The Relationship with Reality, a Primer for Self-Building
Everyone has many different relationships they deal with: Parents, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend,extended family, friends, boss, banks, broker, landlord, butcher and neighbors. Those are the entities people think of when they imagine relationships. They think of actual people. They can only have a relationship with another person. But are relationships not more than just human connections? The dictionary has various meanings for relationship: connection, association, and involvement. However, what I find most curious is that dependence is a synonym for relationship. If we follow that context, then we have relationships with everything in our life, food, exercise (or lack of it), health, liquor, cigarettes, pills, books, television, magazines, clothes, shopping, nature, society, cars, music, water, our minds (and the thought processes that it contains), and everything that makes up our view of reality. It usually begins with what the view of reality is first, then begins the relationships with the other items and people that coincide with our views.
Where is it that people first learn how reality should be viewed? Probably most likely in the home. What occurs around the child is his reality. Lots of motion is what I am sure the child first sees. The parents always seem to be moving here and there, on foot or in the car. And lots of other people are involved within the world. To the young man who awakes to his parents, then is off to daycare, then back home, the world can be quite chaotic and fast-paced. And in a nutshell, that is what reality is isn’t it? How often is it that reality is thought about as a thing? As a construct? But that is precisely what it is, because it has had to have been built. There are plenty of physical objects within the world that are necessary: food stores, clothing stores, homes, factories, trees, cars, airplanes, etc. But what is critical within the construction of a reality is not the things that make it up, but instead, the ideas that lay in wait behind those things. It is those ideas that cause people to usually unknowingly fall in love with their reality. Do they know they are in love with it? No. How could they? They move too fast. But their worlds revolve around it, and they have become so stuck to the way this reality is built, it would take an extreme occurrence to disrupt their dependence, I mean relationship, upon it.
I wish it was not as basic as the saying goes that, “reality is all in the mind,” but it basically is correct. If you are born, and you follow life along a chronological timeline, never straying from the company line, you will never once question the boring world before you. You will really believe that this miracle of life is really only about not speeding, stopping at all lights, speed limits, money, taxes, reproduction, socializing, emotions, church on sundays, heaven for eternity!! funny and scary movies, pizza fridays, and how awesome was that Super Bowl! I can just feel the VALUE in that awesome life. In paper money terms that life would be worth a million dollars, maybe even more!!
The definition of Value has several components that make it worth looking into:
Everything has some value, right? Food has not much value to one who has just eaten, but ask a man if he wants a kilo of gold or a double-hamburger fresh off the grill if he has been shipwrecked for a month eating nothing but grub worms, and one will see how high that burger is valued. Comfort, safety, happiness, children, authority, order, all are values of a well-run society. Or so the population has been told. There can be no value placed upon a good education because education is only valuable as so far as society deems it valuable. It can not be valuable if everyone receives the same thing. (“Custom represents the experiences of men of earlier times as to what they supposed useful and harmful – but the sense for custom (morality) applies, not to these experiences as such, but to the age, the sanctity, the indiscussability of the custom. And so this feeling is a hindrance to the acquisition of new experiences and the correction of customs: that is to say, morality is a hindrance to the development of new and better customs: it makes stupid.” Nietzsche). And even though schools nowadays do little more than teach kids to follow authority, that nevertheless is how they are all seeing their realities. The authority knows more than they do, so they should always ask for help at every sign of confusion or need (want?).
Value, language, relationships, dependence, foundations, definitions, desires, control, restraint, thoughts, mind, freedom. Only one of the words in that list is important: Mind. Why? Because it is where all of the other ideas are formed. It is what gives content to our vision, sound to our hearing, sensation to our touch, pleasure to our tastes, builds resistance from fears, develops dependencies, and lets us know what is important in our life. But before the mind can do any of those things, it must first develop a language so that it may think. Before it can understand it must learn HOW to think. Knowing how to think, not being told what to think makes the difference between one’s reality in actuality being a prison, versus a reality that is like a climb up the highest mountain ever, always challenging, overcoming obstacles with pure strength, focus, discipline, and a will to be Alive!!
First, it is reasoning I am concerned with. But I am concerned with one’s reasoning because there no longer seems to be individualized reasoning, but one large societal mindless reasoning. This so called “thinking,” has become a global epidemic. It is as though everyone just continues pushing forward “one spot” after “one spot” in their line of life they have situated themselves in, progressing to the next attraction they have been told to enjoy. Everyone is just rushing around, from one task to another, living someone else’s lives, playing by others’ rules. Which is precisely why understanding what makes up one’s self (and if one agrees with the components and neutral construction?), the fundamental importance of true value and how time works, are the keys to the equation of thinking and a new quality of life.
In order to first comprehend this amazing gift of life, as well as to speak and communicate with one another, our species evolved a language which allowed us to name things. This language gave us a way to see. This language gave us a way to cherish, to store things, and describe our wants. It also gave birth to thought. But not all. For language gives us the ultimate form of control. For to speak is to command, and to command is to control. But one can only use the language he has at his disposal for control over his own world, or over others, if he has first learned HOW to use the language. He must practice with the language. He must THINK about the language. He USES the language in order to think. He understands after much thought, that it is his thought that separates him from other beasts. And that is merely how early man described his situation.
Which leads to the core idea of any operation: Foundation. Anything needs a foundation in order to operate. For life to exist on earth there must be water. For there to be water there must be a sun. For man to move around on his two feet, there must be solid earth, for he cannot walk upon nothing. And in order for him to walk, he must understand the foundational system of putting one foot after another while resisting gravity with one’s muscles. As society evolved, it went through a list of human needs in order to find where its foundations lay. The list progressed through food (farming, hunting, gathering), clothing, shelter, trade, education, law, justice and war. And as the population grew, this meant that with more people, one man could now specialize in just one of the needs, leaving another of the needs to his neighbor to specialize in. Some began to specialize wholly in the field of THINKING, and what it could mean to the existence of man.
Produced from lifetimes of thought, there came a science of thought, born from the throes of the other science of thought, Philosophy, and it came to be known as Logic. Yet in order to come to Logic, in order to be logical, one must first have a concrete understanding of his first principles, namely: What am I? And Why do I do the things I do (not to be confused with the ever-popular—I do the things I do because that is what I was told to do, I mean taught to do)? Every answer, every question for the thinking man has its roots, its foundation, in those previous two questions, so there importance cannot be overlooked in the smallest degree.
Now there are several offshoots to thought: planning and action. The key to both is not what most believe, which is thought, but rather, what is the foundation of the thought that LEADS to the planning and the action (in mathematical terms, it would sound like: the answer is of no concern to me, but rather the equation and the work it took to achieve said answer; at some smaller mountains one may find two ways to the top: to drive or to hike (or climb). The view from the top is different depending upon how you decide to make it there.). If we take a group of people who have grown up under a totalitarian regime (not unlike ours), with all of its rules, regulations, cameras, and education; and compare them and their planning and actions to a group of children who were home-schooled far from a city—We are going to see vast differences between the two and what lies in their problem solving processes. One group is going to have fear, law, and order at its foundation of action. The other, a sense of UN-dependence, freedom and creative space.
Every mechanism needs an operating system. A computer-Microsoft Windows. A car-an engine. A man-an education. If Ford truck A has the same engine as Ford truck R, it is going to operate in an exact fashion. Just like if human being F, from the time it has been a baby, has been told what to do and what not to do, how to behave and how not to behave; and then it gets into “school,” and is told what to know, what to think–NOT how to know or how to think–(there are no public schools, and no private schools, that from a very young age teach the science of logic—which is precisely how to organize the mind so it knows how to think as well as why to think. Why would an education trust itself to give a young child the most dangerous weapon ever conceived: Thought.), has its platform or foundation of thought now “created” for it. It makes decisions based upon what it sees as successful decisions by those of authority around it. It finds a successful behavioral pattern or routine, and continues with it until it no longer works. We then take human being F when it is 18, and we match it with an 18 year old who has grown up home-schooled, learning logic, farming, hunting, philosophy, geometry, classical literature, and cooking—And we will see one as a breathing , thinking, independent blossoming individual; while the other as a mechanized, lifeless automaton, capable only of emotionalized, programmed and duplicated behavior meant to fulfill constantly updating desires.
What is most difficult is the effort to understand one mode of thought (logic-true pure thought) from the vantage point of the other mode of “thought.” It is incomprehensible. Because the people whose “thoughts” consist in routine behavior and the fulfillment of desires-believe that what they are doing is in fact thinking. They say things like, “I think I am going to the store,” “I am thinking about getting those new shoes;” When in fact all they are doing is naming an action-”going to store” and a desire-”wanting shoes.” And the person who does not use logic as his foundation of thought, cannot merely think logically from time to time. Why? Because his behavior does not accord with logic-it reacts to desires. In order for correct thinking to occur, he must unlearn his entire education and reformat his mind. And how does one do that—Well besides asking What am I? And Why do I do what I do? If one does not already find “desires” at the root of his present substance and being—then desires would be the best place to begin.
And then one must see the ordering he places those desires. What is his most desirable? Why and how did that come to be his most desired? Looking back upon his youth, maybe he was told to value safety and the role of authority. So all growing up he fostered and cared for the idea of being a policeman. He was told that policemen were respected and important people in society because they were there to PROTECT those who were unwilling or unable to protect themselves. So he learned or was told that the role of authority was something people liked because its definition had evolved to include the definitions of comfort, security and a sort of big brother. Roles, behaviors, desires—these are the teachers of the youth, the teachers of those sent to be told what to think, not how to think. Language, being the root of how one interacts with his world, is more than just an amalgamation of words chosen randomly. Language is specifics. Language is precision. And in order to be precise, one must know what one is talking about. In order to know what one is talking about one must study the words one is using, by defining the words one uses. It begins by defining the world around one. And through further specification, one learns to define and know all of the bones and muscles that make up his body. But what about defining and describing all of the abstract words that make up one’s feelings and thoughts. Within each word there is a life wanting to burst forth with a message. The same with each individual, no matter how much he has been told what to do, there will always be that tiny person inside wanting to jump out and claim his self.
And yet, routine behaviors blind one to the contradictions and definitions he lives under. And the life of routine behavior is only possible without a foundation. Routine, desire-fulfilling behavior is impossible to one with a foundation of logical thinking. One cannot want one thing and yet do its opposite. Or one cannot say one thing, yet also believe its opposite. If he does, it means he values the thing he does higher than the thing he wants to do. Or it means there is no foundation from which he acts. If I say I value freedom, then I am not going to do anything that would take away any freedom whatsoever. Even if to give up more freedom meant being more safe. Life is meant to be an adventure, sometimes one has to roll the dice.
A unique parallel between the non-logical person and the logical, thought-based individual is the time factor. No matter who one is, life is a series of moments to moments, presents turning into pasts and presents turning into futures. What is the HUGE difference however is the value each places upon time. If life is merely a chain of achieving and fulfilling desire after desire, with success measured in terms of fulfilling the desire—then HOW can one ever choose to spend (waste?) his time evaluating, reevaluating, demolishing his self at whatever age he is, and then rebuilding it in order that it function at its highest capacity? How can such time spent even be measured in today’s valuation of success and failure?
One cannot responsibly say, “who says how I am supposed to live my life, spend my time? There is no right or wrong way?” To the untrained mind, to the mind that has not taken itself apart piece by piece like a mechanic who is rebuilding a classic, in order to label each piece so he knows what he is working with—no, there is no right or wrong way. But that is also precisely the point—there is no way, no path. The ancient samurai called their path, their foundation for all action—The Bushido, or the Way. If ever a samurai’s choice betrayed the way, he would either commit seppuku, or be banished forever, off by himself to try and find the Way again. But alas, the samurai did not attend public schools, or think based upon desire, but rather had a mind of discipline and focus. And focus and discipline are the beginning and lasting stages of a trained mind. The logical, foundational mind never asks the question, “is this this the right way,” because he has used his time to build and understand his self and life, free from the control of others, and based firmly in the principles that if all he in this world are his choices, then those choices must be free from any restraint—moral, educational, physical—even if those restraints reach back to when he was a small child.
Restraint, control—no one likes to feel as though his life or mind is being controlled by someone else. So he buys his own house and he decorates and furnishes it just how he would want it. He buys a sports car and hangs a pair of dice from his mirror and adorns the seats with lush sheepswool. And he works at one of those companies that has a policy to let their employees wear what they want and be “themselves.” He eats organically most of the time and several days a week he meets the guys for some racquetball, and on the weekends he rides a mountain bike. Looking from the outside, with a “normal” pair of eyes, one would figure this guy had a pretty good life. House, car, good job, friends, and he eats good and exercises. However, most of these things are external. In fact, all are external, as the exercise and food are meant to keep his external self presentable, and to keep him alive so that he may continue living in his house and driving his car. What do those things he has say about who he is? What do those things teach him about himself? In order to have each one of those things—how much time of each day must he devote in order to achieve and maintain them? Does not how one chooses to spend each day in fact control him? If he works all day, and he has “chosen” that path, what does that say about what he values and what he “allows” to control him? For control is not simply about someone telling someone what to do. Defining the word is of the utmost importance. Control is also defined as “a regulating device.” If one is to despise being controlled by a partner, parent, laws, or government—then one is not going deep enough or seeking hard enough to find just how big a part CONTROL plays in one’s life. One usually means he does not want control in his immediate life. Yet, control has been a part of one’s immediate life from the time one was born. The most manipulative part about the control in one’s life now, is that one’s mind was hijacked in one’s youth, taken over by a regulating agency, programming one’s actions to act and react according to its teachings.
It has been said that “true freedom only lies in the mind.” I say true freedom is only possible in the mind that has kicked out its mental terrorists and has freed itself of all external controls, and has taken the time to value its true importance to what it means to be alive and accept this most amazing gift. In order for one to be free and have strength of mind and body, one must not only have balance between both, but most importantly, be careful of what one allows to enter in either. Do I see anything wrong with choosing to continue to live life without questioning what one IS? I believe if it was so easy to change, control would not be so prevalent in all of the systems one lives under today. But, its when problems arise, people, will always continue to look for answers OUTSIDE themselves, such as prescription drugs, day cares, education, psychology, banks, government care—Not because they want to, but because they have not been taught any other way.
This is the result of me taking the time to understand the toll a dependence had upon my life. I just never stopped with drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. I didn’t do it for my parents, girlfriend, government, or anyone else. I did it for me. I did it because I finally figured out that in order to define my life on my own terms, I had to understand just what was meant by the phrase: Reality is a Relationship.