Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Mental Freedom


            The conscious mind is by nature free, but it doesn't always feel that way. The feeling of freedom is different than the reality of freedom. After all, a man may be hypnotized to say certain things, and feel he is saying them freely.

            Freedom is the feeling of power. Power is both in following established habits, especially storng, healthy, efficacious habits, and also modifying them as needed. Freedom from and freedom to are two ways of looking at the same thing. A freedom from a thing is nothing until it is a freedom to do something else. Even "doing nothing," is doing something. We say a man is free from the government, if, say, he lives in a state of nature, but we would not say that animals or rocks are free from the government, for the man may use his freedom to do something he couldn't otherwise do. Insofar as he lives his life the same either way, perhaps avoiding taxes alone, he is only free from government taxation, which means, again, that he is free to use his money in other ways, assuming he can find a venue to receive and give money -- for the world is run on money.

            Assuming we are living in the world (an economy of laws and property), and in a family (an economy of sex and power), then we are situated. This is the place that the cults wish to free us from by giving us another setting. Both Jesus and Siddartha (the Buddha) have at the core of their ethic the same teaching: poverty and celibacy. This is the most intimate, basic practice of the traditions. Money and sex, property and desire, government and family, ownership and love -- these situate us. And how we are situated is determined by convention. A man pleasing himself in the woods, if caught, is put into jail, but if he does the same thing in his bedroom, nobody would care. It is by sex and money that we are controlled, dominated, made part of the system. And what a Christian is, at his purest is independent of the World, living in it but not of it, putting the idea in its place of the kingdom of heaven.

            Popular Christianity is the opposite of what Jesus taught and lived. They pick up on his ethics, and they make the world out of the exclusivist statements the gospels put in his mouth (especially the least historical gospel, which is entirely fictional, in which Jesus says "Nobody gets to the father except through me" -- which, incidentally, shows a total ignorance of the fact that the father is a part of the mother). Jesus never supported "family values" and his entire ethic subverted, loudly and purposively. So did the Buddha's who left his wife and baby behind, never to return -- though there are pious stories of them later becoming his followers. These ethics are, of course, utterly selfish, it is the well being of the self, at the expense of family and city, that is the heart of Christian and Buddhist ethics. Family and world, sex and money, are evil -- that is the basic insight.

            Of course, such groups use family and business as metaphors for what they do, as a "brotherhood." They use the terms, the mental associations, the philosophy and meanings of hte institutions they mean to corrupt and dismiss.

            That, for them, is mental freedom. A monk goes into a cell to be free. If he can lock himself in and stay there for month, eating bread and water, praying, then he considers himself most free. Free from the world, free to love God. Free, really, to comprehend his own soul, study it and work with it -- for that is what prayer and "love of God" pragmatically mean to. The rest is just a convenient mythology and superstition to cover the actual purpose and apparatus.

            As allists, how are we free? Well we've seen the handles society puts on us. It controls us through the law and through morality. Religions use the same controls. With a language made subtle through countless generations of ingenius fine tempering, through every method of psychological torture, the pastors and evangelists have always found ways to condemn the "wicked world." The pragmatic result is a world that remains as wicked as every yet asks for forgiveness on a regular schedule. The church, for giving this system of mental hygeine, in which guilt is purged through repentence, asks a small stipend.

            Morality, strangely enough, gets associated with religion, as if to be very moral would mean to be very religious (when has this ever been the case?), and to be irreligious is to be immoral. But as far as ethics and morality -- Greek and Roman words for philosophical ideas -- are concerned, the rationality of ethics, nonbelievers and atheists are by nature the more honest and moral, because they lack the apparatus that opens up and allows perpetual vice.

            Where does that put us? How do we remain free in this world of conflicting ideologoies, of religions that act like business, advertising with hooks to snatch our souls? Or with atheist groups who have their own agenda, humanist groups with their own ax to grind, with so many groups trying to sucker us in with rhetoric of faith or rhetoric of reason? How do we remain utterly selfish while yet bettering the world and raising a family? For it takes a much stronger soul to be independent with money and sex than it does to be independent without them.

            It is for this reason, of course, that a man like Emerson is spiritually superior to the Jesus of the gospels and the Buddha of tradition. He did not have to forsake the world to preserve the must sublime and exalted personal independence. In this, he is the type for us all.

            And so we have identified one way to free ourselves. We are certainly freed of popular morality, popular religion, popular culture, popular tastes, not if we lack morality, religion, culture, and tastes, but if, in fact we have our own self-defined worldview. This worldview is not something I am giving you with allism, as if you would believe me, believe in me, have faith in me, but that you would equal me, adapt the tools I present, and adapt your own as well, so that you in your person can be that independent self-defined God, not who hides in his heaven like a nun in her convent, but who walks the streets and loves the people face to face, smile to smile, and not through a proxy son or prophet. We speak the direct truth. Directness as well as distance characterize our demeanor. Having nothing to prove, we seldom insist.

            The ability to meta the system is a basic tool in our tool box. Are you for the rights of same-sex marriage? or you against them? as this is a contemporary issue here, it is hard for us not to be drawn into taking sides. And those who dont take sides usually do so from apathy or having more important things to think about. But what if we care? Are we flexible enough to take one side, and then the other? Having done that is not to meta the system, but to toggle positions. To meta the system is to imagine both sides as game pieces, and to act as umpire to the gods playing that game. And beyond that, one can change his metaphor and see it not as a game, but to stand above the umpire and see him too, as part of the dance. When we take the place of viewing history as the dance of unfolding of Mattrall, we are closest to a universal perspective. Nor is that our ultimate resting place. After having tried all those perspectives, we slip back inwards, leaving an eye at every perch, so finally we are back where we started, with the various stars as our own perspectives looking down.

            There must be no literary contraband on your list, no author, no viewpoint, no criticism and endoresment you would fail to consider. To open yourself to every line, even the monstrous, or the infamous, the criminal, or, much to the same effect, the critics of your religion or your lack of a religion, the other religious confronting you, whatever -- it is ascetic and safe to "die to the world." It takes a much stronger God to live in it, survive, and hold your integrity.



\ ~@M@~ /



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