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The Latin word that means ‘Emperor’ is imperator. A better English translation of this word is ‘Commander,’ not ‘Emperor’. The word ‘Emperor’ is the Old French equivalent of the Latin imperator. It’s not really an English translation of the Latin.

The translation ‘Commander’ for imperator brings cybernetics to the forefront.

‘Commander’ also highlights the connection with the military. In the Roman Republic, imperator was the title given to a general in command of troops. With Augustus, it became a title.

We might use ‘Emperor’ for convenience, but this translation obscures key cybernetic ideas and is not true to the Latin anyway.


The Greeks called the Roman Commander autokrator. This word means ‘self-ruler’ or ‘one who rules by himself’.

Snakes appear constantly in Greco-Roman decoration. The snake is the fixed worldline, the fixed path of our thoughts and actions. It wavers and undulates as our perceptions do in the loose cognition state. Secondarily, it signifies visionary plants. However, none of the many snakes I’ve seen are biting someone. Some reach toward a cup of entheogenic wine or the libation bowl full of mixed wine. No images I’ve seen show the snake shedding its skin.

Snakes are especially common on funerary markers. Bodily death was intentionally seen in light of mystic state egodeath. Egodeath occurs when we see the snake, i.e. when we perceive the fixedness of our future thoughts and actions.

Click on an image to see some commentary:

Seneca, Epistle 71.27:

Non educo sapientem ex hominum numero nec dolores ab illo sicut ab aliqua rupe nullum sensum admittente summoveo. Memini ex duabus illum partibus esse compositum: altera est inrationalis, haec mordetur, uritur, dolet; altera rationalis, haec inconcussas opiniones habet, intrepida est et indomita. In hac positum est summum illud hominis bonum. Antequam impleatur, incerta mentis volutatio est; cum vero perfectum est, inmota illi stabilitas est.

My translation:

I don’t remove the wiseman from the number of men nor do I take away pains from him as if from some rock that lets in no sensation. I keep in mind that he is composed of two parts: the one is irrational – this is bitten, burned, feels pain; the other is rational – this possesses opinions unshaken, it is unafraid and unconquered. In this is placed that highest good of humans. Before it is filled, the mind has an unfixed rolling about; but when it is complete, it has an unmoved stability.


The mind that exclusively uses the irrational unstable egoic control system suffers pain in the altered state, it is shaken, it is afraid, it is conquered. The mind that uses the deterministic control system, the perfected, filled mind, is unshaken, unafraid, unconquered, it possesses an unmoved stability.

This passage is part of a larger argument that while the wiseman suffers harm, he is not disturbed.

The irrational part is the egoic system of control. The rational part is the deterministic/transcendent system of control. The mind first uses the egoic system of control exclusively. This is characterized by irrationality and instability, the unfixed rolling about of my translation (Seneca’s incerta … volutatio). Seneca describes the egoic system of control as if it were the body – the body feels pain. Seneca allows the wiseman to feel pain in the body, i.e. the egoic control system understood. He denies that the wiseman is disturbed by that pain in the mind, i.e. the deterministic control system.

When reading ancient philosophy, understand [body = egoic control system] and [mind = deterministic/transcendent control system].


Metaphorical Psychedelic Eternalism
November 2011


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