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The Scripted Life

Our awareness is perpetually stuck – it is stuck to our thoughts, stuck to our ideas and opinions, stuck to our beliefs. The point here however is that there is no space in the world of our ideas, no space in the world of our beliefs – there’s no space there at all. What there is instead is a type of invisible ‘kink’ in the manifold of thought whereby <plus> and <minus> are (apparently) entirely separate and where it seems that to move from ‘one opposite to the other’ is an imperative – a thing that we just have to do. This represents an absolute lack of freedom and yet we see the ‘compulsory movement from one opposite to the other’ as being what life is all about.



There’s no space between <plus> and <minus> (the one being the extension of the other) and instead of space – which is synonymous with freedom – we have compulsion which is the antithetical form of freedom, ‘freedom when it gets inverted’. We say therefore that the life of the defined or bounded self is a life where there is no space and where we are – in consequence – compelled to obey meaningless rules. It is the type of life in which there is absolutely no freedom, the type of life which is at all times scripted. We aren’t ‘living life’, therefore – we’re ‘living the script’ and the script isn’t life.



We aren’t cognisant of the fact that we are ‘stuck to the script’ in this way and if we’re not aware of this then we clearly can’t be aware of anything! We’re not aware full stop – because we are relating to the script as if it were real (as if it weren’t a script) we can’t relate to reality at all. We can’t have it both ways after all – if we were able to see something that was actually real then the illusion would instantly be shattered, it would be revealed for what it is (which is nothing but an empty trick). When we see the real thing then the tawdry imitation can’t captivate us anymore; when we see the real thing then the tawdry imitation will repulse us.



The essential illusion is therefore that we are free when we’re not, and the only way this illusion can work – as we’ve just said – is if every last little scrap or hint of genuine freedom has been surgically removed from the picture. It’s not that we don’t have ‘much’ freedom when we’re living the unconscious life, or that there’s only a homeopathic trace of it left; it’s not anything like that – there are no shades of grey, there aren’t any undefined areas in which a trace of freedom might possibly be encountered. There is – on the contrary – precisely zero freedom to be had. This is the Mechanical World – there’s no freedom anywhere and the way in which it was removed was so precise that we don’t even know that it’s been taken away. It’s gone and we don’t miss it. We don’t have the capacity to miss it.



When we are in the ‘unconscious mode of existence’ then freedom is an alien concept to us. In this particular modality of being we are incapable of relating to or recognising anything that hasn’t been defined, anything that hasn’t had boundaries put around it. We have been rendered incapable of relating to anything that hasn’t been created by thought, in other words. We’re not able to register anything that isn’t a category, as we could also say, and this is what we mean when we say that we are stuck to our thoughts, stuck to our ideas, stuck to our opinions, stuck to our nonsensical beliefs. It means that we ourselves have become ‘mechanical’, that we ourselves are ‘machines’.



To be stuck to our own literal description of the world is to be ‘unable to voluntarily depart from it’ – what good would it be (we might ask) to be able to depart from our description of the world, our ideas (or beliefs) about the world? Where would this leave us? What would we do then? The thought of being able to freely depart – anytime we please – from our conception of what the world is, from our conception of who we are, fills us with dread.  That’s not really what we want! We work tirelessly throughout our lives trying to prove that our ideas about the world are true, are legitimate, and so to be able to see that all of this is entirely arbitrary, and therefore not true at all, has precisely zero appeal to us (when we’re in the mechanical mode of existence).



To see that we can depart from our concrete view of the world any time we please is to glimpse the essential relativity of all thought – I could have any thought or idea or belief about the world at all and they would all appear to be ‘perfectly true and valid’ once I have agreed to see things this way. All viewpoints will be automatically validated. This relativity turns out (of course) to be lethal with regard to the operation of the rational mind. The only way a concept or theory can serve me as if it is 100% consistent – if it were to keep on changing, in an unpredictable type of away, it wouldn’t serve any function. A guide who keeps on going back on what he has just told you is providing you with confusion, not guidance. Similarly, a belief that ‘might or might not be true’ (depending upon whether you choose to buy into it or not) is not going to be much use in providing me with a sense of ontological security. We can’t hold on to something that keeps on changing…



To have the experience of ‘being able to move freely within the space of all possible viewpoints’ is to perceive the relativity of all possible viewpoints, which is to say, we get to see that any particular notion that we might have with regard to ‘what’s going on’ is only true because we are looking at things in the way that makes it seem true. If we take up one position, one viewpoint, then this way of seeing things becomes true, whilst if we moved to a different spot on the checkerboard of ‘all possible viewpoints’, then some other way of seeing things straightaway becomes true. To see this is to see the relative nature of what we are pleased to call ‘truth’. We see that none of our ideas are true, in other words. We can say – therefore – that when we are able to see the essential relativity of all truths, the essential relativity of all knowledge, then this equals ‘being awake’ (or ‘being conscious’). Life is now unscripted for us. When we’re ‘stuck to the script’ – which is to say, when we perceive some particular viewpoint or other to be unshakeably true then this – we may say – equals ‘being asleep’ (or ‘the state of unconsciousness’). The state of unconsciousness may therefore be defined as that unhappy (and deeply undignified) situation where we get to be manipulated (or controlled) by every dumb-ass thought that comes along…



When we’re in Unconscious Mode then any movement away from the established position is registered as ‘sin,’ or ‘error’ (or something like that);  from a psychological point of view we can say that the more we move away from the equilibrium value the more uncomfortable we get (i.e., the more we don’t like it) whilst the closer to the mark we are (the more successful we are in our efforts to optimize our game) the better it feels for us (which is to say, the more we are rewarded). Curiosity takes us in the direction of ‘increasing discomfort’ (or – more simply put – pain) whilst loyalty to the pattern (or loyalty to the rules of the game) is all about being rewarded, is all about being validated, is all about ‘doing whatever the hell we need to do in order to feel good’. Free thinking (i.e., ‘striking out on our own’) is punished while sticking religiously to the script that we have been given (no matter how drab or uninspiring it is) is automatically rewarded. What we are being rewarded for is ‘believing in the fiction’ and what we are being penalised for is ‘daring to question the official bullshit’ (or ‘daring to value the truth over lies’).



In narrowly pragmatic terms, ‘adapting to the given structure’ is the sensible thing to do, the prudent thing to do, the helpful thing to do. In terms of ‘what’s actually going on’ (instead of ‘what will give us the advantage in the short term’) responding to the pressure to conform is injurious to our well-being, is incompatible with our well-being – arbitrarily giving our loyalty to whatever fiction is being pushed upon us (because we will be punished if we don’t) is clearly not recipe for mental health. Basing our entire existence on being loyal to some arbitrarily chosen fiction because we’re afraid not to do this is – on the contrary – a recipe for chronic mental suffering. This is an infallible recipe for misery without end. Given that society is what happens when we all blindly our pledge loyalty to whatever banal fiction it is that we have been provided with (i.e., when we ‘agree to agree with whatever the group says purely because this is what everyone else is agreeing with’) we can hardly expect the furtherance of this wretched social collusion to help us when we find ourselves suffering from poor mental health as a result of being part of that collusion, therefore. ‘More of the same’ won’t help with our misery. More of the same is the misery…



We shouldn’t expect the thing which is causing us chronic mental suffering to be able to free us from that suffering, but of course we do. We have nowhere else to turn, we don’t know what else to do and so we let society’s experts tell us what’s wrong with us, and what we need to do in order to fix it. As if they would know. What happens then is that the healthcare professionals working with us stick to the ‘therapist script’ and we stick to the ‘patient script’. Or as we could also say, in the course of therapy we exchange our ‘dysfunctional script’ for a ‘scientifically proven script’, which is provided for us by the therapist. This is how rational therapy works, after all – the idea is that we are suffering mental ill-health because we’re stuck to the wrong thoughts, the wrong ideas, the wrong schema, and so on and so forth (and there is of course more than just a grain of truth in this – we absolutely are seeing the world in a suffering-producing way).



Where we go wrong is in naively presuming that there is a right way to think, a right (or non-suffering-producing way of looking at things. The assumption is that there is such a thing as the correct (or ‘objectively true’) script, in other words, and this is absurd. Well-being (or mental health) comes from having freedom from all entrapping viewpoints, not ‘unthinking allegiance to one particular one’. Allegiance to any form of authority – as Krishnamurti keeps on telling us – is slavery, and slavery is all we know. ‘Freedom from the script’ (no matter how dire that script might be) is the very last thing we want.







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