Course 5 Metacritique
Theme Song: Positively Fourth Street by Bob Dylan (1965)
Over the years I’ve had increasing reservations about my initial enthusiasm for Dylan. I make an exception for this song, however. It struck a chord for my generation, the prodigal rebels of the 1960s, and to this day it plays as a vivid arrogation against hypocrisy and pretending.
“Do you take me for such a fool to think I’d make contact with the the one who tries to hide what he don’t know to begin with?”
Metacritique is not merely an exotic technique of interrogation and deconstruction to be applied to abstract and metaphysical propositions. It is also the basis for a snarky attitude that questions what people say about themselves and how they explain what they do and why.
Most of the material in this course comes over from metahistory.org, but there are some new units here and there. All in all, it is a spicy, super-sized enchilada. Although I have long ago forgotten the entries I wrote for the Lexicon, I am amazed at how many there are. XXXXX indicates yet undefined terms and don’t hold your breath on those. There is one unit for each of the letters of the alphabet even when the entries are sparse. Some letters run into many pages. Ceridwen herself compiled and formatted all these letters.
A little anecdote you may find amusing: When I undertook to create metahistory.org for the Marion Institute in 2002, I felt I had to play my hand carefully so that I did not appear too grandiose to those few who supported me in that venture. Truth is, I was making it all up “out of whole cloth,” and doing so, I delivered a vast array of original paradigms and foundation concepts in a novel syntax of my own invention. I wondered if it might be too much to accept if all that were known to be coming from me. In 5.101 The Concise Inventory or Beliefs, I attributed the grand scheme of the “structural analysis of myths” to the author Pierre Maranda, citing his book Mythology: Selected Writings, published by Penguin in 1972. That was a Borgesian sleight of hand on my part. There is no such author or book. I used the ploy to conceal the fact that everything was coming from me. I was tempted to do the same with the Arch of Metahistory, but I let it pass.
Writing metacritically is exceptionally demanding and time-intensive. There are many issues and topics I could put under the Heruka blade of deconstruction. One topic I could not avoid was Fomenko. Another is Flat Earth which I have treated somewhere, although I don’t find the talk and text here – maybe it will be added. Other content is filler, reference material such as the bibliography and book list in 5.104. I place the Glossary from Not in His Image in this course.
In these gold cards I like to state, when I can, the essential premise or informing concept for the course – the sum and distillation of what it offers. That’s hard to do for Metacritique, but to give it my best shot I would say that it offers the equivalent to basic training in crime scene investigation. Criminal forensics is a current and developing trope for Gnostic education. The social order is a crime scene. The hard evidence for the case resides in the specific language in use, and how it is used, how it is framed. The users of the language are witnesses to the crime, CIs (confidential informants), POIs (persons of interest), suspects, and finally, convicted perpetrators. (Fomenko, for instance: proven guilty of propagating Marxist historical revision.) Ultimately, everyone is suspicious. There are no innocent bystanders.
Consistent with that analogy, Metacritique involves a broadly-reaching interrogation technique: you look at specific terms, narrative frames, and attributions as if you were questioning a suspect in the Miranda Room. But, need I remind you? “All the clues in the world don’t count if you don’t know what crime has been committed.” The crime under investigation here is gross misrepresentation that obscures and erodes the truth, and even impedes the way to find out what the truth is. It is the crime against Socratic dialectic, against the sane and sober use of language. It is a rampage of intellectual fraud.
Metacritique presents a mulligan stew of themes and topics – but hold on, there is method in the mulligan. The content of this Course falls roughly into two categories: exposition of method, setting out a full tool kit for the practice, and demonstration of method, showing how to apply metacritique to a range of diverse topics.
Introductory Talk: Metahistory and Metacritique:
Here you see the image of a wrathful deity or dangerous guardian drawn from the genre of Tibetan Buddhism. I used it to introduce Metacritique in the site guide for metahistory.org. As I wrote then, way back in 2002:
The Heruka is a form of the Wrathful Deities who appear in the after-death experience, according to the Tibetan Books of the Dead. This charming monster is equipped with razor-sharp steel claws like those of the demon Freddy in the popular horror film, Friday the 13th. With these spectacular nine-inch nails, the Heruka strips away beliefs and false notions of self so that the deceased is liberated into the ecstatic non-self beholding of the Bardos.
The sensation of yielding to Heruka’s claws is as exquisite as being flayed alive, I suspect, but that’s what you get for identification with beliefs. The effort of metacritique can be painfully arduous at moments, but it’s nothing compared to the after-death stripdown. In these essays I attempt to lay out the methodology for a clear and consistent critique of belief and belief-systems. Nasty work, but someone’s gotta do it…. I convey my immense gratitude in advance to any and all readers who dare to take this challenge. However you cut the deck, metacritique of beliefs may be essential to human sanity, individually and collectively.
Scary stuff, this. The simple truth is, perhaps nothing scares many people more than a clear and rational challenge to what they believe. This being so, the moment when values part from faith has to be an event of immense and decisive importance in the life of anyone who dares to undertake that shift.
Migration from metahistory.org
As explained in the introductory talk, I open Metacritique with the foundation material originally posted more than 16 years ago, but in some instances adding commentary that is current with themes and questions I am developing on Nemeta – specifically, the discussion of “the moral sense” (in 18 Breaking Nous DWW 6: Azazel and Ahriman). The general organization of former and current content goes like this:
- Types of belief inventories
- Problems of belief, deconstruction, belief-change
- Specific topics under critique: e.g. Fomenko new chronology
- The Arch of Metahistory: foundation writings from the website established in July 2002
- Background studies, reading
- Various material in development
As I sometimes do, I am posting the introductory talk for this Course on the course landing page which is available to guests and visitors at Nemeta, not exclusively to members. Be advised that to some extent this talk follows the text of 5.100 Defining Metacritique posted in Highlights and Previews.
As per the usual procedure, the symbol § marking Highlights and Previews and Block 101 A Potpourri of Beliefs indicates that the units presented in those Blocks are finished, edited, and revised. Any units without that mark are still in development or at some other stage of updating and editing.
With the release of 5.101 on March 19 , we observe the six-month anniversary of the beta launch of nemeta.org. At this point EIGHT out of the TWELVE Courses have Block 101 in completion, and work continues apace on the remaining Courses as well as on the three Vocations, not to mention continuing development of 17 The Terma and the Terton and 18 Breaking Nous, not to mention 16 Planetary Tantra which is alive and kicking with an active guest forum and a lot of organization still to be done.
See concluding remarks in the introductory talk.
|§ HIGHLIGHTS AND PREVIEWS|
|5 McLuhan : Prophet of ID Technology||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.100 Defining Metacritique||01:30:00|
|Book Review: A New Science of Heaven?||1012 years, 10 months|
|6.101 The Crux of Confusion||Unlimited|
|GUEST AUTHOR'S METACRITIQUE OF ANASTASIA'S RINGING CEDARS|
|5 Shaking Anastasia’s Ringing Cedars: Part One||1012 years, 10 months|
|5 Shaking Anastasia’s Ringing Cedars: Part Two||1012 years, 10 months|
|Shaking Anastasia’s Ringing Cedars Part Three||1012 years, 10 months|
|Shaking Anastasia’s Ringing Cedars Part Four||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.101 A POTPOURRI OF BELIEFS|
|5.101 Concise Inventory of Beliefs||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.101 Phantom Belief||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.101 Modes of Believing||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.101 Spectator Belief||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.101 Reflex Belief||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.101 Right To Believe||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.101 Defusing Belief||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.102 FOMENKO FOLLIES|
|5 Fomenko Follies Part I: Judging A Book By Its Cover||1012 years, 10 months|
|5 Fomenko Follies II: The Soviet Background to Fomenko||1012 years, 10 months|
|5 Fomenko Follies III: Soviet Bulldozer in High Gear||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. What’s Wrong With Fomenko||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.103 THE ARCH OF METAHISTORY|
|5.100 Themes: Arch||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.100 Themes: Eternal Conflict||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.100 Themes: Origins||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.100 Themes: Moral Design||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.100 Themes: Sacred Nature||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.100 Themes: Technology||1012 years, 10 months|
|5.104 JUNGIAN RELIGION|
|Private: 5.104 The Swiss Psychopomp||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5.104 Decoding Jung’s Metaphysics||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5.104 Sabina, Original Screenplay||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5.104 The Scapegoat Shadow Switch||00:00:00|
|5.105 The Black Box Maze||1012 years, 10 months|
|Developing 5 Metacritique|
|Private: 5.100 Guidelines||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5.100 Bibliography: A – G||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5.100 Bibliography: H – O||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5.100 Bibliography: P – Z||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5.100 Selective Book List||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5.100 Four Concerns||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5.100 Role of Syntax||01:30:00|
|Private: 5.100 In the Knowledge That Frees||01:30:00|
|Private: 5.100 Faith Betrays||01:30:00|
|Private: 5.100 Faithless And Free||01:30:00|
|Private: 5.100 Placebo Effect||01:30:00|
|Private: 2.100 Imagined God||01:30:00|
|Private: 5 Jesus, Not So Mysterious||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: Index||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: Home||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: A||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: B||100 years, 4 months|
|5. Lexicon: C||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: D||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: E||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: F||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: G||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: H||1012 years, 10 months|
|5 Lexicon: I||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: J||1012 years, 10 months|
|5. Lexicon: K||01:30:00|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: L||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: M||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: N||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: O||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: P||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: Q||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: R||01:30:00|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: S||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: T||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: U||100 years, 4 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: V||100 years, 4 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: W||1012 years, 10 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: X & Y||100 years, 4 months|
|Private: 5. Lexicon: Z||100 years, 4 months|
|5.100 GNOSTIC SALLIES|