Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Positive Reality and Duality Part II: Beyond Philosophy, History, and Normality

"A deviation of a hair's breadth at the center leads to an error of a hundred miles at the rim.
When the effort is so slight, why should you hesitate to set things right?"

The question of what the significance is of differentiating apparently indistinct possible worlds is not merely a matter of metaphysical investigation "for its own sake".  The context in which this matter has here been broached in Part I is a very ethical, read "spiritually" significant endeavor.  It really does matter, in some cases, to split hairs, and to do so in a way which "sets things right".

To the questions philosophical which pertain to this endeavor, the metaphysical issues of "identity" and "essence" are quite relevant.  "Who is splitting the hair?"  It matters what sort of being exists and asks questions, not merely what sort of recorded questions, attempts at answers, and criticisms have been compiled by what appear to be biological androids capable of passing a cultural hegemon's version of a "Turing Test" for loyalty to the status quo of what is permitted to be understood and discussed within his empire of learned fools.  In terms of the power of silencing dissent as to what is "on the table of discourse", Foucault's analysis of the archaeology of power over knowledge, or knowledge management as a means to secure power over others, is a pertinent line of discourse. His observations are not the only voice on this topic, but it is indicated in various other tones and contexts by thinkers and writers going back as far as Plato, Kongfuzi ("Confucious", not to be confused with "Confuses Us"), Bruno, Paine, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Luther, Xunzi, Mozi, Laozi, Zartosht (Zoroaster), Szasz, just to name a few "Big Names".  There is a SHEER TON of literature on the subject of the interstitial relations between power, knowledge, and social norms.

In this literature a common theme arises where there are noted to be restrictions placed upon the raising of certain questions, and it is often posited that, whether rightly or wrongly, certain "brute facts" ordain those restrictions, overriding "The Truth" of the matter, becoming a sort of ugly truth in its own right, by the sheer fact that such a coercive influence is possible.  The economic and specific living conditions of people, for example, are brute facts which dictate a great deal about what sort of state of mind they are likely to obtain, what tools and facilities are available for their application of their minds to efforts of learning and contemplation, and what sort of complications may arise so as to cut short or otherwise delimit the quality and quantity of their efforts.  Their are social forces which are at work, on macro and micro scales, from the familial to the class structural, to the cultural and inter-cultural.  

These and other forces exert their casting and framing influences on the works of living beings, no matter what their degree of sentience and other physical, mental, and spiritual capacities.  This is not generally acknowledged to be "for the better", except by those who are resigned to some paradigmatic fantasy that declares human societies to be dignified in some way beyond the scope of any individuals which may exist either in them or outside them, a mindset described by Rand as "collectivism".  But to be clear, we are discussing the efforts of the individual, of the single and immutably unique person who, in the context of these forces which surround and impinge upon him or her, must usually conduct their best efforts in spite of these forces rather than as a true and proper harmonic of them.

It matters to the Lover of Truth, who is ALWAYS AN INDIVIDUAL SOVEREIGN in his own right, as to the questions to be decided in his mind concerning what is real and what is fake, what is true and what is false, what is good and what is evil, what is right and what is wrong, what is beautiful and what is hideous.  It isn't up to anyone else, no matter how many of them there are, who they are severally or collectively, or what they think they are properly up to doing about it.  It is up to this individual to decide, to realize, to act upon his decisions and realizations according to his own best judgement.  There is no exception to this principle of Liberty in the proper sense which defines the spiritual basis of Sovereignty as a concept.  Only this person lives his life, and only he may decide how he will live it.  Others may object all they like, but they cannot change his right or power to decide this matter for himself, not even if they destroy his body, for in this they merely deform the "portal of expression" of his Spirit into this world, they don't and they cannot touch his Spirit as such.

That is a fundamental position which answers for me what the value is in splitting this hair, whether or not there are other and metaphysical evils which underlie the phenomenal appearances of our world, and also what they are and what is to be done about them.  The position that I realize that it is not only up to me, but it is up to only me to do this work, for it is a unique work which is an expression of my very own Spiritual Essence which has as one of its hallmarks and touchstones the Love of Truth.

Love, which is a transitive verb requiring a proper object, implies that there is an evaluation of what is best.  It is impossible and senseless to speak of loving things "indiscriminately".  That is not love at all, but the caricature of a person who is nothing more than an empty tube through which the world passes without meaning.  When I love, which is to say when I Love, I resist.  Namely I resist the possibility of ignoring or passing over something, and I enter into it more.  This automatically implies that by contrast I have neglected something else, and this is simply a fact about which there is no sensible debate.  The meta-discourse on the senselessness of speaking of unconditional love is outside the limits of this essay, but rather it is assumed that the reader understands that such a notion is considered a falsification of the very essence of what the term "love" means.  

But by way of a nod in the appropriate direction I could use as a simple example the fact that I forgive the distraction from what else I love by this one thing that I love, simply because in virtue of some specific feature of this thing, and in some specific way and time, I love it more than anything else, or else I love it as a symbol or channel by which I love something even greater or other, but which only this being and nothing else has had the power to symbolize or otherwise offer connection.  My selectivity and focus upon this feature, this salient aspect which is loved more than what is therefore loved less by implication, is in no way altruistic or "other serving" or self-abnegating or "unconditional".  It is the very opposite of all these.

In the case of knowing what sort of world it is in which "we" really live, I must confess simply and straightly that I have a very personal and interested condition by which I am motivated to approach it. I am not satisfied with someone's story about what reality is, but I am going to find out for myself.  I am not satisfied with someone's insistence on what is right, but I'm going to decide for myself.  The Truth of matters, in short, is not decided for me, but by me.  I do indeed Love Truth, and I am very interested in making sure I'm not settling for a poor substitute. But to anyone else who will settle for someone's story, or someone's insistence, I say then you may do that all you please, but you will not substitute your choices for mine, nor your fate or destiny for mine.  To each, truly, his own.  So if the reader doesn't care, let him be careless and go his careless way.  But for me, I will split this hair!

Since in Part I it has already been demonstrated that there is an intelligible distinction between two possible worlds where the phenomenal appearances are identical, at least for large spaces and times vis-a-vis a normal human lifespan and intelligence (broadly speaking).  Therefore there is perhaps even no distinction for some people's lives which way this goes.  But as I've already just explained, for the Lover of Truth as I have pronounced him, there is a profound distinction.  It is not a distinction of appearances anyway, so the complaints of those who small minds or petty lives fit neatly and indifferently into the horrific folds of either universe may be ignored without any burden of explanation.  They can say I think too much, they can say I am "ratcheted too high in my vigilance" about this and that, and they can basically make asses of themselves all they want by conflating their conformation to their world regardless of its underlying realities with a proper basis for criticizing someone who is not bound by their unfortunate embeddedness. 

Perhaps they are the ones who are metaphysically truncated in some unsightly way so that they are unable to delve deeper than the surfaces of things at all, but in truth this is not likely in this universe, because the rampant and blatant evils in our world are commonly enough known by all that it really doesn't take an obsessive interest in ponerology to go beyond the surface.  The surface is so hideous as it presents itself that it even goes through the motions of caricaturizing its hideous evil in the culture, analyzing its corruption in the literature, rationalizing some of its monstrosities in various institutions of authority.  The topography of human society is built on this surface in such a way that it wouldn't even have the shape that it has unless this depth of evil within it were a fact, however it is then processed by those who have squatted their fleshy dependencies upon it.

At the end of all that drivel is the {} of incoherence, which wears on the mind of the metaphysician of the soul, the metaphysicist of the real.  He notes that the world "doth complain too much" about his own efforts, which needn't detain them if they have "better things to do", and likewise he often asks no special reward for his efforts.  Indeed, he can often demonstrate the value of his realizations in some of the more superficial layers of his research, often at the drop of a hat in any situation, no matter how petty, especially the longer-lived he is and the more familiar he perforce becomes with such picayune circumstances.  He could do this in his sleep, and still properly express a masterpiece of observation, logic, and perhaps even a touch of humor thrown in due to the absurdity of pointing out the obvious to those for whom, all too commonly, common sense is uncommon.

Then there are those who simply fear the "rabbit hole" which is implied by these massive, suffocating standing waves of absurdity!  They perhaps cannot even get their nose up far enough from grindstone to which they avidly cling so as to even perceive just how much of the world is a "rabbit hole", nor how their sinking ship of delusional normality is no less doomed to plunge deeper into its unholy depths.  Perhaps they think themselves safely on the beaches somewhere on the rim of the rabbit hole world which they go to great lengths to rationalize into one of the world-approved absurdity-conformable paradigms into which they have been developmentally embedded in this, and perhaps many previous lives, assuming that their souls are more than cardboard cutouts.  Even in this case, they can be grimly assured that the fleet of sinking vessels in the center of Rabbit Hole Lake have their moorings attached to the delicate necks of the delusional dwellers upon Rabbit Hole Beach.  It won't matter what your class of seating on the sinking ships of delusion, nor your quality of estates on the beaches of denial... you are going in the rabbit hole of "what lies beneath" no matter what.  The difference between those who do this blindly, and those who do it consciously, between those who do it with cowardice, and those who do it with honor, is the Love of Truth.  It is either in you, or it ain't.

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