What is Something Deeperism?
A self-circling, four-part obsession
Something Deeperism is the general position that we humans have insight into the Absolute (the Absolute is what is actually going on / what actually matters / what one should actually do–as opposed to mere opinions-about/perspectives-on what is going on / etc); but not literal / definitive / exclusive insight into the Something Deeperism. Picture the Truth as a Knowledge that is also Reality and therefore beyond doubt. The Truth is ultimately prior to human ideas and feelings about the Truth, so our ideas and feelings cannot relate perfectly to the Truth, but they can still relate meaningfully to the Truth (similar to how feelings are deeper/wider/vaguer than ideas, so an individual’s ideas cannot capture her feelings perfectly/literally/1:1, but her ideas can still relate meaningfully to her feelings). We humans can neither stand nor understand our lives without clear, honest thinking and feeling grounded in a certainty that knows that clear, open-eyed, joyous loving kindness is the way and that also knows how we can live in that Knowledge;therefore, we have no choice: we must assume such a Truth, and that our ideas and feelings can relate meaningfully to It, and–since the Truth will never be perfectly translated by our ideas and feelings and since our external circumstances are always changing whereas the Truth is always the same–we must never stop searching to better and better desire, understand, and follow that Truth within. So the path of Something Deeperism is centering your whole being (ideas, feelings, and etc) around the core of your and all being (the Truth) better and better: a task of constant pushing out from within, constant self-awareness and reassessment, constantly holding your feelings, ideas, and actions up to our inborn guardrails (insights we are born with and which we see more clearly as we learn to think, feel and act more clearly, honestly, gratefully, kindly): “am I being honest?”, “am I thinking clearly?”, “am I being kind?”, “or am I egotripping, showboating, grabgrabgrabbing?”
Naturally the foregoing is not literally true, but poetically true: poetically we point towards what is really going on and how we should deal with that circumstance. Like how a poem about a walk on the beach with a heavy heart can bring the attentive reader to a reasonably adequate sense of what the poet experienced: because we are all fundamentally the same and so–just as an individual’s ideas and feelings can, with clear, open heart and mind, can adequately understand and follow
Something Deeperism believes that human ideas do not literally capture their object, but rather point towards them imperfectly but still meaningfully. Mathematical ideas may become literal / definitive when written down, but when contemplated within human thought, they cannot help but take on deeper and wider meanings and so fuzz-out at the edges. Still, in practice math can be bracketed off from the question of what (if anything) it actually means and whether or not it actually matters. At least as measured by formal soundness, one can play the math-game perfectly well without worrying about those questions. However, topics like whether or not it matters what one does lose all meaning when bracketed off from questions about what they really mean and whether or not they really matter. And those are the questions most important to humans. But that’s OK, because human beings are not formal systems. We are ideas, feelings, vague notions, and etc all working meaningfully together; and there’s no reason to suppose that within human thought there’s not a Truth shining through that is both Knowledge and Reality and thus has the undeniable stamp of Truth within Itself; that is, for all we know human thought has enough wisdom within it to provide it with certain knowledge–not certain ideas and feelings, nor even a whole-being certainty, but rather a certain Truth that can adequately though of course not perfectly/definitively/no-chance-for-errorly guide one’s whole-being (ideas and feelings relating meaningfully to each other and to the Truth within).
Something Deeperism seeks to clarify the confusion caused by the false debate between faith in Goodness/the Truth (used interchangeably since they both point poetically towards the same place) and reason. Sure: Goodness cannot be perfectly translated into human ideas and feelings; but that doesn’t mean we cannot relate human ideas, feelings, words and actions meaningfully to Goodness. And since we cannot make sense of, believe in, or care about our own ideas without intellectual and emotional rigor, as well as spiritual (ie: non-mutable, non-relative/perspectival/debatable) Love/Goodness/the Truth, we have no choice but to work to better and better translate between ideas, feelings, words, deeds and Goodness.
Note also that believing in the doubtability of the existence of Truth is just as intellectually undefineable and unprovable as believing in the existence of Truth. And whereas to the degree you believe there’s no Truth, you doubt the meaningfulness of your own thought and so doubt all your thoughts and so slip into the chaotic mush of self-defeating thought, to the degree you are able to discover that Truth exists and what Truth is, your thought has a firm foundation: it can understand, believe-in, and understand itself.
Something Deeperism posits that just as via clear thought and feeling one’s ideas and words can imperfectly but still adequately relate to feelings even though feelings are wider/deeper/vaguer than ideas and words, clear thinking and feeling can also allow one to relate one’s ideas and feelings imperfectly but still adequately to the Truth shining through each conscious moment. And so one can speak meaningfully of the Truth, but only in a poetic (not literally/mathematically, but not therefore either inadequately meaningfully or unTrue) sense: we humans are essentially the same in our inner and outer experiences, so just as I can recreate within my own conscious moment an adequate facsimile of a poet’s experience by reading her poem with an open heart and mind, I can get the drift of spiritual writings by reading them with an open heart and mind (I’m here assuming the writings are good ones).
Something Deeperism is not a philosophy that can be built up from undoubtable assumptions. Rather, it must be taken as a whole and explored from the inside out. However, you can summarize it quickly and the intellect and emotion can see therein their only only real chance for progress. Please also note that no philosophy can be built up from undoubtable assumptions: ones that pretend they can be just hide their assumptions about what is really going on, what really matters, and how one should really think and act (senses-of-things that the intellect cannot define with precision or prove one way or another, but that humans cannot dispense with; take, for example yon radical skeptic: doth he not feelingly grab the sense “I am actually right!” and so commit a secret dogmatism?)
If the Truth shines through my conscious moment; and if I can through aware clear honest thinking and feeling coordinate my ideas, feelings, words and deeds better and better with the Truth; and if the Truth supports my sense that we are all in this together and must be kind to one another and that shared joy is the way; and if that kind of meaningful communication is possible not only within me (ie: between the various aspects of my conscious moment) but also between me and my fellows: if all that is the case and my thought-as-a-whole (ideas, feelings, and everything else within my conscious moment working together) can discover that and how it is the case (not through literal knowledge of the Truth—which strikes me as neither possible nor, even if it were possible, usable by human thought—, but through an overall insight into the Truth that I can relate poetically [not literally, but still meaningfully and essentially accurately] to ideas, feelings, words and deeds)–if all that is possible, then I have a method for choosing one thought over another that is meaningful/interesting/stand-able to my thought as I cannot help but experience it. Otherwise, I don’t and I will make no progress in thought and action, which will continue to flap meaninglessly around as I try to pretend it means this and that to me and/or I don’t need my own thought to make any sense to me, and so on with the nonsense.
All individual humans and human organizations would do well to accept the essential dogmas I outlined above. Any individual dogma that doesn’t accept them is meaningless/useless to human beings; therefore they provide a dogmatic foundation for shared undertakings: none of our individual philosophies can be worth anything to any of us unless they help us to understand and live the Truth of those dogmas (not, of course, the words and concepts used to express the dogmas so much as the general internal sense-of-things those words and concepts point imperfectly but not therefore inadequately towards, but without words and concepts a human cannot communicate fully either with himorherself or with others, and refusing to use words and concepts that point adequately well towards senses-of-things prior to words and concepts is a type of lie: you’re throwing out a way forward on the grounds that it is imperfect, but you know perfectly well that that is not a legitimate reason to throw out a way forward). Therefore, we should not allow our shared dogmas to doubt those undoubtable dogmas (ex: if clear honest reasoning and relentless joy-spreading we-are-all-in-this-together kindness don’t matter, all humanly understandable and standable philosophies are out the window; therefore, we really ought to all agree to agree that we will together prioritize clear honest reasoning and relentless joy-spreading we-are-all-in-this-together kindness).
However, it is important to keep in mind that what human thought needs for a firm foundation is not ideas about the Truth grasped with the sense of “This is the Truth!”, but whole-being insight into the Truth; therefore, neither groups nor individuals should seek blind faith in the the dogmas outlined above. Forcing yourself to believe an idea you don’t understand just confuses you, muddying your thought and making it less meaningful/interesting/believable to you. That is why Something Deeperism advocates not literal belief in the bare minimum dogmas (“bare minimum” as in to the degree they either are not True or you cannot find a way to show yourself that and how they are True, your thought cannot believe/understand/follow itself), but a whole-being insight that is aware of its limitations: since you are relating what is prior to ideas and feelings to ideas and feelings, there will of necessity be some fudging/estimating/error; therefore: wisdom is never perfected and no one is in a position to assume they can get by without humility, without revising, seeking over and over again for a better nuance. So both individual and group dogmas should also include that nuance: the Truth is Absolute, but our insights into the Truth are not; so we should all keep seeking for more and more clarity, honesty, accuracy, goodness, kindness, and shared joy.
We humans need ideas to help us navigate this human realm, and without some stable dogmas, all is mush and chaos, so we need some principles, even though the Truth is wider and deeper than human principles. But no worldview is worth anything unless it is helping its adherents relate their whole-being to the Joy within that alone knows that and how human life is sacred and how we should move and be; so our dogmas, though limited, must help relate us to the limitless Truth. A worldview is a type of moving platform that must be constantly revised and that must constantly guard against the temptation to confuse itself for the Truth that it is there to help one relate to.
The first goal is to reach a tipping point of whole-being (ideas, feelings, and deeper senses all working together) insight where it is more true for one to say “I believe kindness truly Matters” than to say “I don’t know anything for sure”. At that point, our inborn starting-point has brought us to a whole being starting-point. Again: it doesn’t count if you lie to yourself or trick yourself into this conclusion; the whole point is that you cannot believe in, care about, or follow your own ideas unless they are both clear and accurate, and relate to a Light within that knows that and how kindness truly Matters.
Either affirming that those essential dogmas are worth believing or doubting that they are worth believing amounts to making a poetic statement (declaring what should actually be believed oversteps what can be intellectually/emotionally known and understood); but when we doubt those dogmas without which human thought cannot believe in, care about, or understand itself, we contradict ourselves and spin our wheels hopelessly; whereas if we can find a way to get whole-being insight into the Truth of those procedurally undoubtable dogmas, we will have a workable way to connect our ideas and feelings to a Light within that alone knows what is worthwhile and that alone can provide our ideas and feelings with a firm foundation. That’s why religion is good, so long as it is not too literal: it gives people a shared vocabulary and framework to discuss spiritual growth and challenges, and it also helps to ground us in the kinds of practices necessary for improving our whole-being insight into the Goodness (ideas, feelings and etc all relating meaningfully to the Goodness shining through each conscious moment) that we all need to make any progress, and which no human will fully grasp, and which ego-trips constantly seek to co-opt. Blind faith in ideas amounts to forcing feelings of “this is so!” onto ideas you can’t really understand or even care about. In recognition that intellectual, emotional, and spiritual progress all require each other and that the Truth, not ideas and/or feelings about the Truth, must ultimately orchestrate any progress, Something Deeperism advocates pushing more for whole-being insight poetically (not intellectually literal or emotionally definitive, but still essentially accurate and meaningfully) expressed and lived than for dogmas believed and followed. Of course, there’s no perfection in human life, and some dogmatism is inevitable, so Something Deeperism doesn’t say “no dogmatism at all!”, but merely works to bend us towards dogmas like “let’s keep pushing to keep ourselves focused on the Light prior to all ideas and feelings by gently but consistently pushing against our human tendency to put more focus on ideas and feelings that make us feel meaningful than on the whole-being coordination of ideas and feelings around the Light within that alone knows that and how we are meaningful”. Something Deeperism is not pushy! It is gently pushing for better and better and …
But for real: what if one gets the Truth wrong? Indeed, so much trouble is caused by people thinking they know the Truth when all they know are intellectual ideas about the Truth! As we’ve noted: The Truth is not the same as ideas and feelings about the Truth, and declaring xyz statement “True” without whole-being insight into the way in which the statement is “True” causes one to clench misunderstood intellectual ideas tighter and tighter, which drives a larger and larger wedge from one and the Truth (which is of course prior to ideas and feelings, since the Truth is what is, not ideas and feelings about what is). Therefore, to accept the literal Truth of the undoubtable assumptions is to commit the same basic mistake as disavowing them: the error of pretending literal knowledge where only poetic insight is humanly possible.
That’s why Something Deeperism points out that while we can have insight into the Absolute, we cannot have Absolute insight: we need intellectual and emotional ideas to navigate this human reality, and without spiritual insight nothing means anything to us, so we need to meaningfully relate our intellectual and emotional ideas to the Truth, and both blind skepticism and blind faith work against that coordination of what is prior (the Truth) to what is post (ideas, feelings, words, and deeds). Therefore, let us keep trying and trying again for the correct nuance: Meaning is Real and ideas and feelings can relate meaningfully to Meaning, but part of that process involves a necessary error: we’ll inevitably confuse ideas and feelings about Meaning to some degree, so we have to work to keep reducing that error, so we drop down again and again to a little lower level: we must constantly reevaluate and refine our dogmas, which are structures that need to understand their own limitations to remain useful.
This essay is not literal. It points. It uses some reason and some emotions, but it points also past them. This essay is not unique in that. All human words and deeds do that. Even math, though able to live bracketed off from the question of Meaning when inside symbols and in computers, upon entering a human mind automatically becomes part of the human quest to figure out what is really going on, what really matters, and how one should really think and act. Let’s not pretend we are what we aren’t!
Author: Monsieur Pud En Taine
Editor: BW w/AMW