The Literal World is the informationally impoverished world which we get trapped in and then rattle around pointlessly in ever after. The Literal World is the Collapsed World – it’s a world that has had all the juice squeezed out of it, right down to the very last drop. It’s the Hollow World, the Entropic World – it is ‘the world that is no world’ – and it is also the only world that we ever have anything to do with. We’re prohibited from ever hearing about anything else…
The Literal World can be defined by saying that it is that situation where ‘our starting-off point’ equals ‘every other point that we might subsequently visit’, and where – in addition – this starting-off point (which, as we’ve just said, we can’t ever get away from) isn’t actually a real thing. It’s an ‘imaginary starting-off point’ that we faithfully extrapolate in order to create the world that we know and are so familiar with in everyday life.
Why then do we say that our starting-off point is ‘imaginary?’ The very simple answer to this is to say that no starting-off points exist and that they can therefore exist only in our minds, only as ideas. There are no ‘definite, concrete positions’, there are only abstractions which we project upon the world. We create them by reference to an abstract framework or context and anything constructed in relation to an abstract framework or context is imaginary. Location – which of course absolutely depends on there being a framework – is therefore an abstract concept.
All specifics (all facts and figures, all quantifications of whatever sort) are abstractions that have been created via reference to a projected framework – ‘the specific’ (or ‘the particular’) doesn’t exist of itself. Quantity – of any sort – doesn’t exist. This admittedly contradicts our most fundamental assumptions about the universe we live in – the assumption that our ‘positive knowledge’ is a real (and therefore reliable) thing. We take it to be the case that the universe is made up of specifics – we imagine that it is a collection of specifics, a collection of particulars, a collection of things that can be measured, and nothing more. It isn’t however – that’s a complete misapprehension! The universe is a Whole, it’s a Whole that cannot be subdivided. ‘Dividing the Whole’ is an unreal act – it’s an act that only ever takes place in our impoverished imaginations.
If we were to try to divide the Whole – the ‘One Thing’ of the alchemists – what we would end up with is lots and lots of ‘little Wholes’, each of which is ultimately indistinguishable from the original, and this is the ‘Holographic’ (or ‘Anaxagorean’) Principle in action. We can go on chopping up the Whole forever and we still won’t obtain anything at the end of the process other than that very same Whole. This is an atom that can’t be split. In Verse 77 of The Gospel of Thomas we read:
Jesus says: “I am the light which is on them all. I am the All, and the All has gone out from me and the All has come back to me. Cleave the wood: I am there; lift the stone and thou shalt find me there!”
We are however flatly convinced that our measurements constitute real, vital aspect of the world around us and yet – in the absence of separate things that can be compared to each other – there is no way that they can be. ‘Comparison’ is – needless to say – an utterly meaningless thing to consider when there is only ‘the One Thing’! Comparison-making is a meaningless thing and so therefore is ’measurement-taking’. Knowing is therefore a meaningless thing – any perception that we have that we ‘know’ something is a consequence of entropy and nothing more…
The Whole is all there is – what else could there be? There’s just ‘Everything’ and Everything isn’t made up of parts or components. The only reason we perceive this to be the case is because that’s the way that the mind works – the thinking mind works by dividing everything up into categories. That’s how ‘the device we use to make sense of the world’ works, but it’s not how the world itself works! As Gregory Bateson puts it, ‘The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between how nature works and the way people think.’ To assume that the way we think takes precedence over the way nature itself works is – we might say – an extreme (and utterly ludicrous) example of hubris!
When we start off on the basis that our categories are fundamental and that specifics are real, then we are enacting our own fantasies. We’re enacting our own fantasies and then we’re getting lost in them. Just as long as we’re relating to the world in terms of our unreal ideas or concepts (which is to say, just as long as we are framing the world within an abstract framework or context that we ourselves have invented) then we are ‘enacting a fantasy and getting lost in that fantasy’. We’ve given up reality as a bad job and gone Fantasy League, and no one is allowed to draw attention to the fact.
This isn’t some kind of richly mythological type of fantasy, however. It isn’t an interesting, creative type of fantasy but – on the contrary – it’s a rational fantasy, a literal fantasy, a dry, bureaucratic fantasy, a hollow tautological fantasy. What we’re talking about here is ‘the sterile fantasy of thought’, in other words – it’s a kind of horrifically vast bureaucracy that has no actual connection with anything outside of itself and which – therefore – always loops back on itself in a tautological fashion.
If we start off from the basis of ‘reality as it is presented to us by thought’ – which is the type of reality that is comprised of categories, components, or defined ‘bits’ – then we automatically get swallowed up in illusion. When we think that we are getting somewhere or that we stand a chance of getting somewhere this is simply the illusion that the machinery of thought is so very good at manufacturing, just as a moving backdrop, when we’re look at it from a stationary position, creates the very convincing illusion that we are moving when we’re not, that we’re getting somewhere when we’re not…
This is linear change – change that never actually changes, change that never actually leaves the page and goes somewhere different, somewhere unexpected. Linear change is repetitive rather than creative in its nature and it is by repeating the same basic unit over and over again that the illusion of movement is produced. It’s a trick – linear change is nothing more than a cheap trick that we can’t help falling for.
The thing that we like about linear change (its ‘advantage’, so to speak) is that  we can be in control every step of the way, and  we can know what’s happening every step of the way. This ‘double advantage’ is something we value a lot – it’s actually something we value over all else – but the moment we ‘obtain the advantage’ is also the moment we involve incur an invisible glitch, the invisible glitch in question being that we are translating ourselves wholesale into an unreal world. We can’t be in the real world because the real world can’t be known / controlled. This is the result of a deal that we have unknowingly made – we’re committed to living in a fantasy because we value the feeling of security we get from ‘knowing’ things (and being able to control them) more than we value the truth.
Linear change isn’t real – there’s no actual change going on, only the superficial appearance of it so if we see it as being real, or take it as being real, this means that we are adapting ourselves to an illusion and becoming everybody is illusory as it is. We then find ourselves in a situation where we are being controlled by illusions 24/7 and this is clearly an entirely ridiculous kind of a thing – what could be more ridiculous than this? There is – we might say – no dignity in it, no dignity at all. The whole thing is a tortuous knot of illusion: if linear change isn’t real then control isn’t real either, and if control isn’t real then neither is the controller. The controller is the virtual entity who wants the linear change to happen in the one way rather than the other way, even though linear change isn’t a real thing, which means that the controller isn’t a real thing either, since control means ‘copying’ (or ‘repeating the past’) and repeating the past is by definition always a redundant act…
Image – wallpapers.com