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Making Consciousness The Enemy

We don’t love the truth, we love ‘fitting in’ and that is a totally different proposition. It’s not just that the truth’ and fitting in’ are different propositions, the one excludes the other.



This is a very blunt message therefore – the bluntest of all possible messages. We can either have the one or the other but we can’t have both (much as we might like to). We have to make a choice, we have to go down the one road or the other; we have to swing either the one way or the other. What are we going to do – dedicate our lives to seeing the truth, or to fitting in to society? That’s the big question…



We don’t see things this way of course – we absolutely do think that we can have it both ways! We are totally convinced that we can have it both ways – we’re so convinced that we never give it any consideration, and the main part of this is of course that the group which we have adapted ourselves to tells us in a multitude of different ways every day that its truth is the same thing as the real genuine truth, i.e. the truth which isn’t a collusion, the truth which stands on its own two feet and doesn’t have to be propped up by everyone concerned.. It never (or at least very rarely) seems strange to us that ‘the truth’ and ‘what everyone says is the truth’ should be blandly assumed to be one and the same thing! This should come as no surprise since the group always makes the implicit claim to be right – it makes the implicit claim to be right by the way in which it itself sets the standards for what is right and wrong. The ‘agreed-upon truths of the collective’ have absolutely nothing to do with what truth actually is but this is of course precisely what we are choosing to forget in the process of ‘social adaptation’.



A group only gets to be ‘a group’ via the mechanism by which we all tacitly agree on what the group norms are. Becoming a member of the group is a matter of everyone jointly agreeing on the core rules therefore; this is of course the whole point of the group – that we will all agree that certain things are true, and then we also (tacitly) agree not to remember that these so-called ‘truths’ are only true because we all got together and agreed for them to be true! To be a group member is to be unconscious therefore – joining a group is essentially ‘an exercise in unconsciousness’. We can define the state of psychological unconsciousness quite simply as ‘that state of being in which we all agree to see certain things being true, and then conveniently forget that the ‘truths’ in question are only being regarded as such because we have previously agreed to do so’. Unconsciousness is a game we play without knowing that we are playing it, in other words.



Understanding this makes it very clear indeed why ‘loving the truth’ and ‘loving to fit in’ are such fundamentally different propositions. From the point of view of the game that we are playing (or of the group we are fitting into) ‘the truth’ – as we have just said – is whatever the group says it is and this makes ‘loving the truth’ and ‘fitting in with the group norms’ synonymous, which is of course very convenient for us (because we want to fit in) just as it is convenient for the group. It is the confusing (or conflating) of these two fundamentally different things that makes us be unconscious; this is what unconsciousness is – the conflation of the truth with our version of it. Consciousness therefore must be where we start to see these two things are indeed ‘two things’ and not just the one. Consciousness is – on this account – always inconvenient. It is inconvenient for us and it is also inconvenient for the group.



Consciousness is always ‘inconvenient’ with regard to the context within which it occurs and we all resent inconvenience. We resent inconvenience because it is so inconvenient! Personally speaking, I resent inconvenience because it gets in the way of me doing what I want to do (which is ‘remain adapted to consensus viewpoint’) and from the point of view of the group (which can be pragmatically taken to function as ‘an entity in itself’ since we have all submerged our individualities in it) consciousness is resented because it threatens the very existence of this collective-entity. Where would the group be if all its members woke up out of their collective trance and became conscious individuals instead? This is hardly going to be regarded as good news for the group, after all! To say that the group ‘resents’ consciousness as being an inconvenience is very much understating the matter – the group – at all times – is implacably opposed to consciousness and will on this account crush it mercilessly whenever it comes across it (just as a dictator will mercilessly crush his dissenters whenever he can). We can go so far as to say that ‘the group only gets to be the group by being in a state of constant war with consciousness’. To be a socially-adapted person is – by definition – to be ‘a fearer of the truth‘ and consciousness will always show the truth – that’s just the kind of thing it is!



The group never actually frames things in this way of course. We can see how the group frames matters by going back to what we said earlier about the particular nature of this provisional entity that we are calling ‘a group’. A group, we said, only gets to be a group because of the way in which all its members agree upon a set of rules, and then conveniently forget that the rules are only ‘the rules’ because of the way in which we have previously agreed upon for them to be so. This means of course that the rules are no longer rules, they are now simply ‘statements of fact’; they are now simply ‘statements of the way things are’. The made-up rules have been conflated with reality itself, in other words. This being the case, when the group (or rather when any of the ‘paid-up members of the group’) comes across anyone who is thinking or acting in a manner that is contrary to ‘the agreed upon truth’ that we are all unconsciously abiding by, no one is going to say ‘I am suppressing consciousness because consciousness is the enemy of the system’; that’s not how we are going to put it – we are just going to say that we are ‘correcting wrong thinking’ or ‘correcting wrong actions’. We’ll say that we are ‘doing the right thing’. We are going to be completely vindicated in what we doing; of course we’re going to be vindicated in what we doing – we are ‘upholding the group norms’ after all and upholding the group norms is always highly commendable behaviour as far as a group is concerned! When has a group failed to reward its members for upholding the group norm, after all?



The system (or the group) always reacts against challenges to its integrity and consciousness (which we have defined in strictly functional terms as ‘seeing that the rules of the game aren’t the same thing as ‘the truth’) is always this type of challenge – by the very definition that we have just given it is a challenge! There is therefore absolutely no way that consciousness cannot be ‘the enemy’ as far as the group-mind is concerned and this is true whether the group in question comprises only two or three people or millions upon millions. This is of course an utterly fantastic thing to become aware of (as well as being something that practically no one ever does seem to be aware of) – if we did have this radical awareness then we wouldn’t be so passively compliant in relation to society, if we did have any inkling at all about the necessarily denying relationship of the collective or generic mind towards consciousness then we wouldn’t meekly submit as easily as we all to the pernicious bureaucracies that we have set up. If the group mind can only exist by the gimmick or trick of ‘denying consciousness (which is absolutely and most assuredly the case) then just what on earth do we think we’re doing hitching our wagons to it with such gay abandon? Just what the hell do we think we’re doing by ‘putting the collective mind in charge of everything’? Have we perhaps gone completely crazy?



There is nothing more ridiculous than making consciousness the enemy in the way that every human collective does. There is nothing more certain to end in disaster either. Do we actually care if our collective trajectory is in the direction of disaster? Do we actually care that our fundamental allegiance is towards ‘fitting in with what everyone else thinks’ rather than seeing the truth (or even being interested in seeing the truth)? The point is however that we have already gone for the option of ‘fitting in’ and – as we have already said – once we have done this then the only ‘truth’ that we will pay any heed to is the truth that everyone else believes in and the only thing about ‘the truth that everyone else believes in’ is that it is never true!



This then means that there is no great existential/moral dilemma for us to wrestle with in life. There is no dilemma at all – everything is just as easy (and just as obvious) as ‘falling off a log’. Living the collective life (which means ‘going along with what other people want us to be’) is every bit as easy as falling off a log. No log was ever easier to fall off! If you were to try to make the point that there absolutely IS a huge moral dilemma here then people would look at you as if there were something wrong with you- how could anyone be awkward enough or stubborn enough or just plain wrongheaded enough to say that the consensus version of the truth isn’t actually true at all? Such a statement can only ever be met with incredulity. This is quite simply ‘a discourse that will never take place’…









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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