Saturday, February 18, 2012
You Don't Need Their Permission Anymore, Part 2
"Truth" is a political construction. At the end of the day, what people accept as truth will depend on their politics, which will depend on their identity, or their perception of such.
There are those who will never question the official version of the JFK assassination, 9/11, the Apollo moon landings, Gulf War Syndrome, UFOs or any other topic you can name. No matter how compelling your evidence, no matter how shoddy or makeshift the official version of events. Certain people-- maybe most people-- simply won't go there.
Which is not to say that alternative views are necessarily correct; there's a whole host of alternative views I find every bit as shoddy and weak as arguments you might hear on Fox News or read in The New York Times. I may end up agreeing with the so-called "Skeptics" on certain issues more often than not, though that's usually a function of their tendency to shoot at strawmen to soften their audiences up for thornier and more troublesome targets. That's a technique straight out of stage magic, by the way: the art of intentional deception which most skeptics rely upon to manipulate mainstream audiences and the media gatekeepers who are the shills in the "Skeptic" shellgame.
But I'm not here to sell you used views from the mainstream or alternative media; I'm here to encourage you to find your own truth. The mainstream and the alternative media have failed equally in my view, and the proof of the pudding is in the eating of the shit that the world is force-fed every day. Everyone sees a political system that is engineered to serve only the rich and the powerful; everyone realizes that the rest of us are being left to fend for ourselves.
Everyone realizes that the free market system (so-called) exists only to serve the executive class; that the "hidden hand" of the so-called free market is actually the funny handshake of collusion, price fixing and monopoly capitalism. We're not here to argue any of that. What I'm here to tell you is that in this environment there is no longer any reason to worry about the opinions or beliefs of a professional class and knowledge-based elite that doesn't care about you at all.
The New York Times and Fox News and the rest of the corporate media have been caught lying and covering up the misdeeds of the rich and powerful so many times that they have no credibility outside the professional class whose interests they serve.
Similarly, the scientific establishment is not some Olympian overclass of aloof, disinterested monk-scholars, they are all bought-and-paid-for vassals of the corporate state. The so-called "peer review system" is doomed from the start when not a single scientist will ever dare to step outside the bounds of orthodoxy for fear of ending their careers literally overnight.
By the same token, any serious observer of the quote-unquote "alternative" media sees how much of it is simply an extension of the gun-show/survivalist wing of the American religious right, and how much of it exists to sell you gold and silver of dubious provenance and equally questionable vitamin elixirs and "survival" kits.
It's the same exact technique as the mainstream media; "scare and sell." Ramp up the anxiety with constant bad news stories to soften up the rubes to buy the palliative products of the sponsors. The only difference are the products; most so-called alt-news sources simply cut and paste the same stories you see in the mainstream media nowadays.
In the end, you are on your own. The people out there trying to influence your thinking just want your money, after all is said and done.
So take this unique opportunity to throw off the shackles of other people's expectations and pursue your own calling. Pursue it not with "skepticism" (an invitation to self-sabotage and reductionism) but with rigor and discernment. Question your methods and your conclusions but have faith in your instincts and keep your goals in your sights at all times. But at the same time be prepared for new goals to arise. Always be ready to be surprised. Surprise is the very currency of Synchronicity and esotericism.
You might have heard terms like "confirmation bias" or phrases like "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." Who's to say what "extraordinary evidence" entails? This is all just bullshit; it's about skeptics moving the goalposts until they get their required result. Even if they don't, they just declare victory and disappear. Without fail.
If you want to use the skeptics to keep yourself honest, go for it. But if not, that's fine too. Either way, never make the mistake of looking at them as anything but a kind of hive-mind paradigm. Always remember how screwed up these guys usually are (a fact which will burned into your brain if you ever spend any time among them) and if you like, do some digging on the dark underbelly of the movement. That in particular can be quite liberating.
Always demand evidence, but never dismiss evidence simply because it may not fit into someone else's reality paradigm. Be honest with yourself and your results, not to please some socially inept malcontent who spends all of his time attacking people on the Internet, but because those honest results may take you somewhere you never expected, somewhere new and wondrous.
You might notice I'm not endorsing or recommending any particular modality or discipline. That's up to you. I would recommend that you do the requisite research and make sure that people you respect take your pursuit seriously, but I think most of my readers don't need to be reminded of that. What you might need is some encouragement, and some help with understanding that one of the great advantages of living in a world in which you've been cut loose is that you no longer have to live up to someone else's expectations.
But there's one other thing I'd recommend: a dose of warrior spirit. Too many people interested in alternative pursuits are too reticent to fight for what they believe. I'm not talking about the poseurs and the phonies, who are always obnoxious, I'm talking about the scholars, the students, the seekers. There are people who want to take everything that's important to you away from you, just for a cheap thrill. Just for a momentary ego boost. Are you going to let them?
I'm not talking about going out and picking fights, I'm talking about being unshakable. About having the confidence in your work that comes with work-- very long, very hard hours of work. Having the confidence in work based in a tradition; that you aren't reinventing the wheel but are building on those who've come before you.
When I took martial arts I could always tell who the most dangerous students were-- they were the ones who were the calmest, the most centered, the most steadfast. The bluffers and the blusterers-- the ones who acted like the idiots you see on the Internet-- were the ones who didn't do the work, who didn't know the art. It was the quiet ones who'd take your breath away when they'd go up to spar.
As with the martial arts, the Hermetic arts have been around a lot longer than all of the fads and the innovations. And esotericism has captured the attention of some of the greatest minds in history while the reductionist, materialist point of view continues to contract, continues to create a culture in a state of constant collapse and leads to a class of corporate vassals working in tedious specialties so soul-destroying they immerse themselves in esoterica the same way Republicans immerse themselves in gay sex-- by attacking and denigrating that which they are most drawn to, because of the guilt and the gaping void left by their empty worldviews.
You don't need their permission. You need only your own, which is a lot easier said than done. But we've seen where reductionism and materialism and hyper-specialization has led us; it's led us to a dead, cold, empty world.
You have centuries-- millennia-- of esoteric thought and practice on your side. They have Bill Nye and James Randi, the Amazing Atheist and a host of other freaks, sickos and malcontents on theirs. They also have a lot of cowards and poseurs, who don't have the balls to navigate the stormy seas of true esotericism and become "born-again skeptics" too. To hell with all of them.
Work, study, question, develop your warrior spirit and your killer instincts. Be honest, be steadfast, be unmovable. Authoritarian Religion has failed, Corporate Science wants to turn you into a robot. There is definitely a better way.
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