Friday 7 June 2013

The coming Great Simplification


I feel that what is coming is a Great Simplification in which all sub-issues that concern us (economics, populations-ethnicities-personalities-intelligences, law and order, science, the mass media, military matters, education, health services...) will fall-away; to leave just that one great organizing principle: religion.

The simplification will be into those (few) who have a religion and who live-by that religion, and those who have an anti-religion and live by that.


Only those who have a religion have the basis for cohesion, for doing anything.


The mass majority who live by anti-religion; that currently dominant secular multitude who adhere to a fluid collection of incoherent, and un-cohere-able micro-principles, simply have no possibility of responding to the vast intricacy life and its problems.

Lacking which their numbers, wealth, power etc. mean absolutely nothing.


It is not just that the anti-religious majority lack the basis for cohesion - it is much worse than that. It is that their strongest-held and most zealously-enforced ideas work against cohesion - actively seeking-out, subverting and destroying every glimmer of possible hope; all chance or plans for any effective response, or organizing goal.  


It really is terribly simple (and simply terrible, in all likelihood).



FHL said...

This comment probably isn't very useful, but this post reminds me of something very personal to me.

I remember telling you a long time ago about how I underwent a very severe psychological breakdown several years ago. I've already told you about it all, but to reiterate: I became suddenly very confused with EVERYTHING simultaneously. It was like all of of my thoughts were held up by an intricate system of supports and beams, and once a few started to fall I was helpless to stop the entire thing from collapsing. Indeed, the more I tried to fix things inside my head, the more I broke my thoughts even more.

I fell into a complete paralysis of thought, which also corresponded with somewhat of a physical paralysis, or at least an extreme lethargy. I froze. I failed all of my classes, and lost contact with almost all of my friends and family.

Do not worry. I have since somewhat recovered... but not completely, never completely; I've never been the same, and I am always anxious and fearful that the confusion will return.

As I also told you, it was during this time I starting thinking about religion seriously.

In fact, I became obsessed. Like "the boy's gone mad!" obsessed. I had stacks upon stacks of books that I would absorb in an erratic manner, taking bits and pieces here and there, never satisfied, always looking for something, something! If you would have known me then, you would have said I resembled a drowning rat looking for air while I read those books. I was enveloped in complete madness for a long turbulent period of about three years.

I read many, many things to do with various religious/spiritual topics but mostly concerning Christianity, and in particular Orthodox and Catholic Christianity.

I also have this memory, which I shared with you as well: during this period I was discussing with a friend something St. Augustine had said and suddenly broke into tears, which prompted my friend to "Why do you care so much about this stuff?" I couldn't find the words and exclaimed in frustration: "Because it's the only thing that's real! Like really real! Everything else in this world is fake! Or at least a little fake, probably mostly fake, but God is the only thing that is really real in this world!"

Anyways, this story has no real point, just your post reminded me of that event and I'd thought I'd share, for better or worse.

Bruce Charlton said...

@FHL - Your experience seems very relevant: a highly precise analogy for what I am talking about.

Matias F. said...

I had a similar experience than FHL: a psychological breakdown when I suddenly discovered that basically everything that I had learned was not just wrong, but a bunch of lies (social democracy or liberalism, education, economics etc.).

I recovered and function better than before the breakdown, because I became Christian. But I shudder at the thought that the mass majority will have to experience the same.

Bruce Charlton said...

@MF - Indeed. The alternative (and it is, I suppose, the most probable outcome) is that other religions than Christianity (depending on location) will take-over by default.

FHL said...

@Matias F.

Yes, it can be very traumatic. I too look back at my breakdown and realize it was for the best, because it was also how I returned to Christianity after many wasted years of hedonism.

Moses walked through the desert for years before God spoke to him. The breakdown was necessary.

However, it is possible that we may have experienced slightly different things.

What I happened with me wasn't merely finding out I was wrong.

It wasn't so much that the facts were incorrect, more so that I had all these facts and no way to connect them meaningfully. I was unable to have conversations with people; whenever speaking about something, I always had to grossly simplify, which would result in an outright lie or a lie by omission, or I could choose to speak only in metaphors.

I had no way of actually navigating through reality. No way of actually comprehending it in language. I didn't know whether I was wrong or not. There was no way to sort through it all, and all the discussions that people would have with me would be extremely simplistic, and the majority of ideas I myself proposed or heard, whether political, social, scientific, etc. became a sort of fiction to me. It was to me a sort of poetry, perhaps correctly signifying reality if you're lucky enough that your audience just so happens to be in-tune to the context of your words and actually cares, but never quite capturing it.

Bruce Charlton said...

@FHL - And yet, I suppose you would now regard this situation as having been, indeed, at root, a SIMPLE problem with a SIMPLE solution?

This is the hardest thing of all for intellectuals to recognize. (I speak also from experience.)

FHL said...

@Dr. Charlton

Oh nos! You've caught me!

But in my defense, the modern world didn't make this easy!

It was simple in the sense that I always knew what the solution was, but it was very difficult because it didn't appeal to my sense of vain-glory.

It still is difficult. Mostly because I'm a fool.

Daybreaker said...

And yet this simple solution - religion - requires the utmost mystical sophistication to avoid very simple conclusions. Among them, that the religious have been madly wrong-headed for decades, and still are.

Bruce Charlton said...

@D - It doesn't matter.

If most people cannot agree to live by a religion of their choice, then they will simply have to live by somebody else's religion.

And that is exactly the way we are heading, sans mass repentance and a Great Awakening.

AlexT said...

@FHL: Simple, not easy, as a doctor once said.

The Crow said...

Great story, FHL, leading to the best discussion I have seen here.

Yes. The world of humans is mad.
No. None of it is real.
Yes. God is the only real.
No. You are not mad to realize this.

Jesus, Moses, and I have the desert in common, and the total breakdown of all we thought we knew, as a result.
Eye of the needle.
No baggage may be carried through it. Not even an identity.

Kurt Klimisch said...

Wow, I just started reading. I am extremely impressed, please keep going.

Daybreaker said...

"Live by" has two meanings, which when doctrine is good are the same, but which in our age are in conflict.

There is "live by" as following rules.

There is "live by" as to survive in virtue of, like a life preserver in an ocean. This meaning is preserved in the religious doctrine of the Jews: they are to live by the law, collectively and individually, and not to die by it. (Which I think is right on every level.)

When doctrine is good, the rules lead to continuity, to life: for the race, for the individual, in this life or another; salvation is all one, and destruction is one too.

When doctrine is bad enough, as in our age it is, "live by" in the second sense is not an option for those the badness of the doctrine applies to. A race can no more "live by" mass immigration and forced integration or sub-replacement fertility than Jim Jones community could "live by" his mandate for communal suicide.

Your great simplification has a simple answer for this too: extermination and no salvation for all those who've been betrayed by the bad rule-givers and the new rule-interpreters.

It could be. But we'll see.

If we get out of this, against all odds and in defiance of the mandates of evil gods, I think we should remember this betrayal and from which quarter destruction came; not only who the wolves turned out to be, but also who, charged to be shepherds, let wolves in among the flock, saying:

These are your indispensable companions, your teachers, your elder brothers, whom you must love and trust in all things, especially in the dark. In no way segregate yourselves from them or guard yourself against their words or their deeds.

imnobody said...

Thanks, FHL, for sharing your beautiful story

Bruce Charlton said...

@D - I think you are dodging the question here - and quoting Nietzsche is no good, since he was a nihilist and would have delighted in the kind of destruction which you would wish to avert.

FHL said...

@The Crow

Thank you.

FHL said...


Thank you too.

Oh, and this may seem like a really crazy and silly question, and it probably is, but it has been itching at me for awhile now... are you a Copt?

You thoughts and writing style, which I greatly loved, appreciated, and identified with whenever I stumbled upon one of your comments, seems very Coptic in character.

As well as your alias. (Take a quick look at any Coptic message board and you'll find screen-names like "a_sinner," "unworthy," "lostsheep," "slaveofchrist," and so on are very popular)

And if you're not, don't fret, my mistake; I won't love, appreciate, or identify with your comments any less!