Solutions equals ‘The Self’
Solutions equal ‘the self’. Solutions equal the self and the self doesn’t exist. The self doesn’t exist and so neither do our hoped for solutions. There are no solutions, and yet we live in a world that is based on the fervent belief in potential solutions. The only world we recognize is the ‘world of potential solutions’.
To say that we live in a world of potential solutions doesn’t mean that these solutions exist, it just means that we are obsessed with the idea that they exist. Our hopes are pinned on solutions; our hopes and plans are pinned on ‘the world of solutions,’ as imaginary or fantastical as this world might be. We live in that world and we won’t hear of anything else! For the most part, we’re quite incapable of questioning this belief.
If I happen to be a religious person, a devout believer, then the chances are very much that this is because I see God as ‘my solution’. When it is said (as it often is) that ‘Jesus saves’ or that ‘Our salvation lies in following the word of God’ then this is what is meant, after all. I know that I need to be saved and I imagine (as I am told) that my belief in God will make it possible for Him to save me, and so in this sense – clearly – ‘God is my solution’. Personal salvation is what I project upon God, what I need from God, and this would probably seem reasonable enough to most religiously-minded persons.
The only thing about this however is that there are no solutions, as we have just said. If somebody tells you that there is such a thing as a solution (in this personalized sense) then they are lying. They might be lying with the best intentions, they might be lying without knowing that they are, but they are lying all the same. They are deluded, they are providing false information. There are no ‘solutions’ in this universe of ours and they never could be. ‘Solution’ is a meaningless concept – it’s just a mirage we keep straining after.
Solutions only exist when there are problems and no problems exist in the universe, not really, not in the broad sense. The universe itself can never be in danger; the universe itself can never run into problems. Personally speaking, there can of course be problems (or rather there can subjectively seem to be problems) but for the universe itself, as a whole, there are no problems. How could there be problems for the universe itself? The universe just does what it does; it does what it does and what it does is never problematic. Problems only come into existence when we have goals and the universe has no goals. What needs has ‘the Real’ for goals? Isn’t it real already? What more could it need than this? The truth is that only the unreal needs goals…
Problems don’t come out of reality but out of what we want to do with reality, or out of what we want reality to be. Problems come out of our plans or agendas, in other words. They are ‘the thwarting of what we want’. Furthermore, we can say that ‘what we want’ is inherent in ‘who we think we are’ and so problems arise from our identification with this construct. This is what the game is all about – we construct this idea, this concrete codification of who we are, and then straightaway we are tied to it and because we’re tied to it we’re also tied to organising things to suit its biases and this is where all the problems come from. There are no problems really since the construct was never actually there in the first place – it was all a game that we started playing and then couldn’t stop. When something gets in the way of us playing this game we get angry or frustrated or worried and call it ‘a problem’.
When we talk about ‘solutions’ we are really talking about ‘the self’ – that’s the point that we are making here. Solutions equal the self. When we’re fixated upon finding a solution then what we’re really fixated upon is the question of how to make self be what it isn’t, which is to say, real. [The self is the game we can’t stop playing!] When we extol the virtues of positive thinking the very same is true – we’re trying to make the mind-created self be real when it isn’t. When we being so damn positive (so artificially positive) what we are being positive about the self and its goals, after all – we aren’t positive about anything else. This ‘positivity’ always belongs to the self – ‘positive’ is a code word for ‘what benefits the self’.
When we are engaged in positive thinking (or ‘solution-focused thinking’ we’re essentially talking about the proposition that the self could be a true thing. This corresponds to what Gregory Tucker calls the ‘Master Lie’ – the lie that stands head and shoulders over all other lies, the lie that is in fact the Great Granddaddy of all Lies. In Greg Tucker’s terms, this comes down to the proposition that the dream in which the mind dreams is not a dream but an objective reality and that I am myself therefore independently real and not part of any dream.
The lie is that the dream is not the dream – that’s what we are constantly trying – with all our over-valued purposeful activity – to prove. When we put our hopes on Jesus saving us what we mean exactly this – we want to be saved as ‘who we think we are’, not as who we really are. We seek salvation on behalf of ‘who we falsely claim to be’, which is of course a sneaky trick! We falsely claim to be as this independent self-existent entity, this concrete person who is not part of the dream that the mind is dreaming. We are actually asking for this ‘unconscious lie’ to be corroborated by the highest authority there is, which is to say, ‘the authority of God Almighty’. This – needless to say – is hardly very respectful of us!
This comes down to a question of sincerity. If I ask the higher power – however I see that HP – to save me and what action means that I want to be saved as who I’m pretending to be without me having to admit to myself that I am actually pretending anything. This is what we’re really asking for. This is a very complicated knot of insincerity therefore! It might feel that we’re being totally sincere, but the absolute reverse of this is the case – I couldn’t be more insincere if I tried. We can never be sincere when we’re unconscious.
‘Jesus saves’ is the well-known evangelical slogan but – and this is something we don’t tend to focus on – Jesus himself states (in the Gospel of Thomas, Saying 83) ‘Whoever is near me is near the fire, whoever is far from me is far from the Kingdom.’
This is more of a warning than a promise to save therefore – what we wish to save (the false, mind-created identity) will be burnt up in that fire, and it is this ‘burning up of who we thought we were’ that is our salvation. Salvation isn’t quite as we envisaged it, therefore. This of course isn’t quite the solution we were looking for – this isn’t a solution at all as far as we’re concerned because ‘the problem’ itself is being discarded as not being worth bothering about, as not being serious at all. The problem is revealed as being an unreal one and this perception is our salvation. The problem of how to make an unreal thing be real is itself not a real problem! This isn’t a matter of seeking a solution at all therefore but rather a matter of having the courage and integrity to see that the very idea of a solution is quite ridiculous. The idea of ‘a solution’ is ridiculous because it assumes a problem that just isn’t there.