Everyone stumbles through many illusions on his or her way from childhood to adulthood. Illusions commend themselves to us because they afford us enjoyment but the greater the illusion the greater the pain when we eventually and inevitably collide with a bit of reality. The job of the mind, as I would understand it, is to help us survive and thrive until the finishing line, by differentiating between reality and illusion and making decisions based on the former against the backdrop of personal priorities. So congratulations to whoever made it into adulthood. It means, likely with the help of parents, you have done away with many illusions. Reality is inseparable from nature. No two people are exactly the same, which means there are probably more than seven billion personality types in the world.
But then another challenge emerges and that is: the mind is not a homogeneous mass of thoughts and feelings. For the most part, it is filled with confusion arising out of incongruent ideas. Ideas or thoughts, the stuff with which we build bridges from the unconscous to the conscious. Whoever lacks that lags. All true spirituality aims at the harmonization of thoughts and emotions, something Nietzsche will call “the spiritualization of the emotions.” This is essential for healing, spiritual growth and happiness. Ultimately one’s world reflects one’s mindset. And it is within the intellect not the emotions that the true battle rages.
The deception which every society feeds it young generation is the root cause of all forms of human deterioration – violence, rape, drug abuse, dereliction, criminality and terrorism etc. Many children never recover from those lies. When compelled by circumstances they find substitute lies because those lies inflate and caress the ego. And so everything snowballs into some soggy mass of deception. Chief among these hoaxes is organized popular religion. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry in Africa. They only need to create two conditions – fear and ignorance. As one may already be aware the Chinese have also settled in. They are in good business with Africa which many have even been described as a “love affair.” But Africa itself is still not yet on its feet and I hope they don’t introduce Buddha or Confucious to her.
I weep for the youth in particular because they bear the brunt of whatever happens as leadership continuous to fail in Africa. By reconstructing my consciousness, I have been able to at least make sense of my world and my existence. It’s a good exercise which must be conducted frequently by all who believe their consciousness needs reparation.
In a complex social system, the effectiveness of one’s decisions is dependent on the decisions of others. In other words, for a trader to have a business there must be someone willing to buy. For a leader to legitimately lead, there must others willing to follow. Every decision we make no matter how reasonable it may appear has some emotional influence as the basis. The current state of our lives is as a result of all the decisions we have made since adulthood and decisions made for us by our parents since we were born. Most decisions are reversible. Decision making improves with accurate knowledge or information. The entire world is shaped by knowledge or ideas. Ideas basically comprise thoughts and emotions. Ultimately, the physical world is an extension of the mental world because everything man-made we see around in the environment today was once an idea existing in somebody’s mind. Others argue that thoughts and ideas are shaped by the physical world or arise as a result of physiological processes and therefore cannot precede physicalism. I don’t know how far that truth can go. There are large areas of the earth inhabited by only vegetation. Thoughts are not real there because plants have no mind to produce thoughts. But we can be sure that within human societies, thoughts, ideas and emotions influence everything human and therefore are the only realities to us. Thoughts, emotions and ideas cannot be perceived, they are perceptions in themselves. All other “realities” are real to us if only perceived.
Happy new year to all my readers. Those who recently followed, welcome to a meaningful and a meaningless blog.
By ‘progress’ I mean advancement, growth, strengthening etc. This ego which in common language is referred to as ‘the self’ has a very short existence. In fact the very sojourness of our world is the ego metaphorised. The contents of the ego is lost at death. Not a single thought, idea or belief within the ego is passed to one’s offspring. Most individuals with high thinking enter the herd only to dominate or exploit it. Often this fails and the individual is alienated or he alienates himself. Nothing is as repugnant to the herd as selfishness but, then again it depends on inherent thought patterns within the herd. Here again, by ‘herd’ I mean an animal, tribal, communal or societal unit.
The elimination of logic by the herd leaves us with only emotion. The question arises: ‘Can truth come to us through emotion? In other words can there be truth without logic? Within the herd, and supposing that the emotions are in their proper frameworks, then yes! In fact the most discernable truth within and between members of the herd is emotional or instinctive truth. But what we mean by ‘truth’ is too much subjected to arguments. There is correct or incorrect logic but no true logic nor moral logic. This is because logic is a figment of the psychic tree. At the root is the instincts which every living organism identifies with symbolically and which is responsible for herd formation.
The real value of the instincts is in its ability to carry out repetitive instructions from the psyche without getting exhausted. This is where what we call love emanates from. Any form of attraction that seem logical and reasonable (based clearly on external material needs and fulfilment) will quickly lose energy and passion because needs change over time. Love, which requires repetitive actions can only be sustained at the roots, within the emotions, therefore strong bonds occur at an emotional level and it’s supplemented by reason. I’m not sure I’m making sense but I think only emotional discernment can offer us satisfactory answers in our search for the purpose of life.
No psychical activity is as dangerous and self harming as the philosophization of the emotions. To philosophize the emotions is to obstruct it’s path, to preserve its wounds and prevent the individual from training the emotions to successfully deal with life’s daily pains. Philosophy only protects. It does not heal emotional wounds. So herein lies the difference between philosophy and spirituality.
To spiritualize the emotions, in contrast, does not obstruct the flow of the emotions but rather it diffuses it so that its painful effect is no longer felt. This creates a feeling of healing. In other words a kind thought is often the most effective antidote to an evil thought or a negative emotion. Moreover, the misery in this world is what necessitates faith. Our formal educational systems have failed us because they train only the logical mind of a child. They do not train children in emotional intelligence.
Metaphysical poets and prophets often advocate the spiritualization of the emotions over the philosophization of the emotions. Bottom line is this: one must not escape or shield oneself from emotional pain but rather toughen up and overcome it. This is victory for the soul. Any social situation that makes one extremely fearful is necessary for the evolution of one’s soul. However, one could also combine the two ways of dealing with emotional pain – to spiritualize first, and then philosophize – which is probably the best.
I have been wanting to ask this question as far back as last year but couldn’t really find a way to frame it well. What is ‘normality’?
Supposed that one wakes up tomorrow and saw that everybody was walking about completely naked – even at school or at work. In fact every social gathering is filled with people in the nude. What will be one’s reaction? One will likely immediately feel embarrassed for fully dressing, go back home or to the washroom, undress and come back in order to fit in. Same will apply to whether one woke up and saw people walking backwards. Thus the question arises, is something normal because it’s commonplace or is it normal because it’s appropriate or right to do?
Would you steal, accept bribes or commit adultery simply because it is common place in society or would you rather refuse to do these things because refusal is right? The pressure in society, to conform, is strong and can be reflected even in the kind of traditions or laws in place. But the reward of doing the right thing is superior and far reaching and ultimately good for yourself even if it means being labeled abnormal. Happy Sunday!
You may have been accused, judged, condemned and abandoned by someone who doesn’t really know you. If whatever people say or think about you is not true, why worry? This is an excellent article on fear, which I think I should share. It’s spot on.
Assuming that we know what truth is and how to find it, the question then arises, are there universal existential truths? In other words different people derive different ‘truths’ from same experience of reality. Some even have their own methods of deriving said ‘truths’ and are sure about those methods. How can we tell whether the truth which we derive or perceive is experienced in the exact way as all other conscious beings?
Secondly, what is reality? Something existing in the mind or in the world or both?
You see that tree over there?
You see that kid playing?
You see the house over there?
Do you see the pot plant?
The tree – the child –
The house – the plant.
A certain level of pain is necessary for the proper evolution of our thoughts. Sometimes, you can listen to somebody express his or her thoughts and can tell whether those particular thoughts or ideas have undergone much evolution or less evolution. I think pain is necessary in directing our paths towards joy, which is the opposite end of the emotional spectrum.