My Cultural Criticism
Ancient Hellenic and modern European ’philosophy’ have nothing in common but the name. Ch. C. Evangeliou therefore contents the uncritical assumption that ancient Hellenic philosophy is the origin of Western or European ‘philosophy’, arguing instead that the Socratic tradition, to which Plato and Aristotle belong, has more affinity with the Egyptian wisdom and the ‘remote philosophies of India and China’.
My cultural criticism is flowering from the third exercise in Meditation as an Art of Life: Critical Thinking.
The headline for the target of my cultural criticism is The Matrix Conspiracy - a world-spreading group of people who, in many different ways, try to convince us that reality is a "Matrix" (a "Computer Simulation", a "Hologram of Deception", "an Illusion", "A Product of the Mind", "A Product of the Brain", "A Mysterious Field", "A Void of Particles and Waves", a "Social Construction", etc., etc.), which manipulates us in certain ways (the "Matrix" is often postulated to be controlled by evil forces), and how we then ought to relate and behave in relation to this idea (read introductory article: The Matrix Conspiracy).
In philosophy, there is one term that covers the whole tendency: Anti-realism. My own view is, not surprisingly, the opposite: philosophical realism (this was also Plato´s and Aristotle´s view: click here). However, you´ll need to go into my other writings in order to get the full picture. My complete philosophy is collected in my free Ebook: Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien.
Though I´m not fully a supporter of naive realism, I don´t believe in "The Matrix". I therefore believe that naive realism (common sense) should be a starting point. We should start with our own primary presence (the first personal inside-and-out perspective on reality), and our own ability of critical thinking. Think for Yourself is a central mantra in philosophy (however, in a spiritual practice reality would, through many years of training, widen out into some kind objective idealism, but that´s not my starting point).
What you will be hearing in the following will therefore be different than anything else you have heard about The Matrix, and I urge you to read carefully, so that you don´t confuse my ideas with anti-realistic ideas about The Matrix. I namely use a lot of the same terms - as for example The Illuminati - but in a reverse way.
I for example ask the counter-question:
What if I told you that conspiracy theories are a conspiracy?
Also remember, as I told you in the introduction to this website: my work is a kind of "satiric" online storytelling game. The different conspiracy theories in this game should be seen as caricatures. This technique is partly inspired by Umberto Eco´s novel, "Foucault´s Pendulum" (read more) and partly Karen Blixen´s literary technique of writing "counter-stories" (read more).
The most significant difference is my promotion of philosophy in opposition to psychology. Also note the difference between talking about The Matrix, and talking about The Matrix Conspiracy.
In the project of trying to make you believe in The Matrix, the "Matrix Sophists" make use of a gaslightning program of Orwellian dimensions.
Gaslighting is a form of psychological manipulation in which a person seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, making them question their own memory, perception, or sanity. Using denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying, gaslighting involves attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's beliefs.
I claim that all this is a part of a global spreading real-life role-playing game, which I call The Godgame.
The "Matrix Sophists" often start out with postulations such as this: "What if I told you that everything you sense, think and believe, was wrong? What if everything you believe is something you have been programmed to believe? What if reality is a deception?"
This is what Morpheus says to Neo in the movie, The Matrix:
Morpheus explains to Neo that the Matrix is an illusory world created to prevent humans from discovering that they are slaves to an external influence. Holding out a capsule on each of his palms, he describes the choice facing Neo:
The metaphysical (philosophical) premise of the movie is postmodernism, subjectivism and relativism. Note how Morpheus is talking about The Matrix as being a prison for your mind. The terrible consequence of subjectivism is solipsism.
And now we have come to the central targets of my critique, namely the Matrix epistemology and metaphysics: relativism, subjectivism and solipsism! It is not so much whether there exist a metaphysical world or not. It is whether teachers are relativists, subjectivists, or solipsists. It is their anti-realistic philosophy I criticize! It is the flaws and holes in the abstract web behind the concrete appearances of The Matrix Conspiracy, which I´m trying to bring into light.
In a storytelling context I call bad philosophies Demon Spells. Demons work collectively, and they plant their spells in the collective images of time: in Urd´s Web.
And, as any philosopher, I offer an alternative philosophy based on philosophical realism (see my free Ebook: Philosophical Counseling with Tolkien).
Social constructivism (cultural relativism) is one of my targets. Materialism is another fashionable metaphysical theory, which I criticize due to its reductionist claim that reality is nothing else than the descriptions the natural sciences have given us about material interactions on a microcosmic plane. A theory that often is combined with skepticism about our common sense (first personal) experience of reality, and therefore ends up in gasligtning the Wholeness away. In other words: another metaphysical theory about that reality is some kind of "Matrix" (a lot of materialists - the transhumanists - are for example totally buying the idea that reality could be a computer simulation).
But my main target is subjective idealism and it´s consequence: solipsism (note that materialists also often end up in a kind of subjectivism: "brain-subjectivism", and therefore "brain-solipsism"). Solipsism is the most perverted philosophical theory you can imagine. In most philosophy departments it is not accepted as a serious point of view, and is rather easy to invalidate. However, for some reason it has become a normal theory in New Age circles, and therefore in large parts of society.
Solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one's mind is sure to exist. As an epistemological position, solipsism holds that knowledge of anything outside one's own mind is unsure; the external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist outside the mind. Metaphysical solipsism is the variety of solipsism seen in New Age. Based on a philosophy of subjective idealism, metaphysical solipsists maintain that the self is the only existing reality and that all other realities, including the external world and other persons, are representations of that self, and have no independent existence. It is from here the famous New Age mantra comes: create your own reality!
One should be aware that the popular New Age claims about that reality doesn´t exist ends in nihilism (materialism also ends in nihilism).
The psychologist, Jung, is an example of a thinker who ends in metaphysical solipsism, probably because he didn´t make any serious philosophical considerations of his own metaphysics. He hated philosophy, and he is loved by New Agers. In New Age you´ll constantly be faced with attempts of getting you fooled into some kind of psychotherapy (or, as a renaissance: psychedelics), most of which are inspired by Jung (about Jung´s influence on New Age, see my article: Peter Kingsley - Another Story Waiting to Pierce You). However, the unknown philosopher behind is George Berkeley.
Spirituality is constantly mixed together with (= reduced to) psychology and psychotherapy; that is: mind cures which lead you into a Sisyphean work with your own mind, and where the goal is nothing else than a self-created reality.
In my philosophical counseling practice, I offer help to guide people through spiritual crises. A guest of mine was a woman who had had a bad trip on Ayahuasca, where she ended up in Hell. Like Jung, she hadn´t really considered her own metaphysics. She believed in New Age subjectivism. During the trip she experienced being a prisoner in her own mind. Her only companion was the Devil, who told her that she would never come out of her own mind, since the whole world only existed within her own mind, hereunder all her friends, family, pets, everybody who had loved her, the houses, trees, the Universe, the stars, and infinity. It was all just her own mind. A state of the most terrifying anxiety and loneliness you can imagine. What she experienced was what I call “The Borgesian Nightmare”. It comes from the Argentine author, Jorge Luis Borges, who in his short stories, depicted the consequences (appearances) of solipsism in all kinds of ways – see my article: The Strange World of Jorge Luis Borges.
I don´t believe in subjective idealism (solipsism), and I therefore don´t believe in The Matrix. But I do discuss the premise, and claim that the only deception we live in, is the deception created by people who try to manipulate us to believe in the Matrix. That´s why my philosophical counseling practice (and all the counseling forms, hereunder Healing and Divination), functions as a deprogramming of, not the Matrix (because it doesn´t exist), but the Matrix Conspiracy, or: The Godgame.
Again, notice how I use the concept of "deprogramming" as a counter-story to the Matrix Sophist´s use of the term
The Matrix Conspiracy is, despite it´s modern name, ancient. It´s most obvious predecessor is the Sophists in ancient Greece, who stood in opposition to the philosopher: Socrates (a person who thinks for himself). In other words: today we see a return of the sophists, who, like the Norns, weave an abstract web of anti-realistic philosophies full of flaws and holes. We see an army of propagandists, manipulators, con artists, liars, occult magicians, etc., who are gaslightning us into all kind of spiritual and pseudoscientific ideologies.
In a certain sense you could talk about taking the red pill, and stay in wonderland, if this meant philosophy, the land of wonder followed by critical inquiry, as Alice in Wonderland practices. A situation where you begin trusting your own ability of critical thinking. Again, this sounds like something New Agers themselves are saying (as for example certain QAnon conspiracy theorists). But again it is meant as a satiric counter-story, or, counter-game: a movement from psychology to philosophy. It is in this connection interesting, that the modern Matrix sophists talk about believing whatever you want, dropping thinking critically, follow your feelings, create your own reality, etc. This would mean taking the blue pill. Their understanding of the philosophical underpinnings of the movie somehow stops here.
So, a central theme in my cultural criticism is my defence of (ancient) philosophy against the (post) modern propaganda of scientism and pseudoscience (= sophism). What I do is in other words philosophy, and must not be confused with science, psychology or anything else.
My scientism critique is mainly collected in these texts:
1) Richard Dawkins and The Rise of Atheist Scientism (Scientism Critique: Part 1) - (free Ebook).
2) Rupert Sheldrake and the Rise of Neo-Lysenkoism (Scientism Critique: Part 2) - (free booklet)
3) Gregg Braden and the Rise of New Age Scientism (Scientism Critique: Part 3) (free booklet)
Copyright © by Morten Tolboll.
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