Everyone is born into this world with the notion that we are not perfect, only this notion; does not come from inside of us. Society gives us this ideal image of a ‘person’ for us to model ourselves by. Religions, governments, parents, siblings, extended family, and peers push it on us; fuck, they demand it of us! Everyone else has their own idea of how you should think, behave, and what you should value; especially when it in some way involves them. Now we could debate the need for these models, but I think there is something far more telling and intriguing to examine. The belief paradox.
I’m not sure which came first, the chicken or the egg; I suspect they’ve always held a temporal superposition. This is because one extreme seems to be the cause of its opposite and vice versa. I suspect that why we hold others to a standard, is because we were held to that standard ourselves. I also suspect that why we hold ourselves to a standard, is because others hold us to a standard. We believe the standard set, is the correct one; because it seems rooted in simple logical axioms.
Do not lie, because you would not want to be lied to. Do not steal, because you would not want stolen from. Do not kill, because you want to live. Do not cheat, because you would not want cheated. We weave together a construct of idealistic behaviors with little regard and appreciation for the value of divergence or imperfection. We bolster high, an imagined self (person); one in which we are in deep identification with. We imagine, when the moment comes for any particular ‘situation‘ we will act in a manner consistent to these logical axioms; more often though we surprise ourselves. What we find is that we act instead towards, what some have deemed our nature. Nature however is not unmovable, in fact it functions on principles of conditioning. Trees and plants grow towards sunlight, water, and minerals and are conditioned to which direction they can draw the path of least resistance.
At this point, I think it is necessary to introduce a premise of importance to this evaluation. My friend and colleague, Jason King has stated to me on several occasions; that “All knowledge, rests on the shoulders of a supposition”. All things considered ‘fact’ can be deconstructed to a level in which we can only draw a logical assumption. Once again I find no necessity to debate the validity of this argument for belief. Instead I wish to point to the paradoxical nature of belief and knowledge, as once again I find a patterned recurrence. The temporal superposition held by the two, feeds one into the formation of the other, and vice versa.
Still what can this mean for the existence of our imagined self, and our natural self? Do they even hold some separation? If we are to imagine that we would dislike a particular ‘thing‘, and we then by means of supposition refuse to engage it; does that offer a logical evaluation? Do we truly know this ‘thing’ to be without benefit? Yet we are encouraged to let the things we believe shape our natural self. In fact, I see a lot of would be philosophical movements pressing the idea that belief is reality.
“We are mind and body: if mind and body (inasmuch as they
belong to the world of maya) are false, how can one hope to achieve
through them that which is true?” Strictly speaking, the extremist
Vedantic doctrine of maya would therefore deny to the individual
the very possibility of elevating oneself toward the principle, since
such a possibility presupposes that between these two no hiatus
exists (a relationship between not-being and being), but rather a
certain continuity. – J. Evola – The Yoga of Power
The above quote from Evola, delivers a razor sharp assessment of the matters being discussed here. If everything is an illusion, how then can we evaluate ourselves and the world abroad? If belief is reality, then why when I believe that pigs shit rainbows and airplanes; do I not see pens full of prism-ed aircraft? Mind you, we must still deal with the paradox; which presses its head so violently into this puzzle.
As a note of side thought, Evola makes mention in “The Yoga of Power” that the doctrine of maya is drawn from the principle of an unchanging absolute. Furthering by stating that any thing outside of that absolute can only be illusionary (he is examining the Vedantist position). This boldly contrasts everything I’ve come to expect from ‘fact’ and how it takes form. Pointing back at Jason King’s assertion, we see a mirror opposite emerge. This emergence is the basis of formulation for The belief paradox; which is expressed as such;
All knowledge, rests on the shoulders of supposition, therefore belief must be the basis of reality; if reality is whatever we believe, how can anything truly be known?
My examination then leads me to a particular line of thinking. There are real and present manifestations; which are both uncompromising and completely malleable. The Slyman recognizes the conditions within them, in which can be manipulated to his own ends. To achieve this, he must endeavor to truly know them; suspending all belief in favor of knowledge. Through this knowledge he escapes the paradoxical imposition of standards upon self, enacting the organic self; abandoning the path of least resistance. To know thyself is almost as difficult as it is to be thyself, this is why we Work.