Beside the confused way of thinking and speaking that is imposed upon us by capitalist information control, there persists the general problem of self-imposed confusion. That is to say, capitalist firms are to blame for poisoning the public mind to a large degree, but the public is guilty of poisoning itself as well.
To cut straight to the heart of the issue: the left is severely weakened by mysticism. It sounds bizarre, and it is. The mystical nonsense that is so proudly proclaimed by my political allies not only disempowers us but is just plain embarrassing.
I was at the Davis Food Co-op over the weekend, doing a little bit of shopping on my mostly lazy day. I decided to look in the sale item bin, wondering if any cool little gadget might inspire some new healthy life habit. Instead something terrible happened. I saw a calendar that unwittingly sums up everything wrong with liberals in 2013.
The cover read “Underneath your physical form, you are one with Life itself, one with Being.”
This is the art of pseudo-philosophy. This is the art of meaningless baloney. This is the cancerous mysticism that nullifies the left. It creates empty terminology, which causes liberals to pursue empty mystical values. It sends them on a goose chase for a goose that couldn’t exist.
By dissecting this little nugget of vacuous crap, I think we can gain some insight into the problem and how to fix it. These spiritual affirmations use scientific terminology in a shifted context that attempts to gain the credence of scientism while adding some other magical, mysterious element. It takes “physical form,” a normal, everyday term, and uses it to suggest that there must be some other form, some other dimension of forms.
Most importantly, the capitalized “Life,” in the affirmation on the calendar, implies that life is some fabric that runs through reality, connecting all living beings. This is as anti-science as it gets — this is how people buy into this. It feels good to think that you’re seeing beyond. This is faith-based belief.
Once people buy into this faith-based concept of reality, they can’t craft their actions to confront real problems. They craft their actions to fit a world that doesn’t exist. Furthermore, if our discourse is filled with nonsense terms and mystical jargon, we push out talk of real problems and real values. We have real values, things like fairness or feeding people. When we are chasing “one-ness” around and searching for “being,” we are not going to fulfill any real values. These are false values. They only detract from our being.
People are generally lazy. They evolved to be that way. We could only get so many calories in a day, and the people who were busy bodies had a higher chance of being killed by beasts. People also want to be deep and profound, so they take these shortcuts. They latch on to these empty terms and it gives them the feeling that they are really tapping into the true nature of reality. Mysticism is the conjunction of intellectual laziness and the desire to be great. And its results are pitiful.
Here’s a good general rule: If something can’t be explained in normal terms, it probably doesn’t mean anything. “Being,” “Life” and “form” as they are used in the affirmation above just don’t do that. They just hint at the fact that there is something which is beyond observable reality. Once again, this is anti-science in the purest.
Of course, adherents to this type of rhetoric tend to reject scientism anyway, so that criticism will not persuade them. Once people have abandoned using reason and trying to think in meaningful terms, they probably can’t be fixed.
Someone else, much smarter than me, should try to figure out how to fix that millennia-old problem. If anything, I just want to encourage my compatriots to treat with hostility such mystical proclamations. Tolerance is a supreme virtue, but let’s not tolerate this hippie stupidity.
BRIAN MOEN recognizes the energy wavelength within your Being and sees that it is one with one-ness. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.