Sunday, 22 January 2012

The new discourse on methodology

As the January blues begin to wear away, well, I am only saying that for dramatic effect. The truth is the blues that I am supposed to have in January don't appear any more, since any expectations I have of myself are illusory! I have lots of resolutions (more than ever) and ambitions still but the telling difference a year on in to my liberation, is that there are no 'must do', 'should do' or 'have to' thoughts, that carry any weight. 
It is funny really that any of these pressures we put on ourselves, are actually needless and if anything, diminish our happiness. I looked last post, at the hedonism maxim that we live by and demonstrated whilst it is ok to do things because they feel good, we should not be making feeling good, the ultimate end in our endeavours.



To say I have no expectations of myself would be missing the point. The thoughts will still arise in relation to what I hope to achieve but the gravity of these thoughts is null. As these thoughts are expressed as my human agency, now I see them as guiding signals for a life that lives itself. I want to do a lot this year, I will tell you my resolutions:


Stay off the ciggies

Cut down the midweek booze

Learn to play the didjeridoo well

Study the second and third year of my BA Hons degree simultaneously

Start Jujitsu and Muay Thai again

Go running every other day

Have a skiing holiday



Not exactly a short list of things to do and I am doing them all apart from the martial arts and playing the didjeridoo. The latter because I have not had time and the martial arts I will start in a few weeks, once I get a little more disciplined in my training. The booze... well once a week is ok for me, if I slide occasionally its not a biggie.
I do not hold myself to any particular standard, nor do I aim to derive happiness from these things. That will just flow from doing them since our happiness should flow from uninhibited expression.



Another resolution I have, is that we can start once more to dispel dishonesty and bring the truth people in a more direct and focussed way. As the RT stains start to fade away, it becomes apparent that we still have a mission to accomplish but without the intensity that we have been accustomed to. 

After watching American History X the other night and the fascist rhetoric that the movie investigates, I kind of laughed to myself as I watched the reasoning by some of the characters. In fact, it was safe to say that some of the lines where the fascists were trying to steam roller over other peoples views, lent themselves to Ciaran's cracking a walnut with a sledgehammer style. 
In fact there was one direct sentence in the film, that Ciaran used to bound about the place. This was not fascist rhetoric but it was dogmatic reasoning.



Yes, RT was all about dogmatic reasoning, the very basis of this was because we were dishonest with ourselves. We believed we had the answer and we believed we had the means to do it. This was not true but what we did have, was a big piece of the puzzle.

I stand here guilty, as does everyone involved. This is not to say that we were dogmatic all the time, I mean, you had to see it from our point of view.

Ciaran had cracked the lynchpin that supported the mechanism of human suffering and we had to deliver it to the world, really, we all saw this as our responsibility.  



What did we find when we tried to free humanity?



Well, it was not pretty. The vapid ocean of lies and deceit that represented humanity was really, a stomach churner. Not only did we see the very people we wanted to help fight tooth and nail against it, those that were already free either shrugged their shoulders, when we had found a way to communicate it in real life to people. 
To actually be able to allow people to get themselves free, there was a methodology of direct pointing and yet, these people, not only did they stand aside and delude themselves that everything was perfect, in some cases they even tried to sabotage peoples liberations. I am referring here to the spiritual community, whom, I still hold with contempt.



Of course, the natural thing to do in such a response, is to ratchet up the intensity to an all out war. We at RT, were literally on a crusade to show the world that there self is an illusion.

Where did it get us?

To put it simply, we almost became militant extremists, although we were safely in the confines of the internet so the only damage done, was our opponents bruised ego's. A very few stood up to the beating but to be fair, it was like taking candy off a baby for the most part. 
I mean here we were going up against academic philosophers and destroying them on an open field of play. For every clever twist and turn they could muster, there positions and trickery of ambiguity could be smashed and crushed beneath the wheels of our tank.

However, our problem was never delivering stunning truths to shatter their lies, that was the easy part. What had happened, was we had used our war like mentality and alienated everyone. 
When we had crushed their lies and left their ego's in tatters in front of their followers, they would just attack us for our attitude or we would be banned. Even when their leaders head was decapitated, they would still rally around and try and attack the no self idea as a lie and most of all direct their ammunition as personal attacks.



Did we care? Not really but as word spread, all we did was get branded as a cult. In actual fact, all we achieved, was that we had tarnished the no self thing with aggressive attitudes and hostility. Many times it was mentioned that “If this is what happens when your liberated, then I am not interested”.



What were we to do?



The very nature of no self is outright scary to some people. Couple that with an aggressive tone and what we ended up with, was a form of radicalism to a degree. Were we to say no self to someone, they would acknowledge it and keep walking. The only way we could get them to look was to harpoon them and kill the lie inside them. It was brutal really but it was stemming from compassion.

A metaphor was “dive on the person in the path of the oncoming truck to save them”. This was what RT was about. Our intentions were good but looking back at the dogmatism and hostility we created, it is no wonder it failed and the fire burnt out. 
It was wholly counter productive to the very end we wanted to achieve and we treated people as the means, rather than an end in themselves. The whole ethos was to treat people as instruments to achieve our goal, no matter how noble or good the goal was. “Truth at all costs” being our mantra. Whilst it was definitely in the guise of bringing about a better world, we ended up creating a well intentioned monster.



So what now?



Well, to put it simply, the original goal of liberating people still holds true. The thing to do now, is to evaluate the methodology of this and promote it in a peaceful way. We have dropped the hostility and now we can start to use our creativity to break this down in to a scientific methodology that not only conforms to science and philosophy but is also appealing to the very people we are supposed to be helping.

Of course, as a sacrifice, it means that some will not get free by our lack of aggression but that is a price we are going to have to pay, as we try and redress the balance and wash away the vile reputation no self has, with RT.  



The next step then, is to try and create a scientific step by step methodology that people can easily follow and apprehend. An introduction to the topic, a focus on its many benefits and a step by step method in which someone, no matter how biased, can demonstrate to themselves, that we may be on to something and it is worth checking out the validity of the claims we are presenting. 

From this, a better way seems to be dropping all the pseudo – spirituality and actually replace it with some real tenets that people can relate to and prove for themselves in real life. The scientific method, is the one principle we can base our reality on and whilst it may be cold and impersonal and does not take account of the subjective, it does however, provide us with reasonable grounds in which to ascertain some rules that govern nature. This approach, is what we should have done in the first place.

I got swept in the RT tidal wave and mistakenly believed we were achieving something positive. I always knew that the answer to this lay in the scientific method and getting this established as fact based on scientific reasoning and empirical knowledge. 

I am sorry to say, I was guilty of dishonesty here. The pseudo – profound approach we adopted was flawed from the beginning. Whilst there is a degree of profundity to this insight of no self, it carries no weight in the empirical realm and the profundity can come afterwards. 
Maybe we can even reconcile this gap, since scientific discoveries should be profound. It seems to have obtained a bad reputation among science, yet with this insight, it opens up stunning vistas in to the nature of human understanding. We all feel the need to share these at times but it seems to provide distractions most often.



The other day, I had a guy from Asia email me, he wanted to get free but he questioned me about my motivation for freeing people for 2 hours and then lied that he didn't care about anyone else in the world. When I showed this to him as a lie, he denied he was doing anything but really he couldn't see what he was actually doing. 
He even lied to me that his English was poor for whatever reason, the clue being, he understood the term 'moral grandstand'. Being an English teacher, I have great insight in to what semantics constructs, inept speakers are capable of understanding. Terms like this can only be comprehended by very experienced speakers, who have a total grasp of the English language.



Maybe he was a troll but in starting off in his quest, no steps were outlined to him and rather than focussing any attention on getting free, he was clueless on his search and herein, lies the problem for those starting out. Most of the time on Truth Strike, people have started an investigation and they come with the intention to look. This process can be made easier I believe. 

Whilst clarity has not been a problem, we have often focussed this clarity purely on the process, rather than in trying to outline a methodology for beginners. Whilst a one size fits all mentality seems to be asking a bit much in liberation, I don't think it is too much, to be able to put together some kind of introduction to the process, to get the ball rolling for newbies.



So, this is going to be the beginning of a new discourse of method, related to non duality investigations, that I will be working on this year. I am half way through writing a free e – book dedicated to those starting out their journey. Whilst it will be a little limited for now, focussing mainly on thought experiments, to question assumptions. The next step will be to pull apart an introductory methodology step by step, in order to facilitate a well reasoned and rational understanding, by anyone who is seeking more information about non duality.

This I believe, is an unprecedented step but also a necessary one. The issue is that we have found something fundamental to the core of human nature, therefore neurology and the other sciences, should be absolutely cogent with this insight. At times it seems as though science is still working with the assumption that there is a self, in the same way that astronomers believed the Earth was the centre of the universe. This insight WILL eventually bring about a Copernican revolution in science and philosophy, whether it be sooner or later.



Whilst Ciaran has gone on to do his own thing, I do owe him my freedom, I guess one day, humanity will owe him credit for this discovery. Whilst he is not the first person to find this, he was certainly the first person to have the clarity to get this communicated in a way that did not involve formalised ritual and dogma. 

After all that has happened, the fundamental subscription to the truth and nothing but the truth, is still intact. Our “truth at all costs” maxim failed. Now we should aim to continue the same path but without the dogmatism and aggression, instead focussing on the changes we need to bring about in the world, to advance humanity and eliminate needless suffering.

7 comments:

StepVheN said...

Totally agree. We most definitely need a better way. A more simple method.
Maybe more important than liberation itself was learning to face the truth.

If we could teach people how to discern fact from fiction, it won't be ahuge step to liberation.

If

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

Yes, glad we are on the same page. In learning to face the truth, first we have to doubt and in using this angle, we have a stepping stone towards honesty.

The thing is, this insight should sell itself really, we have found something genuine and real, it is just a case of getting people to understand; no self is not some special thing that we 'believe' but is a fundamental aspect of reality, that undermines needless suffering and the lies that perpetuate the failings of society at large. Anyone can discover this for themselves, with a little effort and courage and it is exactly here, where we need to bridge the gap between looking and an introduction to the whole thing.

"There is no you, LOOK" just seems unpalatable at the moment and as a result people turn their noses up without giving it a chance, which has happened repeatedly. I don't think it is going to be too difficult to get a good intro together, it will be time consuming and involve us giving all the information we can, even acknowledging the arguments against no self fully and in detail. Being able to engage people on their level, without being dogmatic has got to be our focus. There are even a couple of good philosophical arguments against no self, that some have manged to muster and even though we know for a fact they are not true, we have to demonstrate this in real life and engage with them, to show that this is a falsifiable thing. That is the key to getting people to drop the "you can't prove it either way argument". We can if they look, we need them to come to this in a balanced frame of mind, wielding doubt and scepticism of everything, even our claims.

Of course, with philosophy, we can get in to stalemates but the thing is then, we have established serious doubt against established lines of thinking and then people can make up their own minds. It is this doubt that we really need to work with, we need to really get people to doubt everything and undertake their own investigation of reality from the ground up.

With all the facts, people can make an informed decision about taking on the task of looking. The playing field is rational and empirical, it is on these grounds that we have to engage with people. Trying to mark out a niche has not worked. Trying to make this as simple as possible and in an empirical format, I think is one of many ways we need to adapt our approach.

StepVheN said...

I agree I think the call for courage however is a problem. Most people don't believe themselves to be very courageous. Anyone can ACT courageous but no one actually IS courageous because no one actually IS at all.
What we need from people is for them to ACT courageously even though we both know they are not courageous.



The "look" thing never sat well with me. Too flat and yeah it's a worn out word now with nothing but negative connotations. The use of the word by someone in a "liberator" role can now be enough to set them into a spiral of anger, we've conditioned ourselves towards this to a large degree.

As for your stance on philosophical argumentation yeah totally. It's needed that's the world we live in, nothing wrong with philosophy. Especially not in the service of something like this.

Myself the way I've been moving is as you say rational and empirical but with one main difference. I've been moving away from any kind of objectivism in relating this.

Is it empirically provable? Yes.
Is it rational? Yes.

Is it objectively observable? Nothing is.
I think that's been the crux of the problem with a lot of our approaches. We equate science with objectivism. I'm going to be working this whole thing from an experientialist POV.

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

Yes, I will have to concede that the courage part is problematic!
Courage seems to be a rare commodity and getting people to act courageously is the biggest hurdle. However, in bridging the gap between getting people to look and when people start out, we can perhaps lessen the fear by making it less hostile, explaining it in a professional manner and even address the concerns people have, before they arise.

We have enough experience of peoples concerns and we had to push through our own fear, perhaps we can lessen the impact a little but I agree, getting people to act courageously, is our biggest hurdle. We need to get creative here and make acting courageously for this insight, a virtue for anyone to really aspire towards.

The thing is with the philosophical argumentation, there is always some premise, or inference that can be endlessly debated and I am keen to avoid the mental masturbation that ensues. However, certain arguments can be utilised and as you know what usually happens when people attack it, is they end up inadvertantly manufacturing more armour plating :)

Logical argumentation cannot help people see this insight but it can be used to pave the way to an intellectual understanding. We can never prove it in this way but we can use any arguments against us, to our advantage, since by acknowledging them and really detailing them, we can get people to make up their own mind, whilst presenting the evidence in an unbiased manner to them.

We both know that once people start an investigation in to no self, the case for no self, is simply overwhelming. We just have to get a coherent package together and emphasise this. Once we start moving towards this, hopefully it will gain its own momentum and people will be drawn to it, as they should be.

Utilising this experiential POV can be related to by anyone, We have to start by getting people to open up for a paradigm shift, to encompass this angle. Scientific objectivism, is missing half an experiential component, its obvious lol! The whole thing needs to be built around this experientialism at its core. Blabbing on but yeah... lets see how this all takes shape

StepVheN said...

Might just have a big contribution to that method.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bracketing_(phenomenology)

Gh0$T V1Ru$ said...

Thanks mate, I am constructing a tool kit at the moment of sorts, this is another welcome addition :)

m said...

@Stephen Have you checked out Chandrakirtis sevenfold reasoning? Might fit well with phenomenological reductionist approach.

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