The Generic Mind is a sickness which validates itself as being the true state of health! It validates itself by making anything that contradicts it ‘the enemy’ which we have to fight against. If this generic mind were to be seen side-by-side with the true mind (the unique or ‘non-reproducible’ mind) then we would straightaway know it to be an impostor, but this never happens – the generic mind never lets this happen.
The genetic mind has one great ‘strength’ (if we can call it that) and that is to endlessly duplicate itself, endlessly reproduce itself, at no cost to itself. If it were to duplicate itself a billion billion times it would still be the same as ever. It would not exhaust itself in this endeavour one iota. This isn’t real strength however – it’s more of a trick or gimmick. The generic mind does not dilute itself in the slightest by extending itself infinitely in all directions; it doesn’t dilute itself because it wasn’t there in the first place – to multiply an illusion cost nothing, after all!
The generic mind’s strength is therefore to take up all the available space – and promote itself at the expense of everything else. It’s a virus, in other words. It has no ‘quality’ whatsoever, but it does have a lot of ‘quantity’! Moreover, it has the ability to get us to focus on quantitative relationships (ratios, in essence) to the exclusion of whatever the quantitative relationships are supposedly ‘about’. The chief trick that the generic mind plays a nice is to do is therefore to cause us to mistake signs for the reality that they nominally signify. We focus on ‘the figure’ at the expensive of our awareness of ‘the ground’.
Signifiers can thus (by this mechanism) ‘take on a life of their own’ – they can run away on an endless rampage and create – by viral multiplication) countless virtual worlds. They can create virtual worlds within worlds within worlds – nested constructs within constructs that we will never get to the bottom of. We’ll never get to the bottom of them because they can proliferate faster than we can catch up with them. This is why the viral worlds seem like ‘worlds’ – because we can never catch up with them, because they always seem to be bigger than we are. The ever-proliferating viral reality is always extending or unfurling ahead of us (as a type of ‘unacknowledged mental projection’) no matter where we go.
Despite their impressive ability to multiply ahead of us so that we can never get to the end of them, these viral worlds don’t actually have any content – they don’t against have any contact because they are ‘signifiers that have broken their connection with what they supposedly signify’. They have a ‘life of their own’, as we as we have already said, but this isn’t really a life. There can’t be any such thing as ‘life without any content’ after all! We have here the makings of a spectacularly effective ‘psychological contagion’, therefore. Purely based on what we have just said in our discussion so far, we can easily see – if we have any imagination at all – that this is a recipe for the most remarkable disaster for free consciousness that they ever could possibly be. Not only is the ‘false reality’ easier to manufacture (so to speak) – it’s also coercive in nature so that once we start ‘seeing things its way’ then we have no way of getting out of it. It’s like a one-way door or valve – we can step in with no effort at all once we have walking through the door we can’t simply turn around and step back out again…
What we have here therefore is a runaway process that explodes in all directions once it gets started, and yet which we can’t for the life of us see happening. We can’t see it happening because it has ‘duplicated reality’ in a trivial fashion, and excluded all traces of the original (nontrivial) reality at the same time. We might imagine that it should be possible to spot the substitution because of the way it is so trivial, so ‘content free’ that this is not the case. It isn’t the case because our attention is always being distracted onto the ‘next thing’ (and ‘the next thing after that’) that the viral reality is in the process of showing us. We don’t see the mechanism at work because its actual process is to prevent us from seeing anything real that is going on but instead deflect our attention onto the representation of reality that it is showing us. What is actually happening is that the supposed ‘content’ of the viral reality is being diffracted into an imaginary future where it appears either as ‘a promise of something good’, or ‘the threat of something bad’. We never actually know precisely what this promise/threat is referring to, we just know that it’s going to be something that we going to either like or dislike, love or hate.
The act content of reality is very neatly substituted for by a system of incentivization, therefore, and this mechanism is so neat that we could quite easily go through the whole of our lives without ever spotting it. The present moment (which is reality) is abstracted into two elements which work side-by-side – the desirable outcome versus the undesirable one. Another way of putting this would be to say that an ‘abstract’ (or ‘disconnected’) viewpoint has been created, an abstract or disconnected viewpoint that we know simply as ‘the self’. The self or ‘me’ is an abstract viewpoint that we never see as such because we are always far too busy having our attention being distracted elsewhere.
We never think of the self in this way; we never think of the self as ‘an abstract or disconnected viewpoint’. We don’t ever give it much attention at all when it comes down to it and the reason for this – pretty obviously – is because we are simply under too much pressure to do so. To be ‘the abstract or disconnected self’ is to be constantly under pressure – that is (of course) built into the very nature of the situation. There’s nothing in the present moment for the abstract viewpoint which is the self; this is because – as we have already said – reality is represented to us purely in terms of two hypothetical (or imaginary) states – the favourable state versus the unfavourable state, the good outcome versus the bad. This – very clearly – is pressure pure and simple.
What else could we possibly call this if not pressure? We have to make sure that the good result happens rather than the bad one, and the responsibility for this lies fairly and squarely with us. This is a so-called ‘responsibility’ that we simply can’t shuck off. and the result of this pressure, this ‘responsibility’, is that we don’t have any time to get philosophical about things. We don’t have the time (or incentive) to ever look at the bigger picture; all we can do is act in the way that has been prescribed in advance for us for us to act by the rational-conceptual mind. We are, in other words, being ‘railroaded’; we’re being railroaded all the time and yet – as we have said – we never spot it. As long as the motivational system that we’re using in order to operate in the world is ‘attraction towards positive outcomes / aversion to negative ones’, then we are always going to be trapped ‘on the outside of life’ – we are going to be caught up in this situation where we’re forever chasing or running away from abstractions, where we’re always ‘pursuing the mind-created abstraction of PLUS and fleeing the mind-created abstraction of MINUS’…
And if this were not bad enough, it’s not just that we’re caught up in the situation of forever chasing or running away from mind-created abstractions, it’s equally that we’re trapped of perceiving and believing ourselves to be this mind-created abstraction that we call ‘myself’! That is the true nature of the trap that we’re in! We can say therefore that not only is it is the pressure of our ‘falsely perceived responsibility’ to ensure that the good outcome happens rather than the bad that effectively prevents us from paying any attention to the ‘displacement mechanism’ that is taking place here, but that (far from questioning this pressure or coercion) we actually identify with it and see it as being ‘who we are’.
We can look at this as a type of ‘unconscious backwards-projection’ – the whole point about the ‘regular’ type of psychological projection that we’re all familiar with is that it appears ahead of us as the object of our attention and we respond to it either by straining to obtain it, or straining to avoid it. This act of ‘forward-projection’ brings with it an implication (or assumption) that we never bother to look at however. Very obviously, the perception of ‘the goal which it would be good to obtain’, or ‘the negative outcome that it would be good to avoid’, assumes the existence of ‘the one to whom the outcome is either good or bad’, advantageous’ or disadvantages’. Good and bad can’t exist floating around on their own; if there is ‘an advantage’ then it must be an advantage for someone!
We can see the same thing in relation to ‘pleasure versus pain’ or ‘euphoria versus dysphoria’. The preferred outcome is ‘preferred’ because it is rewarding, whilst the ‘not-preferred’ outcome is not preferred because it is punishing. This is the ‘incentivization system’ that we were talking about; this is the source of the pressure that we are under, the pressure that is relentlessly railroading us in a particular direction. The promise of pleasure or the threat of pain equals pressure. The same argument applies therefore – there cannot just be such a thing as ‘a reward’ or ‘a punishment’ floating around in space – it must be a reward or punishment for somebody.
When we succumb (as we always do) to the pressure that is being applied to us – the pleasure that the rational mind is applying to this – when our attention is neatly deflected in a forward direction at the positive and negative projections that are how the thinking mind represents the content of reality to us we don’t see the ‘back-projection’ which necessarily exists in tandem with the attractive and aversive projections, the ‘desired outcome versus the undesired outcome’. We just automatically assume that this self exists, as obviously it must exist if we believe in goals, as it obviously must exist if we believe in the abstraction that is ‘the right outcome versus the wrong outcome’. Not only do we automatically assume’ that this self exists, we make this assumption absolute basis of our whole lives. To say that we merely ‘assume the self to exist’ is completely understating the matter therefore – we only ever see and understand the world from this basis – the basis that is ‘myself’.
The thinking mind operates by diffracting the non-dual (or All-Inclusive) reality of the present moment (which we might denote as [?]) into two mutually-exclusive outcomes (which we can call [+] and [-]). At the same time that it does this thinking mind also creates, by back-projection (as we have said), the self, which is ‘the one who believes in ’[+] and [-], or ‘the one who accepts [+] and [-] as the actual genuine content of reality, even though they are only ‘disconnected abstractions’. The self is created by separating the opposites, in other words.
In summary, then, we can say that we never see the self to be a ‘mind-created abstraction’ because we’re always too busy chasing or running away from its automatically-generated projections and we’re too busy chasing or running away from its projections because these projections are – of course – all too real to us! We’re under pressure from them the whole time and we identify with this pressure so that we feel it to be the case that the desire to pursue or the desire to flee is our own true will instead of being a mere mechanical function. We’re hypnotized by the force of ‘attachment’ on an ongoing basis and the key delusion that we’re subject to is the delusion that by faithfully obeying this attachment we are somehow going to reach a place where we are no longer going to be painfully subject to it!
We’re hoping – in other words – that if we keep on obeying the rules no matter what we’ll finally find ourselves in a place where we’ll be free from rules, and this utterly bizarrely nonsensical (or contradictory) belief is – as we have just said – the primary symptom of being infected by the deadly but unrecognized contagion of the generic mind…