Archive for Nihilism

The Illusion of the Eternal Soul

Posted in The R-Evolution of Political Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 17th, 2008 by mrdirt

I am the beginning and the end.

I am Life and I am Death.

The existence of the soul is a myth which, like most religious/spiritual/metaphysical fairy-tales, has one purpose and one purpose only: to quench your lust of life, to make you oblivious of the true nature of life and to keep you mentally enslaved within an illusion, a virtual reality where the meaning of life is labour and procreation.

The myth of the soul has existed, much like other religious myths, for hundreds of thousands of years, ever since the formation of the first proto-societies/family-tribes. It is safe to say that the myth arose ever since we became self-conscious of our existence and aware of our own mortality. Even now, if you try to grasp the notion of death as the end of your existence you will not be able to do so, the thought that you will forever seize to exist is extremely frightening and disturbing. A simpler example would be to ask you to contemplate the universe. The idea of infinity cannot be grasped with the human mind, it is impossible for us to think outside the notion of space/distance. But in the same way, and in fact probably even harder, we are also unable to understand a universe that is not endless. You imagine the universe as a sphere, an area that somewhere has an end. But what exists beyond its borders? Nothingness is not a concept that the human brain can grasp.

In the same way, the brain cannot grasp these concepts when applied to time. Eternity, the existence of time without beginning and end is difficult to understand. Even more difficult is to understand a state of things where time does not exist. This inability to understand the end of existence, that death is the end and there is absolutely nothing after it, creates such awesome fear within our hearts that is is easy to understand how the first humans chose to create a bed time story with a happy ending for their children and themselves. And so death became nothing more than a passage to the afterlife.

The development of the notion of the soul was affected by a variety of factors. It was not only the fear of the unknown and our mortality that played a part. It was also the understanding that we were somehow different from all the other creatures that walked the earth. We were the only life-form to be self-conscious of our actions and our choices, of good and evil, of life and death, of mathematical patterns, of our bodies, of nature, and so much more. This led the first humans to conclude that we are different, we are higher beings, and thus arose the myth that we were made in the image of the gods (read the ancient Greek myth of Prometheus). And of course, since the gods(the sun) were immortal, so were we.

But even though it was decided that we should be immortal, it was still to be decided what it was that was immortal in us. Certainly it could not have been the body. The body dies and rots and returns to the mother earth. So what is it that rises up to the heavens? More importantly, what is it that comes from the life-giving creator-god, the sun? Light and warmth. And what is it that creates the same effect here on earth? Fire. So the sun-god was a huge fireball. And sitting around the fire that kept them safe and warm at night, what did our ancestors see rising to the sky? Smoke. As simple as that, our immortality came to be represented by a smoke-like existence, an intangible, ethereal, airy presence that could be seen like the smoke, a ghost or a spirit, the soul.

Having existed for hundreds of thousands of years, the myth of the soul has permeated the human subconscious and is now considered by all as a given, a fact. The non-affiliated nature of this myth has accommodated its existence within all religions and all societies. Even today’s atheists and agnostics uncritically accept the existence of the soul. “I may not believe in a creator-being, but I still like to bask in the lie that is my immortality”. Indeed, the myth of the soul is so established within human society and psyche that the denial of its existence is met by shock and horror. To confess that you deny the existence of the soul would be in the same region as someone in the Dark Ages claiming that the earth is round.

But why is it that even now, having advanced so far in terms of knowledge and technology and so much more, do we still stick to this notion of the eternal soul? After all there is no proof to justify it. On the contrary, the evidence point towards a wholly humanistic nature of the self. We know today that a person’s personality and his illusion of the “self” is the result of the structure and workings of his brain, combined with his experiences during his pre-pubescent life. So it must be something else that causes this ignorance. A conscious effort to deny the facts like an ostrich who buries his head in the sand. Certainly there is the fear of the unknown. But is that enough to justify the unwillingness to progress? Or is it the case that certain people benefit from this myth?

I want you to consider what you would do if you were told with no uncertain terms that there is no afterlife of one sort or the other and after you die you simply seize to exist? Would you still be willing to spend the largest part of your life in the modern slavery that is wage-labour consumerism? Would you accept the system as it is, a system in which you get the wonderful things that exist around you in the “afterlife” while those who take advantage of you enjoy them in the real life? The afterlife, the immortality of the soul is nothing else but another dogma by which you are kept in chains, educated to become unwilling to rise up and fight for your freedom and your rightful share of the beautiful miracle that is life. They tell you “blessed be the poor for they will enter heaven with Jesus while the rich will spend eternity in hell”. They tell you “blessed be the martyrs because if you die fighting for your religion Allah will give you lots of beautiful wives to fuck for the rest of eternity”. And then they send you off to do their dirty work.

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Prosperity and the illusion of Identity.

Posted in The R-Evolution of Political Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 19th, 2008 by mrdirt

I fear him.

I do not understand him.

The mirror stares back at me.

Oh, help me great leader.

 

 

Prosperity, I think, is what we all aspire to. Happiness and progress. And yet, as a species, we do very little to achieve this. We are the only life form on this planet that kills its own kind for reasons that have no real value. We kill for oil, for land, for precious rocks, for ideologies. We carry out organised crime and legalise it by calling it a war among nations. We steal from our neighbours thinking that this way there is more for us when in truth there is less for all.

I was born and raised in a country that has been at war with one of its neighbouring countries for the past 500 years. I had to waste two and a half years of my life, the best years of my life, in the army being forcibly conscripted. I stood guard on the borders and saw people shooting at me. Trying to kill me because I was born about 100 kilometers to the west from where they were born. This is the only thing that separates as. The illusion of identity.

I know, it sounds silly. It sounds like the ramblings of an idealistic kid who hasn’t woken up to the real world yet. Or a pot-head hippie who thinks we should all hug each other in brotherly love. I assure you I am neither. In fact I would rather punch you in the face than hug you. Practically speaking though, war and poverty are an extreme waste of resources that could be put to better use. I’m sure you can thing of many.

So what is the illusion of identity? Bertrand Russel makes an excellent historical analysis. When man first appeared, we lived and functioned in the family level like a pack of wolves. Power in unity. In the pack, the strongest was the leader, the rest followed. Once these packs began to grow in population through war and conquest, the members of the pack no longer had any personal contact with the leader and therefor no loyalty. Instead, the loyalty of family ties was replaced by fear. For thousands of years the fear was that of physical punishment and pain. Today that has been replaced by psychological fear. In Germany, the Nazis cultivated the fear and hatred of other races, especially Jews, to trick the population into a war. In the USA, the Christian fundamentalists cultivate the fear of terrorism to convince the people that they should spent a trillion dollars to bomb a few poor people who are in fact posing no threat to them. Now, I don’t mean to equate Republican America with Nazi Germany, but I think you get the general idea. If you want war, scare the people into believing that “they” are somehow different from us. They are commies, they are muslims, they don’t eat mcdonald’s, etc. The trick never fails to work. And why would our leaders go to all this trouble, you might ask. Well folks, war is to capitalism a most essential necessity. It is the best and fastest way to create what economists call ‘surplus wealth’. And since, according to a fellow called Einstein, all matter is constant, ‘surplus’ wealth is nothing else but the redistribution of wealth from the poor to the rich. And you don’t even need Marx to tell you that.

Thus, as you should all know, war is the best way to enhance the feeling of belonging to a group, the feeling of identity. Security is in fact the last bastion of the nation-state, as we have learned from the EU experiment. But in the same way, identity is the cause of war. After all, the definition of war is hostility between groups of different identity. Of course, identity is not limited to the human illusion of nationality. There is also that unspeakable evil, Religion. Between them, religion and nationality have caused 99% of all warfare in the history of the human kind.

Warfare is not the only major problem caused by the illusion that we are somehow different from each other. Poverty, famine, disease, sound familiar? 80% of the human population, thats about 4.5 billion people, live well below the poverty standard. Are they stupid, weak, lazy, or just plain bad? God must be punishing that six month old baby, thats why it has malaria and starving to death! What a bunch of idiots! It hasn’t rained there for the past one hundred years and they still insist in living in that desert! Why don’t they just move? Oh, now I get it, it’s called ‘borders’. So thats why they can’t get away from those parts of the earth whose climate and terrain is not suitable to planting crops and raising domesticated animals. 

Sure, climate and terrain is not the only cause of poverty, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to analyse the reasons behind the underdevelopment of the Third World. Maybe in another post. The case remains that bringing down the borders would solve 99% of these problems. In fact, I am absolutely convinced that it’s the ONLY way to solve these problems. 

The R-3volution of Political Philosophy

Posted in The R-Evolution of Political Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , on August 28th, 2008 by mrdirt

Every great advance in natural knowledge has involved the absolute rejection of authority.

– Thomas H. Huxley


The purpose of the posts under this category, the main part of my blog, is to write down a few of my ideas so that i can elaborate on them. Hopefully, there are people out there with similar ideas and interests that will offer me their comments and feedbacks.

My thoughts regard the state of the human society, in other words the way we interact with the world around us and among ourselves. The limits to human behaviour, are set by the main institutions of humanity which include the political systems, the economic systems, religion, the law, education, parenthood, and many others that I will probably come up with later on.  I shall examine their nature (present), how they came to be (past), and the options available to us (future).

My ideas can be generally classified as anarchist or nihilist.

Anarchism is the political theory of a world based on a free society rather than the nation-state type of international system of the last 300 years. It is an ideology based on mutual aid and the liberty of the individual. Mutual aid, or social cooperation, has been the basis for survival of all sociable animals (humans, apes, wolves, lions, elephants, deers, horses, dolphins, etc). Individual freedom refers to the destruction of the state as a centre of power, to be replaced by local communities. Most people misunderstand the notion of anarchism to mean the absence of rule of law. In fact, it is rather the opposite as anarchism is the dispersal of power to local communities thus increasing the number of social contracts and therefore democracy. For more on this subject you can read Kropotkin. The economic side of anarchism was best described, in my opinion, by Proudhon’s and Rudolf Rocker’s anarcho-syndicalism which calls for the self-management of the workers, i.e. an economic system based on coop’s. Of course this is not the only branch of economic anarchism. There is also anarcho-communism and anarcho-collectivism, which are more popular, but personally I do not agree with them.

Nihilism is even more misunderstood than anarchism. Philosophical nihilism argued that life is pointless, void of objective meaning, purpose and intrinsic value. Although Nietzsche is considered the father of Nihilism he was vehemently opposed to this philosophy that encourages apathy toward life and the poisoning of the human soul. For Nietzsche, Christianity was the most nihilistic philosophy since it rejected the material world in favour of a non-existant after-life. Today what we understand as nihilism is exactly the opposite, it is Nietzsche’s teachings.


We must destroy the Homo Sapiens.