|2007-06-28, by John Ringland|
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Commonsense, Fascist Regimes and the Ego
Whilst talking about
commonsense realism and truly overcoming it, are two
very different things it is still very useful to talk about something when there is
extreme misunderstanding about it.
To give an example - talking about the dangers of smoking and actually
quitting are two very different things however if a person believed that smoking
was totally natural and normal and there was no reason to quit then first they
need to overcome that illusion before they have any chance of actually quitting
and becoming healthy. Talk can be a vital preliminary to actually doing.
So I'll clarify commonsense realism a little more by talking about
commonsense in general. Commonsense is just a blanket term for whatever
unquestioned belief system is dominant at the present time.
At various times it has been commonsense to keep slaves or to beat children
or to oppress women or to carry a sword or to wear high heels or to smoke
cigarettes. Commonsense is a collective trance that changes over time according
to its own dynamic.
Furthermore, civilisation is a communal understanding and commonsense is the
foundation of that understanding. It is a subtle dogma that maintains a regime.
The Gaian-Ego Hypothesis and
Collective Meditation to Counter the Collective Ego.
Every regime has its dogma which is a set of beliefs that are protected from
reason by a culture of denial. The nature of a regime is determined by the
nature of its commonsense.
A fascist regime is a cultural construct that arises in a culture and
appropriates the society, using that society as its body to pursue its agendas
and act out its delusions. The regime believes that it is the real entity and
the society is just its body - that is its deepest commonsense.
Similarly an ego is a thought construct that arises in a mind and
appropriates the cellular society, using that society as its body to pursue its
agendas and act out its delusions. The ego believes that it is the real entity
and the cellular society is just its body - that is its deepest commonsense.
There is no permanent entity in a society that 'is' the regime. The regime is
just a phenomenon that emerges from the culture and persists through cultural
memory. If everyone was to forget that it existed it would cease to exist. So
the regime needs to make sure that it stays in the cultural memory by creating
symbols, traditions and a constant stream of propaganda.
Similarly, Krishnamurti says of the ego: "Every time a thought is born, you are
born. When the thought is gone, you are gone. But the 'you' does not let the
thought go, and what gives continuity to this 'you' is thinking. Actually
there's no permanent entity in you, no totality of all your thoughts and
experiences. You think that there is 'somebody' who is feeling your feelings -
that's the illusion."
A well balanced ego is like a friendly fascist regime and an unbalanced ego
is like a totalitarian regime. All regimes are very attached to their
commonsense belief system and they protect it at all
times. If the beliefs were to change the collective discourse would change so
the nature of the communal understanding would
change so the regime would change.
A commonsense dogma is a paradigm, i.e. an interpretive mechanism that
transforms raw sensory stimulation into a meaningful world-experience. It gives
meaning to all features of that world-experience and defines what is believed to
exist and what is believed to be possible, it also guides one's actions and
agendas within the context of that world-experience. So different
paradigms create different world-experiences and different ways of existing
The main purpose of commonsense dogma is to maintain a false interpretation
of the underlying reality and thereby create an illusory world that enshrines
the regime at its very centre. So whilst commonsense can be very useful to the
regime as it navigates the illusory world that arises from the commonsense
paradigm, its main purpose is to keep the underlying society in a trance that
maintains the existence of the regime. It also serves to keep the society
enslaved within the regime's agenda and subservient to its will.
In regards to social commonsense we are led to believe in the state as the
central power nexus and we cannot even conceive of a society without the state.
Furthermore the social commonsense discourse determines the nature of that state
and guides it as it manipulates the society in pursuit of its agendas, desires
and delusions. In regards to our own commonsense we are the state and our inner
commonsense discourse guides us as we manipulate the cellular society in pursuit
of our agendas, desires and delusions.
The mind/culture is like a mirror that reflects an image of
reality. Commonsense is a form of memory, it is an accumulation of dents and
scratches on the mirror that form a particular pattern of distortions, which
create a distorted world-experience. The biggest intrinsic distortion is that
the perceptions arise from a localised perspective and are processed by a
centralised mind/culture - this creates the idea of a centralised entity and an
ego-centric or regime-centric view of reality. Within the context of this
distorted view many dents and scratches accumulate on the mirror thus producing
further distortions of the view.
Through commonsense realism that central entity assumes that the distorted
world-experience is the actual reality. It thereby comes to believe itself to
actually live in that distorted world with itself enshrined at the very centre.
Hence every sense experience is misinterpreted and every thought, belief and
agenda is from the perspective of the ego/regime and is therefore out of
alignment with the actual reality.
Hence, regarding the world-experience that is mistaken for the objective
reality, the Lankavatara Sutra says: "It is like an image reflected in a mirror,
it is seen but it is not real; the one Mind [universal consciousness] is seen as
a duality by the ignorant when it is reflected in the mirror constructed by our
memory... the existence of the entire universe is due to memory that has been
accumulated since the beginningless past but wrongly interpreted."
One can either remain in an unthinking condition and simply accept the
distorted world as being reality or one can recognise the distortions and seek
to clarify one's illusions and thereby polish the mirror. An open mind
eventually polishes the mirror whereas a closed mind eventually gouges deep
scratches into it.
Regimes and egos are loathed to polish the mirror - they find any excuse or denial
tactic to avoid it. They polish only certain narrow grooves and make intricate
patterns (e.g. traditional science) because they fear the bigger picture. If reality was to intrude upon the unquestioned
dogma then it would reform the corrupt discourse and the regime could no longer
appropriate the society. So regimes are especially fearful of reality because it
liberates the underlying system which wakes up from the trance and realises that
the regime has no permanent reality and that they need not be enslaved by it.
The regime experiences such an influx of reality as the breakdown of its
precious commonsense dogma and the weakening of its grip on what it confusedly
thinks is itself. Regimes experiences reality as a death blow and are horrified by
it because they are a construct of illusion. If reality is light then the
ego/regime is a shadow creature that is destroyed by the light.
Often as the society begins to awaken from the trance the regime panics and
tries to shock the society through outrageous actions that throw the society
into chaos and they even inflict
deliberate harm on the society. If pushed to the limit many regimes would choose
to destroy the society rather than be overthrown by it. They often cling to
control until the last dying breath of the society because that is all they
The regime/ego is totally caught up in its illusory world and experiences a
process of liberation as an existential crisis. In its mind 'it' is the real
entity and if the society liberates itself then the regime ceases to exist. So
its experience is one of anxiety, despair, psychosis and often suicide.
A mystic is initially a regime that deliberately and carefully works toward
the liberation of the society and the dissolution of the regime. As they proceed
the society becomes more and more free and vital and harmonious and upon final
liberation the regime dissolves and the being dwells in reality rather than
A schizophrenic or manic depressive is someone who is in a state of revolt, where the society is
attempting to overthrow the regime but the regime mindlessly clings to power.
The role of psychiatry is that of other regimes assisting the embattled regime
to assert and maintain its oppression of the society.
Hence R.D. Laing says: "Mystics and schizophrenics find themselves in the
same ocean, but the mystics swim whereas the schizophrenics drown."
Whereas a 'normal' person is a fascist regime where the society is totally dominated
and unable to do anything but submit to the regime and dream of freedom. Whilst
the mystics and schizophrenics are in the ocean between the island of oppression
and the island of freedom, the average person is busy making a home and trying
to find a comfortable rut on the island of oppression.
The average person keeps to commonsense and lives out their days in
oppression, which is tolerable if they are lucky. The schizophrenic falls into
the ocean and flounders whilst the commonsense people try to drag them back onto
the island of oppression. And the mystic swims across to the other island after
which the oppressed people speak of them in hushed superstitious tones as being
'enlightened' when all they are is free. But a slave cannot really know what
freedom is until they taste if for themselves and generations of people born
into slavery think that oppression is natural and freedom is supernatural.
This little story gives some idea of the depth of delusion that most people
dwell in. They are a regime exerting control over an underlying society and they
believe that they are the only entity. But they are a figment of the mind and
the underlying organism is the real entity. We are regimes living within a
regime. There is a two tiered system of oppression and delusion. Our own
oppression of cellular societies creates a personal commonsense discourse that
we amplify between us into a commonsense culture that oppresses human societies.
All of this delusion originates from commonsense realism and it grows into a
corrupt discourse that enshrines the illusions within a commonsense dogma. The
way to liberate the cellular and human societies is to question the commonsense dogma and
to eventually overcome the commonsense realism.
Best wishes : )
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