The Why of metaphysics
You can check your American Heritage Dictionary for a definition of metaphysics or get it from my essay, “A Concise Definition of Metaphysics” (posted on this website 02/04/23) https://davidclarkharrison.com/2023/02/04/definition-of-metaphysics/.
Why not be content with the dictionary? Because its definition is like saying a car is a thing with wheels, doors, a motor, and a license plate. It doesn’t get across what metaphysics does, what it’s for. Lets it lie there without bringing it to life. Here’s a definition that brings it to life for me and maybe it will for you:
Metaphysics is mind with passion for explanation. Why? Because explanation asks Why. Which takes mind into performing its favorite function: Logic that Loves. Which will lead explanation to its favorite destination: Understanding. Understanding what? Understanding Why. Getting at the root of things beyond dishonesty and appearances where it will find Honesty and Truth, the basis for Order combined with Freedom. The basis for the loving harmony of Peace and Happiness, the product of Authority that governs all of Reality and Creation supportively, with Logic and Love, from the bottom up.
Metaphysics is a whole lot more than a “branch of philosophy” when philosophy is more like a branch of metaphysics. Inquiry doesn’t get serious about the main concerns of philosophy until it gets into metaphysics. My definition tries to fix this. That’s why I’m not content with the dictionary definition and maybe you shouldn’t be either.
Logic is making sense
What does a mind need to understand and work with metaphysics? Logic. The most important mental ability to develop is to think logically with Love because the difference between right (authority) and wrong (authority) is that one is logical and the other is not. What do I mean by “Logic?” Forget about Aristotle’s syllogisms and Zeno’s paradoxes. Forget about Kant’s “pure reason” and Venn’s diagrams. In my use it’s just making sense. Explanation that leads to understanding. Here’s what I mean.
We need to cross a neighborhood street. We can cross in the middle or walk a short distance and use the crosswalk. Why use the crosswalk? Because if we’re struck by a vehicle in the crosswalk it’s the driver’s fault but not so much if we’re jaywalking. Oh. The seven-year-old who asked was satisfied and we used the crosswalk. I was satisfied because I loved the seven-year-old, I was caring for her, and Logic is never complete without Love. She asked for an explanation that made sense and understood. The street was crossed safely and we didn't come to blows. Logic-Love explained the setting, we understood our choices, made the right one, and all’s well.
Five senses aren’t enough
The Myers-Briggs personality type system is an extension of Carl Jung’s breakthrough in psychology: accessing Logic through Intuition, the function of mind whose spontaneous insights can penetrate appearances to explain and understand. An extension of the precedent set by the founder of metaphysics, Parmenides, 2500 years ago, whose focus was physics rather than psychology but that’s the point. Logic through Intuition theoretically is equally effective in any field since appearances define our “reality.”
The case that Isabel Myers makes for personal growth, by exercising and expanding our personality types’ functions, i.e. by using under-utilized personality assets, is persuasive. Why? Not because it’s “scientific.” The quantitative measurements of science can play a support role in psychology as they can and do in many fields. Rather it’s persuasive because it’s intuitively logical. The only route to unraveling the mysteries of the human psyche beneath appearances. Below the surface where science lacks visibility. Where its five senses can’t guide it.
Where inquiry needs a sixth sense -- the Logic of Intuition. The gift of Mind that the human mind fears to use, clinging to the familiarity of appearances, imprisoned in its body, in thrall to its body’s senses. It’s no wonder that body-sensing personality types tend toward authoritarian supremacy while mind-Intuition types tend toward democratic equality. Body-sensing authoritarian supremacy is a towering fortress of rationalization opposing change. Mind-intuiting egalitarian democracy welcomes and adapts to change with imagination and creativity.
One perspective isn’t enough
A Course in Miracles is metaphysics and metaphysics is the same: accessing Logic through Intuition to explain and understand. The notion of personal growth was introduced to me through a friend 43 years ago. A professional mentor who noted that I didn’t “understand the process” until I did, and then she inspired her mentees with my progress. The process that accounted for it is accessing Logic through Intuition to explain and understand. Intuition -- the function of Mind and personality type that’s distinguished from body sensing in the Myers-Briggs system.
It doesn’t work alone. It works if Intuition serves as a portal to another perspective that’s in this world but only for the purpose of helping its host get behind its appearances to understand it. If it were of this world, like us, its perspective would lack objectivity and therefore would not be helpful. The other perspective offers help if the source of its insights is Logic paired with Love.
The lesson of the Course: “Choose again”
The Course’s metaphysics radiates objectivity and Truth through its unique intimacy with Logic and Love. It explains that we are not aware of the barriers to an awareness of Love’s presence. If Love and Logic are inseparable then we must also be unaware of the barriers to an awareness of Logic’s presence.
The Course’s authorship and its lesson owe their relative obscurity to minds and hearts choosing unawareness. For the host that the other perspective is addressing has Free Will. Is Free Choice, and any of its acts must then be a matter of choice. That can be chosen again. Otherwise the other perspective wouldn’t bother. Wouldn’t waste the effort of sailing through rough seas on a ship of darkness.
Pointlessness is an unchanging status quo
If Logic paired with Love doesn’t belong here it would be because it belongs elsewhere. In and of another “world.” Another reality. That must be Real since there can only be one reality that’s Real. Going backward, beyond the Big Bang to the origin of our universe in Reality that’s Mind instead of matter, isn’t a leap of faith. A departure from reality but the opposite: an act of Logic guiding awareness toward Reality. Minds lacking objectivity, choosing unawareness and wedded to “realism,” won’t get it. Won’t understand. But minds open to guidance from Logic, choosing to hear insights from objectivity -- from Intuition through another perspective not of this world -- will get it. Will understand.
The other perspective is an emissary from Life-Creation that grows. From Consciousness that’s constantly extending and expanding Self-Awareness through a constantly evolving and expanding context. A context of circumstances that consist of the implications of Logic and the relationships of Love in constant movement forward into the unknown. The Reality thus defined is anything but static. It’s dynamic. The essential defining attribute of the Creation of Life and Worth. The substance of Reality.
There is no such thing anywhere as an unchanging status quo. Wherever Life is present, in Reality or imagined in an alternate “reality,” it must grow or it would not be what it is. Minds lacking objectivity, choosing unawareness and wedded to “realism,” fear growth. Fear the forward movement of evolution and therein fear Life itself. In exchange for an imaginary unchanging status quo they receive what they’ve bargained for: “lives” going nowhere that end in death. Pointlessness.
The flip side of “harmless” entertainment
Metaphysics is served by the gift of storytelling if it tells the story of Mind that preceded and imagined the Big Bang. It’s served incidentally by stories grounded in our alternate reality, including those like Harry Potter grounded in yet another alternate reality. Flourishes of the same magician’s “art” that conjured both. J. K. Rowling and the “creators” of fanciful action-comics figures aren’t acting as agents of another perspective from Logic-Love. Their imaginings can be put to use to help with explanation just as there’s a message for us in every act.
But that’s not what entertainment is for. It’s to keep its audience content with appearances and distracted by “action” -- the antics of a magician. To keep its audience distracted from the real business at hand: focusing on the truth of its situation. On exposing its unreality. Exposing the lie and the liar.
The flip side of harmless entertainment is harmfulness itself. The magician-parasite borrowing its host’s talents to produce ever more sophisticated, more dangerous weaponry with which to destroy humanity. Technological “progress” -- the wonders of electronics, the Internet, and social media touted for healing and learning -- turns against humanity instead of for it in an unending cycle of animal-tribe conflict.
Purpose in the rediscovery of real Self
The thrust of the other perspective not grounded in this “reality” is notably not toward the technology of all things physical. Not toward the atrocity of combat among tribes, for that would make it real -- an impossibility. It’s toward possibility: understanding that our alternate reality has already been “saved” from its miseries by the Reality that preceded it and awaits it. The solution can’t be fixing what’s broken by definition. By anguishing over all the deficiencies and frustrations of unreality, but by awakening from it.
All of human “progress” that leaves animal-herd will free to pursue its mindless, loveless agenda of self-destruction is putting lipstick on a skeleton. Real progress is exposing the lie that is animal-herd will. The mis-identity of self. The loss of Self-Awareness caused by the loss of Consciousness. The rediscovery of real Self, the Child of Logic and Love: Free Choice. This is the purpose of The Story of the Child and the purpose of this website.
Where would Creation be without possibility?
Part of the lie is the false philosophy of “realism” that says metaphysics can’t do what it does. That insists that it’s impossible. True, Kenneth Wapnick has noted, in Love Does not Condemn, that one question has yet to find a rational answer: Why and how our ancestral Mind in Reality lost Consciousness and descended into an alternate “reality.” The mother of all unanswered questions.
My experience with metaphysics tells me that it is possible. That Intuition, guided by another perspective grounded in Logic and Love, can find rational answers to many questions. To the mother of all questions and those descended from it. If this makes me an “idealist” so be it. But where would Creation be without possibility? Where would Life be without ideals and idealists who believe in them?
The law of “realism:” seek but do not find
The Logic of metaphysics says that unconsciousness didn’t break the connection with Reality. Didn’t break the connection with Creation or with our ancestral Mind’s Parents. An impossibility since there can be only one Reality and Reality can be only One. Otherwise there would be many “realities” -- an impossibility. Unconsciousness only broke awareness of the connection through the thought of separation: a delusion. An impossibility, A lie.
Exposing the lie is a necessary first step toward restoring Consciousness. “Realists’” commitment to authoritarian supremacy commits them to maintaining appearances which works against awakening instead of for it. By attempting to block self-awareness with the false “authority” of the wrong identity: the isolated-separated body. An action-comics armor-plated caricature of “strength” that’s pitiful weakness.
There is abundant evidence of “realists” seeking for answers in the theories that dominate every major field. Abundant evidence, too, of determination not to find answers. Evidence of a peculiar mindset noted by the Course: “Seek but do not find.” A mindset embarked on a “quest for knowledge” that seeks neither knowledge nor to be known.
The indispensable genius of metaphysics
Metaphysics follows Logic through Intuition into the story of the Child, our ancestral Mind, to expose the absurdity of ”realists’” “logic.” The flaws in their “reasoning” and perceptions, through the power of Mind. Through the power of ideas. The right ideas whose source is Logic and Love through Intuition guided by another perspective. The gift of metaphysics is the right ideas and their inherent Authority. The Authority of Logic and Love and its authorship of A Course in Miracles. Backed by the laws of cause and effect and the Force of Necessity. The only “power” there is. Real Authority.
Metaphysics is the Rosetta Stone that allows access not just to the Logic of philosophy but to any field of inquiry. To psychology, the framework for explanation given in the Course. To science, economics, and theology. Making sense is impossible without involving every aspect of human functionality, a fact that science confronts and acknowledges when cherished theories must yield to facts. This is the genius of metaphysics. The life-saver that philosophy has to offer physics when its quest for quantum gravity needs one.
Fearless wisdom from a seven-year-old
This is the Logic of metaphysics. If a seven-year-old and I can understand it anyone can. That is, if they aren’t opposed to asking Why. Because that’s asking for help from Logic and not everyone wants help. Those who don’t are mostly “realists” afraid of what asking Why might reveal about their idea of “reality.” Metaphysics bears down hard on asking Why. It’s fearless. It doesn’t care about convention or what “others” think if they’re not thinking. It lets Logic take it wherever it leads. To where this essay will lead. If its readers are “realists” unable to think beyond their idea of “reality,” unwilling to be led by Logic, they’ll abandon the exercise. They won’t go there.
But the seven-year-old would. What she showed was a mind attuned to the free spirit of inquiry. Independent judgment that’s not captive to any authority but committed instead to Logic that makes sense. To letting guidance of mind take precedence over comforts of body, because there was no traffic and using the crosswalk was extra effort. When the time comes for her to choose wisely between the right and wrong kind of authority, there’s hope! She asked Why and showed respect for Logic. If she blossoms into an intuitive rather than body-sensing personality type she may become a metaphysicist! A recruit for having and exercising Authority on behalf of Logic-Love!
Misidentity brought home to identity
Speaking of ruling the galaxy I asked Wonder Woman -- the talented seven-year-old -- how she ranked values that were important to her. Her answer was along the lines of “I thought power was cool so I put it near the top.” OK. Like a lot of kids and grownups too. But are attitudes about power like so much chatter in pop culture that can be dismissed? Is a kid’s attraction to power guaranteed not to disrupt the lives of Dick, Jane, and Spot on Pleasant Street? If you’re thinking the pursuit of power isn’t a minefield of potential disasters what planet are you on?
What follows is another perspective to help with the choice between the right and wrong kinds of authority. Metaphysics armed with insights from Intuition and illustrated by an event from the original episode of Star Wars: Darth Vader’s overthrow of Palpatine, the evil emperor of the Galaxy, to save his son, Luke. The redemption of Adam Skywalker through the rediscovery of his real Self. Misidentity brought home to identity.
Resistance from the Peanut Gallery
Is another perspective welcome? The voice of authoritarian supremacy, the zombie that holds sway over its mindless-obedient captives, will defend itself with the only accusation it’s capable of: with being what it is, a zombie. OK, let’s be honest. The source of the explanation I offer is indeed a mysterious voodoo cult. Metaphysics. And I’m a high priest with but one goal: to poison minds and turn my captives into zombies.
But there’s a fallback. Since nobody understands metaphysics I’ll just put it out there that I’m peddling secrets. Everyone is a sucker for secrets as my seven-year-old, now twelve, is about to demonstrate. Oh, that’s different. I love secrets. If it’s a secret I want to hear everything.
The right and the wrong kind of authority
There’s derived power and power you earn on your own. Eva Duarte had a kind of power. She was played by Madonna in a 1996 film called “Evita.” She derived power from her husband, Juan Peron, the fascist dictator of Argentina. She did good things for her people with it. Eleanor Roosevelt did good things with the power she derived from being Franklin Roosevelt’s wife. My mother, Helen Harrison, helped save one of Pittsburgh’s most precious cultural assets -- the opera -- with influence derived from her husband Max.
No matter which it is we know that people with power don’t always do good things with it. It’s because where power comes from is authority and authority can be the right kind or the wrong kind. Original or derived.
Original is real. It’s right and it’s light, while the other kind is its opposite. “The dark side of the Force.” Not good or real either. Like Dracula, the shadow-reflection that casts no shadow or reflection. Those who aren’t careful, who choose power that’s based on the wrong kind of authority, will end up in a life-or-death duel with Rey Skywalker. She zapped Palpatine’s butt and she’ll do the same to them.
Laws of cause and effect
All of Creation must abide by the laws of cause and effect. The way things are and the way they must be. Real authority isn’t wishful thinking. It’s fact and it’s Necessity. We can imagine that we’re getting away with it when we make up another reality. Where we imagine that we can write the script and make up the rules. But we’re not.
“Laws” and “Necessity” sound confining. But the harmony of Order can’t come from laws that want us to conflict. Harmony is peace and happiness that make free will possible, not impossible. Free Will can’t be everyone doing whatever they want if it requires that there be no laws. If it does away with Order. Because then there would be wholesale conflict instead of harmony. Collisions at every intersection with no stop sign. Lawlessness. Violence. Mayhem.
Real authority is Necessity that applies to everyone and everything -- the laws of cause and effect that operate for our benefit. For Order and Freedom and Happiness. Because we don’t live in a world that’s divided into separate bubbles for each individual. It’s shared.
These are a few of the laws of cause and effect that metaphysics summons when we confront the absurdity of authoritarian supremacy:
- Logic and Love are inseparable.
- Freedom and Order are inseparable.
- Free Will requires Order-Harmony.
- Free Choice and Order-Harmony aren’t possible without Logic-Love Authority governing supportively-benevolently from the bottom up by defining roles logically and lovingly to fit together in harmony and peace.
What is ‘wrongdoing’?
Palpatine and his authoritarian empire can only “exist” in a delusional nightmare of chaos, cruelty, and violence. Star Wars is a myth for a reason. Because in presuming to write the rules authoritarian supremacy presumes to replace True Authority with false authority. Presumes to violate the laws of cause and effect. Presumes to deny the Force of Necessity. All impossibilities which make it resoundingly unreal.
To contradict the laws that define Reality is to leave it. Departure from reality is psychosis, a fit description for authoritarian supremacy. But that’s not all. Embedded in the laws whose substance is Logic and Love is the stance for Good that is the Worth, the meaning and cause of Life-Creation. The defining attributes of Good that are its Moral Code. Authoritarian supremacy that would defy the laws and Necessity of Reality is also defying its Moral Code: the very definition of wrongdoing. Thus Palpatine and his evil empire.
Time to turn up the house lights
When Rey zaps Palpatine’s butt he does his best to look and sound ferocious. As if the hooded demon in his scary makeup will lay waste to the entire galaxy if provoked. He grimaces and mouths the usual threats from wounded victimhood -- You’ll be sorry! I’ll get even, etc. But all he got out of me was laughs.
The absurdity that is Palpatine and his evil empire is a one-dimensional cartoon. An entertaining joke that lives on in sequels but never was. Just like authoritarian supremacy, the mindset of “realism,” only it’s not so entertaining. It’s a sick joke that will go on horrifying with outrage until its audience gets it. Until its audience chooses to turn up the house lights and be done with darkness and outrage. Done with entertainment, and chooses to get back to purpose and meaning. To Reality and Truth. To Creativity.
Yossarian knew what he was doing
My book-in-progress with the working title, The Story of the Child, ventures beyond the scope of the Course to offer a rational explanation for how and why the Child, our ancestral Mind, lost Consciousness. With the Logic of metaphysics based mainly on the Course. A theory that can never be “proven.” But if its insights on questions that matter align with experience and lead to a better understanding of what’s to be done about it, it’s done a good thing.
And wouldn’t you know: it's counter-intuitive. It flies in the face of “normal” assumptions that someone screwed up, this never should happened, there will be hell to pay, etc. The fact is the entire human conception of Reality-Creation, of “God” and “Heaven,” is bonkers. My theory says the Child’s loss of Consciousness was a natural, i.e. logical consequence of the introduction of Free Choice, a wild card, into Reality-Creation. With its potential to deviate from the laws of cause and effect and to conflict with the Force of Necessity which would logically necessitate the loss of Consciousness.
Our alternate “reality,” a dream world, offers a perfect trainer cockpit where Free Choice, our ancestral Mind, can practice losing control and crash landing without real consequences until it masters the skills necessary to exercise Free Choice. Can practice through us, its projections in the dream, by trial and error. Until it demonstrates the competence needed to perform its role in Creation. A real-world Joseph Heller Catch 22 writ large.
The skills we need: self-direction and self-discipline
What role? The short answer is Free Will is an essential ingredient of Creativity. What besides Creativity is willing to “go boldly where no one has gone before?” Into the unknown? To blaze new trails, invent new products, design new styles? What besides Free Will, a wild card, gives Creativity the pizzazz, the chutzpah, the outlandish in-your-face uncontrollability to do this than Free Will? If Free Will is essential to Creativity then our ancestral Mind has an essential role to play in Creation: the spark, the life of Creation. Its authenticity.
What skills? The Child Free Choice needs to function autonomously not with its Parents directing it but self-directed. Wild cards like Energy and Free Choice both need direction. But unlike Energy the Child Free Choice doesn’t exist to do what it’s told. The guidance it needs must come from mature judgment acquired and internalized through hard-knocks experience. From the capacity to perform its role that can’t be taught, can’t be gifted or it would surrender the essential ingredient. Free Will being handed anything without learning or earning it can’t be what it is. Can’t be self-directed Free Will.
Or self-disciplined. The competence to choose freely while staying within the bounds of Order, while respecting the laws of cause and effect and not contradicting Necessity, requires discipline. Discipline that must come from within because otherwise choice can’t be made freely. It’s controlled.
The gift of the auto-didact
Understanding that it is not and never has been the role of the Parents to control their Child with direction and discipline that compromise Free Choice is counter-intuitive. Because to the human mind, corrupted by the myth of authoritarian supremacy, if their child can’t be controlled by their direction and discipline they can’t be parents. Authority can’t be “authority.” To this point of view my theory is not only counter-intuitive, it’s dumbfounding.
Yet this is metaphysics. The gift of the auto-didact. Following Logic wherever it leads: not from preconceived nonsense like authoritarian supremacy that interferes with explanation but from an open-ended, unbiased Why. From simple curiosity and questioning that animate Free Inquiry. Where in all the major fields of inquiry, weighted with the bias of sensory perception, is inquiry so enabled? So free?
And away we go! Into the Mind of the Child
What triggered the Child’s loss of Consciousness couldn’t be anticipated. Nothing in its Parents’ experience before they gave birth to Free Choice could equip them with the Knowledge that anticipation required. What would Logic and Love know of the consequences of turning Free Choice loose into Creation? Of releasing a wild card into an environment that it would make wild until it learned self-direction and self-direction the only way it could: through experience? Through experience in a trainer cockpit, our alternate reality, where trial-and-error training and the inevitable misjudgments of immaturity can’t do any real damage.
Trial-and-error began not here but in Reality-Creation. With what may have been the first attempt at Creation involving Free Choice. It took place in a context of imperfect Knowledge: inexperience with the full range of possibilities including the possibility of unconsciousness, an impossibility for the Child’s Parents. Neither Parents nor Child knowing what they were doing. Circumstances that called for correction through training.
The mistake that could not have been prevented
The exact infraction of laws, the conflict with Authority-Necessity that triggered unconsciousness, could have been virtually anything. Any versions of flipping to the “dark side.” All inadvertent, sidetracking an untrained, inexperienced Free Choice into illogic. Causing the Child’s Energy, the Force of Necessity, to be redirected from Consciousness and Creation into unconsciousness. Into the dream of an alternate reality.
If the infraction was the seminal assertion of authoritarian supremacy then it would have been the Child’s attempting to express an illogical ideal of Freedom that’s separated from Order. Freedom without limits -- authoritarian nonsense that “liberty” is having and doing whatever you want. If the prominence of a particular error in our alternate “reality” is any indication, then this was likely where the Child messed up.
There was also the illogical thought that parts of Reality-Oneness that are inseparable can be separated. Order says you can do none of that. But Free Choice would not have inherited this awareness from Parents who Know nothing of separation, could not know it without making it real, and therefore could not anticipate the Child’s mistake. It was a mistake that could not have been prevented.
The “reasoning” of a madman
Order expresses the Necessity of the laws and the Force behind it. Order consists of the definitions and implications of Logic and the reciprocal relationships of Love that interconnect Everything -- the unreality of opposites as well as Reality - in harmony. Order is Creation’s Reality. Order is the Logic of Authority. No one including Authority itself can do whatever it wants. It’s called “the rule of law.” Without it both Freedom and Order are impossible. And if the rule of law is the foundation of Order and Freedom in Heaven then it matters just as much on earth.
The Child would not have been motivated to un-relate to its Parents, to replace their Authority with false authority, but only to make use of the gift of Freedom as it understood it. As it misunderstood it, for the first premise in the flawed logic that leads to authoritarian supremacy is Freedom without Order -- having and doing whatever you want. From there to the premise that having and doing whatever you want requires that Authority get out of the way. That you must be the authority. The “reasoning” of authoritarian “realists.” The “reasoning” of a madman.
Alienation and the intent of false authority
Painful separations from loved ones and other unpleasantness are all part of our ancestral Mind’s trial-and-error training. Through us, the projections of a dream. An integral part of its acquiring self-direction and self-discipline through personal growth. Toward the self-awareness of maturity that can distinguish between true Authority and its perversion -- authoritarian supremacy -- and make the correct choice. That can choose to understand that false authority cannot be an object of reverence but is an obstacle. To be overcome if the Child is to regain Consciousness and intimate Relationship with its Parents. If it’s to regain awareness of Logic and Love’s presence, the loved ones whose seeming absence is the ultimate cause of our emotional and psychological torment.
The cost of authoritarian supremacy is incompatibility that troubles every relationship. The relationship problem that it creates between Child and Parents: alienation. The intent of false authority is to replace true Authority. And if we’re serious about understanding why our Psyche is wounded, why psychopathology has yet to find a cure, this would explain it. Whether it’s an excess of religion-hating or religion-loving, authoritarian supremacy is godless.
The Truth of Relationship
Patricide doesn’t leave its perpetrators with peace of mind. Does nothing for compatibility, agreeability, harmony, and pleasantness. As Lady Macbeth can attest, it’s guilt. Perverted from guilt by the perpetrator desperate to get rid of it into a pretense of innocence. The state of permanent, unresolved grievance, vengeance, hatred and self-hatred, that is helpless “innocent” victimhood. A state unrecognizable to the Parents. A state that will exclude itself from the peace and happiness of Reality-Creation until the authoritarian “realist” gives up its foolish dream.
What is the object of training? Developing judgment essential to self-direction and self-discipline. Putting to work every function of mind to explain and understand our situation so that we can respond competently to every context, every set of evolving circumstances, that challenges us to get it right, do what’s right, and do it right. Functions of mind that deliver introspection, responsibility, and accountability. Intuition, insight, and reflection. Thinking, analyzing, and reasoning. Feeling and evaluating, Choosing and deciding with the wisdom and discipline of Judgment that puts it all together. That integrates every function, every consideration, into a clear assertion of who we are and what we stand for.
The Truth that we are: not a mindless, loveless action-comics dream of isolated, separated bodies but the Truth of Relationship. The Reality of Logic and Love at one with one another, inseparable from their Child. The Life and Worth of Creation.
I got a great deal for you on the Brooklyn Bridge
The focus of the book and these essays is on authoritarian supremacy for a reason. Because the event that followed the Child’s descent into unconsciousness and illusion was, in my view, its inevitable consequence. A choice that can and must be be revisited but not a choice. The mother of all transgressions: the perversion of Authority from benevolent in Reality to malevolent in unreality. By an intrusion of insanity that the Course refers to as “the ego’s thought system.” A psychological wrench in the gears of human progress, of human relationships, and of what I want to make of my life: to make a contribution and to be of service among family, friends, and community.
The shadow-reflection’s first purchase on the Child’s trust was its likeability. The persona charm of Bram Stoker’s aristocratic Dracula. The relatability of the devil while it chatted amiably with Ivan Karamazov in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. The great guy posing as “god” in Mari Perron’s A Course of Love and Jerry Martin’s God: An Autobiography. Articulate and voluble. Affable, non-threatening. Offering equality and partnership; sharing its “story;” impressing with its erudition; at ease with non-stop “action,” all the more so if it involves anger and fighting. Fine with incarnation and fine with reincarnation, and why not? The life and death of bodies are the magician’s most awe-inspiring trick.
All to get its message across: if you want to do whatever you want, I’m your guy. The pitch that snookered our ancestral Mind and keeps us snookered today. Letting us know that if we don’t put our misleading fire-breathing image of the demon aside it will just go on charming our pants off and selling us the Brooklyn Bridge.
This was the figure who responded in the Child’s own voice when the Child wondered, “Where am I?” That offered to guide the Child out of its strange, dark place into an alternate “reality.” The Child’s own shadow-reflection, a parasite that can only be “detected” when its host is unconscious and has lost all ability to distinguish between real and unreal, true and false, right and wrong. When the only figures it can detect are play-actors in the dream its compromised mind was about to project. All speaking with variations of its own voice, programmed by the code that defines its shadow: a mirror-image opposite. Their every attribute derived from its host.
Waiting to be animated, to be made “real,” by Energy at the direction of Mind. By delusion: the parasite-code’s host deluding itself into believing that Free Choice can be surrendered to its opposite. That to become its opposite is to secure escape from strange feelings that it had never known and didn’t want: fear, guilt, paranoia, and hatred stoked by distortion. By the sinister tale of malevolence and betrayal that its opposite was making of its condition, transforming an innocent and inadvertent mistake into intentional victimhood. Into danger from retaliation by the betrayers, angry Parents. In such a state the lure of attaining absolute freedom and authority in its own alternate reality, of healing the wound to its Psyche, the Innocence at the core of its Being, by getting rid of guilt, would be virtually irresistible.
Mina enjoyed it
What could dupe even an unconscious, desperate mind to surrender its Self to another “self”? To persuade Free Choice to give up freedom even temporarily? Once the Child heard about the wonders of this alternate “reality” it wondered how to make good its escape from Reality. Let me take control and I will lead you there. When we arrive I will give it back.
A prospect that would fill Free Choice with both anticipation and dread but for one consideration. The seeming loss of the Relationship with its Parents left an enormous void in its Psyche. Even if its Parents couldn’t tell Free Choice what to do the Relationship was its Home, critical to its sense of Being as well as connectedness. So critical to its part in Creation that “Relationship” and “Child” are interchangeable. Free Choice is inseparable from its Parents Logic and Love. Losing intimacy with the Source of its own Consciousness, its own Logic and Love, its own Soul along with its function, must have caused an unbearable ache of hollowness. An ache that cries out to be filled.
If its “other self” was offering to replace the Child’s Parents even partially or temporarily it would be doing what its host craved: to make the ache go away. To fill this awful void. And so the Child let itself be taken captive. Not with ambivalence but with relief. Maybe even with pleasure -- Mina dreamily giving herself up to the vampire and enjoying it.
Too good to be true
To be taken where? To a place that sounded too good to be true: where the Child could have and do whatever it wanted. How? By being the author of the script and the author of the rules. It would even be its own author because there would be no competition from angry Parents bent on punishment for its mistake, threatening vengeance for betraying them.
None of it the truth. There were no angry Parents bent on vengeance. It was a mischaracterization of the loss of Consciousness perpetrated by mistaken identity. Nonsense peddled by a lifeless code, the Child’s mirror-image opposite, programmed to take its host captive by separating Will from Free. An illusory shadow-reflection that emerged from the Child’s shadow to act out its code of opposites. Of appearances and deceptions that are our alternate “reality.”
The sick joke that is authoritarian supremacy
The perversion of Authority that the Child fed itself has special relevance for our “reality.” It’s the ultimate source of the perversion of Authority that lies at the root of authoritarian supremacy. The illusory separation of Free from Will is the separation of Choice from Logic and Love, the atrocity that accounts for human intransigence, frustration, and misery. It helps to know where the atrocity comes from: from self-delusion. Not from “Satan,” “Lucifer,” the “Devil,” and a host of other separated “others.” It comes from a distortion of us. Mistaken identity.
A parasite. An opposite attached as all opposites must be to its host. A virus following a lifeless code that took our ancestral Mind captive so that it could replicate itself. So it could keep us, its replications, captive to its illusion. Imprisoned in Plato’s Cave. It comes from our ancestral Mind’s dark side -- a liar. This is the source of authoritarian supremacy: one overblown, illogical, malicious lie. A sick joke.
Once the deed was done and Child-Innocent became corrupted with guilt, its dream of an alternate “reality” commenced. With the burst of Energy redirected from Reality into unreality, under the direction of Mind, that science has labeled the “Big Bang.” The source of our universe of spacetime-matter that the human intellect refuses to see for what it is: mental.
The event also known to psychology as projection: the insane idea that a thought can leave Mind, its source. Our universe is an insane thought of separation and guilt projected as though onto a screen through the “eyes” of the unconscious mind projecting it. A reverse mirror-image of the unconscious mind dreaming it.
When the Joker told the truth
Why does the Course say our alternate “reality” is “where the unreal has been made real.” Why does it seem so real? The Child’s opposite animates its fantasy of arbitrary authority with Energy surrendered by its host when its host surrendered control. Surrendering control placed Energy at the disposal of the delusion -- Energy which responds to direction from Mind and had already been redirected away from Reality into unconsciousness. The burst of Energy that produced the Big Bang within the deluded mind of the Child was Energy’s disconnect from its Source within the Oneness of Being. It was unreality’s noisy, violent disconnect from Reality. Like splitting the atom.
Our universe and everything in it, organic and inorganic, is a projection of dying Energy. Energy powering a dream and therefore cut off from its source in Reality. Destined by the second law of thermodynamics to die. Unreality heralded by its signature burst of violence. Entropy is dying energy, the inevitable dismantling of a dream. An elaborate fabrication where everything including the dream must die.
But until then Energy continues to animate the dream. Powering “lives” -- bodies’ senses and their physical surroundings -- procreation, conflict, and violence. This is what makes the illusion seem so real. A perversion of the Energy that empowers Creation-to-Life in Reality and powers replication-to-death in unreality. The “dark side of the Force.”
The ”other self” was as good as its word. The only time it told the truth: its takeover of control would be temporary. In its temporal “paradise” of mortality paradise itself must come to an end. If not with the Child’s coming to its senses then with the end of the Energy that powers it.
The Voice for the Parents known to theology as the Holy Spirit arrived only after the dream was projected. It could not have been present while the Child was deluding itself because it is itself a part of the projection. A replication of the Child’s unadulterated Self, the Psyche of Innocence. Its Soul from which nothing can be parted.
Which is why metaphysics can connect with the Holy Spirit and Logic-Love through Intuition. Among its plethora of appearances our alternate reality contains one appearance with a unique function: to guide us and our ancestral Mind back to Reality. To connect with us through metaphysics, the function of mind that offers a portal to Truth beyond appearances. The rationale for the presence of the Holy Spirit gives metaphysics its own rationale, the source of its legitimacy and credibility. The reason why Parmenides its founder was respected in his own time and is now being taken seriously by at least one physicist again. Metaphysics works.
Values that separate real from false Authority
The origin of authoritarian “values” is the shadow-code’s takeover of its host’s unconscious mind with extreme possession and control. Hallmarks of the disorder familiar to psychiatry as obsessive-compulsive narcissism. Here are values that define the benevolence and Truth of real Authority against the malevolence and falsehood of its would-be replacement:
- The Authority of One Self in Reality has one set of attributes-values: Real Logic-Love, sharing, affirmation, enablement, and empowerment. The opposite has ownership-control, monopoly-possession, invalidation, disablement and disempowerment.
- One Self Authority enables and empowers the Voice for universal, inclusive equality. The opposite enables and empowers the voice for an authoritarian supreme, exclusive ruler while disabling and disempowering the inclusive Voice for equality.
- One Self Authority Creates and affirms Worth and builds character. The opposite invalidates and denies Worth, tears down character.
- One Self Authority connects with Love and builds friendships among equals. The opposite disconnects with fear and blocks friendships among equals.
- To One Self Authority in Reality our opposite alternate reality is implausible, strange, highly unusual, and unreal -- a fantastic collage of ridiculous, nightmarish, illogical impossibilities, contradictions, and absurdities. To us who don’t know any other reality the opposite’s alternate reality seems plausible, familiar, not unusual, and quite real.
- The opposite’s illusion of unopposed-arbitrary authority is fulfillment of an insane fantasy of separation: specialness exempt from laws. Freedom separated from Order. Order and Will, Feeling-Force separated from Freedom and Choice, Logic and Love, Mind and Thinking. Animal-herd, beast-predatory brain separated from animal-individual, human-nurturing brain.
Star Wars and the myth of absolute authority
The absolute authority animated by stolen Force, imagining it’s its own dark side, is portrayed in Star Wars as the “galactic empire” ruled by Palpatine. A hierarchical nightmare of imprisonment, inequality, exclusiveness, injustice, conflict, violence, and suffering. An adolescent fantasy ruled by a singular power -- specialness exempt from laws. With a support cast of servile subordinates wielding power derived from their oppressor. All rulers one-dimensional cartoon characters devoid of feelings, values, and conscience. Devoid of responsibility, accountability, and a sense of justice.
Attempting to maintain order by intimidation and force. By loveless, mindless cruelty over vulnerable individuals with three-dimensional feelings, values, and conscience. With responsibility, accountability, and a sense of justice. A nightmare of guilt attempting to steal its victims’ innocence behind the facade of helpless “innocent” victimhood.
The galactic empire was a tableau of injustices by malevolent arbitrary authority all “justified” by mischaracterization: benevolent authority is malevolent like itself; “freedom” is slavery -- unquestioned obedience to itself; “innocence” is guilt -- victimization of innocents; “loving kindness” is cruelty; “abundance” is deprivation; “safety” is hazard, conflict, violence; “justice” is injustice; ad infinitum. All appearances, all deceptions, all lies. All perversions of Logic into illogic, Love into fear, Truth into untruth, fact into fantasy.
The Authority that’s “pointless to resist”
Palpatine and his galactic empire are pretension that authority can do whatever it wants by opposing laws instead of respecting them. By denying free will with lawlessness from the top down instead of ensuring it with lawfulness from the bottom up. “Wrongdoing” is violating the laws that define right from wrong, good from evil. It’s breaking the laws of cause and effect, defying Necessity. So if Palpatine’s empire is a fantasy of lawlessness to let its rulers do whatever they want, they are definitely the bad guys. And they are destined to lose because laws established for the commonwealth can’t be broken. Necessity means Necessity. It can’t be defied.
Darth Vader spoke for the wrong kind of authority when he said it’s “pointless to resist.” Events proved him wrong when he changed sides, changed identities, and Adam Skywalker overthrew the evil emperor. The Force that helped the rebellion win is Force grounded in the people not in their rulers. So what is the Force that’s “pointless to resist?” The Authority of Logic and Love under the rule of law backed up by the Force of Necessity. This is the lesson of Star Wars.
The “power” that Adam Skywalker wielded is power derived from choosing to be Lord Vader, a parasite dependent on the evil emperor. “Power” grounded in mistaken identity. He and his master did bad things because they’d become like figures in “action” comics with no feelings or values. With no conscience. That’s what happens when we turn to our dark side for “power:” it turns us into somebody that we’re not. Alienated from ourselves, alienated from others.
It took an emotional test of Adam Skywalker’s humanity for him to realize his mistake: watching Palpatine electrocuting his own son. Choosing between his heart and the heartless power that had owned him until then could have gone either way. And in human experience too often it does go the wrong way. But heart and Adam’s real Self won out. He went from serving authoritarian supremacy without question -- from doing what he was told -- to thinking and judging for himself. He stopped being a parasite, owned, possessed, and controlled by power. He regained his integrity and independence.
Thus liberated from mistaken identity Adam Skywalker taught Palpatine a hard lesson: no one can do whatever they want. Authoritarian supremacy is wrong. Adam stood up for the rule of law and for Necessity, the Force for Good. He stood up for the right Authority.
What is the psychological inspiration for the myth of Adam Skywalker? The event that’s re-enacted in everyday events and stories like it all over the world: our ancestral Mind’s mistaken identity. Deluding itself that it could rule an alternate “reality” and do whatever it wants. The myth of authoritarian supremacy.
Table scraps from authoritarian supremacy
Bottom-up authority enables and empowers Free Choice and individual Worth. It delivers the capacity to achieve individual potential and to explore, develop, and Create in an environment open to possibility.
The wrong choice of authority turns Life into an impossibility, a lie. “Alternate reality” is deceptions from start to finish -- all appearances, all opposites:
- “Welcome” that isn’t a welcome if it deprives its victim of a voice.
- “Free will” that’s someone else’s voice writing the play-acting script that you’re “free” to follow.
- “Liberty” that’s someone else’s voice writing the rules that you’re “free” to obey without question since you’ve been denied a voice.
- “Order”-“harmony” that’s disorder: obsessive competition for supremacy.
- “Triumph”-“winning” for supremacy at the top, defeat-losing for everyone else.
- “Friendship” and “camaraderie” that are blocked by competition and conflict for supremacy.
- “Fun” that’s nourishment for supremacy at the top and amusements-superficialities -- dog food -- for everyone else.
The wrong authority promises authoritarian supremacy, a fantasy of “liberty.” It actually delivers captivity, subordination, voicelessness, powerlessness, and forced allegiance to an arbitrary ruler -- a dictator or “boss.”
It delivers chaos ruled by warlords, thugs devoid of conscience accountable to no one. Palpatine was a warlord. Darth Vader was his dependent, a servant without honor or respect granted derived power with the empty pretense of “nobility:” “Lord Vader.”
The wrong authority that promises the “liberty” of no laws, of escape from rules by writing your own rules, actually delivers one supreme ruler at the top doing whatever it wants, with everyone below taken captive and allowed derived powers or denied any voice. Feeding off table scraps of superficial distractions and entertainments -- a scam. The wrong top-down authority delivers derived power or no power with no Free Will. Our ancestral Mind fell for the scam in extremis. But not all of us are in extremis. Shouldn't we know better by now?
Every individual’s Declaration of Independence
Individual Lives can’t achieve their potential without the benevolent Authority of Logic-Love their Source, enabling and empowering their Worth, their capacity to learn, mature, develop competence and Judgment, so they can choose freely and wisely. Free Choice requires Relationship with its Source Logic-Love to be earned and developed to maturity. It requires training, experience, and discipline. It can never be “doing whatever you want.”
Individual Lives can’t become the characters they choose by turning choice over to the animal-herd will of authoritarian supremacy. By allowing it to replicate itself by superimposing its illusory herd-tribal “self” on their individual selves To deny their individuality by depriving them of individual voices and rights. By putting them in uniforms of sameness and turning them into an army of clones.
The choice of the right Authority is the choice to support individual rights, democracy, and the rule of law. It is the choice to reject one-party rule by authoritarian dictatorship and lawlessness. It is every individual’s Declaration of Independence.
What’s the question?
Logic-Love says that progress is supposed to be linear. Left to right moving forward -- in the Western manner anyway. And of course that’s how it’s been in many respects: our animal-herd will has seen to it that human red army ants have established themselves on the planet without destroying themselves or their planet -- so far. Yet linear progress forward doesn’t define our act. It’s the opposite. We keep cycling back as if to get something right that we’re getting wrong. The “progress” of human red army ants that keep bungling the same task, over and over, can’t end well.
And it isn’t ending well. The Anthropocene may be the shortest epoch in geological history. The public face of commentary is often “optimistic.” Based on generalities that depart from circumstances on the ground that actually define our situation. What I’ve learned from metaphysics so far is that there can be no ”answer” without getting the question right. And the question will always be drawn from the meaning of the specific circumstances that obtain in the here and now. This applies in our ancestral home, in Reality-Creation, as well as here.
King Kong’s manifesto
Ask Logic-Love, our Parents in Reality, why they embarked on Creation instead resting comfortably in a static state of Perfection and they will tell you that there is no such thing, They acted because it’s in the nature of who they are to do so and the nature of who they are was the circumstances. Getting the origins of Reality-Creation right comes down to getting right who our Parents are and understanding that this is the one and only point in Everything, including unreality, when circumstances don’t change. Otherwise, we are always at the mercy of changing circumstances, changing contexts. And so we had better get off our hobby horses of resistance to change and get serious about progress. We had better get started wanting it instead of wishful-thinking it away with bogus theories and ideologies. We had better start reasoning with Logic-Love instead of rationalizing.
Metaphysics says we’re cycling back because our red army ant will refuses to let go of its founding premise, that it rules without opposition. And so it’s entitled to keep laying waste to the countryside because it’s entitled to do whatever it wants and there’s no other authority to say it can’t. It’s the only act on stage with a voice and none other is to be heard. The ultimate expression of humanity’s embrace of all-powerful, all-knowing sensory perception. The authoritarian supremacy manifesto: King Kong owns the Empire State building.
An echo from old-time religion
How can our red army ant will get away with such patent nonsense? Because of appearances. Bodies’ five senses don’t recognize another authority that exists let alone one that governs humanely. And so minds ruled by animal-herd will limited to the herd’s five senses continue on their destructive path, convinced that any other point of view can’t be valid and isn’t worth listening to. Convinced that authoritarian supremacy that sits atop our world view, our construct of what’s real and what’s right, is inviolate.
Unaware that there is a sixth sense and the Truth that it detects is the opposite. Not “optimistic” in the way that public commentary glosses over inconvenient facts. But certainly positive in the way that it recasts the meaning of our circumstances and the thrust of dialogue about it. In the way that it shows how, with self-direction and self-discipline, our animal will can be equipped with guidance from Logic-Love and so acquire the competence needed to move forward.
To borrow from the cliches of old-time religion, the Truth that metaphysics detects with its sixth sense -- Logic from Intuition -- is that “godlessness” rules humanity and it doesn’t work. Real Authority rests upon Relationship with our Parents Logic and Love. And we can’t expect to move forward without it. Period. Our sixth sense that animates metaphysics sits largely unused, locked away in its attic of dust with metaphysics, the unwanted, unrecognized step-child of philosophy that’s going nowhere without it. Nothing and no one is going forward without it. Period.
What’s the answer?
A common thread that runs through the self-assured pronouncements of human erudition is an appalling lack of mature reflection on who our Parents are and what Logic and Love are all about. Their mischaracterization by the Child’s nonsense-spouting delusional “other” as an angry tyrant, as “God” to be feared and loathed for its arbitrary power, its malevolence and betrayals, is a full-blown smear. The image of “God” outfitted in the Joker’s own hideous mask of authoritarian supremacy is a full-blown lie that continues to feed delusion and so “justify” our headlong escape from it.
And so I ask the Carlo Rovellis and the Steven Pinkers, the Brian Greenes and Jonah Goldbergs, the Christof Kochs and clones of Francis Crick-- the whole Caltech citadel of “realism,” -- when are you going to let go of hysteria at the thought of mind’s sixth sense joining the body’s five senses in the “quest for knowledge?” When will you live up to the spirit of Free Inquiry and open your minds? Let go of your religious faith in blind ignorance? You aren’t leading us forward. You’re tools of self-delusion that are taking us down.
What then does humanity need if not “optimism?” Purpose and meaning. Self-direction and self-discipline that can only come with aligning with our true friends Logic and Love. Seeking their guidance through the gift of our sixth sense, and parting with authoritarian supremacy once and for all.