Existence is Fluid;
the Universe is Multiple;
Each Life is Unique;
A Human is Born Free;
Justice is its Need;
Happiness is Holistic;
God is You.
Take off your shoes,
Would you like some tea?
Have some cookies,
Eat your brownie!
Put on this unicorn horn,
Now hear me ramble —
So, what is this blog about?
Frankly, even I don’t know. I needed some place where I could talk shit and maybe, hear your crap. So, I opened up a wordpress account and created this blog.
This is a place where we can chat and have some ‘intelligent’ conversations. Well, not really!
Who is the target audience?
People who have escaped from mental asylums, intellectuals, dumb-asses, art lovers, art haters, philosophers, laymen, stand-men, sit-men, teenagers, oldies, truth-seekers, lie-seekers, people curious about the world, people bored with the world, YOU!
Basically, anybody who can read the peculiar language called English.
Great! Where do I start?
Scroll down blind-boy (or girl, whatever).
Or you can check out the footer of the blog for some categories.
Comment, like, tweet, share on facebook and don’t forget to follow me on twitter.
And lastly, add the blog to your reader —
We are finally here. A pumpkin with a wig rules the world. Misogyny is feminism. Science is an opinion. Reality is unreal. Vaccination is a conspiracy. Survellaince State helps freedom. Global warming is infotainment. Religious terrorism is revolution. Nazis are the new progressives. Billionaires represent the poor. Democracies vote for dictatorship. Truth is whats on TV. Earth is collapsing while we flee to Mars. Mythology is history. History is a myth. Oppression doesn’t exist, but all the elites are victims. Rape is trivial. Friend zone is an issue. MSM is fake. Fake news is not. Words are violent. Violence is peace. Nationalism is sacrificing the nation. Patriotism is attacking fellow citizens. Faith is true. Facts are false. Human rights are imperialistic. Decibels decide debates. Repressive traditions are liberating. Religion is not religion. Shamans are doctors. Cartoon satires predict the future, while experts work on scholarly jokes. Logic is oppressive. Anything goes. Unless it goes against me.
Welcome to the Age of Retardation.
This post first appeared in my new publication called The Discursive. It seeks to combine journalism with discourse analysis to explore a world we don’t understand. You can see the original article here, and here is a link to the publication.
A significant amount of chatter has been generated around this ‘post-truth’ era we all are apparently living in now. Dictionaries have anointed it as the word of the year. The sales of Orwell’s 1984 has been cited as evidence for popular interest in the subject. Conferences of philosophers, historians and journalists have been held around the world to deal with this ‘new’ challenge which all intellectuals face.
The question however is not whether we are in a post-truth era but when have human beings ever lived in a society where facts have been revered in politics and personal beliefs?
If we sense that something has changed in our polity, then it’s definitely not represented by a president lying on camera or his spokesperson citing ‘alternate facts’. The symptoms of this revolution are seen in the public’s response to lies and their apathy towards truth. The driver of this tectonic shift is not one person but the whole system of media and journalism.
BREAKING NEWS BROKE THE NEWS
The supposed ‘coup’ of lies on all mainstream discourses is not just a fashion fad but the end result of a media movement which started with television. 24 hours TV news with its incessant need for both content and viewers adopted a very specific model of electronic communication in the 1970s. This same model has transfigured into the monstrosity we now call as the fake news network.
In this model, the audience is defined as a reactive subject and the main goal of any media outlet is that of snatching attention and clutching on to it until the advertisements end.
This forms a loop where the media, especially news channels, package and select content to arouse people’s limbic systems and in return they are rewarded with TRPs and higher ad revenues. Since anger or anguish is the easiest and strongest emotion to elicit in people, negative news or outrageous claims now form the bulk of any TV content. Be it daily soaps, debates or even ‘historical’ documentaries about aliens, almost all of them employ an outrage loop designed to stimulate our reptilian brains.
THE INDUSTRIAL BULLSHIT COMPLEX
The rise of social media and wider penetration of the world wide web created new roles for the mass audiences who were usually voiceless. The anonymity and the absence of any social consequences granted by the internet provided a fertile ground for the expression of outrage which was earlier limited to the living room. Theoretically, these messages shared on the internet are public and freely accessible. However the algorithmic framework made sure that only people who would agree with it, or vehemently oppose it would generally see it. This echo-chamber technique perfected by facebook both distilled and intensified the outrage model invented by TV networks. Hence, far from being a challenge to MSM, social media is it’s perfect partner in terms of the end goal media owners seek to achieve — sustained attentions and ad revenues.
Trump says Mexicans are rapists, TV channels go run it all day, the audience quickly run back to their echo-chambers, ranting and seamlessly validating each others worldviews. In the end everyone makes mountains of money.
So where exactly is the problem?
The real post-truth crisis starts when people eventually realize that the system will not only work without any real journalism, but it will work better.
If journalism is all about reporting the truth, and truth is inconvenient for the hype machine, then it makes logical sense to divorce news from truth altogether. Breitbart, along with the whole network of fake news outlets, thus are the most evolved forms of main stream media instead of being their mortal enemies. They are most blatant and honest about their goal to generate outrage in their audience. The fact that they have massacred journalistic ethics does not make any dent on the reputation because they make money from eyeballs not truth. They are in the business of bollocks and their readers love it.
The shift here is not from journalism to lying, but from Truth to bullshit. This distinction is absolutely important in order to defeat the Bullshit complex. A liar is a person who knows the truth but consciously conveys information which contradicts it. A merchant of BS is not even concerned about facts or truth at all. He does not need to know it, he doesn’t need to refute it, all he needs is to induce the desired effect on his audience.
Bullshit is far more dangerous towards truth because exposing contradictions, revealing facts and even using logic does not cause any harm to it. Like the outrage loop, bullshit targets our limbic brain to induce feelings about truth, aptly called as ‘truthiness’. More importantly a person can bullshit even when he is speaking the Truth. Hence when Trump, Putin or Modi are stating facts they are still dishing out piles of horse manure. What is important here is not precisely the content of communication, but the intent behind it, the effects which are induced and the strategies used to achieve this.
Journalism, where people act as transparent mirrors of Truth, where facts and opinions are separate and lying means instant death is perfect for countering falsities. However, it is completely impotent against bullshit. Passive presentation of facts barely make a difference since bullshit is not countering them but seeking to make them irrelevant.
When Modi talks about head transplants in vedic India or when Trump states that Obama is not an American, they are simply disregarding every criteria of Truth. This constant disregard and contradiction either confuses the audience or employs their selective attention to make themselves more appealing. Truth is thus rendered absolutely useless in political discourse.
The work of journalism then, in order to counter this, is not to reveal facts but strategies, patterns and scripts bullshitters are using.
This kind of journalism has to move away from the conception of a reactive audience, obsessed with breaking news, having short attention spans and forgetting events as soon as the debate ends.
This new journalism has to envisage a reflective reader and has to move beyond current events towards a long term analysis.
Most importantly, the new journalism doesn’t need to reveal facts, but expose discourses.
When I speak of discourses, I refer to a very specific definition often used in social science research.
Discourse here means:
1) A mode of organizing knowledge, ideas or experience that is rooted in language and its concrete contexts (as history or institutions).
2) A particular way of talking about and understanding the world or some of its aspects.
In these definitions, the power of language is supposed to be not just descriptive but primarily constructive. We form the world in our minds as we talk about it, which in turn directs our actions. This is specially true for identities. Thus, when Putin is talked of as the strongest leader in the western civilization or Trump says he will make America great again, they are constructing their identities along with a worldview. This process is an interactive and dynamic one. People draw on discourses and produce new ones continuously.
The work of discursive journalism is to mark out the discursive strategies used in a particular context, study its effects and suggest some counter strategies and possibilities of challenging and transforming them.
Only this kind of long term, analytical, research oriented endeavor can hope to defeat post-truth politics and its sudden omnipresence around the world.
This publication is an attempt to construct such a kind of journalism. Over the next few months, we will work on certain projects where we will understand how various agents used various discourses to achieve different effects in a particular event.
Our first project will analyze the demonetization policy undertaken by the Modi government in India in the month of November, 2016. After this we will take up Trump’s presidency and Brexit as our next projects.
If you want to connect with this project or have some suggestions regarding the topics we should look into kindly use this form.
Ok so I know I said this blog is no longer active, but 2016 has smashed my brain too hard.
In 2014 the Hindu Fascist leader won a majority in the Indian elections. Then this year Brexit happened riding a wave of hate nationalism and anti-everyone-but-us hysteria. Then finally the icing on the cake was the Trump presidency. It was obvious he was lying. It was obvious he’s a douche bag who shouldn’t be hired as a janitor of a school let alone the president of the most powerful country. But people voted for him anyway.
I still think that this is a sign of desperation and not some collective mind fuck history has dumped on us. Before each of these rise of the right events, people were waiting and hoping for a left wing, liberal alternative to emerge. In India the elections were preceeded by two major uprisings against corruption and sexual violence. A party was also formed which remains the prominent player in the political arena.
In Britain the young people squarely rejected the racist claptrap. In America Trump was actually a solid presidential candidate only after Bernie Sanders lost.
Thus the old quote is again proven true:
Behind every dictatorship is a failed revolution.
People are looking for alternatives and when the left fails them, the radical right seems like the last resort.
Here is how I think the postmodern leftists and liberals dug their own graves:
1) They rejected any possibility of ‘Reality’ existing outside of an individual’s presumptions and pretensions. They proclaimed that everything which claims to be a universal or a generally applicable principle is a dictatorship of thought. It was not the Truth in them which made them powerful but rather their privileged position in the world.
2) This meant that all opinions about reality were equally valid and there was no possibility of any judgement. Thus they supported a theocratic dictatorship in Iran as it was against US imperialism. They supported cultural relativism which stalled humanistic progress and supplied the perfect alibi for regressive conservatives who attacked free speech, used blasphemy laws, stalled any bid for gender racial or social equality. This also meant that denial of science and history was seen as legitimate ‘Knowledge’. From here started the Orwellian Ignorance is Knowledge trend. Climate Change was denied. Holocaust was underplayed or seen as a conspiracy. Nazism became all right and so did the Alt-Right.
3) Since liberals and leftists still believed in freedom, they were paradoxically creating a situation where they themselves became powerless. It was said that every opinion, reality and truth was subjective and should be allowed to exist. But this also meant that beliefs which supported a fundamentalist streak, suppressing everything which contradicted them with violence, was also a legitimate exercise of freedom. Many people came out in support of Fundamentalist Islam when they sought to ban Salman Rushdie’s book and asked for his head. He was blamed and no one really stood up for the freedom of speech of this writer. Thus people who believed in liberty for everyone lost their rights because they believed that people who attacked the very space of freedom should be allowed to do so.
4) Their dogmatic rejection of any possibility of a common reality existing outside subjective opinions made it impossible for the left to organize themselves at a societal level. Instead of solving real problems by coming together, they confined themselves to theoretical ivory towers endlessly debating everything and giving stupid solutions which didn’t work. This also meant that there can be no consensus. People can just come up and say that in their subjective opinion they reject everything and that will be enough to destroy common reality. People couldn’t find any stable foundation for their life, their society and for collective actions. Problems which were real regardless if you believe they exist or not were ignored. Postmodernists were also furious in their attacks on Humanism which actually was the leading grand narrative against regressive values, however they were far more sympathetic to religion for no reason. This gave birth to the infamous regressive left, where fundamentalist faith was protected while rationality was demonized. While in the end of twentieth century humanists were successful in ending apartheid and in civil rights movement in USA, religion (which was faultering) was given a massive incubator so that it can grow its tentacles again. Once religion was accepted in intellectual circles, regressive values and appeals to sexist and racist traditions didn’t take time to come back and become respectable.
5) Now all of this created a powerless stalemate where the left could actually provide nothing of substance except for the pretentious dogma that every thought, opinion, belief and value was equal in terms of facts and truths. “Everything is Subjective” is not really an answer to global economic crisis, climate change or fundamentalist terrorism. This meant that at least the right wing could provide some superficial action plans. Ironically it is the right wing which now uses this dogma not to promote freedom but to impose their power by simply ignoring facts and presenting their hate and judgment in a 24X7 reality show. What we seek from our leaders now is not a plan for progress based on reality but entertainment and antics.
Politics is a show at par with Jersey Shore. Our leaders don’t have to inspire us anymore they just have to provide us our celebrity porn, make headlines for saying nothing and help us masturbate out of our depressing realities. This is all thanks to some glamorous leftist French intellectuals who said many logically incoherent things in 1970s to earn quick fame and money.
Life is a movement: the flow of desire.
It’s not a noun but a verb, to be studied as an action.
It’s not something which exists inside organisms, but something which matter does which makes it into an organism.
It’s a war libido wages over the universe to get what it wants.
One is alive when it wins
Dead when it loses.
To be free is to be political. For we cannot escape the very power constraints which form us, but only transmute them according to our intent.
Unfortunately, we have been made to believe that freedom is something we are born with and need only to protect either by begging to our governments, or merely being aloof and apolitical — isolated from the world which sustains us.
We live in an age where freedom instantly evokes images of outrage and placards.
Incidentally, we also live in an age where states around the world are brazenly constructing precise machineries of surveillance and control — and we aren’t doing shit about them.
Freedom and rebellion have always been twins. It was the French Revolution which resulted in the Human Rights Charter in which Liberty became the inherent, inalienable right of every person.
Using this humanist doctrine all the European colonies kicked out their oppressors – – Gandhi being an emblematic figure of this kind modern rebellion.
This non-violent form of protest, with marches, sloganeering and placard-waving was soon picked up by civil societies around the world.
Although quite effective in the 20th century we see these kinds of protests fizzling out with no results in the 21st century. The Governments now know that a march, or a strike here and there barely dents their international power network.
The Occupy Wall Street, the Gender Equality protest in India, the so called Arab Spring – – all they could achieve was media hype, but none of their practical goals.
It is time we wake up and face reality:
If our Right to Freedom has to be granted by someone else, then that is no freedom at all. Liberty then is a slave to the whims and strategies of the government which rules us.
What the heck are we demanding out on the streets, in front of our parliaments? How is it freedom if it can be ‘granted’ by someone else?
The very idea of freedom as it exists in the current form is delusional.
Freedom is envisaged as this independence from the world which allows an individual to do what she desires.
This is simply a impossible. No one can be independent from the world simply because we are and always will be a part of it. Our food is grown by someone else. Our clothes are created by numerous unknown people. Our houses are constructed by others. We are bound by the laws of physics. Our bodies are made out of the food we eat, the air we breath.
Where the heck is any possibility of in-dependence? We can never be separate from the world. We can never be isolated, self-sustaining units, floating in the universe, powered merely by our free will.
Freedom is not a right. Freedom is an ability. It is a skill. It is a technique to interact, negotiate and mold our surroundings according to our intent.
Freedom is always an active, political act. It is the sum total of our abilities which form us and our environment in a cyclical way. It necessarily has to be a way not only to do what you desire, but to protect yourself, act against forces which intend to annihilate you.
Thus, our freedom, quite simply means acting according to political intent.
It is a fact that we are born into a network of relationships with our fellow beings and our environment.
It is a fact that we form our identities only in these constraints. I am whatever I am because I am no other person and I am also not a rock or a tree.
It is also a fact that these relationships are relationships of power.
Our parents are the dominant forces who decide our initial fate. We live because our immune systems constantly win every war against the pathogens always besieging us. We either mold nature to make it work like we want it to or nature shatters our illusions by sending disasters once in a while.
Thus to be free is necessarily to be political. The trend, especially in this generation, to be fashionably apolitical is something which is destroying our collective freedom.
In our relationship with the world we are either politically victorious or politically oppressed. Being apolitical simply means to be a passive recipient of other people’s politics.
Power has been usually seen as something dirty which intends to annihilate freedom. But it is only through power that freedom can be exercised in the first place. Power is not only domination but it can also be a positive force which results in growth, happiness and productivity.
Power is the medium of our being.
More importantly, it is the only way, in our current situation, that we can ever escape from universal, flawless dictatorship.
Rather than acting as if we already have the ‘Right’ to freedom, we should consider freedom as intent combined with the potential to act on them. Something which is both inherent in us and yet has to be learned and perfected like language, logic or art.
Freedom then is not some Right, but a life skill which has to be practiced, exercised, honed and implemented by all of us.
The law of nature is a funny illusion.
It was used to justify slavery until the slaves revolted and claimed their rights.
It was used to sustain colonialism until the Europeans were kicked out and the natives did just fine.
It was used to imprison women until the world wars happened and magically they were able enough to work in factories.
Laws which were supposedly permanent and inherent – – existing since eternity – – were simply thrown away like fashion fads which outlived their trendiness.
And yet after a whole century of debunking the ‘natural’ argument most people still use it to justify their own prejudices and defend their medieval thought-castles.
Beneath all the ‘Natural Law’ arguments, there lies a certain kind of arrogance and a fallacious logic of morality.
The idea that human beings can defy the laws of nature (if any) firmly rests on the grandiose delusion that we can be independent of nature. It presumes that humans are this special species who have the ability to rebel and create a civilization which is autonomous.
Nothing can be farther from the truth.
The Nature/Culture binary is a false dichotomy. Living beings are natural beings by default. Nature constitutes them. All the characteristics, abilities and features of every living being has to have some inherent, natural, genetic basis. And it is a known fact that our civilizations’ precarious existence depend upon the whims of nature. (How many civilizations have been razed by natural disasters and climate disruptions? A shit load of them.)
Trees can’t walk, because its not in their nature to walk. Dogs can’t speak mandarin because they don’t have the genetic potential to speak any human language.
Similarly, every human action has to have some natural basis. Even artificial machines like spaceships can only be built by using our inherent potentials. We could invent rocket science because of our natural ability to reason and understand. We could create all the unnatural materials used in a space crafts by using the raw materials found in nature. And ultimately the spaceship flies according to the natural, inherent laws of physics which can’t be rebelled against.
If nature really forbids something, no living being can go against its diktat.
But this statement in no way can be paraphrased as, “Everything is as it should be.”
Violence and cooperation are both natural – – but war and peace are in no way the same from an Experiential or an ethical point of view.
Nature is diverse, dynamic and different. But it doesn’t mean that we have to accept things as they are.
We have the inherent ability to choose and change. And hence, the question of good and bad in no way relies on the natural and the unnatural.(For everything is ultimately natural.)
Global warming is not wrong because it is human made and against the natural order. Humans themselves are natural beings and hence can’t go beyond nature. Global warming is wrong because of its effects – – because of the disasters and immense loss of life it has brought about. But it could only happen because of the inherent, natural potentials of human beings to create and exploit.
Rapes occur in the wilderness; but it can in no way mean that this justifies their ethical validity.
On a side note — CONGRATULATIONS TO USA!
We have been told that there is some supreme being up in heaven who looks after us and is all good.
Supposedly he is all powerful – – the master of the cosmos.
He sees everything – – all our crimes and acts of kindness.
Also, he is omnipresent, existing everywhere, all at once, always.
And yet, despite this grand claim of religion, the amount of human suffering only seems to be increasing as the centuries pass by.
Wars have gotten deadlier as humanity learns to create newer and better Weapons of Mass Destruction.
After a brief waning of religious fundamentalism in the middle of 20th century, our dear god has returned to become an excuse for genocides and terrorist bombings.
We live in an era in which the amount of absolute poverty is highest in the history of humanity. Despite this fact, there seems to be a consensus that the fight against an economy of inequality is trivial or boring.
As if these human-made atrocities were not enough, our dear god seems to be particularly keen on gifting us more and more disasters of the natural kind.
In the middle of all this shit, some people see the divine will at work to do good. They say it is god’s own mysterious way to redeem humankind. The disasters, genocides, mass rapes and child prostitutes are all part of the plan. They are a symbol of divine grace, according to the religious nuts.
And this is what, I think, justifies 21st century Atheism. If God exists, then he is a criminal. And that is why I reject his demand to be acknowledged and worshiped.
If God is omnipotent, then he is responsible for the millions of live lost in earthquakes, tornadoes and tsunamis everywhere in the world.
If he is omnipresent, then he just stood by when millions of women, children and men were raped, ripped apart and destroyed throughout history.
If he is omniscient, then he just watches passively as thousands of infants starve to death everyday around the world.
I know religious crazies have justifications for this as well. “Wait for the judgment day or Karma,” they say.
But a being who can stop and prevent these mind-numbing atrocities through his divine powers cannot excuse himself of his responsibility. Giving judgments after the beings he created have committed their crimes barely lessens the suffering of the innocents.
One who stands by even though he can prevent a crime is as guilty as the criminal himself.
And thus, I refuse to believe in the existence of God simply because I don’t see this divine being making a difference. Even if god exists so what? Humanity still has to deal with the world on its own. Praying and worship have never prevented a tragedy. Nor it ever will.
Thus, my atheism is purely a political rebellion. It is the negation of god even if he exists. It is the act of spitting on his face. It is the slap which he deserves if he exists.
Militant atheists like Dawkins simply waste their time debating with theists about the non-existence of god.
Firstly, the concept of God itself is unscientific. God is (cleverly) conceived as something which can’t be completely known. Thus, God can’t be disproved. And despite the claims of physicists, just because science works doesn’t automatically mean that God doesn’t exist.
E=mc2 has no logical connection to God=Non-existent.
Secondly, if God exists then it is even worse for religion. Because in the center of their belief system lies a being who is the most perverted criminal in the cosmos.
Thus, I think atheism should give up the time consuming, elaborate debates about the absence or the existence of the oldest imaginary friend humanity ever created. It should simply position itself as a political rebellion — something which makes much more sense in the present scenario.
“…if God did exist, we would need to kill him off.”
However the 21st century atheist should say:
” God has survived, let’s kill him better in a better way. “
I am the sighs
Between your words.
Of the underworld.
The thousand little fingers
Clawing the back of your skull.
I sprout between the synapses
Of the memories you’ve forgotten:
The swirling skirt
Of the dancing girl;
The child you could’ve begotten.
I am the tear, entombed,
in the wrinkle of your cheek.
The leaking heart
Of the distant past;
the dreams you never seek.
the internal bleeding
of your brittle bones.
That unvisited cut
on your invisible soul.
You are cutting so fast.
You fall far away.
How can I explain?
Words can’t make you feel the deep, spiraling well I felt burrowing in my lungs as I stood in my verandah, staring at the clouds and knowing silently, calmly but profoundly that I exist.
No arguments can justify my fervent faith and devotion which I experienced as I sat everyday in front of my own sacred idols and prayed to them when I was six.
Not a single poem has been able to capture that of pain of realizing that my first lover didn’t really love me back. No verse can really explain the suffocating agony which ripped my innards into shreds then.
People will laugh if I express that devastating feeling of being betrayed when my gods didn’t answer my desperate prayers at a time when I needed them most.
These are the moments which made me intensely aware of my being and that is precisely why words always feel so impotent when I try to express them.
Some philosophers say that language is the house of being. I think that is terribly stupid. Language might be the house of identity which can be communicated, but being precedes words. It is in fact a precondition of language. This is made obvious in those moments when language’s failure is so complete that it simply crumbles — in those events when we become speechless.
These are the times when life acquires a depth previously unknown or forgotten. It may not exactly be a moment of unbound joy (pain and sadness are just as adept). It may not even be a moment of uncontrollable emotion (people who practice mindfulness will know how calm observation has a silent profoundness to it).
I think these are simply the moments of intense awareness — the point when existence refuses to be ignored by consciousness. This is when we realize that the experience of life has a value independent of any more explanations.
You might have heard something similar from the New Age gurus and spiritual enthusiasts.
When they tactfully evade the use of ‘God’ to explain the meaning of these experiences, they often use words like higher consciousness, the divine, the supreme consciousness and so on.
What I found common in most of the explanations I’ve encountered is that theses moments are theorized as events when the individual psyche ‘connects’ with someone or something larger, higher, placed above the individual in the spiritual ladder.
I not only think that these explanations are absurd, improvable or unnecessary; I also think that they are an insult.
It is to say, as if, the experiences aren’t worthwhile in themselves. That you have to construct an elaborate system of theories to give that experience some meaningful value. And these constructs are ultimately equally unable to ‘explain’ the cause or logic of any value whatsoever.
What is this special higher consciousness which makes us feel like this? What is this god-like divine and from where does it derive this powerful energy from? If these ‘higher’ beings and energies don’t need anymore explanations then why does the experiences of depth need to be justified by theories?
These explanations merely transfer the experiential valence of the events of depth into something else. It’s the same old religious trick in the garb of spirituality.
Their hypocrisy is often revealed when they themselves admit that words can’t explain the spiritual experiences and then go on to create fun, often cliched theories of spirituality. (Putting faith or intuition above reason is perhaps their favorite one as it allows them to bypass science and gain a few blind acolytes.)
I think that the moments of intense awareness, the moments when life acquires an unspeakable depth are preserved and relived the best without any words or gurus.
I think its time that the spirit reclaims its independence from the shackles of God and theory.
When I was a kid I always thought that the deaths in films were real and that the actors who died were actually born again to star in their next blockbuster.
My fantasy fell apart when I actually saw the video of a film shoot in which the hero died 5 times within the span of fifteen minutes.
It was one of my first encounters with the failure of Truth.
It’s amazing how these early life lessons are buried under pretentious, fallacious theoretical bubbles.
How can people — scholars, intellectuals and activists — actually accept that everything we believe to be true actually becomes our reality? (Yes, I am talking about the post-modernists.) If the world really worked this way there would have been no disappointments. Expectations, faith and hope would have never crumbled as easily as it usually does.
Thus, even if there is no ultimate Truth, there sure exists some kind of falsity. There exists a difference between what we think or consider as the Truth and what we experience as reality. The problem simply is that we can’t demarcate between the two — the nature of our ever-changing knowledge doesn’t allow any permanent dichotomies.
And this is precisely why I think we should approach knowing in a different way than we usually do.
The base of Human Knowledge is not knowing.
Our quest for knowing is fueled by this partial or complete void; because, if we already know everything, then why seek anymore?
Remembering this fact is intensely liberating.
Let us not pretend that we uncover some hidden truth in the ‘outside’ world which we can’t even be sure of (as the world, for us, only exists in our perception).
I don’t mean to exclude the possibility that we have indeed discovered some thing which is universal, permanent or objective. But we just can’t be sure of them. Our knowledge is still in process, and this process includes change,rejection and return of truths which were previously rejected. The world was once flat and now it’s round. Who knows if it won’t turn into a triangle or not?
Knowledge and Truth will always be something which we put in. It exists only as Human knowledge. It is an act of our minds.
So let us pretend instead that Truth is a story we tell which makes sense.
But does this mean that everything proclaimed as Truth becomes real?
Based on our collective experience of the world, Truth seems to be multiple and fluid. But not everything seems to be true. Not every medicine system cures the disease which it itself claims to cure. Not every hypothesis is proved right even when the person conducting experiments believes in it completely.
Newton is reported to have been much more interested in Alchemy than Physics. Why is it that all his time spent in the search of knowledge, only his experiments with physics bore fruit but not his alchemy?
There is a reason why newton discovered the laws of motion and not the philosopher’s stone.
Truth is the narrative which works as Truth.
For any story to become reality, it has to correspond to experience.
If I believe that the sky is green and I myself see it as blue, then that belief fails as my own personal reality. Similarly, collective narrative has to reasonably correspond to a collective experience.
We don’t necessarily need an outside structure of comparison to judge the narratives — we can use their own claims and predictions to discover their Truth value.
By the same logic, Truths can be hierarchic.
Any Reality Narrative which fails less is obviously better than the ‘Truth’ which fails more in experience.If harvest rituals promise bountiful crops and they don’t as compared to the scientific techniques of farming, then the latter is a more reliable Truth for the society than the former. (Whatever anyone wants to believe.)
And the narratives whose claims lie outside the realm of experience by definition like the existence of God, life after death, heaven and hell will become less legitimate as a common reality when other narratives exist.
Narratives which can be judged inside lived experiences are always more reliable because we can check it’s falsity (or the lack of it). Narratives whose base claims are undetermined are dangerous because when it reaches its fanatic heights, people with other beliefs have no way of negotiation — you either have blind belief in them or you are branded a betrayer, heretic or a conspirator.
This in no way means that such narratives are illegitimate. They shouldn’t be completely excluded. They just can’t be relied upon as COMMON Truth, on the basis of which a WHOLE society can make its decisions.
I am not really suggesting that we create any rigid structures. All Truth, it seems, is probable. As we haven’t experienced the whole of existence, proclaiming any narrative as the ultimate TRUTH will be a fallacy of presumption (same applies for the rejection of the possibility of any permanent Truth).
Knowledge should always be open-ended because knowing is always in process. As long as we live we are experiencing beings.
Knowledge is merely a pattern we put into these experiences, which enriches them, binds them and in turn create new experiences in our consciousness.
Personally as a knower, my ultimate aim isn’t to find out the ‘TRUTH’. Especially when the existence of such a truth itself isn’t absolutely assured (although essentially the question remains open).
I see life in terms of experience and hence, to me such narratives are a way to gain a depth in experience.
To unite scattered feelings, events, memories and thoughts. To combine them in different ways. And to experience those different combinations in different ways.
Perhaps this is too much philosophy for one post 😛
My first answer to that is — Why not?
But I understand why many people are wondering about this question.
We all are children of post-modernism now. We all have known the “anything goes” motto in some way or the other.
Initially it does feel liberating.
I was a fan too not a long time ago.
But then reality strikes.
The dark side of this is that no one can really counter the fanaticism which has slowly saturated our world. And I am not only talking about people with guns, scriptures and suicide vests.
There has been a general taking away of liberties all over the world. Our existence is in threat. Even the existence of our planet. And we don’t have anything to fall back on — to counter such threats in a substantial way.
One may question why this taking away of freedom is a bad thing.
To them I reply, that question’s answer doesn’t really lie in some high-brow theoretical argument, but in plain experience.
And yet until we put them into narrative, we will always be silenced by the fanatics.
The following posts are my attempt to at least try creating a position through which we can fight back —
Trying To Escape 21st Century Nihilism By Finding Out The Inherent Purpose Of Life
Attempt To Create A Charter Which Isn’t Too Rigid But Which Gives Us Some Guidelines To Fall Back Onhttps://deerayolia.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/the-new-charter/