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It’s like grinding a mirror if you’re going to make an astronomical telescope.

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John Dee’s primary work, what he was proudest of in his life, was a 400 page volume of angelic magic called the Enochian Magical System.

So you look at this and you’re like, the guy’s smoking crack. Newton’s laws of motion, colours, he named the colours of the rainbow.

Except that realistically if you see a rhinoceros the sense-data will be in your brain and go through the normal perceptual process, but that doesn’t mean a rhinoceros is just brain activity. So John Dee for those who are not overly read, was Queen Elizabeth the First’s court magician.

Except that nobody was claiming that your perception of a rhinoceros is actually more fundamental than ordinary brain activity, and some people do claim that about enlightenment, so maybe this is telling us it isn’t? Other interesting excerpts from Gupta: Every tradition that has enlightened people has stories of wizards. John Dee has one essential claim to fame, which is that he invented the concept of the British Empire.

…actually, wait, that one doesn’t sound very scientific at all.

Maybe we should reframe it as talking about two different parts of the brain? I’ve been focusing a lot lately on the idea of the Bayesian brain and its input channels.

This would never happen with vision – I can’t use the placebo effect to make you think an orange crayon is blue – but pain is low-bandwidth enough that it works.

Reason is one of the lowest-bandwidth channels of all, which is why biases are so omnipresent and rational debate so rarely changes anyone’s mind.

I say “effectively” because the bandwidth concept doesn’t really make sense here, maybe it has more to do with the alienness or uncompressability of the information.

But Gupta seems to be saying that you will see it exactly as you have been conditioned to see it. But it sure does suck if you’re trying to figure out which religion is true, or prevent people from becoming religious fanatics, or anything like that.

Once you are aware that you are not your mind and your mind is basically a sense organ, it’s a thing that brings information to you, you enter the real work of enlightenment, which is: what is this me that the mind is bringing information to? That question is at the heart of everybody’s enlightenment process.

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