Some assumptions are undoubtable to human thought. To the degree a human doubts them, they doubt their own thought as they cannot help but understand it, and thus they doubt all their conclusions, and thus they doubt the attempted initial doubt. Those logoi are truly self-defeating!
Note: In the various Examples of Undoubtables below, words are sometimes set off in quotes to stress that we are here using language to point imperfectly (but not therefore necessarily inadequately) ultimately prior to ideas and feelings.
Examples of Undoubtables:
1. You are capable of “truly meaningful” thoughts and actions.
2. Your various aspects of conscious experience (ex: ideas, feelings, vaguer/wider/deeper senses-of-things) can relate meaningfully to one another.
3. Being true to your inner sense towards “aware”, “clear”, “honest”, “accurate”, “truer” and “better” is a viable way to meaningfully choose one thought/action over another.
4. “Truer” and “better” are not completely relative, but are ultimately grounded within endpoints: “Truth” and “Goodness”. (Otherwise “truer” and “better” meander with your whims, and you cannot decisively declare anyone ever wrong or right).
5. You can relate meaningfully to “Truth” and “Goodness”.
[Doubt any of these and you doubt your thought’s inborn procedures for discovering viable thought-/action-paths, and thus you doubt your own thinking as you cannot help but understand it; and so you doubt all your thoughts, and so you doubt the doubt that started all this …
That’s not to say the above examples point perfectly to what they’re referring to. Of course they don’t.
The point is that if you doubt away the inner senses-of-things those examples are pointing towards, you doubt away any workable thought/action process.
Don’t doubt them away: They are your only possible starting point for thoughts and actions that mean anything to you.
Granted: that is not sufficient reason to blindly believe in them. But more on that nuance below.]
[Note that 1-4 build the general system of mystical knowledge:
Rather than waiting for perfect intellectual knowledge of how one should really think and act, the mystic accepts the inner sense towards clarity, honesty, truer and better; and seeks a whole-being insight into an inner Light that alone knows that and in what sense it is True to say, “we are all in this together”.
(“whole-being insight: ideas, feelings, and the Light shining through all things [including each conscious moment] all relating meaningfully with one another, though—since we are finite and the Light, if It is to be the firm foundation for Truth and Goodness that we seek, must be infinite—not relating literally/1:1/definitively with one another.)
The mystic does not renounce intellectual and emotional clarity—without these our thoughts make no sense to themselves.
However, the mystic does put whole-being clarity of attitude and purpose ahead of intellectual knowledge:
We don’t strictly speaking have to know whether or not there is a Reality corresponding to xyz human notion of “Reality”. What we must know is how to think and act in a way that is truly better—that doesn’t just “seem better” to this or that person’s way of thinking and feeling. The danger of self-deceit, of confusing ideas and feelings for the “True Good” remains for self-conscious and purposeful spiritual seekers, as it does for everyone. But, as we just mentioned: more on this later.]
You and other people are fundamentally the same and can communicate meaningfully.
[If not, what becomes of your understanding of all you’ve learned by interacting with others and their works?
Also, if not, can you stand life? No: to the degree you disbelieve we are all fundamentally the same and able to relate to one another, life becomes absurdly stupid: and to that degree you cannot understand, believe in, or care about your own thinking/acting (See the chapter “How We Learn / Against All Talk of “Philosophical Zombies” in First Essays for more on this.)]
Some Final Examples:
“We are all in this together.”
“Loving Kindness is the Way. “
“Joyful sharing and collaborating is actually preferable.”
“We all can and should treat one another with respect and kindness.”
“What we say and do really does matter.”
[Doubt these fundamental rules of thumb, and you doubt away the only meaning of your life you can understand, care about, or believe in.
This is true of the previous undoubtables too, but the first and second category also lead to obvious logical and ethical (in the widest sense of what one should do, shorn of any a priori assumptions about what “truly preferable” is supposed to look like) paradoxes; while trying to doubt this final category of undoubtables leads only to obvious emotional/a-Reality-I-can-stand conundrums—at least that I easily perceive. I dunno: search yourself.]
To the degree an individual doubts the undoubtables, she doubts the meaningfulnes and viability of her own inborn thought-process/system-for-choosing-one-possibility-over-another; to this degree, she doubts all her thoughts, including her attempted doubts; to this degree she wanders in the meaningless chaos of thoughts she cannot understand, believe in, or care about; to this degree, she loses the ability to travel with her own thoughts to her own conclusions: she ghosts-away in boring, self-imposed confusions and hands the steering wheel of her thought over to animal caprices, which are often mean, stupid, and boring.
Naturally, an assumption’s procedural undoubtability doesn’t prove it either true or True.
And forcing yourself to believe something without adequately demonstrating its accuracy to yourself also breaks a fundamental rule of human thought and so leads to the abyss of self-confusion.
Furthermore, we are speaking here of fundamental notions experienced at a level deeper than ideas and feelings, which conceptual language therefore can never literally/definitively describe.
And we are seeking to ground our feeling/thinking/grounding an Absolute Truth, which our finite minds/hearts/bodies could never fully grasp.
Forcing yourself to believe the literal Truth of xyz undoubtable dogma will only result in tightly clutching an idea you don’t understand.
Forcing a feeling of certainty onto an idea you don’t even really fathom, let alone care about, is not at all the same as meaningfully relating your ideas and feelings to an undoubtable sense of things well enough that your ideas and feelings win real insight into the way in which that undoubtable sense is True (assuming it is True).
But that internal spiritual discovery is the prerequisite for you (you = your thought-as-a-whole = your combined conscious and unconscious experience) to understand, believe, care about, and meaningfully steer and journey-with your own thinking/acting.
Accordingly, Something Deeperism forbids doubting the undoubtables, but it also forbids forcing literal beliefs upon yourself. Instead, Something Deeperism suggests you work to better and better coordinate your ideas and feelings around that sense within that knows what and how life “actually matters”. It suggests you recognize that we of course need ideas to help us make decisions in human life, but ideas are only useful as provisional structures for gaining and living-out more and more whole-being insight into that and in what sense it is True to say, for example, “Love is Real”.
Blindly believing or disbelieving the undoubtables will just confuse us. Instead, Something Deeperism suggests accepting them provisionally as part of a whole-being (ideas, feelings and the Light within) effort to center ourselves around the Light within (whose Reality we again accept provisionally) that alone Knows that and in what sense we are all in this together.
The goal is to organize one’s feeling/thinking/acting around the Light well enough that one’s thought as a whole can grasp the “Truth” to the point that one’s feeling, thinking, speaking, and acting are essentially in accord with the “Truth”. Such a goal could never be fully realized (we are finite and the Truth infinite), but one could move more and more in the right direction, allowing for feeling/thinking/acting that was more and more meaningful to oneself / more and more “Beautiful/True/Good/Just/LovingKind”.
I say “provisionally”, but only half mean it:
Part of the motion of Something Deeperism is what we’ve spelled out above:
A results-demanding wager on the only path of thinking and acting that can mean something to human beings: An aware, honest, accurate, competent, kind, joyful, generous whole-being coordination of ideas and feelings around the perfect Light within that alone Knows what’s what, and that our imperfect ideas and feelings can relate to (imperfectly—but not therefore necessarily inadequately);
However, Something Deeperism is also about prioritizing what we know deeper and wider — if perhaps less intellectually capturably/provably — than our certainties and uncertainties:
That still, silent, uplifting YesILoveYou! from God to all of us, from all of us to God, and from all of us to one another.
Let’s choose our dogmas well. Let’s not choose dogmas that confuse our thought, such as “Nothing is True”, or “Nothing matters”, or “It is literally True that life matters and if you believe that you are right and otherwise wrong”. Let’s instead choose ideas that we can understand and work with, such as “I am going to keep working to gain more and more whole-being insight into in what way it is True that life matters”.
Let’s reject radical skepticism and dogmatic literalism for a constant whole being quest to better and better understand that and in what way it is basically True to say “We are all in this together and must treat everyone equally: with complete respect, love and unflinching kindness.” Let’s choose thought-/action-paths that allow for meaningful progress in thoughts and actions.
Author Lost to Time and Chance
[This essay can be found in “A Readable Reader”, “First Loves: Vol 1 of Love at a Reasonable Rate” and “First Essays”. See Buy Our Books! for more.]