Tuesday, 20 November 2012


Hi folks, been very busy with examinations and numerous other things so blog has taken a back seat of late. To further compound my lack of posting, I have written many half finished posts and they are in various states of being nowhere near completion! I hope normal service will be resumed soon although being buried in coursework is not helping, and I have a new post nearly finished but just to keep you going I'll plug our new prologues book which is available free to download from here.


There are contributions from all the gang and this is particularly suited to someone who is new to the whole no-self malarky and wants a bit of background information without getting too heavy in to it. Hopefully it will pique your curiosity and inspire you to challenge your existing beliefs and you can always get assistance on the truth strike forum should you need any help in your quest to find out what exists in real life.

Enjoy :)

Sunday, 21 October 2012


This is my best attempt to explain no self and if you apply the instructions given correctly you are 100% guaranteed to see the self as a fiction*. 

(*Honesty available separately)

Metaphors are a good way of pointing out features we have never noticed before and there are plenty of good ones for no-self such as:

'There is nothing that will attain and nothing that won't attain' (Buddha)

'Produce a thought nowhere supported'
(Hui Neneg)

'Deny the self' (Jesus)

And of course the most simplistic one 'LOOK'.

However, these alone seem to be insufficient just like many others collected in the tomes of eastern philosophy and various ad hoc religions throughout the centuries. The problem with the spirituality trip is that people are mostly stuck trying to understand these things. 
They are actually pointers to guide the mind to seeing its true nature, yet some have been hijacked, Jesus is a good example of hijacked goods and there are a whole bunch of even more abstract metaphors such as 'What is the sound of one hand clapping?'

It all sounds deep and profound but really it just throws people off on a wild goose chase. What it boils down to is people really want to try and understand what these things mean, rather than actually LOOK at what they are pointing to. 
These represent a classic example of looking at the finger pointing towards the moon instead of the actual moon, to borrow another popular metaphor. One cannot see the wood for the trees quite simply, and this is really what we are dealing with when it comes down to some good old honest looking.

A metaphor can strike right through and illuminate an insight that we would previously have failed to see before. “Thunder and Sunshine” actually freed a few people just from reading its pages, it was written clearly and the metaphorical LOOK at real life has tipped a few people in to reality. 

So what is the fundamental feature of a metaphor that can be used to explain no-self? Quite simply you LOOK at what it is pointing at, just that one simple thing.

We like to think that we are the 'I' who does all the thinking and controls the actions but when challenged, people often cannot find this 'I'. They might say they cannot find it but they still hold the belief “I am me” because the thoughts says so and a belief about the matter cannot be seen through. Others still seem to cling to the hope they are some kind of higher order entity that arises as a sum of the mind and body, others still cling to the notion of a soul.

The thing is, the sum of its part is simply a concept.

A car is a handy conceptual reference to an items functional role but really the car is just a name for a collection of components bound together to realise a functional role. The car has no inherent existence, it is simply a conceptual label that captures some coarse-grained facts that are suitable for easy communication. We will focus on the fallacy of identity another time but for now we can start to LOOK at what is real.

Quite simply, 'you' are a thought 'you' don't exist in real life. It is only an illusion that you are the thinker and that you are responsible for the agency of the body. 'You' is simply a pronoun that refers to an imaginary character that the conceptual processing of the mind points to. 
Like the car, 'you' has no inherent existence above the sum of its parts. The thing is this is not difficult to see by any stretch of the imagination, it is the simplest of things to actually see this in real life. 

Lately, many people have seemed to go round in circles, we keep saying LOOK but people take this to mean LOOK for no-self. There is no self to be found because it does not exist, but what you ARE looking for, is simply the recognition of what actually exists in real life.

To characterise this, we can start to look in reality for what is true.

LOOK at a table in your room, touch it, it is an object that exists in real life.

LOOK at the computer, touch it, it is an object that exists in real life, but like our car we have attributed a convenient coarse-detailed concept to describe the intricate workings of a machine with a convenient labelling for communication. 

What is a college? Is it something real or does it have an existence above the sum of its parts, or is it really a handy conceptual reference to save us from having to describe all the buildings and all that the place entails?

LOOK at this picture:

Does Spiderman exist in real life?

Clearly not, but Spiderman exists as a fictional character. What we need to do is discern fact from fiction here.
The self is a concept that maps over our life but this is all it is. “You” is a fictional character with no inherent existence.
As absurd as it sounds, all your drama related to your self image and what people think of you is no more real than the adventures of Spiderman!  

This is not something you are required to comprehend or believe it is already true in real life. 

All it boils down to really is a belief that it is real when if you took the time to LOOK at this one particular thing, you would see directly that your identity is nothing more than a fiction. The self is no more real than the water in the mirage, the physical phenomena that support the illusion exist but in real life there is nothing there it is simply a trick of the mind.

Take a look at this duck.

OK, it is just a picture of a duck, perhaps you are trying to get this realisation of no self and you are struggling to see this. The thing is, there is no self so how can nothing see nothing? It seems counter intuitive to our experience to say there is no self but that is simply because we always think we are looking when really we are just going round in circles. 
No-self cannot be seen because there is no self quite simply. How can something that does not exist LOOK to find no-self? This realisation is not a matter of seeing no-self it is a matter of finding out the truth, what really exists in real life? Is the thought 'me' just a thought, or does it point to something that really exists?

Take a look at the picture of the duck again and now notice how it is a rabbit.

It was there all the time but you just did not notice it. Wittgenstein talked about aspect perception and noticing an aspect of a particular thing. Really, this is all that is required to see no self, it simply requires that you notice the aspect of what it really is. 

I cannot be more plain than this, it really boils down to seeing the illusory aspect of the thoughts that purport the existence of “you”. 

In this example, we have an ambiguity that switches between duck – rabbit as your apsect perception shifts between the two. The point is that you cannot 'unsee' an aspect once it has been revealed to you. The recognition of the pattern is it all it takes to see no self, just this one thing.

Of course, I used auto suggestion to get you to see the duck, having mentioned it as the title your brain was primed to focus on the duck. 
So it is with the self, we are primed to default back in tour habitual thinking patterns without actually LOOKING, but convincing ourselves that we actually have. That is the simple problem one faces if they have not seen it, they simply have not LOOKED.

Really this is how simple it all is, just looking at real life. It is not complicated by any stretch of the imagination it is simply a matter of noticing the illusional aspect of the self.

Try this one, you may want to make it full screen.  

Just a picture right?

Keep looking, can you see any characters? What about animals? Kudos if you find the Apache Indian!

Give it five minutes after you find as many as you can (there are loads). Then after short break try to look at the picture without seeing the characters and animals and you will find it is impossible because you have already seen the illusion, you cannot ever unsee it.

Appearances can be deceptive, what you really need to do is focus on what is there in real life and notice what really exists. That is all that is required to see the truth, no conceptualising, no magic tricks, no beliefs, just what is real.

What is actually there in real life? It really is as simple as that it is not complicated.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Poor Judgement

Been busy of late folks so have not updated for a while. Just had a badly needed R+R mission in Ibiza and it did seem strange to go there just to chill out and relax, having been there previously with the intention of non-stop partying 24/7. This time it has been about eating fine foods and drinking fine wines whilst spending the rest of the time doing absolutely nothing. 
I have had a very busy year so it was nice to actually sit and read a book for once – a fiction book. One that had not been about philosophy, psychology, or some other factual thing.

The book was actually “Day of the Triffids” by John Wyndham. I highly recommend reading it actually but what struck me was the fact that we are all under the illusion of permanence and it all it would take is the slightest event such as the loss of one sensory modality to cause the human race no end of problems and it kind of makes you realise how fragile life actually is and how morality is illusory.

However, this is not the point of the post and I will fly straight in to the meat and potatoes of judgements and elucidate our use of them a little. I think you may find some value in this if you are post-self but it may not be so useful to those who have not seen no-self. 

The reason being that post-self you can apply your honesty to this process and see it in the light of reality rather than trying to use the mind as a reference of truth as you would have done prior to liberation. 
It may be of some value to those who have not seen no-self but it certainly won't provide any concrete steps to dismantle the mechanism involved and one would be better spending the time looking at their beliefs in the self first.

For those who are post-self you can see if you are unconsciously engaged in this kind of mechanism and it will illuminate some hidden delusion to you if you have not already seen this aspect. 

This post is simply a paradigm example of the use of reality to smash a belief in the post self framework. 

Of course, there are many more beliefs to work on and this represents one of many, however, this is the kind of autolysis work that gets results in breaking down the mechanism of the false beliefs held after seeing no-self and is an example of the process one should endeavour to be engaged in, so I hope this example helps you to get a feel for what you should be doing.


Having been to Ibiza twice before, I was accustomed to staying in the resort of San Antonio, where some of the clubs are, the beautiful sunset strip, and of course, the notorious party central at the west end of town. 

There are two types of people who go to San Antonio and without stereotyping which we will be focussing on shortly we can split them in to the clubbing crowd who go there for the big clubs and the drinking mob who go for an 18-30's type affair. 

Of course, there is some overlap between the two and being a raver myself I ventured in to the west end at times. What a sight to behold though, and it is clear that us Brits have a bad reputation abroad which became self evident upon seeing the west end. 
It was rather like a perfect picture moment, feed a bunch of sunburnt Brits with cheap 5% + alcohol they can't handle and give them a free bottle of vodka for every four drinks they buy. Then watch the ensuing carnage.

As I panned around the street, there was someone being sick in an alley, someone else asleep on the floor, a group carrying their inebriated friend, another group chanting “England, Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land … Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land, Eng-er-laaaand”, another two blokes fighting, a girl dancing on the table with her tits out, a couple groping each other and someone buying E's off a dealer. Makes you proud to be British!  

We certainly party hard at every opportunity and whilst it is fun this does not really do our national reputation any favours. It was pretty obvious that the Spanish population held us with contempt for ruining their lovely Mediterranean town every year and I noticed that quite often the Spanish were very hostile towards a big group of English people and they expected us to cause trouble every time the twelve of us went somewhere.

I remember thinking the spirit of Ibiza was nowhere to be found and I also discovered on a subsequent trip that it was the same shit but different year and thus, I had unconsciously acquired the belief that the Spanish hated the English. Of course this tended to colour my thinking towards the Spanish and I often found that I did not like many of the Spaniards I had met until I did some Muay Thai training in Thailand. 

At the camp there were more Spanish than English and I actually discovered half of them to be pleasant chaps and I was invited to stay in Valencia and in rural Catalonia if ever I was passing through the place. These were exceptions to the rule though. My rule being the Spanish hated English people. 

It is funny how these little beliefs we acquire from experience colour our thinking and of course they are very subtle preconceptions we hold that are not overtly obvious to us, since beliefs form dispositions and are often the brains rule or mapping system for interpreting the world as we experience it in the present moment. 

Some beliefs may be useful but clearly not all of them are as I am sure any fair enquirer would agree. Having had this belief go unchallenged for all this time, having never had a reason to address it post-self, it remained hidden to me that it was rule of thumb that influenced my dealings with the Spanish.

Fast forward to the present year and I was in the northern end of the island away from all of the tourists in a much nicer part. On the first day I walked in to the tobacos shop and I felt a little edgy as the glum girl behind the counter fetched me a pack of cigarettes. 

In the supermarket I placed the basket on the counter while the girl was still serving a customer and she scowled at me and sighed. Of course my conclusion being that the Spanish really don't like the English. 

The next day I walked in to the bar and ordered a round of beers. Again the edginess came on and the guy started talking about the football to which I rather unfortunately was aloof about when he tried to be nice and strike up a conversation in my language. 

Shame, I thought, an exception to the rule I should have been more polite. Subsequently the next few Spaniards I met were actually very pleasant and this left me thinking perhaps it is only the Spanish in San Antonio that get pissed off with the Brits, since this part of the island was very relaxed and you would not think that all the madness of San Antonio happened in these parts. 

Having being an enquirer in to my belief system for a while post-self it was obvious that the feelings of edginess generated meant I held an erroneous belief that needed to be investigated. I realised the belief was baseless but as we know beliefs do not always respond to reason since we do not choose what to believe. 

Emotional Categories

So, I started to enquire in to the presuppositions that I held. Firstly, it became obvious that I believed they were judging me. Of course, it is absurd to stereotype people in this way since they have far better things to do than make meaningful judgements about you. 

Then, I looked in to the nature of these judgements that are made. By looking at how I made judgements about people I realised that what these judgements really amount to are us simply pigeon holing people in to categories.

For instance, one might walk down the street and see a hot chick and categorise them as potential mate. One might see a meat head waddling down the street and perhaps you may categorise them as a threat. 

Perhaps one may see someone nerdy and categorise them as not worth knowing, or a group of people having fun that are cool and are worth striking up a conversation with.  I used the term 'worth' since we are talking about social value on a socio-biological level and not about a 'value' judgement in real terms.  

We do not actually consciously categorise people in this way, however, if you LOOK at real life you may notice your gut instincts about people upon walking past them in the street or when actually meeting new people. It is not so much we categorise them conceptually but it seems that there is an emotional process behind it all and this would lend credence to AntonioDamasio's somatic marker theory.

Perhaps you may disagree here but if we consider a sickly looking tramp you will likely have the desire to avoid striking up a conversation with them when walking past them. This is not a conscious “I wish to avoid them” but you simply have the urge to give them a wide berth. 

This is simply our  mechanism at play. Furthermore, when meeting the big boss of the company you perhaps do not need the conscious desire “I have to impress him” but it seems we adopt a role that encompasses this desire to come across as hard working or a proactive employee. 
Within this range of extremes we can conclude that we tend to encounter this stereotyping mechanism that does not necessarily have to manifest itself in conscious thought and manifests itself emotionally as 'gut feelings'. 

So, if this works on some kind of appraisal below the level of consciousness we have identified an emotional mechanism that has both evolutionary survival purposes, where it is important that we make snap judgements at times, and allows us take on the relevant role where appropriate in terms of our evolutionary psychology for navigating a social hierarchy. 

However, you may start to see the problem with this mechanism. For instance, the hot chick may be an absolute dick who is a childish brat. Perhaps the meat head is a really well connected bloke who is actually really pleasant. Maybe the nerd would be a loyal friend and those cool people a bunch of assholes. 

It is clear that this stereotyping mechanism simply pigeon holes people in to categories and causes us to adopt a frame of reference that is triggered emotionally and when meeting people, can cause us to adopt certain social roles. You need only consider the difference between the way you act in front of your grandparents and your friends to see that we tend to adopt these roles.


When we consider this emotional mechanism and see that what we are really doing is applying a generic categorisation to people we can start to look at its coherence with reality. As we have set out here already it seems that since these judgements arise from a generic stereotyping mechanism, what is really happening is that we categorise people and they are also categorising us. 

However, these categorisations are stereotypes and we all know what value stereotypes have in real life. They are worthless essentially as a reflection of reality, yet they are plausibly essential to survival and do allow us to navigate the complex social strata we live in.

When you think strangers are judging you it is clear that they are not generating complex conscious judgements about you, they are merely engaged in an unconscious stereotyping mechanism that is honed from their experience and the relevant stereotypes associated with their particular emotional pattern.

Another persons judgement of you is, for all intensive purposes, worthless.

It is in no way a coherent reflection of reality or of your traits as a human being. It is simply a survival mechanism that occurs below the level of consciousness. You are engaged in this as is everybody else in varying degrees. We can see past certain stereotypes such as ones about race, and there are many others such as the French man with a beret, stripy T-shirt, and onions around his neck. 

We can see these are worthless yet many people seem to think that judgements about others and judgements about themselves have some kind of intrinsic worth. Clearly they do not have any worth but objectively we can point to a finely honed and strategically valuable evolutionary mechanism.

It may be objected here that peoples opinions or judgements do have value, in particular an opinion from a friend, colleague or family member has intrinsic worth. To this we can simply use the old axiom of 'only listen to the opinions of those who you respect'. Since we are dealing with people who we know well their opinions about the way you have been acting lately may have some value in highlighting where you are ignoring areas of your life, or where you are being inconsiderate. 

These subjective opinions offer us strategic value, however, perfect strangers know nothing about you and thus any judgements by them are uninformed and do not reflect anything real about the world. 

Going back to my erroneous “Spanish people hate English people” rule, then it is clear to see that in fact it was clearly baseless and was simply an unconscious presupposition that I held. 

Most of my experiences reinforced this belief since my mind framed everything this way and looked for evidence to support the belief. But... there is one more component to this mechanism that underlies the whole thing. One important aspect that has not been addressed so far and we can ask the question of where did the judgement come from? 

One Answer; The Mind

What was really happening here was not that Spanish people were judging me, I was in fact judging them. I had judged that they were judging me, and whenever you hold the belief that people are judging you it is clearly that you are making a judgement of them. 

The uninformed judgement of a perfect stranger is simply a pigeon holing mechanism. Where the apparent 'gravity' comes from is not from 'their judgement' but actually from your own mind. 

No one is judging you. You are simply judging them. I had judged that Spanish people were judging me and this judgement was merely my unchallenged delusion. Start to look at this emotional mechanism of judgement and you will see that the originator is simply the mind engaged in an automatic appraisal process. 
The stranger may well be judging you but not in the sense that you believed they always were. You are actually pigeon holing them and judging them as a competent and qualified judge of your character.

"I hate you English pigs!!!"

Having explored this erroneous belief, I noticed that I was doing this in other subtle ways and have been able to start to notice where I am making judgements of other people that I had not recognised previously. 
I have spent a while looking at delusion and have managed to uncover certain judgements in this guise that were made during childhood. However, this instance was a simple paradigm case of working on a particular subtle judgement and what is unique about this one is that it remained hidden for a long time without the need to challenge it, since it only cropped up when going to Spain and did not become apparent until then. 

This is merely a surface level veneer and only cuts a shallow way in to the delusion of the mind and there are many more erroneous judgements to uncover. This one was simply an unchallenged belief that shared some hallmarks of other beliefs I have looked at before. 
By looking in real life at our other beliefs in this way in the post-self framework we have a methodology outlined that we have all been pioneering here at truth strike. 

If you are newly liberated you can get to work using this autolysis technique and develop your ability to investigate the post-self framework. By LOOKing in real life you have a powerful tool at your disposal to look at the reality of your beliefs and the presuppositions they are based on that you simply did not have whilst subject to the mechanism of delusion of the self.

Also, you have the clarity to see these patterns playing out since you are now used to looking at real life rather than the representations thrown up by the mind. 

Whilst those who have not seen no-self may be able to recognise the pattern outlined here they do not have the tool set to start dismantling the mechanism here, they will simply gain an intellectual understanding of the pattern and will watch it play out mechanically for a lifetime unless it is meditated on, since what is needed is the use of reality as an arbiter of truth, rather than the mind. 

If you still think there is a self then get yourselves on to TS and start to challenge and dismantle your belief structure. You may well find that we have all made poor judgements in the past and are engaged in these patterns of deceit that result.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

A few fundamentals

The striking thing about this whole malarkey is the fact that after getting free from this illusion I was just amazed at the simplicity of it all. 

I remember the moment well. I was sat in a swivel chair in the corner of the lounge by the fan, it was a roasting hot day in Thailand just before Christmas, the 22nd  December 2553 (2010 - the Buddhists use the date of Buddha's enlightenment) to be precise. 
After a long day teaching English and a gym session I was sat there furiously scribbling in a notebook really trying to get the breakthrough moment and then it occurred to me to look honestly because I had simply been deceiving myself about looking in real life. 

I personally had to force the issue and bust through the resistance that the mind threw up but what struck me was just how plain and obvious it was that the self was an illusion after the three weeks of busting my nut and convincing myself that I actually existed for the whole time. I laughed. I simply laughed to myself when I saw it and I felt an overwhelming sense of joy that I had seen it.

My blog has always been geared towards helping people to try and understand some of the conceptual confusion that arises from 'no self' and to give instructions for looking. I vowed to try and explain how to look but it is something inexplicable. It is just honest looking. 
That is about as accurate as I can be, in the same way you can turn your awareness to a table and look at it, you simply need to look at your experience in the same way. The breakthrough moment is simply the perception that the self is a complex illusion, a projection of the mind that was simply believed as real. 

Once you see the reality of this then what follows is a sense of profound freedom from the core mechanism of human suffering.

Are we adopting new beliefs?

It is all very well that I say LOOK at real life, it all sounds easy to do on paper but the reality is somewhat different. You need only look at the people who got stuck half way on RT and some of those that have abandoned their threads on TS. 

The many more who never posted and those that falsely believed they had seen no self and got carried away by adopting a belief in the concept of no self, when the reality was they had been sucked in to another delusion, one which is worse than the delusion of self for the simple reason that this position becomes entrenched and fortified by the mind. They fall just short and then have their work cut out trying to go the extra distance. Of course, it garners the question why is this so?

Quite simply, the adoption of new beliefs is not what we are looking for here. That is the last thing one should endeavour to do in looking for the truth. If anything Truth Strike is the antithesis of the believer. What we are primarily concerned with is testing beliefs to see if there is any objective basis for them.

Are we looking for the truth?

I had someone tell me the other day that there is no such thing as the truth and whilst we can say there are certain truths such as a-priori mathematics, we have to admit that what constitutes our knowledge is not necessarily truth. 
For instance, there are things that cannot possibly exist, for example a square circle is not possible. 

It may seem true that water boils at 100 degrees centigrade but we are taking for granted the fact that the universe is real and water really exists - we may all be hooked in to the matrix for example and this world is a fantasy made of neuron stimulation. Philosophically speaking we have no way of being sure that we are not in the matrix so we can never prove for certain that this is not the case.

So, we can say that there is no such thing as truth and it is ultimately not knowable what the truth actually is. The scientific method is based on empirical refutation of our hypotheses and utilising the falsification principle. 
If you want to read more on falsification there is a good intro here, but to summarise briefly we will just say if something is falsifiable then it is empirically testable. From what we can test, we can derive certain things that are not true and this constitutes the basis of science.

So, for those who think there is no truth we can simply say:

We cannot find the truth, we can only expose that which is incoherent with reality.

If we take this as a starting axiom then, I am sure we can all agree that we hold false beliefs in varying degrees. We are not necessarily concerned with finding what the truth is, rather we are interested in discovering the beliefs and assumptions about the world that are are incoherent. 
Primarily that is the purpose of Truth Strike, to facilitate this kind of investigation. We want to expose false beliefs and discard them, the adoption of a belief in no self is the antithesis of what we are trying to achieve.

Why did you used to call it the lie?

Kill the lie!” (Healey 2010)

There was a reason why we used this term back in the day, we first knew 'no self' as simply 'the lie'. Why has this changed? Basically, the view at the time was that the core engine of human dysfunction rested on the single principle that there was a single belief in the self. 
Once this lie was exposed then this rendered the engine of human dysfunction inert. Whilst yes, it is true I think this is a misleading view in the sense that if you look at the global financial scandal it was one enormous lie, yet, it was manufactured and perpetrated by many subtle lies that snowballed in to a giant lie that was waiting to be exposed.

That is simply the best way of seeing the false self, more properly it should have been called 'the lies'.

This aspect was lost over time since it was an attempt to make the whole no self thing more palatable to newcomers. Nobody likes to be told they are a collection of lies but it seems this is not too far from the truth if we are purely objectively speaking. 
Of course, this makes no self seem rather less palatable but it is important that any fair enquirer realises that this is essentially what the false self is: a collection of fictitious assumptions that have no grounding in reality. 

The thoughts you are aware of exist but they all refer to a character - “you”. This character is a fiction invented by the mind “you” are simply a figment of the brains imagination, you do not exist in any shape or form. Mental phenomena and human beings exist but “you” do not. There is no you quite simply, life lives itself.

Why do you keep saying dishonesty?
Now, you probably hear a lot about dishonesty on the forum and we shall focus on this aspect now. When we say dishonesty we are not talking about a conniving dishonesty where the enquirer is deliberately out to cheat everyone, we are talking about deceiving oneself in subtle ways that are not apparently obvious to the enquirer without scrutiny. 
There is a clear and distinct pattern to the dishonesty that manifests itself and it is up to the enquirer to spot these patterns within their perception. 

When you are working with a liberator, the liberator is NOT trying to free you. Make no mistake that is not the role of a liberator for the simple reason that only you can look at your experience. We cannot physically or mentally free you, it is quite simply your freedom and you have to take responsibility for this.

The role of the liberator is simply to demonstrate your own dishonesty to you, so you can witness in real life the assumptions you have made with no basis. Essentially you are being guided to see your own dishonesty that is as simple as we can conceptualise it. 
This is not an exercise in logic and trying to conceptually get how you do not exist, you may as well repeat “Custard is really spaghetti” a thousand times instead of “There is no me” and by the end of this tedious process you will still not believe that custard is really spaghetti.

Repeat it a million more times and it will make no difference whatsoever.

Absolutely none.

This is simply a waste of your time and by us simply repeating “Is there a self?”, it gives it no truth value at all. You have to experientially dig deep and expose the lies that your reality has been based on. You have to see where your assumptions are based and flush them out to be scrutinised.

You are starting from a position of dishonesty in any enquiry. Everything that you construe about the world is as a result of the beliefs and assumptions you hold. 

Since everything is framed within a belief of 'I exist', any enquiries we undertake in our thought will produce the same result. 

To make a more simplistic analogy, imagine a computer running an algorithm to each data set input in to it. It does not matter how many times the information is processed it will output the result according to the algorithm that is programmed. 
Your job is to scrutinise the program with a fine tooth comb removing any of the anomalies that are false. Of course, this is a simplistic analogy of a rather complex set of neurological machinery but essentially, the way to discover these anomalies is by looking at the program and seeing if it holds true in real life. 

Many of these anomalies are not even beliefs that have been written unconsciously in to your mind, at times they are more like results of the program that have been assumed as a result of the processing that has taken place. 
The key thing to note here is that the program will feed out the same results and conclusions, it will deceive you every step of the way and try to cover its tracks, since the mind sees any threats to its beliefs as an attack on its survival and replication prospects.

 This is an idea to be covered in another post but what you have to do is test every line of this program and dig in to the assumptions it has thrown out. Reverting back to the results of the algorithm is simply dishonesty, because you have not scrutinised every line of the code to check if it is cogent with reality.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Your country needs your ignorance

Of course we were not around in those days when we are asked to lay something on the line to defend our freedoms. It was a long time since we had anything to lose, perhaps the only time that as Englishmen we stood to lose anything was back in 1941 when we really had something to lose – our freedom. Those were the days of the blitz and the impending Nazi invasion that never came. I had always wondered what it was like to fight in world war II it was always a bit of a curiosity for me. 

Whenever I felt a little bit of fear I would always think back to what my granddad's life was like. When I was shoving drugs down my neck and dancing at illegal raves at the age of 22 in forests, barns, abandoned warehouses and the like, my granddad was probably sat in an underground bunker receiving his orders for the next bombing sortie. 

My granddad flew in the RAF over the Polestei oilfields of Romania - the most heavily defended airspace in the whole of Europe during WWII. It was the logistical engine of the Nazi war machine churning out virtually all of the oil that they needed for the war effort. As a result the average number of bombing sorties was four before you were shot down. If my granddad was alive today I would have asked him just one thing. How did you feel when you climbed in to that Wellington bomber knowing that the law of averages told you that you would likely lose your life? On your 12th bombing run how did you feel when you stepped in to the plane knowing the law of averages told you that you would die? How did it actually feel, what was the experience like granddad?

I cannot comprehend what he did because I do not know what it is like to put my life on the line. I have nothing but admiration for what he did, the people he defended, the lives he saved, and the free world he played his part in saving. The fact that he climbed in to the plane knowing that he could die, his bravery leaves me in awe. He probably got back from a bombing run feeling relieved he had made it and then went to the operations room to look at which incoming planes made it home, hoping in the back of his mind that his comrades would return, waiting anxiously, sometimes knowing that after a while he would never see his friends again because they had perished fighting the evil of the fascists, and had laid down their lives so we could enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today. I salute you granddad you really are a hero in my eyes.

To put it in perspective my granddad was just one man. One of many who fought against the twisted evil of the Nazi war machine, so in that respect he is not unique, chances are every one of you is somehow related to someone who put their life on the line so we can enjoy these freedoms we take for granted everyday.

That was then though and this is now, back then some sacrifice from everyone was required as we were at war at the time, it was right that everyone stood up and did their part. Now we are left with the legacy, the absolute paragon of human civilisation through the ages. We live in a free global market economy that, barring certain dictatorships, has the most personal freedom that has ever been known, the greatest amount of prosperity at any time in history, and the greatest democracy that this money can buy us.

Stop for a minute and soak it up. Do you actually think about how bad it could of been, or perhaps how great, and what a wonderful place the world is right now? How we have no problems whatsoever and everything is perfect and right with the world as it is? Do you ever stop and think about this? Stop for a minute and reflect on what you really have. What do you have to show for the fruits of your life? Lets face it, without friends and family we would have nothing of value.

The best things in life are free.

But why is it that we can say this to ourselves like a mantra and it does not really seem to do much apart from divert our attention away from the fact that we are all struggling somehow? Why is that we are never completely content and why is it that there is something we can never quite put our finger on, that bugs us? It need not be all the time or it may even be a preoccupation for you, but all through your life there was something just that slight discontent, that little nagging doubt that you cannot quite put your finger on. Lets just outline it for you with an example. Perhaps you are about to get a new promotion and you get it and life is great. Then after the initial buzz you are left feeling some how a little hollow and empty. Not depressed or miserable, but slightly discontented like you did not feel as though you expected to feel. Like you expected a little more from this situation and now you are slightly dissatisfied again.

Appearances are a funny thing.

Appearances are what we seem to place most of our trust in but I am not talking about our visual capabilities as such, I am talking about the way we construe things, how we see them as in “I can see what he is saying” and “I can see how that would pose a problem”. There is a subset of appearances that we see everyday and this is built on top of a framework of concepts and assumptions. It is funny really, we can turn to look at the appearances of our lives but that is about as far we ever look.

We never scratch beneath the surface and on the level of appearances we are happy to ponder over superficial things, take moral postures on issues, criticise peoples actions, lay down our insights, or have a bit of banter and make light of things. However, something is always lost here and whilst we can be accused of taking life too seriously the truth of the matter is that we seem to be more engaged in this level of appearances rather than the actual substance that underpins these appearances. 

Style over substance every time.

The way you view everything is inside a predetermined conceptual framework, every facet of your life is within a framework of right and wrong, should do and should not do, have to , must nots and various other constraints which can take many different forms. There are social expectations imposed by your friends, there are different social constraints imposed by your family, your grandparents etc... Your work place behaviour is different again, you probably feel that you hold back at work and some of you may even feel like you live a double life as such.

From this we can already see that we, at least to some varying degrees, conform to other peoples expectations of us and in a sense there is a societal code that we are obeying. We restrict our behaviour in that respect and this is one of the things that is just below the surface of our lives that does not get a look unless it is bought to your attention. This is trivial though and you could find it in any sociology text book, this really is not a new level of insight in life, however, it does represent a glimpse of the white rabbit scurrying towards the hole. Only, you never dared to follow it you always turned a blind eye.

There are certain patterns at play in your life.

We all know someone who is struggling to get by and forgive me for being so forward, but I know that you are probably not particularly happy either. Lets have a look at your life, all we have to do is scratch beneath the surface and we can see how shallow it really is. So here goes, this is what you do with your life and it is pretty obvious to anyone looking in from the outside. You believe that by buying certain products or waiting for certain events to happen, whatever they maybe, they will make you somehow complete and happy.

This is a simple as we can boil it down this is pretty much the core pattern of your life.

You actually have the beliefs deep down that you actually need these things and your happiness depends on them. Deep down underneath it all, you are bouncing from one thing to the next expecting to find happiness but instead you are finding fleeting feelings of happiness. Then you become disgruntled and try to find the next big thing that is going to make you happy. 

Then you simply rinse and repeat.

You cannot win and the fact that you tell yourself I can't wait until X, or I'll be better when Y happens is self evident. If you are stuck in the same space you become unhappy, if you keep moving you are trying hard to find the next thing that will make you happy and when you get it - be it a new promotion, a relationship, a car, whatever your focus is on, you find that once you get it the buzz wears off and you are left yearning for more. You are trying to fill a gaping void with material goods and validation and you do not even know why.

If you can drop your jumped up pretentious little ego for a minute this is actually your life isn't it?

Even when you look back as a child you used to bug your parents for the latest toy and then a few weeks later you would be bored of it and cast it aside, once you were sucked in to the next advertising campaign for the next hot product. This pattern was started when you were younger and the tragic thing is you did not choose to do this you were simply manipulated in to it. Fast forward a few years and you probably think to yourself that you are above this mentality and likely some of you are even conscious of this but just stop for a minute.

Just stop and look at your life for a minute. 

I want you to be honest here not with me, but with yourself. Just look at your life right now and look at the goals you want to achieve. Try to visualise them and ask yourself will I be perfectly contented once I achieve these goals? If this is the case then what is stopping you from being contented right now? 

How do you expect to be contented then in the future if you cannot be contented right now? Do you think you can just flick a switch?

You are still going to be the same flawed person with more more trivial goods. You have the mind set of a consumer because even though you are above yearning for mummy to buy you the latest thing, you still have this goal orientated attitude to life. Even now you are following the same predictable pattern but you have just lied to yourself and replaced the toys with something more tangible. Really, you are just clinging to hope blindly aren't you?

You actually think everything is going to work out for you eventually don't you?

You actually believe that once things calm down you will just be able to chill out in a few years, be comfortable, life will be calm and relaxed, you will have more time to do those things you wanted to do and more time to spend with your family. You keep clinging to this blind bit of hope like a lifeboat instead of facing up to the reality you live in now, right at this moment. You do everything you can to avoid facing up to this reality right this second. It is never going to work out any differently for you, even if it does you will be the same flawed person you always have been.

I know what you really want, deep down, lurking inside that disturbing little mind of yours.

I know that what you really want is to have the admiration of your peers. Yes, you even fantasise about people standing in awe of you, you even fantasise about your boss congratulating you on your latest project, your friends telling you that your ace, I bet you even compare how many people turn up to your birthday party so people don't think your a loser don't you? Yes, I am talking to you. You are floating around in the endless cesspool of failure you call your life, which is lived in the service of what you revere as the absolute paragon of human accomplishment; vanity.

'Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity.' (Ecclesiastes)

In fact, you even give people the power to have this opinion of you and enslave you in to the social hierarchy. Yes, you care so much about what people think of you and your life is based around this game of vanity. Every time you get dressed you look in the mirror and wonder what people will think of you. You walk around the street looking at everyone else or averting their gaze wondering what they think of you. You spend all your life wondering how people perceive you, and trying to impress them, and this is pretty much the primary focus of your life. Oh what? You have other interests as well? Sure you do, but just try and notice how many times you think about other peoples opinion of you. If you actually tried to notice consciously, you would find that this represents one of the driving forces of your life. Why? Because you have been socially engineered this way.

What is it like at work for you?

How many people do you see with a smile on their face? How many people look glum on your way to work, those empty grey faces staring down the road, how many times do you curse the car in front of you just because they miss a two second gap in the traffic and it threatens that you will be a minute late for work. Yes, I am talking to you. Would you choose to do it if you had to? Would you choose your shitty £10 an hour job if you didn't have to? And what about those of you who earn good money and don't enjoy your job? What excuse do you tell yourself? Do you tell yourself that your family needs this money, do you set yourself little goals to work towards and think I'll be happy then, like it is something you can just decide to be at the flick of a switch? You actually do this don't you?

You see friend, the problem is that we have lost sight of what really matters. We actually believe money is the ends in which we have to work towards, when in actual fact it is merely the vehicle that we are supposed to work with. You have not thought long or hard about this have you? Either you are enslaved wishing you had more money or you are enslaved to the thought of having more money for its own sake. You get more and you just spend more, you are never any better off you are just treading water doing the same thing following the same pattern you have been programmed to follow.

The thing is, if you take a step back out of it for a moment you actually think this is a hard earned freedom the really ironic thing is that you actually believe this is a fundamental freedom that you have been afforded. I cannot begin to tell you how naïve and brainwashed you are. You think that if you pay out some money for the latest product then everything will be better, you even turn a blind eye when it is pretty obvious that the world is not going to be able to sustain this level of consumption for too much longer. No, you would rather spend your life working a job you hate to buy things you do not need, to fight each other over scrambling up a ladder that leads to a mountain of bull shit with a bunch of feckless morons who you secretly despise, and all for a boss who you wish you could tell him to shove his job right up his arse.

This, incredibly, is the very thing that you hold as a sacred freedom and as something of value.

This vacuous routine that you never once stopped to question whether it was a worthwhile pursuit, you just went along with it because you followed the rest of the sheep. John Keynes, the guy who you know as the Keynesian father of economics stated 'The market was made for human beings - not human beings to serve the market'. This is where you have failed to see what is happening but don't worry it is not your fault, we were all sold this lie. You see, we are blind to this unless we take a step back, the adherence to this system is indoctrinated in to you at school, many of you (although I believe a few of you will have done) have never even stopped to question this framework that structures our lives to a large degree.

So, I will ask you what happened when the Iraq war kicked off, where were you and what did you do about it? Did you go to work and ignore the protest, or did you jump on a moral grandstand and try to tell everyone about the lies the government told. I mean lets face it, the government clearly lied about weapons of mass destruction whichever way you look at it and then in order to justify their lie they focussed on the morality of freeing the Iraqi people from the evil tyrant Saddam Hussein. True, he was an evil man but the government does not have a track record for doing nice things. We need only look at the times when we have stood aside while genocides happen to see that humanitarian aims are superfluous next to the goals of the big oil companies. Lets look at who won in this war, the arms companies and the oil companies, all at the expense of you, yes you the British taxpayer.

What is striking is that you did nothing, you just shrugged your shoulders and carried on going to work. You did not even flinch when Tony Blair's grinning, conniving face appeared on your TV screen telling you one of the biggest lies to your face. You just went to work and wondered which new thing you were going to buy. Or failing that you cared about how people would think about you if you jumped on a moral grandstand and started talking about it.

Amazing that most of you just stood aside and allowed this to happen and you did not even bat an eye lid. You just shrugged your shoulders and pretended it was not happening. You lied to yourself and started to believe something else to divert your attention away from the fact that you had just been lied to and you swallowed it straight down without the slightest bit of resistance.

Or you just shrugged your shoulders even though you knew it was a lie.

What you did not realise is that this is not the only time you have been lied to. As a result of you turning a blind eye every time you have been shafted you have simply got in to a pattern of repeating this behaviour. It really does boil down to elementary psychological techniques, you are just being manipulated like a pawn. You will never achieve anything of value because it is all based on lies. This system forms the fundamental basis for your life and it is a vacuous, empty lie therefore, a life in servitude of this is worth nothing. I am not judging you, the point is you have spent your whole life looking at appearances when underneath it all underpinning it, is a toxic and foul bunch of lies that have never been challenged. These lies are the worm that is eating its way in to the very fabric of our society and the trouble is some of you even know this is happening.

You need to look at the substance of what your life is based on because appearances are deceptive. Look at that TOWIE program for all that is wrong with our society for instance. The tragic thing is people hold this up as a shining example of the absolute paragon of human accomplishment. A bunch of retarded fucks who would lose a battle of the wits with a cheese sandwich, yet people actually aspire to be like them and (god help us) even try to imitate them. I am not here to bag these people in particular but in many other areas of our society we have other lies such as religion, propaganda news broadcasts (admittedly not as bad as America), companies feeding us with sugar laden chemical crap, need I go on? Start to look at your life and you will see the lies you blissfully ignore or actively pedal to yourself everyday but it takes a shred of courage to face up to the truth.

'The opposite of the truth is not a lie the opposite of truth is cowardice' (Stepvhen)

How do we change it? We change it from within, we move to a new paradigm where capital and its influence is rendered inert. Money is not the problem and neither is capitalism. It is simply our greed and vanity that has been socially engineered in to us. We spend our lives working for a market that was originally supposed to distribute goods among us. The power of the market has simply become too great and we are subservient to the very mechanism that is supposed to work for us as human beings. That is where we went wrong. 

What we need is to be the change we wish to see in the world. Now this is a big ask but it is not impossible any more. How do we just change to a paradigm of no greed?

Instead of making our world a better place for all of its inhabitants, all your hard work currently goes to things like this

Maybe we will never get it perfect and there will be some disparities but when we see this kind of thing, it shows you that this is what we have really achieved. This is the sum total of all of our hard work, to support the lifestyles of leeches who have never contributed anything. That is exactly what you are achieving now, whilst blindly clinging on to the hope that everything will work out for you eventually. You have just been duped your whole life but the thing is it is all based on a single lie that underpins this society, which once challenged, means you can step out from the machine and live freely. We can create a world in which we are truly free and we can live without being in service of a lie.

You can walk away in denial but why change the habit of a lifetime? Once a failure, always a a failure and for the rest of your days you will live a life blind to possibility and carry on the self serving greed and hopeless vanity as you have always done. Is that the shallow endeavours of your life, did you ever want anything better for yourself and the human race?

If all you ever do is live in servitude of a lie how do you expect to achieve anything of value?

You are achieving nothing with your life but perpetuating the problems as they are currently. Maybe my harsh critique was unfair on you but the fact remains you live your life in service to a lie, that requires your active participation to maintain the façade. You are the problem truth be told, you let it happen willingly.

What can one person do? Well imagine if my granddad and all his comrades thought like you. We would be eating sourkraut and speaking German by now. I know he and his comrades would probably turn in their graves knowing what a legacy of putrid, dishonest weaklings who let themselves become enslaved by their vanity and greed thinking they were free.

'None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free' (Goethe)

If he knew that he was going to put his life on the line and endured all that hell just so you could live your vain life, I would not expect him to step within 10 miles of an airfield. Is there a shred of humanity left in you? More to the point, do you even fucking care?

The new paradigm is a life without self image:

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