Reality is a Canvas
Your experience of living is a story being scribbled on this canvas by a wild artist. This artist chap is quite happy go lucky and productive and we recognize him as the phenomenon we call Life. He is known to spend his days pouring ideas onto the canvas of Reality just for the sheer fun of it.
To him he is writing down a story, but to us he is creating lives. Every birth is a new character and every species is a new chapter.
This story that the artist known as Life is creating is written in a language we call DNA, and our bodies, which are about thirty DNA novels in length, are the result of billions of years of writing. Only not everything Life has written has made it into the story.
You see Life is supervised closely by a figure known as the Editor, who wants only one thing: perfection. This Editor is constantly trimming Reality of any bad ideas or stupid chapters that Life proposes that don’t reach his rigorous standards.
We Are The Pawns of A War
It has been said that Life began the story here on earth with little characters called bacteria, which Life soon developed into more complex characters called plants and animals. He then began to experiment with all these crazy ideas for animals and plants and had loads of fun.
This adventure climaxed when Life created the dinosaurs, who were mad bastards altogether, and Life rejoiced that he had created something so noble, but the Editor was unimpressed and killed them all off in one go… the racist
Life was hurt, and soon realized something crucial: every time he creates a character he pours a little bit of himself into them.
This made Life very nervous as he quickly realized that every time the Editor destroyed part of his story he was losing part of himself. Life realized that the story wasn’t moving fast enough with him alone writing it, so he developed a plot twist.
First, Life created lanky creatures called apes that dangled out of trees and generally acted the maggot. The Editor didn’t take much notice of them as they seemed to play their part. Life then secretly gave the apes the ability to tell stories themselves, and I assure you, this fucked shit up.
The apes began to use stories to plan and make strategies which brought them to the top of the food chain, and over time Life refined these characters into what we nowadays call humans. The humans (who are, get this: us) were very important Apes because of a very important realization: they were aware of the existence of the artist known as Life.
Us humans then began to tell stories to each other about Life, always wondering what was going on in his mind, and it was through these stories that the humans became aware of the Editor.
When they realized that the Editor was the one who ended Life, they became very wary of this figure, and so they named him Death.
Us humans then became morbid and spent all our days worrying about when Death was going to come and end our story. Life saw this and decided to reveal to the humans a special power he had gifted them. It is said that his message was something like this:
You and I am powerless in the face of Death, who can end our stories anytime, anywhere. It is this which has caused us great pain. To combat this I have gifted you something which Death cannot touch: I have gifted you ideas, and it is ideas which belong to you humans alone. Remember that ideas can never be killed, they can only be forgotten, and because of this they are your greatest weapon against Death.
This knowledge was taken by various poets and prophets and caused great hope in humanity, and we put our faith in noble ideas and great stories hoping they would save us all. What we didn’t see is how deep of a rabbit hole we had climbed into.
All animals have the voice of Life inside of them, instructing them on how to act out the character he has written for them. We often call these instructions our instincts, and these instincts often tell us useful advice like “don’t die”, “eat” and “make babies”.
What makes humans special is that we have our own voice within us as well as the voice Life. Using this personal voice we can tell our own stories, and when our instincts suggest things like “kill people you don’t like” or “have sex with everyone,” our personal voices can say “no”.
A famous human named Sigmund Freud named these two voices: calling our instincts our Libido and our personal voice our Ego. Thanks Sigmund.
How Language Became Alive
Sigmund Freud said that our Libido speaks to us through our feelings. For example think about how you feel when you are around leprosy, or spiders (our feelings try to repulse us) and compare the feeling to when you are around that person you keep sending anonymous valentines cards to (our feelings try to engage us).
On the other hand our Ego’s speak to us using words.
This configuration can often be hard to manage. You might know someone very intellectual, but not very in touch with their feelings: this person may be too dependent on their Ego. On the flip side you may know someone who always obeys their impulses but can’t be reasonable about what they demand: this person may be too subservient to their Libido.
What is known is that the Libido is the voice of Life’s story and that our Ego is the tool that Life gave us to create our own stories. The only problem is that our Ego’s are not creative by themselves, they are simply a lifeless tool. To make our Ego’s useful we need to somehow channel the creative power of the Libido through it.
When a human manages this difficult feat of union they become so filled with new ideas that people often say they have found themselves or found their voice, and it is through this process that we create new stories and ideas.
But in order to create a new idea we need to channel a portion of Life into it, and so every idea contains within it some Life. It is said that this is the crucial truth that us humans repeatedly fail to understand: That ideas are alive.
The War of Ideas
When you create a new idea and throw it out into the world the idea enters into it’s very own jungle, full of all the other ideas in human society. In this idea jungle there is only one resource: human attention. If an idea doesn’t get attention it fades into forgetfulness.
Remember: ideas cannot die, they can only be forgotten.
Because of this; all the ideas in the jungle aggressively compete against one another for our attention, exactly like how animals compete for resources in nature, there are a lot of similarities between ideas and animals.
For example, ideas seem to grow a lot like how bacteria evolved into more complex animals and plants. We humans have called these more complex ideas many things: myths, religions, or cultures, but I am going to call them a recent word known as ideologies, because that word means: a system of ideas shared by a group of people.
Now ideas are at the mercy of us humans, and if we choose to ignore them they die off. In many ways to ideas we are like the severe Editor.
Of course, like us humans, as ideas evolved into ideologies they began to figure out ways to control the resources that keep them alive: our attention. The pinnacle of these innovations was a story which ideologies brilliantly use to control our Ego’s. This story is known as the battle between right and wrong.
Today we call this story by one word: morality.
The Arrival of The Super Ego
When our Libido sends a feeling to our Ego explaining that we should “have sex with that person,” the voice of morality floats into our Ego and tells us that “that is the wrong thing to do”. This causes great stress for our poor Ego’s as we battle between choosing what we want and choosing what is right.
Our old friend Sigmund Freud had a name for this as well (the clever clogs). Sigmund said that the role morality plays into controlling our Ego is a force called the Super Ego. Which I’m sure you’ll agree is a bad-ass name, albeit something you may imagine Donald Trump may be suffering from for different reasons.
Now the reason why ideologies use this story about a battle between right and wrong, is because it influences your choices. They use morality in order to manipulate your decisions. To illustrate this I’ll use an example
The Righteous and the Hungry
Say that you really enjoy eating bacon, and every time you see bacon your feelings (your Libido) starts shouting at you “GET THAT BACON IN YOUR MOUTH… ASAP”. You would probably obey that harmless impulse and simply be known as the guy who eats a shitload of bacon.
Now imagine that you meet a lovely woman, and you spend all your time swooning her, and she tells you she may allow you to court her but only on one condition: you become vegetarian. This word “vegetarianism” is actually an ideology which states that eating meat is wrong and a diet based on plants and dairy products is right.
Now this woman is really beautiful, so you just agree to whatever she says and swear never to eat meat again.
Then a week later you walk through your local supermarket and that old familiar smell of bacon wafts into your nose, and that Libido begins hollering again: “DEAR LORD, DO YOU SMELL THAT? QUICK. PUT IN THE MOUTH!” and your tongue starts hanging out, and you begin breathing heavy, and you move toward the bacon sandwich counter (which I hope all supermarkets of the future will have) and you reach out to grab one but something happens.
“That is the wrong thing to do,” echoes your Super Ego remembering the oath you swore to that beautiful lady, and you are so surprised that you obey this command and you don’t eat the bacon, even though your very soul is screaming for it.
The True Power of an Idea
This is the power of the Super Ego; through the invisible presence of ideas it can change our actions in the real world.
Certain ideologies use this power to control our attention because this is the resource crucial to their survival. They do this by labeling all ideas that are a part of their make up as right, and by labeling all foreign ideas as wrong. So when a human operating under and ideology begins to think about a foreign idea their Super Ego interrupts and says that it is wrong to give these ideas attention.
These ideas labelled wrong are eventually bullied into forgetfulness, which to an idea is Death.
A perfect and familiar example of this is the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, where a group of people sharing an ideology known as Christianity began to assume that illnesses in the small village were being caused by an evil power. The Christian folk initially blamed all the outcasts in their village, such as homeless women and black women, to be evil characters known as witches. When actual rational Christian folk spoke out against such bigotry they themselves were turned into suspects.
The Super Ego’s of the Church going populace of this village so twisted their Ego’s that they began to, as a group, condone the hanging of twenty people (mainly women) who were said to be evilwitches, based on such slight evidence as weird birthmarks.
This is a chilling account of the Super Ego, and by extension an ideology, controlling the actions of a large group of people. A similar account can be found in how the Nazi’s in the early 1940’s manipulated Germany into thinking that Jews were evil, permitting them to try “delete” the Jewish ideology through a series of actions now known as the Holocaust.
These tragedies are nothing more than unskillful management of our Super Egos, and this is the maddening crux of this story: it is our obedience to moralities that we don’t understand that has been the greatest cause of human suffering. Not evil, not the world, not circumstance: Us.
Your Brain Is Your Hard Drive, Your Beliefs Are Your Software.
An ideology is like software which you upload onto a computer, and exactly like software the ideology can become outdated, or even worse it can become infected with a virus. When we have an outdated of malfunctioning ideology our only real option is to wipe the hard drive: our Super Egos.
What is particularly dangerous about these “attention controlling” ideologies that caused the above tragedies is that they can be particularly resistant to this hard drive wiping, as it effectively ends their monopoly over the human they are currently using as a host.
The natural way to wipe our Super Ego’s is through our imaginations.
In history when an ideology gets too powerful and possess’ too many people’s Super Ego, a flood of new ideas and language pour out of the peoples imaginations wearing down the ideology like water over sand. An example of this is probably the most famous story in the western world:
Around 30 AD the Roman Empire was stretched across most of the known world at the time. This Roman Empire was actually operating under an ideology that involved a pantheon of Gods that they took from the Greeks. This particular Pantheon (which you might recognize as Zeus/Jupiter, Aphrodite/Venus, or Ares/Mars etc.) was actually very old and built for a small civilization in the Mediterranean.
This Empire was trying to impose this Mediterranean ideology on people who lived in woodlands of England, and people who lived in the deserts of Israel. Places where these Gods were simply not compatible.
And so in one of these fringe territories a figure appeared talking about a new way of looking at the world which he had discovered through his imagination. This figure came to be known as Yeshua or Jesus, and being a threat to the dominant Jewish and Roman ideologies, was quickly killed.
But they didn’t kill his story.
Jesus’ story was kept alive by groups of underground outcasts through the Roman Empire, and these people suffered greatly to sustain the teachings. Around 300 years after Jesus “the man” was killed by the Roman Empire, his message became announced as the main religion of Rome, effectively washing away the dominant Roman ideology that had him killed. 1700 years after his death his ideas were being preached to the Natives of Argentina: a place he did not even know existed when he lived.
This is just how powerful the imagination can be, and it is this power which we need to harness to cleanse our minds of stale ideologies, but there has been a terrible twist of fate.
The Ideology Which We Obey
Currently we are operating under an ideology which we developed in order to keep up with the amazing level of production that the Industrial Revolution could provide us. A central tenant of this ideology was the notion that anybody could attain the level of wealth usually reserved for royalty through hard work and business savy.
This dream was viciously pursued by us humans for a number of years while industries grew and cities sprawled all over the globe. This was an exciting time that cradled such tragedies as the World Wars alongside some of the greatest art and technology to ever have existed.
Unfortunately the waste produced by industries appeared to be taking a heavy toll on the earth, and the factory based lifestyle of working nine to five began to show detrimental effects on our health. People began to question was wealth really that valuable considering the costs its means were taking on Reality.
Pretty quickly the ideology became aware of this type of thinking and soon became nervous that it might become deleted, so it used the old battle of right and wrong trick that worked for so many in the past.
Our ideology then began labeling things that sustain it like: profit, business, and industry as right, and things that are averse to it’s survival as wrong. It is one of these wrong labels that should concern us the most, and that is the modern disrespect aimed toward the creation of new ideas.
Why They Say We’re Waking Up
We are becoming more and more conscious of the presence of this ideology in our Super Ego’s, only we project this awareness out onto our politicians. You may hear of people talking about the illuminati, or the reptilian overlords, or the elite, and you can probe these people as to who they are actually referring to, and the answer is never a particular person, merely a “them”.
These hunches and conspiracies are referencing to the ideology that we can feel in our minds, and the sinister connotations are actually a reflection on the personality of the ideology. At this moment in time the ideology is an non human entity in our collective Super Ego trying to maintain control of our attention by programming us to serve its needs by living a certain lifestyle which supports it, but unfortunately destroys the world.
Be careful with this thought, it will take you to uncomfortable places.
The people on top of culture, these warlords and politicians, these capitalists and bureaucrats, they are not in conspiracy against us; they are infected. This infection is a virus made of ideas, which is spread through the various products of its past two hundred years of dominance.
The factory style rote learning we sit through in schools is our first extended period of infection. The lifelong addictions we all have to terrible television shows, sports based video games, and trivial films are the virus reinfecting us. Every time our Super Ego commands us to act subservient to our boss it is the result of our infection. Our culture has built a prison our minds so that we cannot avoid feeding it with our attention.
Culture is not Your Friend
There are 7 billion people in the world, and because of this we are anxious about the scarcity of food and so we are steadily increasing its prices. Knowing this it is said that globally one third of the food we produce, which is about 1.3 billion tonnes, is wasted every year. Furthermore we are told by the news that there is a homeless person crisis, as Europe alone contains 3 million homeless people, yet recent statistics explain that there are 11 million vacant houses left in europe after the financial crisis of 2007 which property developers cannot sell.
Our current ideology was fantastic in getting us to this point where we have an abundance of resources, but the problem is that it has become outdated.
We are becoming so concerned with these mounting facts that we are beginning to break out of our lifestyles of dis-empowerment and infection and calling for romantic ideas like revolution. Something which Russel Brand has recently brought to the forefront of popular thinking. The sentiment behind this call for change is correct, but in my eyes their method is lacking, and the way forward is simple: We don’t need to ask for change, we need to create it.
What dangerous ideas have you found?