We are orientated – by default, as it were – to the purely formal world that is created by our own mental descriptions. More than just being ‘orientated’ to this extrinsic reality, it’s the only world that we know, it’s the only world we’re capable of knowing. We are living life entirely ‘on the outside’, therefore. When Jung says ‘he who looks without sleeps...’ this is the ‘without’ that he is referring to. We are orientated to the outside rather than the inside and the outside is made up entirely of our own mental projections. The outside is our own ‘thing’, our own ‘gimmick,’ our own ‘construct’ and so it just doesn’t do us any good being in this way. It’s a Great Disaster – more than this, it’s THE Great Disaster!
When we have ideas stuck in our head then these ideas elicit a reality that confirms these ideas – ‘What the thinker thinks the prover proves’, says Robert Anton Wilson. This way there’s actually no need for reality. Since we are – in effect – insisting on interpreting every little bit of information that comes our way in our own terms (thereby leaving nothing at all uninterpreted, not even a scrap) we tie ourselves up in a knot that we can’t ever untie and this is the Knot of Self-Referentiality. Self-referentiality – we might say – opens the door to a kind of ‘tailor-made virtual reality construct’ (or ‘personal construct’) that is made up of a closed set of apparent (or virtual) possibilities, possibilities which are created by our blind attachment to our own ideas. The virtual possibilities are a reflection of the biases that we don’t know we have and because they are nothing more than ‘our own biases reflected back at us’ they don’t actually ‘add up to anything.’
The virtual possibilities don’t add up to anything at all, but they look as if they do. They look very much as if they do and it is this that sucks us in. We’re hungry for profit and the mirage of ‘content where there isn’t any’ feeds on this hunger, draws its strength from it. That’s what spins the flywheel. We are totally under the control of these un-owned projections of ours – they rule our lives and – like any tyrant overlord – they don’t permit any competition. ‘The Lord thy God is a jealous God’, as it says in the Old Testament. When we don’t recognize our projections as being ‘our projections’ then they have total power over us, they control us absolutely – they determine everything about us. Just as Jung says, they ‘become our fate’) and because they are our own assumptions about reality (i.e., an extension of our own ignorance) our ‘fate’ is thus to be enclosed in a self-referential bubble.
There is therefore absolutely no way that we can relate to the Formal World of our own descriptions and yet at the same time remain ‘open to something else’, something that isn’t part of the description, some sort of ‘less tangible’ (or ‘non-concrete’) reality that doesn’t fit neatly into our tyrannical black and white categories. There is no way for us to live in a ‘defined reality’ of any sort without being wholly contained within it. Our fate – as we have just said – is thus to be wholly contained within the logical loop that is made up of our own assumptions feeding greedily upon themselves. We’re either chasing our own tails or running away from our own shadows and we’re so busy with our chasing or fleeing, so caught up in it, that we never ever see what we’re doing.
This is true for us all, we all live in the Formal World, the world that is made up of our own (or someone else’s) formal descriptions. This true for just about everyone – with the notable exception of babies and small children – when would you ever meet anyone who didn’t inhabit the world that is predicated upon our agreed-upon descriptions or definitions? There are always a few ‘outliers’ who don’t, but if they’re unable to keep quiet about it (and pretend to be like everyone else) then they will either be social outcasts, or under the care of the psychiatric profession. Just as a social insect like a bee will only be accepted by the hive if it bears the correct identifying proteins on its body surface, so too will we only be accepted by the social collective when we wholeheartedly believe in the same thing that everyone else does, no matter how downright stupid that ‘thing’ might be. It doesn’t matter in the least how stupid it is, it matters that we all believe in it…
The ‘Plus’ here is social inclusion and the companionship and support that goes with inclusion (which is admittedly a fairly substantial plus) whilst the ‘Minus’ – as we have just said – is that we walk straight into the revolving door of illusion, the loop of logic that is made up of our own unfounded assumptions incestuously feeding on themselves. The Minus here isn’t just ‘big’, it’s colossal! We don’t see it as being so however – as far as we’re concerned it’s a nice world, a world which is sanitary and well-managed and free from danger. We could think for example of a well-stocked shopping mall with lots of goodies on display to pull the shoppers in. Social inclusion is just like this – it looks very good on the outside but once we have been drawn into it then we will learn (if we’re attentive enough, that is) that there’s absolutely nothing in it. It’s a glossy outside with no inside, a package that is all wrapping and no content. ‘All wrapping and no content’ is the societal world in a nutshell.
When we allow ourselves to be hypnotised into believing that ‘the world of our own descriptions’ is the final and authentic reality then we involve ourselves in what can only be described as a ‘cheap charade’ – we’re buying wholesale into the appallingly bland ‘Disneyfication of reality’, which is a sham that only seems real to us because of the way in which we are continually distracting ourselves with our own unowned projections, the projections that society has mandated for us. We’re running for all we’re worth on this absurd treadmill, chasing this thing called <winning> and fleeing this other thing called <losing> even though both winning and losing only have any meaning within this frighteningly hollow game that we are compelled (by unrelenting social pressure) to play. The one thing there isn’t in this situation is dignity, we could say. We’re being taken for fools in a big way.
On the overt level of meaning were ‘fleeing the spectre of failure’ whilst what we’re really doing is that we’re ‘running away from the truth’, we’re running away from seeing the utter hollowness of the game that we have unwittingly bought into. We’re running away from the possibility of gaining awareness into the nature of the lie which we have all been tricked into colluding in. What we see as losing (what the inverted viewpoint of the Generic Mind sees as ‘losing’) is seeing the unpleasant truth of our collective endeavour. It is bad form to point out that the Emperor has no clothes, after all…
Image – za.ign.com