Furthest Right

Reality Beneath the Skin

Humans believe in a primal fallacy which says that the world is independent of us and will exist forever as it was when we came of age, but this is based in a deeper problem: intelligence knows the world through the mind, therefore assumes that the world is part of the mind and not the other way around.

This causes humans to unite around a basic fiction, namely that the rules of biology do not apply to us. We can accept Darwinism in plants and animals, but when someone suggests that natural selection is at work on us now, this becomes controversial and provokes mass panic.

Postmodernism suggests one way to divide human interactions comes in the form of text and subtext. Text belongs to the public eye; it consists of the shared fiction we all have of being in control, and rationalizes our desires through assertion of that narrative.

Subtext on the other hand refers to what we can say to ourselves in private, or maybe a very close friend, about what is actually real. Forget “truth” — truth exists only in one mind, and it is not shared — but think of the process of noticing things about reality that seem consistent.

Our biology-denial serves as the basis for the text. We, the humans, must be godlike in our intelligence and therefore, in total command of our desires. We are not mere collections of cells, bounced from one impulse to the next in a saltation process of the quest for sanity, but commanders of our destinies with nearly divine intuition.

This fallacy helps serve our solipsism by allowing us to think that we as individuals are masters of our own world, and we have no obligation outside of the self and its desires. We think of the world as a static thing in which our desires move all action, and any contrary indications provoke rage in us.

For this reason, we like to believe that the world has not changed since we came of age. We like to indulge in the bourgeois notion that all we owe a duty to is our own pleasure, without a need to keep civilization alive or aspire to anything higher than individual desire.

Healthy societies push back against this tendency with culture, or the shared space of interaction and goals that unites a people. This asserts something higher than the individual, and therefore, sets up a reward structure for those who do what culture signifies as valuable.

When culture is strong, those who act only for their own desires are revealed as neurotics, or people who have a disconnect in their cause-effect reasoning. Neurosis is a mild but powerful form of mental health problem that involves people confusing their personal reactions with the wider world.

A neurotic, for example, thinks that the world is sad when he is sad; when things go well for him, he believes that the world is rewarding him. He confuses his mind with the world and assumes that the latter is a small portion of the former, which means that any cause except for himself is a mystery he treats with superstition.

We let the neurotics take over again. Human societies do this, time after time, because their method of ruling themselves — committees, jobs, laws — creates a single path to success which is mediated by civilization, a method less flexible and more based in method than culture, which involves goals and aesthetics.

Life is a struggle for sanity. In nature, the sanest mice know to hide from the predators. The neurotic mice live in a world of their own thoughts and impulses, so it is always a surprise when the sharp talons and beak of a raptor intrude upon their pleasant daydreams, sexual fantasies, and Jacobin revenge musings.

Nature rewards those who pay attention to reality outside their heads. In cerebral species like humanity, that requires having a transcendent goal, or living life for the sake of living, meaning that life must have a qualitative value and be treated as something worthy of doing, moreso even than the self and its desires.

Nothing humans create can resist the constant onslaught of human stupidity and careerism. Most of this originates in neurosis because people confuse their jobs with their self-worth, and the strength of their own desires and thoughts with actuality in the wider world.

If you create something good, someone will steal it, vandalize it, or repurpose it to make their career through it. Invent irrigation, and someone will make themselves the irrigation authority, sell books on the method, and hound you out of the industry for daring to give away such valuable information.

This is why we are a self-erasing species. By nature, only some of us have transcendent goals, and as soon as society is established, the neurotics begin growing in number and the volume of their complaints, while the functional keep plugging on and enjoying life while giving back.

The neurotic, like a virus, has lost a sense of purpose beyond parasitism, so his task is simpler than that of a functional person. He does not need a full life; he needs a career and a fat bank account, and he will sabotage anything else that exists because it makes him look shallow.

Neurotics love compromise. Their standard approach is to insist that something unrealistic is true, then demand compromise, so that any direction toward the real is replaced a hybrid of real and symbol, with the symbol ultimately dominating because it is easier to understand and seems more secure.

Their goal is to eliminate anything that threatens their solipsistic fiction, or the idea that what they want is more important than reality, and that anything that stands in their way somehow threatens them by revealing their dependency on illusion.

This pathology is what kills good ideas by burying them in controversy solely because they might force the solipsist to change his thinking or behavior:

The greater an idea’s novelty, the greater disparity in responses it generates, according to Johnson’s study, published Friday, in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.

These conflicting evaluations result in missed opportunities. This is because the wide range of opinions is seen as a negative signal, rather than evidence that it’s “creative,” which Johnson defines as something both new and useful.

“The creativity research has been overwhelmingly focused on how you generate an idea. But from my perspective, lack of ideas often isn’t the right problem to solve,” Johnson said. “There are endless ideas out there. The difficulty is getting people to support and approve those ideas. In businesses, the bottleneck is very often the middle manager who rejects new ideas employees have. The idea is there, but it doesn’t get past a desk or a committee. That’s where creativity goes to die.”

We know what is real, if we think about it, but most people oppose this because reality and solipsism are opposites. If we assert reality, it means that the individual is not supreme, and therefore individualism is maladapted and antisocial behavior as well as dependency on illusion.

The neurotics strike back by forming special interest groups that make their own definitions of reality that contradict observable patterns, but are simpler because they are symbolically purer, or simpler and more uniform, which makes them appeal to the human mind which prefers neat rows of identical objects to the unruly constant variation of nature.

At that point, no one can agree on what is real, so the neurotics win by default since they can now insist that “reality is whatever you want it to be” and its cousin, “we are all one,” which secretly means (to them) that we are all projections of their minds and see the world as they do.

With that massive wave of peer pressure, the neurotics overwhelm common sense and replace it with heterogeneous visions of reality:

The researchers found that there were major differences of opinion regarding whether or not a statement was an example of common sense. They also found that such opinions tended to differ less when they regarded facts, such as the number of sides in a triangle. A closer look at the responses suggested that the way a person viewed a topic had a major impact on whether they felt something was common-sensical or not.

For example, if a person did not believe all people were created equal, then they likely did not believe that saying so was common sense. This, the researchers suggest, indicates that a universal meaning of things described by the term does not exist.

Those in turn promote conflict, so the neurotics invariably set up a committee and insist on compromise. “Compromise” is the nature of committees, and means no one gets what they want and everyone gets a mediocre half-measure. It does not mean finding a workable solution, only representing the interests of each committee member.

A compromise-based committee, like a bipartisan political agreement, cannot exclude an opinion because it is unrealistic or insane. Instead, it must accept it, and incorporate it into whatever decision it makes. This is a means-over-ends thought process in which method is more important than goal.

The secret goal of all neurotics is to abolish the concept of reality itself. They want there to be diversity of realities, with so many viewpoints that nothing can be held in common except the lowest denominator, a condition which always involves individualism, anarchy, free stuff, and some au pair managerial government to clean up.

Before permanent civilization, natural selection took care of neurotics. Afloat in their own mental stimulus, they tended to wander off and die in the snow, get eaten, or be killed by wandering Foreigners. With permanent civilization, neurotics could work a job as well as anyone.

In fact, the job promotes neurotics because jobs are means-over-ends prospects. The goal does not matter; doing the methods that your boss demands matters, and you get promoted by flattering others and doing what they want, not what they need. Jobs enshrine neurosis in obedience and conformity.

All of this drama exists to protect the primal fallacy of individual, which we can see means an unwillingness to change his thinking. Eventually, the civilization collapses, and the few useful people wander off to start again from square one, having lost all that they labored for over many long centuries.

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