Introducing a perceptual filter for thinking about reality without absolutes; and a call for a new basis of investigation of phenomena based on experience.
The dominant ideas about reality which have arisen from the western world are incredibly problematic. They contain leaps of faith that convert subjectivity into objectivity and are teaming with multitudes of obfuscating abstractions.
These two previous articles contain supporting evidence and logic
for the following claims and ideas, and should be read before continuing on:
When you peel away all of those layers of faith and abstraction there is only one thing known for certain – you are awareness having experiences.
Physicalism, materialism, naturalism, objectivism, positivism, scientism, literalism or naive realism – whatever you want to call the collective set of erroneous modern beliefs – all work from the backward assumption that reality lies outside of our experience of it. This intellectual error has become so persistent that we are apt to dismiss an individuals experience simply because it does not align with our models or preconceived ideas, even when the individual has clearly been affected by their experience.
Take for an example some sort of miraculous event. Five thousand people see an angel crying above a church, and although they describe it in numerous ways, they are all essentially having a shared experience of something that lies outside of conventional beliefs about reality.
Modern scientists would immediately assume that their experiences were not real, and then set up experiments to discover why all those crazy people had a nearly identical unreal experience. They are immediately burdened by an error in their logic, and that is their belief that there is such a thing as an unreal experience.
Because of that error, modern science goes barking up all kinds of wrong trees. The fundamental metaphysics prevalent in materialist science, unacknowledged due to philosophical illiteracy, have become an enormous barrier in understanding how our experiences are generated. And since science and the empirical method contain philosophically-derived justifications as their foundational premises, materialist scientist’s arrogance and errors are products of willful ignorance.
Imagine that instead of ignoring evidence due to metaphysical pretensions, we were to take all experience as equally valid and real, and try to understand the phenomena that arise within them from that perspective.
Let’s go back to our miraculous angel spectators. What are their beliefs? Are there common threads of similarity in the basic ways in which they view the world? Are there common experiences among them? Can the differences in their accounts be attributed to some correlating common factors within their beliefs, expectations and experiences?
There are so many questions to be asked that would be ignored by materialist science out of hand simply because a prejudice against those lines of inquiries exist. Or where they do exist they are relegated to the ‘soft’ or ‘social’ sciences, often derided for their inability to conform to the myth of objectivity.
I present to you that these unreasonable restrictions and pervasive dogmas are in fact a hindrance to our understanding of our existence. And furthermore, understanding how experience is generated could help us create a method of generating our own experiences consciously. A waking version of lucid dreaming.
As it is we are still sleepwalking through the halls of deterministic absolutism; whose walls are constructed of irrational faith and excessive abstraction.
Before we begin to recreate science and our collective belief system through reforms in methodology, it may be useful to create an ideological framework in which to consider everything. And in order to do so I have developed yet another abstraction, one that conveniently fits my intuitive predilections as a writer, which I have decided to call Narrativism.
Abstraction Loophole Alert: Because I am aware that this is an abstraction, and because the abstraction contains no absolutes, I am in little danger of coming to believe that the abstraction exists outside of my own experiences. But nonetheless I should maintain a vigilance in preventing myself from misusing it just to be safe, as is central to all critical thinking.
Take all of the following with a grain of WHAT IF…
Consider that you are living within a story that is currently being written by the sum of the characters within it; and in which each individual tends to push the narrative in a way that makes the contents of their own will more possible.
The frequency by which a phenomena is experienced is proportional to it’s consistency with the rest of the narrative which it exists within. A thing that already seems possible within the plot as it is known so far will be far more likely to occur than those things that would seem out of the place in the story.
Every individual human being – and perhaps even some or all other living beings – is a character and co-author within the narrative of our existence and reality.
The experience, or lack thereof, of any phenomena may be related directly or indirectly to an individual’s own beliefs, ideology, expectations and/or current situation. Groups of individuals may be contributing to their experiences collectively. Individual experiences may be dependent on some mixture of one’s own experiences and that of a specific group of individuals or the sum of all human beliefs, ideologies, expectations and the current situation in which the narrative is unfolding.
Those things which we consider to be absolute laws of nature are basic defaults which have been useful for generating experiences and facilitating understanding of the method by which experience is generated and a reality made apparent – but they are not absolutes which exist as a result of some cosmic hand outside of this narrative.
Consider training wheels on a bike or bumper pads at the bowling alley. They are temporary means by which inexperienced practitioners learn to eventually operate independent of. Their purpose is not to illustrate how to bowl without (ride without) them, but to facilitate the ability by providing supporting experiences from which to eventually master the skill of bowling. It has just been so long since the training wheels were put on the bike, we can’t remember doing it.
A method of investigation of reality based on Narrativism should be explored for the purpose of exploring which parts of existence are malleable, and if possible, to learn how to transform them with our conscious will; or making peace with what can not be known and/or changed, and learning how to value the experiences we do have.
If this narrativism idea is to stand up to any scrutiny and be considered by the scientific materialism it opposes, it must be falsifiable, and I have devised an experiment in which it may be tested.
If narrativism is incorrect then the number of experiences in which a phenomena is supported by an individuals range of beliefs, ideologies, expectations and current situation will be outnumbered by experiences of phenomena in which the range of the individuals beliefs, ideologies, expectations and current situations were unsupportive.
You can try that out in a laboratory if you like, but the evidence of everyday interaction should be enough to tell you that what is happening to us is always more or less what we believe could possibly happen to us, albeit sometimes with exciting exceptions.
And those exceptions may contain the key to understanding exactly who we are and why all of this is happening – and exploiting it our mutual benefit.
Just as I have dispelled objectivity, abstractions and the other appeals used by scientific materialism, I must now dispel one final argument that inevitably will be made.
“But Joshua, materialist science produces results, so how can you doubt its underlying assumptions?”
Many things that “shouldn’t have worked”, because they were not based on “correct” or accepted premises, actually do. A full list would be exceedingly long, but here are a few examples.
- The Em Drive, a device which creates more energy than it uses, violating one of the most basic laws of physics. Physics will eventually adapt to accommodate and then celebrate the renegotiation of their sacred laws as a triumph.
- Many scientists are perplexed about how the moon is able to maintain its orbit, as the distance from Earth and its mass present problems for the mathematics they use to model the cosmos.
- Before geocentrism was toppled by a new view of the cosmos, using entirely “wrong” assumptions about the movement of the stars, people had been using them successfully to navigate for thousands of years.
- Diets come and go, and as soon as a popular one is debunked by science, a new one pops up. However there are a statistically significant amount of people who did lose weight using an allegedly “wrong” diet.
- If you have ever played a game with a beginner you know how infuriating it can be to be absolutely decimated by them, especially if you consider yourself a skilled and seasoned player. We call it beginner’s luck, but what it amounts to is someone performing far better at a task they know little about than someone who does.
- However, for me, the most compelling evidence that it is not physical causation which generates experience, but purely matters of the mind, are placebos. In fact the evidence seems to suggest that all drugs are placebos. Pills and potions, just like materialistic science itself, are just little rituals used to generate a belief in outcomes so that they become more probable.
Stripped of all of these appeals, materialistic science is laid bare for what it is – a faith based activity. And that is not to say that faith based activity is inherently wrong or should be avoided absolutely. Some good faith could be a real boon to humanity right now.
It is the fact that materialistic science believes that it alone is beyond faith, and looks down upon those whose faith is placed outside of its method. It is a delusional hypocrisy which often manifests in intellectual bullying, and has resulted in a condescending conformity predicated on mediocre thinking.
The ideologies of our time have been symbolized by the ‘leader of the free world’ – who is an arrogant imbecile who believes himself to be unconditionally correct at all times and refuses to investigate any evidence to the contrary, or that otherwise challenges his narcissistic self-image, and would likely be unable to understand that evidence if he did.
The reason the world seems increasingly claustrophobic and destructively stubborn is because that is how our minds have become. We have projected onto the stage of our existence a manifestation of all the existential angst and fragility that results as consequence of what we believe that stage is.
In the feedback loop of hopelessness entailed by the belief in a deterministic clockwork cosmos, nihilism has become a virtue signal and cynicism is incorrectly equivocated with intelligence. The new priests wear labcoats and assure us with the same fervor and lack of irony as the old ones that we are on the cusp of Armageddon. Only by abiding their sacred proclamations will we avoid Nature’s Wrath. For Nature is a jealous and angry Nature, and doesn’t particularly appreciate you not paying it the respect it is due.
There is no nature. There is just you. So stop treating yourself like a statistic in an upcoming apocalypse and start rewriting your story to facilitate increased probabilities of more joy and harmony within it. All you have to lose is dread, anxiety and a self-fulfilling prophecy towards misery based on the kind of loathing that can only be propped up by a belief in the absolutes which are contrived from materialistic science and it’s corresponding beliefs and mistaken assumptions.
It’s just a story. You are lucky to be a part of it, but also to not be trapped in it forever. There is nothing to fear and nothing to be gained or lost. Everything is beautiful and perfect, and the story is yours alone to tell.
Seize the pen!