The World and its Interpretations

Everything we know and talk about is relative to our condition of being-in-the-world. Things can only make sense from the position of this fact. Without the world, there is no existence. This is the absolute basis of all the necessary respect that we must have for the world.

Life perceives, or, instinctively knows that it is immersed in an environment. Reality is that which is revealed. On the primary level, it is that which is revealed to the senses, and on a superior level, it is that which is unconcealed to the mind, or discovered by it.

Language permits reality to be an assertion, and it also permits others, who share the same language, to interpret – confirm or dispute – the assertions. A picture of what is true in the world comes through the confirmation or rejections of interpretations of what is perceived through the senses or through the intellect.

Transcendental Reality – from the Big Bang to the Virtual Laboratory of Being, via Plato

Matrix-and-Internet

In order for reality to exist it needed to create an object/subject capable of perceiving it, but in order to do that, it had to firstly manufacture a physical space for that perceiving-subject to evolve in. This needed to be constructed in such a way that life could evolve within it.

The problem is analogous to our relationship with our computers. If we can imagine things from the computer’s point of view … well, from the perspective of an AI computer that would be capable of having a point of view …For that AI consciousness, reality is out of the box that the physical universe is contained in.

Nevertheless, something in that same out-of-the-box reality is responsible for programming the operating system that allows the AI to exist, be conscious of its existence, and even be capable of understanding its own condition as an artificial form of reality created in order to understand the real. Even though that reality is outside of the box and hence alien to the AI’s own immediate environment.

A question arises from this: Could an artificial intelligence ever come to really understand that which it’s been designed to do without being able to leave the box and experience the authentically real for itself?

In fact, this dilemma seems to be a moot point, having been made irrelevant by the fact that an intelligent computer does have access to input from outside. Actually, the imagined world of the Cyberentity would be mostly formed by its perception of the information that it could gather from the Internet, which would be information about the other reality, outside of the box, that is our world.

So, here the analogy breaks down, or does it? Here, perhaps, Plato was right. Everything that exists in the physical world has been created from information uploaded into it from the pre-physical or transcendentally Real dimension.

Thus, we also have the Biblical “God created the Universe in his own image” …

Or perhaps not … Could our physical reality have been a different kind of computer to the ones we are accustomed to be using?

Imagine that we want to build a device that could actually teach us about ourselves by clearly revealing to ourselves what we are from a purely objective stand-point. Our main aim therefore, would be to fabricate something which would provide an objective perception of us and, at the same time, be able to communicate its impartial perception of us to us, in a language that we are capable of understanding.

It might be considered that the best way to do this would be not to invent a super-AI observer of us, who could teach us, like a Messiah (we already know how flawed that process is), but rather to fabricate a virtual, but distorted image of a civilisation, that we could observe from a safe and impartially-perfect distance. If the civilisation were flawed we could learn from its mistakes, if it were perfect and Utopian, we would have a model to learn how to improve our own societies from.

In order to make this didactic universe, we would need to programme an environment capable of evolving in its own original way, but in a direction in which the creation of perception, consciousness, self-consciousness and curiosity were all possible. At the same time, the process would need to be monitored by us, so that, the internal language of the organisms evolving in the process can be learned and understood by us. Only if we allow a language of evolution that’s alien to our own, and therefore objective because distorted image of ourselves will the experiment provide scientifically important results (a mirror-image of ourselves would not give us the distance needed to truly learn from our observations of it). Only if we are constantly monitoring the language in order to understand its idiosyncrasies will we be able to draw purposeful conclusions and enjoy a meaningful experience from the experiment.

The fact that it is conceivable that we, or an Artificial Intelligence, could be capable of conducting such an experiment, opens a mind-boggling window into the question of reality. In fact, the very existence of virtual-reality questions the nature of our own perceived-world in exactly the same way that Plato did. We are not only capable of imagining the creation of a virtual universe, the purpose of which would be to understand our own being, we could also very well be the results of such a fabrication by an entity outside of our own box.

It also tells us that consciousness of the virtual does not have to be a nightmarish experience, like the one depicted in the Matrix films, but rather it provides a purposeful meaning for our existence in terms of the entire multiverse – in and out of the box experience of Reality. If the scenario we have imagined here is correct, and we are the virtual creations of the universe, then it means that we are the objects that the universe learns from, which turns us into the didactic material that the universe absorbs.

And the moral lesson this teaches, is that the essence of the universe is moulded by our example and that is a tremendous responsibility.

Yet, if this is so, what needs to be done?

Perhaps the best way to solve this question will be to create our own virtual-universe laboratory … and by doing so extend reality further into the infinite regressions of the multiverse. Infinity is a reality, but it is found not in expansion but in regression.

LOVE, THE REAL & THE IDEAL

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I

Reality is out there, but first it must be brought into view. But what, or more correctly who, can carry out this viewing, if not some biological form blessed with the gift of perception. And what good is being perceived if that which has the power of perception is incapable of appreciating that reality and understanding it in a meaningful way.

The capacity for appreciating, and a desire for understanding derived from that appreciation, is a kind of energy unique to Sapiens species. It is the result of a creative evolutionary process, an evolution unto the power to know and be known, a process possessing such an energetic vitality that we think it is suitable to describe it as a kind of loving, the love to know things. It may well be the same power of transference that we often use the term ‘love’ for, for all kinds of love are desiring processes of trying to know, and wanting to be known. To know one must understand, and there is nothing more vital in the success of human relationships of any level of complexity, from couples to intricate societies, than that of understanding. However, the connections between love and understanding are often not made at all when the term is expressed, producing the many vague forms that the term is used for at all levels of life.

So, if (A) reality is that which has been perceived and the understandings that have been made from that perception; and (B) the perceiving-understanding element in the Universe is the Sapiens species; and if (C) this process of wanting to know is part of what we call love, then, we can affirm (X) that the Universe without Sapiens is a loveless place, but also (Y) that the Universe with Sapiens is a reality embedded with love.

Love (the desire for understanding), is, partly, a power of transference and partly the capacity to receive information in order to make a deciphering of that information received. Love, therefore, may be felt, and confused, emotionally, but its basis is fundamentally intellectual.

And if love comes basically from transference of information, then this is also the foundation of all physics. From quantum particles to the couple in love, unto the stars and galaxies, there is a constant and necessary transference of information going on.

Love is not only that which is desired, it is also that which is needed for reality to take place at all.

In evolutionary terms, from the microcosm to the macrocosm, the highest form of transference-evolution resides in the middle of the cosmological map – in life. And in the Sapiens entities that have evolved in life.

If appreciation and understanding are evolutionary high-points in the development of transference, then love is a result of becoming that is, we believe, still becoming; still developing.

II

The Sapiens relationship with the Universe, therefore, comes through love, and this is the highest form of relationship that exists in the evolving Universe.

This is not a mystical statement; its metaphysical conclusions have been drawn from our scientific perceptions of the cosmos and from evolutionary principles. Truth is in the real as we, the Sapiens, being that Real, with a capital R, into view. The Universe becomes and will continue to become as we unveil it by perceiving it. All meaningfulness is wrapped up in this process of becoming; all meaningfulness is contained in us. We are the centre of the cosmos. All real positivism is contained in this fact.

III

There is another quality involved in love and, as such, in the Sapiens’ relationship with the reality of the Universe, and that is the desire for preservation which in its ultimate form is a longing for the eternal. In this way we can see love in the form of a triad: APPRECIATION + UNDERSTANDING + PRESERVATION = LOVE.

Love triangle

 

REALITY AS A PURPOSEFUL LIE

The mystic philosophers were right when they told us that reality is elsewhere, but they were wrong in claiming that our ultimate delusion came from a lack of spiritual insight; our alienation from reality is a psychological and social delusion created by our tendency to perceive reality in lies.

In essence, however, even this delusional tendency to believe things that cannot be proven, may be a necessary element for any positive human view of reality.

Science gives us a view of reality that goes beyond the narrow confines of the world that we perceive. In this way, science is an attempt to uncover the delusional nature of our lying perceptions. The real is not really what we see and feel.

Nevertheless, scientific objectivity clashes with our attempts to forge a positive view of our place in the cosmos. Ultimately, scientific truth is nihilistic. Vanity of vanities. Everything is headed to an inescapable thermal death. All things will come to an end. There is no ultimate purpose to the Universe.

But does an acceptance of this ultimately pointless reality do humanity as a whole any good? Science tells us how insignificant and ultimately pointless we are in the Universe. The result is nihilism and a depression that bleeds down through the entire fabric of contemporary, nihilistic civilisation. Live the moment. Reality is ephemeral. And so, religion has to be saved or even restored. We need hope, don’t we? Even if that hope is a blatant lie.

But even religions are essentially nihilistic as far as humanity goes. For religions, reality is elsewhere, in the Paradise after death. And so we ask: Why is reality so negative? Why is truth so grim?

A positive view of historical human reality can only be truly comprehensible to human beings from the point of view of humanity itself. However, this statement implies an anthropocentric view, which most scientists now reject as biased; and because of that consider it to be unrealistic.

But, does this mean that in order to be realistic we have to forfeit any positive view of humanity?

In actual fact, science itself gives us a way out here; for there is cosmological data that points to a sentient-life purpose evolution of the Universe. Data exists that explains how the self-organising of the Universe was able to create conditions for organisms so complex that they can comprehend that same organisation.[i]

In order to determine reality without deluding ourselves in lies we need to look at the debate that scientists are having on the idea of a purposefully determined cosmos. In this argument the science that has to be allowed the most authority is cosmology. So, what do cosmologists and other physicists really think about the idea of a deterministic Universe; one that implies that we are evolving purposefully towards an ultimate goal?

Some scientists, like cosmologist Martin Rees and the physicist Paul Davies, are in favour of the idea of purposefully orientated evolution, whilst almost any quantum physicist would argue against the anthropocentric view, in favour of indeterminism. Nevertheless, arguments can be found, that take a middle ground. And perhaps it is here that we can resolve the debate.

We think this middle ground has been nicely described by Dan Pipono:

“There is no meaningful difference (between determinism and indeterminism). Suppose at some moment there is some kind of undetermined probabilistic event and the universe forks in one of two ways. Then mathematically we can describe the situation in two distinct ways A and B: (1) we could say that after the fork, the universe is either in state A or state B. The universe is non-deterministic because we don’t know which of A and B it is going to be before the fork. OR (2) the universe is in a state that consists of two pieces, A and B, each of which contains a copy of us. The universe is deterministic but appears non-deterministic because we don’t know which of A and B is the one that contains us. Some people will use Occam’s razor in this situation. Some will use it to argue for (1) because a universe with just A or B is simpler than a universe with both A and B. Some will use it to argue for (2) because often (2) is mathematically simpler than (1). I can’t see any way of distinguishing (1) and (2). In practice I’d use whichever is more convenient for whatever I’m trying to do.”[ii]

Like Pipono and Occam, we argue that reality needs to be viewed according to what is most convenient to what needs to be done with that reality. And what we, as humans, need to question is what is the most convenient reality for humanity; a purposeful state or a nihilistic one? If we still cannot, with true scientific certainty, resolve the debate in favour of either purpose or nihilism, which view of reality is ultimately more convenient for us; for our survival and progress?

 

[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fine-tuned_Universe

[ii] See Dan Pipono https://www.quora.com/What-is-the-evidence-for-and-against-determinism

THE HORIZONS AROUND IT ALL

 

Once we began using language we were obliged to form limits for everything. Calling something by name means to draw a circle around it, limiting it by its own definition. Definition has, therefore, a purpose to create limits.

Yet, while this is true, we also have a seemingly insatiable curiosity which, if allowed to operate, will always be struggling to see over the borders of the circles that we have drawn around things. This is more easily done if we first of all understand that the encircling of things by defining them is a process of creating horizons rather than boundaries or solid walls. The horizon, we know, is not an obstacle, but merely an ever expanding limitation. The reality in every thing is alike the flesh of an onion in its complexity and a horizon in its spatiality. When we peel off a layer there is another fine layer underneath; when we approach its limits they keep moving away from us. We can never go beyond it, we just discover how it forever opens itself before our own progress; how it never fails to unfold before us as we move towards the limits that we imagine are there but do not really exist. However, for this eternal unfolding of horizons to take place, we must, first of all, put ourselves in motion and go forward. We can never reach the end of a rainbow, but the landscape around us will change enormously if we try.

The Science of Mirages

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Lacan called psychoanalysis a science of mirages[i], but aren’t all truth-seeking disciplines concerned with the mirage? Mustn’t truth always be uncovered from a reality which is a constant process of covering up?

That the truth is ugly and ashamed of itself while at the same time being proud of its power and its ability to seduce via the masks it wears, makes it easy for us to exist with our backs turned. It is more comfortable for us to look away from the real and face a false projection of reality rather than tackling the ugly truth itself. This is the unauthentic nature of the civilised human’s perception of life. It is a virtual but interactive existence that sublimates the real slavery inherent in our sacrifices. By immersing ourselves in the false projection we give ourselves a space to play in with our own meanings, where we are able to create roles with our own reasons for playing the game. The unreality of our fantasies seeps into the real in a liquid way, mixing with it, tainting it and making it even uglier than it already is. There is a psychological distortion affecting both parts of human nature – the animal as well as the Sapien nature – and the socio-cultural life of civilisation must pay a psychological price for that distortion. We lean ever further in the direction of the fantasy, and that act has another price to pay.

But the real cost of the fantasy is our misunderstanding of the world we must live in, and the over-appreciation of the strength of the bubble we have created in order to isolate ourselves from the natural space we will always depend on. We think the bubble protects us, but really it endangers us. The truth is ugly because it lies to us, and it is intangible for that same reason. How can one grasp a truth that is really a lie? What is the truth in the lie of the truth?

Such questions swallow their own tails. The paradox nature of this truth is maddening. Nevertheless once this is accepted we can act with purpose. If the truth is a lie, it needs to be changed. A new reality needs to be made. We need to make truth honest again. But in order to do that we need to burst the bubble of fantasy and lies that we are floating in. We have to walk through the mirage, confront the desert, and cross over it.

[i] Jacques Lacan, Écrits (the first complete edition in English), W. W. Norton and co., New York, 1999, p. 339

NEUROSIS: OUR PARODIXICAL REALITY

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The power and meaningfulness of paradox is embedded in the unity of its own greatest contradiction: Paradox is something that reveals and conceals at the same time. But this could also be a definition of reality itself. Reality is something that reveals and conceals and hence, reality has a paradoxical nature.

It is certainly true of the reality propagated by the System. The System reveals and conceals. Watch the nightly news and that which is unveiled is at the same time concealing just as much information, if not more. In the same way, at the same time that we discover things we also repress our awareness of other things. Concentration opens our eyes to minute details by blurring the forms around it. This is not a contradiction but rather a paradoxical reality.

To find another example let us examine the psychological or psycho-pathological state of our society and consider the existence of neurosis. At the subjective level, neurosis is a removal of the individual’s narrative from public communication. However, on the social or macro-psychological level, it is the public communication that has become senseless to the individual. Alienation is the cause of neurosis and an alienating society will breed neurotics. Nevertheless, in the case of neurotic illness quite the opposite takes place: society sees the neurotic as ill and the neurotics will see that “illness” in themselves because the  society reflects it at them. But whose fault is it when someone feels disconnected from society: the fault of the neurotic or of the system that creates neurosis? In our System, it is a neurotic splitting of discourse from meaning that alienates the individual, not a particular moral weakness or infirm nervous system in the neurotics themselves. Nevertheless, the fact that society creates neurotics is not considered an important criticism of the structure of society itself. There are no political party agendas dedicated to the eradication of neurosis, because, in order to do such a thing a complete rethinking and restructuring of the fabric of society would be required. The existence of neurotics condemns the failures of society and yet the condemnation is covered up and loaded upon the victim. The truth concerning neurosis is therefore embedded in the mystification of its paradoxical nature and only by looking for the paradox that encloses the problem are we really able to see it.

It is the discovery of the paradox that allows for the unveiling of the real. Always search for the paradoxical nature of things, even when, or especially when, things seem perfectly straight forward.

HOW TO FIND YOUR TRUE VOCATION IN LIFE?

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Imagine a future civilisation in which our technologies are so advanced that money has been rendered obsolete. Work, as something that one needs to do to earn an income which will pay for your survival or improve your standard of living, no longer exists. Now think: in such a scenario what would I do with my time now that I have all day to do what I want? Try and imagine something that you could spend most of your time doing without really needing to do it. If something comes immediately to mind that is probably your vocation in life. If nothing does then you’ll have to look harder for it. Or perhaps you can think of many things, in which case you probably have a holistic vocation that does not limit itself to specific areas and you’ve got a Renaissance soul.

What this also gives us is a measure of progress. The standard of living in a society improves when we can all actually do what we really want to do. Only when we have liberated society from the money system will we be able to make it a vocation-driven one.

KNOWING THE LIE – CONSCIOUSNESS (1)

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One cannot be free unless one has the power to change one’s circumstances in a positive way. One cannot change one’s circumstances unless one can see what needs to be changed. Consciousness is therefore an a priori necessity for freedom. Dictatorship can be achieved by simply making the people it oppresses unconscious of the reality that really dominates them.

Consciousness has to be an alert force, if it is not alert it cannot be consciousness. Its power lies in its ability to see through the veil of systemic mystification. Consciousness allows us the right to be critical, sceptical, or even cynical.

Of course consciousness can also be false. False consciousness lacks clarity as it is muddied by its own ideologies: ideologies that stem from identities. For consciousness to be clear it needs to transcend all ideology-mask identities.

False consciousness could also be called misguided consciousness – a consciousness looking for a reality which is simply just not there, and probably never will be, is a misguided one. Consciousness needs to see through the masks, but that does not mean it must cut through all still surfaces. The cutting open can have negative results if the process itself does nothing but churn already clear waters and makes them no longer transparent.

Can we say that reality should be that which needs to be? What about want it to be? If we accept the validity of both possibilities, which is stronger: want or needs? Desires must be subject to needs. Desires can only be gained when needs are satisfied. Likewise, in order to uncover reality and therefore find truth, consciousness must be guided by needs at first and desires only when those needs are satisfied or safeguarded. The first thing consciousness must look for is necessity.

MAKING THE MASK – IDENTITY AS IDEOLOGY (2)

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Ideologies are masks. And if we add to this Althusser’s idea that “Human societies secrete ideology as the very element and atmosphere indispensable to their historical respirations and life,”[i] then we start to get an image of the veiling process of human society in the falsifying process of mask-making. It is through the creation of masks that society paints (in a secreting way) its own suitable, fake reality around itself. Any reality that is secreted or painted on must be regarded as a false one.

Once we have recognised the existence of the ideological mask we must ask ourselves: what is the real condition under that mask? Is it so ugly or so drab that it needs a mask to make it interesting or presentable? Of course the mask bearer erroneously thinks he or she is looking at his or own reflection in the mirror – and in this way we must see ideology as a bewildering hoax or scam, and the society as a clever grafter who has its subjects in its pocket. But why is it that the subjects are so susceptible to this hoax?

The first mask is the name which itself comes out of a language that frames us within that name. And here we have the paradox of language: it frees us by allowing us to communicate but enslaves us by making us subject to the requirements of the other’s communication. Without language our society and culture, indeed humanity itself, would be inconceivable, but it is not until one can escape into another new language that one can ever be aware of the power contained in the mask that we were given in the first place. Language unites but also separates us. It makes us different to those who speak other languages and unites us with those we immediately understand. They who speak our language are our own, but this is another restriction. If language is our most human trait, it is also our most anti-human as being the prime cause of human division and our lack of species consciousness.

The masks of cultures make demands on us and ultimately strive to condition our existence, pushing our self-perception towards a sense of belonging to a part of humanity that is different to, separate from and better than the rest of humanity … and this is the fundamental error.

Emphasis on difference is always there whilst the dividing lines are clearly and deliberately drawn, and emphasis on differences engenders the competitive spirit – the struggle against the others; the creed of us and them; the multifarious masks of isolating identities.

Ideologies grow like mushrooms, sprouting out of the damp earth of separation and the fertile soil of competition. Ideologies look for their antithesis to give them purpose, furbishing them with the power of dialectic against the rivals and enemies. Ideology needs to coexist with its ideological antithesis in order to give itself meaning. “We only makes sense whilst we stand by Them,” is the unmasked motto of all ideologies. Ideologies coexist in order for them to compete and clash, and it is in this coexistence that these opposing forces seep into each other, muddying each other and forcing each other to evolve into hypocritical absurdities that eventually become unsustainable.

The falsity of the mask can only be maintained for so long. Eventually all lies must be seen for the fictions they are. Reality will always push its way through to the surface of the artificial cover that is hiding it. Our own Moloch system is a massive ideological mess of a mask which is rapidly starting to peel and crack.

[i] Louis Althusser, FOR MARX, London, 1969, p.232