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The Reversal

When we turn our backs on the new then things start to get stale. The old is always stale. It might be safe, but it has no longer got any goodness in it…



First things get stale, then they get sour, and then finally they become downright toxic. ‘Expect poison from standing water’, says Blake. And elsewhere, in a similar vein – ‘The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.’



The thing about this is that we always turn our backs on the news – it’s what we do! ‘Turning our backs on the new’ is the name of the game, ‘organizational closure’ is the name of the game. ‘Making our mind up on something and never altering our opinion’ is the name of the game.



If we don’t turn our backs on the news then there is no game; there is something in this case, but – whatever it is – it isn’t ‘a game’! Games are all we’re interested in, however; games are all we’re interested in and so we’re not going to take any chances when it comes to seeing what might (or might not) happen if we don’t turn our backs on the new.



One definition of a game is to say that ‘it is when there are rules saying what can happen and what can’t’; another way of explaining what is meant by a game is to say that ‘we always know who we are in a game whilst we never do in reality’. Whenever I perform a specific action the meaning of what I’m doing is always the same, just as it is always me that’s performing it.



This situation the situation where ‘rules govern everything that happens’ and where ‘I am always who I think I am’ is very attractive to us. It’s the only situation we’re comfortable in, and in our general ‘modality of being ‘it’s the only state of affairs we ever want to know about – we simply don’t acknowledge that there could be anything else. If there was ‘anything else’ then that would constitute a very bad thing for us. It would constitute a major spanner in the works.



What we call ‘sanity’ is the situation where rules govern everything and where we always are who or what we are said to be. We call this sanity but it’s anything but; what it is really is the situation where we have closed the door on the new, the situation where there is no longer any such thing as the genuinely new. This is the real problem, despite the fact that we don’t see it as such. We say it is the best thing since sliced bread, we see it as ‘the ideal situation’, ‘the way we want things to be forever’, etc.



We absolutely don’t see the real problem and the real problem is that this maximally convenient situation is also the situation in which there is maximum entropy. Maximum entropy in this context means that nothing new ever happens. It means that whatever our starting off point was, we can only ever repeat it. We’re doomed to repeat it. Even this isn’t the full story – Max S means that we are stuck in a position which wasn’t even real in the first place (since no static position is ever real). This is what entropy means, when we’re talking in psychological terms. This is precisely what psychological entropy means.



We have infinite resistance to seeing this. If we wanted to define what our psychological situation is, in a concise a way as possible, this would be it – we’re locked into a fixed view of things that was never true or real in the first place. It was never real but – all the same – we’re not interested in anything else. We want to keep on ‘rehashing the old’ indefinitely, no matter what. When we ‘turn our backs on the new’ then that’s all fine and dandy, but what we end up with isn’t real and this ‘lack of reality’ is going to catch up with us in the end. We can’t outrun it – we’re living a lie and that lie is sooner or later going to turn round and bite us.



The new is all there is, the static and the formal exist only in our thoughts. We seek refuge in the fixed picture of the world, in our formal ideas of how things are (or how they should be), but that refuge does not exist. We would like for it to, but it doesn’t – we claim that it exists and we act as if it does, but none of this cuts any ice. Nothing we say or do or think cuts any ice – it’s all just a façade, it’s all just an elaborate act that we’re putting on (and once we start with the act then there’s no way to stop). We seek refuge in the formal world of our thoughts and to start off with everything seems great to us; we can hardly bear to wait to avail ourselves of all the wonderful possibilities that are (apparently) on offer. We’ve got our two hundred dollars in our pockets and we’re in an awful hurry to get out there and spend it…



It’s all downhill from this point onwards, however – there’s no other way to go but downhill, and this is the thing that we never want to hear. This is the insight that we have maximal resistance to ever taking on board! All the talk is about advancement, improvement, progress, development, and so on but this is all just fantasy. It’s frothy, bubbly ‘fantasy-talk’ designed to assuage the ego’s omnipresent sense of unworthiness and inauthenticity. In reality, all we have to look forward to (as ‘the concrete sense of self’) is the ongoing process of degeneration and decay which is the unpalatable manifestation of Hesiod’s Law of Deterioration. The illusion is that the formal world of our thoughts is real, that it is ‘self-sustaining’ and can for this reason be relied upon, but this is not the case – it’s not reality but a token thereof that we are celebrating, and the token will fade and become tarnished, as images always do. The Second Law of Thermodynamics cannot be evaded – when we opt (however inadvertently) to take up residence in a closed system then the Decay Phase is all we’re looking at and there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it….



We want two contradictory things at the same time – we want to live in the Image World (where we can feel ontologically secure), and we want for this world to be actually real. This isn’t the way it works however – the way our imagination works is to say that things can progress, that things can get better if we play our cards right, or if we placate the right gods. The conditioned sense of self believes that it can potentially have a valid and meaningful future in store for it. It believes in redemption. We firmly believe that we are that ‘who we are in the game’ can triumph, can ‘come up trumps in the end’, but that’s just the narrative that has been sold. Entropy is the active principle in the world of static images and entropy means deterioration – there are no jackpots to be had here, no big fat bonus payments to be claimed, only glossy, intoxicating, seductive illusions that serve to conceal the inexorable inner decay.



It’s often said that empires always have two phases of development – a period of expansion followed by a period of decline in which the rot of corruption sets in. ‘Corruption’ – we might say – means that the values that we started off with get inverted and that – crucially- this inversion is not acknowledged. If we acknowledged it then that would be a different story! The thing about the decay phase is that it doesn’t show up on the outside until the very end of the process; Until then there are still the appearance of honour, so to speak. The image is fair and therefore beguiling, just as what hides behind it is foul. This is the old king motif – at the beginning of his reign – we are told – the king rules justly, using his power to serve and protect it came down, pastor certain points however everything turns around and they just rule it becomes a cruel tyrant who revels in ‘power for this power’s sake’. What serves us at first turns against us later on call me we might say. This is how it is with all the systems that we have put in place to help us, the useful tool text overly user of that role and then everything and then the principle flips over and turns malign. This we can be like this to the way in which the New Testament in a number of places to Satan as the Prince of this world. Jesus himself is said to have acknowledged this. We can relate this principle to all the instruments (or systems) that we create. They may not be evil in their inception, but they become so in time (and this has of course been a classic theme in the genre of science-fiction ever since Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein back in 1818). Finally, we can apply the alchemical Old King motif to the thinking mind itself, which is the archetypal system, the archetypal ruler.



The Thinking Mind has one agenda and one agenda only – to make itself relevant, to make itself ‘part of the picture’, and the only way it can do this is by explaining stuff, by accurately describing stuff, by correctly accounting for or predicting stuff, and so on. What good would the TM be if it couldn’t do any of these things, after all? Thought automatically acts so as to make a ‘land grab’, we could say – it throws a cordon around what it seeks to explain and then claims to have genuine bone fide knowledge of the portion of reality it has thrown its net over. We’re not actually explaining the territory here however, we’re explaining ‘that portion of territory which we have thrown a cordon around’, but our explanation doesn’t make any reference to this limitation. We’re explaining the territory that we have thrown a net around but our explanation doesn’t allude to this key fact – instead, the implication is that the knowledge we have obtained is universally true rather than only locally true, absolutely true rather than being only relatively so (which is to say, ‘true only in relation to the assumptions that we have made’, or ‘true only in relation to the framework that we have arbitrarily put in place).



We can use this to argue why ‘systems for representing truth’ always turn malign in the end, why they start off splendidly but end up collapsing dismally later on – to start off the illusion that there is (or could be) such a thing as ‘positive knowledge’ is intact (and overwhelmingly persuasive into the bargain) and this is what gives rise to the Euphoria Phase, which is where ‘all is good’ and there are no dark clouds on the horizon. There is ‘positive talking’ and ‘positive thinking’ in all directions. This corresponds to an empire that is expanding gloriously and conquering territory on all sides, as if fate were on its side. There is a secret flaw at the heart of the empire however and whilst we may distract ourselves from any awareness of the flaw for a while by conquering and consolidating more and more territory, it’s going to catch up with us shortly. The flaw is that the system of positive knowledge that we are banking on for all our schemes is ‘fake rather than genuine’ – it’s fake because what we’re taking to be true in an absolute sense is only true in relation to the framework we have put in place, and this FW is itself merely our own artifice.



In the First Phase we seem to be ‘getting away with it’ and so we bet every last penny we’ve got on our madcap schemes, whilst in the Second (dysphoric) Phase everything comes crashing down around our ears because it was all based on a ‘false foundation’. In-between times (before the rot really starts to show up), the image holds good, but only because we are manipulating (or ‘spin-doctoring’) in the background, and eventually the over-amped spin-doctoring becomes plainly visible as full-on neurotic symptomology (we’re struggling to protect the illusion but our very struggling is giving the game away). We can therefore link neurosis with the ‘flip side’ of the life of the false-sense-of-identity; we get sucked in with the euphoria ‘imagining that we can get away with it’ and then – when we hit the dysphoria side of the cycle – we start to suspect that actually we won’t get away with it and we don’t in the least bit want to face up to this. We’re doing our level best to get out of it.



What seeing things this way means is that – in our collective approach to psychological therapy – we’ve got it all wrong. We’ve got it all wrong big time – whether we like to admit it or not, we’re putting all our money on the dubious premise that mental health essentially comes down to the situation where the ego-construct doesn’t ever have to become aware of any unpleasant truths…








  • Robert

    I like the typo error because it works as well. I “turn my back on the new(s) too, because it’s all lies, propaganda and brainwashing.

    December 3, 2023 at 4:34 pm Reply

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