This is probably the only way to defeat self-deception, speaking as realistically as possible
Westerners can’t think like this. Call it the protestant work-ethic if you want? Doing nothing. That’s something we can’t do. Meditation isn’t nothing though, because it’s experiencing, and that’s something. Unless you’re not there anymore, which seems to be the point? Speaking of structures of consciousness and the impossibility of pure awareness, certain schools of the East seem to have a solution to that. You never will, because you can never stop. What would society think if you just sat and meditated all day? “You’re doing nothing, you need to do something.” Isn’t observing reality and the self doing something? “Not like that.” See, this is a real thing here, people are like this. Makes me wonder when/if I’m going to experience a phase like this in my life. You can never know yourself if you’re constantly distracted. Real pathos of distance seems to require intense asceticism. You really stopped caring about society and its stupid demands if you wear a ragged robe and sit in lotus for 12 hours a day. That’s the only way to prove that you see through all its illusions. Reminds me, even a western version of this, being a monk, how do you do that in the world of today? I have these thoughts though because philosophy and mysticism seem to be nearly synonymous at a certain level and I haven’t seen the latter mentioned in those western texts I was studying. “God’s Workshop” – that’s pretty much where you go when you meditate (with perseverance). The west is, relatively, a text-based culture. Certain eastern schools prioritize contemplation. We’re stuck on the written word rather than focusing on experience. Can we ever change? I’d probably freak out if some Lama tried to take away my books. “You sit.” Impossible, I like my book-lamas too much. I mean, I’m after enlightenment. Not any rationalistic sense like what we mean in the west. Eastern “schools” have a different approach to that. 15,000 hours of reading philosophy vs. 15,000 hours of sitting and experiencing. “That’s what I’ve been doing!” Yeah right, there was probably some kind of distraction involved. There’s doing nothing then there’s doing nothing, they’re not the same. “Okay, see you in 15,000 hours, let me know how that goes.” Crystal-clear awareness, that’s what I’d expect, based on my amateur experience with meditation at least. I just bring this up to emphasize how westerners seem to live in a totally different world from that. Most easterners too. This is another form of “elitology”. Is our actual elite interested in either philosophy or mysticism? I’m not sure they are.
Here’s another one that looks enticing IF it’s not new-age
Naturally, after wondering What is philosophy? I move to the next step of wondering about philosophy itself. It seems that some of the aims of philosophy can only be achieved extra-philosophically, i.e. with mysticism. Books, dialogues with others, that’s not enough. A certain kind of soul-journey bordering on the supernatural. That’s not something our egos understand “here”. At least a trace of the other world I can understand “here”.
Another not bad definition of “demos” is those who care about neither philosophy or mysticism. That’s why it’s so sad that people don’t care what theologians, priests, rabbis have to say these days. They’re the ones who try to help people evolve. Can’t say that about most of our public figures today. If any? They’re firmly situated in “the world”. I can’t think of a single mainstream figure who isn’t like this. No wonder the demos is in such a poor state. It’s all “flocks” anywhere you look. Who can you think of who isn’t some worldly cretin? Where are they? Obviously no one believes in the pope. There’s nothing like a pope in our culture. Even if a few people were like one quarter popes, there’s nothing like that either. It’s all secular, there’s no higher ideals, nothing noble to look to that could inspire us.