Internal and external reality


Humans are proud of our big brains. This is what sets us apart from the animals and makes us special. At least, that’s what we think is true.

Opportunity cost however comes with all advantages. Thus every strength is also a weakness because in order to have that strength, something else was displaced. In the case of humans, big brains means that we live inside of them.

Witness a cat for example. This majestic creature lives in a world of quasi-mythology and meditative somnolent beauty. If it has thoughts, it projects them into the world and sees them among the butterflies, swaying grass and tasty rodents.

Humans do the opposite. We take the world into ourselves and make a little diorama out of it in our brains. Then we project that mental map onto the world and claim it as reality. We then compete over who has control of the map.

The grim fact is that there are two realities, but only one reality. Inside our heads, there is an internal reality composed of thoughts that manifest in electro-chemical signals and thus are very much a part of reality. However, they are not communicated past the skull barrier. Outside of our heads, there is an external reality composed of the interaction of all known objects according to natural law. We are still learning how this works, although in every age we have claimed to have mastered it.

Nature however exists in a state of perpetual restlessness because it does not want to stall or enter an infinite loop of unknowable answers. Thus it pushes back against the vague, making it finite, and displacing other finite to make more vague. Thus nature always wants answers, and there can be only one decider of them. This is external reality.

A useful tool for clarifying internal and external reality is the venomous snake. No matter what you are thinking, the snake is thinking of its own needs. Thus if you are intoxicated, and pick it up (the cause of most snakebites), it may bite you. In an instant your internal reality will be reconciled with external reality; you will feel a sickening vertigo as your mind races to cover the gap between what you thought you knew and what you now know.

The disease which afflicts humanity is invisible. It follows us wherever we go. It is hiding inside us. It is a bias toward internal reality, which in a seeming plot twist includes the internal realities of others as shared through language, image and social interaction. Whenever we gain enough power, our tendency is to push aside external reality and to try to make our internal reality predominate. When groups do this, it forms a phenomenon named Crowdism which can manifest in any form, but from which all liberal movements are derived.

What most of us do not understand is that nature has built in a trap for us. All of life is ridden with traps, in fact, to keep that which is not thoughtful from rising above the level of servitude. The biggest trap for humans is that if we as individuals do not learn to discipline our tendency toward the fallacy of internal reality supplanting external reality because it appears so to our big brains observing themselves, we become delusional and, in defensive posture, tend to associate with other delusionals. That group then serves to re-inforce its members’ illusions, becomes Crowdist, and because it is threatened by reality, attempts to seize power and legislate away reality. Every democracy is this way, but so is every neighborhood PTA group where a few delusional types seize power. The problem isn’t a question of system of government, but whether the people in charge are delusional or not, regardless of how they came into power. When delusion replaces reality, crash — and in our case, civilization downfall and possible self-extermination of the human species — is not far behind.

David Brooks recently made a powerful point about growth. We start out ignorant and prone to following our impulses, he says, but we can learn to control this over time and even develop depth of personality which some might call “soul.” Similarly, we start out in life unable to control our limbs, unable to speak, and generally useless. Over time we learn how to push back against gravity, to work with the physics of our limbs, and to organize our minds to produce speech and use logic (whether logic is intuitive or not is another question). Classic conservatism takes this further and says that we are here in life to develop depth. Our goal is to learn right from wrong and more importantly, to learn why this is so. To understand that wrong leads to consequences that produce a pointless and ugly life, where right leads to truth, beauty and goodness. In the classic conservative view, society is an extended family that helps urge us toward making sensible decisions and protects us from those who cannot control themselves (or, as in the most frequent cases, do not wish to).

The Crowdist view — and all liberalism — exists to escape this burden. It is designed as a justification, or after-the-fact reasoning, to support the initial impulse of people to break away from the moral challenge and the challenge to grow some depth within themselves. Instead of reaching out to external reality, it shuts it out, and in order to drown out the insistent reminders that it exists, paves it over with internal reality projected into social tokens. The group gets together in order to agree on what their shared internal consensual reality is so that they may blot out that threatening external reality.

This presents two challenges to you, dear reader. The first is that you join me in the attempts to grow depth, moral reasoning and a soul. I would be an ass and fatuous pretense of a human being to say anything but that I am a learner barely beginning this process. The second is that we take a long hard look at our society. Most of us live in denial of its decline, but there is no reason for this decline except the selfishness of others who are too afraid, selfish and defensive to embark on the path of self-development and thus recognition of external reality. We must help them along, by any means necessary. Whether it is a kind word or a bayonet in the back really matters not. We are fighting for our survival.

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14 Responses to “Internal and external reality”

  1. NotTheDude says:

    A very thought provoking article. A plant can stay stunted in the shade or it can grow towards the light. When I was made to go to church at school, I was told to pray. ‘You must thank, praise and beseech favours of God’, I was told. Why, how and what were not disclosed and frankly needn’t have been as we wouldn’t of understood anyway. Now that I’m every so slightly older, I can begin to ask what I’m thankful for, what to praise and what to wish for and work towards. I can start to get deeper into life.

  2. Hauer says:

    There is something to be said for the connection between success and detachment from reality. Crowdism starts to rise once a society starts to use the power it gained through success. It allows the society to avoid these “snake bites” that teach people about reality. Only successful societies have the luxury to be so delusional.

  3. Kartavirya says:

    Thank you for some great articles! I just recently found your site and after having read a couple of you articles I’m very impressed and inspired.

    The crucial factor seems to be that liberals suffer, whereas realists do not. A liberal always wants to “right” what they perceive to be a “wrong”, and since they see wrongs everywhere and are never satisfied, the number of things to be “corrected” are endless and so is their suffering: there is always one more person to save from poverty.
    According to all traditional spiritual doctrines the ultimate goal of existence is the end of suffering; the end of rebirth; the end of karma. It is my opinion that accepting what Buddhist doctrine calls Truth Conforming to Reality is the way to end suffering.

    Now, the question arises: how then to convince the liberal that their world-view is delusional? Since they consider their “reality” to be the real one and ours to be the delusion, they are likely to dismiss whatever is challenging their “reality”. Maybe the only thing that could make them at least stop and think for a second and question their version of reality is the fact that they suffer. They agonise endlessly over any political conflict (like the one in the Ukraine at the moment), the poverty in the Third World, the “inequality” between the sexes etc. ad nauseam. They see this suffering as proof that they are “good people”. It is a clear case of pathological altruism. If they would not feel this suffering they would do anything to feel it and they would lie about feeling it if they did not feel it. (Who knows, maybe they lie about it already!) They denounce anyone who says they do not feel this suffering as “evil”, “heartless” and “cynical”. They wallow in their suffering and love to show it off.

    Just like quitting smoking, ending their suffering would be a relatively easy task to accomplish: it is a question of will power. Like an alcoholic, even simply admitting to themselves that they want to stop suffering would be a big step in the right direction.

    The question is: do liberals want to end their own suffering?

    • crow says:

      Good post. Funnily enough I have just come another head-bashing (my own) session, trying to explain ‘metaphor’ to people who have no conception of what that is.
      There is actually no common ground between those who understand, and those who don’t. Apparently, the missing ingredient is the capacity to be curious. No curiousity = no understanding. Nothing in the world explains to anybody, anything they are not curious about.

      The thing about leftists – one of a million things – is their automatic inversion of anything and everything. They speak of ‘us’ and ‘we’, when it really means ‘I’. Equality, when what it means is ‘I am more equal than you’. ‘World Peace’, when what they really mean is genociding every person who is not them.

      You can’t win. You really can’t. For as long as crazy people can survive, everyone else is going to have to find a way to survive alongside them.

      • Kartavirya says:

        How true. I realised the fact that you can’t win some years ago. It was such a relief! Talk about the end of suffering. However, there is another problem which I’m still contemplating: it’s all well and good to give up on trying to educate stupid people, but how should we deal with the fact that their stupidity affects our lives negatively on a day-to-day basis? I’d be perfectly happy if liberals lived in a parallel universe that never met mine, but unfortunately that’s not the case. I guess I haven’t stopped suffering completely since I still suffer from having to contemplate the idiocies of liberals! The goal then must be an existence in which I don’t even notice stupidity… and thus stupidity simply stops existing. A kind of Magical Solipsism. I guess a metaphor is in order: by reading stupid headlines and getting annoyed at their triviality, I actually feed that negative energy and keep the phenomenon alive. By not feeding it energy it will simply wither and eventually die. Or watching stupid game shows on TV, agonising over what a waste of time it is, but still keep watching. Instead of just turning the TV off and not even talk about it. If anyone tries to engage you in a conversation about it you simply leave without saying a word.

        It is beneath people like us to even comment.

        I actually did almost that at a Christmas dinner at my in-laws. One of my sister-in-laws was talking about the latest “cute cat” youtube clip and asked me if I’d seen it. I said no, and immediately she offered to show me. I stopped her in her tracks and said I don’t actually want to see it. The atmosphere in the room got suddenly very dense. She asked me why. I explained to her that at work all everyone ever talks about is what they’ve seen on TV the night before. The reason I don’t have a TV since at least 10 years is I didn’t want to know all that trivial crap they forced down the viewers’ necks 24/7. By trying to show me that stupid cute kitten clip she’s subverting my efforts to get away from having to see such idiotic things. The whole point of throwing the TV out was to rid myself of such idiocy.
        So she left it and we changed the subject of the conversation. But a few days later my other sister-in-law said to my wife how upset she was with me having snubbed the first sister-in-law and how that had made the latter “feel bad”. So I phoned straight away to see if that was true and to explain (NOT apologise!) why I reacted that way. Turns out she wasn’t at all upset: she was surprised at my reaction and admitted being a little hurt at the time, but she realised I probably had a good reason for my reaction. So we cleared it. However, I found it interesting how the other sister had taken the whole affair so much to heart. It wasn’t even about her! There we see again how certain people (liberals) take the suffering of the world onto their shoulders and then go wailing like banshees complaining how heavy their load is.

        • crow says:

          Truth is, they are quite mad. There’s nothing else you could call it. But with so many of them, who is mad, and who is sane?
          I’ve been attempting for years, to describe reality to people who are completely unable to recognize it. It seems to be impossible. Once you have lost track of it, it may as well not exist at all.

          Indeed, often the only course a sane person seems able to take is to become a full-blown spiritual ascetic. Society itself is too broken to fix. It’s legions, too unaware to reach. I may be wrong. I hope I am. But that is where I currently stand.

          But, based upon my own ongoing research, there is, at least, one person in every ten, who can understand sane concepts. Such people, like you and I, hunger for more.

          We like to build, and have things grow, whereas the others are obsessed with destruction and using-up. This is the divide. It suggests colonies of some sort, that would require official sanction. Leave us alone, in your own interests, as well as ours.
          Not very likely though.
          You never know.

  4. Kartavirya says:

    I wrote a long response earlier that I managed to fib away, so annoying. I will try to remember what I wrote initially.

    Like Mark Twain said: when you find yourself agreeing with the majority it is time to stop and think.

    You cannot make people see the obvious if they cannot see it themselves.

    Civilization as we know it is doomed and should not be rescued at this point. Let it be destroyed. Our task will be to survive the Götterdämmerung and build from scratch. Whatever is worth saving will survive in those who embody it in body, mind and spirit. I recall Fahrenheit 451, where books survived destruction by people escaping to a “parallel universe” and memorizing them word for word.

    Colonies will become a necessity on a global scale. White Filght will become universal and people with essential skills needed to build a civilization from nothing will have to band together. Natural leaders will emerge as they do in all crises. People with foresight and planning skills will have ready-made plans to follow when the time is right. These people will be a minute minority, but they will be an elite. They will be the only ones to survive. The reast will sink to sub-human levels of consciousness and existence and will eventually perish. I will not shed one tear for them. They are not worthy to carry on reproducing their degenerated genes. Nature will separate the wheat from the chaff—not many will be in the wheat category.

    My original post was longer but I managed to condense it into this shorter one.

    Thanks again “crow” and Brett Stevens for giving me hope for the future!

    I’ll keep reading… Have a look at our website too. I run it together with a colleague of mine.

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