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.

§ 3 September 2021: The Lexicon from metahistory.org contains a considerable amount of text and illustration. The remaining letters will be added in forthcoming Blocks, 104, 105 etc. Some entries have not been written, indicated by XXXXXX. Others may need some revision which I will manage as the occasion arises. JLL

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 afterdeath 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 afterdeath 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. Refer: Christianity Defied.

New introduction added June 1, 2022:

Citing The Great Digest and The Unwobbling Pivot translated by Ezra Pound.

Tablet from The Great Digest of Confucius translated by Ezra Pound with idiosyncratic brilliance. No doubt, conventional scholars reject Pound’s elaboration of this text, but nothing they can produce in translation comes close to the sense he makes of it. Pound’s rendering is transcendent and vividly states the primary standard of Metacritique: to give precise definitions to language based in the intuitions of the heart.

“The men of old wanting to clarify and diffuse throughout the empire that light which comes from looking straight into the heart and then acting, set up government in their own states; wanting good government in their states, they first established order in their own families; wanting order in the home, they first disciplined themselves; desiring self-discipline, they rectified their own hearts; and wanting to rectify their hearts, they sought precise verbal definitions of their inarticulate thoughts [the tones given off from their hearts]; wishing to obtain precise verbal definitions, they set out to extend their knowledge to the utmost. This completion of knowledge is rooted in sorting things into organic categories.”

§§§

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 adding comment 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 so 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 some of 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.

Course Curriculum

§ HIGHLIGHTS AND PREVIEWS
Book Review: A New Science of Heaven? 1012 years, 10 months
6.101 The Crux of Confusion Unlimited
5.100 Defining Metacritique 01:30:00
5.101 A POTPOURRI OF BELIEFS
5.101 Concise Inventory of Beliefs 1012 years, 10 months
5.101 Phantom Belief 01:30:00
5.101 Modes of Believing 01:30:00
5.101 Spectator Belief 01:30:00
5.101 Reflex Belief 01:30:00
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
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: 13.101 Four Concerns 01:30:00
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
THE LEXICON
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
Private: 5. Lexicon: E 1012 years, 10 months
Private: 5. Lexicon: F 1012 years, 10 months
Private: 5. Lexicon: G 1012 years, 10 months
Private: 5. Lexicon: H 1012 years, 10 months
Private: 5 Lexicon: I 1012 years, 10 months
Private: 5. Lexicon: J 1012 years, 10 months
Private: 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
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