Falling Into the Bottomless Pit of Literalism
When we fall into literalism we automatically lie, we lie without being able to tell that we are lying. We both lie and become the lie, all in the one go! Whenever I say what something is, then straightaway I lie. This is because truth is quintessentially elusive, which is to say, it cannot be pointed at or nailed down in any kind of literal assertion. At best it can only be alluded to, indirectly referred to, hinted at in metaphor or intimated in poetic allusion. Our everyday speech is however very impoverished in metaphor and poetic allusion, and heavily loaded with flat literalisms, literalisms that clank mechanically like tin cans being banged together by an idiot. The thoughts that ricochet around our heads are senseless empty reverberations that have nothing to do with our true nature. They are mechanical ‘mind-memes’ and nothing else…
St Paul says, “If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal.“ The same is true if I do not have any sense of metaphor or irony – if I speak only in concrete terms then I am a tin can that has been hit with an iron bar, a drum that has been beaten with a stick. I am nothing more than a mere ‘thing,’ a thing that clangs mechanically and meaninglessly, under the fond impression that it is genuinely communicating. To the extent that human communication is meant literally, it is all lies. It is a cacophony created by senselessly reverberating mechanical ‘things’. It is the dead ‘back-and-forth’ vibration of the mechanical world.
WHAT IS THE GAME?
The game is blind obedience or servitude to a thing, any ‘thing’, which we do not see as a mere dead thing because we never look at it. We make sure that we never question the things that we allow ourselves to be enslaved by because if we did question them we would be aware of the utter lack of dignity that such servitude entails. Instead of seeing this painful truth, we dignify our servitude – at the same time as refusing to question the dead thing that we serve we enshrine it, we make it our god. By doing this we validate our meaningless servitude, we get to feel that what we are doing is right. We then say that what we are doing is our duty and so get to feel good about it. We contrive by our obedience to the lie to feel smug and superior rather than seeing what our true situation is. Our true situation is that of a clown in a circus ring who makes his audience laugh by taking himself seriously, when he is so obviously absurd.
Obeying the thing is therefore the same as ‘obeying the lie’ – or, more accurately – it is the same as ‘worshipping the lie’. We don’t just obey it, we place it on a pedestal – we turn it into a public virtue.
The lie is our thinking, our way of understanding and communicating about the world. The lie is the restrictive and coercive pattern of living that limits and represses our true nature, which is unlimited and free.
WHAT IS ‘THE BUSINESS’?
The ‘business’ that we are always so engrossed in, which we are always so caught up in, is the policing and enforcing of ‘the lie’ – this is where all our efforts go, into constantly working towards creating a better and more effective prison for ourselves. Our obsession is to work away, constantly, tirelessly, dementedly, at forging better chains for ourselves, to shackle us all the more securely to the dead things that we worship.
This is what we call ‘being responsible’ – being imprisoned as a false identity in a meaningless system. Being an unthinking slave to lies is what we call being responsible, whilst being free is a crime, a scandal, a disgrace. To be what we’re not and do what what don’t in our hearts want to do (and to to lie to ourselves about this falsehood on a daily basis) is the unhappy situation that we’re obliged to maintain at our own expense..