Wednesday 27 April 2022

The System as a pseudo-spirituality-simulacrum

Since it has penetrated, and dominates, almost everywhere in the realm of finance, the media, economics, politics, the military and police, law, religion, science, arts, health etc; it is easy to regard The System as a physical entity only; and to neglect that The System has also come to replace the spiritual by a simulacrum

In other words; for most people The System provides their only escape from alienation - their only sense of belonging, connection, participation in the world around them. 

This is one deep reason why the masses will believe whatever The System is currently telling them - no matter how incoherent, vile and inverted; because only by joining-in with today's-frenzy of communications can they escape their profound existential isolation and feel a part of the world, the community. 

Of course; it is only a very partial and temporary alleviation; but that fact merely fuels the addictive dependency - and explains why social media have become integral to life for so many. 

What we are instead supposed to be doing is consciously to participate in the world of God, angels, spirits, and other Men's 'divine-minds' by voluntary and chosen acts of our individual consciousness. 

Then; individual men may know directly and by personal experience the wider world outside their own minds. 

But for this to happen, we must (first) believe that such a world is real and accessible - and not merely a delusion, a manipulation, or wishful thinking. 

We must also have realistic expectations of 'what it is like' to access such a world; in particular setting aside any fantasies or hopes of reversion to a prehistoric/ primitive/ tribal (or early childhood state) of passive and unconscious immersion in the group mind. 

We also need to eschew any covert hope that such access will bring us personal power, statsu or other kind of success; and also forget any notions that we can (or should try to) convince other people about what we discover in such experiences. 

The essence of what is possible (and desirable) is that each needs to do it for himself. 

These are, I believe, the only two possibilities: Either we accept The System as 'our god' and salvation from the existential horror of alienation; or else, we decide to reconnect with the wider world by means of our chosen conscious thinking activity. 

By The System we are densely-connected - but any connection is indirect (via language, image, symbol - which must be interpreted). 

But by the deployment of our chosen conscious activity, we dwell in the wider world of Beings directly and unmediated - we may live-in that spiritual world, for a while. 


Ann K. said...

Excellent, eye-opening thoughts. The notion also pertains to the meaning of personhood in relation to other people and to the triune Persons of God.

Lucinda said...

Artificial technological advance deletes huge amounts of "noise". But most of the time, the "noise" contains the essential information, or functionality. We are a hungry man who dreams he is eating and awakes to an empty soul.

John Venlet said...

...we decide to reconnect with the wider world by means of our chosen conscious thinking activity.

Yes. And Romans 12:2 Scripturally relates to us how God can assist those who trust in Him to accomplish just that.

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good and perfect will."

Test this promise through prayer and reacquainting yourself with the Scriptures. God's promises are not idle words.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JV - Interesting - although I doubt whether this passage can really mean the same thing as I am saying here, 2000 years later. Back then, many/ most Men had some degree of spontaneous contact with the spirit realm, and meaning. It is really only in the past few hundred years, and especially the past several generations, that this natural 'religiousness' has almost wholly waned among adults.

John Venlet said...

Dr. Charlton, I understand your doubt as to the application of this passage in this day and age, but I do not doubt that these words from Roman 12:2 remain active and applicable. My reasoning for this is based on the fact that each and every human being is a creature born into the human race, with a soul, because of God's will, thus the spiritual aspect of God's blessing us with a soul is within each and every individual in the world. Granted, there are large numbers of individuals who will deny this, shunning any contact with the spirit realm, as you refer to it, but it does not negate the fact that they have a soul. Nor does their current shunning of the spiritual realm mean that the Holy Spirit cannot be reanimated within them, even though the natural "religiousness" has waned within them. Anything is possible with God, most notably all things good.

Bruce Charlton said...

@JV - It wasn't that I said the passage was without value for today - but that it must have meant something different from what *I* mean here.

Alexeyprofi said...

The CTMU says that the initial state of the universe is Unbound Telesis, in which there is no information and only infinite potential, from which the universe began to exist by determining its laws. My guess is that we are all connected to this YBT and that is where our feelings, thoughts, sensory experiences, etc. come from. Therefore, two people can experience the same experience while their brains are physically separate. And our imagination is also the binding and realization of this potential, so thinking is the same as the creation of the universe.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Alexy - The CTMU operates within the philosophical metaphysical systems (dating from the earliest philosophers of ancient Greece) which look to provide their ultimate explanation in abstract terms (e.g. 'states', 'laws', 'forces', 'fields' are in this sense abstractions).

However, I eventually decided that the ultimate aspects of reality are personal - i.e. Beings - rather than abstractions.

Of course - I recognize that nearly everybody continues to speak in abstract terms; but it means that I find that I cannot take this wholly seriously anymore - while in the past I expended considerable effort in trying to 'get to the bottom' of what abstractions meant, and implied.

For me, the crucial text was Owen Barfield's What Coleridge Thought, in which OB explains Coleridge's polarity in the same abstract terms by which C. conceived it. I succeeded in following the argument to its root; but then realized that the extreme difficulties were due to trying to 'capture' living Beings - living through time - by re-explaining them using abstract and impersonal categories.

If, instead, I regarded the child's intuition of an 'animistic' reality (reality consisting of living, purposive, conscious Beings) as real - such difficulties melted-away.

Alexeyprofi said...

@BC What I wanted to say is that fantasies are just as real as the world around them because (in my opinion) they come from a common source. Well, a person's thought is itself a part of reality, since thinking is real. The proof of this is the attitude towards the characters of books, films, etc. as if they really existed. People can fall in love with them, use them as an example, analyze their character. What about animism as far as I know any thing that can process information have consciousness. If a group of similar things form object that can process information on a higher level than it's parts, this object have separate consciousness (for example, cells and brain). In other case only consciousnesses of constituent things exists, for example, atoms and stone.