Ours is a unique place in history. Technology and industrialization have driven major social changes and the average person in the developed world has access to resources, information, and luxuries that would make the greatest king a century ago look like little more than an ignorant pauper. Are we better for it?
Despite much of MasterSelf being inherently built on the opposition to Nihilism, I don’t think I’ve directly touched on the concept until The Burden of Existence, II. Beyond all other issues, the black and bleeding heart of the ills of the world is rooted in the philosophy of Nihilism. This belief (or perhaps unbelief) system is so widespread and commonplace that most people are wholly unaware that their own lives are ruled, or at the very least, influenced by it. Today, we explore the Desert of Nihilism and the Throne of God to understand the horror and responsibility that it represents.
This is a direct follow-up to Existence Exists- today we begin a series about a concept I touched on briefly in the first article: The Burden of Existence. What is the Burden? This is the non-negotiable price that reality exacts from every person who chooses to live in it, the weight of the mantle that must be taken up if life is to continue. Our culture has been moving further and further from accepting the challenges presented by life, with some even stooping so low as to abdicate the role or even abnegate the Self in an attempt to escape reality. The time that such childishness and cowardice can be tolerated is rapidly nearing its end, as existence cannot long be ignored. We will start with the primary virtue, efficiency.
Today we’re going to be talking about a few ideas I haven’t touched on on MasterSelf before. If you’ve been following the site for a while, you may have noticed that things have changed a bit recently. Whereas I started MasterSelf with the vague idea of talking about self-improvement, over time I realized that what this site really is is an attempt to create a coherent theory of the Self, and to outline how the Self fits into the world of others, as well as in the universe as a whole. This shift has moved us in a more complex philosophical direction, yes, but a direction in which we can tackle more interesting and original topics than the infinite number of self-help gurus out there nowadays. The first thing we’re going to talk about is what I call the Will to Order.
If you’ve been following this site for a while, you may have noticed the (hopefully refreshing) lack of any sort of political content. You’re welcome, America. On a serious note, though, this is not because I don’t have any strong opinions. No, it’s a bit more complicated than that, actually. Personally, I don’t think you can change anyone’s mind politically through a discussion- and what’s more, I think it’s generally counterproductive to try. However, I think there is a trick to changing people’s minds that doesn’t involve a (questionably civil) argument, and that’s what we’re going to explore. Let’s find out why I don’t talk about politics.
We’re going to be getting in to some seriously heavy stuff today. I’ve been toying with writing about these concepts for a while, but they’re so abstract and hard to define that I’ve ended up putting it off. No more, however- I’m going to jump right in and start trying to get some degree of definition established. The three metas we’re going to be looking at are metaconsciousness (also called metacognition, but I don’t like that as much), the metamind, and the metanarrative.