Writing as catharsis

A million threads of delusion and egoism

Posted in Philosophy, Prose, Ranting and rambling by Lachlan R. Dale on July 23, 2012

Today the soul is silenced and repressed.
Its sedation takes root when we are young.

Mechanisms of egoistic self-preservation of delusionWhen raised on a diet empty mantras and tedious legalism, is it any wonder many find religion worthy of scorn?

I followed those lines of thought when struggling to free myself from the mental and spiritual shackles that had been clumsily applied in my youth. Today, however, such a conclusion seems like folly.

To be sure, the escape itself was exceedingly necessary — one must break with the suffocating ideas of which you’ve been indoctrinated with during youth — but to then transition into a permanently unreceptive state of mind in which you completely ignore any hint of spiritual ideal is naivety and ignorance. It is like discarding all of mankind’s artistic endeavours based on one traumatic viewing of Two and a Half Men.

This is why I’ve got a particular irritation with people who read The God Delusion or god Is Not Great then consider the case of all things spiritual closed forevermore. The arrogance is astounding.

There is more beyond the horizons then you could possibly anticipate. To deny yourself some sense of continued development would be to fall pray to an egoistic mechanism for self-preservation.

Your mind runs in familiar grooves — ones that you must become aware of, and attempt to break free from. To be stuck in a groove same forever represents the death of your mind.

To avoid this process is no simple feat. The mind is like a cobweb; each new thought builds upon – and in time, supports many others. As a reflex you might fear the destruction of this fragile web, but does not need to be this way. You must prepare to throw away your assumptions and conclusions should a new essential truth dawn tomorrow.

Attempt to perceive the grooves in your mind and the threads of your web as much as possible. Many times have I reached a conclusion that, while initially seeming true, appears false upon reflection — as if it were a mental reflex to feed the ego and support the self with delusion.

We are all propped up with delusion to a degree. But this is why humility, openness and reflectiveness to be the most important characteristics of an individual looking to acheive self-actualisation. Be prepared to let your web of belief break, collapse and reshape. Ultimately it is better to have one thread of truth and nothing else than a million threads of delusion and egoism.


11 Responses

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  1. treegestalt said, on July 23, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I vant you! Well, not literally; I’m taken.

    Anyway, if I put a link in this I risk having it dumped by the anti-spam mechanisms — but would you be interested in a Friendly (started by Quakers, no-gouging) group Bible study site? Because the only sort of interpretation I wouldn’t welcome would be the instant-prooftext sort. (You can find the link at my personal site.)

    Being ‘prepared to throw away your assumptions and conclusions’ would be great if I could do it! (One tries.)

  2. danielwalldammit said, on July 23, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    I think you almost said something here.

  3. Lachwhip said, on July 24, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Thanks for the kind words treegestalt. Unforunately I don’t have much interest in the Bible. I have a suspicion that all religion has some element of truth or deeper meaning, but I have many other books I want to direct my limited time and energies towards studying.

    • treegestalt said, on July 24, 2012 at 12:49 am

      There was some very long time when I couldn’t stomach reading anything “Christian.”

      Jesus, I wanted to know about. From the Gospel of Matthew the local Methodists laid on me to Schweitzer to Tolstoy to anybody who wanted to get down to the actual, nitty-gritty guy. The conventional stuff, bleh! [I’m still allergic to that, if what I usually see on wordpress ‘topics’ is anything to go by.]

      The whole world has ‘some element of truth or deeper meaning,’ including that odd religion we’ve inherited. It turns out to be a piece of Itall, but maybe not what you’re hungry for at the moment. Pity! People who can discuss without fuss or cuss are way too rare!

      • Lachwhip said, on July 24, 2012 at 1:08 am

        Yeah, I mean I’ve got Aldous Huxley’s Perennial Philosophy coming up shortly. I began that a while back. It apparently weaves Western/Christian mysticism with Eastern texts in order to “present this Highest Common Factor of all theologies by assembling passages from the writings of those saints and prophets who have approached a direct spiritual knowledge of the Divine.”

        I have a stack of books I have to work through. I try and be smart about what I read in order to expand the ideas that brew.

        Definitely worth checking out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Perennial_Philosophy

  4. treegestalt said, on July 24, 2012 at 1:41 am

    Yeah, I just took those funny pills when Huxley was in fashion. Not to study _him_ but what he was talking about. I was navigating by the Ching, in those days. Stephen Gaskin was running his Monday Night Class across the Bay, and I hadn’t heard of him!

    Put _The Empty Mirror_ on your list, if it isn’t yet!

    • Lachwhip said, on July 24, 2012 at 1:47 am

      The Empty Mirror looks really interesting; that has been added to the list.

      Funny you should mention that. At the moment I’m reading a little Alan Watts. I read ‘The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are’ about a year ago, listened to most of his 12 CD ‘Out of Your Mind’ lecture series, and am reading ‘What Is Zen?’ now.

      ‘The Doors of Perception’ is certainly interesting, but ‘The Perennial Philosophy’ is definitely a different beast.

  5. […] worth noting a commentor here has accused me of a failing along these lines on ‘A million threads of delusion and egoism’: I think you almost said something […]

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