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False Communication

The type of communication we are exposed to every day is a degraded currency. It has been degraded to the point at which it is no longer communication at all (even though – in a very superficial way – it appears to be). It simply has the appearance of communication, that’s all, and this hollow appearance suffices perfectly well to fool us. If we were to look into the matter we would find out that what we take to be communication is something else entirely different, something that has no connection, no resemblance, no relationship whatsoever to the real thing. The everyday type of communication (or information) that we come across every day (and which is blared out as a matter of course on every form of media) is actually the antithesis of what it implicitly claims to be – rather than being communication it is the shutting out of anything genuinely new, rather than being information it is confirmation of what we have already (lazily) assumed to be the case. Rather than being information it is pseudo-information.

 

 

Communication is not simply a ‘replay’ or ‘reiteration’ of our long-standing standing assumptions, assumptions we have not the slightest interest in examining. It is not simply a restatement of something that – in all probability – wasn’t even worth stating in the first place. We could say that confirmation (or ‘false communication’) is a ‘re-assertion of what already is’ but a fuller explanation would be to say that it is a re-assertion of what has been provisionally agreed or accepted to be the case without anyone concerned being aware that it has only been provisionally agreed upon or accepted to be the case. There is in other words a fatal ‘weakness’ (or ‘flaw’) at the heart of everything we know and confirmation is how that weakness / flaw gets to be covered up or rendered invisible to everyone involved. Our world is based upon a lie and what we are calling ‘false communication’ is how that lie gets to be successfully sold to us…

 

 

Confirmation is just a smokescreen, therefore. It is a white-wash, a cover-up. Confirmation or false-communication is an act of undeclared aggression – it is the way that something which isn’t there gets very much to look as if it is there, and it is also the means by which any other possibilities (other than the one which is being sneakily promoted) get to be rendered invisible. The official megaphone silences all quieter (unorthodox) voices. We make an assumption about reality (or a set of assumptions) and then – after we have conveniently forgotten that there was any ‘assuming’ going on – we proceed do virally reproduce or replicate it to the exclusion of all else. We echo it and echo it, repeat and repeat it, add to it and add to it, in such a way that we think we are actually saying different times, with each repetition, whilst the truth is that we are only ever saying the same thing. We’re basing everything on self-referentiality. The truth is that we are simply perpetuating a viral (or generic) reality – we have the perception that there is something different happening each time but really it is only just the same thing happening, ad nauseam.

 

 

Such is the nature of the trick that we are playing on ourselves, without knowing that we are tricking anyone. It’s a manoeuvre that covers up all traces of itself, a trick that retrospectively erases any evidence of what has actually happened. It’s a covert algorithm – a programme that neatly does away with any sign that it was ever involved. If genuine information is the way in which we explore (or find out about) unknown territory, then confirmation or false information is the way in which we pretend to be exploring (or finding out about) new ground whilst actually we’re just going over the same old ground time and time again. Confirmation is ‘phoney movement’, in other words. It is the convincing illusion of movement or change. It’s the conjuror’s trick.

 

 

The whole point of communication is that we are hearing something new, learning something new. What would be the point in bothering to communicate if we weren’t saying something new? If we not saying something new then why on earth are we trying to make out that we are? Clearly there is no point – if there is nothing to say then you don’t have to say it! But then again we could say that there is actually a point – there’s a covert point, a dishonest point, an illegitimate point that we mustn’t ever mention. The reason we would say something even though we have already said it is of course because we’re not really sure about what we have just said and we’re trying to make it more solid, more believable. We’re trying to prove that it’s true by repeating it ad nauseam, which is a strategy based on the principle “If you say a thing often enough, and emphatically enough, then it must be true…” We’re aggressively ramming the point home because it doesn’t actually stand up by itself.

 

 

The idea that a lie could become true simply by dint of repeating it enough times doesn’t of course stand up to scrutiny, it doesn’t stand up very well when we examine it in the cold light of day, but the thing about this is that we never do scrutinize it, the thing is that we never do examine it in the cold light of day. The whole point of the exercise is that we don’t look at what we’re doing – that way we get to build castles in the air, that way we get to create convoluted structures that don’t actually have any basis in reality at all. The central ‘flaw in the argument’ is covered up by the immense proliferation of false communication (or pseudo-information) and we get to think that the convoluted structure we are inhabiting (and lazily treating as reality) is very solid indeed. We get to feel that life couldn’t be any other way and that is exactly the way we like it…

 

 

It could be said that this perception (the perception that life ‘couldn’t be any other way’) is the most highly prized commodity of all. We might say that we value ‘freedom’ or ‘beauty’ or ‘justice’ or ‘creativity’ or ‘honour’ or any of these things but the less-than-inspirational truth is that what we really value is this particular type of perception – the perception that the way we happen to be seeing things and thinking about things and doing is the right way. If we were honest enough (or insightful enough) we’d have to admit that what we value over everything else is ontological security, which is (as we have been saying) the belief that there couldn’t be any other valid way of seeing things / thinking about things / doing things than the way we see /think about/ do things already.

 

 

This doesn’t mean we have to feel cheerful or good-humoured or blissfully happy about it. That isn’t the point at all. The point is that we feel right about it! This can work two ways – either we feel righteous and vindicated by our ontological security or we complain and moan and recriminate about it. Either way we are benefiting from it. Either way we get to hand over our responsibility to the external authority. In the first case we feel good because we’re right and in the second case we feel good because everything is unfair and life has treated us badly, which is of course still a matter of us feeling ‘right’. Where the sense of security or rightness comes from is the lack of any awareness of the essential arbitrariness of the way we are looking at things. We’re stuck in our way of looking at things – we have no sense at all that we could just as easily not be orientating ourselves in this way. In the first case we are stuck in a smug, self-satisfied kind of way (because we don’t question the pattern we’re enacting) and in the second case we’re stuck in a bitter or complaining or resentful way (because we can’t question the one who is trapped in the pattern, the one who is fighting against / complaining about the pattern).

 

 

What we’re essentially doing here is selling ourselves the message that our position, our way of seeing / thinking / doing things ISN’T arbitrary and the more we are able to buy into this message the more ontological security we feel. This ties into what we have been saying about confirmation-type information (or ‘false communication’): the whole point of confirmation is that it gives is the hidden or unacknowledged message that ‘there is no other way to look at the world than the way we are looking at it’. On the overt level of meaning the confirmation-type information is telling us about something interesting, something new, something that we don’t already know about, whilst on the covert level (the level we are not supposed to see) it is both ‘covering up a shaky premise’ and ‘throwing up a smoke-screen so that we don’t have any sense of there being any possibilities other than the one that is being so ruthlessly and humourlessly promoted. There isn’t anything new that we’re being told about – all that’s really happening is that a layer of illusion is being created, the illusion in question being that some genuine development is taking place, that some new possibility is being revealed, something different from the possibilities we have open to us at the moment. What is actually happening is that there is some kind of desire / fear state that has a grip on us so that we are projecting a more attractive / more frightening reality that we deludely imagine we can either obtain for ourselves or run away from. We’re living in a world made up of our own positive / negative projections, in other words.

 

 

Just as we could say that the self lives in a world that is exclusively made up of its own projections (and that it can’t actually exist in any other world) we can also say (by way of a parallel statement) that the self lives in a world that is exclusively made up of confirmation-type information. It’s the same thing. The self has to feel that it’s on some kind of a journey; it has to imagine that it is having a perception of something other than just its own projections! Even when we’re very clearly ‘stuck in ourselves’, in our own particular narrow way of looking at things, and therefore very clearly not going anywhere at all, we’re still going to be thinking away about this, that or the other and this means we’re imagining that we’re going on some kind of a journey (even though this isn’t really the case). Thinking is a ‘virtual journey’ – it’s us imagining that something is happening when it isn’t. Thinking can’t really be a journey because we don’t ever get away from the self, the fixed frame of reference. The only real journey would be where we do get away from the self; the only genuine change / movement would be where we get to move out of this fixed framework into whatever lies beyond it. This however is the one type of movement that is NEVER going to happen as a result of thinking – thinking is only ever ‘an imaginary journey’…

 

 

Genuine communication would result in genuine change (of our viewpoint) and so very clearly this is the one thing that the system can never afford to tolerate. This has got to be the Big Taboo. We might be inclined therefore – once we get a little bit of insight into what is going on – to see the way in which false communication has been substituted for the real thing as a sort of conspiracy. Some agency or other is hoodwinking us on a very thorough basis – reality itself has been replaced by a self-serving lie. The reality we are provided with every day with our breakfast cereal and orange juice (the reality that comes pouring out of the media sluice-gates every time we turn them on) is a false one. Reality itself is a smokescreen. In a way this is true – this is exactly what has happened.  This isn’t some external agency we’re talking about here however. This is no cabal. There’s no one out there doing this to us – the agency that benefits from all this is simply the everyday self. The everyday self is running the racket! The everyday self absolutely requires a degraded currency as far as communication is concerned – the real deal is far too rich for its blood. The real deal is actually dangerous and dangerous is not good. Being the compulsive over-the-top security-addict that it is, the everyday self isn’t exactly what you’d call keen on ‘dangerous’!

 

 

As we have said, the self has no interest at all in genuine communication because genuine communication means change and the self in its essence equals ‘no change’. The self equals ‘staying in the same spot’ and so if there is any movement out of this spot, out of this framework of reference, then there is no more self. ‘Self’ equals framework. To say that the self and change don’t go well together is therefore a ridiculous understatement – everything the self does is geared towards covering up the awareness that there might be such a thing as radical change, that there might be such a thing as ‘having a radically different viewpoint’. Seeing that there is such a thing as a radically different viewpoint is the same thing as seeing that the self is entirely arbitrary and having a dangerous awareness like this is of course the very antithesis of ontological security! As we have been indicating, the ‘conspiracy of confirmation’ is not just to say that radical change is undesirable or harmful or reprehensible, but to do away entirely with the awareness that there could be such a possibility. This it does by creating a ‘safe substitute’ of change, a ‘safe substitute’ for communication…

 

 

The self is mortally afraid of change, no matter what it might say. It loves to talk about change but that’s as far as it goes. It loves to make out that it is interested in change. It loves the idea of change whilst at the same time being frankly and absolutely terrified by it and so what we have been calling ‘false communication’ is the perfect solution to this impossible dilemma. The ingenious solution we have come up with is to create a bubble of confirmation around us that we never go beyond, that we never see beyond – a bubble which contains the appearance of change without there ever being the slightest chance of it ever actually happening…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author: Nick Williams

Nick Williams works and writes in the field of mental health and is particularly interested in non-equilibrium states of consciousness, which are states of mind that cannot be validated by standardized experiments or by reference to any formal theoretical perspective.

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