Truth, Listening and Suspension of disbelief

Before you can tell if something is true or not there are a few basic things you have to do. The ability to discern the truth of a thing comes at the end of a process not at the beginning.

Imagine you are in a library. Now in this library you are told that some of the books contain the truth but others do not contain the truth.

There are two basic ways people have gone about deciding which books are true and which aren’t through-out history.

One is to just go on the say so of someone else. That is someone tells you which are true and which are not thus relieving you of the burden of reading them yourself.

This doesn’t include someone telling you about what is in the books. That is relaying to you the contents of the books. Though in that case – if the only access you had to the books was the hearsay of others – it would be wise to hear from many people.

Here someone merely points to a book and says “true”. You go on and tell other people that so and so book is true because so and so said it was.

The other way is to read the books yourself. To take in the information in the books themselves. This seems to me the only way to know whether they are true or not.

Of course you can’t decide whether a book is true or not without contact with what the book is about.

So what you do to discover the truth of something – whether it’s a book or the words someone says – is to first of all forget entirely about truth. Just let the text speak for itself. Actually come to know what it is you are seeking to ascertain the truth value of.

After you have suspended your disbelief, given the same honour you give to Hollywood to the text do you begin to think about truth. Do you look to see if the text corresponds with what it is a text about. First read as fiction and figure out if it is true or not.

This applies to people as well; especially to people. We should give our friends and family the same honour we give to fiction.

I think one of the basic conditionings we are given is to immediately dismiss what people are saying without even hearing it properly. We use the claim that it’s not true or that you can’t be certain.

It shows itself to be stupid because in order to make any of these claims you are using to dismiss or not listen to statements you first have to listen to them!

Break the shell

The path to maturity, enlightenment or whatever you want to call it is one of self-liberation.

I don’t know if this is scientific fact but never-the-less this image serves to illuminate the process I am talking about.

I think that the reason a chick breaks free of its egg is because the environment of the egg becomes intolerable for it.

Think about it. At first the chick is just a blastoma. It is barely visible on the surface of the yolk but it grows and it grows and it grows. Eventually the egg must become incredibly claustrophobic and as the yolk is consumed the chick is deprived of its sustenance.

So it nuts the wall in frustration and lo and behold light breaks through. It does it again and after a while the egg is destroyed and the chick stumbles around in the light of day.

For us in our lives the egg is the social construct we are born into. We suffer frustration largely due to how we think about things. This frustration causes us to seek, to go into fantasy, fiction, science, religion and drugs.

All the so called ills of society are nothing but people trying to break free from the egg in a manner that their society frowns upon.

The shell resists our efforts. It tries to make us insane.

We are born with desires and instincts. These desires and instincts determine how we react and develop in response to societal pressures the first of which would be our parents.

I think largely the effectiveness of the parental influence is in their actions of praise and blame. That is what they do. What determines how we react to that is our genetics.

Eventually though we get so pissed off that we are left with one of two options. Either we can go into a lonely state where we watch ourselves. Not from the good/bad dichotomy we are conditioned into but from a state akin to the scientist examining bacteria.

We can either do this or we go insane. That is we perpetuate our own and others suffering through ignorance. We see on some level that the shell is causing us pain but instead of nutting the shell we self-mutilate or self-lobotamise. Anything for the sake of the shell even if it’s at the expense of ourselves.

You see this in how people constantly complain about their lives and their woes but they never ever get beyond that. Like a child nutting the floor to hurt its parents they continue in cyclical patterns of behaviour and retort “You don’t know me, don’t judge me” when you offer a higher-order way of dealing with and looking at problems. This is insanity.

The verses that finish the christian scriptures

There are 2 verses in the new testament that I believe finish scripture. Beyond the truth contained in these 23 words there isn’t really much more to be said.

“For in him we live and move and have our being” Acts 17:28

“For from him, and through him and to him are all things” Romans 11:36

To understand what it means to have your being in something I believe we can use the analogy of shapes.

Firstly, “being” is a verb that designates existence. That something is. It is in fact the most universal thing that can be said of anything. Every single thing has this quality of existence.

Now the question of existence is a dense and complicated question that has had many many texts dedicated to it. Many of the hardest, most dense and complicated texts have been written on this subject “Being and time”, “Being and nothingness” and pretty much all the existentialist texts deal with this question.

The problem isn’t so much in that we don’t know what it is. It’s like consciousness; we all know what is meant by this term but it’s difficult to pin down. So the difficulty is in how to enunciate or define this quality.

Now I’m not going to tackle that. I’m going to use an analogy inspired by another part of the first quote. Namely “In him we… move”.

So imagine a triangle. What is it within which the triangle moves and has its being? It’s space isn’t it. You could say that space – here 2-dimensional space – is the prerequisite for shapes. Before a shape can move there has to be an area that isn’t the shape for the shape to move into. This is self-evident.

We cannot imagine a shape without an outside. Try it.

A funny thing results from this. What is different about the inside as compared to the outside? Nothing except it’s location in respects to 3 lines. That is to say that the space on the inside of a shape is indistinguishable qualitatively from the space outside of it; the difference lies entirely within the context.

Also what are the lines? We shade them a different colour in our imagination but that’s a highlighting. That is to say that the shape of the shape is entirely arbitrary. That is the lines are merely highlighted space which could be highlighted any other way.

Where am I going with this? I am saying that the ultimate truth that all scripture was leading to and that finished scripture once it was uttered is the truth that all is God and God is all. Once this is known fully then there is no need for knowledge or prophecy. This is also the truth of the vedantic philosophy of Advaita.

Knowing the truth

The problem is that everybody is looking for a crutch. You know something to do the thinking for them.

Even if you say the truth and think the truth but you are saying it or thinking it from the words of someone else and that is your basis for believing it or knowing it you don’t really know it.

I could describe to you a tree that someone else saw and described to me. You could take this description to that tree, actually see the tree and say to me “Yes your description is true” But if I ain’t seen the tree I ain’t seen the tree no matter how true or accurate my description may be.

 

It is because very few people have real knowledge that they are so manipulable. They have no centre, no foundation but are instead tossed around by pretty sounding paragraphs. Tricked into thinking that they believe stuff they become dupes that perpetuate their own suffering.

 

When you really know something you aren’t concerned with whether others know it too. What they think about what you know simply doesn’t matter because you know that the truth is what it is and it doesn’t give a fuck about what you think.

Empirical reality is an ink-blot

I am often shocked by how people use empiricism to back the claim that there is no god.

Now here I am neither arguing for or against “god” whatever that may mean to you. I think it’s an incredibly complex subject not least because that term is used to designate vastly different concepts in different cultures.

For example the monotheistic religions criticize the polytheistic religions by first projecting upon them their own concept of God as being omnipotent.

To sum up my own stance I would use the word shifting. I find that my views on this subject have yet to reach a state of solidness and staidness like my views on free-will have.

Anyway back to the subject.

Empiricism is the belief that all that can be known, that all that is known, is reducible to sensory phenomena.

To bring in an allegory: The Rorschach test.

In this test a subject is presented with an ink-blot on a piece of paper and asked what he sees. Someone may say things like “A couple copulating” or “A parent beating a kid” or even “Just a blob”. Any answer given to the tester is an interpretation. The ink-blot is none of these things no matter how close the semblance may be.

Now reality (and here I mean reality in the empirical sense: that is the contents of sensory experience) is exactly like an ink-blot. There are just colours, sounds, touch-sensations, smells and tastes. Nothing else.

Now take the question: What causes these sensations? The answer will necessarily not be a sensation. That is the answer cannot be empirical.

A similar paradox is shown in the verification principle with the question: can the verification principle (that is the standard we use to verify claims) itself be verified? Obviously not.

The exact same thing is happening when you ask the question what causes empirical reality? That is what produces the contents of experience?

Now atheism is a belief concerning the non-empirical reality. It states that it is a totally natural, non-intelligent thing. This is utterly unverifiable given the contents of experience and nothing but the contents of experience just as the opposite claim that there is a conscious, intelligent producer for empirical reality is equally unverifiable given the same criteria for verification.

That is to say that atheism – though a negative – never-the-less says something with positive content concerning the reality exterior to experience. Which is why I see it as just another religion.

Reality is anarchistic

Reality is anarchistic. This is the bottom line.

You may not like this fact, and I assure you it is a fact, but reality simply doesn’t give a fuck.

Anarchy is no law.

Now there are what we have called laws such as gravity. But really we’re playing a game there. We have constructed morality and a legal system and we see that reality behaves in an ordered fashion; because we find it difficult to understand things in non-human terms and since language arises from human behaviour we have transplanted human terms onto non-human things.

That is why we call physical laws physical laws.

The thing about a law is that it can be disobeyed. There is a law prohibiting murder but it is quite easy for me to pick up a knife and stab you in the face. So whenever I am confronted by an opportunity to break a law there is a decision on my part about whether or not I will break it.

Bodies of mass aren’t out there umming and ahhing over whether or not they are going to behave according to the law of gravity.

All moral or legal order is established upon a basic fact of anarchy: whoever is strongest gets his own way.

You can articulate this as “might is right” but that masks the fact that right only comes about as a behaviour of might. That as long as a certain right is maintained by might it is right but when that might ceases it’s maintaining activity it becomes futile to hold onto that right. Might don’t give a fuck; it will stab you in the face.

Now you can certainly turn around and say “It’s not right” but so what?

Say I say murder is right and you say murder is wrong what evidence are you going to use to back your claim. Maybe you will come up with an analysis of murder and it’s effects upon society. That is you may say that the statement “murder is wrong” rests upon pragmatics or the statement “society cannot exist if everybody murders” well I would agree but then I would say “It is right for society not to exist”

Whatever ground you give for a moral claim will be another moral claim with the same weakness as the claim you are trying to maintain.

Even the Christian argument for morality rests upon this undeniable fact concerning the reality of moral claims; that they are backed ultimately by might. If you do what is wrong the mighty god will put you into eternal prison which is the ultimate expression of might.

The Hero’s journey

The hero’s journey is one in which he either runs away from or is cast out of the social normality.

He is forced to rest upon himself or nothing at all.

Society seeks to keep us in an infantile state through fear. There are woods out there and you best not go in them because there are dangerous monsters there.

Of course the woods are the commons, the place where man can hunt and gather for himself outside of the strictly delineated precincts of urbanity.

There is a commons of the intellect too. Think about it, what stops you from doing what they do in university?

Nothing as far as I can gather and to be honest when you look at most of the training you are given in a university it is training in obedience and academic slavery. That is it is a process whereby an individual’s intellectual activity is violently transformed into a sellable commodity.

The fact is the woods, the dark and dangerous forest is the only place to be. The reason fear is the tool of choice used by society to keep you within its circle of banal urbanity is because its shit and nobody in their right mind wants to be there.

Honey doesn’t need a whip to get you to consume it! Why? Because it’s delicious and nourishing is why.

Urbanity isn’t just urbanity it’s banal urbanity.

See how they have used fear in history to keep you within the stifling straightjacket of conformity. Heresy is always spoken with a tint of dread. When I was a Christian someone warned me about the results of thinking for myself by saying I’ll end up a gnostic! Which is funny because as far as I can tell the only bad thing about being a gnostic was that the roman catholic church fucked you up hard.

Even now it’s no different. What’s the use of that? How will that make you money? That is to say you shouldn’t waste your time on stuff this society doesn’t approve of because of PENURY scary sounds.

Destroy hatred of others through self-knowledge.

If you truly understand people you will find it impossible to hate them.

The way to truly understand others is to truly understand yourself. The way you do this is by watching yourself and asking yourself “Why did I do that?”

You will inevitably construct a narrative. I did that because this happened and made me feel like this.

Ultimately, if you follow this process through, you will see that you keep repeating a certain reason “because I wanted to”.

Now why did I want that particular thing in that particular circumstance? It’s possible to want to do other things in the same situation because we are constantly shown other people wanting different things in the same situation. Even we ourselves when the same situation arises at another time often want something different.

So why, right now, do you want to continue reading this but at another time you may not?

You could say that at another time you’d have already read this so you wouldn’t be as interested. Now this is evading the issue but the power of this line of reasoning is that no matter what you respond it will ultimately display what I am trying to show.

So here you are saying that the reason you would continue reading now, when this is new to you, is because it is new to you. That is that it is the novelty of this text that causes you to continue reading. So why do you like novelty?

Essentially you are saying that the reason you are doing what you are doing is because of novelty.

Did you choose to like novelty? Was there ever a time when you neither liked or disliked novelty and you choose one reaction over the other? If so – and I seriously doubt this but never-the-less the truth of what I say can be shown through the unavoidability of my conclusion – why did you choose to like or not like novelty?

When you see that your choices spring from sources over which you have no control, about which you make no decision you have seen yourself deeply and therefore seen everyone else deeply. How can you hate something that can’t help itself? So what if it’s evil! Did it decide to be evil?

For the very same reason we don’t blame or hate handicapped people for being handicapped it’s equally stupid to hate anyone for anything.

On self-improvement

Who taught us to be displeased with ourselves?

Where did we get the idea that we have to better ourselves?

This drive within ourselves to overcome what we perceive of as inadequacies is the internal equivalent of the external reality of rape and pillage that we call capitalism.

On a lot of dating websites there’s a category that asks you whether or not you are ambitious. Everyone says they are.

Ambition is the ethic par excellence in our society.

What is ambition if not a dis-satisfaction with where-ever and what-ever you are now. That is to say that the driving ideal of the world civilisation is self-loathing!

We hate ourselves and because we hate ourselves we do violence to ourselves and others.

We seek to locate the flaw either within or without.

I truly think that the only way to be sane, to be at peace, to love yourself is to shed society.

This doesn’t mean don’t do things or don’t work. It means a fuck you to all ideals, to self-perfection, and to self-betterment.

Of course there is an irony here because in order to inhabit this state one must shed their socializations and this is a long, difficult process. It is a constant state of repentance, of turning away, of seeing that self-loathing within oneself which has been your mainstay throughout your life and saying “Fuck you” then turning away from it internally.

By ignoring it after a while – like the spoilt brat it is – it will just go away. Every now and then it will rear its ugly head and because after a while of doing this you begin to see it for the destructive son of a bitch it is you won’t be tempted to engage it anymore.

But it’s clever. With me for years it kept its spiteful talons in my flesh through making me feel bad about myself in comparison with others. Now it’s changed its tune. I compare myself with others and I come out smelling of roses; they’re all so stupid.

But I know it and it’s wily ways and it can fuck the fuck off!

On lying

I don’t mind if people lie to me.

This is for many reasons. One of which is that it is utterly up to you what you tell me or don’t tell me.

This isn’t a freedom I impart to you; it’s reality. Whether I like it or not you can tell me whatever you want. Luckily I am glad about this state of affairs.

It would be good if we had social structures and constructions that made people less wary of being honest. Even less wary about simply stating what ever the reason they are lying for is. I don’t mean telling the truth behind the lie but just saying “no” or whatever occasioned the lie in the first place.

People cannot help honestly expressing themselves. Even in a lie there are deep truths about the liar such as their preferences, what they applaud and what they boo. These are generally of a much more useful and deeper significance than whatever shallow truth they are trying to hide.

Even when they are lying to you and not disclosing their own preferences they are never-the-less disclosing their opinion about you. They are showing you what it is they think you like or dislike, what you will applaud or boo. Again this is incredibly useful information that can be put into immediate use by correcting or affirming the construction the other has made of you.

A lie is never really an untruth in a deep or absolute sense. In fact I don’t believe untruth in that sense exists. There is just misappropriated truth.

For example the majority of lies told are of the nature of false intentions. A person wants to do you damage but in order for him to do so he has to convince you that he intends your well being. So he says “I’m only trying to help you”. In this particular instance the stated intention is false but it is only false because there is a hidden intention. On it’s own it just is and all that is is absolutely true.