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Old 04-18-2010, 02:45 PM   #43
thisisnotreal's Avatar
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 694
Re: Transmission, Inheritance, Emulation 15

Hello Dr. Goldsbury,
I wanted to submit the name of a book to you: Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson.
Some of the ideas, I thought, were interesting, maybe even relevant or related to Kotodama. I don't know a whole lot about this area, but the ideas struck me as related. Frankly, I don't mean for this post to be taken all that seriously, but rather in the hopes that it is interesting..just for the ideas, and to be taken only for what they're worth. A kind of comparison of what I took from both the book, and from this installment of TIE.
Maybe I should say again, all of this, is only my humble opinion and thoughts, of course.
Here's the gist of the backdrop:
It is a not-too-distant futuristic dystopian society, somewhat like in the Matrix....and there is a new plague.
Directly snipped from the Wikipedia page for Snow Crash
The protagonist is the aptly-named Hiro Protagonist, whose business card reads "Last of the freelance hackers and Greatest swordfighter in the world." When Hiro loses his job as a pizza delivery driver for the Mafia, he meets a streetwise young girl nicknamed Y.T. (short for Yours Truly), who works as a skateboard "Kourier," and they decide to become partners in the intelligence business (selling data to the CIC, the for-profit organization that evolved from the CIA after the U.S. government's loss of power).

The pair soon learn of a dangerous new drug called "Snow Crash" that is both a computer virus capable of infecting the brains of unwary hackers in the Metaverse and a mind-altering virus in Reality.
Ok so here is the key: this virus: it takes over both the person, while 'in the matrix' (cyberspace/mind) and also messes them up, when in reality (/meat-space/body). This is unique, and heretofore unknown. Apparently, the actual expression of the virus itself has some strange and unique properties. It is unlike any other 'code' seen. 'Disassembly' of the code and the subsequent investigation of this further leads to the study of ancient languages.

The pair soon learn of a dangerous new drug called "Snow Crash" that is both a computer virus capable of infecting the brains of unwary hackers in the Metaverse and a mind-altering virus in Reality.
ok; so this next part, I feel, is a directly similar idea to part of the kotodama things.
Hiro, with the prompting of his Catholic and linguist ex-girlfriend Juanita, begins to unravel the nature of this crisis. It relates back to the mythology of ancient Sumer, which Stephenson describes as speaking a very powerful ur-language. Sumerian is to modern "acquired languages" as binary is to programming languages: it affects the entity (be it human or computer) at a far lower and more basic level than does acquired/programming language.
and then it launches into this bit
Sumerian is rooted in the brain stem and related to glossolalia, or "speaking in tongues"a trait displayed by most of L. Bob Rife's convertees. Furthermore, Sumerian culture was ruled and controlled via "me," the human-readable equivalent of software which contains the rules and procedures for various activity (harvests, the baking of bread, etc). The keepers of these important documents were priests referred to as en; some of them, like the god/semi-historical-figure Enki, could write new me, making them the equivalent of programmers or hackers.
And this is his 'source mythology'
As Stephenson describes it, one goddess/semi-historical figure, Asherah, took it upon herself to create a dangerous biolinguistic virus and infect all peoples with it; this virus was stopped by Enki, who used his skills as a "neurolinguistic hacker" to create an inoculating "nam-shub" that would protect humanity by destroying its ability to use and respond to the Sumerian tongue. This forced the creation of "acquired languages" and gave rise to the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. Unfortunately, Asherah's meta-virus did not disappear entirely
and from what I see... the remainder of the novel is the playing out of a specific tale of the players in this world/environ.
A couple of thoughts:
I thought it was very interesting about the 'lower level' nature of the code. Like language for us; is a 'mode' to communicate information. Pictures, and video certainly, as we have seen and heard...each more efficient than the next. But carrying information in 'more parallel' kind of way. A different 'mode' but still building in that way. The book's idea that there was a different 'way' to communicate.
Directly to the hardware. It is 'firmware' language that is directly appreciated by another 'interpreter' (meant in a computer-science, kind of way). In some way, I think 'touch-experience', can be a completely different 'way' to communicate information. It accesses a different level of awareness, perhaps. Some thoughts of Finnegan's Wake keeps popping up here, with the thunderwords, and the induced imagery/emotion, but it is too vague for me to name or describe cogently.

Also: here again, with the kotodama. Eliciting 'hardware'(/meatware) responses in the body and 'software' (/wetware) responses in the mind/spirit of the opponent/other. This reminds me, for example; of some of the examples of the kiai of the seasons I had read about, or of Mr. Amdur's example of the kiai that froze the (his?) child as they were about to run out into traffic. I'm sorry but I forgot which book that was in.

Also: about the part of the shaman, being able to create new programs? Well; that kind of blows me away... I couldn't say, for sure. But it makes me wonder all the things O Sensei did with, and saw in, the Kotodama. Frankly, my intuition tells me here that the truth of these things is even stranger than the book's fictional account. For instance, the trance aspects, relations with occult practices, and things mentioned above. Enough on that.

Anyway, sir, all/most of this was over my head and definitely above my 'pay grade', but thought it was an interesting book, with a few potential parallels to this installment. I wanted to mention it. And, well... frankly, I wrote the letter just for the fun of it, too.

Thank you very much for the series. Your scholarship is truly impressive.

Oh yes, Last thing.
And, FWIW, I thought DH's post above was spot on. I would very much find any attempt to address the concerns/topics fascinating.
Dan Harden wrote: View Post
Why leave it at pretence? There is just as much legitimacy to call it misguided. There are certain practices known to screw with the energy in the body and mess with your mind / body relationship -seen as general health, mental health and so on.
The mere mention of these things leaves one open to panoply of issues: belief in the supernatural, belief in God, a God, a host of gods. And that leaves the discussion open to the idea of evil-spirits, good-spirits, angels and demons and so on.

1. There are any number of self-induced or chemically induced trances in many cultural practices which are all associated with a particular belief of one kind or another. As such where do they- as a group-offer valid evidence of their associated practices and individual beliefs?
2. Where are others associated with the Kotodama that have produced a physical power that they were known for it in any significant manner?

On a practical level with our feet on the ground
Although it is only a limited part of Peters overal study I would guess there are those -like me- spending time reading these columns and associated recent books on the topic of Ueshiba's power and potential origins: "Transparent power" and "Hidden in Plain Site" (examining the source of Ueshiba's power), for sources of his power. We have seen stark proof of those who used the DR methods and produced real power, but not much else.

I have been fascinated to read those attempting to make the case for other sources for power building. With these columns I was intrigued and hoping to see an examination of the kotodama and Omoto believers demonstrating other supposed power building methods of Ueshiba- as they deserve equal examination. Evidence for questionable spiritual effects notwithstanding- It would very interesting to see evidence for the practices as a means for power building affecting Ueshiba's peers in those same practices.
It appears-as yet-there is still no smoking gun. It has been an interesting walk though
Thank you, and with much respect,
Josh P.
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