The immune system is not a non-dualist. It is there to keep what is “not-me” at bay.
The ego has as much place in our lives as the immune system does in our bodies. It has as much legitimacy and plays as pivotal a role. It’s a natural function separating the self from the Other and the elements of the world.
Contrary to the view of many enlightenment chasing “self-helpers,” the ego—along with its projection of the Other—is not a problem to be transcended. (It’s one’s identification with the ego function that spawns the problems—problems such as obsessive compulsive behavioral patterns, hoarding, addictions, depression, dysfunctional attachments, etc.) In the end, the ego is a tool that we use to embody the truth in the flesh in the world.
The Other, and the threat of the unknowable and the unknown, is inextinguishable. It’s part and parcel of the Oneness we come from.
We all heard about the danger of divers ascending too fast to the surface in deep water. It’s called decompression sickness. There is probably something similar going on in the psychic realm when the (drug- or radicalism induced) removal of the oppressive weight of previous belief systems and cognitive filters leave a vacuum in their wake that releases all the unresolved traumas incurred / compartmentalized by same.
The unbearable lightness of being is like having the bends which results in a highly strung, unbalanced grasping after a new weight of meaning: to find bearing within a new set of boundaries, through a recalibrated comportment towards the Other. (Nihilism and tribalism, so rampant in the 21st century, are the first reflexes to deflect the confusion and anxiety arising out of this liminal state.)
In essence: spiritualism is about the cultivation of a wholesome and honest relationship with the Other, and not about reaching an escape velocity from it.
Will pitting accurate data against faulty data ever get us out of the epistemic impasse that we agreed to enter in March 2020?
Citing data to question public health mandates and the authority behind them is playing a language game we shouldn’t be playing in the first place—accepting faulty premises and frames. It’s like playing tic tac toe on a chess board to prove to the other side that we should be playing chess.
Anyone with a functioning common sense knows, is able to discern what’s right and what’s not. If Joe Schmo tweets about it nobody cares. But when a credentialed person writes the same thing it’s a whole different ball of wax.
Why is that?
If we can only defeat (corrupt) authority with appeals to (uncorrupt) authority where does that leave us? Doesn’t that prove that facts (purveyed by the experts) still matter more than the truth?
Data has as little to do with truth as knowledge with wisdom.
Facts may help navigate but they won’t delineate the right way. Facts are to the truth as maps are to the territory.
Till information trumps intuition we haven’t got much of a chance at a leap of evolution.
—this is one of the most important yet least appreciated aspects of the issues we are confronted with as humans. What holds true on one level of analysis may not translate as truth on another.
Think of the is-ought fallacy, for instance.
If doing X or enhancing the function of Y in our body effectively facilitated our affinity or alignment with a desired collective end (posited by the particular powers that be): does it mean we should (be coerced to) do or adopt or sustain or retain it?
Is the principle of bodily integrity negotiable if it is deemed perfectible?
Take the putative climate emergency gaining traction on the heels of the recent Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
Even if the dire prognostications of the climate (computer) models were accurate, that wouldn’t justify the implementation of policies “recommended” by unelected board members of supranational bodies—foisting, as it were, a “green” technocratic yoke and a “climate-smart” de-growth ideology on the public.
Even if government mandated public health measures could save lives (which they cannot, at length, consistently do) they belong in authoritarian regimes, and not in liberal democracies where civil liberties are the name of the game.
So much of the vexatious vaccine controversy today revolves around the question of efficacy when much deeper issues are at stake.
Again, if the novel mRNA technology worked that wouldn’t mean that we all should (be coerced to) take them—as if natural immunity and informed consent and freedom of choice were superannuated things of the past.
what’s more interesting than the polarization intensifying in the global culture right now is the fact that there seems to be two major types of humans—each with their strengths (virtues) and weaknesses (sins). while some of us lean more toward socialism others of us tend more toward individualism. apparently.
the problem with communism and socialism (as I see it) is that it is based on the dynamics of codependence: wherein the parties are at the mercy of those who become the dominant members of the group; and the problem with individualism is that it is based on the psychology of separation and distrust.
in codependence the parties can abuse each other to the extent they are reliant on one another. in independence the individual is left to their own limited devices and is exposed to the elements.
these are the psycho-energetic poles we are magnetized toward when operating from existential anxiety. we either seek solace in the crowd or in the illusion of control of a self-directed life.
. . .
polarity is not something to be resolved, though. polarity is a creative tension or force that drives development and growth.
in a way we were all waiting for the present stir of events. that’s why it’s here. and all that we can do is embrace for impact.
Effort of attention is … the essential phenomenon of will.
The way Social Media can in effect anti-socialize us and Smart technologies dumb us down is the way that our capacity for discerning attention is under great threat in the Black Hole Glut of the Attention (=Distraction) Economy.
And it all happens when we have no distinct idea about who we actually are and what we actually stand for.
Absent clarity of intent and intuitive self-reliance we’re bound to forfeit our agency and to defer to what (ever) is being curated for us.
Free will then is not exempt from causes and conditions but is rather the flexible coordination of attention, intention and emotion in skillful action. That’s what it means to be free from a psychological and phenomenological perspective.
Which reminds me of a profound poem by A. R. Ammons—which arrested my attention the very first time I read it: