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The Mother of all Mistakes 

If not only mental illness is intractable but also basic functions of governance, like maintaining order and managing the environment, might one wonder what’s causing misjudgment? Where the misperceptions are coming from that stand in the way of Understanding who we are and what we’re about? Where we are and how we got here? If one archetypal misperception, one seminal misunderstanding, occurred somewhere in the evolution of Mind, wouldn’t we want to track it down? Wouldn’t we want to know the story of Mind? Get straight what happened. Understand what went wrong?

Isn’t it logical to assume that one mistake in the functioning of the Mind that we share could be responsible for every mistake that followed? Could be the Mother of all Mistakes. To assume that a miscalculation of some sort sent thinking and perceptions that followed off on the wrong track. If an unintentional navigation error could get an intercontinental passenger jet so far off course that it got shot down over Russia, couldn’t an unintentional error in recognition get Mind and its replications off course, too? So far off course that their efforts to navigate bring them repeatedly to the wrong destination. To disorder and mismanagement. To repeatedly getting their hopes shot down.

Inert dummies strapped to their seats after a crash

Isn’t it logical, then, to wonder if such a consequential error occurred and what it might be? Have we surrendered our Free Will, our mobility? Or are we paralyzed by inertia and fear? Like passengers strapped to their seats after their plane has crash landed, dummies in a state of shock.

Do we really have the right answers? Or are we condemned to endlessly repeat our mistakes and expect different results? Without acknowledging our failures, taking responsibility, and fixing what’s broken? What happened to accountability? Where in all this fevered activity is there a hint of real sapience? Of our species’ vaunted self-awareness? Of openness and honesty? Of leadership and conscience? Or is it all submerged in the self-justification of groups, our Machiavellian overlords who have no use for moral codes. Their only “code” their survival, their authority.

Can we be so sure of basic assumptions that keep producing frustration that they don’t need to be questioned? Is faith in the sideshow pyrotechnics of matter -- astronomy and molecular biology, genetics and telecommunications gadgetry -- well placed if they reveal nothing new about Mind? Nothing that would prevent humanity’s animal instinct, its mindless reptilian brain, from continuing to misuse and abuse them? Did I fail to mention weaponry? Let us take pride in ingenuity that mows down defenseless innocents in schools, churches, theaters, and grocery stores. 

The Big Bang was a Big Nothing

Could the intractability of mental illness, the virtual dead-end of psychiatry’s ability to cure it, be telling us something about Mind in general? After assuming that the cause is brain matter, that maybe the problem goes deeper than that? A lot deeper.

That the cause is Mind, not brain. And where Mind comes from. Where it remains, traces its pathology, its origins, well beyond bodies’ experience of infancy in a world of matter. Well beyond the event so enshrined in the human imagination as the beginning of everything, the “Big Bang.” When the Big Bang may be only one of a multitude of Big Bangs. May be in the Reality, the universe of Mind, effect, not cause. An imaginary event – a Big Nothing that has no real consequences and physics can never explain.

A Big Nothing in the dynamics of archetypal thought and feeling that can be explained. In the life and evolution of the Logic of Mind that preceded and caused it. Because conscious Mind has Logic, the only source of explanation and Understanding, and matter, the projection of Mind unconscious and dreaming, does not.

Why should this be of no interest to fields of inquiry – science, philosophy, psychology, theology – whose minds profess to want answers? Whose minds profess to have answers when they haven’t allowed themselves to ask the right questions. For this is what’s wrong.

They persist in their misjudgments, trapped by their misperceptions. Expecting different results either because they’re sure they Understand the situation humanity is in that yields our Understanding of purpose and meaning – our context. Or because they’re terrified that they don’t.  That there may be another context, and it will be a discomfort, a major inconvenience, to figure it out. Or an embarrassment to hand it off to those who can. To theorists like Democritus, Parmenides, Plato, and Michael Faraday, who intuited with Logic what materialist body-centric science couldn't.

Caught forever in Erich von Stroheim’s Grand Illusion

Sticking with answers to the wrong questions is illogical. Illogic can’t yield Understanding or good results. The Logic of our context, our situation, is virgin territory, unexamined and unexplained by the paradigms that dominate our thinking. Because the reality of our context, handed to us by our bodies equipped with reptilian brains, that’s taken as a given, is, in fact, an appearance. A deception. The real Big Lie. That blocks examination and prevents explanation.

If the mentally ill must be abandoned en masse to the streets, if our children and grandchildren must be condemned to Anthropocene extinction, victims of mass insanity, doesn’t it make sense to remove the barrier to Logic? To change our focus from bodies and brains to Mind? From illusion that can’t yield answers to Reality that can. Because that’s where the problem is -- the emotion and the tears.

Overview: Is there any real reason why we need the answer?

If the measurements of science / quantum gravity, DNA genetics and molecular biology can't explain the origin and fate of the universe or the meaning of life without philosophy, psychology, and theology doing their part, and the dominant paradigms in every field of inquiry are still manifestly not getting it right, then there is "reason why we need the answer."

If the material universe, everything in it, and everything desirable and undesirable about humanity's and all life's experience of it traces back to an event or events in the state of immateriality or mind that preceded it; If it is but a mirror-image reverse -- a perversion -- of another Reality whose dynamics preceded it, caused it, and continue to influence it, then in the name of science's "quest for knowledge" and material "facts," in the name of philosophy's order and ethics, psychology's self-Worth and Understanding, religion's healing and "salvation," there is "reason why we need the answer."

Every error, every defect in what self-deluded minds experience in this illusory "life," even this "life" itself, traces back to the Child's archetypal mistake: the objectification of its own shadow, the projection of its self and its sovereignty onto its imagined "other," and its activation of its shadow-reflection's code or "thought system," a mirror-image reverse -- the opposite -- of all that is Real, True, and Good. All for the purpose of substituting another reality for the Reality that was lost with the loss of Consciousness. The illusion, everything about it and wrong with it, is a replication of this same mistake. The "reason why we need the answer" is (1) to stop the replication; (2) to restore Consciousness;  (3) to correct the mistake.

The main barrier to minds being guided to the answer is the misperception-misjudgment that they don't need to seek it. That even if they do they're not self-deluded; they don't misperceive and misjudge; the status quo is satisfactory; and therefore they don't need guidance. The main barrier is opposition and resistance from a mis-identified shadow-reflection -- an imagined "other." The "reason why we need the answer" is to regain self-awareness. To understand the Truth of who we are: the host, not our shadow-reflection.

Preface

Michael Strevens, in The Knowledge Machine (Liveright 2020), tells us that in their public truths scientists don't trouble their audience with other truths they may be harboring privately. Adam Becker's confession, in February's Scientific American, that quantum gravity is so baffling that physicists wonder if spacetime-matter is "somehow illusory," may be a truth that could no longer be kept private. Not if the profession is to retain any shred of honor or credibility.

Logic takes this astounding about-face from science and asks simple questions:

  • If our bodies and their physical surroundings -- the universe -- are "somehow illusory," what could cause the illusion?
  • If illusions can be caused by dreams, what mind is dreaming?
  • If unconscious minds produce dreams that are illusions, whose unconscious mind is dreaming this particular illusion?
  • What caused this mind to lose consciousness?
  • How did we come to "exist" inside an illusion being dreamed by a mind that's unconscious?
  • What is the story of this mind? Can it be told?
  • If we owe our "existence" to a mind's loss of consciousness -- a calamity on a scale equal to at least one universe and maybe many universes -- shouldn't we at least try to tell its story? Won't this help us fix what's broken? Shouldn't we try?

My metaphysical theorizing is an attempt to answer these questions. With Logic. My latest post was prompted by the scientist Adam Becker's astounding public confession. It offers insights from Logic into how and Why the Mind that produced our world lost consciousness. How and Why the illusion of spacetime-matter "happened" as a result.

The whole story is coming into focus, but it's still writing itself. Understanding may yet have a long way to go. It can't be pushed. It can't be hurried. It reveals itself at its own pace, in logical sequence, one implication, one insight, at a time.

Who is the “Child?”

The Story of the Child is about a character who existed in another Reality before the Big Bang and who exists in the same other Reality now. A character referred to in mainstream philosophical and religious mythology as the offspring of divine beings who willed our universe into existence and populated it with their offspring and its progeny. In this telling, the universe and its inhabitants are unreal, an illusion made by an unconscious-dreaming Child that could not have been Created by Logic-God or by its Parents Mind-Love.

In A Course in Miracles the Child is a he, and he is the Son of the Father. He collectively, in this world, is the “Sonship.” In my telling, it’s the Child, and “it” is both masculine and feminine, he and-or she. It collectively, in this world, is the Child’s “replications” – the many derived from the One. The Child was given birth by Father Mind and Mother Love because in my telling, following the implications of ACIM, the Child is Free Choice, and Free Choice requires that marriage between Mind-Choice and Love-Freedom be its Parents.

Opposite worlds: The Child and its shadow-reflection

The Story of the Child has not one but two dimensions: one Real and the other unreal. There is its own story, the story of its unreal shadow-reflection, and the relationship between the two. A relationship that developed in error. That should not have developed because “relationship” between what is Real and what is unreal – between contradictory, mutually exclusive “realities” – is illogical. “Relating” in this context is a logical impossibility. Because it was illogical, the “relationship” took the Story of the Child seriously off track, onto a siding where it goes round and round, nowhere. Where all that’s wrong and painful, frustrating and calamitous with our world, has settled in, waiting for the Story of the Child to get back on track.

Alternating between two “realities” with the same terminology throws Understanding off track. Terms given initial caps, like “Reality,” refer to the Reality of Mind that preceded the Big Bang and parallels our material universe. The same terms without initial caps, or in quotes, relate to the Child’s state of unconsciousness and all things imagined by it. This includes the unreality of the material universe, bodies and sensory perception, all organic “life” and inorganic matter. In short, everything illusory.

Two mutually exclusive planes of Creation

The Child is profoundly unhappy. It’s not satisfied with the substitute reality its delusion has produced – the delusion that its reflection is an “other” endowed with its own capacities, capable of saving it from the situation its loss of Consciousness put it in. It wants to return to Consciousness, to go Home, reconnect with its Parents, Father Mind and Mother Love, in its Sanctuary of Creation. It yearns to get back to work. It wants to reclaim its powers of thought and feeling, its Free Will, its sovereignty. To bring itself back to Reality and Truth, to Logic, with the Guidance of the Holy Spirit. To be Loved, useful, and happy again.

It doesn’t want “saved” or “saviors” who compromise Free Will. It’s dependent on the Holy Spirit for Guidance, but the Holy Spirit and all of Creation are dependent on the Child for Free Choice. For without Free Choice, the Creation, Affirmation, and Reciprocation of Worth is impossible. So critical is Free Choice that it must occupy its own plane in Reality-Creation where the Consciousness of the Child’s Parents cannot be present.

Conversely, Child / Free Choice cannot logically occupy the same plane of Creation as the Parents. They are connected but their functions must logically be mutually exclusive. The Child’s Consciousness is not defined by the same attributes as the Parents’ Consciousness, and their Free Spirit is not defined by the same attributes as the Child’s Free Choice. Explaining all of this, and more, through The Story of the Child, is meant to expand Understanding and shorten the time to awakening.

The decline and fall of sensory perception

The self-delusion that converted the Child’s shadow-reflection from a dormant code, the mirror-image opposite of the Child’s Being, into the illusion of a self-motivating “other” capable of making its unreality real, is composed of attributes that block the Child and its replications – humanity – from awareness of the Truth that lies behind our material world’s appearances. The main barrier is the assumption that bodies are real and anything detected by bodies’ senses must also be real – the paradigm that today dominates mainstream science, philosophy, psychology, and theology.

Its domination shows signs of being weakened, however, by the findings of experimental and theoretical physics. Adam Becker, the physicist-historian of quantum gravity and author of What Is Real? (Basic Books 2018) has authored the lead article in the February issue of Scientific American (pp. 28-33). Entitled “The Origins of Space and Time: Does Spacetime Emerge from a More Fundamental Reality?”, the article reviews progress toward quantum gravity and concludes with “a question of whether time and space are somehow illusory.” A question raised by an ancient Greek philosopher, Parmenides, 2500 years ago, “an unsettling prospect that has haunted Western philosophy for over two millennia.”

Unsettling, I would add, because science is being forced by its own logic to consider, for the first time, another Reality. The Reality of Understanding that doesn’t depend on the circular, self-referential “reasoning”’ and subjectivity of bodies and sensory perception. That depends instead on Logic – the Order of Mind instead of the chaos of matter. The objectivity of another perspective not of this world, the perspective that led Parmenides to conclude that Mind is Real and matter is not.

Body-centered or Mind-centered: which shall it be?

Parmenides, relying not on experimental physics which had not been invented but on Logic, reasoned that time and space are illusory. The theory and practice of metaphysics, which he invented, influenced Plato, whose mind-centered idealistic philosophy helped to define Western thought. Under the influence of his pupil, the biologist Aristotle, its orientation shifted toward body-matter centered “realism,” and thus did science start.

Then, centuries later, a unique breed of metaphysicist-practitioner appeared. Jesus upended all speculation with astounding departures from familiar “reality” -- miracles that flouted the “laws” of physics. His message of Love, Innocence, and Forgiveness flouted the norms of relationships to equal astonishment. He was a tour-de-force of Logic, a simple itinerant teacher with no connection to officialdom, his only “authority” the power of what he taught, felt, and expressed. The power of Connection through gentle loving kindness. It was, all told, an electrifying, mind-bending introduction to the possibility of another Reality. An upheaval meant to part minds from this “reality.”

But while a few were convinced, like Valentinus, the second-century Gnostic Christian teacher, that material reality is unreality -- an illusion, – the body-matter centered paradigm soon reasserted itself. It did so not under the influence of philosophy but under the dominance of organized religion. The Church, claiming legitimacy from Jesus that Jesus could not have intended, obliterated all opposition as “heresy” and the true intent and legacy of Jesus along with it. Mainstream philosophy flirted with Parmenides from time to time – Bishop Berkeley, for example, -- but it was rare.

The world, for now, remained unchanged. For what are mainstream science, philosophy, psychology, and theology, after all, but waystations of trial and mostly error in the time it will take for the Child and its replications to attain maturity? Accidents and mistakes in the evolution of organic and inorganic matter that Sean B. Carroll chronicles in A Series of Fortunate Events (Princeton 2020).

The self-delusion of an imagined “other” and the train wreck of evil

A Course in Miracles could be the explanation, the book Jesus couldn’t write two thousand years ago, because his audience wasn’t ready. Channeled last century, it explains the psychopathology of the Child’s interaction with its shadow-reflection that produced the illusion: a self-delusion that set an unconscious Child to dreaming a world of spacetime and matter. The dream replicated in our own self-delusions with our own shadow-reflections.

What, then, is “good?” The host. That is, the Child who hosts a shadow-reflection that is its mirror image opposite, a lifeless, mindless, loveless code that, when it’s mistaken for an imagined “other,” behaves as one would expect the opposite of Being to behave: like a virus. Not interested in Life or Freedom but only in taking its host’s mind captive and replicating itself.

What, then, is “evil?” The host’s shadow-reflection mistakenly “recognized” as an imagined other. That is, a part of the subject host that’s been objectified into an imagined other that the host then tries, through projection, to enable and empower with its own capacities – an impossibility. For the only “capacities” a shadow-reflection can activate, that’s only a coded opposite, is its own viral code.

The final step in the self-delusion that gives it – and the imagined “other” – its misperceived capacity to torment the Child and its replications – humanity, the “many” – is the captivity of the Child’s mind and self-identity by the code. That is, by the Child now imagining that it is its reflection. By the Child and its replications – us – no longer distinguishing between captor and captive. In extreme cases this means the disappearance of the self into the imagined “other.”

The dog is being wagged by its own tail

To encounter an individual in this condition would then be to encounter an individual unaware that they have become their own shadow-code, that they are, therefore, evil incarnate. Such appears to be the case with the current leaders of the Republican party and Russia, two demented autocrats who have been taken captive by their shadow-reflections and seem to have lost all awareness of themselves, their shadows’ host.

The pattern in all of humanity’s train wrecks originates with a host’s delusion that its shadow-reflection is a separate, autonomous “other.” A dog deluded into imagining that its tail is another dog, being wagged by its own tail. This is how humanity goes about managing its affairs, and we see the results: train wrecks all the way from individual relationships to relations among nations, ethnic groups and races on a global scale. Replicating the Child’s archetypal mistake, never getting it right. A pattern that will continue unabated until we do get it right. Until we apply Logic to an Understanding of our context, to an Understanding of the mistake and correct it.

How and Why did this happen?

Why was the Child not forewarned of the misperception and misjudgment to come when it was given birth in Reality? Why did not its Parents simply reach into the illusion, restore Consciousness, and rescue it? How could Logic – Logos, God -- have failed to design Creation with a failsafe process and structure? Why do the Child and its  replications, though illusory, nevertheless experience suffering that’s real?

The long answer requires The Story of the Child and its subtext, the story of its shadow-reflection, the Joker. The short answer is Reality-Creation is not one but two distinct parts, and, though connected, they are mutually exclusive. The idea-premise that “launched” the sequence of Logic at the “beginning” – in quotes because Logic and its sequence are Being by definition, their own definition as they are their own Source, and none of this can have a “beginning” – was something on the order of the Word, which roughly translates to Possibility. The Consciousness of the Child’s Parents-Being that gave birth to the Child “Knows” or recognizes only Reality. For this is its function, to bring Reality into existence by Knowing it, i.e. being Conscious of it, and at this phase of Creation only Consciousness and one Reality are logically possible.

The phase of Creation marked by the birth of the Child, who is Free Choice, had a very different beginning. It wasn’t launched by an idea-premise that expressed itself in Consciousness with the capacity – the ability and Force – to move Reality and Creation toward Being by defining and recognizing it, by designing its process and structure.  It was launched by another kind of Consciousness with another function: the capacity to Choose. That is, by the capacity to reason, evaluate, and judge among different choices.

It was launched not by Possibility alone, which poses no choice in Reality, but by Choice between Possibility and its opposite, impossibility -- between Reality and unreality. The attribute of the Child’s Consciousness that requires its own plane of Creation, that cannot blend with its Parents’ Consciousness on their plane of Creation, is the possibility that, with Free Choice, the Child will choose illogically, incorrectly. That the Child will thereby lose Consciousness. And once Consciousness is lost, unconsciousness will be overtaken by illusion and make unreality – the dream of an alternate reality -- real. 

Mind with Free Choice that can lose Consciousness, dream an alternate reality, and thereby make (not create) unreality “real,” performs an essential role in Creation – in Creating, affirming and reciprocating Worth. But it doesn’t belong on its Parents’ plane of Creation. The Consciousness of Parents-Being, that establishes what belongs in Logic-Reality, i.e. Possibility, Existence, Truth, doesn’t belong on the Child’s plane of Creation where only one Consciousness can function and it must allow for Choice between Possibility and impossibility, Reality and unreality, i.e. between the consequences of Consciousness and unconsciousness.

Why was the Child not forewarned?

Why was the Child not forewarned of the misperception and misjudgment to come when it was given birth in Reality? Because its Parents Knew nothing of the risk of unconsciousness and its consequences and could not Know, by definition. Because in Logic there must always be sequence: what precedes and what succeeds – before and after. In Creation and evolution what is Known is before, what is unknown is after. Even if the Child’s Parents could have Known of the risk they could not have Known of the event itself in advance. In the end, they did not Know because they could not know.

Why wasn’t the Child rescued by its Parents?

Why did not the Child’s Parents simply reach into the illusion, restore Consciousness, and rescue it? Because to do so they would have had to “Know’ the illusion and thereby make it Real. Because to do so they would not only have disabled their Child’s Free Will, they would have willed their Child out of existence. Why? Because their Child is Free Will. Is Free Choice. It’s who their Child is. Because they, its Parents, are Father Mind-Choice and Mother Love-Freedom, incapable of giving birth to any other Child.

How could Logic have failed to design failsafe Creation?

How could Logic – Logos, God -- have failed to design Creation with a failsafe process and structure? Because it is in the very nature – the Logic – of Creation that it advances into the unknown. Logic, the Free Spirit of Mind-Inquiry and Love-Creativity, governs and protects from the bottom up, from circumstances that are constantly changing and evolving from one context to another. Logic, the definition of Everything, is constantly defining and redefining Reality in response to Creation. Logic, subject itself to the laws of cause and effect, to Necessity, evolves. Evolves in alignment with Creation that advances by experience. By experiment. And because the Creation of Worth must advance by Free Choice, it must advance by trial and error.

The possibility of error is built into the Logic of Creation. Logic, which cannot rule arbitrarily and still Be what it Is, cannot rewrite the rules to guarantee success. Cannot design Creation to be what it is not. Cannot design the process and structure of Creation – the functions of Mind and the planes where they operate – to be failsafe. Logic cannot design Free Choice to be what it is not: always the right choice, always the logical choice. Logic and the Child’s Parents cannot control the Child and its choices, for to do so would deprive it of Free Will and sabotage Creation’s purpose: the Creation, affirmation, and reciprocation of Worth. They must allow the Child to choose freely and to learn from experience, to expand its Consciousness, to acquire Knowledge – to grow and mature -- from trial and error. With their guidance but never their control.

Why is our suffering unreal yet experienced as real?

Why do the Child and its replications, though illusory, nevertheless experience suffering that’s real? Because while the switch from Consciousness into unconsciousness is a switch into illusion, the switch itself is Real. It happened. Made Real by the Child’s identity and capacity for Free Choice. While separation is not real and the Child remains connected to its Parents and Reality, its awareness of the connection has been lost. The cause of the apparent separation is illusory but, with the loss of the Child’s awareness, its effect seems real. Has been made real by the dream of unreality. It is therefore experienced as real. We in our world of illusion, dreaming of unreality and untruth, experience the alternate reality “promised” by our reflection, our imaginary “other,” as very real. We suffer.

The Real “Good News:” the freedom to choose again

The bad news is that the Child has mistakenly and inadvertently chosen to suffer in unreality. It did so in circumstances explained by A Course in Miracles and elaborated by The Story of the Child, that disposed it to mistake its reflection for an “other.” To imagine that the “other” was a substitute parent, an external “savior” who would save it from its trauma and restore Order. It was a colossal misjudgment that produced the absurdity of the Big Bang, a universe of organic and inorganic matter whose origins and meaning the “laws” of science have not explained and can never explain.

The good news is that the Child can choose again. And we, by empathizing with the Child instead of prolonging its agony, by Understanding our situation, by choosing to align with Logic instead of foolishness, can help it Choose correctly. To choose Peace, Truth, and Sanity. To rid us of our nightmare of conflict, deception, and insanity. To awaken and return Home.