The Analogue World

Everything in this world is an analogue, an analogue of something that we neither see nor suspect. If we could see it then we wouldn’t be trapped in it but the whole point is that we don’t see it, the whole point is that we can’t seem to spot the analogue for being an analogue, not for love nor money!

The Analogue World can either work for us or against us, depending on whether we recognise it for what it is or not. When we don’t see it for what it is then it traps us, as we’ve just said. It traps us because we are convinced that ‘this is all there is’. We’re convinced that what we see, what we understand to be the case, is the final word and so we will never look any further. We will actively resist looking any further.

We’re so convinced of this that if anyone were to come along and try to tell us that what we take to be ‘the final definitive reality’ is nothing of the sort we will be seriously annoyed. This has never been a popular thing to go around saying. It’s not just that we’re ‘convinced that the analogue is the real thing’ therefore but that we’re comfortable with it. We have become very comfortable being limited, very comfortable not looking any further – we go around our daily business with a big ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign hanging around our necks.

Two things happen when we mistake the Analogue World for the real thing therefore – [1] is that we get totally trapped, totally limited, and [2] is that we get very comfortable about this, very self-satisfied. We are actually proud of the fact that we have managed to get ourselves trapped; very oddly, we are somehow pleased with ourselves for our adaptation to the Analogue World, we’re smug about it, for all the world as if this were a great achievement on our part. We have turned the state of being 100% limited, 100% contained into a virtue, into a good thing.

To say that we are ‘comfortable’ believing that the analogue is the final word on the matter is not to say that we are in anyway happy however because we’re not. This sort of comfortableness is nothing more than misery in disguise – it’s ‘misery in disguise’ because there’s no good in the analogue, no virtue in it. It’s not what it’s cracked up to be, by any means! This conditioned mode of being is promoted as ‘a great and wonderful thing’, but it isn’t at all. It’s dry pointless bureaucracy and nothing more. It’s ‘control for the sake of control’.

The reason life that takes place entirely within the artificial context of the Analogue World is always going to be miserable is precisely because the analogue is only an analogue! We’re only fooling ourselves when we believe that there’s nothing more to life other than this. We’re only fooling ourselves when we take the arbitrary limitations that thought has put in place to be laws that are inscribed in reality itself.

We are only fooling ourselves when we say that ‘the analogue isn’t an analogue but the real thing’ and this means that any meaning we derive from this situation is imaginary rather than real. It’s all a hollow theatre, in other words, and this in turn means that any happiness or joy we might imagine ourselves to be experiencing is also going to be imaginary, is also going to be a made-up kind of thing. There’s no heart to the Analogue World, no Wholesomeness to it, and so no good can ever come out of it.

Only imaginary good can come out of this delusion of ours, nothing of any actual substance, nothing of any actual worth or value. We will hold fast to our imaginary values (to our ‘ideas about what is right’) and we will aggressively defend them, or impose them on others, but the reason for our aggression lies in the fact that we know (without of course admitting that we know) that the values which we are defending so tenaciously aren’t actually real. It’s all a house of cards.

The Analogue World that we can’t see to be the Analogue World is the same thing as Krishnamurti’s ‘Realm of strife’, therefore. All there is here is strife, and that is all there ever will be. We’re trying to say – in everything we think and do – that the analogue isn’t the analogue and what this means is that we are conducting a war against the real, the thing about this being that it is necessarily a war that can never come to an end. The battle against the truth is a battle that’s never going to be won, obviously enough!

When we allow ourselves to get locked into the struggle to defend our imaginary position then one thing is absolutely for sure and that is that we’re never going to win, know much how no matter how much effort or determination we put into the struggle. We’re always going to lose and so – this being the case – of course the type of existence that we lead in the Analogue World is going to be a profoundly miserable one! This is the Realm of Disappointment and Loss, the realm where things can only ever work out for us in our vain imaginings…

The only type of satisfaction possible in this virtual world (which is the virtual or hallucinatory world we make up for ourselves by stubbornly refusing to look any further) is of the theatrical variety – which is to say, it’s the type of satisfaction we enjoy when we allow ourselves to believe that we’ve accomplished something when we haven’t. This isn’t a situation that we can derive any real happiness from, naturally enough – instead of happiness we have to make to with its Polar Analogue, which – we might say – is made up of ‘hope and despair in equal measure’. [This corresponds to the statement that ‘location’ is the polar analogue of ‘space’]

There’s no joy in any of this – to start off with we have to strive to achieve whatever it is we want to achieve and then – having achieved the goal if we do) – we have to struggle to keep on believing that our so-called ‘accomplishment’ actually means something. The struggling and striving and hoping and longing will never stop, in other words; we cling with infinite stubbornness to the belief as we will eventually reap the reward for all of our efforts, and this is what keeps us going – this conviction of ours however is fantasy pure and simple. It’s ‘the Fantasy of Positive Thinking’! Positive thinking is random mind created sense of self talks itself into believing it’s actually going to get somewhere!

This is how the Analogue World can act against us therefore, and it would be hard to think of how anything could be more ‘against us’ than this! This is the ultimate in having everything going against us – it’s only in our imagination, only in our dreams, that we can imagine that things are going to work out for us. The only type of type of freedom we have here is illusory freedom since truth of the matter is that everything has been decided in advance. Everything has already been decided, and not in our favour!

If the Analogue World acts against us when we can’t see it for what it is then this means that it will act for us when we do recognise it. Nothing is wholly obvious without becoming enigmatic.’ says Baudrillard — the key is in the very obviousness itself, not anything else. Everything is the other way round once we spot the trick – instead of working against us stuff is now working for us. When we don’t see the world to be an analogue of something that we can neither see nor suspect then this closes everything down for us and we can’t crawl out from under our concrete delusions. When we do have this awareness, on the other hand, then the world straightaway opens up for us – it opens up for us and it never stops opening up. There is no brick wall waiting for us to run into and so we can say that it’s a real journey that we’re on in this case, not a frustrating fantasy one…

When we see the analogue for what it is this doesn’t mean that we are dismissing it or looking down on it. On the contrary, we are gaining new respect for it – we are now seeing it as a doorway to more expansive, more generous reality, a reality that isn’t constructed out of literal statements. The Analogue World can’t be a destination in itself, after all, it can’t be a destination in itself because it’s an analogue, not a real thing, because it’s a metaphor not a fact – its the ‘pointing finger’ rather than being ‘that which is being pointed at’.

When we can’t see an analogue to be an analogue then it blocks us and when we do see this then it serves as a precious reminder that there is something else, something that we couldn’t have imagined in a million years. The rational mind will scoff at any such talk of course; it will try to make us feel stupid for even considering it. This is classic behaviour of the rational mind when confronted with the reality it cannot preside over – it’s bound to do this, it’s bound to do this because the nature of thought is that it trades solely in concrete facts. Thought is set up to see its symbols or conventions as being real things – it couldn’t possibly operate any other way. The limitations of thought don’t have to be our limitations however – we’re not obliged to see the world in the same way that our machine does! The machine of the thinking mind sees only certainties, but ‘certainty’ is the one thing that we will never find in this universe…

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