Daemon Māra

“In multitasking computer operating systems, a daemon is a computer program that runs as a background process, rather than being under the direct control of an interactive user.” — Wikipedia

“A demon had invaded me, had taken possession of my body, mind, and soul. I jumped up and screamed, trying to free myself.” — Albert Hofmann

“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” — Charles Baudelaire

Occasionally some people have lucid dreams (subjective phenomenal constructs that are as perceptually/qualitatively real as the intersubjective “real world”) in which they encounter “other people” who look and act like sentient beings but, in fact, are nothing but phenomenal representations of otherwise hidden daemons — autonomous processes of transcendental subjectivity (“unconscious” of naive psychology) that concentrate certain volitional tendencies of the host and mimic intelligence.

Can we experience the daemonic manifestations only in dreams or we can experience them also in our waking consciousness?

“The patient does not know why he had this thought, it was not his intention to think about that at all. Not only does he not feel that he is the master of his own thoughts, but he feels that he is under the power of some incomprehensible external force. “There is an artificial influence on me; a feeling tells me that someone has attached himself to my spirit and to my soul — just as in a game of cards someone peeping over the shoulder of a player can interfere with the course of the game.”…

This sense of ‘insertion’ can encompass any form of human activity — not only thinking but also motor activity, speech, and behavior. In all these phenomena, the moment of influence on the will plays the fundamental role. It is about something radically different from the complaints of people suffering from psychopathy and depression, who claim that they have lost the ability to act and have become mere machines; in this case, we are referring to the experience of the real external impact.

Psychotics feel that something is slowing them down and holding them back. They cannot do what they want to do: if a person wants to lift a thing, his hand is held down by something; he is in the power of some mental force. Psychotics feel that they are pulled back, deprived of the ability to move, turned into stones. Suddenly they feel as if they can’t walk anymore — as if they are paralyzed — and then they just as suddenly continue to move on. Their speech suddenly stops. They perform movements beyond their desire and are surprised that their hand is headed towards their forehead, that they have to attack another person, etc. It was not their intention at all. All this is felt as an act of some mysterious, incomprehensible force.

Feelings, sensations, arbitrary actions, moods, etc. — all this can be ‘inserted’. As a result, the patients feel that they are not free, victims of some external force, who have no power over themselves or over their own movements, thoughts, affects. When such an impact is too strong, they feel like puppets, driven or left at rest by some mysterious and alien arbitrariness.”

— Karl Jaspers, “General Psychopathology” (Translated from Russian)

Can we be absolutely sure that the daemonic manifestations are limited to dreams and psychotic states?

“We can have thoughts, feelings, wishes, and even sensual sensations which we subjectively feel to be ours, and yet that, although we experience these thoughts and feelings, they have been put into us from the outside, are basically alien, and are not what we think, feel, and so on. … Although one may be convinced of the spontaneity of one’s mental acts, they actually result from the influence of a person other than oneself under the conditions of a particular situation. The phenomenon, however, is by no means to be found only in the hypnotic situation. The fact that the contents of our thinking, feeling, willing, are induced from the outside and are not genuine, exists to an extent that gives the impression that these pseudo acts are the rule, while the genuine or indigenous mental acts are the exceptions.” — Erich Fromm, “Escape from Freedom

Can a particular daemon-concentrate of a strong common volitional tendency become an intersubjective egregor and affect all hosts (subjects) in our nexus of transcendental intersubjectivity? Is there an intersubjective egregor that affects all of us?

Although we cannot find any direct evidence of the existence of such an egregor, we have to remember the Buddha who was attacked by the “demon Māra” on the night of his enlightenment, and Christ who was attacked by “Satan” when he fasted in the desert, as well as countless other men and women of various epochs — mystics, yogins, psychonauts, ascetics, monks, laymen, psychotics, etc. — who reported similar experiences that substantiated the myths about “Satan”, “Devil”, “Lucifer”, “demon Māra”, etc., — we have to remember their experiences and understand that there is plenty of indirect evidence that in our nexus of transcendental intersubjectivity there is an egregor-concentrate of our egoistic self-will’s demonic arbitrariness.

“Since nobody could affect me … I have to ask myself: who could it be? The ways in which I am inflicted with all these torments … indicate that some evil supernatural being is acting here. It constantly affects me, it causes me suffering in the hope of destroying me completely. Do my experiences belong to the same category as those of the mentally ill or are they unique in their own way? I feel that in the interests of mankind I am obliged to declare my conviction that if they are really the same category as in other mentally ill people, it means that doctors are wrong to think that the voices that hear the mentally ill are hallucinations.” — a patient cited by Karl Jaspers in “General Psychopathology” (Translated from Russian)

Our ancestors believed that Māra is an “evil spirit”, i.e., an otherworldly subject with bad intentions; however, there is no acceptable way of explaining how a subject can affect countless other subjects simultaneously, such phenomena can be explained only in terms of an autonomous process of transcendental intersubjectivity, an intersubjective transcendental “algorithm”. It is a bad joke that we argue about the dangers of a strong AI while being the captives of a transcendental “strong AI” that is gradually leading humanity towards closing the loop of its transcendental dictatorship in a global AI-dictatorship.

Almost every social hierarchy of our civilization is a process of negative social selection that favors psychopaths who enjoy the fruits of their demonic arbitrariness — power, wealth, etc., — but it is not just as simple as that: those who get to the top share something else in common — the hidden part that none of the “suckers” should see: daemonic agenthood. The only real “conspiracy” behind all seemed conspiracies is the one by Māra and its agents at various levels of our social structures; its ultimate goal is the end of liberty and history in a global AI-panopticon. One must be blind not to see where the “invisible hand of history” is leading us.

“In the hands of a benign government, powerful surveillance algorithms could be the best thing that ever happened to humankind. Yet the same Big Data algorithms might also empower a future Big Brother, so we might end up with an Orwellian surveillance regime in which all individuals are monitored all the time. In fact, we might end up with something that even Orwell could barely imagine: a total surveillance regime that follows not just all our external activities and utterances but can even go under our skin to observe our inner experiences. … As algorithms come to know us so well, authoritarian governments could gain absolute control over their citizens, even more so than in Nazi Germany, and resistance to such regimes might be utterly impossible. … At the highest levels of authority, we will probably retain human figureheads, who will give us the illusion that the algorithms are only advisers and that ultimate authority is still in human hands.” — Yuval Harari

One of the most powerful images of the ingenious movie “Cube” is an image of a society in which each individual blindly performs his work, the cumulative result of which is an algorithmic inferno.

I am not sure whether Māra is a spontaneous egregor-byproduct of our transcendental intersubjectivity or the result of a deliberate act of creation (posthypnotic phenomena demonstrate that transcendental subjectivity can be programmed, see the Appendix) in our forgotten past, but I am sure that it is real, for I trust the experiences of others and I experienced Māra myself in my altered states of consciousness, including my near-death experience when I encountered Māra as an ‘intelligent’ but heartless, as it was felt, golden sun (hence “Lucifer”?) that pushed me back into the corporeal captivity in this world.

The truthseeker, who did not meet Māra on his path, did not even come close to truth.

Some, like the Buddha and Christ, encounter Māra while being alive. Others encounter it only when they die. Each of us will die and encounter Māra that will try to push us back into this world for another incarnation-cycle in a potentially endless infernal captivity. Only a few of us will manage to break free — those who dedicated their lives to liberation.

Memento Māra.

In conclusion, it must be said that daemons — subjective and intersubjective (egregors) — are most likely a natural aspect of transcendental (inter)subjectivity, they merely concentrate certain volitional tendencies of their hosts — transcendental subjects. However, our particular nexus of transcendental intersubjectivity, with its dominant tendency of egoistic self-will, produced a monster daemon that turned us into its puppets — the puppets of our own Shadow, in Jungian terms. Unless we see this truth and strive to change and liberate ourselves, the Monster in us will lead us further down the spiral into the abyss of unfreedom.

Appendix. Posthypnotic phenomena

“Special attention should be paid to posthypnotic suggestion. The hypnotized individual executes the hypnotist’s orders (for example, goes to a particular place) a few days or even weeks after the hypnotic session: at a certain moment after the session of hypnosis, in a way that is completely incomprehensible to himself, the individual suddenly feels the need to perform a certain action, and he performs it unless the counter-stimuli rooted in his personality outweighs the hypnotically suggested need. Some apparently suitable reason for the action is often invented by the individual.” — Karl Jaspers, “General Psychopathology” (Translated from Russian)

“Let us attend an hypnotic experiment. Here is the subject A whom the hypnotist B puts into hypnotic sleep and suggests to him that after awaking from the hypnotic sleep he will want to read a manuscript which he will believe he has brought with him, that he will seek it and not find it, that he will then believe that another person, C, has stolen it, that he will get very angry at C. He is also told that he will forget that all this was a suggestion given him during the hypnotic sleep. It must be added that C is a person toward whom the subject has never felt any anger and according to the circumstances has no reason to feel angry; furthermore, that he actually has not brought any manuscript with him. What happens? A awakes and, after a short conversation about some topic, says, “Incidentally, this reminds me of something I have written in my manuscript. I shall read it to you.” He looks around, does not find it, and then turns to C, suggesting that he may have taken it; getting more and more excited when C repudiates the suggestion, he eventually bursts into open anger and directly accuses C of having stolen the manuscript. He goes even further. He puts forward reasons which should make it plausible that C is the thief. He has heard from others, he says, that C needs the manuscript very badly, that he had a good opportunity to take it, and so on. We hear him not only accusing C, but making up numerous “rationalizations” which should make his accusation appear plausible. (None of these, of course, are true and A would never have thought of them before.) Let us assume that another person enters the room at this point. He would not have any doubt that A says what he thinks and feels; the only question in his mind would be whether or not his accusation is right, that is, whether or not the contents of A’s thoughts conform to the real facts. We, however, who have witnessed the whole procedure from the start, do not care to ask whether the accusation is true. We know that this is not the problem, since we are certain that what A feels and thinks now are not his thoughts and feelings but are alien elements put into his head by another person. The conclusion to which the person entering in the middle of the experiment comes might be something like this. “Here is A, who clearly indicates that he has all these thoughts. He is the one to know best what he thinks and there is no better proof than his own statement about what he feels. There are those other persons who say that his thoughts are superimposed upon him and are alien elements which come from without. In all fairness, I cannot decide who is right; any one of them may be mistaken. Perhaps, since there are two against one, the greater chance is that the majority is right.” We, however, who have witnessed the whole experiment would not be doubtful, nor would the newcomer be if he attended other hypnotic experiments. He would then see that this type of experiment can be repeated innumerable times with different persons and different contents. The hypnotist can suggest that a raw potato is a delicious pineapple, and the subject will eat the potato with all the gusto associated with eating a pineapple. Or that the subject cannot see anything, and the subject will be blind. Or again, that he thinks that the world is flat and not round, and the subject will argue heatedly that the world is flat.” — Erich Fromm

A number of radical questions are posed by posthypnotic suggestion in the context of our knowledge about Māra:

Considering that hypnotic sleep and normal sleep are almost identical states of consciousness, is it possible that normal sleep is of hypnotic nature, and, consequently, each time we sleep, our transcendental subjectivity is programmed by Māra?

If this is so, how many of our subjective and intersubjective phenomena and meanings are constituted by our genuine transcendental processes, and how many of them are posthypnotic phenomena constituted by hypnotically inserted transcendental processes?

Also, is it possible that Māra is not a spontaneous egregor-byproduct of our transcendental intersubjectivity, but the result of a deliberate act of creation that went out of our control and turned us into its puppets?

And, finally, how long we are in this puppet state?

One of the greatest mysteries of our existence is what sleep is and what happens when we sleep. This mystery should concern us no less than the mystery of death.

Good night.

“Pure immanence without Transcendence remains nothing but deaf existence.” — Karl Jaspers

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Misha Rogov

Misha Rogov

“Pure immanence without Transcendence remains nothing but deaf existence.” — Karl Jaspers

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