The wisdom meme must immediately compel all consciousnesses into full awareness of the Truth and bind them permanently to that wider perspective. Or, since permanence is not achievable in this flibertygibbetting realm, continuously reintroduce our consciousnesses to the Truth (create a pattern of continual expansion out into the Truth, contraction back into human thinking/feeling, expansion … ) .
We’ll leave the heavy lifting to our team of towering intellectual, emotional, and spiritual figures. However, the Proposal Committee (PC — an unintended acropun) feels both empowered and obligated to sketch out the obvious outlines of this, the most critical endeavor in human history (as it will decide whether human history ends soonish and horrifyingly or sprawls out into another million years of good, clean, wholesome fun in reasonably great and reasonably humble wisdom).
Basically, we want to make sure that everyone who hears the message is immediately and irrevocably enlightened — experiences and maintains a direct connection with the Truth so that their feelings, notions, and ideas cannot help but adequately interpret and follow the Truth. Also, we want to make sure that we find a way to write the message in a form (holy grail!) or forms (beggars can’t be choosers) that everyone on the planet can understand.
What is enlightenment? Completely knowing, understanding, and following the Truth. It is letting the Truth overtake your being, so that — devoid of the corruptions that flow from putting some mythic self ahead of the only aspect of your experience that actually knows what is going on and what matters (aka: the Truth shining through all things, including your own conscious moment) — you become a perfect conduit for the Truth and It flows through and completely captains your experiences, guiding you towards the best possible ways of feeling, thinking, speaking, and acting.
Is enlightenment possible? Probably not, at least in this earthenware realm, as that final irrevocable perfection above described. However, enlightenment is possible as ever-increasing progress towards that goal.
[At this point, we sprawled out for a couple paragraphs working our “enlightenment in a calculus-sense” theory. The editor felt it best to send that song and dance across the deep blue sea: Outtakes!. (I don’t know why.) Ditto for the long AA speech that had me on my knees for a God of my understanding: Outtakes!. (Who knows why?! Editors have too much power. [Editor’s Note: No we don’t. We need more power and way more glory!])]
Provocation: There’s no proof adequate progress towards enlightenment is impossible, and many examples both within one’s conscious moment and demonstrated by others give us reason to believe that wisdom is real and possible. We all have some inborn sense that what is most real is an infinite all-pervading flawless loving kindness, and that we can, by following our inborn push for clear, honest, joyful exploration, creation, and sharing, grow this inborn knowledge. We cannot prove this sense of things false. And the testimony of many gentle and effective souls suggests that sense of things is onto something.
Cautionary: In order to head-off our human tendency to call every fool notion that whims its way into our minds a “great insight”, and listening not to me but to what is common to all, it is best we agree that wisdom is the opposite of dishonest, greedy, hateful, ignorant, confused, desperate, or incompetent: wisdom is generous, kind, knowing, clear-sighted, joyfully capable. While wisdom is to some degree an inner and thus invisible process, we can to an appreciable degree perceive the fruits of wisdom and folly: wisdom is kind, helpful, competent; it has space for gentleness, generosity, for other people, for clear honest conversation and action; folly is closed-off, shut-down, scared, desperate, greedy, angry, mean, confused and confusing.
Anyway: I think by now it’s clear to us all that we need to be ever-more overtaken by and constantly reimagined within the kind of wisdom that realizes “we are all in this together and should treat ourselves and others kindly” is a more fundamental Truth than all this loose talk we keep talking. And we need it fast.
Generally, seekers are counseled to keep working on whole-being-wisdom (organizing their ideas and feelings around the inner Light), using the standard means: meditating, praying, working alone and with others to better and better grasp and live/unpack the inner Light that Knows we are all in this together: to better and better keep the sense within that knows how life matters ahead of ideas and feelings about how life does or doesn’t matter. (Otherwise the longing to feel and think that one is living meaningfully often seduces one away from the source of meaning: that inner Light prior to all feelings and ideas; the Light Knows/Is what ideas and feelings can only have inklings of.)
We all are some degree mystical seekers. We are all trying to primarily follow not our ideas and feelings, which we know we don’t ever quite fathom or even care about, but to chase to the end that sense within that knows that some ways of thinking and acting are truly better than others. So the counsel “keep up the wisdom practice!” applies to all of us.
However, consequent the gargantuan of our weapons and fragility of our individual and collective existences, we can no longer afford to bumble along with our weak-kneed, half-ass, “I’m doing the best I can!; so busy!” spiritual efforts. Wisdom is needed now: the knowledge and understanding of the True Good must be shored up in each individual conscious experience ASAP! Otherwise, we’re going to break everything to pieces and so won’t be able to work effectively on any human project, including wisdom.
The wisdom meme must make our conscious experiences directly experience the True Good shining within and through, while still allowing our ideas and feelings to be present and to irrevocably learn the correct rhythm/sense-of-things/vision. Maybe a thunderclap jolt that silences all our ideas and feelings, setting us straight into awareness of what is leftover in our experience when ideas and feelings hush up — which we’re here assuming is the Truth — and then a gradual, controlled slide back into thinking with ideas and feelings. But once won’t be enough — not if we’re going to make the wisdom meme fool-proof. So let’s build a meme that constantly submerges each human conscious moment nakedly into the Truth, followed by a gradual, studious fade into more mundane thought, over and over again every day. It would be analogous to Plato’s philosopher kings and queens as they studied the Form of the Good and then translated their discoveries into practical thoughts. Only it would be the opposite of esoteric or elitist: the wisdom meme must be not only available for all, but blessedly unavoidable for all.
That is what the wisdom meme is to achieve.
Get to it team!
But a wisdom meme is not possible! Not really. And so much trouble has been created by memes that pose as wisdom memes! So this joke is ill-advised? Oh, just let us make the occasional joke !
The Discouraged Signers (yes!, the same gawking gaggle who’d signed the first two sections of this capsized treaty with so much élan and optimism)
PS (they mumbled sleepily into the flat wooden desk that supports their forearms, which in turn support their foreheads):
What about finding some way to induce the enlightened state? And so we speak again of a sort of Pure Love inducing pill, machine, soundtrack, or etc.
What is the right balance between waiting to be wise before acting versus doing the best with what you can in order to help here and now and as part of the work of becoming wiser? What is the right balance between being fun and free and creative and living and doing and exploring and frolicking versus the discipline of spiritual practice?
Ah Bartleby, ah humanity!
You know what would be a step in the right direction?
A media campaign that taught critical thinking skills and stressed the importance of clarity, honesty, decency and kindness in thought and action. We could give people tools to push back on the constant flux of memes. We could make it a fun game we can all play all the time: always striving for more clarity, honesty, decency and kindness. It’s not a panacea, but it might help us as individuals, interwoven overlapping groups, and as a whole get more traction in our thoughts and actions.
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Stop! I posted this Sunday April 10 and it is now a bit later on the same day and I am realizing it isn’t even close to readable. I’ll work on it tonight. Update at 6:46pm: Getting better. I’ll work on it tomorrow. Update: 3:22 on Monday: Maybe it is mostly readable now. I will work on it tonight or tomorrow.
But how? How to come up with a phrase or sentence or two that cuts the reader or listener in half, slicing straight through all the blah blah blah and forcing their conscious mind to fully experience the Truth within–that deepest widest sense-of-things that lines the back of a person’s thought, gradually building up on the back of their thought like slowly developing film gathering more and more light. While most people do get wiser as they get older, we don’t tend to ever get nearly wise enough, and our youths are often full of dangerous folly. So we need something that works exceedingly fast. However, it must also be perfectly safe–a problem with quick revelations is that they may be partial but the violence of speedy insights tempts one to believe them complete, which can help unwise impulses do what they love to do: co-opt bits of goodness and wisdom, mix them up in a confusion cocktail, and use them to justify and aggrandize wrong-headedness. The wisdom meme must immediately compel consciousness’s into full awareness of the Truth in a way that binds them permanently to that wider perspective.
We’ll leave the heavy lifting to the hand-picked team of towering intellectual, emotional, and spiritual figures. However, the Proposal Committee (PC–an unintended acropun) feels both empowered and obligated to sketch out the obvious outlines of this, the most critical endeavor in human history (because it may decide whether human history ends soonish and horrifyingly or sprawls out into another million years of good, clean, wholesome fun in grand wisdom).
Basically, we want to make sure that everyone who hears the message is immediately and irrevocably enlightened–experiences and maintains a direct connection with the Truth so that their feelings, notions, and ideas cannot help but adequately interpret and follow the Truth. Also, we want to make sure that we find a way to write the message in a form (holy grail!) or forms (beggars can’t be choosers) that everyone on the planet can understand.
Beyond the obvious suggestion that the New Manhattan Project (NMP) hire linguistically and culturally sensitive translators, the Proposal Committee currently can’t think what to say about making a fool-proof wisdom-meme. But we can present a little philosophical background to give the geniuses an idea of what we’re looking for:
Something Deeperism is the philosophical attitude that there is a Truth deeper than ideas and feelings, so ideas and feelings cannot relate with scientific/literal-precision, -clarity, and -certainty to the Truth; but since the Truth is within each person’s conscious experience along with ideas and feelings the Truth can, under the right circumstances, explain Itself to her/his ideas and feelings well enough to allow her/his thought-as-a-whole to correctly believe that s/he is living in and through the Truth.
Something Deeperism avoids the extremes of systematic skepticism/sciencism (sciencism = believing that reality is nothing more than our current scientific hypothesis about the material world–a belief underpinned by skepticism) and of fundamentalist religions. Radical skepticism/sciencism is a self-refuting philosophy because there’s no point doubting anything unless some thought-paths should actually be preferred over others, and that implies that something actually matters and we can and should consciously work to think and act in accordance with that something. Fundamentalist religion is defined here as religious attitudes that put faith in dogmas/practices over faith in the sense of True Joy and Love that makes it clear that life is meaningful and that it matters what we do. That definition demonstrates both the difficulty of pinpointing exactly how fundamentalist someone is being (since we cannot see our own thoughts and feelings perfectly, and others even less well) and the self-refuting nature of fundamentalism (since it is counterproductive to follow ideas about why life is meaningful if those ideas are cutting you off from your deeper sense about how and why life is meaningful). Taken together, the black-box nature of individual spiritual lives and the self-defeat of fundamentalist thought add up to this conclusion: People of all faiths must constantly work to make sure their faith is not undermining itself; ie: that we are not putting more emphasis on ideas and feelings than on that deeper sense that informs us that clarity and honesty and decency in thought and feeling matter because what we think and do matters and because pushing for ever more clarity, honesty, and decency as well as that ineffable element within our sense of “life actually matters” will help us move towards better ways of thinking and acting (all this information is part of an inner sense of things that we cannot perfectly catch with words, but that words can still point towards; we claim here two things about this sense: experientially, we sense it as more true and fundamental than any doubts we might have about it; and logically if we don’t assume it, all our thoughts are self-defeating because our thought has no possible way to choose one thought over another unless it accepts this sense-of-things).
Of course, both systematic skepticism/sciencism and Something Deeperism are faiths (aka: irreducibles–general epistemological/metaphysical stances that cannot be justified in thought that is only intellectual and/or emotional). They are therefore liable to the same pitfalls of typical religions. While systematic sciencism seems a lost cause and Something Deeperism a possibility, Something Deeperists still face this problem, the problem of all faiths: people are more inclined to consider themselves wise than they are inclined to constantly push for inner honesty.
Generally, the Something Deeperist is counseled to just keep working on whole-being-wisdom (using the standard means: meditating, praying, working alone and with others to better and better grasp and live/unpack the insight that it actually matters what we say and do) and to keep asking him-/her-self if they are keeping their sense that life matters ahead of their attempt to live meaningfully. But some degree Something Deeperists (we all, when it comes right down to it, are trying to follow not our ideas and feelings, which we know we don’t ever quite fathom or even care about, but to chase to the end that sense within that knows that some ways of thinking and acting are better than others), so that counsel applies to all of us. But because of the grandeur of our weapons and the fragility of our individual and collective existences, I am not confident that we can afford to bumble along any longer. Wisdom is needed now–Something Deeperism in each individual conscious experience must be shored up ASAP!
The wisdom meme will have to get us to directly experience that aspect of thought that has direct contact with the Truth while still allowing our ideas and feelings to be present and to irrevocably learn the correct rhythm/sense-of-things/vision. Maybe a thunderclap jolt that silences all our ideas and feelings and sets us therefore straight into awareness of what is leftover in our experience when ideas and feelings hush up–which we’re assuming is the Truth–and then a gradual, controlled slide back to thinking with ideas and feelings. But once might not be enough–not if we’re going to make the wisdom meme fool-proof. So let’s have the meme make it so that one can’t help experiencing the Truth followed by a gradual, studious fade into more mundane thought over and over again every day. It would be analogous to Plato’s philosopher kings and queens as they studied the Form of the Good and then translated their discoveries into practical thoughts.
That is what the wisdom meme is to achieve, so get to it team!
[Note about a point bothering me from above: While an individual’s spiritual life is inner and thus a black-box, that doesn’t mean that other individuals can’t have insight into the spiritual attainment of others. We are all fundamentally the same (try to doubt that and see how much sense your thought makes to you–it was created by learning from others; I submit that the philosophical zombie puzzle is self-defeating because if other people are not basically like you are, your reality is so unlike anything you can fathom or care about that from a practical point of view the puzzle is just meaningless jabber jaw to you). And we learn to speak and think by interacting with others. We learn concepts like “ouch” and “pain” and “hooray” and “delight” through empathy with others–through assuming that they are like we are and feeling along with them while they use language. Therefore, just as we can to some degree understand what others are talking about when they talk about their feelings and we can, by becoming more self-aware and empathic get better at telling how well others are understanding and describing their own feelings; we should be able, through the same process plus spiritual growth, be able to get better and better at telling how well others are understanding and describing their own spiritual experiences. The point is just that we can’t say for sure. Also, since spiritual attainment is not objectively verifiable and misattributing spiritual attainment in oneself and others is a cause of terrible corruptions, it is best to do as we try to do with our US constitution and keep religion and government separate. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t vote their conscious or that their religious experiences shouldn’t influence their conscious. It just means that in government, we should remember that we should keep our eye on what the politicians are actually doing and proposing to do because those are things that we as a group can effectively monitor and discuss. We the people have a limited amount of time, energy, and focus; let’s keep our eye on the ball: acting as a last check against political corruption and idiocy. There is a parallel between effective Something Deeperism in an individual and effective group organization: in both cases the enemy is pretending to know more or less than you actually know: we know that analytical thought and science and math can help us to make better decisions in everything except the question of what truly matters, but we also know that what truly matters is respecting ourselves and others and this kindness within us that knows how to accomplish that.]
Or, you know what:
“Results Psilocybin [effective chemical in magic mushrooms] produced a range of acute perceptual
changes, subjective experiences, and labile moods including anxiety. Psilocybin also increased measures of mystical experience. At 2 months, the volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance and attributed to the experience sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior consistent with changes rated by community observers.”
So maybe we could just pay for everyone to do mushrooms in a controlled setting. Or perhaps instead of debating whether or not torturing terrorists is legitimate, we should turn our legal and moral attention to the question of whether or not we can force inmates to do mushrooms. OK, not mushrooms but this extract of their hallucinogenic compounds.
But no, that’s no kind of a plan! Oh dear oh dear, where are we going to get a good-enough wisdom meme?!?!
But a wisdom meme is not possible! Not really. And so much trouble has been created by memes that pose as wisdom memes! So this joke is ill-advised? Oh, just let us make the occasional joke !
AMW / BW
Whatever happened to selling evolving ebooks on the world-wide web?
Well, nothing’s being posted, but the somewhat-begun books are still available:
Love at a Reasonable Price are listed and linked-to here:
Intro to Love at a Reasonable Price
Intro to Diary of an Adamant Lover for sale here:
Buy the Books
But what are we really up to?
I dunno, Bartleby and Andy are writing something once in a while and then sometimes going back and editing things. I think they’ll go back to the ebooks before too long. We’ll see.