There is another, subtler world hidden within the everyday world that we know and are so very familiar with and we deny, obscure and repudiate this ‘subtle world’ at every available opportunity! Our whole way of life is based on denying that there is any subtler world than the one we know about and we reserve a very special type of scorn for those who dare to suggest otherwise!
If we were to allow ourselves to see that our established position is based on denial rather than a healthy regard for the truth would be disastrous for us since it would show up our crude pleasures and satisfactions for what they are and then we wouldn’t be able to enjoy them anymore. Not only that but we also wouldn’t be able to justify spending all our time chasing these pleasures and satisfactions, and that would mean that we simply wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves anymore! That would take the wind out of our sails in a big way – pretty much everything we do is about pursuing and securing these crude satisfactions, after all. We know nothing else….
So in one way it would be a disaster for everyone concerned if we allowed ourselves to see that there was another, subtler world that is somehow buried within the one that we know about and relate to on a daily basis, but in another way – of course! – it would be wonderfully liberating! To insist that the crudely limited world of our common experience is the only world there is or ever could be is an act of pointless self-harm (not to make any bones of it) and were we to refrain from this act of self-harm then the relief would be tremendous. The only good thing about banging one’s head repeated against a brick wall is (so someone has said) the wonderful feeling of relief that we obtain as a result of stopping!
Our situation is a very odd one therefore – we are insisting, whether we realize it or not (and sometimes no doubt we do realize it) – on an inferior version of reality despite the fact that the infinitely more fulfilling genuine reality is there all the time and is freely available to everybody. All we have to do is relinquish the investment we have made in the ‘inferior reality’ – which is an investment that was bringing us nothing but pain and frustration anyway, if we were to be totally honest about it (which we aren’t). All we have to do is give up something that wasn’t doing us any good in the first place in other words, so where’s the big dilemma in this?
So – just the recap – the situation is that we are deliberately (if unconsciously) curtailing or limiting ourselves in every way and then implicitly denying that we are doing so (because we are implicitly denying that there is any other reality) whilst also claiming to be having a good time when we’re not! This is the human situation in a nutshell. Clearly, this is all the one package because we can’t have one part of the denial without having the other. We have to believe that there is no ‘subtler’ reality and in order to believe this fully we also have to believe that the reality which we have are making do with is fulfilling all our needs and making us happy. We absolutely have to believe that it can ‘work out’ for us; to question this is to bring the dark spectre of despair down upon our heads…
Collectively, this means that we have to remain blind to all the spiritual malaise that is caused by our denial of the subtle world. It’s not that we can’t admit that this malaise exists (we can hardly deny it) but rather – of course – that we ascribe other causes to it. Basically, we have to blame something else! So on the one hand our collective denial involves pretending to have a type of happiness that we don’t actually have and on the other hand it involves creating a big diversion or smoke-screen to prevent us seeing the true reason for our lack of happiness when the burden of pretending gets too big for us and we can’t keep up the façade any more. And both of these two requirements –  pretending to possess a type of happiness that we don’t actually have and  covering up the real reason for our chronic (or systemic) unhappiness – happen to be things that we are superlatively good at! We are managing the cover-up like true experts, although it is of course true at the same time to say that this is ‘expertise’ that is working against us in a big way…
In a small way of course we all participate in the first type of deception – we put up a front in public, we keep smiling, we put on a cheerful mask, we put the shiny side on the outside, etc, etc. We all understand this game rule and we very rarely question it – this is the proper thing to do, the decent or socially responsible thing to do. For those of us who are more in the public spot-light and who have the unspoken role of exemplifying all that is best in our society and making the potentialities of our collective way of life look good to the rest of us there is –naturally enough – even more responsibility to feign happiness and fulfilment. This is implicitly understood by all concerned as well. We have to make it look as if it means something to achieve success in the hollow social game – why else would we bother to climb the ladder (with all that this entails) otherwise? The images of happy people that we are constantly bombarded with in advertising also serve this important societal function, quite aside from the ‘less-significant function’ of making money for the particular companies who are busy selling the products in question to us. What we’re really being sold is not a specific product but a whole way of life, as has often been noted by those who have an interest in noting this type of thing…
And then the other side of the coin is as we have said when we can’t conceal our unhappiness or mental pain anymore and this is dealt with by inventing a whole spurious discipline of psychology / psychiatry to take ownership of this area of human experience and slap all sorts of meaningless pseudo-scientific labels on it. We take up professional personas and speak in a ridiculously stilted type of technical language that is designed to somehow imply that we know what is going on and can fix it. We send out a perfectly overt message that we are the official experts and that we know how to effectively manage the distressing symptoms of mental pain / unhappiness in accordance with tried and trusted scientific principles.
There is nothing even remotely ‘scientific’ about this though – science is all about ‘getting to the truth of the matter despite the ongoing interference of our all-too-human prejudices’ whilst our investigation into the patterns and manifestations of chronic unhappiness / mental pain is a cover-up from beginning to end! The so-called ‘science of psychology’ is all about avoiding seeing the truth underlying our unhappiness rather than shedding light on it. The whole thing is a thoroughly ignominious enterprise from beginning to end and it richly deserves to be recognized as such…
Science has been hijacked – here as in many other areas – to serve the deepest and murkiest prejudice of all, which is the prejudice against acknowledging the subtle world that lies just beneath the surface of the everyday world, which is the crassly ‘black-and-white’ world that has been created by our assumption-laden thinking. This ‘over-arching prejudice’ is – in short – the prejudice against admitting that there is any better world than the wretchedly crude, soulless and pain-producing world which we have made up for ourselves out of our multitudes of minor everyday common-or-garden-type prejudices and there never was a more foolish and counter-productive agenda than this! That little word ‘foolish’ scarcely does justice to the monstrous ignorance that we are talking about here!
Image- taken from Artfest Toronto
Artist – DENIAL
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.