at least 80/20 if not worse. But I’ll tell you, among the thousands of psych evaluations I did in consultation with psychiatrists, neurologists, first line therapists, fellow psychologists and social workers, the social workers, hands down, knew about all the resources needed AND had the verbal and interpersonal skills that literally saved so many lies among people I evaluated.


            But I know the feeling of being in school and having to do nonsense. So i don’t know – every paper I wrote in my masters and doctoral programs, I used as a challenge – how far could I go right up to the line of acceptability to choose wild stuff. I did my masters thesis on lucid dreams – using music I composed to teach people to maintain awareness from waking to dreaming. Almost everyone in my doctoral program was in love with attachment theory. One of my professors said the reason she chose to be on my dissertation committee was because she had a really bad headache the day she read my proposal – which involved using mindfulness to treat physical pain. She tried it, it worked, and that was that.

            I even managed to mention, in my final dissertation write up – non duality as the ultimate solution of all physical and psychological pain – and either they were too tired of dealing with my out-there ness after years in the program or they maybe actually liked it. At least, that was the general verdict (I mean, they liked it) at the presentation of my research.

            So you only have a few pages for this thing that requires 15-20 pages? Blow their minds. I can tell just from your comments here you write well and think clearly. Show them how awesome you are. For me, that made grad school bearable – I mean, most of my classmates were in their early to mid 20s; I was 40 when I started and in my late 40s when I did my final doctoral presentation.

            As for the extreme left brain, you can use it as learning material if you ever treat people with OCD or autism or various personality disorders. (Mostly kidding, though not altogether).

            And just think, at the end of next year (or 2 or 3 years) you can join us as we create a totally awesome presentation for teens (video, music, 3D holograms, transporters, collective lucid dreams or whatever is available in super AI by the late 2020s) to blow away the fundamaterialists and complete the 2nd Copernican revolution!

  • Craig Matheson

    November 27, 2023 at 10:40 am

    With ya Don, so, per such efforts, what u make of this image …<div>

  • Craig Matheson

    November 27, 2023 at 10:41 am

    More clear version provided herein per previous post:

    • Don Salmon

      November 27, 2023 at 12:50 pm

      Isn’t that based on the saying “Man is the measure of all things”?

      My understanding is that is symbolic of “Mind” being the measure of all things. It is, the Indian philosophers and Desert Christian “Fathers” say, the dividing mind which carves up the seamless unity of the world into apparently separate, disconnected things.

      I just got an email today from a friend who teaches meditation, noting that both dogs and little kids are great reminders that, instead of living all the time in stressful mind-created psychological time, constantly fretting about the past and either worry or craving something that’s going to happen in the future, we can rest, let go of the mind’s compulsion to measure time and space and so immerse ourselves in present (Timeless) experience, that our hearts open, we reconnect with our deeper timeless-space less Consciousness and begin to see things as William Blake hinted:

      When the doors of perception are cleansed, we see things as they actually are – Infinite.

  • Craig Matheson

    November 27, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    I hear ya – all of it – plus his head seems to be tilting to his right half/hemisphere of the circle split equally. Either way, the ‘mind’ of LdaVinci was involved.

    Thank you for sharing your take on what the image brought forth in you.

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