Leo's Blog: Infinite Insights — Page 56
Here's a really good example of how collective ego works:
Notice how your own organization (whichever groups you're a part of) operates under the same basic dynamics. What people misunderstand is that the content of the group's beliefs is largely irrelevant. This is not a Catholic problem, this is a collective ego problem. Collective ego is a meta-structure. Its primary concern is self-preservation, regardless of what "the self" happens to be. It could be a religious self, a political self, a scientific self, a rational self, a gender self, a social justice self, an environmentalist self, etc. The Catholic Church, as a living, evolving organism — like every organism — is in a constant battle to keep itself alive. Because of this it tends to be blind to its own "ecological footprint" — AKA, selfishness.
The root solution to problems like this is genuine transcendence of ego — by increasing consciousness. Consciousness needs to be increased both at the individual level and at the collective level. But the catch-22 is, the ego does not want to increase consciousness because that means the death of the ego. And hence we have this perpetual battle between "good" and "evil", selfless vs selfish. You can't be completely selfless, or you will die. And you can't be completely selfish, or you will also die. The trick is striking the right balance, which complex organisms like humans and corporations and churches find very challenging to do.
Most organisms error on the side of selfishness because it is safer and easier. This is reinforced with fear and craving. The fear and craving which rules the Catholic Church also rules you. Which is fundamentally why you are so selfish.
It would take enormous courage for the Catholic Church to say: "From now on, full transparency". That would be the equivalent of you showing up to school or work naked. It's the last thing you want to do.
A Correction: I want to make a correction to something I said in my Understanding Sameness vs Difference video. In that video I made a minor point about how Douglas Hofstadter said that all thinking boils down to analogy. This was a mischaracterization of his position. Rather, he says that analogy is the core of thinking, which is much more reasonable. My apologies for this oversight.
The only thing I would add to his excellent lecture above is that distinction is the other side of that coin. The core of thinking is both making analogies (seeing samenesses) and making distinctions (seeing differences). Both are crucial and work off each other, like the positive and negative ends of a battery.
Did you know that Sikhism is the 5th largest religion in the world?
Sikhism is larger than Judaism, yet most people have never heard of it.
Take a few minutes to read what Sikhism is about on the Sikhism Wikipedia page.
"In Sikhism, the concept of God is Waheguru, considered Nirankar (shapeless), akal (timeless), and Alakh Niranjan (invisible). The Sikh scripture begins with Ik Onkar, which refers to the 'formless one'."
Notice any similarities to Actualized.org?
"The bones connected by joints are at once a unitary whole and not a unitary whole. To be in agreement is to differ; the concordant is the discordant. From out of all the many particulars comes oneness, and out of oneness comes all the many particulars."
Heraclitus understood Sameness vs Difference.
I found this obscure website devoted to the study of infinity. Really cool to see websites like this out there. The author (seen below) really gets it.
Read the long homepage text. It's got some profound insights there about the nature of reality.
Before you laugh at this child too much, just remember, you used to be this stupid too.
When a child like this is shown a video of himself doing these experiments once he's a few years older, he will deny that this is a video of the real him because in his mind there is no way that he could have been that stupid.
That's exactly how the ego-mind works. It always denies and disowns its own prior delusions and stupidities, because to admit them would introduce serious doubts about its present sense of reality.
To pull off a successful self-deception requires that you deny that self-deception is even a thing. Just to admit that self-deception is a serious possibility is already to half escape it.
Also, any deep insights the ego-mind has into the nature of reality are automatically backwards-rationalized as "obvious" and "self-evident" when in fact they weren't — they were significant and non-trivial discoveries. Which is why people these days are so naive about how science works. They think that discoveries like the orbiting Earth, the moons of Jupiter, germ theory, set theory, xrays, or heavier than air flight were obvious, "rational", and "scientific" when in fact they were considered pseudoscience.
This video was shot over 10 years ago yet look at how well it presaged current political trends.
"Everything that from eternity has happened in heaven and earth, the life of God and all the deeds of time simply are the struggles for Spirit to know itself, to find itself, be for itself, and finally unite itself to itself; it is alienated and divided, but only so as to be able thus to find itself and return to itself."
— Georg Hegel
"The Supreme Purpose Of Life Is The Ecstatical Vision Of God
Thus, in her ascension towards divinity, the soul advances until, having risen above everything that is foreign to her, she alone with Him who is alone, beholds, in all His simplicity and purity, Him from whom all depends, to whom all aspires, from whom everything draws its existence, life, and thought. He who beholds him is overwhelmed with love; with ardor desiring to unite himself with Him, entranced with ecstasy. Men who have not yet seen Him desire Him as the Good; those who have, admire Him as sovereign beauty, struck simultaneously with stupor and pleasure, thrilling in a painless orgasm, loving with a genuine emotion, with an ardor without equal, scorning all the other affections, and disdaining those things which formerly they characterized as beautiful. This is the experience of those to whom divinities and guardians have appeared; they reck no longer of the beauty of other bodies. Imagine, if you can, the experiences of those who behold Beauty itself, the pure Beauty, which, because of its very purity, if fleshless and bodiless, outside of earth and heaven. All of these things, indeed are contingent and composite, they are not principles, they are derived from Him. What beauty could one still wish to see after having arrived at vision of Him who gives perfection to all beings, though himself remains unmoved, without receiving anything; after finding rest in this contemplation, and enjoying it by becoming assimilated to him? Being supreme beauty, and the first beauty, He beautifies those who love Him, and thereby they become worthy of love. This is the great, the supreme goal of souls; this is the goal which arouses all their efforts, if they do not wish to be disinherited of that sublime contemplation the enjoyment of which confers blessedness, and privation of which is the greatest earthly misfortune of earthly misfortunes. Real misfortune is not to lack beautiful colors, nor beautiful bodies, nor power, nor domination, nor royalty. It is quite sufficient to see oneself excluded from no more than possession of beauty. This possession is precious enough to render worthless domination of a kingdom, if not the whole earth, of the sea, or even the heavens — if indeed it were possible, while abandoning and scorning all that (natural beauty), to succeed in contemplating beauty face to face."
— Plotinus, The Enneads
Here's an excellent documentary about how deception works; I recommend watching the full thing:
As you watch it, stay aware of following:
- Deception is not merely something some "bad" people are doing to you, but an inherent function of ego. Although it may not seem like it, this documentary is really about how YOU deceive yourself.
- Notice how individual ego and collective ego work hand-in-hand.
- Notice how science & ego work hand-in-hand. There is no such thing as science without ego.
Start to notice how individual ego, collective ego, rationality, science, politics, self-interest, and survival all work together — all working against truth. Because truth is dangerous to the entire enterprise of survival. Survival relies on deception, lying, illusion, and falsehood. This is NOT just something "evil" corporations do! This something YOU do! The very mechanisms that run these "evil" corporations are the very ones you must wrestle with inside yourself as you do self-actualization work. If you find self-actualization work difficult, now you know why these "evil" corporations run amok.
This is how the devil works. Through you.
And do not jump to the naive conclusion that "if only these oil companies weren't corrupting the science, science would have the truth." No! Self-deception is operating at every level of the mind. Even if the scientists are right in this case, they are still self-deceived just like the oil companies, just at higher levels. The deception is multi-dimensional. Escaping one deception does not mean you've escaped all levels of deception. For example, just because you've escaped the delusion of religious fundamentalism doesn't mean you've escaped the delusion of rationalism and scientism.