Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Philosophical Perspective of a Gnostic

My approach to reconciling the physical intellect with a Truth that it was designed to avoid seeing. 

Part III: Will That Be ONE Moral Choice or TWO?

The Basis of Choosing

The meaningless debates about the "question of free will vs. determinism" aside, let's just lay out some obvious facts.  One, the word "choice" is used because there is something to which it refers.  In fact it refers to an agent's ability to do more than one thing at any given time, depending upon what priorities exists in his mind indexed with his ability to assess his environment and determine what actions in it would best allow him to fulfill his goals according to those priorities.  If he already knew the answer to that question, then he would simply act.  This is surely not the real issue concerning the "question" of free will.  The real issue is twofold:

    "How did the agent come to reach his value matrix so as to prioritize as he did?"


    "How did the agent come to reach an end to his deliberation in any given instance?"

Values don't just pop out of thin air, but have some origin in the nature of things "as they are".  Values are, technically, of two sorts: objective an subjective.  The objective values are those which indicate the hierarchical relationship between an instance of phenomena and the general guidance enforced upon it by a law which issues from the overall unity of a field of phenomena centered on one "legislative force", whatever that may be (and for a time that is left open here).  Those sorts of values are, really, the ones that mathematicians, physicists, and deterministic/materialistic psychologists want to talk about, but even then only as a paradigmatic matrix of thought which yields predictive results compared to other ways of looking at things.  Such a "value" is really just a number representing a quantum of energy and the only issue is whether or not the entity or phenomenon involved is measured correctly and whether or not the "predictive paradigm" seems to agree with an imagined "field of influence" which guides that entity as if a law enforced from some unseen source, some "universal nature".  Regardless, that is the "public story" about values.  The other set of values which matters more here is the subjective set, which corresponds to an inner experience which tells a conscious mind that "this is worth pursuing rather than anything else currently known".  That is a qualitatively experienced value rather than a merely quantitatively measured indicator of value-driven behavior "seen from the outside".

Of course we can't generally ask a physical object how it feels when it falls to the ground, or begins to grow into a tree, or bears fruit in season.  These things we describe, but don't experience.  We experience what it is like when the "body human" does what it does, and we therefore can understand at least one set of subjective correlates for objective behaviors of entities.  We have direct experience of "values" and we also know how our minds work when we develop prioritized matrices for reaching those values as efficiently as we can.  We don't have any reason to hold back from doing so, and we go forward as we naturally should.  Of course the data we need to be absolutely sure what is the best way to reach our goals is usually not as complete as ideally possible, but we also know that the time-frame for making certain decisions is limited such that getting idealized quantities of information must compete with getting the decision made when it matters.  This domain of cognitive function which deals with uncertainty so as to make productive decisions is of unique interest.  How do we know when we have reached the best possible split between getting info and acting on it?

This is something which has to have a foundation in order to begin, and doesn't begin in a void. There is that "natural basis" which is already laid in a being so that it is fundamentally guided before it begins "searching" for the fulfillment of its "programming" in an environment.  If a mind is understood as a special kind of "machine" taken broadly, then we know that the machine must have already had a basic kinematic outlay, with functional limits which followed structural features inherently fixed in some ways, but plausibly adaptable in others.  The "fixed" end of the structure which makes decisions is the "inner sense" of what "values" are to be sought, and the more flexible structures simply act as antennae for detecting opportunities to fulfill the programming root of the behavior.  Those antennae will resonate with an environment which will tell that structure what it needs to know, more or less.  A certain amount of risk will be involved, let us say, but there can be no doubt about the basis upon which the project begins, the root values which are programmed into the being!  This cannot be doubted!

So most of what we need to know about choices are rather easy:  The basis of choices in inherent values, the inherent capacity to investigate the viability of fulfilling those values in various ways in various environments or cases, and a gradually growing anticipatory mechanism for sensing probability fields in domains which exceed the reach of practical investigation at any given time.  We make choices in this way, as do all beings.

Kinds of Values

One would think that there would be basically one set of values overall, differentiated by species of being, but never in such a way that the same species of being could possess contrary sets of values.  They could oppose each other in a given set of circumstances with respect to some goal each wants to achieve, perhaps in that their methods or objectives intersect such that the success of one will just so happen to inhibit the success of the other, but it wouldn't mean that they had different kinds of values or different kinds of objectives.  It might just mean that there is a limited amount of resources so that, for example, if there is only one juicy apple in a tree, and each person wants it, not both can have the whole thing.  They may compete, cooperate, or do whatever, but they both value the apple, and they both want to get it and eat it.  Their opposing each other in the effort of each to fulfill his own goal doesn't mean that their values are in opposition.

But when we discussed the types of beings there are, it was apparent that there were at least three types. And while superficially they all inhabit bodies of one general kind, there are two sets of values:  The physical and the philosophic.  The physical values are: eat and/or avoid being eaten.  If we think of the erstwhile apple as being able to sprout legs and run, then we can immediately integrate the first sort of value system into the prior example, especially if we can imagine that there are entities it wishes to eat, etc.  That is the alimentary domain of value-seeking which organisms have which must take in nutrients in order to continue to exist, and since a certain portion of their efforts to exist will always automatically program their activities, their need to sustain their own existence in order to act will automatically program a certain minimal set of actions which see to that need (or else that entity won't exist for very long compared with entities that do this, as even studies in cellular automata demonstrate).

The philosophic set of values is at odds with the physical set, and seems not to have had any physical basis in its structure.  There is nothing about human existence which ought to seek the basis of values as such, but should only seek
maximal aggrandizement of the specimen at all times.  Those entities which are better at this are "alpha" and those which are inferior are "beta".  The existence of a type of being which, whether or not it is structurally capable of alpha-type behavior, still chooses to behave "as if" there were some other sort of things that mattered, is a very strange entity if we wish to keep believing in physical laws that govern instances of phenomena!  What are its values?

As we know Socrates, among others, was one of these types of beings.  He paid a heavy price for this interest in the nature of value as such, and as a specimen of man he proved to be "obsessed" with it to such an extent that he would be considered morbid.  What mattered to Socrates, along with other "men of virtue" as he would have described them, was not merely the fostering of the body, but more importantly the tending of the needs of the soul, whose chief part would be injured if it were not put always first in importance.  Of course there are those who are more like Thrasymachus in their value system, and they view that all that matters are the results to be found in the physical world, because for them there may as well be no other world until they first have it made tangible for them in physical terms.  But for Socrates, and other beings like him, there is a strong sense that there is a set of values which do not reduce to physical terms at all and which actually exist in a domain only to be experienced by the mind of a being with a philosophic temperament.

Aside from the many avenues of examination which are available at this point, we'll just focus on one salient distinction between these two modes of valuing:  The philosophic mode can experience a sense of absolute value, but the physical can only understand relative scales of value.

Might makes Right

Thrasymachean beings, if you will, think that the leading vector in an efficient value-system is one that understands how to ride the current of the strongest force which guides physical events.  For them the only function of a mind is to calculate as accurately and as deeply as possible what the dynamics of physical action are so that whatever action they choose will do them the least harm while giving them the greatest possible chance for gain, insofar as these are understood from the point of view of having been a physical being, in this case human being.  So this is the thinking which Machiavelli took to its appropriate extreme on the basis of the arguments thrown about in the Republic (by Plato) which contained the idealogical battle between the Socratic and Thrasymachean perspectives on value.  Plato took the standard from Socrates and continued the Great Work of proving the point that whatever appears to be a basis for physical values is really inferior when understood on ultimate, metaphysical grounds, which only philosophic beings "made of gold" can understand.

There was something in a man like Socrates, Plato was endeavoring to show, which was precious and beautiful in a way that transcends any derivative values attributable to the body or objects in its environment in any relation to the body or its mind.  That value was in the characteristic of the mind of the beings which beheld that value, which appreciated it, and was a virtue of those minds, and was a value in itself.  It was not merely in that it was a structure of their minds which enabled them to pursue values "in the world", but it was of the nature of an experience of being who they were in themselves, even apart from any worldly action, no matter what the magnitude of the endeavor or degree of noteworthiness and praise with respect to others' views of it seen publicly.  It was an internal, private, and really far more precious treasure than any physically grounded sort of value.

But for Thrasymachean beings, physical beings, this is an ineffable idea.  What on earth is Socrates talking about?  In fact, who cares?  If he keeps "talking strangely" like that, we'll just put him in a position where character assassination will be easily performed using public forums and laws which seem quite handy for the occasion.  He'll be killed, or at least made a fool of, and he won't be a bother or us anymore with all his insistence that actions cannot merely be done in order to strengthen the worldly position of the doer and be called "good" but must be done by a standard of rightness which transcends perspectives and can be in itself a true and invariant measure of right action.  The reason this is inconvenient for men like Thrasymachus is pretty obvious when you realize that if they are ever truly bound by a transcendent basis for rightness then they cannot merely take by force and must first submit all their actions to what seems to them an arbitrary claim.  They would simply pay lip service to the idea (so as not to overtly invite disaster upon themselves in a culture which happens to pay lip service to "virtue in itself", or piety), all the while letting priests ritualize such things while they actually do anything they can otherwise get away with, simply bribing, ostracizing, or even outright killing anyone who gets in their way.   After all, says Thrasymachus, if Socrates is dead then he can't argue convincingly to anyone that anything I do might be wrong.  Therefore the best argument against him is to kill him.

Right makes Might

All men die, but not every man really lives.  This was said by William Wallace in the movie Braveheart, and would seem to catch the spirit of the actual man.  Fear of death is certainly not what motivated him to defy the King of England against all odds.  If the calculations of a Thrasymachus had their way he would have followed the wisdom of those whom he defied, which was to win at all costs, but better yet to survive.  Why meet a foe who is inspired to win in a fair contest, or at least why meet him fairly when he can be tricked into being blind to those who would betray him due to being bribed?  Or even better, why not trick him into giving himself up by corrupting others around and getting them to agree to let him be captured?

That's the way to "get things done" in a world where how many and how strong, or how cunning rules the roost!  So inevitably a hero who defies such odds will be beaten just as surely as a brilliant chess player must eventually make a mistake against a machine and lose, because the machine can just go as long as it is given power, and in this world physical power goes to those who strive for it without scruples, not to those who hold back out of some standard of value which cannot give immediate physical vindication, or even long-term physical advantages.  But such heroes as Sir Wallace never had in mind such power, but merely wanted to keep alive something of value within themselves in spite of such power, and for them this meant "really living", for they could feel the value wax when they did what was right, but wane when they did not, and they could tell from those indications that if they kept doing what was wrong for that inner value then they would die inside and in such a way that their continued physical existence would be as if that of the living dead, of no value.

The foes of such heroes have no such value to lose in the first place, so eventually they would win out, over time.  For brief periods a hero can route his brutish foes for so long and so far that a nation can be built within the perimeter of that success, such as was the early phase of the Persian Empire which truly championed the Good Religion as its primary purpose in existing.  When that empire "died inside" by the normal courses of corruption through the body and sense of those which should have been its most virtuous members, then it was all downhill from there.   Indeed, when they allowed within themselves the filth of those lands they conquered in self-defense, and when they greedily sought nation-building ventures so as to maximize their position rather than simply maintain their virtue, they were destroyed even long before Alexander got around to picking their corpse.  By the time the Arabs came around there was nothing to do but rob a grave.  Genghis Khan even came buy to desecrate the grave of a once living civilization of Spiritual Values, but it long since hadn't mattered, nor does it to this day.

Indeed, when the foolish, idiotic king of that land killed the Great Paraclete, Mani, that was the last straw for that self-debasing nation.  It would see millenia of desecration until today as result of its foolish willingness to debase itself and do no justice to the Messengers of Truth who came there many times, as They do everywhere in the world.  Jesus, Mani, Mohammed, to name only the well-known ones, are just some of those Beings.  Their works were either completely destroyed and rewritten (as were Mohammed's various textual legacies by the Caliph Uthman, in parallel to what was done with Jesus and Mani's writings), or they were forced into exile and hiding to be rediscovered only many centuries later (as with a library in the regions of western China and as with the Nag Hammadi findings, though these my hold many corruptions as well).  In any event, what we see is that when men are righteous, they don't die a normal, petty death, but strive without crippling fear to accomplish mightier goals and create real value for others in their wake, and they are very dangerous to cowardly, merely physical men when the chips are down and there is no way to use trickery or petty cunning, or when brute numbers and physical strength and equipment cannot overcome wisdom and courage.  They cannot be intimidated or bribed, and they won't bow down out of any foolish and ignorant belief that another man can claim superiority.   If every man were like this tyrants would be unheard of, economic and social prosperity would have gotten to the space age long ago, and much else would be different.  Indeed, what little there is worth living for was developed on the backs of these giants, not merely from the wits of human calculators.

Two Values, Two Beings, Two Realities

The question isn't how do such men or nations live and die, but how do such types of beings come to manifest in this world in the first place.  Obviously they are a different breed of being than those who just go along with the flow of this world, or else ride its currents with great and evil abandon (such as Genghis Khan did, the Evilest Murderer of all time).   These beings are not merely the same sort of physical thing which seems to serve just as well, or even more faithfully, as a container for minds of a far more Epimethean bent.

It is clear that the substantive root of being which manifests the value and the willingness to pursue it must have a nature which is a part that is in accordance with the whole of the universe in which it participates and from which it was generated.  Clearly the reward for being a Moral Being is very bleak in this universe, which clearly favors the moral brute, the being of physicality.  So from what universe does this philosophic being originate?  Not this one, of course.  The domain of reality from which it originates surely is at odds with the polarity of this universe, or else when the beings which are Moral Beings attempted to participate here thy wouldn't be so harshly treated, often because of their greatness as well as in spite of it. 

These value systems are totally at odds, and so they must originate from domains of reality which are likewise completely at odds with each other.   The beings which manifest those value systems are simply phenomenal manifestations of each their own overarching, manifesting reality which orchestrates events so as to produce expressions of itself which satisfy its own value!  What sorts of realities can these be and how did they each manifest?  Why have we found ourselves in one of them, and precisely this one in which the other participates at great cost and without any productive return?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Philosophical Perspective of a Gnostic

My approach to reconciling the physical intellect with a Truth that it was designed to avoid seeing. 

Part II: The Great Shell Game

The Game

Manifesting through a body is natural for a mind that was designed specifically for that task.  When these types of consciousnesses inhabit bodies there is no shock, no trauma beyond what appears to be "natural".   Further, whatever goes on in this world which obeys "natural laws" seems to be taken somewhat in stride by these beings.   At least this seems the case when compared with philosophic beings.  Philosophic beings start off with a strong amount of shock and disorientation, and everything about this world seems not only surreal in its mystery, but somehow ominous and foreboding.  There seems something sinister going on, but not merely in the way something sinister might seem to be going on in this or that particular case from the point of view of a consciousness normatively designed for this dimension.  Something seems meta-sinister about this place.  Something seems so fundamentally WRONG with things as they "simply are" that this only becomes compounded by the fact that for the vast majority of "hoomans" this doesn't seem to be the case at all.

So immediately there is a clash of viewpoints, even if it is unspoken and not consciously realized by any who are involved.  There is a real and underlying conflict to any and all common endeavors between these two groups of beings.  This underlying dystopia to the presented and superficial normality which is forced between these two groups is forged in the form of the human body, which is the "counterfeit currency" of exchange between these two types of beings.  They all pretty much look the same as far as certain things are concerned:  They all have the structures which support life, the cellular types, tissues, organs, organ systems and functional processes and homeostatic and heterostatic cycles and feedback loops which enable all that we seen in the life and society of humans.  They have distinctions, of course, but these are relative to an underlying commonality, especially as far as the psychological domain is concerned.

The psychological domain does have a way of being described which, at least conceptually, resembles the physical aspects.  This is understood as systems theories of psychology, especially as they are correlated with general physiological, and especially neurological functions.  This may be the case, but there is a great distinction between thinking about a psychological system and being one from the inside.  The fundamental difference here is exactly the existential versus ideational modes of discourse which underpin the way that humans psychologically live and socially communicate and otherwise interact.  And while a lot of "thinkers" do work hard to pretend that there is a seamless continuity between these modes of discourse, there is a radical disjunction between them, one that is just as wide as that between seeming and being, appearance and substance, phenomenology and metaphysics, phenomenality and ontology.

Because this radical difference is there whether or not beings are aware of it (just as with physical laws normative for this physical universe), so there are results which impact these beings whether or not they are aware of them.  First and foremost is the difference in ontology between these two sorts of beings, the physical beings (consciousnesses by design suited for physical bodies) and the metaphysical beings (beings with an origin fundamentally suited to a domain outside this physical realm and its supporting substructures).  This difference exists whether or not anyone is aware of it, and it puts a strain on the superficial realm of social coexistence between these beings because there is a fundamental asymmetry between these beings in regards to how they interact with the bodies and material realms that they superficially have in common.  This is extremely important because in this shell game of physicality there are two very different peas inside the shells, and they operate by fundamentally different rules within the same game.

The Rules

The social realms where these beings find themselves in coexistence as if they were entirely the same sort of beings, that common grouping called "humanity" (whomanity? or hoomanity! perhaps..) presents a set of appearances of normality which, strictly speaking, only applies to the beings whose consciousnesses were made to coexist it these bodies.  Therefore it is true to say that there are "true humans" in the sense that they belong, by design, in these bodies.  Their existence here is normative "by nature" since they have no design parameters not cut from the same cloth as the bodily systems they inhabit here.  But this can never be true of the metaphysical beings, the "philosophers", because they were of a certain substance which was not designed ever to exist with these sorts of bodies.  They don't exist here by nature, but by force.    If this sounds a lot like The Matrix, hold your horses.  That movie was inspired by a Gnostic anime comic, and that was inspired by Gnosticism, and that is what inspires this philosophy I'm articulating here!   So you can see that The Matrix is a pretty late comer into this game, but the fact that most people haven't heard about this game until the latecomer made it to the field should not be unnoticed, either.

So in this game there are two sets of rules automatically and from the start.  One side is playing in their home court, and they have a very natural sense of being where they belong.  The other side doesn't belong here at all, has a deep sense of alienation from this place, doesn't want to play this game which is totally skewed in favor of the other team, and is having no fun whatsoever.  For one side it is a game, for the other, it is torture.  For one side the game is agreeable, fair and worth playing, for the other it is fundamentally disagreeable, unfair and not worth playing.  But that is not quite the whole issue.  The issue turns out to be that while these two conditions are in every way  not appropriate for the sort of game that is being played, the nature of the way the game is set up is rigidly enforced so as to maintain the pretense that the game is running smoothly and fairly, that there is no difference between any of the beings who inhabit these shells called "bodies" and that there is nothing but a pervasive, blind justice in the form of physical laws held naturally in common with either blind chance or else some fair and just "god" which supervises the entire thing.  From the very beginning, before the whistle blows to begin, the entire game is rigged from top to bottom, and yet both sides are prevented from seeing this!

At least on the lower levels of this game they are both blind to the direct truth.  While the "natives" seem to have the better end of the stick, they are also naturally programmed to have frustrations and grumbles, to go through tragedies and dramas, ostensibly "just like" those which the "captives" must undergo.  The bodies seem themselves all to have been scripted by some rules of order and randomness which show no direct traces of discrimination.  But this doesn't change the fact that such discrimination does exist.  It just means that there is plausible deniability for one side, who feels quite "natural and at home here" and so they may be quite puzzled and genuinely "concerned" if someone else has a "fundamental" problem "inside their own skin", so to speak.  But they won't be inclined to see any great big conspiracy in the matter.

If you were in the position of the plaintiff, it is up to you to prove your case.  Of course, the norms are already set up against you, the other side is totally alienated from your experience except as it normalizes with their experience.  Yet the issue is precisely where those who are forced to exist in this immoral domain of existence are being abused by it.  So it is obvious on several levels that this game can't go well for them.  They are abused by the entire system, and abused as if by nature and so by natural right.  At the SAME TIME, the public and normative discourse automatically throws out any case before it even gets near any docket of consideration in culture.  Indeed, it hunts down and exterminates these beings if they even so much as try to go off and form their own communities.  So those are the rules of the game.  You never know what is going on under the shells as they are slid about, but no matter what shell you pick up, it loses, no matter what, and there is no way that you can prove that there is cheating going on because there is simply no way to demonstrate your damages.

The Winners and Losers 

The losers of the game are supposedly the weaker beings, or the more foolish beings.  Weaker if they are less evolved in power or cunning (if you are in the physical evolution camp) or because they were made with vastly less power than their creator who built into them insufficient cunning to realize that butting heads with him is a no-win situation, yet also programmed them with an abundance of desire and circumstances which contribute in him a profound motivation for doing so...and who knows what threshold is decided as the cutoff between those with sufficient cunning to know better than to buck against God, and/or enough willpower to overcome their urges to do so, only God knows. Either way, atheist or theist, the losers are by default less powerful and less cunning than the winners.  In either case some significant amount of the odds are set by forces beyond the control of the participants by a force that in either case may as well be called fate.  Since fate is "out of everyone's hands" then the beneficiaries cannot be properly blamed unless they hold the belief that their good fortune is unfair.  If they do not feel that way, then they will simply hold the losers in contempt, because for them the universe itself has proven that justice is in the interest of the stronger.

The losers are food for the winners, the weak are the footstool of the stronger.  This is shown throughout the animal kingdom, and in the spiritual realm (for the theist) there is ample evidence that this is the case also (no matter what the claimed theology, the metaphysics will work out the same way, no matter what their insipid protests to the contrary).  Moreover, it really doesn't matter what paradigm you choose, whether it be "natural" or "supernatural", whether it involves matter evolving into minds or minds devolving into matter, or both.  It doesn't matter what the winners are made out of or enjoy doing with the losers, nor what the feelings or viewpoint of the losers.  The winners take all, and the losers take the fall.

Taking this truth from the collection of all the paradigm structures that are possible, and certainly none other than these have been found (there are some fake "win/win" paradigms, but we'll get into the New Age con later), taking all these structures and boiling them down to their fundamental skeletal basis, we find that we can sum it all up best by saying that in in this known universe, as revealed by the senses, this realm of matter and energy with minds apparently grounded or embedded into bodies, and possibly other bodies when not in the grosser physical ones, still altogether taken as a whole this universe is one where no matter what your viewpoint or nature, there is an overarching and objective, public, and by force distributed system of automatic injustice which perpetually attempts to correct itself, but which seems to have a fundamental slant toward favoring power and cunning with opportunities to win and ensconce itself into a permanent power position until another force can take advantage of some weakness within it.  It is just a Tao of strength overtaking weakness, nothing more.

The asymmetry is that in at least the first instance of events, someone is arbitrarily (so it seems) given the upper hand, and as any chessplayers know the first move is a permanent advantage which lasts as long as it is properly cultivated, and even if it is not it is an extra obstacle to the player of the black pieces who is happy if it can equalize.  So in fact the universe is, even in its own terms, anything but fair.  So therefore once again there is no reason for the winners to have anything but contempt for the losers, whether they simply become food before they can reproduce, or whether they fall back in the pack and starve when prey becomes scarce, or perhaps they simply didn't have the "faithpower" to "believe in on" the "blood of Jesus" enough... whatever the disqualification, they lacked something, something which was sufficiently supplied in others...  In the overarching scheme of things, losers lose by their nature, by the laws of nature itself.  Losers are there to lose so winners can win. That's just the way it is.  What a way to win, or lose, the lottery!!!  The "nature of reality" sweepstakes handed one group a check for ten-million dollars and wrote this into the fabric of time-space-matter and energy, and inscribed into the ether the immutable failure of the rest.

The Catch

As described above, the winners are the necessary consequence of the universe "just being the way it is".  The only problem is that there is a group of beings who by their very nature do not fit properly into this scheme of things.  They cannot fit into any normalization which might explain why, either.  And because of this we can see that there is a reality beyond the one which is apparent in which the rules of this game do not hold.  They cannot be normalized because their viewpoint as "losers" is not rationalizable by the scheme of things in which they would supposedly be "the other side of the same coin" with the winners.  In order for reality to be a whole, in order for the game to be "the only one in town", it cannot be that the dissatisfaction with losing is anything other than the frustration of the desire to win.  Yet these beings do not want to "win" as the "winners" do in this universe, and even when they have the power and cunning to do so they often refuse because such a way of being is alien to them!  There is simply no precedent for such a thing in a reality in which the stakes for existence are built into its fabric so deeply that no entity can form without being struck in that fundamental mold which teaches it to be how it is by making it what it is.  And yet in the spectrum of "natural losers" there is this group which does not fit in, which loses as if because they could never win, not even as the winners do.  They don't fit in with the "losers" because they often "lose" even when they have the power to win, either because the game is rigged to prevent them winning unless they "get evil" about it, or because they sense this and simply don't want to take such risks with their moral nature, or because they see nothing in this world worth really gaining.  On the other hand with they "win" they really LOSE, as they find that they sacrificed something inherent to them which this world never gave them, but actually TOOK from them in exchange for "winning", or else when they reach "success" the red carpet which invited all the "winners" to the stage just happened to be pulled when these "winners" were walking it... how convenient...

These particular beings are losers not matter WHAT happens.  But whether they are defined as losers because they were unlucky, inept, or unwilling, they also don't feel like losers in the sense of not getting what they wanted in the world, but they have simply a desire to live in a world where devouring others isn't the ticket to success, where win/win really means something, and they wish for this even with the awareness that attempting win/win scenarios in a world full of the opportunistic scum is simply penalizing them, making them vulnerable to the tendencies of there "brethren" who will simply view their fairness as weakness, and feel fully sensible in doing so.  In fact, they usually simply rationalize such "idealism" as a brand of weakness not unlike other sorts of weakness, like flabby muscles and dim wits.  Many a poet and philosopher has already spilled this idea out into reams of poetry and prose worthy of being chiseled finely into stone.  Regardless of the the incapacity of the "winners" of understanding this special subset of "losers", these beings understand that there is something fundamentally wrong with the system as it is set up.  It isn't just wrong because "they don't win", because their idea of winning doesn't preclude anyone else sharing in success.  Indeed, it often requires this!  But they can't help but feel the system itself, as a whole, is wrong, not just inconvenient, but WRONG.  They also can't help but feel that they are right about this, because if you can't help but feel something is wrong, then you must feel that the contrary is right. Yet by the logic of the public discourse of uniformly yet differentially distributed natures, these beings by all rights experience this to be the case by natural law, and therefore either the law is simply mocking itself by pretending to find something wrong with itself just to make a special breed of Polyannic weaklings, or else it is seriously wrong in fact, and this wasn't declared by it but by another set of laws which are not the basis of the way things are in this universe.

There is no way that it could be the universal laws mocking themselves since that runs against the entire grain of efficient evolution or creation. In either case there would never be a law leading to the development of beings who go fundamentally against the law, since the law would break itself.  The law in this universe is to be strong and thrive and have no shame or guilt in doing so, or else to be weak and attempt to compensate by some measure of cunning, speed, or stealth, or perhaps quantity or other quality, and to seek any opportunity to develop a relative strength, such as finding a different environment in which to exist, away from predators, or else to find a weak spot in the generally stronger being and take advantage of a loophole in the law which allows the weaker to take out the stronger by finding a "weak spot" that is weaker than the attacking "strong spot" of the generally weaker being, then attacking it whenever the opportunity presents itself, often in self-defensive desperation.  But this is not an inclination of the philosophic beings at all, and they repeatedly confess they would rather suffer evil than do it!!!  And while it is safe for me to say that Nietzsche's genealogy of morals is wrong on the nature of this "metaweakness" or "subtle strength", we can't here go into a long discourse on Nietzsche and what was right, and wrong with his thought.

What we can see for sure is that there is a discrepancy in the systemic wholeness of this realm which reveals that some of the relations between beings spring out of it, but some manifest from beyond it.  The major element of this discrepancy is that the system attempts to hide this very discrepancy, not merely to individuals by individuals, but as a whole and without specific regards as to individual cases, but attempts to hide it in all cases. God should have nothing to hide, and neither should Nature bother to hide anything.  There is nothing fitting in either notion.  And this highly undivine and unnatural resistance to being discovered about the discrepancies between types of beings and that one type has origins from beyond the realm which pretends to be the only realm there is cannot be underestimated as perhaps THE KEY feature to notice about this world, one without which understanding it would otherwise be impossible in a special way, in a way such that if this one key is missed, then another is found instead which only opens a smaller door within the larger door, the smaller door only opening to a chamber attached to that door and not going far beyond it.  This gives an illusion of understanding which will then evermore form a resistance to being encapsulated in a larger idea of what is behind the larger door, or even of the existence of that door, or in fact any other door at all.

So it is the ultimate con, a metacon, Con AS SUCH, "The Form" of Cons, the Essence of Conning, the Ultimate Shell Game, for it is disguised as nothing less than pristine reality...when it is nothing but a minor error in a much larger Real Reality which is soon to "burst its bubble"...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Philosophical Perspective of a Gnostic

My approach to reconciling the physical intellect with a Truth that it was designed to avoid seeing. 

Part I: Philosophers and Lemmings in Human Shells


Metaphysics is initially an anthropomorphic venture but the very  nature of its form indicates that it has possible ramifications beyond the bounds of its own initial form.  It starts as the consideration that appearances are distinct from what presents them.  Its aim is to continue observing appearances so as to decode their actual relationship to that which is thought to appear.

The maxim of metaphysics at this stage is:  Mistake not the signum for the signatum. Therefore the first step in metaphysics is to accept as initial parameters the human conditions in which this discipline is conducted with an eye toward discovering something as yet unknown.

So metaphysics seeks to clarify the relationship between appearances and substances but first must gather much information concerning these and collate them into various paradigms until it finds the most stable and most comprehensive paradigm by which it can determine that no further clarification is possible concerning this relationship.

It sets up general categories of experience which seem to account for their classification by every possible taxonomy, hoping to shake loose some further experience or intuition which will radically assist the effort.  It begins by empirical exploration of experience and conjectural deployment of reflective thought.  All of this must rest on the basis of some fundamental and relatively absolute intuition, however, or else it is not possible to begin this project nor finish it.

The clarification of this fundamental intuition, the metaphysical intuition, is therefore also a part of metaphysics itself.  Metaphysics takes itself to be a radical element in and object of its own study.

We already observe that the relationship between appearances and substances are not clear, or else such a question as their proper relationship would never have arisen.

The first axiom we may draw from our experience is that appearances and substances are essentially different phenomena.   We notice this comes with the implication of some minimal degree of obscuration of substances by appearances.

In order for this to have been noticed there had to have been enough consistency in their relationship, however obscuring the nature of it.  We know intuitively that the cognition of a pattern requires that a pattern have existence.  Initially we can explore the possibility that the pattern in the mind corresponds to a pattern in the phenomena of observation.  We are not bound to assume otherwise, and to do so would end our investigation at its beginning, which runs against the impetus of our intuition.

Therefore we recognize more explicitly the meaning of our terms "appearance" and "substance".  Appearance is what we experience directly, substance is what we intuit to be expressed to us by means of the appearances, and is experienced indirectly vis-a-vis appearances and in terms of them, but not necessarily as we think them to be nor necessarily otherwise.

Metaphysics is an essential expression of the consciousness in some humans.  It is manifest in a desire
to know, which is itself a sense of missing something one ought to have.  It is a longing for completion of something which is incomplete.  A person wants to know the why of things, the causes and the purposes of events.  They want to understand life, the world, the self, and all aspects of these phenomena.  They don't want "answers", they want Truth.  They innately sense that there is some proper explanation and explication of everything

These persons will find that in this world there is a persistent obfuscation of this Truth they seek, and those who persist on this track in spite of that resistance are called Philosophers, for they truly Love the Truth, have an inner need for it, accept no substitutes, and never give up seeking it no matter what the threat or resistance.  It is a passionate need and has all the qualifications of True Love.

They also have an aesthetic appreciation of Truth, and despise as ugly any falsehood or fallacy, especially if they are of a deceptive intent.   Lies are perhaps the most hated of crimes for these persons.  They seem to have an incapacity to lie.

So there is a constellation of aspects to consider when seeking to understand even what
metaphysics is in a basic and fundamental way.   Context is very important when analyzing any factor involved in anything, but especially in the case of metaphysics in this human condition because the very reason metaphysics exists at all is particularly tied up with the specialized conditions of human beings who happen to have an intuition which inspires metaphysical thought, and these are also inseparable.

The Metaphysical Condition of Humans

The experiences of humans give them two domains which intersect to form what is "meaningful" for them.  The outer, "adventitious" realm of sensory experience, and the inner and "intentional" realm of mental experience. While intimately related there is a common understanding in humans that the sensory realm is an impingement upon the inner realm of the person's mind "from without".   The sense of there being an "outside" is partly a notion of stable parameters of the sense of what is "inside", which is to say, what is experienced as a private world of the person's own body vs. a public world of bodies which interact with that private body.  The experiences of other bodies seem always to be through the private body, and so it is a unique body as far as "bodies" go.  The experiences of those other bodies seems also to have an existential uniqueness which belongs, in time and space and in some ineffable way in content, only to this person.  While other persons may exist, and while their bodies may provide for them similar, or in point of form identical experiences, they never provide the actual experiences endured by the subject of this body.

So there is already a solipsistic aspect to the consciousness which pertains uniquely to each body.  Other bodies may also have a private world of experience of bodies held in common, but these are not directly experienced by the consciousnesses which know their own experiences through their own bodies, so it is noticed that such privation of experiences held in common seems to be mutual.  At least for a certainty a consciousness will know for itself whether or not it has intimate experience through other bodies or only of  such bodies.  It cannot directly know whether other consciousnesses have such a restriction, or even whether or not other bodies genuinely have a consciousness of experience, at least not in the standard case here considered.

The limit point of this disjunction is the consciousness having experience of its own body through its own body.  It experiences its own body as an object and subject simultaneously.  It may see its hands, and see them as part of a series of objects.  Perhaps it is numb to feeling them, or feeling through them, and so it sees them there on the keyboard typing.  It has to trust that they are hitting the keys it intends with the only feedback being the letters on the screen.

It might even be unsure whether or not there is simply a fortuitous conjunction between the behavior of the hands as they type, the intention to type certain words, and the event of seeing those words appear on the screen.  Perhaps they are all three simply coincidences!  We here make a little leeway for such thoughts merely to get a lay of the landscape, for later much more strict understanding will prevent such suppositions as "fortuitous" and "coincidence".

But as the hands are felt, they are felt through feeling the keys themselves, which are not the hands, but are felt through the hands.   So the hands are felt through feeling other things.  If it is temperature, then they are felt by way of the temperature of the air or water which surrounds them, which they feel.  If the surrounds are colder, then the hands feel "cold", which is a feeling of the greater heat of the hands leaving them.  The colder hands are felt receiving the greater heat of the environment, which is felt to be "hot".   Pressure is the feeling of a certain kind when pressure is applied to the hand from an object, perhaps which it is being used to press.  But these feelings of the other objects are really only feelings of the body itself, and so in a real sense are just the body as it feels in itself, albeit as understood to be interacting with "other bodies".

Indeed, the body itself may be taken to be a condition of the mind in its own experiences, which are all just as intimately connected to that mind as the experience of other bodies are to the body through which they are experienced.  There results a cascade of dependence of experience which flows ever back into the mind, which has a supremacy of relevance in this whole spectrum of experiences.  Starting from the unwieldy world of "other minds" and coming all the way to the issue of the mind being seemingly solipsistically  immured into itself, the very language of objectivity, as well as of any alternate subjectivity, seems to be entirely derivative of a primary language of subjectivity of experience.

As Descartes and others have rightly noted, it is the "adventitiousness" which seems to point up the validity of this ensuing discourse from subject to object.  It is a power of meaning which seems delegated outward to a true recipient, albeit still a mere suzerain vis-a-vis the subjective hegemon which issued it.  The subjective consciousness  is its own guarantor of the sense of intention and therefore knows when it has not intended an experience.

Therefore it is sensed that there is at the very least a polarity within the mental experiences of a person which include an adventitious, seemingly "given" and "outer" end, or perimeter, and an inner, central and optative  polarity which seems central to the identity of consciousness.  This is simply one aspect of a cursory examination of the initial and human conditions of consciousness and not a declaration of its ideal, true, or ultimate states, as human, or as consciousness per se, or as both together.  We are still just rummaging around in the sensorium of experience to get our bearings.

That is the human condition of consciousness, and it is in this condition in which all its metaphysical longing will be initially mired as well.  Many perennial issues of philosophy have already sprung up immediately in this cursory examination, and a look at the work of many philosophers will find that such considerations as these recapitulate time and again in their initial forays into what become sometimes long and involved attempts at systemic encapsulation of what it all turns out to "really mean".  I will attempt to do the same, but with some perhaps novel features to my plan which won't be found in the literature.

Continuing this survey, there is a sense that this condition of man in which he first expresses consciousness has the effect of skewing his initial understanding of things in certain ways, and if we are to follow the track of centering the identity of experiences upon the epicenter of subjective experience of a given mind, then the onus of the cause of this condition is the structure and function of man's mind, and not of any extraneous environment, however provisionally allowed.  The very distinction which causes our sense that the central aspect of consciousness is intentional indicates that there is upon it an onus of responsibility for the matrix of experiences which it endures, and the adventitious perimeter of experience can only have circumstantial bearing, by definition.

This seems to sit well with most specimens of men, and they get along without a lot of conflict when interacting with their worlds of experience, at least so as not to have any deep intutions about it which must be reconciled with facts as they stand, or with understandings as they have been accustomed to entertaining.  It is just a few beings who seem to have the spark of metaphysical intuition which spurs them to seek a systematic understanding of the given.  The apparent structure of consciousness and its experiential content seem in some need of explanation and this need presents itself on the one hand adventitiously, as if the phenomena themselves called out for it.  On the other hand this need is experienced as a spontaneous aspect of one's own central longing for something which is missing in one's very self-identity.

The "Philosophic Human"

Apart from the tendency toward a certain sort of cleverness in humans which is the inspiration for their name homo sapiens, there is a unique class of humans who seem to love knowledge not only for its practical value, nor only for its own sake, but seem to have a need to know the nature of reality.  This need is felt to be as strong as a need to survive, and therefore is quite apart from any need for knowing in order to survive.  It seems not merely an aesthetic compulsion either,  but seems rather a primary function of these persons, as if essential to their existence in the same what that breathing is essential to the life of the body.  Indeed, they are found to desire knowing the Truth even when the form of doing so is very unpleasant, when elements of this Truth, or the process of its discovery at least, turn out to be quite ghastly or horridly ugly.  Sometimes they have been found to persist with this inclination toward Truth to such an extent as to ignore perils to their physical comfort and even survival, to say nothing of other people's opinions of their endeavors.  Think every great mind ever to walk the face of the earth who had to wade through a teeming throng of ignorant fools in order to reach his goal.

These "humans" seem so different from other humans that they raise very deep questions about what a human being is, or indeed what "beings" are.  Of course this discourse runs disjoint to the prior survey of the metaphysical aspects of humans in that it clearly speaks of a class of objects called "humans" and then proceeds from there.  That is the normative, public approach to discourse which runs rampant in the world and asserts hegemony over the subjective polarity of experience which ever revolts against that pressure and treats it as inherently non-binding.  In this discussion I will need to weave back and forth between these two modes of expression, but must here clarify their distinction and emphasize that I alternate between them consciously and with good reason.

Whatever the "objective norms" asserted by the outer world of society and its structures, the philosophic perspective of consciousness, and the consciousness which operates in a philosophic perspective, will not be bound to accept them.  While I understand that people speak "as if" they had consciousness, I am not bound to assume that they do, because the fundamental parameters of my experience dictate my actual grounds of understanding, and this does not grant me any direct experience of the veridicality of others' claims to having experiences.  I am not forced to understand anything by others' claims to understand anything.  I am not forced to understand anything by way of my own experience either, but if I actually want to understand anything with any real and substantive understanding I must ground my thought in the matrix of my subjective experience, and never in accordance with others' claims concerning their supposed experiences.

This position is the essence of consciousness as I experience it, and that is the ultimate ground of any activity of a consciousness (as I understand it… and that… etc.).  I owe no explanation of this to "anyone else", and I am not beholden to "anyone else's" claims concerning their supposed experiences.  This is the foundation of my philosophic perspective.  It is not solipsism, but it is something with which solipsism has an overlap but to which it does no justice as a philosophic position.

It is also not "merely a reflective exercise" either.  I have stated clearly that I am operating in strict conditions of understanding of what conscious experience is, and of what those conditions are by way of my experience as a human being, and now I simply proceed into the specialized realm of the philosophic human being, which is in fact an altogether different kind of being than a "human" being.

So not only does my position run against the grain of the public discourse in its form, but even in its content, because I stress that there is a substantive difference between human beings simpliciter and philosophic beings having a human experience.   Philosophic beings are not a strict subset of human beings, because they are not essentially connected to being human in the first place.   Further, there is nothing about humanity which is essentially philosophic.  Human beings are an idea of physicality, and this is special subset of conscious experience, and some consciousnesses are philosophic, some are not.  I have my own consciousness as the proper starting point of this discourse, therefore, and not the public one, or the "undifferentiated other-centered" consciousness, of which I do not partake.

By the same token I have not expressed any antipathy to the idea of "other consciousnesses" per se.

I am a philosophic being having a human experience, and this is the actual foundation of my discussion of metaphysics.    This being true does not mean that there is something fundamentally human about the experience of a philosophic being, or of philosophy itself.   While there is a philosophy of anthropology, and there is also an anthropological deployment of "philosophic behavior", philosophy itself is strictly what a philosophic being does in his own consciousness.  Clearly I am not a materialist and certainly not a humanist.

The Philosophic Being

A being is that which sustains conscious experience.  If a being sustains its own conscious experience then it is a conscious being.  If there were only one originative being, then it would be conscious already, since there could not be such being without a consciousness to sustain, and there would be only one being within which to sustain it.  But if there were consciousness apart from being, then consciousness would be epiphenomenal to being, and so being would be a vacuous concept within consciousness and without meaning.  Therefore from the point of view of consciousness (the only point of view, as such ) being is consciousness.  Being means being conscious.  Consciousness has being and is being.  Consciousness sustains its own experiences by its very nature.

Consciousness has no other meaning than that which sustains experience.  Being has no other meaning than the persistent power of consciousness to sustain experience.  Indeed, persistent power has no other meaning than the being of consciousness, or conscious being, or being conscious.  In each consciousness there is a fundamental sense that this is true.

Consciousness has created further consciousness, has expanded its own being, has been expansive.  It has done this as an expression of its own power and not in any way is this strange.  Consciousness exists as such and experiences the glory of its own existence without any boundaries or obstructions.  The truth of this is also within every consciousness.   The greatness of this is the greatness of being itself, which is the greatness of consciousness itself.  These ideas are not new, but in fact are the oldest and most archaic ideas (within time), but are really timeless, and as to importance are the only ideas.

This is the meaning of "power and glory".   Consciousness is glory, and glory is its enduring experience.  This is what was meant by "bliss".  This is a truth contained in all consciousness.  Such is being, and being is just this.  It was never and could never be anything else.  The only dynamic which it possesses is the existential fullness of its own experience.  Experience, fundamentally, is just this experience.  Its enduringness is not a temporal matter at all, nor is its content or form having anything to do with "space".  Time and space, at best, are delimited productions of this Fundamental Being.  All consciousness participates in this and experiences this as the Truth.

There is not a "better than this", but there is a "more than this".   This is the expression of its fullness, that Fundamental Conscious Being can expand, elaborate, and proliferate itself into more beings.   It can pluralize within itself and as itself.  It can grow beyond its own measure.  What this means is that our efforts to understand it in contexts of wretched finitude do its magnitude no justice.  It means this just as it means the same about "infinity" and "glory".  The quantity which infinity indicates is the only true quantity, but the imposition of finitude so as to generate a smallness called "number" is to be an infinitesimal chip off of an infinite block.  The magnitude of what?  Of a quality of experience which in its conscious fullness is the fundamental fact and value of reality, fused as one.  This quality is Glory in its full measure.

When physically limited minds assign some notion of value to their wretched lots it is the most that they can comprehend.  It is all they can endure if they experience some worldly encounter with fortune, defined as some alleviation of the misery of the poverty which is physical existence.  The chains and manacles of their fleshly form is somehow made less bruising, perhaps even given a glimmer or ornament.  They count this a blessing.   Perhaps a garnish is thrown on top of their fetid gruel, and they think that it is a king's feast.

These reified negations of what is real stand as oddities in the view of a mind of full stature, but in a mind boggled down in the drudgery of taking bodily form as its own normal mode of experience, finite forms of qualia are deemed the true forms of things.  Normality becomes the result of a spell of confusion cast upon a mind, a disordering of its processes due to the separation of it from its true context.

The consciousness which is Truly of this original nature is innately privy to this knowledge and cannot be deceived.  The very essence of "knowing" is derivative of an immediate experience of the Truth of Being which a True Consciousness innately experiences.  It is of its very essence, and "doubt" is not a sensible ability or possibility in this context.  So in fact the "infinite" is something which is originally real, and the "finite" is a "not infinite" or a privation of infinitude.   In another way, physical beings are crude misarticulations of reality in its full abundance.  Physicality is a privation of what is real just as shadow is a privation of light.  It is no wonder the physical world is, to the philosophic core of a True Consciousness, something like a shadow.

The Worldly Condition

Unfortunately the context in which a Philosophic Being is placed is key to the discussion of matters, and this context is called "the world" and this is a foul and wretched place in comparison with that to which Philosophic Beings are used to experiencing.  One must understand that not only is this Being the primary source of data concerning the nature of Real Consciousness, but that it persists to be so even though other paradigms exist, and also exist in terms of forms of data which are not proper to the experience of Real Consciousness.  Therefore our initial study of the Philosophic Being is in the context of a world which made its nature seem exceptional rather than the rule.

We find the world to be a place which situates Consciousness into a role as something ephemeral in the midst of what is solid and "substantive".  When speaking of consciousness people speak about something intangible, easily forgetting that the very notion of "tangibility" refers to an experience for consciousness, the de facto arbiter for any claims of what "matters" by way of experience.  This is outright odd to any True Consciousness, and yet it seems to be the lingo of the land when it comes to our ten-fingered and ten-toed throng.

Intelligent minds such as Locke, Descartes, Berkeley, among others knew better than to pretend not to see a sharp difference between notions of "matter" and "mind".  I will clarify the fundamental fact which was clearest in the mind of Berkeley and at least semi-apparent in the other two.  

Mind is the fundamental substance, and any discussion about "substance number two" will have be transacted in the currency of ideas which already pertain to the mind in its own nature.  This is the fact which the worldly people with their pseudo-duality conveniently forget rather perpetually.  There is no discussion about the mind, the body, or anything else, except in a mind.  Whatever is meant by something "alien to" a mind has to be something the mind understands by those terms.  So if "matter" is something fundamentally unlike mind, the mind can know nothing of it.

What there can be other than one mind is another (an other) mind.  The mind seems to have no trouble at all comprehending such a thing, the worldly dialogue of bodies seems to at least attempt some semblance of harmony with such a notion.  Solipsism is not a serious problem in that the only cause of what is not a minds own doing should be properly ascribed to the power of another mind.  What materialists focus upon are the interstices of these interactions and pronounce them to be the primary agents of reality, which is so obviously inane as to beg belief. 

They would propound such non-sense to you, the listener, but not to your body...  They take the body, in other words, as a vehicle by which to communicate to a mind, and they pretend to the listener that he may trust that on the transmitting end of the speaking body's gesticulations and vocalizations is a mind which originated the message being relayed.  Yet, this message is one which undercuts the very idea of its being communicated.

This is important because in order to understand the position of Philosophic Beings in this part of the cosmos, a part I will explain is very defective and evil, we must understand that there are no less nor more than exactly two languages being spoken at all times, and that the intentions of their speakers are diametrically opposed, although neither the relationship of their interaction nor the contents of their beings are symmetric.

The experiences of the mind encounter a chronic clash with the world, which has put in the limelight the mechanism of interaction between putative minds, and has put in the background as a mere epiphenomenon the mind itself.  Of course this is what it claims to be doing in its practices and communiques, but the fact is that it can never be taken seriously by any given mind, because the ideas involved prevent a mind from taking them seriously.  So in fact for the rest of this discussion a major feature will be the strange world of disjoint and opposing dialogues which continuously talk past one another and yet are somehow forced to coexist within the same system, the same world.

One World, Two Minds

The ancient Wizard Zoroaster laid it plain that a cosmopolitan paradigm in the world of values cannot be permitted to exist, because if it is permitted to exist then only one of two competing values will dominate, and the other will be gradually destroyed after a long period of torturous debasement.  The value which gains from this forced integration into one system of transaction is so different from the value which would escape such a system by all means possible that no other set of differences in the world deserve to be presented as a metaphysical distinction before it.  This is the distinction between evil and good.  I say evil first because in this world, evil has the first and primary say in all matters, and rules the public dialogue.  The question of the "problem of evil" is really an amusing one, for it pretends to have distinguished the idea of evil from the good in the first place, but whenever one examines the logic involved in such arguments and their premises one finds the author didn't even know the difference.

Evil and good operate in relative modes when considered in the light of parochial valuations of objects of experience as experienced by different minds.  But in order to begin to straighten out the difference between two things we cannot start with the assumption that they have merely a scalar relationship since that is nothing but a contrast of intensities of the same vectoral polarity.  If I think in relative terms as my basis I really don't know what I am distinguishing.

Evil and good must have not merely some relative reference point by which to be distinguished, say Person A says X is good, and Person B says it is evil.  That doesn't clarify anything about the meaning of "good" and "evil".  It can't be that way because it means nothing about their absolute difference, if any.  Indeed, valuations of things will never be the proper starting point for understanding absolute distinctions in values, because the valuations describe something merely in terms of a common plane of experience which presents itself as a fact rather than a value.  The world of conditions in which beings may disagree about values indicates that values don't have a common denominator regulating their manifestation to those which make claims about them.  It reduces the idea of values to a bickering about facts which are only incidentally contrary.

For example, if I say that something is fundamentally wrong, like theft, I am claiming this to be true but the thief will claim that it is not.  The same fact, taking of my possession by a non-owner of it, is evaluated in to very different ways.  When we look at the event in its "physicality", there were no laws of physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, logic or of any other kind which were broken.  There were laws made by society, but these didn't carry any force, for the action occurred anyway.  Those aren't the sort of laws which carry power because their enforcement depends upon people agreeing to them.  But my possessed object seemed to "agree" with being taken by the thief even though it supposedly "belonged" to me.  I and the thief disagree about who owns that object, don't we?

It's not that events and their inherent value which are the question, but rather it is the existence of two different types of minds which are involved.  One type of mind wants proximity to the other in order to exploit it in some way, and the other type wants to avoid the other in order to avoid exploitation.  The fact is that this world, in its physicality, forces these two types of minds to coexist, even though they are so contrary to each other that no greater contrariety in the world can be found.  So this puts the realm of "physical fact" at odds with the realm of "mental value" but not in a symmetrical fashion with respect to those values.  In fact, it is at odds with the value which is maintained only in separation from the other:  It disfavors ownership, and favors thievery, because it put a mediate state between them which doesn't discriminate between their polarities, namely possession, but this only favors the thief since his whole are is gaining possession of what an owner created.

And physicists say there is no free lunch!  The physical world, with respect to the mental world of values, exists in order to grant a free lunch, to one sort of axiological being at the expense of the other.  This is the aspect of the world that Zoroaster detested and which made him call it 'evil'.  Evil works by getting a value for nothing but its willingness to seize it from beings who have created it from within themselves.  It is the negation of the value for beings who have it in favor of beings who do not have it nor could have created it.

He saw that some of the religions existed to promote destructive and exploitative aspects of the human condition and that this could only be destructive to the religions which upheld values made vulnerable when coexisting with the former types.  Therefore he drew a red line between these types of value promoting institutions and claimed that one actually existed only at the expense of the other, and that those who promoted either really belonged in the former if they also promoted their coexistence, and that those who did not promote their coexistence were the only true members of the latter type of religion.  In other words, he awakened the axiological type "B" beings into realizing that they have been subtly enslaved by the type "A" religions and that they must purify themselves through a separation process, and separate themselves by a purification process, on all levels of their existence as a society.  This of course led to war.  But Zoroaster's people won that war against astounding odds, and that is the event which marked the modern era of spiritual warfare of the Good against evil.  The former are led by the Good Mind, which comes from a Higher Consciousness called Ohura Mazda, and the latter comes from an Evil Mind which is named Ahriman.

One Language, Two Meanings

The irony is that while certain people just love to speak of everything being one, and the world being one, and everyone being the same, these same people don't want to live in a maximum security prison with rapists and murderers.  Yet their language suggests that they believe that such a thing, somehow, would be okay.  When you actually present them with the consequences of such nonsense, they don't actually back down from their position, but they do find themselves less enthusiastic about discussing it with you!  I mean, when you tell them that a rapists idea of "being one" with them would be to violently insert his penis into their various orifices against their will, in fact preferably against their will, they seem to irritated not so much at the prospect of such a thing as with its incoherence with their worldview.  "How dare he show me that the world makes a mockery of my worldview" they seem to be saying.

Then when you show them that their own actions suffer from the same incoherence with their worldview, they really get upset.  They don't thank you for helping them to see how they can better live up to their ideology, but they blame you for showing them how their ideology is complete bullshit.  At the same time, if you point out how the world at large is systematically oriented so as to enable the maximal advantage to a select group of people who live completely at the expense of everyone else, and that all the problems of their lives can be traced to their lower position on the totem pole with respect to these ubercriminals, they will call you a conspiracy theorist...  It seems that these people possess a special sort of "mind" which cannot integrate the meaning of ideas with the facts which exist in their experience.  It seems that when they speak of something, especially if it has anything to do with "how things are" or "how things should be", they are not bound by the same rules of logic or the same semantic structure as are a certain other group of minds.

What they mean when they speak of "one world" is some fantasy whereby victims are discounted from the membership except as a fuel source for its existence.  What they mean, in effect, is a world for the sake of predators at the expense of prey.  After all, this is what their wonderful world with all of its precious ecosystems is all about:  predators feeding on prey.  If this is world they so love, isn't this because in their hearts they wish to identify with the predator and not the prey?  Granted these people are typically bottom of the barrel of weakness and incompetence, hardly qualities expected of predatorial greatness. Still, they seem to be at least indoctrinated in the mindset which most suits the predator, for he no doubt views the world as "one", a world where only his experience of being on top qualifies as descriptive of the world's rightness and unity.  His symbol for unity would be something like his beak or talons firmly inserted into the flesh of his prey.  Surely the prey could not understand any other meaning to such a notion, but certainly has a very different evaluation of its desirability.

The difference in evaluation is obvious, but the difference in understanding is a bit odd.  Just how do we understand this doctrine of the rightness of the world as a whole in the minds of these who seem to speak of its one-ness in mystical tones?  There must be at least a subtext which clarifies for the unfortunates in this world why they are insolently reminded of the sanctity of a world which binds them together with there perpetual misfortune.

Predator, Prey, and Lemming

In the natural world prey seem not to be bothered by notions of being or becoming one with their hunters.  They waste no time talking themselves into living in a harmonious relationship with that which would kill and eat them.  They are possessed of sensibility.  In the human world there seems to be a real break with natural reality.

Humans possess the ability to speak about their own defilement, abuse, enslavement and destruction as if they were in love with these ideas.  They tend not to like the concrete results when they actually take effect, but often they are not burdened by a mind keen on relating such effects to their causes in the first place.  They are possessed of a mind which is not like a predator, but not entirely like a prey either.  We will call them something else, a lemming.

A lemming, for the purposes of this discussion, is the human prototype (apparently). It exists in thriving abundance throughout the world, in every nation, every clime, every society. A lemming is a docile, labile, plastic, highly programmable sort of mind which can inhabit any sort of body perhaps, but for now we restrict ourselves to its human manifestation.

Lemmings go through their lives doing whatever they are told.  Of course within that framework they have a great deal of leeway about many trivial things, but basically they will obey those who program them.  They needn't know who programmed them, nor for what purpose.  In fact, they don't know that they are programmed at all.  They are for all intents and purposes organic robots.  Values exist for them only in a scalar mode if these extend beyond the parameters of the concrete effects upon their bodies as programmed.  They may oppose other lemmings, but this is easier than opposing their own programming by far, so there is really no net resistance to the systems of the world in which they are harnessed.

Lemmings are rather massive in number, albeit mediocre in quality.  They are adept at enabling just enough of their kind to aspire to a certain higher altitude of qualities as dictated by their programming, but no more.  So, if it is permitted, they will allow a man to think up some advanced technology to keep them more comfortable.  But if they are not programmed to do so then they will not, even if by doing so they would permit themselves to be entirely free of any need to work for others, or be told what to do by others, and could live life precisely the way they wanted to.  So for example they are fine with alternating current, but they don't want to quibble about the inherently unhealthy frequency specifically chosen for such currents of electricity as it streams through their houses and appliances, or beams at them through their lighting or computer screens.  They may like electrical technology in principle, but lets not bother them about improving 1000 or more times beyond its present modes of harnessing and distribution.  And if the same man, Nikola Tesla, were to be on the one hand responsible for what they are programmed to accept and also responsible for what they are programmed not to accept (the default unless programmed othewise), then they will be happy to take what is allowed and refuse the rest, forgetting to reward the man, or if necessary happy to punish him.  This is if they are ever bothered to acknowledge him in the first place, or even to be aware of his existence.

Lemmings can be programmed in many ways.  They can be quite vicious when it is desired by their masters, and they will even be programmable as to targets with or without reasons, valid or invalid.  They prefer to operate in groups against weaker specimens in smaller numbers, if they are bothered to do the dirty work of destroying others at all.  If the proper programming is put into them, and they are supplied with the right equipment, then they may be happy raging against any odds.  It may be required that some electromagnetic stimulation to the posterior amygdala be provided in a context rich in delusions of righteousness plus perhaps some euphoric ideas of invulnerability (in other words, no real courage needed or possible), but the right specimens in the large pool of lemmings do exist.

Lemmings are just that, and as to essence the word "lemming" and "human" are interchangeable.