I realize that I am often longwinded with the written word (though to know me and to speak to me, you would sometimes wonder what it takes to get a simple "yes or no" response from me). I am the self-appointed king of thinking up universes of contradiction and intrigue which I refuse to share with even my rational "everyday" persona, a persona which I conveniently consider a simple "cloaking device" through which I can navigate a rather disturbing universe I have unfortuantly not thought up all by myself... or have I? Here I am, "thinking," of that which I perceive and denying it all within the same breath... (dude, it gets way less stupid, but not for a few paragraphs...).
Give me an email address, and I will bore you with probing questions and loony pontifications. Give me a "blog" and I will mercilessly destroy us both. If you really want to really get in sync with a mode of thought that will allow you to just "take it easy" in a nice room with padded walls where you are waited on night and day by nice people with sippy cups of Thorazine, please read on, because this is about the most frank I've ever been openly in a secretive manner on a fairly-public-yet-secret forum such as this. And the next time you even think of me, you will most likely wonder what the fuck I was even talking about that one time you read this and perhaps wonder more what the fuck I could possibly be thinking of currently...
This "cloaking device" I refer to is thee ole "social personality" which is... well... My behavior and speech is a tiny piece of the overall puzzle that needs not just "work" but a severe overhaul or about-face and I am trying to reorganize my brain to fix this incredibly debilitating problem. I'm sure even some physically handicapped people have a "leg up" on me in the attitude department. You will see, once I give you a clearer peek into my world, how this reorganization of my mental faculties for the "improvement" of my "self" (ie. disguise) would get a bit tricky. Or, possibly, you will be shocked at what simple concepts I have trouble comprehending, such as "right" and "wrong". The fact that I remain a social retard is not just because I'm a lazy asshole, though some people will certainly believe this to be the case (more on this idea of "belief" later...).
However, once this piece gets in line (my entire concept of "reality"), other pieces should fall into place: better social skills, better job, better home life, better attitude... and yet, they all sort of "go together," so it's not just as easy as fixing ONE thing (my brain). Because of this society of which I am an integral part (according to my "self," anyway), I can't just "get it together" quite so simply with the expectation that everything will fall into place after I've corrected my own failings as a human being. My perception of everything necessarily depends on everything else, despite the sort of "common-man" psychology which explains that, in order to feel at peace in the world, "you need to love yourself first" (and all that jazz). I happen to love myself quite well, thank you very much. I feel 100% that my understanding of -- and relation to -- "reality" is sufficient, if not better-than, other individuals' understanding and "relational rationalization" (one's place in the world), which leads to a certain acceptable degree of satisfaction and self-love for them (and me, for we are the same).
I often feel these so-called "normal" individuals are unthinking and marginal creatures, to be quite honest, as in the case of George W. Bush (if he is, in fact, the creature he presents himself to be). I do not feel that I am "better than" anyone, however, including George W. Bush, although the thought is quite tempting because his reality seems so inferior to my own (this will soon become hilarious, if you perceive this to be my snobbery). To clarify, I feel that the totality of one's thought puts one in one's own specific substrate of a greater sort of "Universal "Marginality." In other words, unless I am missing something (which I might be, due to my own marginality), I feel that consciousness itself is marginal and the varying degrees of capabilty of conceptualization of "realtiy" are simply the TOTAL EQUAL SUM of one's own world of marginality. There is no end in sight to the looming questions of "meaning" of and within existence and each level of understanding provides its own meaning, which is equally its own authority and lacking in totality of a "perfection." Therefore, the smartest person on earth, and even the dumbest person on earth, exist in a world to a degree of their own making which, unless tipped off to the supremest secrets of the universe are utterly meaningless and wholly closed systems of understanding and interpretation of what-can-never-be-known; each creature exists according to degree, but no creature exists according to the highest degree of everything in terms of complete and total underestanding. By this logic, a person in a coma could equally be as enlightened as Einstein, whose once-perfect theories are currently dissintigrating into partial realities as we speak... Science, religion, culture and art fight for supremecy, but each is equally marginal, mundane, wrong and right without justification (or, more accurately, justified within its own jurisdiction).
To better explain, I will use a recently popular example of what educated people seem to feel is a good example of all four conflicting worlds rolled into one, and this is the Westernized concept of "Buddhism," a school of thought which has been investigated and appropriated by science, religion, culture and art for the simple reason that it seems to be, at least on the surface, a "common sense" view of reality to a certain degree and which provides certain perceptable results in practice which is not limited to dogmatic interpretation, such as stress-relief in physical terms and "meaningfulness" in psychological, religious and cultural terms.
In the popularized Western psychological viewpoint of Buddhism (i.e. "fake buddhism"), there is a whole "right way" of being which depends on "right thinking" and "right action." It has been described as riding in a wagon with a misshapen wheel. This one imperfectly-shaped wheel represents the suffering of daily existence, which is simply part of the "wagon" (or reality) you were given (born into). Now, in order to maintain balance and "not fall off the wagon," one must constantly work at one's balance. One must constantly strive to see things "right' and not be a victim of the emotions of the ego. One must be aware of the odd off-tempo rolling of the misshapen wheel; one must anticipate its peculiar motions and react accordingly to achieve proper balance. He must understand the nature of suffering, he must learn to work with the "misshapen wheel" because he can not simply ignore it, lest it catch him off guard and throw the wagon into the ditch. If he falls out of the wagon, his only option is to learn from the experience and try again, because in reality, the "wagon" is not something he simply decides to climb into in order to "go for a ride," but something he was born into; it is the reality of day-to-day life. But "the wagon" will always have that misshapen wheel because life is not just what one wishes it to be. The misshapen wheel represents the obstacles along the path. In this way, the wagon is constantly rolling along with its defective wheel, so he must be mindful of that wheel in order to maintain proper balance. In time, his "balance" will get better and, with practice, he will get used to the rolling of the misshapen wheel (ie. struggle). When a person gets "used to" the misshapen wheel, he learns how to "ride" the wagon of life, despite the difficulties the journey presents. In other words, when nature rears its ugly head, do not let it catch you unawares.
Remind you of alcoholism at all? Alcoholism isn't a disease, it's a mindset. (And mindsets are not diseases unless you are talking about "memes." And if you ARE talking about memes, then every idea is, basically, a disease. A meme is a term for a "mind virus" or self-replicating idea or belief, whether good or bad-- but, usually, an idea that can't be 'shaken' is bad, as it borders on obsession.) Hmmm, so is alcoholism is a weakness or a "sin," as certain religions would have you believe? Is a sin to be weak? Hmmm... don't jump to answer that just yet...
I feel it necessary to point out, my interest in Buddhism waned once I started to perceive it as ultimately a "unique sort of nihilism," which I fancy as my uniquely unpopular opinion. I believe I once referred to it as "Satanic," though I did not actually mean that it was "created by Satan (since I have no use for the concept of "Satan" whatsoever). What I meant was that, while nihilism is skeptical and denies all existence, Buddhism is *hopefully* skeptical and denies all existence. The basic premise of Buddhism is that "all is illusion" and the "greater reality" is something that can only be grasped by denial of the "ego-self" and service to others. Therefore, this "greater reality" is not capable of explanation to those who have not grasped it themselves, which is rather a convenient loophole. In practice, it appears to be a warped way of creating meaning and wonder out of the everyday mundane events (the mind has a natural tendency toward boredom), which is sort of a self-imposed hypnotism and one can quite easily draw parallels with any other wacked out idea or religion that might involved "brainwashing" and "reprogramming." This leads me to wonder: what exactly IS "brain-dirtying" and "initial programming"... am I wrong to assume it is ANYTHING ELSE which has been experienced PRIOR?
There is a lot of truth in THE BASIC WESTERNIZED VERSION OF BUDDHISM, but ultimately, is it truthful ... or is it just a way to spend your life in order to obtain some degree of self-imposed satisfaction (and, really, is there any other kind)? Buddhists are more often penniless beggars or self-deluded phonies than they are universally respected unique individuals. There is no doubt that there is something very truthful in the basic message of Buddhism, but beyond this very basic message, there are a lot of big ideas about the universe, the soul, God, etc. that a sincere seeker will have trouble proving FOR HIMSELF if he is not just looking for something to believe in for the sake of comforting himself and if he is not simply willing to accept as FACT something which other people tell him. With that "authority" in question, the whole concept boils down to a "glass half full or half empty" kind of belief system. A "glass half full" world view is fine up to a point, but in order to internalize it fully, one would have to be brainwashed and reprogrammed.
Believe it or not, at this point, I have found solace in only one idea that seemed simple-minded to me when I first heard it about 10 years ago, but is holding up more and more every time I think about it. And lately, with my ever-crumbling belief systems, I seem to test the theory quite a bit. It most certainly will sound strange to you if you've never heard it, but here it is, the one belief I have come to almost fully accept:
"Nothing is true. Everything is permissible."
This is a false truth by it's own words: "Nothing is true."
Another false truth which I accept is : "What the thinker thinks, the prover proves."
This is equally true (though false, according to any objectionable "thinker" or "prover").
These very "truths" rely on the participant's perception and observation, when in fact the participant is the one who is seeking the "answer," and therefore he is also the "questioner." Only to the questioner, can the answer be proven!
Regardless of any contradictory evidence, answers can be found to justify the beliefs of ANYONE regarding ANYTHING at ANY TIME. And history shows this in convoluted ways by which nobody can agree fundamentally and truthfully, which essentially proves this law. Historians will agree that contradictory evidence does not deny "THE SIMPLE FACTS OF HISTORY," yet they will disagree on what is actually historically TRUE!
If everyone agreed on ANYTHING, that one thing would AT LEAST be true, but as it turns out, regarding the most iinfinitesimal quantifiable knowledge, nothing has been decided. Only through relationships with other things can the essence of any thing be understood and by that understanding no glimmer of ultimate truth can be obtained outside of the observers' limited perception of projected reality.
What is totally bizarre to even consider is that these statements that "nothing is true, everything is permissible" and "what the thinker thinks, the prover proves" is supported by science, religion, philosophy and psychology as well as art and culture. When trying to pinpoint the actual truth of a matter -- let's take the actual subject of "matter" as an example-- a person will find that there is no truth at all. The whole method of science exists because people project their ideas about reality "out there." Through analysis, their concepts "come to life" in the realm of the observed. But, what is observed invariably is perceived through the filter of the observer, whether it be his instruments of dissection or his mental capacity to understand. But, the science of yesterday is proven wrong by the science of today.
So one could say that science is never true, always false, but that would be wrong according to the microscopic world in which Science exists, quantifiable knowlege. Science is true for the moment; it is progressive logic. For instance, you wouldn't look at Sodium Chloride crystals and say, "Bah, there's no Chlorine in there!" The reason for this obvious rationale is simply because science has an ever-expanding realm of "truth" and Science itself has proven that Sodium Chloride crystals include Chlorine. But Quantum Physics, Superstring Theory, Nonlocality (Not to mention the Holographic Universe theory) all show science to be completely "unreal" according to our existing "scientific model," which those of the scientific community will simultaneously dismiss in lieu of the "future" and laud as the highest achievement in terms of the "past."
Coming back to the truth of the "matter"-- what is matter? Slowly vibrating energy? Waves or particles? How about both? How about this: for all our knowledge and experience with breaking things down into smaller things, we're left with a gaping hole in scientific logic, or the "scientific model" of the "past" (our "current"). Attempts at an explanation can only be initiated by projecting our ideas onto "reality" and coming up with some wild conclusions which do not serve a previous scientific model. That's the "truth" of matter!
As for religion or purpose, each individual has his own version of "truth." And every individual's world allows him to experience his truth to the fullest. The universe gives ample leeway for that person to simply change his mind one day and formulate a completely different set of beliefs which he will wholeheartedly consider "truth" from that point on, regardless of the fact that he now considers his previous "truth" to be completely false and regardless of the fact that this previous truth, which he now believes to be false, was something that he once considered to be "100% true." Imagine Luther and the reformation! Imagine believing in the Easter Bunny! It's all true, until you find something else that seems "more true" which renders the previous belief "utterly ridiculous!"
This is why two people can argue opposing viewpoints, completely secure in their belief that the OTHER person is "looking through blinders" and only believes whatever he WANTS to believe. Quite simply and unequivocally, the universe allows BOTH people to come away from the argument satisfied that THEY are right and the OTHER person is wrong. But, is this point I just made "unequivocal" or is it just MY belief? Certainly, to me this is true, but perhaps to you it is not... does that just prove the point I made...?
Or maybe YOU ARE RIGHT and I AM WRONG? Interesting weirdness there, isn't it? We are trapped. "What the thinker thinks, the prover proves." The thinker doesn't "prove it" to others, he proves it to HIMSELF. If others "want to believe" in what the prover has proved, they will... but is it just a matter of choice, after all? Well... that's what 2 people engaged in an argument seem to think: "Oh, you just believe whatever you WANT to believe, regardless of all this evidence I give you!" The universe not only ALLOWS this, but the universe SUPPORTS IT. Nothing is true... and yet, everything is permissible, for "what the thinker thinks, the prover proves." If you don't "think" it, you're not likely to "prove" it. And, never having proved "it" (the other person's "truth"), you will simply stick to the "proof" of whatever else it is that you have "thought."
So, what is "proof" and what is "thought"? Consider for a moment a "4-WORLD REALITY" :
- SOLIDS (rap your fist on a solid table, for this is what has "materialized" and what most scientific thinkers consider to be "reality").
- IMAGES (think of yourself on a solid goLd toilet; if you try hard enough in the "real world", you may earn enough money and this might become a reality-- you may just buy a "solid" gold toilet in the material world).
- WORDS - consider the phrase "TIME-PLATED SKY TOMATOES" -- no matter how hard you try, this phrase could never become a reality because the "image" is too fleeting. It has a certain "feeling," but just what the hell is a "time-plated sky tomato?"
- FEELING or "SPIRIT" - before someone told you what "happiness" or "sadness" was, there existed a reality which for you was real, but might have been difficult to express in simplistic terms-- For instance, when you were a baby, you were "happy" when you suckled, "sad" when you had indigestion, but all you could do was smile and giggle or scream at the top of your lungs because you had no words in your "reality" to utilize.
Were you a "moron" as a baby, as Science tells you, "naive" as Art and Culture tell you, or were you "Pure" as Religion and Philosophy tell you? Simple answer: you were all of the above and one schoole of thought does not invalidate the other. It is simply "what is."
All of this bothers me because it is not just concepts floating around "out there." It is all very important to daily interaction. People KILL each other based on their beliefs (for example).
As another "for instance," I probably COULD be satisfied and happy as a cut-throat businessman, if I didn't have this belief that there are limited resources and that when one person profits, another is denied profit. But, in a capitalist society, there is no other alternative. There is only small and grand scale variations of this same concept (if my belief in "limited resources" is actually "true"): If I land a job, then obviously, someone else has been denied the job. If I make a billion dollars exploiting a 3rd world country, I provide jobs and bring money to some people while denying those less fortunate and adding to their misery by polluting their water and rendering their land useless. However, simply by being employed in the good old USA, I am contributing to this unfair global economy in which the stronger Western economies prey upon the weaker nations and bully them into submission. Is this just a "liberal distortion" or is this "reality"? Well, as we have pointed out above, history is not necessarily the "reality" everyone agrees to, for there are differing opinions and realities of everything that has ever taken place, each of which exists in its own fabricated reality.
In a way, as you can probably already tell, I lean toward the Buddhist and Christian ideals of "service to others," despite the fact that I believe neither ideology, just the same way I would feel pity for a dying animal and do my best to help any creature from unnecessary suffering. This inclination of mine is based on personal experience, not reward in the afterlife or threat from some Overlordy Loving Creator Deity. But, in the case of contributing to the Evil Empire of Western nations, it is a bit like the Shroedinger's Cat Theory, which I'm sure you've heard before. (Simplified: If a cat is in a box, you do not know if it's alive or dead until you open the box. It is in a state of "neither-dead-nor-alive" simply because the observer must resign himself to the truth of the matter that he DOES NOT KNOW FOR CERTAIN until he opens the box.)
So, Before I came to understand the global economy as I now understand it, where the "advanced" Western nations prey upon the weaker nations, I had no clue what I was contributing to as an American citizen. Now that I DO know what I am contributing to, is it morally wrong to contribute to an economy which oppresses a large population... or is it still in that state of "don't know" as it previously was before I "opened Shroedinger's box," as it were? .
.. Well, obviously, since I DO KNOW the situation (at least, the situation as it has been DESCRIBED TO ME by news sources which MAY or MAY NOT be telling the truth), the state of "don't know" no longer exists for me, if I am willing to believe the things I am told. Despite the fact that the global economy is STILL THE SAME, regardless of my ignorance or understanding, if I accept the BELIEF now that I am contributing to an economy which creates 3rd world suffering, I have accepted the belief that now I "DO know" and I will either continue to contribute to the Western economy or I will decide it is "morally wrong" and refuse to contribute.
Now, this "thought process" leads me to the idea that action should "morally" reflect awareness. In other words, if you KNOW something is "wrong," you should not willfully participate in its wrong-ness. It seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it?
But, what are morals? In my case, as I said, these ideals come from personal experience which cause feelings of empathy or sympathy. By acting "morally," I would simply be acting to prevent another creature from having to endure any suffering WHICH I CAN COMPREHEND, because comprehension is a crucial aspect of "morality," "sympathy," or "empathy."
It is interesting because I have to admit, like most people, there are instances involving certain people in which I feel compelled to say, "Well, I just have NO SYMPATHY for someone who acts like THAT!!!" So, what am I really saying? Am I the "Holy Moly of all Holies" and by my High Decree I find these people guilty, simply because I do not comprehend their actions? Yes! That is exactly what this "morality" is! Why do you think George W. Bush ansered, when asked, "How do you know same-sex marriage is wrong?" he answered, "BECAUSE I JUST KNOW?!" Because he belives himself to be the "HOLY MOLY" of ALL HOLIES and to know unequivocally, what is "RIGHT" and what is "WRONG"... Think about that! This guy is OUR PRESIDENT! Shocking? PERHAPS! But it depends on who you "are"....
Most people do not have any sympathy for murderers, rapists, etc. But, after careful consideration (and consider it carefully, don't just go "with your gut, like George W. Bush"), isn't it logical to assume that there is some reason these people behave this way? I am not assuming that their actions are a "righteous" response by any means or that their actions were even "acceptable" by anyone's standards but their own. But, what I AM suggesting, which is obvious if you think about it, is that their actions WERE acceptable BY THEIR OWN STANDARDS, whatever they were. This is a hard thing for people to stomach, though it is a rather ambiguous statment which is simultaneously OBVIOUS to anyone...
Here's a bizarre question: Is it being "too liberal" to feel "sympathy" for Hitler? What about "Satan?" Mmmm, yeah, if you're like most people, it certainly is "too liberal," if not "completely insane." But, try to keep in mind the nature of the discussion thus far. We are basically dissecting value-judgements here in light of a larger value-judgement which effectually doesn't even exist, so the nature of this probing question is practically nonsense, despite the fact that it may sympathetically unnerve you to even consider it. I certianly am not pro-violence of any kind (and especially any large-scale violence; I am merely "thinking," which is something that the Universe seems to have created me to do, since I do tend to "think" whether I actually desire to do so or not, as evidenced by my tossing-and-turning episodes at 2 am, while I readjust my many most comfortable pillows... so if this train of thought bothers you to any degree, please blame it on the Universe which has, by default, forced me to "think" and please do resist the urge to burn me at the stake as a "witch" or "satanist" or prosecute me as a "Nazi sympathiser," "communist," or whatever other narrow-minded preconceptions your limited world may represent the REAL WORLD and, therefore, myself, as to you within your world... Thanks!)"
The Rolling Stones have an album called "Their Satanic Majesties Request" and a song called "Sympathy For The Devil." Pretty outrageous stuff, I guess. I'm not even exactly sure what any of that means. In the case of "Sympathy For The Devil," it might mean that the devil got a bum deal, so the Stones have sympathy for him or something? Or, it might mean that there are certain people out there who are acting i"n parallel" with the Devil (and therefore in "sympathy with" and therefore there is "sympathy for" the devil, which is a far less emotional statement and is far-removed from the notion that the Rolling Stones themselves actually are sympathetic to the devil's plight). This is one of the many insanity-inducing trains of thought I get lost in while riding the subway (imagine that! A train of thought on a subway!). Did the Rolling Stones know something really brilliant I have yet to even think of (quite possibly!)... or were they just rebellious punks trying to make a quick buck with shock value marketing techniques? Well, "history" tells me that they did show a short-lived interest in Satanism when they created the soundtrack for a film by Kenneth Anger, who is a practicing "Satanist" (whatever that is) called "Invocation Of My Demon Brother." But, Mick got freaked out and wanted out of the Satan game real quick all of a sudden after one of their guitarists died (Brian Jones). This reminds me of a certain "history" I read about Led Zeppelin... marketing? I tend to think so... but, I won't delude anyone's illusions...
The Stones are AFRAID of the devil? According to "history".. yet.. let's really think this through here... This again boils down to belief. I have a strange feeling that if the Rolling Stones ever really WERE into "Satanism," they probably didn't REALLY believe it all that much to begin with (judging by their other "histories," such as their albums and all other biographies which failed to mention any interest whatsoever in "Satan")... And, sorry to say for all you Christian fanatics, but my interpretation of thier "history" as a group of obviously marketable musicians is that they were just slightly rebelling against a Christian upbringing, which is obviously, according to "history," quite a natural thing.
Yes, at leat in my opinion, in any instance they slapped the word "Satan" or "devil" onto their product, this was nothing more than a marketing gimmick at a time when it was culturally profitable. The next question is, of course, "Why was it profitable?" The answer is just as obvious: because the climate was accepting. Probably, like many kids who've been raised Christian, the Rolling Stones thought the whole Biblical set-up stunk and it was really God who is to blame for the way things turned out. This was the climate, the "reality" of the times. After all, God made this place, right? Not Satan! Heck, God even made Satan, right?
But, the interesting thing is, even if the Stones originally had "Sympathy" for the devil, even in a "devil-may-care" sense (appropriate!), eventually the Rolling Stones seem to have actually come to BELIEVE in the Devil to the extent that they "historically" got scared of and quickly backed off all that Satanism stuff! Their own belief was the only thing that made Satan real to them, as they had apparently originally set out to shock and rebel! If they really BELIEVED in Satan to begin with, they would've been scared to death from the get-go! Obviously, they didn't and obviously they weren't! They got close to "the devil" because they had nothing to fear, but in the end, whether it was superstition or reality, the got freaked out by Satanism. It doesn't matter what your belif is, the Rolling Stones themselves, at least according to "history," appear to have become frightened due to their association with "Satanism."
Satan is always a rough topic. To some people, Satan is bigger than God because he represents the everyday sensual reality of everything they live everyday-- all the good things in excess that God disallows; the pleasures of the flesh, which are here to be experienced in magnitude! On the other hand, God represents things yet to come, despite the fact that he has actually created all this "sinful" physicality. Or, if this line of reasoning is rejected, on must agree that whatever it is that the thinker thinks, the prover will prove it in relation to God, Jesus, Satan, and "right" and "wrong." For the people that tend to believe in Satan or a "devil," this belief is reinforced by every misfortune of every single day, while belief in God is predicated on the mercy shown in the weakest moments and the "cup half filled" mindset of hopeful nihilism, as is also expressed in the "common sense" logic of "Westernized Buddhism."
When this is all added up in the end, there is not too much comfort to be found when the only thing that can be believed is a statement which invalidates itself:
"Nothing is true. Everything is permissible."
I agree, at this point, with this statement, because I have not been able to find one instance in whic it is not the ultimate truth, much to my dismay! Whole-heartedly, I say this and am fully aware that I speak from with a microcosm which appears to represent "the macrocosm," for lack of a better description. However, within this whole-heartedly accepted belief system or, more appropriately, simpy "logic," the first sentence ("Nothing is true") disproves itself by it's own criteria, for if nothing is true, how could the observation that "nothing is true" actually BE true? And, by the logic of the first sentence, the following sentence is also invalidated, for if nothing is true, the statement that "everything is permissible" must surely be a lie to some degree.