Daily Life and Higher Ideas

An effective society unites the details of everyday life with higher ideas.

If our daily actions bear no relation to our intangible founding principles, the higher ideas become mere platitudes.

Higher ideas not corroborated by the mundane experience become hypocrisy.

The mundane unguided by higher ideas becomes pointless and mechanical.

In successful social systems, daily life and idealism feed off of each other and their energy multiplies.

Islam, perhaps better than any other creed, understands the paramount importance of uniting the high and the mundane.
And so long as they are the best at doing this, their formula will prevail wherever in the world they go

Prayer time 5 times a day is one of the masterpieces of Islam. Ordinary people are never allowed the slightest chance to forget the role of abstract guiding principles in their daily lives. The reminders never cease.

Towering minarets that publicly announce the primacy of the faith, whether or not people of different creeds are present make the ultimate statement of dominance.
People, like most social animals, respond well to dominance and perceive anything else as weakness.
People ally with the memes that are strongest. They instinctively choose those that seem most likely to augment their ability to survive and reproduce.

I have long noted that we may know more about someone not by what they say they believe but by how they shop at the grocery store.
Unless our daily habits are consistent with our professed beliefs, we can have no true allegiance to immaterial things.

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20 responses to “Daily Life and Higher Ideas

    • Everything in the mind can be classified as “ideas”.
      But I’m talking about having ideas that don’t fit with reality.
      I’m just doubting this: “The mundane unguided by higher ideas becomes pointless and mechanical.”

      And concerning Islamic prayers, the Sufis have quasi abolished prayers a long time ago. Just as with other ideologies, Muslims imposed their ideology through force; but this didn’t prevent a revolution from within. The Shiites, for example, can pray three times or less per day.
      Besides, Muhammad took the five times per day prayers and fasting from Christians. In the Constitutions of the Apostles, there are three prayers per day: http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf07.ix.viii.v.html. Tertullian speaks of five times per day: morning, night, third hour, sixth hour and ninth hour (On Prayers, Chapter 25) http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0322.htm. Later many Christians started praying 9 times per day.

      • 3 or 5 times, if daily prayer helps make the group more competitive against other groups, it fits perfectly well with reality.
        The mistake most people make is examining the prayer itself and wondering if all its content is literally ‘real.’

        Look at modern society: how are people doing without higher ideas to provide purpose and direction? Most people have a psychological need for the structure and sense of safety an encompassing ideology provides. Higher ideas are hugely important in sustaining a mass society against its neighbors. How many successful societies lack strong, cohesive guiding higher ideas?

        Western Christianity certainly used to be quite competitive, but the church lost its power over the minds and imaginations of its people.
        Most importantly, it lost its presence in followers’ daily lives!
        Vatican II was perhaps the Catholic church’s formal surrender to modernity.

        We’ve focused on Islam here but we could have pretty much the same conversation about Christian Evangelicism and Mormonism.

        Sufis are mystics and their (small) presence is often barely tolerated by orthodox Islam.
        I repeatedly notice mystics have more in common with other mystics around the world than they do with their orthodox faith.

    • Zoroastrianism never completely moved beyond being the religion of the Persian state. It served to legitimize elites. It is telling that the descendants of the noble classes driven out by Islam(Parsees) are some of the last remaining Zoroastrians.

      The most competitive religions have the imperative to spread enshrined in doctrine.

  1. Fuckin EXCELLENT post, man! I’ve been thinking a lot about this sort of thing myself, and you really tied it together in my head.

    It really shines a lot of light on some countercultural things. Occupy Wall Street, by making their occupation an endless, day-after-day-after-day-after-day thing, add mundanity to their high ideals, and thereby gain great potency. On the other hand, an anarchist who smashes a window, doesn’t really accomplish anything at all because the action is the exact opposite of mundane, it’s a one-time deal. If he could manage to keep smashing that window every day for months, years, decades, then it would be huge. But good fuckin’ luck… he’d have to compete with an enemy who makes an artform out of mundanity: the police!

  2. How do you slot the Chinese into this?

    China is arguably the most successful society in human history (in terms of contintuity and population size*) but the Chinese don’t have much in the way of higher ideals. There’s filial piety/ancestor worship and Confucianism (which intersect) but these are grounded in mundane details of life without any bigger idea (that I can easily perceive).

    Or maybe Confucianism is more of a self-help regime than a religion and that and the intense future time orientation (a major internal idea of Confucianism) is enough of a higher idea?

    Islam is not future oriented at all (which is why Islamic societies tend to stagnate when Islam becomes dominant) and Islam groups are at their most vital as minorities trying to expand their influence (by either acquiring adherents or winning concessions from the non-muslim majority which they tend to view as the same thing.

    *not in terms of prosperity and they’ve had their share of wildly dysfunctional governments but the ability to weather storms (even of one’s own making) is more important than prosperity in terms of societal fitness.

    • Confucianism is only one segment of the Chinese higher vision.
      It represents a very pragmatic, almost scientific approach to organizing social structures. In fact the approach to societies you see on this blog is somewhat inspired by the general mentality of Confucianism.

      Perhaps the most common mistake Westerners make when interpreting Eastern civilization is that they try to interpret it through just one tradition.

      In the East, there is a parable of the vinegar tasters:
      Lao Tzu, Buddha, and Confucius all taste from the same vat of vinegar and voice an opinion representative of their interpretation of the world.

      The moral here: To understand the Eastern high idea you have to take
      -Taoism
      -Buddhism
      -Confucianism
      together in addition to folkways(for example, Feng shui/geomancy) that trace back to prehistoric shamanism and far predate any of the three main philosophies.

      And to really understand the East Asian higher values, one might also do well to gain some familiarity with ‘extinct’ schools of thought that exert latent influence such as Legalism and Mohism.

      Roughly speaking I might say:

      -Confucianism lays out a blueprint for a functional mass social hierarchy. Like early religions throughout Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, and the Levant: it helps legitimize the state.

      -Buddhism(orthodox schools) speaks to proles, helps them reconcile themselves with their lot in life in a constructive and emotionally satisfying manner.

      -Taoism/Buddhism(heterodox schools). More focused on mysticism, much smaller in organizational size than the other traditions. A societal safety valve to accommodate intellectual misfits. The clientele is smaller, but attracts exactly the people you don’t want to be out there actively working against the established system. Every culture that’s lasted has some kind of organ that serves this purpose.

  3. Thousands of years perfecting animal and human husbandry. The models extant today exhibit predictable results. The more interesting aspects, however come from disparities. Especally from the cults which have applied the science within their own blood lines. (hence a per-capita genius productiion that is most fascinating)

    Perhaps the greatest weakness (among some outstanding strengths) resides within more primal vestiges of behavior. Second to that are genetic flaws inherent to any species bred to purpose.

    Culture must therefore follow suit, catering to weaknesses even before strengths.

    There does seem some sort of viability factor to be had. My own observation finds the cyclic course of events culiminating in conflict between two artificially produced “species” (for lack of a better word)

    In that light, religion and mythos gain a lot as almost separately evolved entities in their own right.

    My own ad-hoc group of genius (esp. young and most functional savant) profiles separate into two distinct type. I think of them as the cultured and natural. In enviornment the ratio between predator and prey seems to come close to natures own.

    At the equations ends the cultured genius group splits into what seems affinities of pathological anomaly. Here is where the real history behind some of humanities most epic struggles for domination show most enlightening attributes and propensities, especially the vestiges of primal behavior and thought.

    If the worlds conspiracy nuts and “secret order” affectionados ever stop hyperventilating long enough to focus on what is beneath all our noses, the “IQ” for “genius”would have to raised considerably (tic).

  4. This triadic Moasic cult comprising Jew, Christian and Muslim sub cults along with its counter-cult emulations are indeed a blessed enviornmental immersion. A baptism (as it were) into a media as you describe. Three bastard children of the same brilliantly contrived piece of psychological manipulation still going at it over who that straw god loves most.

    When that rag tag band of criminals slithered into Egypt, did Pharoah really buy into that, “We will do the work your spoiled chidren refuse to do”, thing? For free education especially about animal husbandry and maximiziing slave effeciency the human world’s “get” is just what it got.

    Pharoah woke up to massive climate change, a bankrupt government and (word has it) all his beer was gone and his cat was pregnant. Ever take a good look at those statues from the tombs or the sphynx? Those weren’t gods, they were dire warnings,. The last testament of a dead people warning about ponzi schemes. The Mezmer’s charms and easy credit plans. And criminal gene manipulation

    I like to think they did make it to South America on Kontiki (sp?) and went on to produce all those wonderful hybrid vegetables that now grace the worlds tables. Except brussels sprouts and calliflower. Those had to be something that drifted into their fields from Con Agra. Convict Agrarian conscripts origionally brought along to do the dirty work.

    Incidentally those hybrids went viral as trade goods traveling established trade routes and protocals from the tip of South America on into the Arctic and all points East, West and beyond. Other such revelations have included the worlds sharpest and inherently sterile surgical instruments patterned after one dug up from one of their massive dump sites.

    I can’t begin to count all the blessings the cult has bestowed in the ways of its modern education and protections from those howling savages of yore. Just think. We could have been dunked in a tub of bullshit instead of holy water. Our immortal souls forever lost in a horrid void of ignorance.

    Go ahead and call me prejudiced despite my own blessings of consecration. But those Muslems have aways given me the notion they were spiritually puking in prayer. Just on those auspices I am really considering becoming one myself.

    But I am not giving up beer.

    • “His beer was gone and his cat was pregnant. Ever take a good look at those statues from the tombs or the sphynx? Those weren’t gods, they were dire warnings,”

      “Have aways given me the notion they were spiritually puking in prayer…”

      Dude, are you smoking something?

      I’ve read over your tirade here, wondering if there’s some kind of hidden message or if it was made by a random text generator.

      Maybe you’re a Malkavian.

      In any case, I’m gonna have to ask you to try to be more coherent, less random.
      Seriously, if you try another post like this, don’t count on it showing up. I’m having second thoughts about leaving this rant posted up where it’s going to distract from legitimate discussion, so you might want to copy paste your words while you still can if you want to save them.

  5. Sorry about that. Didn’t realize the goal was legitimate discussion. Will be sillent now and continue watching it demonstrated.

    • Ah, sarcasm. I like that because it shows me you do have your presence of mind. I’ll definitely leave all your posts up until this is resolved one way or another.

      Come on, what’s this stuff about the Pharaoh’s cat being pregnant?
      What do you mean?
      The sphinxes being a warning? Of Ponzi schemes!? Why? You have to realize this sounds like some kind of crazy conspiracy theory.
      You speak in riddles. Instead of saying “rag tag band of criminals slithered into Egypt” why not say “the Ancient Hebrews came to Egypt.”(I think that’s what you mean??)
      Why not say ‘raft’ instead of Kontiki?

      And then you segue off to cauliflower and brussels sprouts(by quickly wiki-ing, I gather you exclude them because they weren’t known until Medieval times.)
      Again: could you clarify your meaning here? What are these ‘hybrid vegetables and how do they relate to Ancient Egypt or the New world?

      What ‘inherently sterile’ surgical instruments?

      Keep in mind: this is coming from me.

      This blog is full of ideas that I gather aren’t glaringly obvious to everyone who comes here.
      My single biggest obstacle is trying to successfully communicate to my visitors.

      I’m not normally picky about ‘legitimate’ discussion, I will generally bear with anyone who has something interesting and reasoned to say even if it’s off topic.
      But good God, I was wondering if you had dropped acid before writing that second post.

  6. I see what you mean.

    “Manic” is about the best and worst expanation I have. It comes and goes. I take no offense for the removal of anything I cause.

    Rather hung up on cult psychology these days.

    Did have a moment looking up “Malkavian”. Expecting some sort of philosopher all I could recall was Malkovich (the actor). The results produced an instant where I thought him head of some sort of Malkavian vampire cult. Visualizing me kissing the ancient vampires “ring of truth” just before the guillotine dropped. The manic majority would probably agree that is just the way our heads roll.

    Yeah, the humor and sarcasm are idiotic defense mechanisms.

    May I be a George Carlin Carlino instead? A decade older than me, he was a major influence.

    We need to take another good look at that word, “inalienable” in our constitution. Both country and document have been badly alienated. And no, I do not mean “press 2 for Klingon”.

    Our nations constitution is a tremendous piece of work as I see it. Unlike religion or philosophical academia a literal translation proves it the best model for achieving a good life for every citizen. As a work of genius it remains exemplar. As a global example its evolution went well.

    WTF happened? In cult terms, the dominant male god found its feminine side. Well and good but the inertia of that social phenomenon has turned it into some sort of hideous thing seeking favors on the street. Or China as the rough analogy may allow. It acquired a pimp of ancient origins (Zionism) which is now its sugar Daddy. Lady Liberty has turned into the octo-zillion mom and she is going to protect her family with a passion.

    Attempting a better perspective.
    Religion is the process of establishing social norms in the minds of the faithful.
    Communism is simply a feminine god dominant society.
    Capitalisim is the male dominant god eqivalent.
    As a family “we the people” have been blind sided.

    We are being invaded by biological weapons of social destrution.
    We are enacting wars totally against everbodies interests except the pimps.
    We are embroiled in social issues having little meaningful impact on social viability. The effect is an entire nation having some sort of identity crisis.

    Personally I would like to see the godly return to some sort of equivalent of a functional spiritual family. To set an example yet not be a dump for all the worlds unwanted children to dig in.

    Maybe develop some sort of sterilization bomb to encourage birth control. Free pills and abortions by world health. Move away from mutually assured destruction and into a more natural harmony. (That was derived from a speech Tesla made. Not the ranting of some Hippy Dippy lunatic)

  7. “An idea is but a daydream to the empiricist.
    But you would have to rely on sophistry to deny the very solid impact of ideas”

    One school of occult requires another of physical theory.

    Cartesian truth must co-exist with the humanities.

    Only a man and a woman may create a child. (at least in the traditional sense)

    binary code is the most fundamental………..

    Truth remains humanities most empirical choice for continuance. Truths inherent nature reveals a self evident truth about our limitations. Acknowledgement seems to be humbling to the ego, but refreshing to the spirit.

    Of the biographies I have read this does seem a constant. Of physical equation the laws of symetry also seem to agree.

    When asked from what mystical well did he derive his solution and produce polyphased electricity, “Tesla repied, it was the greater truth. The more natural solution”. He was just responding as best he could, communicating to the best of his abilities.

    When asked of his magical formulae of success, Getty reflected a life of obsessive compulsion towards wealth. A seven day work week consisting of 20 hours a day. It was everything to that personality that most of us get from a much more balanced and symmetrical life style. From an incredibly harsh impoverished childhood into a state of wealth most of today’s still aspire.

    Carlin’s last interview left an amusing reflection on the gift of gab or “blarney” and being Irish with one of those ethnically delightful quips. “You don’t get from licking a rock, it has to be in your blood.”

    I think it a fair assumtion that everyone has something special in their human blood. Some potential to excell if natural evolution is married to a social modality of recognition. Of individual, family, tribe, state, government and all things inevitable.

    Above all sentimental and natural propensity toward the anti-thesis it boils down to a simple fact. Humanity as evolved beyond its security blankets and binkies. No less profound than once useful fins are abandoned in favor of legs, if that analogy bears a ring of truth to that group. These once supportive enviornments have been thrust into a brave new world and are now a detriment of monumental proportion.

    Our industrial infrastructure is also reacting naturally to that enviornment. Paranoid survivalists of that facet of humanity. Right wingers call us sheep and Left wingers seem to think us a soon-to-be extinction event. Honestly, the “savior” believers have that equivalent among it foes, the staunchest atheists. Behold, the blessed birth of a brand new and improved human species.

    I find it astounding. This is what should be filling our front pages, the “mother of all wars”…. a war on stupidity.

    Deranged as I admittedly am. I am drawn into the occult of the indo-iranian Magi and that whole “illuminati” bit of historical thumb sucking delight. Another indulgence like the Coca Cola slurpee. The older I get the less frequently may I stomach the sweetness of self destructive habits. Nature surely does have intelligent attributes.

    I see the word, “draconian” being increasingly used by one side describing the other. For any who may not know, Draco was a Greek Senator for whom the word “draconian” is derived. In a time of great national stress he pushed legislation through that made almost anything a citizen might do illegal. A modern equivalent of Homeland Security was tasked with enforcement causing a great reduction in population.

    Are humanities most brilliant the least stupid of its species?

    Maybe in the ouroboros whose origins trace back to the ancient digs of Iran do its circular mysteries contain a ring of long forgotten truths? Hey, I bet those dastardly Iranians are sitting on top of all that power and keeping it away from the rest of us. Draco was stabbed to death on the Senate floor by all his good buddies. I guess the means of his brilliant resolutions did justify in the minds of benefactors. Were I to visit as a time traveler, I’d take a round of Surpees to ease those fevered brows.

    If the Jews got Isreal, it seems only fair the worlds conspiracy theorists get Iran. Their holy words are nearly identical.

    I also like dragons. Ouroboros is often recast as one. Or the mythical serpent of Adam and Eve fame. A source of truth who really pissed off the main god in that story. Mucking up all his perfectily created designs. In these respects I guess I fit the draconian hat also. Or it fits me. Or gives me fits of both psychological and physiological indigestion. But how can one word be its own defined oxymoron? Such mental masterbations seem to have the same awful effects as those we were warned of in our youth. Cleanliness and godliness.

    • These rants made me laugh my ass off.
      I’m curious. Are you:
      a) stoned off your ass
      b) going through a manic episode
      c) a very thoughtful and artistic person who has trouble focusing
      d) a mastermind wringing your hands and delighting at your clever sarcasm?
      I have been in, shall we say, poetic states of consciousness enough to follow your various trains of thought but you do little more than spew metaphor after metaphor with little to string them together. You have a very vivid and active mind, that much is clear, but you are distracted by notions you find strewn along the path like diamonds in the rough, forgetting what you originally came for. If you are in fact sober and intelligent I congratulate you on writing such a convincing stream of rubbish without the aid of certain substances. I would be genuinely impressed. If I ever meet you, I will seriously do my best to get you a Coca-Cola Slurpee, since you seem to like those very much.
      But seriously, this is not discourse, this is conceited rambling which ultimately states the obvious in a way which might have seemed clever and striking to the author but comes off as incoherent and nonsensical to an audience. You are not contributing anything besides comedy to these forums. Your habit of expressing yourself in cryptic parables and delighting in your own cleverness is very shallow and vain. Mental masturbation indeed.

  8. To be honest, I hadn’t read all the way through these before until you brought my attention back to them just now, I have to admit the idea of time travelling with slurpees is pretty compelling.

    I could visualize it almost like a commercial:

    Opens with Draco running from the camera, Senators in pursuit wth daggers. They catch him and stab him into a bloody mess of a carcass. Now they’re all tired and panting.

    Then announcer’s voice comes in and says: “Assassination getting you thirsty? Never fear, the Coca-Cola Slurpee is here.”

    Smiling time traveler arrives out of thin air with a tray full of slurpees and starts handing them out. Blood soaked assassins regard him grimly at first and then respond numbly with bloodied hands reaching out for the slurpees.

    Transition to picture of slurpee.

    “The coca-cola slurpee. Easing fevered brows…any time.”

    Final note here: He seems to imply the coca-cola slurpee is a metaphor for pleasurable bad habits or self delusion that makes our lives seem superficially sweeter?(i.e. ‘drinking the kool-aid.’)
    This guy is something else.

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