When we relate to the world primarily via our thinking then this puts us in a very awkward and painful position – the odd thing however being that we’re not generally aware of this pain, aware of this awkwardness. The reason for the pain inherent in our position when we are relating to things solely by our thinking is that it’s not actually the world that we are relating to but our ‘mental map’ which we superimpose – without realising it – onto the world. Thought, and our mental map of the world, are one and the same thing and this creates what we might call ‘a fundamental lack of perspective’ It is this fundamental lack of perspective that is putting us in the awkward position that we are in. There is of course no actual space between thought and thought’s projections, and this lack of space has far-reaching consequences. ‘Space’ being, we might say, that part of the world that thought is unable to recognise and classify, and therefore unable to make a copy of and ‘turn it into itself’.
Lack of space, or lack of perspective, means lack of freedom with regard to our ability to interpret what the thinking mind is telling us. We’re essentially ‘stuck to our descriptions’; we are ‘literally bound’ to them, so to speak. What we are told to be true is what we understand to be true, these are not two different things but the same one since both ‘the conditioned self’ and ‘the conceptually-mediated world that the conditioned self believes in’ are governed by thought. ‘Thought is relating to thought’ and that’s why we can say that there is no perspective here. Something else is needed for us to have perspective – something that we very rarely have access to! The thinking mind however doesn’t see the need for there to be ‘anything else other than itself’ and that’s why we don’t see that there is anything amiss when we’re operating solely on the basis of thought. Thought can’t see ‘the problem in itself’, so to speak. Not only does it automatically take it that there is no need for anything other than itself, but it also automatically assumes that anything not fitting into its logical scheme of things must be some type of error. It’s not just that thought doesn’t trust anything apart from itself therefore but rather that it sees everything else is an enemy to be eliminated. It is in the nature of thought is to be ‘fundamentally aggressive’, or ‘fundamentally violent‘, in other words.
The ‘elimination of everything apart from thought’ creates insoluble problems however, as we started off by saying. What we’re really talking about when we say that ‘thought has an automatic tendency to eliminate everything that is not itself’ is of course hyperreality – thought actively gets rid of anything that isn’t part of its own account of reality, part of its ongoing description or classification of reality and so we end up with a situation where everything has been turned into ‘a book of accounts’, or ‘system of descriptions/classifications’. The taxonomy of the world is identical to the world. We then – via the agency of thought – relate to this ‘world that is made of the descriptions’ and ignore everything else, which puts us in a very impoverished situation. We end up living in an impoverished version of reality that we cannot recognise as such because the system of thought can’t recognise anything other than itself – because it simply doesn’t have the capacity to recognise anything else other than itself. We are in that very curious situation where we are stuck to our own descriptions, stuck to our own thoughts, even though there isn’t actually anything substantial in them. Thoughts are all we’re allowed and yet here’s no actual ‘flavour’ (or ‘nutrition’, for that matter) in them.
This is no small problem therefore but we ‘get around it’ so to speak, by passing on from one thought to another, one mental construct to another, quite rapidly, so that we never get to be aware of the essential hollowness (or ‘aridity’) of thought. This is just like watching a bad film (a film that’s pretty much the same as a thousand others that we might have seen) but not noticing how bad it is because we are allowing ourselves to be distracted by the action or drama that’s going on. We go from one spectacular car chase to another, one intense drama to another. Or we could say that life in the thought-created world is like being stuck to our social media feed – we get presented with one item after another in quick succession and each item has some kind of fascination associated with it to draw us in and make us look at it. Our ‘thought feed’ keeps on presenting us with click bait’, and we just keep on clicking. We’re ‘clicking’ all day long!
Part of the illusion – the core part, we might say – is that we feel ourselves to be ‘in charge’, we feel that we are controlling what is going on, that we are choosing those items which are of interest to us and rejecting the others. This is a kind of ‘empowering’ illusion therefore – we are ‘empowered’ to feel that we have actual agency in the situation and this feeling is crucial for the whole delusional system to work, to remain viable. The truth of the matter is that we don’t ‘choose’ thoughts however – we’re powerless not to click them! We can’t choose not to think a particular thought, after all – it’s stuck to us straight away. The apparent act of ‘volition’ whereby we ‘choose to think a thought’ is a perception that thought itself generates in order to ‘suck us in’, as David Bohm points out. The euphoria of feeling that ‘this is what I want to do’ comes about when we identify with the false or mind-created sense of self so of course it’s not really ‘what we want to do’, it’s what the mind-created self wants us to do (which is just another way of saying that it’s what ‘the thinking mind wants us to do’. We are being controlled by our thoughts in other words and this is hardly surprising since thoughts are pretty much all we are – our thoughts are the only thing that we take seriously, anyway. There is more to us than thought but we just don’t give it any credence.
Even if we didn’t want to think a particular thought we don’t really have any choice when it comes down to it. We have to think some thought or other or else we would have nothing to relate to – the thought-created world is the only world we know, after all. Thought has stolen the show. If we didn’t one think one thought then we’d think another; we have to be thinking something, we can’t just ‘think nothing’! The bigger picture is that we don’t have any freedom, therefore. We are compelled to engage in thought; it’s not something we have any alternative to. Thought is the whole world to us so where else are we going to go? Even when it comes to thinking specific thoughts we don’t have any choice in the matter – a thought comes along and we think it, generally speaking. That’s how things work, for the most part. When we try not to think a particular thought then we think it more, not less! Saying ‘NO’ to a thought simply gives energy to it and so we get even more stuck to the thought that we were before. The only (apparent) option we have open to us is the drastic option of repressing the thought, of burying it down deep, but this just gives to thought more energy than ever – vastly more energy than ever, in fact. We are creating a time-bomb. When it comes down to it, we actually don’t have any options therefore; we only have ‘the illusion of options’ so we have to live off these illusions. We have to dine on them as if they were genuine food…
All of our neurotic pain comes from the profound lack of perspective that over-valued thought engenders in us; all of our neurotic pain comes from being totally controlled by thought, which is of course a very obvious statement once we make it! If we had a bit of perspective then we wouldn’t take our thoughts quite so seriously and if we stopped taking our thoughts quite so seriously then we would no longer be feeding them so much. If there was just a little bit of space (‘space’ meaning ‘that which is not thought’, or ‘that which is not produced by thought’) between our mind-created image of ourselves and the picture of reality that thought shows us then we wouldn’t be stuck so fast to this picture. The reason hyperreality has the type of ‘absolute magnetic power’ over us that it does have is precisely because there is no gap, no discontinuity, between our mind-created view-point and the conditioned reality that we are relating to. The lack of space is what gives the System of Thought its power over us; the lack of space is what makes us stick fast to our descriptions of reality as if we’re glued there. The ‘lack of space’ is really just is a ‘lack of freedom’ therefore, as we have already said. We can’t question anything without perspective and so if we can’t question the world that is made up of our descriptions of it then our descriptions have total control over us. As David Bohm says, we don’t control thought; thought controls us whilst giving us the (false) information that we are controlling it.
There is another, deeper aspect to this business of ‘being controlled by thought’, therefore. If we can’t question our descriptions then of course these descriptions become ‘real’ to us; the lack of perspective causes the Mind-Created Virtual Reality to spring into (virtual) existence, and as soon as it springs into existence it subjugates us, it establishes a tyranny over us. Lack of perspective causes MCVR to come into existence and believing in the MCVR is what causes us to lose all our perspective, and so it’s a closed loop that we’re caught up in. This is the ‘loop of hyperreality’ that survives by feeding upon itself! It’s not just that we are held prisoner by the thought-created world though – the subjugation is more complete than that. As we said earlier, though provides us with the illusion that we are in control and when we buy into this illusion then we identify with the ‘Mind-Created Sense Of Self’. We buy into it (or we are very likely to buy into it) because of the pleasure or euphoria that comes about when we allow ourselves to believe that we are ‘in control’. This ‘believing that we are in control’ (or that we have at least the possibility of being in control) gives us a tremendous sense of existential security and this sense of existential security is hugely euphoric. It has a magnetic pull that we just can’t resist and the power of this magnetic pull comes from the (false) perception that it is us who wants to do what the external mechanical force is compelling us to do. The euphoria of experiencing a sense of existential security is as euphoric as it is because it is the denial of our deepest fear, which is the fear of ‘not being in control’.
Imagining that we are in control is the much the same thing as imagining that we can repress or bury a thought that we are very afraid of. It feels good to be able to do this and that good feeling ‘pulls us in’; the euphoria is only ever obtained at the price of incurring its opposite at some future point in time however – the whole thing is just an exercise in ‘self-cancelling activity’, therefore. Self-cancelling activity is very attractive (enough not to say totally addictive) because it causes us to feel so good in the first phase; having bitten at the bait however then we can’t help moving into Phase-2, which is wholly repugnant, wholly repellent to us and so from this point on we have no way out of the positive/negative cycle – we have ‘no way out’ because we can’t question the negative any more than we can question the positive. We didn’t want to ‘question the positive’ anyway – we were enjoying identifying the MCSOS at that point. We were enjoying Phase-1, which is the euphoric phase, and so now we have to suffer the dysphoric phase of the cycle, which is Phase-2.
Everything about the mind-created world is suffering, therefore. It is suffering through and through and there is no relief in it anywhere. The only ‘relief’ available is the apparent relief that comes from ‘buying into the illusion’ and that short-lived relief comes at the price of feeding the System of Thought and therefore reinforcing the false reality of the ‘mind-created world’, and thereby enabling it to have even more power over us than it did before. In the absence of any other type of relief to be had then of course we are going to go for this apparent relief; we are going to lunge for it in the manner of a drowning man clutching at a straw. We don’t have the capacity to see it for what it is, anyway; we don’t have the power question it. We don’t have ‘the power to question’ anymore because we’ve given it away…
Art: Resident Evil-2 from – gamerevolution.com