Just as long as we are trying to control reality we can’t see it for what it is, and what this means is that we’re not controlling ‘reality’ after all. We are not controlling reality, we’re controlling something we take to be reality but which isn’t. This is of course a pretty crazy situation – why on earth would we want to control something that isn’t real? We could also point out here that by trying to control something that isn’t real we actually make it seem real to us – the more we try to control something that isn’t real, the more real it will seem to us. So – this being the case – we may now change our question slightly to ‘Why would we want to control something that seems real to us only because we are trying to control it?’ What we’re talking about here is clearly an example of pure and utter redundancy – if something only seems to be real to us because we’re trying to control it then clearly there’s nothing to be gained from our controlling! We have ‘created a need where there wasn’t one’; by controlling we have created ‘the need to keep on controlling’.
This is obviously not a good situation – we’re not just failing to gain anything from our controlling, we’re heading straight for disaster. The thing is that when we control then this is – as a rule – because we are afraid of some bad outcome happening. So if it is fear that’s driving us than what happens is that by trying to take control of the situation (or by trying to run away from it, which is also a form of controlling) we make our fear more real. What’s actually happening here therefore is that we are solidifying a particular reality seemed by resisting it, by reacting against it. We’re getting stuck to it. If we were frightened by some vague formless possibility to start off with then by fighting against it (or by running away from it) we make it more real and by making it more real we make ourselves more frightened, which then causes us to resist all the more.
This is a classic trap therefore – the more we try to get away from the frightening possibility the more stuck we get in it. Our ‘automatic reflex’ of fighting or flighting simply makes situation worse! The simplistic answer to this problem would be to ‘do the opposite’ and turn to face the fear instead of trying to run away from it but this doesn’t work either because this too is an aggressive act, because this too is ‘resistance’. Aggression is a trap because it solidifies a reality around us that wouldn’t be there if we weren’t either ‘fighting against it’ on the one hand or ‘trying to run away from it’ on the other. Aggression closes down space, in other words.
Talking about ‘solidifying a particular reality’ sounds very much like the very familiar New-Age message that we ‘create or manifest our own reality’, but there is a key difference here – the difference being that the new-age gurus were saying that this is basically a good thing, an empowering kind of thing, a ‘freeing’ kind of thing. But when we have some kind of half-baked idea as to what would constitute a ‘good thing’, and if we make this possibility more real for us, then all we’re really doing is ‘reifying an illusion’. We are ‘manifesting’ a delusion that we can’t recognize to be a delusion, and there is nothing particularly empowering about that. What’s more, because we ourselves are creating some kind of reality (i.e. we are producing it ourselves by effort of will) what lies behind the world we are creating is fear since fear is the only reason we would want to assert or crystallise a definite reality for ourselves. If fear lies behind our producing of the definite reality then this is just another way of saying that the definite world that we have created is fear. It is fear that we can’t recognize to be fear, so what so freeing about this?
The only world that isn’t fear in disguise (or is, in other words, an ‘illusion’) is the world that isn’t defined, the world that hasn’t had all the gaps filled in by thought; and this isn’t a world that we create. No one creates ‘the unstated world’, any more and then there is someone who needs to ‘define the undefined world’! Nobody creates the real world – how would we know what to create, after all? How would we know what reality is or should be, given that all of our ‘referents’ are unnecessarily unreal. ‘Referents’ (or ‘statements’) are pointers, and – as Eckhart Tolle says, we can’t get any closer to what is being pointed at by elaborating upon the pointers! If we do that then we will fill in all the surrounding space with the ever-proliferating ‘elaborations of the pointers’ (the same pointers that were there to help us). They were there to help us but now they’re hindering us in a big way. They’re doing more than just hindering us – they’re boxing us in completely. When we extend or project ‘the known’ out ahead of us, we don’t actually create anything real this way; we’re not ‘controlling reality’, we’re perpetuating unreality, in other words.
We often hear it said (in more alternative circles) that if we could ‘control our dreams’ then this would be a good thing, that it would be a step forward in terms of awareness, and so on. The thing is though, we would necessarily be controlling our dreams in relation to an assumed framework – we can’t control without an assumed framework because without a framework we wouldn’t know what was right and what was wrong. There’s no such thing as controlling without right and wrong and there’s no right and wrong without a framework! So what this means is that when we control we are being invisibly controlled by our assumed framework in such a way that it seems to us as if we are ‘in control’ whilst actually it’s actually the other way round. Just as long as we remain unconscious of the fact that we have ‘assumed a framework’ we can have the illusion that we are in control, but the illusion is a very shabby one.
It sounds a little odd, perhaps, to say as we did earlier that the definite or stated world is itself fear. How can it be meaningful to say this? How can fear ‘equals’ a bunch of definite statements, a bunch of literal descriptions? A literal description or definite statement looks fairly inert, fairly harmless. It doesn’t look like it’s suddenly going to jump at us and try to bite us. But the point here is that literal descriptions are quintessentially aggressive – they are quintessentially aggressive because they are saying what is, and what could be more aggressive than this? When we say what something ‘is’ we limit the field, we limit the field absolutely. We block out everything that we ourselves have not agreed upon and we don’t even know what it is that we are blocking out. If we knew that we were blocking then this wouldn’t be aggressive – we are being aggressive because we are ‘blocking without looking at what it is that we are blocking’. We are blocking without even looking at the fact that we are blocking and this is what literal descriptions or definite assertions are all about. They are acts of pure unmitigated aggression.
In the Gnostic text the Hypostasis of the Archons Samael (the ‘blind god’ or ‘god of the blind’ makes what we may might refer to as ‘the archetypal definite statement’; ‘It is I who am God; there is none other apart from me.’ Samael asserts. The text then continues, ‘…when he said this he sinned against entirety’. ‘Sinning against entirety’ is another way of talking about aggression; definite statements are aggressive because they induce a state of blindness in anyone who believes in them. Speaking concretely or literally is how we collude in Samael’s arrogant and ignorant denial of entirety – this is how each one of us gets to participate in the ‘original error’, so to speak! The ‘false creation’ isn’t just something that happened a long time ago, in an ancient and obscure Gnotic myth, it happens all over again every day of our lives…
Arrogance oraggression and fear are the same thing at root – they can’t be separated. When we deny the Bigger Picture we straightaway become conceited or ‘puffed up’, we straightaway take ourselves far more seriously than we ought to. We become very sure of ourselves and this false confidence is the result of us not being able to see the Bigger Picture, which would naturally shrink our over-inflated view of ourselves down to size immediately! We can’t the Bigger Picture because we have denied it and the reason we have denied it is because we are afraid. The more we deny the Bigger Picture the more we fuel our fear however and so we’re going around in tight circles here.
Our definite statements and our literal terminology is how we ‘deny entirety’ therefore, just as the Demiurge did in the Gnostic myth. Our understanding is that each definite statement, each literal descriptor is actually saying something; we think that there is some kind of actual positive meaning in our definite statements, but this is just not the case. Definite statements (or ‘assertions of fact’) do one thing and one thing only – they block out the bigger picture, they ‘deny entirety’. There is actually no meaning in our literal statements; the only real ‘meaning’ (if we can use this word) is in the Whole; all we are doing is creating a shadow – we are creating a shadow and with saying that it’s the real thing (which should be a familiar enough idea who any student of classic philosophy).
We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of these definite statements of ours; these definite statements go to make up the world for us – they are the world as far we are concerned. When we encounter or relate to certainties in this world we imagine that we are relating to actual genuine features of the world; the truth is however that there is no such thing as certainty; there are no certainties out there; ‘all’ there is is ‘entirety’ or ‘the Whole’, and ‘the entirety’ has nothing to do with certainty. We’ve got everything back to front: it’s not that reality itself is some kind of unquestionable or literal certainty, but rather that all ‘facts’, all certainties are created by occluding reality, by occluding entirety. We are able to exercise a certain ‘power of creation’ therefore, but it’s an inverted form of creation we’re talking about here – like the Demiurge, what we create is not real, and we only manage to accomplish this feat of ‘apparent creation’ by denying the light.
Art: Night King by Klauss Wittman, on artstation.com