Disclaimers: (1) This post may mess with your mind, and (2) this post is intended to mess up your mind. #smirk#
Cultural conditioning, in every tribe, is a process of gradually narrowing your tunnel-reality. The way to stay young (comparatively; until the longevity pill is discovered) is to make a quantum jump every so often and land yourself in a new reality-matrix.Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati
“Reality” is Messed Up!
I mean the word “reality” itself is a messed-up word that is misleading about the reality it intends to convey (pun intended). 😉
In the crazy – and/or – magical – and/or – daring – and/or -neurotic – and/or -creepy- and/or – [insert-your-adjective(s) of choice] book (more like mind-bender), Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati, Robert Wilson thinks it is a misleading pity that “reality” is (a) a noun, and (b) in singular form.
“Reality” (more like realities) is / are “always plural and mutable“. Forget about a single source of truth. Forget about realizing reality. We could each construct our own ‘reality,’ but there is no such thing as THE REALITY that we could all arrive at.
Consider the “conventional wisdom” that seeing is believing:
“We perceive an orange as really orange, whereas it is actually blue, the orange light being the light bouncing off the real fruit. And, everywhere we look, we imagine solid objects, but science only finds a web of dancing energy.”
“The orange has the orange color” is a statement that describes your mental projection (identified image, conscious recognition) of “a web of dancing energy”:
“All of our perceptions have gone through myriads of neural processes in the brain before they appear to our consciousness. At the point of conscious recognition, the identified image is organized into a three-dimensional hologram which we project outside ourselves and call ‘reality’.”
The next time you hear yourself say: “The reality is…” Catch yourself. It is more accurate to say: “My model of the reality is…” The map is not the territory. The menu is not the meal. The model of reality is not the reality itself – if it even exists in the first place. This line of thinking is known as the Copenhagen Interpretation, or “model agnosticism”.
As an extension of the “model agnoticism,” there are two principles / rules of the game:
- The principle of neurological relativism by Timothy Leary: “No two people ever report exactly the same signals.“
- The way to “double your practical intelligence” according to Robert Wilson: “Try to receive as many signals as possible from other humans, however wrong-headed their reality-map may seem” and avoid the “habit of screening out all human signals not immediately compatible with our own favorite reality-map.”
Reality (and all behavior) is a Giant Game?
According to the Morgenstern-von Neumann game theoretic model, “most human transactions can be analyzed mathematically by treating them as if they were games”, and personality could be analyzed as “a group process defined by rules of interpersonal politics”.
If you are wondering WTH that really means, consider the application of model by Timothy Leary, a psychologic best known for his exploration of psychedelics:
What are the players actually doing in space-time? […] What are the rules of the game? How many strikes before you’re out? Who makes the rules? Who can change the rules? These are the important questions.Timothy Leary
Leary developed a seven-dimensional game model to analyze all behavior, with respect to:
- Roles being played;
- Rules tacitly accepted (by all payers);
- Strategies for winning;
- Goals of the game;
- Language of the game (and the semantic world-view implied);
- Characteristic space-time locations, and
- Characteristic movements in space-time.
As Leary said: “If you can’t describe those seven dimensions of a group’s behavior, you don’t understand their game. Most so-called ‘neurosis’ is best analyzed as somebody programmed to play football wandering around in a baseball field. If he thinks football is the only game in the universe, the other players will seem perverse or crazy to him; if they think baseball is the only game, he’ll seem crazy to them.”
As of such, in the eyes of Leary, most psychological terminology are “pre-scientific” and “vague.” He thinks it makes much more sense to analyze it like a game.
Is Discordianism (the Cosmic Giggle Factor) the Best Way to View Reality?
So far it sounds a bit depressing – “reality” is / are messed up, “reality” is a complicated game with seven dimensions, and “THE reality” may be forever beyond our grasp (if it even exists).
You may feel your mind exploding. What is the best way to view reality?
One approach is Discordianism, invented by Thornley & Gregory Hill in the 1950s, dubbed as the first true “true religion.” Discordianism worships the Greek goddess of chaos & confusion, Eris:
Discordianism is the religion or belief in which chaos is thought to be as important as order…in contrast with most religions, which idealize harmony and order.Discordia Wiki
In the words of Wilson, the first law of Discordianism is: “Convictions cause convicts.” In other words, “whatever you believe imprisons you,” “”belief is the death of intelligence,” and “the more certitude one assumes, the less there is to think about.”
Some view Discordianism as a parody religion, but Wilson makes the case to take it more seriously:
“I saw Discordianism as the Cosmic Giggle Factor, introducing so many alternative paranoias that everybody could pick a favorite, if they were inclined that way. I also hoped that some less gullible souls, overwhelmed by this embarrassment of riches, might see through the whole paranoia game and decide to mutate to a wider, funnier, more hopeful reality-map.”
Wilson hopes Discordianism would persuade more people to “make a quantum jump” to a “new reality-matrix”, different from the narrow tunnel-reality that culture has conditioned them into.
To sum up, the biggest takeaway from Wilson’s book is probably this:
Our models of “reality” are very small and tidy, the universe of experience is huge and untidy, and no model can ever include all the huge untidiness perceived by uncensored consciousness.Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger I: Final Secret of the Illuminati
What are things that blew your mind about how you view reality? Leave a comment or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org!