The Mind-Created Self lives (quite contentedly too, for the most part) in a world that is exactly the same size as it is! The mind-created self lives in a world that is exactly the same size as it is because it is the very same mind that made it that also makes the world that lives in.
This explains how the everyday self gets to be as blasé as it is, as unchallenged as it is, as blasé as it is – it’s a big fish in a small pond, it’s a big fish that lives in a small pond and – and it’s own eyes – this makes it big! All we need to do to get the measure of just how blasé the everyday selfies is to take a look around this – everywhere we look we are confronted with images of blasé human beings. This is the template we are being sold; this the way we are supposed the way we are supposed to be. According to media pressure (which is ‘the Group-Mind’) we are supposed presenting ourselves as blasé and ridiculously self-assured about everything. That’s the blueprint we are working off and we will feel bad about ourselves if we can’t live up to it.
There is something very suspect about this set up however – why are we supposed to be like this? This is after al (quite transparently) an ego-game – we have to look comfortably self-assured even though we haven’t got the faintest idea as to what’s really going on! We have to look cool and totally in control at all times, even though (when it comes down to it) we nothing more than ‘the hapless tools of an inhuman system’. We’re not cool, we’re stooges! We’re dupes! We have to have attitude and send out the message that we are autonomous and in charge of our own destiny and all that kind of thing, even this if the less-than-glamorous truth is that we are being controlled by mechanical forces that we don’t understand and don’t want to understand either. This is an absolutely accurate description of the human situation!
The Mind-Created Self lives in a world where all the possibilities are mapped out in advance – a world that is composed entirely of ‘banal certainties‘. We take this world for granted, we don’t question it at all. All the information that comes our way is information that agrees with the categories which we use for understanding the world and so everything is a ‘foregone conclusion’. The only uncertainty as trivial uncertainty and this makes us trivial too! We are trivial creatures living in a trivial world. The only information we ever register is ‘confirmation-type information’ – information that confirms the way we already have of seeing the world – and confirmation-type information is bogus-information.
It is the fact that we only ever receive information that ‘confirms our expectations’ that ensures that we live in a world that is exactly as small as we are. If we started registering information that didn’t confirm our expectations (i.e. novelty-type information) then this would of course mean that we are living in a world that is bigger than we are – which is only right and proper! Living in a world that is bigger than us gives us room to stretch after all. It gives us room to move around in, to explore a bit. There is actually nothing more inimical for us than a world which never goes beyond our expectations in any significant way. There is nothing more dreadfully stultifying than living in a world that will never radically surprise us. This is the world that fear creates, after all (fear is the only thing that doesn’t like surprises, and always wants to keep everything one hundred percent predictable) so we can hardly expect this to be healthy for us. Making fear our master is exactly not a recipe for a meaningful life…
We can bring in a definition of consciousness just to shed a bit more light on what we’re saying here. A very neat and uncomplicated definition of consciousness is to say that C is when A E (where A equals ‘Actual’ and E equals ‘Expected’). When we live in a world that is the same size that our understanding is (which is to say, when we live in a world that is nothing more than a projection of the conceptual mind) then – by our little formula – we can see that when we live in a world that is the same size as our understanding then consciousness is set precisely at the zero level – which is to say, there isn’t any! It’s not just that ‘we are learning nothing new’ but that we are ‘perceiving nothing real’; what we are seeing isn’t real because our expectations are never going to be the same thing as the reality. There is never going to be such a thing as a theory or model of reality that is congruent with the reality that it is describing or – as Robert Anton Wilson puts it – “The only thing equal to the universe is the universe”.
Not only can we say that ‘consciousness is when something new happens’, we can also say that ‘life is when something new happens’. If nothing new is happening in your life then it’s not a life that you are looking at, therefore. It’s something else that has taken the place of life, something that has replaced life. It’s actually the antithesis of life – it’s the avoidance of life – it’s the ‘rational simulation of life’. Yet another variation on this theme is to say that ‘reality itself is when something new happens’. When something new doesn’t happen then that isn’t reality; when something new doesn’t happen then that isn’t actually anything – that isn’t actually ‘a thing’ because it never really does happen that something new doesn’t happen!
The new is only possible when we live in a world that is bigger than ourselves; life only happens when we live in a world that is bigger than ourselves. We can only be truly aware or awake (i.e. not trapped in a world that is made up of ‘thoughts about thoughts’) when we live in a world that is bigger than ourselves and yet the whole of human enterprise (as near as makes no difference) goes into the creation and maintenance of the Designed World, the creation and maintenance of the Mind-Created Virtual Reality, which is the world which is the protection or extension or the mechanical or rule-based mind. As far as we’re concerned, the DW (the world we ourselves make with our own thoughts) is the best thing since sliced bread…
As soon as we find ourselves in a world that is bigger than us then we are stretched. We’re not ‘under pressure’ – that’s what happens to us in the Designed world, that’s what happens to us in the MCVR. Pressure is a substitute for being stretched (i.e. it is the degenerate analogue of being ‘meaningfully challenged’) – the simulation keeps us busy by giving us lots and lots of meaningless (i.e. repetitive) tasks and this keeps us from ever having the mental space to reflect on our situation. Pressure benefits the simulation therefore – it doesn’t benefit us! Stretching us – on the other hand – doesn’t benefit the simulation. It doesn’t benefit the simulation because when we are stretched (or ‘meaningfully challenged’) then we grow, and when we grow we straightaway cease to have any use for the game that we were previously playing. We’ve outgrown it. Far from seeing it as ‘the best thing since sliced bread’, we now see it as ‘the Black Iron Prison‘, as Philip K Dick did.
There is a particular type of ‘work’ that is associated with being in a world that is bigger than us (a world that is bigger than our thoughts about it) and that has to do with ‘the relativization of the concrete self’, which – of course – causes it to be not so concrete any more. When the concrete self stops being so concrete then – naturally enough – we start to see through it! When it happens that we find ourselves ‘seeing through the concrete self’ then things become rather strange. By anyone’s standards things become rather strange – we are actually ‘leaving all standards behind’ and when we leave all standards behind we find us ourselves in a space where no standards apply. No standards or measures apply so what are we supposed to think about this? The thing that makes strangeness strange precisely that we ‘don’t know what to think about it’ (for precisely that we ‘don’t know how to describe it’) and so of course things are going to get pretty strange when we move when we leave the standard behind. There is more to it than just this however: moving beyond the standard of the rational mind is also ‘moving beyond the inert anchor of the concrete sense of self’ because it is the yardstick of the thinking mind that creates the concrete sense of self – nothing can be ‘concrete’ without the framework, after all. Nothing can be ‘certain’ without the yardstick to measure it by.
This is a very peculiar thing that we’re looking at here therefore – we are confronting a very peculiar truth. It’s not just that the Mind-Created Sense of Self can only be comfortable or confident or ‘at ease’ when it is living in the virtual world that exactly matches its own expectations (which is as we have said a world without any genuine information in it) – the self-concept can only exist at all when it lives wholly within this protected world. That’s the absolute condition of its existence – that it has to live in ‘the Positive World’. There can be no self outside of the positive world. There has to be no incongruency between A and E; there has to be no trace of consciousness. In order for the self to maintain its integrity as ‘the self’ it has to be living in a world that is exactly the same size as it is!
In order for the self to be the self it has to have no freedom, in other words. Freedom means that we are living in a world that is bigger than our understanding, after all. So the next time we hear ourselves going on about freedom and how great it is we could try remembering this, we could try remembering that the self is always talking about freedom or happiness or peace and that it doesn’t really want any of these things. The self is lying when it says it wants or values these things – it’s lying to itself! The self doesn’t really want any of these things because they spell its end.
Art: Mika – ‘Dry Fish’