Amerika

Posts Tagged ‘metaphysics’

Thought, Not Emotion, Is The Path To Learning, Which Is Esoteric

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Once upon a time, humans seemed to have something like “free will”: the ability to creatively conceive of and redesign their circumstances. With more water of wisdom under the bridge of perception, it becomes clear that people are more like mushrooms than the “free will” creature, although the root of our individualism requires we celebrate ourselves as “free will” demigods.

As neo-mushrooms, humans mostly react to their environment, specifically their food source. When the paycheck is threatened, they start acting erratically until the food source is resumed. Most of us have no experience with domains beyond a few areas where we have knowledge, so most of how the world works is a mystery, leaving us dependent on a few methods we have internalized for getting by.

Even more, the neo-mushrooms react sluggishly if at all to any event without immediate impact. Something more than two weeks — the time between paychecks — away is as distant as the moon and remote as the Punic Wars. Humans roll through life, reacting to what they recognize, filtering out the rest, and hoping for the best.

Rarely do you see an event where a human stops, analyzes the situation, works out a hypothesis and tests it before going ahead. People rely on what others tell them, what they read or see, or pure gut instinct or emotional reaction. There is actually very little thought going on, and most of what humans call “thought” is in fact memorized call-and-response style tropes.

As is natural in a society dominated by popularity and thus appearance, there is a huge market for “reputable” evidence that defends our assumptions. Most people choose what they believe based on what they feel they need to believe in order to perceive their lives as sensible and good, and so they are constantly rationalizing, looking for reasons to believe that emotions of the self are better than the logic of the world.

One such rationalizer is Eckhart Tolle, who writes against thinking:

The stream of thinking has enormous momentum that can easily drag you along with it. Every thought pretends that it matters so much. It wants to draw your attention in completely.

Here is a new spiritual practice for you: don’t take your thoughts too seriously.

…The human mind, in its desire to know, understand, and control, mistakes its opinions and viewpoints for the truth. It says: this is how it is. You have to be larger than thought to realize that however you interpret “your life” or someone else’s life or behavior, however you judge any situation, it is no more than a viewpoint, one of many possible perspectives. It is no more than a bundle of thoughts. But reality is one unified whole, in which all things are interwoven, where nothing exists in and by itself. Thinking fragments reality — it cuts it up into conceptual bits and pieces.

Here is the deception: “Thinking fragments reality — it cuts it up into conceptual bits and pieces.”

This is an emotional argument, not a realistic one. Thinking, which he confuses with deconstruction, can also be unitive with the world. The sleight of hand here is in conflating one type of thought with the whole thing, and using that to argue for what is a concealed emotional approach to the world. In other words: turn off your brain, feel and react with your body.

In contrast to that, Bruce Charlton offers the idea of Primary Thinking, which is understanding the world through patterns by using a process not entirely different from mythic imagination which is one aspect of traditionalism (see also my essay, “The Philosophical Essence of the Northern Traditions,” in Northern Traditions). Charlton demonstrates his view, parallel to that of Plato, a pattern-based understanding of reality:

“One problem with this idea is that it threatens to destroy the re-ality (“thingishness”) of the world by making it wholly dependent on thought — a hallucination, essentially. Without something that exists independently of our own thoughts there is, it seems, no world. ”

Not quite. There is a world – a world of raw phenomena, without meaning. There really are things, and we really sense them – but without ‘concepts’ (which we provide, in thinking) nothing means anything, then nothing could or would add up to anything (our experience would be of a blooming, buzzing confusion, to quote William James).

Concepts in this case refers to that which unites disconnected thoughts and understands a cause-effect, or at least related structures, relationship between thoughts and reality. Writing within the German Idealist tradition, Charlton sees the possibility of a “universal reality” which is thought-like more than purely material, and in this, his writing reaches back to the original ideas of the Vedic sages.

In this sense, thinking is a union of creativity and perception, but it is not generative, meaning that it is driven by understanding of reality and not the manufacturing of ideas which are self-referential to the human mind alone. This offers a more complex but saner vision than Tolle, updating the “do not think” to “think only what is real.”

Realism is different than other philosophies because, unlike ideologies, it is not universalist. That is: it presents itself as an intellectual tool used to uncover other things which can make the individual more accurate or effective, but it does not proclaim itself to be an absolute morality or something that all people must obey. Rather, like true statements, it is a choice for those who want to move up a level in power over themselves:

Our primary choice is whether to opt-in to the reality of God’s creation – or not. This is a real choice – and has real consequences. In principle a person might simply decline to join creation – and to surrender self-consciousness, and all the personhood which has been given us by becoming a child of God. This is not an evil choice – it is the choice of nihilism, of non-reality – but it is not evil (it indeed bears some relation to the ideal of ‘Eastern’ religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism).

The evil choice is to decline to joining God’s work of creation; but to hold onto God’s gifts to us – to hold-onto meaning, purpose and relationship – but to impose our own personal meanings upon them. It is to try and take what is personally gratifying from creation, but not to join creation. It is to adopt a stance towards creation that sees it primarily as a thing to be exploited.

The important words there involve the concept of joining (Reality). In this view, primary thinking is a method of finding union with the order of nature — similar to the form that is the set of Platonic forms — through understand it not at a human level, but in terms of its own structure and purpose.

Charlton derives his view from the work of Rudolf Steiner, who argues for primary thinking as a root structure of reality:

I believe I have given sufficient reasons for making thinking the starting point for my study of the world. When Archimedes had discovered the lever, he thought he could lift the whole cosmos from its hinges, if only he could find a point of support for his instrument. He needed something that was supported by itself and by nothing else.

In thinking we have a principle which subsists through itself.

…There is no denying that before anything else can be understood, thinking must be understood. Whoever denies this fails to realize that man is not the first link in the chain of creation but the last. Hence, in order to explain the world by means of concepts, we cannot start from the elements of existence which came first in time, but we must begin with that element which is given to us as the nearest and most intimate.

German Idealism, and its Vedic and Greek roots before it, holds that the world is either composed of thought or thought-like. This belief system draws a distinction between accurate thought, which references the patterns of reality through comparison and so discovers which patterns can be accurate, and solipsism, which is entirely human self-referential thought, and is “generative” in the sense of creating notions which do not correspond to reality.

In a world which is composed of something like thought, then, our only task is to make our own thoughts understand the underlying informational structure of the universe. This leads us to esoteric thought, which is the opposite of universal thought. In universal thought, there is one thing that everyone must do to be right; in esoteric thought, there are only degrees of power and meaning in parallel conveyed by different types of activity.

For example, anyone can make a mud hut and live as a subsistence farmer and bushmeat gatherer, which has probably been the default state of humanity for aeons. This is distinct from organized farming, where people work together to till large fields; it means that behind his hut, a man plants trees and other flora that provide him directly with food. Bushmeat is usually trapped more than hunted, and if you can enjoy a stew of rabbits, rats and other small animals, along with a diet of roots, fruits, berries and leafy vegetables, subsistence level is just fine. It does not allow for much organization because the margins are narrow, which is to say that the subsistence farmer is barely surviving. The next step up would be to insert organization into the process and focus more on farming crops which are indirect in benefit, like grains which can be fed to livestock. The next step up is organized farming, and there may be many steps beyond that. The point here is that subsistence farming works, and there is not an inherent or innate need to rise above that state, but some may choose to in order to gain heretofore unknown benefits like civilization. The same is true of learning.

The normal human “needs” only some very basic knowledge in order to survive. Anything else on top of that is a positive benefit, but with some caveats. First, many if not most people find this inaccessible because they lack the necessary circuits in their minds. Genetically, they do not have the code to produce the biological apparatus for having understanding above a certain level. To them, anything more complex than what their minds can comprehend is bizarre and stupid, and “educating” them only enables them to be wrong in a less obvious form, fooling others. This means that each person has a limited potential for understanding beyond subsistence, and that there is no universal standard to which people can be held. As in life, in matters of philosophy and religion, there is a de facto caste system created by nature.

For those who are able to push further, the benefits are apparent, but this is not true of others. Your average person has no idea why someone would be delighted by an abstract, timeless or cosmic truth; the average person is interested in comfort, safety and enjoyment between now and the next paycheck, and not much else. Even among the talented, there are relatively few who are concerned with the consequences of their actions; for most, it is enough to rationalize these results to themselves, and to come up with a socially acceptable excuse for their behavior, instead of worrying about the actual outcome in reality. The remaining group — the talented who are also concerned about realistic results — have contributed almost all of the good done by humanity. They tend to indulge in thinking as a means of understanding reality and refining their own minds, a type of self-discipline, and so are constantly probing their knowledge of life both as a sensible act and because it brings them joy to understand the mysteries, wonders and potentialities of creation.

In contrast to thinking, what most people engage in might be referred to as solipsism or simply hubris. They know the world through their minds, and so they take that picture of reality as literal, instead of realizing that alongside perception they are also getting internal echo based on what their bodies fear and their emotions desire, and that these phantom images are like scapegoats or universal symbols a misleading path. Those phantom images come from the outer portions of humanity — body, personality, social concerns, ego — and do not reflect the inner view. This duality of body/outer-mind and inner mind is inherent to humanity, and represents the difference between reactive or generative thinking, which is external as it is mostly stimulus response, and directed and focused primary thinking, through which we can achieve direct knowledge of the world, which in that state reveals itself as a continuity between the physical and metaphysical, united in idealism or the thought-like nature of reality:

Knowledge of some-thing is — as the Old Icelandic kunnleik suggests — an intimate, detailed, knowing of and acquaintance with that ‘thing’, whereas information (enformation) is merely a statement or a collection of statements about or concerning some-thing.

Or expressed in our now familiar terms, knowledge — as we understand it — is numinous, a part of one’s life, whereas information is lifeless, causal, an outer form. For in terms of esoteric, Occult, matters, to know is both to learn from personal experience and to place what is so learnt in a particular context, that of one’s personal internal and external journey along the particular way or path that one has, by initiation, chosen to follow.

Paradoxically, in order to know the world outside of ourselves, we must go deeper into ourselves, but discipline that spectrum of notions by the principles and patterns of the outer world, bypassing instead the misleading veil of personality, ego, materialism and social influences. Just as we do not find truth in democracy, humanism, consumerism or narcissism, we cannot find it in the outer edges of our minds, but only in the part that connects us to intuition, through which we know a priori concepts, per Immanuel Kant, who saw the world as entirely discovered by intuition.

But I understand under the transcendental idealism of all appearances the doctrine according to which they are all together to be regarded as mere representations, and not as things in themselves, and accordingly that space and time are only sensible forms of our intuition, but not determinations given for themselves, or conditions of objects as things in themselves.

Schopenhauer later clarified this to state that the outside world exists independently of us, but that we know it only through our own perception, so that there may be more of it than we perceive. At this point, it becomes clear that the esoteric idea — that knowledge is cumulative, and reveals itself only when previous levels have been mastered — accurately describes the situation. Most perceive some, others perceive more, and very few come even broadly close to perceiving all.

This esoteric approach means that there is not any single truth that all humans can appreciate, and in fact that most will oppose it and attempt to dilute it with illusions, but that pursuit of knowledge of the world through thinking is our only path to realism, or those perceptions of reality which are accurate enough to be called “actual,” which is the concept which most intend when they use the word “truth”:

One of the main reasons for the existence of esoteric groups such as the Order of Nine Angles is to be a living hereditary repository of a certain type of knowledge – kunnleik – and to personally, directly, encourage some individuals to acquire the culture, the habit, of learning – practical, scholarly, esoteric – and thus enable them to move in the traditional esoteric manner toward the goal of discovering and thence acquiring wisdom; and which wisdom is a balanced personal judgement and a particular knowledge of a pagan, Occult, kind to do with livings beings, human nature, Nature and ‘the heavens’. This involves possessing/developing certain esoteric faculties/skills; acquiring an honest knowing of one’s self, one’s character; possessing an Aeonic understanding; and thus discovering Reality beyond, and sans, all causal abstractions.

Idealism bypasses the confusion of much of philosophy because it embraces monism, or the idea that there is continuity between the physical, the metaphysical, and the mental. That avoids the condition of dualism, where we suppose that the world is different than its essence in structure and thus in its patterns, which renders actuality unknowable to us, usually as a means of justifying “faith” or some form of emotion-based reasoning.

With monism, there is no distinction between soul and body, as both are manifestations of the same thing and are in parallel as a result. Where a dualist might say that we all have equal souls, but that these are vested in unequal bodies, a monist recognizes that we are all unequal, and the body carries a soul appropriate to it. Matt Briggs puts this notion in more elegant language in his description of the union of body and soul:

Now, the most evenly tempered body is the human, so that, if an intellectual substance is united to a mixed body, the latter must be of the same nature as the human body; and its form, too, would be of the same nature as the human soul, if it were an intellectual substance. Hence, there would be no specific difference between the animal so constituted and man.

In contrast to modern notions, this ancient and future idea embraces the thought that we are effects and not causes, meaning that whatever form we have fits our mental abilities, which is consistent with the esoteric idea of knowledge being not universally valuable, nor uniformly achievable, and being measured in degrees within cumulative levels accessible only to those with the biological aptitude to pursue them. Thus, there are some souls to whom the esoteric knowledge is available, and only those will find it to be relevant, while others will oppose it; this is a more advanced form of the shorthand that is “good” and “evil.”

For this reason, the thought available to us is as organic and natural as our bodies, and this means that those who can think will find themselves adapted to doing so, which in turn means that without doing so, they are doing themselves harm. While we are taught that religion is a variety of propaganda or dogma, in reality, it is an experience of the world both through the intuition and that disciplines our inner thought, improving us as it reveals answers to mysteries that most cannot even conceptualize.

With that in mind, we see the importance of religion in traditional societies: it was not a means of enforcing obedience or unity, but a positive option for people to demonstrate sanity and thus rise in the hierarchy above others who were presumed to be “common” like most of the species and thus inconsequential for higher decision-making. In this context, spirituality is better than “free will”: it is a choice to pursue something like an optional destiny to be a better version of who one is at an inner level.

Pagan Christianity

Monday, June 19th, 2017

The Right desperately needs to get right with God.

Perhaps not in the way most would think, this need arises from the confusion about the role of religion in the Right. Some want it to be the basis of the Right and to install a de facto theocracy; others see it as irrelevant; still others argue that conservatism is not based on a single method, as ideology is, and that religion is one part — perhaps not for all people — of a bundle of methods that together make a solution but are not in themselves solutions.

These seem to be prerequisites that can be accidentally made into ideologies. For example, racial and ethnic homogeneity is necessary for a thriving society, but in itself it is not a whole solution, only part of one. Similarly, deposing democracy and equality is a partial solution. Together these and other methods make up a complete society.

For that reason, it makes sense to view religion as not a solution in itself, but also something that at least many of us need. This gets us away from the theocracy that forces us all to become believers, and instead points to rule by culture, which requires strong nationalism to establish.

This takes us in turn to the question, which religion?

Varg Vikernes makes a compelling point for avoiding Christianity. It leads to Leftism, and conspired against our people in the past, not to mention creates the “personal morality” conditions which encourage virtue signaling. In his view, as in Nietzsche’s, it is entirely too pacifistic and fatalistic of a religion.

Onto this we might add one other shining elephant in the room: at least geographically — the Christianity Identity folks have some interesting input here on the origins of Biblical Jews — it is foreign, or simply put not European. The names are not in our languages, nor are the locations, or presumably many of the customs and values.

To this it is important to add that Christianity is also at least from a surface reading, which over time in the hands of large groups is what it will be streamlined to be, it is dualistic, or posits another world where the rules are more real than the rules in this one. In other words, logic is not logic; there is a different logic, more like a human logic, which is actually real.

DARG adds another failing of Christianity, which relates to the personal morality it champions:

The beginning of this is a clarification on the terms sacred and profane. Christianity has made [humans] believe that the sacred is themselves, and equivalent to “tolerance and love” (towards what they define as permissible, of course) and “feeling nice and warm”, and that the profane is everything that opposes that. How convenient. The more historical and philosophical stance, on the other hand, sees in the every-day world, and all that it holds, benign of malignant, as profane; and sees in the world of the exceptional, of man going beyond the merely human, the sacred.

The personal morality of Christianity, and its exoteric nature or tendency to behave like an ideological system more than a deep-learning skill, make it a mixed bag when it comes to religions. It is the great unifier, but that also means it simplifies the message.

Pagan faiths, on the other hand, are monistic — they believe there is no alternate set of rules for the universe, and that all that we need to know can be found in nature, science and logic — and esoteric, or formed of cumulative self-directed learning in which some are naturally gifted to go farther than others. Exotericism is inherently egalitarian; esotericism is innately hierarchical.

In fact, pagan faiths more resemble a philosophy and folkway with metaphysical implications than a religion, or organized spiritual dogma for the sake of shaping mass behavior:

This effort of combining all non-Christian religions under one umbrella was, in fact, a clever strategy by the early Christians to remove the “pagan” faiths altogether. Using the Norse traditions as an example, the Vikings of the early medieval period had no true name for their religious following. In truth, the word religion would have been an unknown, foreign term to them. The Nordic tribes preferred the word “customs” as—like the Greeks and Romans—their rituals, beliefs, and traditions were undefined and fluidly interpreted, orally passed down rather than rigidly studied. There was no all-encompassing word for the belief in the Aesir and Vanir, and the various other beings and deities the ancient Norse worshiped, and there was no written text discussing their practices until the Christian author Snorri Sturluson wrote their mythology down in the 13th century.

Now, the picture gets more complex because Christianity is mostly Pagan. It is clearly a derivative, or rather a compilation and synthesis of the indigenous faiths of lands the Jewish scribes were in contact with, featuring the Greeks whose philosophy they loved above all else. This means that there are Greek, Nordic, Hindu and other faiths retold in the Bible.

There was a reason why formerly “pagan” communities switched to Christianity, namely that it was both mostly familiar and more effective for manipulating herds of people. The exoteric nature of Christianity means that its symbols can be directly adjusted to cause people to behave one way or another. Some of this was positive, namely getting people to leave behind previous antisocial habits.

However, this displacement of the original faiths also led to cultural erasure. When a simpler and more easily understood version of a tradition comes along, especially one that is written, people simply adopt the new and forget the old, which most importantly contains the roadmap to understanding the reasons for the beliefs.

What this means however is that there is a bridge between pagan faiths and Christianity, and that for this reason, we can have faith that is not strictly entrenched in either one, only expressed through it, and that over time, this may change to the simpler and more internal, informal and naturalistic pagan ideation. Consider the Perennial nature of spirituality:

It also makes sense to have some form of metaphysical outlook, perhaps of a Perennialist nature:

At the core of the Perennial Philosophy we find four fundamental doctrines.

  1. The phenomenal world of matter and of individualized consciousness — the world of things and animals and men and even gods — is the manifestation of a Divine Ground within which all partial realities have their being, and apart from which they would be non-existent.
  2. Human beings are capable not merely of knowing about the Divine Ground by inference; they can also realize its existence by a direct intuition, superior to discursive reasoning. This immediate knowledge unites the knower with that which is known.
  3. Man possesses a double nature, a phenomenal ego and an eternal Self, which is the inner man, the spirit, the spark of divinity within the soul. It is possible for a man, if he so desires, to identify himself with the spirit and therefore with the Divine Ground, which is of the same or like nature with the spirit.
  4. Man’s life on earth has only one end and purpose: to identify himself with his eternal Self and so to come to unitive knowledge of the Divine Ground.

If we distill religions to their core and take the intersection, we see a basic starting point that does not necessarily need formalization and, if kept informalized, loses its “human” projection and interpretation, and starts to resemble more the pagan faiths and even older Indo-European religion that our pre-Greek ancestors adopted.

This takes us away from religion as an external constraint that we adopt in order to shape ourselves and become a mass of people acting toward some goal, and reverts it to its original form, which is an observation about the nature of reality that reveals hints of the metaphysical embedded within nature:

As that great non-church and heterodox Christian Rudolf Steiner said: to disbelieve in God is to be, in a real sense, insane; in other words, it is to disbelieve any possibility of coherence, meaning and purpose – which is to regard all of life as a delusion.

…And to deny God within us and the world is to live earthly life in a state of detachment – since we can only observe and never actually participate in reality: we can never know.

In other words, religion is rediscovered by those with clarity of mind who can observe nature; this is the essence of transcendentalism, in which joy arises from understanding the nature of the world and seeing it in logic, therefore wisdom, and therefore beauty and a positive intention toward those of us caught in it, which in turn implies a life-like force to the universe, which per German Idealism — also found in Hinduism — is thought-like, dream-like or composed of thought or information.

In this way, we can see how for the West to rediscover the divine, Christianity must converge on the less formal and more intuitive forms of religious faith, which are the folk customs and existential search of the inner self that produces our classically reflective outlook.

Already we see signs of this. The Orthosphere-style thinkers tend either to embrace Catholicism, or outward-in, religious thinking, or to go the other way and embrace transcendentalism with discipline. This leads to a more naturalistic interpretation of religion that is naturally less obsessed with personality morality and its means-over-ends analysis.

Pagan Christianity, in addition to the Perennial Philosophy traits mentioned above per Aldous Huxley, also has a different map of the cosmos and metaphysical. At its core, this represents a shift from three paths (Father, Son, Holy Ghost) to four:

  1. Information-Space
  2. Godhead
  3. God
  4. Gods

In this mythos, the natural order of a universe comprised of information comes first, and with it the notion that we each have a role to serve determined by our logical placement within this order. Natural law and logic come first, and within them there are other spaces.

Godhead is the animating force of all that we know and the most essential tendencies of the universe. This works within the information-space, shaping us toward the divine and influencing the birth of the gods.

At the top, there is an all-encompassing God which represents holiness itself and less of an active personality than a tendency, like gravity or rain, to order the universe into beauty by balancing darkness and light so that existence itself can prevail. Since the universe is relative, darkness is necessary to emphasize light, much like death gives significance to life.

Below that are the gods, or animistic forces with distinct personalities. These are manifested forces which act according to their own interest, which means that we can respect them without expecting them to judge us or treat us according to some moral standard of our own. They simply do what they do, but they reflect the spirit of godhead, and so are divine while bridging to the profane world of the mundane.

At the bottom are the creatures of Earth and beyond, including humans and plants, who exhibit spirit of their own. These are able to partake in divinity by seeking transcendence and avoiding hubris, but will never fully know what is on the other side because they are limited to a perspective of the physical and individualized.

Perhaps that is enough of a start for now. We have seen how Christianity and Paganism are not that much different, how they share a core, and how we can rediscover that core by starting from reality itself. As with all esoteric things, that represents a doorway opened, and a path upon which each of us will journey a different distance, often down different tributaries.

Faith Through Nihilism

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

To most people, there are only two options: inherent belief to human purpose in the universe, or an absence of anything resembling purpose or belief. The latter are commonly called nihilists.

A sensible version of nihilism cuts to its core, which is distrust of all things perceived through the human mind:

Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence.

The fundamental separation here occurs through the recognition that values, communication and truth are proxies or intermediates for reality. Our brains will recognize conclusions about the world, encode them in tokens and share them with others, but then the tokens become more important than results in reality. The same happens with money, popularity, religion and systems of control.

For this reason, nihilism is not what most people think it is, which is giving up on knowing reality at all or caring about the consequences of our actions. Instead, it is a refusal to let the human symbols for reality supersede reality itself, a condition known as solipsism which is the root of most common human errors.

Since most people are solipsistic, they want an excuse to give up on reality itself, not its proxies. They do this by strengthening the proxies instead of focusing on reality, or cause-effect results in the world outside our heads. One way to do this is a fanatical “anti-relativism” that emphasizes devotional truths, but the other is fatalism, or proclaiming that all reality is pointless except that in the human mind.

The kiddie form of nihilism arises from this, and ends up being a brew of individualism and anarchism, or essentially an individual without obligations to be correct in his or her statements. This allows the individual to justify inaction and selfishness as some form of “higher truth.”

And so, what does nihilism say about faith? First, it rejects the idea of any belief; in other words, there must be a source of spiritual understanding based on the world and its patterns, much as we know anything else. Next, this spiritual understanding cannot be communicated, only achieved by those who go along the path of cumulative learning.

Nihilism thus rejects exoteric faiths, or those based on the idea that we can communicate metaphysical or spiritual understanding through tokens, or that faith can be adopted on that basis. Religious texts can inform our understanding, but the source of the understanding comes from finding similarities between what is there and what exists in the world.

The root of metaphysics through nihilism is the same radical skepticism toward humanity that is found in most religious texts. Most humans, being monkeys plus language, have low capacity for analytical thinking or any real passion. Instead, they focus on the ego, externalizing choice to factors such as bodily impulses, socializing with others, and following what the group does.

An examination of the external world however reveals a potent clue: patterns, not physical matter, rule the day. That is: matter arranged in patterns has properties beyond its immediate physical presence, and these patterns can appear in different forms of matter and have the same effect, which means that patterns are more important than materiality.

The classic example of this is a chair. It can be made out of wood, stone, metal, plastic or even human bones, and still serves the same function. The design of the chair — four legs, a platform and a back — is where the magic lies, not in the plastic or bone. In the same way, forms of organization of groups or ideas have greater power than what they are written on or the tokens used. The idea is all.

From this realization comes the first honest spirituality. When life is seen in terms of patterns, those patterns can be compared and arranged, showing how reality is structured. This is separate from purpose, because that is a choice of the individual human, but those choices reflect the moral composition, intelligence and honesty of those individuals.

In turn, this places an emphasis on thought, or at least thought that is consistent with the world around it, making it a continuation of the world in the mind. Here a fine line arises: the world is thought, but not just any thought, since most human thought is a closed-circuit feedback loop of the impulses of the body and ego, and unrelated to the broader world.

When one sees the world as thought, something better than inherent purpose emerges: a sense that the world is calculating, or transacting change toward an ongoing end like evolution itself. Our thoughts take the same pattern, which is that many options emerge and are slowly whittled down to a final model, which is then refined qualitatively or in terms of degree of efficiency, accuracy and elegance.

At that point, the world takes on a new perspective. Instead of the world being the cause of thoughts, thoughts — or the evolution thereof — are the cause of the world, and it reveals its tendencies toward beauty and goodness through the seemingly endless creativity of nature and the many possibilities it gives us.

Through eyes that have realized this truth, a forest becomes not just an object of beauty, but a sense of beauty joined to function, revealing a pattern of thought that emphasizes something we can only call holiness. It takes us beyond the requirements of mere utilitarianism and shows us that the universe points in a different direction, toward an experience of greatness and existential pleasure.

With that, we realize that life has given us a clue: it is not random after all, nor is it ugly. Instead, it is us that are ugly. We resist a world that would push us to greater heights because we fear losing control. And yet, the world tries for beauty, which is how we know that we are immortal and that striving for excellence is worthy. Only then do we join the eternal pattern of our cosmos.

Christian Reaction

Tuesday, December 13th, 2016

As Neoreaction fades into a type of extreme Libertarianism that guarantees it will be absorbed by demotist forces with credit cards instead of ballots, more are considering the basic idea of Reaction itself: that modernity, based in equality applied by government, is a path to suicide and that we need cultural, religious and leadership guidance instead.

One form that appears fascinating is Christian Reaction, or the group of Reactionaries who base their worldview in a resurrected Christian nation instead of a purely leadership or cultural solution. The good side of this is that what they advocate is necessary and positive; the bad side is that sometimes, it can replace other things that need to be done, and become a scapegoat or false solution.

Where the Christian Reactionaries are most correct is at their core, which has two parts:

  • Morality. Civilizations die because their citizens become individualistic after there is too much tolerance for not-good people, usually during wartime or plagues when extra hands are needed. The natural tendency of civilization however is to increase social order, so that more survive, and to spare lives from the horrors of the pre-civilization era. The only way to restrain this natural entropy is to have a society that is morally alert to all transgressions, no matter how small, and constantly shedding those who are inclined toward any path other than good. This seems too extreme to most, so they settle for throwing out the extreme bad instead of generally removing the failed, and Christian Reaction has no patience for this.
  • Self-Discipline. Spiritual practice occurs through the denial of impulses and a redirection of that energy toward wholesome things. In particular, prayer and meditation increase focus, especially among the intelligent, who are otherwise prone to become chaos monkeys indulging in personal pretense and thus splitting society into many directions, few of which are relevant. Christian Reaction emphasizes personal growth through self-discipline and the necessity of it as a basis for society as a whole.

At the end of much of philosophy, we arrive at these two concepts as the only way to slow or prevent civilization decline. It cannot be done with authority alone, nor by filtering out the bad alone, because it is necessary to redirect the normal and intelligent toward the good, including things that seem “un fun” like chastity, relative sobriety, pride in tribe, and focus on moral goods — aspiration to excellence — above all else.

Unfortunately, Christianity today is a ruin and it has been for many centuries. In particular, the Catholic popes interfered with the absolute rule of the kings, introducing the kind of committee politics that specialize in making bad decisions in order to avoid upsetting the varied special interest groups sitting at the table. At this point, almost all churches are fallen, chasing Leftist ideals as a vain hope for restoring the people who once attended, forgetting that people come to church for the kind of discipline, purpose and guidance that only religion can provide.

In particular, the Catholic churches are worst about this, identifying with the victim narrative and opposing any kind of strong and healthy power that might compete with the church and papacy. This makes them toxic in every way and prone to thwarting the exercise of necessary changes. Traditional Western European focus is less Protestant than anti-Catholic, as we saw with the Nativist movements and the conversion of much of Europe. The popes thwarted the kings, and so sensible people ejected the popes.

Many on the Christian Reaction front call sensibly for a renewal of Christianity through a return to its core focus, including its Greco-Roman, Nordic Pagan and Hindu roots, among the many other influences that were compiled into the Bible. The point here is to not get caught up in specifics and rules, but look at the purpose of the religion, which is a meditative realism leading to transcendental understanding.

Some advocate a monistic Christianity. This is important because its opposite, dualism, argues for the presence of two worlds: a perfect heaven and an imperfect earth. This causes disregard of what happens in this world in anticipation of the next, and conveys the notion that the rules of this world are nonsense or illogical, both of which propel Christians toward emotional but unrealistic paths.

If Christian Reaction has its way, a future Christianity will be both more militant and more naturalistic. It will not fall into the easy excuses of being individualistic or ignoring the world. It will be an active, warlike Christianity that even Fred Nietzsche could approve of. For this reason, even metaphysical skeptics have reason to explore Christian Reaction.

Evidence Versus Logical Fact

Monday, December 12th, 2016

Bruce Charlton writes, as always, an insightful analysis of human mental self discipline. In it, he argues the following:

  1. Perception is regulated by conceptual understanding. What we know how to recognize in the flood of data coming in from our senses, we can mentally process. Everything else slips by into chaos.
  2. If true knowledge is possible, it must come from valid concepts. Because these can be shared between people, they must exist outside of people, or be in the world like neo-Platonic forms.
  3. Therefore, those who think purely in terms of concepts will be accurate, which means that we can think without evidence and achieve understanding of the universe.
  4. In essence, pure conceptual thinking is how we understand reality.

Charlton attributes this schema to Rudolf Steiner’s early philosophical book The Philosophy of Freedom, but alert readers here will recognize the actual root of this idea: Immanuel Kant and his idea of intuition as the basis of a priori understanding.

In my own writing, specifically the unpublished Parallelism, I expand on the basic concept of the black pill and how it leads to understanding reality.

Humans have big brains, and those receive stronger signals from themselves than the world, which is a problem especially because we know the world through our memories of it, encoded as tokens based on our conclusion of the relevant parts to us. This comes after we filter the world, as Charlton notes, through what we know to look for, living in “a representation of a representation” as Schopenhauer argues. We never come in contact with the raw data because it would be like trying to drink from a firehose and would paralyze our reaction times.

Consequently, any process of understanding involves separating what we know to be true from what is merely signal reflected back from our big brains. We have to navigate our assumptions, emotions, impulses, neurotic mental chatter and tendency toward quick absolute categorical judgments in order to do this, among other perceptual pitfalls and glitches.

At this point, we must consider “evidence” versus “logical fact.” Evidence is what we can derive from our perception, but as illustrated above, it is already heavily filtered through our conceptual outlook. Further, it is based on material factors, such as how parts of reality interact, but blind to pattern which represents the organization of reality and its structure (analogous to Platonic forms). Evidence therefore is best for figuring out how to do things like make gasoline engines or grow crops, but not so good when it comes to questions of understanding reality under the surface formed of the interaction of material objects, like seeds plus water equals plants.

Logical fact, on the other hand, consists of looking at the organization of these material parts and deriving principles about how they work. Mathematics and philosophy are the closest to this field because they analyze patterns and their transformation, but these become difficult because we are unsure that what seems logically true corresponds to reality, which is wily and has twists and turns and emergent complexities. Enter parallelism: the idea that patterns occur in parallel across multiple domains, including thought, energy and matter.

With parallelism, we can see what patterns recur in multiple places in our world, and use these as the basis for understanding new input. This works through a type of metaphor that is more exact than what we expect from language. It requires precision about the nature of each pattern and why it works as it does, animating the structure with an understanding of purpose.

At this point, we are starting to get somewhere. We have a way of knowing what is true beyond any immediate circumstance because we can see the pattern in multiple places and its function or role is consistent. At that point, we are able to discipline our thought to being like that of the universe, and in so doing, realize its logical basis. As discovered by the German Idealists, the universe behaves in a thought-like way, and appears to respond at the level of structure as we would expect thoughts to do so.

Now we have moved beyond materialism. We see first the world as a function of order or pattern, and next, that structure as resembling thought, which works by having multiple impulses and selecting whichever one is compatible with everything that already exists, or is parallel to the rest of structure. This enables us to see the universe as having an inherent mode of operation and intent, one that is initially foreign to the world of human intent, which reflects our interests within the structure as we perceive them without knowledge of that structure.

This in turn requires us to look into what the intent of the universe might be. It seems to specialize in making beauty out of nothingness, but also, by holding to a hard line of logical fact that punishes that which deviates from compatibility with its order. Through processes like natural selection and entropy, it destroys that which is disorganized and reshapes the rest into greater degrees of order, balance and efficiency.

From this vantage point, we can see the nature of a divine force or something like one: benevolent in intent, rigorously logical in method, and focused on urging us upward toward greater order, versus our tendency as human monkeys to scatter in divergent chaotic directions in pursuit of our personal illusions, desires and other artifacts of having a lack of focus toward the divine. We are evil not because we mean badly, but because our thought and thus behavior is not disciplined.

Since we have ventured into metaphysics, we might take a look at an old theorem of Plato’s. We can see cause-effect relationships in everyday life, but now we know that these are a product of a thought-like structure to the universe, which like a computation seeks to resolve a problem constantly in order to refine itself; think of a self-programming computer, always testing its own code to find what works better, and replacing the old code with the new, more precise algorithms.

This means that in addition to regular cause-effect relationships, there is a bigger cause-effect relationship formed of compatibility between patterns and a steady pressure toward upward organization. This no longer acts like self-interested material objects, but a purposeful Designer who is starting us as dust and working us toward a god-like level, or as close as we can get.

In addition, we know that this causal space of pattern is much larger than the physical objects in which it manifests, meaning that our material world is the smaller part, and the world of thought much larger, implying not a dualistic “second world” but an extension to this one formed of the patterns as the universe intends them, not our perceptions of them. In this space, which is so large as to be infinite, information matters more than material, and here we see that the presence of our minds as information agents can have applicability beyond our physical selves.

None of this was unknown to the ancients, but then again, instead of checking Twitter every thirty minutes, they were sitting in darkened caves in deep thought guided by regular breathing and a suppression of the chattering monkey creating a background hum inside our heads. Clarity of thought, and eventually metaphysical experience, came naturally for them.

As we look toward peeling back the layers of the onion that is modernity, realizing that it started from a lie and that the only way to beat it is to head in a contrary direction, it makes sense to return to this focus on meditative understanding of structure. It does not contradict the realistic imperative that we adapt to material reality, but shows us a stage in which to go once we achieve basic sanity, and a basis for a spirituality which does not — like almost all existing forms of religion — lead us further into the illusion of ourselves.

What it means to be secular

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

nightsky_at_the_heart_of_winter

In our time that is unnerved by any hint of life beyond the physical, the term “secular” has changed definition. It now means: completely removed from religion, based in materialism and the related arguments and nothing else.

Originally it meant something far more benign, which was “you don’t need religion to appreciate this.” That in turn implied a dual character to what was being discussed: it could be derived through physical means or metaphysical ones. It was not limited to one of the two ways of viewing reality.

As a parallelist, I see the material and the metaphysical as existing in a sort of unison. That is, the metaphysical includes the physical in a type of system we call monism. This means that whatever is ideal according to metaphysical means can also be derived with materialist means and the same truth will be reached. All that is required is honesty.

Perhaps it is time to recapture this word “secular.” It does not mean throw your religion away at the door. Rather, it means that you can get there with religion, or without, but the same logic, common sense, honesty and realism that get you any correct answer will get you there in either a metaphysical or physical context.

Here’s a great example of secular thinking:

I still believe that the ideas I espoused in my first post are self-evident and true regardless of religion, that they are based on reality and are thus immutable, but I found that the Bible is an incredibly realistic text. A lot of the platitudes that people had been parroting at me over the years — and that I foolishly took to be real Christianity — were, at best, misunderstandings of Scripture and, at worst, willful misrepresentations meant for personal gain.

I have traveled various paths to get here: atheism, paganism, occultism. What I discovered about these various paths and about secularism is that they all have “self” at the center. When you’re praying to a god in a pantheon or when you disavow God altogether, you’ve put yourself and your wants at the center of your universe. We can’t all be the center of the universe. It’s no wonder we can’t all agree on common goals.

While many in the Traditionalist community want to base the practice in religion alone, in my view (and that of others) this is a mistake.

Nothing in religion contradicts reality.

What we need is logical, clear and realistic thought. It will be compatible with both sides of the human perception coin.

Dharma

Monday, April 28th, 2014

deep_space

Christianity doesn’t get many things right, and doesn’t do many things well.
One thing it really does get right, though, is transforming the simple into the impenetrably complex.
And one thing, that it does really well, is drive its adherents away, in droves.
Why is this? Why do former Christians, and nominal Christians, fall so easily away from their religion?

One reason, of course, is the rise of atheism, and with it, the virulent style of atheist that is not content to simply ignore Christianity, but who must completely destroy it, ridiculing all things sacred, along with anyone who holds anything sacred.

Christians, confronted with this, are hard-pressed to find a workable counter. Often they go into reset-mode, and start quoting Holy Scripture as if their very lives depended upon it. Which has the entirely predictable effect of reinforcing the argument of the atheist, and driving him on to even greater destruction.

No. Sorry. Christianity is a modern-day fail. There may be truth in it, but that truth has become so flimsy and tenuous, so misunderstood by so many, that any power it once had is a sorry shadow of its former glory.

Like many, you may be saddened at its demise, while not being very affected by its absence. At least, not immediately affected, in a way that is very obvious. It leaves a big hole, though, and you may be all too aware of that.

The problem with Christianity is that it was designed around a lifestyle and a set of circumstances that no longer exists. It is archaic and unable to self-update. Every time it attempts to become more relevant, it further weakens itself, until it has come to resemble, more than anything else, a left-wing socialist dogma.

If you are happy with Christianity, as-is, fine. If you are happy to let it decline and bleed-out, well fine, too. If you are not, though, read on. I will present you with something clearer, simpler, more true, and more applicable, than Christianity both ever-was, or ever-will-be, again.

Dharma is an Indian word that has no direct translation into English. It is a central part of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. What it means, roughly, is:
Reality, and The Way Reality Works.

Forget the word ‘God’, for now, and replace it with ‘Reality’. The Divine Order that suffuses all of the cosmos, as well as the earth, the oceans, the solar system, and space. It all works in a predictable and demonstrable way. Nobody understands it, or how it happens, or works, because nobody can. It is not a thing that is remotely understandable, simply because it does not depend upon being understood in order to work.
That scientists expend vast amounts of time and resources trying to understand it, coming up with various theories and pseudo ‘proofs’ changes nothing. It is what it is, and that is that.

It is, however, something that demonstrably endures, and works. Another quality it has, is that it is somewhat bigger and more complex, than the human brain, or anything the human brain can conjure up. It is, in fact, so big and so impressive, along with being so utterly mysterious, that a human is either in awe of it, or a human is insane.

Mystery. Incomprehensible magic on a cosmic scale. From a neutron star to a hummingbird. From a galaxy to a frog. Beat that, Mr. Intellectual!

Dharma. The nature of things. The way that nature works. All of reality, able to continue on, forever, untouched by human hand or intellect. Dependent upon nothing but itself. Kneel, puny human, or die!

And so, in light of this, a human is advised to look out into the night sky, and see the myriad stars not as something alien, something out-there, but rather as oneself as part of it. To see the vast distances not as something frightening and distant, but as room to move and grow.

The latest buzz about space, is that it is some sort of super-fluid, and not just a nothingness. This may well be so. Spectral beings inhabit it, as deep meditation will show. They drift, float, bob to an unseen current, and display no hostility whatsoever. Resembling nothing so much as microscopic luminous plankton, of the deep oceans. Again: magic, mystery, wonder.

Dharma. Divine Order. It runs as it runs, and one is well advised to run with it, rather than counter to it.
The Angry God of Christianity, is Reality resisted. Biblical Truth is Dharma. Jesus, one who discovered Dharma. As did Siddhartha Gautama Buddha. As any man can, or could, but rarely does.

Nobody really has to become an enlightened being, since those few who have, show the way, read the maps, tell the Truth of It.

By living in accordance with Reality, one worships. And that is all worship is. Reverence for Dharma. The greater system. The way the greater system works. It is working, with joy, in a way that has one doing one’s best, for what one does, not for reward, but for the greater whole.

That all of this is true should not matter. It doesn’t even have to be. Lived accordingly, this belief-system yields the best results possible. That it is not a belief-system, should not matter. If one behaves as-if it is Truth, one achieves the same results.

It is Truth. As Reality is Truth. And its nature is not to be understood, but to be lived.
Not to be intellectualized, but to be manifested.
Not to be believed, but to be.
Dharma.

Dualism vs. Monism in a Nihilist Context

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

tintern_abbey

Could you enlighten me as to why you prefer monism to dualism?

This world may be a simulation. We may be figments of the imagination of a daydreaming god. We may be pure mathematics, or data in some cosmic computer. Or we could be physical beings, or some combination of the above. However, if this world has one characteristic to rely on, it’s this: it creates the same response to the same causal impetus.

That means if you pick up a ball and hold your arm up away from your body and drop the ball, it will fall — every time. Even if a friend sneaks a hand in there to catch it, it will begin falling first. If you put a support table under your hand so the ball doesn’t drop, the effect can be observed that the instant the table is removed the ball drops. The principle is consistent. Causality is consistent (although in multicausal cases there is some variability due to chaos and the inability to have consistent conditions like wind, uniformity of matter and the like).

Dualism posits that there is another world where there are pure rules that differ from the rules in this world. In other words, this world is a put-on, but it’s not the result of that other world, rather an inferior and unrelated copy to it. This breaks the principle of consistency. In addition, it rebukes the design brilliance of this world and encourages us to de-sacralize it. Further, it creates an arbitrary claim that can be manipulated by those for whom truth is a distant secondary concern to immediate reward through the work of others.

In my view, this world represents something utterly consistent with the logic that we have in our minds by intuition or can derive from experiments in the world, or even in our minds using arbitrary data. In fact, this world represents an optimization of design to take advantage of logic. A simple example is the sheer efficiency of trees: they are resilient, efficient, and highly effective at propagating themselves without wiping themselves out through overbreeding.

One interesting aspect of this logicality is that it does not aim for perfection. It shoots instead for things that work in every situation and, even if it takes many steps to get there, always get to an increasingly complex result. This means that if there are 100 seeds, nature does not guarantee that every one sprouts; it guarantees that absent truly blighted conditions, at least one will survive. Even more, it guarantees that in truly blighted conditions, something — if even bacteria or fungus — will survive, and begin the process of evolving until three billion years later it’s a human. That is the genius of nature’s design!

For this reason, I see our world as a logical optimum, and see it as unlikely and even laughable to posit a division between this and another perfect world. Especially when the other perfect world sounds like human wish fulfilment, such as the idea that judgment will occur over the bad and the good will be rewarded. Even more when it is suggested that, as in Heaven and Hell, this other world involves an eternity of doing the same stuff over and over again. It is discontiguous with the logic of this world and with logic itself that this world exists in that form, and that its activities are as described.

However, this is the nature of our thinking when pointing toward any world that is a correction to this one. We immediately turn to human ideas and judgments, desires and feelings. We shape it after what we wish were true, because after all it’s a correction. But that requires us to abandon logic and causality and instead focus on a world that seems like the creation of a personality itself, even though nothing else works this way.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s materialism, or the idea that matter is all that exists. I don’t want to go into a lengthy argument here, but since the organization of things follows logic, and thoughts follow logic, and logic stands both intuitively and as a self-referential architectonic whole, it seems to me that logic comes before matter. Meaning: the organization of matter is a product of logic, not the other way around. Thus materialism itself is nonsense and there is clearly an underlying thought-like logical order to existence. I think it more likely that we find something like a simulation, where we are logical aspects of some larger logical entity, than a standalone system regulated by matter; if anything, we probably exist in a universe which is so logical that the concept of nothingness had to be created, which in turn required the concept of somethingness, which in turn created what we know of today as matter.

Thus we have both dualism and materialism negated, which leaves us with monism, a system where matter and idea are part of the same continuum, and any perfection is found in this world and any additional “metaphysics” would be part of the same logical system. In this the whole is logically consistent, which fits with the principle of consistency seen in all things observed so far. However, this leaves us with a question: how is monism different from some form of idealistic materialism?

The best answer is found in the work of Immanuel Kant, who perceived that our minds “filter” a raw reality and come up with a limited version of that which our physical bodies can perceive and serve that up to us. We know that our minds will remove from our perception the anomalous and incomprehensible in everyday life, and that we navigate the world through memory and basically confirm our memory instead of perceiving anew. How much else is filtered out? How much is invisible to us because it is not physical in the sense that we commonly recognize?

Monism suggests to us that instead of a world made of personality and the judgment of that personality, like the Heaven/Hell dualistic world, we exist in a single continuum of which the visible physical world is but a small part. Thus what we see is logically consistent with all that is, but is only part of the story. The end result there is that we can posit additional layers or dimensions to our world without them being dualistic, in that they will obey the same logical rules that we see here and will be similar. They may be interwoven with what we know of as reality. Even more, without the imposition of time, there may be other directions in which we can travel through this raw reality-space.

This might explain why monism is not as popular as dualism. It’s harder to grasp, and although it’s more consistent, it’s less certain. It is also less satisfying than the idea of final judgment and slotting of people in Heaven or Hell, an image that I find comforting whenever I run into someone with bad or excessively selfish intent. But ultimately it is the only explanation that is logical and consistent, without which we are forced to consider our world as nonsense and treat it correspondingly badly, while leaving our futures in the hands of near-arbitrary conjecture, and denying the causal/logical idealism underlying all of existence.

How is this in any way compatible with nihilism?

Most people view nihilism as a form of hyper-materialism, or denial of all but the immediate and tangible. In my experience, what nihilism is in a sensible interpretation is a denial of human projection, and thus a focus on reality as it is. This then includes the aspects of it which we do not understand and are not easily grasped by humans. Both materialism and dualism make no sense under nihilism because they are impositions of the human perspective, e.g. touch and emotion respectively, and not a logical observational path from reality to the human. A sensible path is that we see reality, analyze it and understand it; projection is where we figure out what we want to find in reality, find an example of it, and hold it up to represent the whole. Both dualistic religion and the negation of it fall into this category.

While most people hold that nihilism is a rejection of anything other than the individual and its immediate desires, needs, emotions, feelings, judgments and autonomy, I see this philosophy as something that can be called “fatalism” because it has given up on anything larger than the individual, including society, truth, creativity, and the world as something outside of the human mental construction. It believes that human efforts at improvement are ineffectual or doomed. A more sensible version of nihilism is that it is a rejection of everything other than what exists. It is not concerned with emotions, judgments, feelings and/or desires, but instead is concerned with how the world works and how it can be interacted with. Where most people think of themselves first, and see the world as a manifestation of their will, the nihilist sees us as a manifestation of the world’s properties.

However, this does not imply a need to limit ourselves to the material, because since the world is a logical place defined by its consistency above all else, the only limit that matters is what is logical according to the order of this world. As logicality precedes materiality, the logicality is more important, and this implies layers of existence outside of the material which must also be considered. It is not sensible to call these “metaphysical” as they are part of the same spectrum of physicality, much like different colors are part of the same spectrum, including invisible colors that are outside the parts of the spectrum we can perceive.

In fact, this philosophy affirms nihilism by showing us the truth of the triad of traits normally associated with nihilism: nothing is true, nothing is communicated and nothing is known. That is because in this world, the option of truth is a subjective one; many choose to avoid truth, in fact most do. Similarly, people must be receptive to have communication occur, and must be able to recognize knowledge for it to do its work as knowledge. The grim fact of life is that truth only exists to those who know how to locate it, communication only occurs between similarly situated parties, and wisdom is only visible to the wise. But even that fact will be disputed by people who wish to believe otherwise.

While wildly misunderstood, nihilism in its only sensible form is a rejection of human projection. That requires that we pay attention to the world and its function, rather than our emotions, desires and judgments regarding it or what we wish it were like. This does not limit us to the visible world, or even only the tangible world, since we need to use logical thought to even construct those fully. Rather, we instead may even reject appearances and tangibility in favor of those logical constructions which fully explain the world, which is part of a consistent trend since the earliest evolution of humanity toward more use of mind and less reliance on appearance.

Dualism is an enhancement of the differences between appearance and structure. By creating a world of inconsistent structure in addition to this one, dualism posits that this world is entirely appearance, and the other world is entirely structure. In fact, both appearance and structure exist in this world, and if the other world is inconsistent with them, it is likely a world of appearance and not structure.

This creates the troubling implication that it is human projection and thus an affirmation of it would be a rejection of nihilism. On the other hand, materialism suggests no possibility of structure beyond the material, which creates clashes with the underlying idealism of the cosmos, creating a disconnect between appearance and structure which makes appearance seem to be an independent and important measure.

A nihilist of the Hollywood type is basically an extremely self-focused anarchist. This person’s justification is that they believe in nothing, thus they limit their concerns to what they know is “real,” namely themselves and their immediate desires only. Further, in theory this person is possessed by an urge to destroy, which makes no sense as that requires a positive valuation. It seems more like a description of a person having a mental health issue than thinking their way through nihilism.

Nihilism reduces itself from negation of everything because nihilism is in itself an affirmative act, a valuation of the world and a separation of what is actual from what is not. Thus even someone who tried to act out the Hollywood ideal and reject everything would soon find themselves both affirming some facts of the world, and rejecting some illusions of the self being absolute and separate from the world. A nihilist in the first seconds of nihilism might wander down the anarchist path, but within an hour of thought would be headed in a different direction.

Through this nihilism rejects another kind of dualism, which is the separation between human preference and reality. In this vision, which occurs exclusively in materialist thought, the human choice is somehow absolute and universal, where the natural world is viewed as random and/or illogical. This mirrors the projection of human thought onto a dualistic perfect world, which resembles human feeling and desires, as separate from a world where human feelings come secondary which is thus seen as appearance because it does not represent the “true” world of the personality. This dualism exists both in materialism and in metaphysical conditions.

For this reason, nihilism is not only compatible with monism, but is only compatible with monism. The false dualities of materialism and metaphysical dualism together represent the antithesis of nihilism, which is human projection. Further, to a realist, both dualism and materialism fail to deliver what is necessary for a logical view of reality and also show the influence of human projection, which means it is wisest to reject them and move on to something that is more representative of reality, even if it does not “appear” to be so.

A leap of faith past faith

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

An interesting trend from past years has seen people who are fundamentally atheists switching to religion.

They are doing it for practical reasons: our society lacks order, religion provides order. A village priest takes confession and knows how to best guide his flock. A church is a place of safety, a rock in a storm that doesn’t shift with the trends, and thus you can rely on it.

Indeed, churches are a lot like conservatism. We don’t believe we can distract ourselves with the novel and trendy because we don’t believe in distraction. We believe in picking our battles, applying ourselves and engaging with our inner heroism to make good results. It’s how we enjoy life.

Liberals and others look for happiness — maybe it’s under the rug? in the cookie jar? — which takes them to a different place. When one wants happiness, life becomes a habit of avoid things that aren’t what one thinks of as “happy.” At that point, it’s a shopping trip for face values that meet the internal wishful thinking of the individual.

Conservatives on the other hand see happiness as an emergent property. You don’t achieve it by crusading for it; rather, you do the right thing, and put your house in order, and find a transcendent purpose in life. Then one day you wake up and realize that you’re content. Then you enjoy being content. Finally you realize you’ve been happy for some time.

It’s almost like we believe in the world, life and the cosmos, where liberals have doubts. To them, life is more of a wretched task. They see most of it as threatening and ugly, so they retreat within. But like all runnings away, this one fails because it leaves them avoiding bad things, not seeking good things.

There are some who insist the antidote to this neurotic state is religion, and that religion can be sought through faith. What is faith? It’s essentially a belief that a God or something like one is the only possible way for this world to come together. It’s a listening to emotional intelligence and intuition. After all, young children intuitively believe in God.

However, some of us are not content with faith. We don’t argue against it, but for our own wiring, we need a logical underpinning to any religious faith we might adopt. But here is where we step off the treadmill: we aren’t talking Enlightenment-style linear logic here. We’re talking about something much older.

When ancient man thought, it was systematic but not linear. He simply considered all of the options not in an order, but by probing the edges of thought and immersing himself in a meditative multi-factor analysis. Modern thought instead operates like a simple matrix: isolate factors, compare each one before and actor, and ignore any synergistic effects which might point to an underlying cause. That is linear logic.

Holistic logic, which is what ancient man used, allows you to consider all the factors at once. Instead of hearing an isolated tone in a laboratory, ancient man heard symphonies. He demanded that his logic unite the stars, the gods and his own imagination. He did not want to reduce, deconstruct and isolate, but he wanted to combine, surge forth and create!

When we get past the modern mindset of linear logic, called rationality, we can begin to think clearly again. The energy spent forcing complex data into simple data structures is over. Instead, we join it all at once. The process called “mythic imagination,” by which we use our imagination to construct metaphorical narratives around the whole of reality, comes from this.

Mythic imagination beats scientific analysis for anything but materials science. It allows us to see patterns, and not just in isolation, but across time and beyond even the material world. At this point, we see how linear causality is only part of the story, and a complex causal system must underlie all that we see and feel.

At this point other puzzle pieces fall into place. We realize how much our thinking mirrors the process of nature. We realize how much of us is intuition, and how distant the body and its urges become when we think deeply. We begin to see the physical world not as a cause of itself, but as the surfacing of a wave, with a vast ocean of thought beneath it producing the impulse to create that wave.

Within this frame of mind, “faith” becomes something different. We see the order of the universe, and see how its origins operate. Then we take a deep breath and question the universe itself. It is a good universe; after all, from no obligation to create anything, it flowered life. This brings us a new kind of faith: the faith that the cosmos ultimately tends toward good.

In that moment, logic and emotion unite with imagination. This is a good place, with underlying causes, and those causes seem to conform more toward the metaphorical notion of a vast sleeping consciousness that dreams us all, and sweeps us up in its care so that we can access the opportunity before us.

Through this portal, we see all religions as metaphors themselves for describing this nature of reality, which is nearly inexpressible. We suddenly have no need for faith, for we have seen the probability of metaphysical origin to all. And thus we take a leap of faith, past faith, and comfort ourselves with the beauty of existence.

Origin of supernatural probabilities

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

A: There is something greater-than-material.

Q: But why?

A: Because it is good.

Q: Which part?

A: The whole. Ignore the parts: focus on how they fit together.

Q: Why does this matter?

A: To choose.

Q: Why?

A: Because we are part of it; there is only One and all are parts of that.

Q: There is no One Removed?

A: There is only One.

Q: But there is war and hatred.

A: Part of the One. Relationship between parts, interaction, process and context.

Q: But there is death.

A: Functionality is more important than persistence.

Q: What of the soul?

A: If it has been created, it exists in the One.

Q: Forever?

A: There is no time at that level. It is a state necessary for time, but not prior to it.

Q: But you are a nihilist.

A: I believe nothing is inherent, no truth can be communicated, and there are no universal values. All is choice. Choice is what defines us, and what in part effects what will be.

Q: Why choose this path?

A: Because the whole is good, I pursue the good, so more good occurs.

Q: Why do you care?

A: Because good is more beautiful than anything else.

Q: And there is no inherent purpose?

A: No inherent purpose, only an inherent process. The singular will becomes dumb parts and reconstructs itself. It is a non-linear, architectonic balancing of all parts against each other.

Q: And if I don’t want to believe?

A: That is your role, and is part of the One. Even opposing the One is One-ness, because you have emphasized its centrality.

Q: The One is divided against itself?

A: In order to be One, it must include both unity and division. All must be included; however, each must meet with the consequences of its direction.

Q: Do you have a metaphor?

A: Seeds scattered on a forest floor. Each chooses its path semi-arbitrarily based on where it lands. None must grow toward the light. Those that do, may prosper.

Q: What is “the light,” for us humans?

A: A unity of the material and tangible and the invisible, abstract and yet also real, while not projecting our own confusion onto reality.

Q: How do we reach that?

A: A process of thinking, testing and accumulating knowledge. The scientific method as a counterpart and parallel to natural selection. The process of thought itself.

Q: And what does that teach us?

A: Beauty is truth, and truth, beauty. The same order is present in all things. That which functions matches this order. High level function is beauty.

Q: And why should we care?

A: Because it is good.

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