How much of what we perceive and even conceptualize is “reality” and how much is a construct of the mind? Plato believed the world of sense experience was illusory and that only the eternal Forms were real. In his famous allegory of the cave, he depicts men bound and fettered inside a cave with their backs to a fire so that they are unable to apprehend the source of light and are only able to perceive the shadows on the cave wall. This is meant to be a portrayal of our perceptual awareness of the world of sense. When one of the men loosens his fetters and wanders up the passage to the mouth of the cave, he steps outside and perceives the light of the sun, which is the source of all light and what makes the sensory world sensible and intelligible.
How much of what we perceive and even conceptualize is “reality” and how much is a construct of the mind? Plato believed the world of sense experience was illusory and that only the eternal Forms were real. The objects of sense in the temporal, sensible world were illusory, according to Plato, and only the eternal “Forms”, “Beauty”, “Goodness”, “Virtue” were supra-sensible and real. The same logic can be applied to the Form “chair”, which is real as a conceptual form, but when made tangible as a sense object by the carpenter, it becomes a mere semblance of the original, lacking the true form of the supra-sensible essence of the “Form”. The physically rendered object of sense is therefore regarded as once removed from the reality of the Forms. By the same logic, the visual artist’s painting, sketch or drawing of the physically rendered object called “chair” is twice removed from the reality of the eternal Form “Chair”. Hence, for Plato, there is nothing truly tangible and real in this illusory world of sense.
As particles continue colliding within supercolliders like the large Hadron collider known as CERN, we are slicing atomic and sub-atomic particles down to such infinitesimally minute particles with the physicist’s Occam razor that it is difficult to disCERN what is real anymore. We have dissected sub-atomic particles down to neutrinos, quarks and even anti-matter to the point where it calls into question the status of matter itself. We can perceive there is more empty space between atomic and sub-atomic particles then there is actual tangible, physical and quantifiable matter. Is any of it actually real or is it merely a construct of the mind?
The poet William Blake said, “The fool sees not the same tree that a wise man sees.” He also said, “To see a World in a Grain of Sand/And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,/Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand/And Eternity in an hour.” Poets articulate the same perceived “reality” that the philosophers and physicists see. The profundity with which each articulates his world is no less valid for the mystic than it is for the madman or indeed the poet or the scientists. Each is mad and profound at the same time. In fact, so-called schizophrenics like Vincent van Gogh may be closer to disCERNment than we give them credit. We might be the ones who are more delusional and out to lunch, but it is the arrogance spawned by logical fallacies like “appeal to authority” and “the bandwagon argument” that convince the ignorant they are enlightened.
It has been said there is a loss of information in the universe. What “information is lost as the information changes form”? Imagining a universe that is leaking information is like the DNA leaking information as we age because of shortened telomere caps. Does this mean we are cause the universe to be the way it seems? Naturally, what do you think was going on? The world and the universe are not moving; our minds are moving. Neuroscientists say we use only about one-tenth of our brain capacity. Geneticists say we use only a fragment of what was hitherto known as “junk DNA”. Of the 64 codons of DNA, only 20 are activated or “turned on” in most human subjects. So is there missing information in the universe, or is the information about the universe missing from our dumbed-down DNA and our correspondingly limited brain capacity?
The philosopher George Berkeley postulated that, if a tree fell in the forest without anyone there to see or hear it fall, can we conceptually impute that it actually fell? This bears on “the law of the excluded middle”. In this case no human agent was present to witness an arbitrary event taking place in the natural world, so what is the existential status of the event? Can the event exist existentially and ontologically as “being” if it was not apprehended, witnessed, perceived and conceptualized as an event by a human agent? One can arrive on the scene after the event and find the felled tree lying on the forest floor, and one can infer from the prostrate position of the tree that it fell, but did it really? This is deductive reasoning based on a preconceived assumption that trees must fall to assume that position, because past experience seems to inform the human subject that that is the case. However unlikely it may be to the conditioned mind of the socially constructed individual human witness, it is possible that the tree simply grew that way, not vertically as one is conditioned to believe a tree must grow, but horizontally along the ground.
The missing human agent who was not there to perceive the falling tree represents the law of the excluded middle. The law of the excluded middle can be understood through reference to Schrödinger’s cat theorem, in which we have a thought experiment involving a cat, a flask of poison, and a radioactive source placed in a sealed box. If an internal monitor detects radioactivity (i.e. a single atom decaying), the flask is shattered, releasing the poison that kills the cat. The Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics implies that, after a while, the cat is represented by a wave function that simultaneously includes the possibility that the cat is both alive and dead. Yet, when one looks in the box, one sees the cat as either being alive or dead as opposed to being both alive and dead. With the human agent missing, the law of the excluded middle applies and the existential and ontological status of the cat remains in question. It does not take a quantum leap of logic to deduce then that it is the intervention of human consciousness in the thought experiment that necessitates an ontological state in which the cat must either be found dead or alive. It’s like there’s an ontological Wanted Poster: “Cat wanted either dead or alive.” This poses the question of when exactly quantum superposition ends and reality collapses into one possibility or the other.
Does Schrödinger’s cat have nine lives? Does Japan? Japan was irradiated by Enola Gay dropping Little Boy on its cities. Did Japan learn from history? No, instead it built nuclear reactors on its tsunami-prone coastlines on an earthquake-prone archipelago. Does Japan have a death wish? Is it some anxiety disorder that causes Japan to flirt with the dangers of splitting an atom and atomic energy after the irradiation of its population in World War II? Are nuclear technology, the nuclear bomb, and nuclear disasters constructs of the human mind? Why do we allow nuclear power plants to be built on earthquake fault lines? Isn’t the fault ours? Does humanity have a collective death wish?
What is the status of nuclear or any other phenomenon? What is the status of observed “reality” is it is called? Emmanuel Kant attempted to articulate an understanding of “reality” in the Critique of Pure Reason. He referred to what he called the ding-in-sich (the “thing in itself”) and the noumena, understood as the mind’s construct of the perceived objects of sense and sense-based reasoning. He concluded that the mind constructs reality, which he called enbildungskraft, which is best translated as the “architectonic principle” by which the mind constructs its own reality, much like a camera is engineered to perceive and articulate light and sense objects so they can be properly filtered through a lens and aperture, inverted or flipped and captured as a template image indelibly stored on a blank slate or tabula rasa within the camera, which our socially constructed word-concept has referred to as “film”.
If we take the example of a coin toss, we might randomly toss coins which might fall where and how they may. The coins in question are conceived as Fair or Unfair. One is a two-sided coin featuring heads and tails, which is Fair enough, while the other is a double-sided coin featuring heads on both sides, which is totally Unfair. What are the odds of a participant in the coin toss experiment picking a Fair or Unfair coin for the coin toss experiment? What are the probability odds in this case? The question of which coin is chosen will lead to two equally likely or probable outcomes – Fair or Unfair. There could also be the inclusion of a “biased” coin in the experiment, in which one of the coins is weighted so that the greater probability factor is likely to ensure that it comes up “heads”. What is the significance of this from an ontological and existential point of view?
In essence there is no such thing as a Fair coin toss. All probability experiments are “biased”. What’s the proof? Some people are called “lucky” and some are called “unlucky”. One can be “lucky” or “unlucky” in a variety of ways: lucky or unlucky in love, gambling, winning the lottery, card games, etc. Why? The reason is that one is either in sync or out of sync with Nature, what Taoists call “the Tao”, which is best conceptualized as being out of flow with the forces of nature. There is little point in trying to swim upstream for instance or take on an army when you are outnumbered 100 to 1. In the “I-Ching” there are 64 hexagrams that one can have based on the probability odds resulting from the tossing of 3 coins in 6 successive coin tosses. The player uses 3 coins with distinct “head” and “tail” sides. For each of the six lines of the hexagram, beginning with the first (bottom) line and ending with the sixth (top) line, the player tosses all three coins, and then writes down the resulting line, which will be either a solid Yang line or a broken Yin line. Once six lines have been determined, the hexagram is formed. This divination game is meant to tell the aspirant how he stands in the face of worldly events. Is he in harmony with the natural order or totally out of sync with it? Is he wise in his actions or is there folly in him proceeding?
Is there really such a thing as being “lucky”, “fortunate”, being endowed with “grace” or being “blessed”? What does it mean to have a choice? Is there “determinism” in the universe or do we have free choice and free will in terms of decision-making powers? A piece of Hollywood art called Forrest Gump seems to provide an answer. In the film prologue a feather is seen blowing in the wind. The feather represents chaos, theory, randomness and free will. However, when the feather lands on Forrest’s shoe, seemingly by coincidence, he picks it up and places it in what appear to be his diary. The feather chose him so he chose the feather. At the end of the film, he stands before Jenny’s grave and ponders aloud whether we have free choice or if everything is already pre-determined. He concludes that “Maybe both are happening at the same time.” Certainly, Forrest had free choice, but since his choices always seemed right and proper, he is chosen by fate to have a destiny, and finds himself living a life of apparent “grace”, where he seems to be naturally “blessed”. The simple-minded simpleton is better off for being so, because he doesn’t complicate his life with confuting excuses and justifications for doing the wrong think and making poor ethical decisions. Instead, he acts properly, makes the right choices and does the right thing because of his simplicity, a simple-mindedness that keeps him from second guessing himself and getting himself into trouble. Because of his simple-minded virtue, he becomes trusted, relied upon and loved by others who turn to him for help and advice. He lives a life of such apparent grace that, though he freely chooses, his life takes on prophetic qualities, where people follow him in a marathon run across the country, when neither he nor they have any idea why he has gone on this cross-country trek in the first place. He chose rightly so life and destiny chose him. Free will falls into paradoxical accord with apparent destiny and Forrest is left with the apparent epiphany at Jenny’s grace that perhaps “free will” and “determinism” are happening at the same time.
Do the consequences of an act affect the probability of its occurring again or not? Friedrich Nietzsche articulated the concept of “eternal recurrence”, while Soren Kierkegaard conceived of the concept of “repetition”. They were contemporaries. What did these philosophers mean by such concepts? In The Gay Science, Nietzsche wrote of “eternal recurrence” thus:
The greatest weight.— What, if some day or night a demon were to steal after you into your loneliest loneliness and say to you: This life as you now live it and have lived it, you will have to live once more and innumerable times more; and there will be nothing new in it, but every pain and every joy and every thought and sigh and everything unutterably small or great in your life will have to return to you, all in the same succession and sequence – even this spider and this moonlight between the trees, and even this moment and I myself. The eternal hourglass of existence is turned upside down again and again, and you with it, speck of dust!
The English poet Coleridge said, “The mind half creates what is sees.” He also said, “In our life alone doth nature live.” Basically, this means that we receive back from the world of perceptual “reality” whatever we project. As for the probability of a similar event repeating itself in our lives, the “law of attraction” holds that we attract whatever thought we put out into the ether. Negative thoughts will therefore attract negativity. One definition of mental illness is repeating the same pattern of behaviour over and over again and never learning from your mistakes. Life becomes a stuck needle on a vinyl record. Behaviour becomes compulsive and completely lacking in reason or sense. There is a proverb that says, “He or she can’t stand prosperity.” This means that when someone has a victim complex, they come to not only expect victimhood but come to desire it. Since they live in fear that any good fortune might be short-lived or be taken away from them, they tend to shun good fortune for fear of losing it. They will run away from love and happiness at the mere hint of it.
In essence, life is a gamble analogous to the toss of a coin or the roll of a dice. Life is a crapshoot. There are winners and losers. In an ethical world, there will be “weighted” and “biased” coin tosses. None of them were Fair and all of them were “Unfair” and “biased” in the case of the naïve dupe and fool because he acted without wisdom and his coin tosses always resulted in mischance and failure. However, the person who is on the right side of fortune will have more “luck” as it is perceived because his “biased” actions are weighted in his favour by the good reputation and respect he has garnered and the accumulated self-esteem it has granted him, which is based either on being in harmony or disharmony with conventional wisdom and the morality of custom. “Maladaptive” thoughts as they are sometimes referred to can leave one in a position of being at odds with society and its “social norms”. This can make one unlucky in the sense that one’s views are so maladjusted, unconventional and deviant by social standards and societal expectations that one becomes a “misfit”, where one fails to “fit” into society or fails to “fit” into the workplace or in a certain job environment.
What makes someone a misfit? As for the Unfair coin, what makes someone left-handed or right-handed in the coin toss that decides such hand preferences? Only 1 in 10 people is left-handed and the author of this paper happens to write with his left hand, though I can write with my right hand on a blackboard with ease. Is there a reason most people are not ambidextrous? The author of this discourse is, so why aren’t other people? As a child, I used to switch utensils in the middle of my meals. I could switch hit as a batter as easily as switching the tennis racket or table tennis paddle to the other hand. Why are most people right-handed or left-handed? Might such individuals be ambidextrous on another dimensional plane or multi-armed and multi-handed as the artistic works depicting Hindu “gods” seem to suggest? The original meaning of the word “universe” is “one existence”. It is interesting to note that, in Plato’s symposium, Aristophanes presents the argument that in the beginning there were only hermaphrodites. Later, we were divided into sexes and ever since, males and females have sought their other halves in an effort to become whole again.
Left-handed people tend to be right-brained. Those who favour the left hand tend to be right-brain dominant. Those who favour the right hand, on the other hand, tend to be left-brain dominant. Most cultures and religious traditions strongly favour the right hand and encourage teachers and parents to educate their children to favour the right hand. The Catholic Church, for example, insisted people use the right hand, associating the left hand with devilry or being of the devil. Why? The simple answer is that they wanted the coin toss that determined life and fate to be weighted so that the coin toss would invariably come up “right-handed”. Why? Because the right brain encourages is adept at lateral thinking and connecting the dots and seeing the big picture. The “priesthood” in control of Confucian, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Jewish or Christian society did not want the lay people to be too enlightened, visionary or intuitive. They preferred the people of the Dark Ages to remain in the dark. They encouraged the belief that the world was flat so that most people would remain prisoners of their own town, fearful that it they ventured beyond the town’s limits they might fall off the edge of the earth. Today they keep us trapped in the narrow view that life only exists on earth and that extra terrestrial life is the stuff of fiction, Hollywood and make-believe.
Left-handed people have a higher tendency to be dyslexic. They tend to assimilate information better through visual rather than audio learning. Left-handed people tend to think for themselves and to resist “group think” or what Nietzsche called “the herd animal morality”. Such maladjusted people are thought to have been dealt an unlucky hand. They are thought to be maladjusted misfits and are usually the first to be put on Ritalin to shut them up for being too bright and asking too many questions in class. They are considered disruptive for being more insightful and astute than the teacher.
It has become a popular mode of therapy to use “cognitive reframing” techniques to encourage such underlings into a more “sociable” and less “maladjusted” mode of thought and behaviour, so that their “luck” improves so to speak. It is necessary for them to be made to “fit” in enough to be a useful member of society. When one is cognitively reframed one becomes more of a “team player”. One’s luck naturally improves because one is no longer ostracized, picked on, singled out, marginalized, discriminated against, fired, sandbagged or laid off because one NOW “fits” in and the “clique” are accepting of the fact that you are enough of a “fit” to see your “luck” improve. Such a person is now a weighted coin and every toss of the coin and every gamble they now make in life is based on a “biased” gamble or coin toss, because their “luck” has been improved through “cognitive restructuring”.
In cognitive therapy, “cognitive reframing” is referred to as “cognitive restructuring”. “Cognitive reframing” is also a primary method of societal brainwashing and social control. In totalitarian societies, they send you to a “re-education camp” where you get “cognitive reframing” Clockwork Orange-style all day long. In so-called “democratic” and “free” societies, you have your opinions altered by “manufactured consent”, where “biased” or contrived statistics are created to make you feel societal peer pressure. Or you get “appeal to authority” used as a “logical fallacy” to pressure you into accepting that someone in greater authority, who is more credentialed than you, knows better and that your opinion just doesn’t count. You have been “cognitively reframed” in this situation.
What is the nature of reality when everything starts with a theory? Take “string theory” for instance, which is a theory that attempts to model the universe. Is this a kind of collective cognitive reframing, in which the hundred monkey syndrome goes viral until everyone embraces it and believes it? It is at this point that the theory suddenly becomes fact because everyone has now jumped on the bandwagon and accepted it as true. But this is just Beetlemania applied to science. The Royal Society of esteemed experts use their “royal” authority to establish a new scientific convention through the logical fallacy of “appeal to authority” and those scientific minions and lay people lower in the pecking order accept the new scientific convention established by so-called experts as if it held the authority of the Ten Commandments of Moses etched on stone tablets by the hand of no one less than God Himself. In other words, science has established its own religion and priesthood, which are as susceptible to imposing a dogma and scientific dictatorship on the world as the repressive religious model of the Dark Ages. All this theory is so much claptrap and does nothing to affect or improve our existence. How about practical science and modalities that actually improve life instead or some harebrained theory about how economic forces are chaotic and people are at the mercy of uncontrollable and unpredictable variables that could result in a housing bubble that could leave everyone homeless?
From principles is derived probability, but truth or certainty is obtained only from facts, yet who observes these so-called facts? Facts are agreed upon conventions that are normally only adhered to because of “appeal to authority” of the so-called “gods”. What makes them “gods”? Because people like Stephen Hawking are scientists of elite universities like Cambridge University. His health condition has only added to his magnanimity because he triumphed over an extremely challenging physical disability brought on by multiple sclerosis. Because people are Harvard professors or Oxbridge scientists they are awarded greater veneration and respect for their opinions. Yet often these so-called experts are patent frauds who fabricate their experiments, data or findings to suit the agenda of their sponsor. What do we get? Historical distortions related to the probability of the Big Bang factor, intelligent design or the probability of life existing on other planets or the probability of an asteroid exceeding the Roche limit and slaying the Earth with cosmic bullets or the probability of oil being a non-renewable resource, which we are told is a scientific certainty. “Fossil fuels” is the label hydrocarbons go under when they are renewable and created by the Earth itself.
Human society unfortunately falls subject to what Nietzsche called “the herd-animal morality”. Instead of defining ourselves by who we are and having the courage of our convictions, we define ourselves by some consensus reality that makes us accepted and acceptable to some defined group. We have now become part of the human herd of sheeple who will bleat to the beat of the same drum. We will define ourselves by the tribal group to which we choose to affiliate ourselves. Most of us will be known as Muslims or Christians or Jews, Marxists or Feminists or Freudians or Jungians. Whatever happened to “I am ME”? Well then you’re just a number and you don’t count. But I thought numbers were meant to be counted? Not when you’re a nameless face and unit number in the assembly line of human existence, punched out like a component part, a mere cog in the wheel of fortune, made to order by the education-indoctrination system. Karl Marx, for instance, doesn’t even exist. His real name was Mordecai Levy and was an agent of the very banksters and ruling aristocracy his fraud revolution was supposed to overthrow. The whole thing was, is and will continue to be a fraud until people learn to think for themselves and stop falling victim to the logical fallacies of “appeal to authority” and the “bandwagon argument”. Karl Marx (Mordecai Levy) himself represents the “appeal to authority” logical fallacy that traps so many naïve people in “the herd-animal morality”. The man was a con and the education system is funded by the same banksters that promoted the fraud of Marxism, bankster families like the Rockefellers. Even their name is a fraud since their real name is Rockenfelder just like the Rothschilds were originally known by the family name Bauer. Why the name change? Because that’s what psychopaths and criminals do. They change their names to hide their identities, since they always have a past they must endeavour to hide.
The herd animal tries his or her best to fit in, to be as politically correct as possible, to be so anally retentive that they spend half their day trying to pass a stool. They go with whatever is trendy, chic, fashionable, acceptable, conventional, popular or the norm. They go for designer clothes and designer labels, designer jeans and designer drugs. Does it make sense that anyone would want to buy medications when the TV ad includes a warning about the dangerous side effects that “could” result from taking the drug medication? Yet, people continue to ask their general practitioners to make out a prescription for them so they can poison themselves with the latest drug to treat the “manufactured” illness they are supposedly afflicted with, illnesses like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), which Leon Eisenberg confessed on his deathbed at age 87 to being a fraud and a patent hoax. In his own words in the Der Spiegel magazine interview he said, “ADHD is a perfect example of a fictitious disease.” But that didn’t and still doesn’t stop it from being diagnosed or prevent millions of kids in Europe and North America from being placed on Ritalin, which is known to be a very dangerous and highly potent amphetamine-based drug with devastating side effects that usually lead to lifelong stimulant drug addiction. Even when they get off Ritalin, the youth misdiagnosed with ADHD often get hooked on speed, meth, or crack to replace the lost rush from the drug pushed by the pharmaceutical mafia’s front line drug pushers in the white coats. And let us not overlook the fact that tourettes, another disease of the late 20th century that popped up out of nowhere has been linked to Ritalin use. Far from curing us of disease, the so-called prescription drug medicines are making us sick and producing hitherto unknown diseases.
Why do you listen to your doctor anyway? Because of manufactured consent achieved through miseducation and disinformation received through an education-indoctrination system funded by the very pharmaceutical drug pushers pushing the drugs and through the ad companies they also own and control or bribe. As for agencies that approve the drugs in terms of safety, the FDA, Health Canada and other such bodies are heavily lobbied by the drug companies, who ensure the coin toss is biased. Even the medical schools receive funding from the pharmaceutical giants so that they will push the allopathic medical paradigm above all others to ensure the highest standard of sales. If the docs aren’t seen to be dispensing an adequate amount of over the counter medicine in their five year licensing period, they can have their medical license revoked, which basically means the docs are blackmailed into being drug pushers and we are all living in an open air concentration camp while lunatics like Dr. Strangelove and Dr. Mengele run the asylum.
The truth is we are lab rats and Guinea pigs. Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability. What are the odds that the medicine that seemed safe when tested on the lab rat will agree with the constitution and physiology of the human recipient? What are the odds that a psychotropic drug that seemed to produce no side effects in the first test subjects should experience the same results in others? What is the probability ratio of patients experiencing debilitating side effects from the medication or an allergic reaction? The constitution and physiology of every test subject is different. One man’s cure is another man’s poison. What is the probability of an anti-retroviral drug slowing the onset of AIDS in a patient when there is no way of knowing when the onset of AIDs would have occurred in a non-drug or placebo experiment? What is the probability of a HIV test producing a “false positive” result?
So why do people buy into being medicated into an early grave? Because of manufactured consent achieved through “appeal to authority” to those in the “white coats”. The brainwashing occurs by way of the media and academia and the rest is history. We are willing dupes. It is easier to take a pill than take the time to discipline and guide the student or the child. Instead of the rod or the stick educators now use the threat of some psychotropic drug to discipline Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist or David Copperfield. Teachers and parents make excuses for why they don’t do more on an emotional and instructional level, claiming to be too busy. Well, if they are too busy to be proper teachers and mentors of the young they should have spoken up in the teachers’ meetings at an earlier stage, before the draconian policies could be invoked to take away their nurturing time and bog them down in pointless curriculum development.
If anyone needed cognitive reframing it is US and THEM. Even the concept of US and THEM requires cognitive reframing because THEY need to discover THEY’RE US and WE need to discover WE’RE THEM if WE”RE ever going to get along. As a well known rabbi once put it, “I am You and You are I, for if I am not You and You are not I, then I am not I and You are not You.” This is the key to our collective “cognitive reframing”. If we can pull this off, we will no longer exploit others for OUR profit, since it will be clear that any exploitation is in no one’s best interests or profit, since hurting THEM hurts US just as hurting US hurts THEM. It is at this point that our odds will improve walking down a dark street because the coin toss of human existence will be weighted and biased in our favour. What is the good of a white cop beating on a black man? All it succeeds in doing is causing the whole black community to rise up in righteous indignation. Whoever fails to see THEM as US will not see any of US as THEM, which is the very cause of OUR absence of empathy in the first place. The whole concept of US and THEM requires cognitive reframing. Maybe then all of us will get a little luckier and see our probability statistics improve. Heads or tails? If YOU win WE all win.