The Distracted Self

The continued existence of the Mind-Created Sense Of Self depends upon its ability to distract itself continuously on an ongoing basis. Anything that helps or facilitates us in this task as an ally, therefore. A coercive or controlling false system of reality (or game) that tells us who we are and what we want to do in life (i.e. a system of ready-made meanings that tells what we expect from life) is the perfect ally as far as this endeavour goes therefore. There could be nothing better. The price for this however is that we have to give up every last bit of autonomy that we have; the price for this setup is that we have to put up with having absolutely no authenticity in other words, and this is rather a steep price! It’s also a rather tricky thing to cover up. Of course, when we say this – when we say what we have just said – we’re going around in circles. We’re going around in circles since the Mind-Created Sense Of Self is – by definition – a false sense of self. It’s a fake or false sense of self since it is one that is manufactured for us by the thinking mind and so naturally everything about it is inauthentic! That’s the whole deal right there – that’s the beginning and the end of it.

In one way we could suggest that maybe the MCSOS doesn’t mind being inauthentic since it was never so in the first place; in fact it doesn’t mind because it never gets to know this – it has no point sussed onto this fact and it would be a disaster for it if it did. The MCSOS is like one of PKD’s androids in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep which don’t know that they are androids (because they have been provided with a false perception of their humanity via an implanted set of memories). This is precisely why the MCSOS has to keep on distracting itself – it has to keep on distracting itself from perceiving its own total lack of authenticity because if it doesn’t then the ongoing charade of its virtual existence will come to an abrupt and unceremonious end.

Naturally its (apparent) existence will come to an end – if I perceive myself to be totally fake, totally false, totally inauthentic then what this means is that I perceive the truth that there is no ‘self’ there. Alternatively, we can say that when I perceive myself to have zero autonomy (or when I see the truth that I am being totally determined by external mechanical forces) then I simultaneously perceive the reality of my nonexistence. It’s the same thing – if I see that my sense of being an authentically volitional entity is being created by the operation of external mechanical forces then my sense of being ‘authentically volitional’ is immediately seen as being an artefact and not a real thing. Any awareness of this being the case has to be avoided at any cost therefore, and that’s why we are in the situation that we are in – that’s why we are in the situation of having to distract ourselves on an ongoing basis.

Not to beat about the bush too much, for us to continue having this experience of being this volitional/purposeful self it is necessary for us to have no relationship with the truth whatsoever and this is of course a very odd thing to consider. Outside of ‘the truth’ (which is to say, outside of reality) what good is there to be found? What anything is there to be found? What could possibly make the (pseudo-) existence of an unreal self ‘worthwhile’ or meaningful’? Very clearly, we have in this way been forced into a position where we have to invent our own, entirely arbitrary, system of values (or meanings) and the way we do this is by saying that the better we are doing at the task of hiding from reality, or ‘avoiding any contact with reality’, the greater is the ‘value’ that can be ascribed to this, and so the better we get to feel as a result. This – then – is the nature of the game that we are playing. Being distracted is the great thing.

As we have said, there is something very peculiar about this. There is something very peculiar about this because what we are getting to feel good about is ‘being unreal’ – even though we don’t see this (because we are seeing everything backwards), the ideal that we are chasing so determinedly is the ideal of being completely unreal. That’s what happens when we completely sever our relationship with the truth after all – there is no way to have no relationship with the truth and yet at the same time remain real! The truth is the only thing that is real – ‘the truth is all there is’, as the song goes. There’s no such thing as ‘a true lie’ or ‘a lie that authentically represents reality’ and the MCSOS only concerns itself with lies. Lies are all it cares about. Continuing with its ‘sealed-off existence’ is all that it cares about, and having an interest in the truth doesn’t help with this particular project…

The ‘lies’ that we concern ourselves with (the lies we distract ourselves with!) are our literal assertions, our definite statements about reality. These are the lies that we cannot see through. All definite statements about reality are lies because there are no definite statements to be made about reality. Such a thing as ‘a definite statement about reality’ doesn’t exist, such a thing can’t exist. How could we say something definite (something that is ‘for certain’) about reality, or ‘the universe’, when in essence what we’re talking about here is ‘ungrounded change’, or Universal Flux, or ‘a movement from an unknown origin to equally unknown destination’? How can we say anything about newness? Who do we think we’re kidding here? If we made a definite statement about reality which acknowledged itself to be only a kind of analogy (and nothing more than this) then there would be a lie. It wouldn’t be ‘opaque’, as Joseph Campbell says. This then would be part of the Domain of Truth, which is – as we have said – ‘all that there is’.

Definite statements don’t do this. They make the claim not to be analogues! They claim to be actually true and that is why they are lies. They make the implicit claim to represent ‘the final reality’ and that’s how come we get trapped by them, as we want to be trapped by them. It is after all by being trapped by our own literal assertions of fact that we get to sever our connection with the truth (or with reality) and that (as we have said) is the whole point of the game we are playing. We ‘win’ at the game by believing absolutely in the (false) final reality that has been created by the thinking mind (i.e. by ‘believing in our own beliefs’) – this is the ultimate value in our value system and it is also when we become 100% unreal, 100% disconnected. This is how we enter (via a one-one door) into the ‘Nullification Trance‘. When we reach this goal we experience great euphoria, the euphoria that comes with our ultimate success at completely distracting ourselves, but what we don’t know is that this euphoria is ‘suffering in disguise’.

We continually distract ourselves from the truth of radical uncertainty with our heavy-handed literal assertions, with our cast iron definite statements. That’s how we produce an ‘opaque world’ for ourselves and that is also how we produce the illusion of the MCSOS! That’s our gimmick in a nutshell. It is only when we totally deny the reality of radical uncertainty, and completely exclude all trace of it from our awareness, that we can have the experience of existing as this isolated volitional self, this separate concrete identity. That’s the only way to do it – by continually relating to our own literal assertions of truth as if they were not lies.

Art: Android Jones.

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