We are our own rational output, which manifests as pure unrelenting pressure, pressure without any content, ceaseless pressure without anything else to it. This rational output is a purely mechanical phenomenon – it does what it does purely as a result of its own mechanical laws.
Rational output is ‘pressure’ because it always has to convert everything it meets into its own format. It always has to change everything in accordance with the rules it takes for granted, because it always has to change everything it encounters on the basis of ‘how it assumes things should be’.
Another way of putting this is to say that this rational output, this unrelenting positive pressure of the thinking mind, is fundamentally aggressive. All that it is is aggression, all it is is violence. There’s nothing else to it, there’s nothing in thought that isn’t aggressive. There’s no other way for the rational output of the thinking mind to be.
Thought is violence; as Krishnamurti says, “…the very movement of the mind not to be violent is itself the outcome of violence.” Thought has no interest in the way things actually are in themselves – it has no interest in this at all. ‘How things innately are in themselves’ is something that it is quite incapable, on a functional level, of appreciating. It cannot appreciate that the world could be some other sort of way than the way which it assumes it to be!
Thought cannot appreciate that reality might have a nature which is radically unlike any reality that it can model in the terms of its logical formatting. It cannot appreciate ‘the radical other’. Thought works by comparing everything it encounters to a taken-for-granted template, a set of unquestionable rules. It can’t not compare everything it comes across to its own yard-stick, its own set of rules; it can’t not process all the incoming data by reference to its ‘rules for processing’.
Thought can’t not categorize the world according to its own scheme, and then treat these categories as if they are the only valid representation of that world. That’s what thought is – it is the act of comparing incoming data with a template that does not itself get examined. It is the process of sorting everything into the right categories. Thought is a machine for processing data and ‘processing’ means subjecting raw information to a rule-based procedure or algorithm in such a way that the raw information itself is irreversibly lost.
Thought does ‘input’ data, but only on its own terms. It asks closed questions of reality and so the answers it receives always accord with its presuppositions. This is like a man who ‘only hears what he wants to hear’, not matter how many times he may be told something. Thought does not hear at all, therefore. It doesn’t hear, it tells. Thought is ‘the anhilator of space’ – when it is done there is no space, i.e. there is nothing that left in the world that it itself has not defined.
This is why we can talk about the ‘positive pressure’ of the rational mind. It’s all doing with no listening, acting with no sensitivity. It’s all the agenda being fulfilled with no regard to anything else. The agenda is king, the agenda is supreme. The rational mind’s agenda – although it cannot see it – is to confirm that its way of seeing the world is the right way. The machine which is the thinking mind does not have it within itself to receive information that radically disagrees with its core structure, the rigid and limited way in which it is predisposed to organizing it perception of reality.
Another way of talking about the aggression of the thinking mind is to say that it operates like a virus. It seeks only to reproduce itself, replicate itself. It seeks only to extend itself outwards forever, to reach out and change the world into a likeness of itself. Thought is the magic porridge pot that won’t stop making porridge, it is the enchanted salt-mill that won’t stop grinding until the whole sea is salty! Thought seeks only to convert the world and everything in it into itself, and permanently silence anything that does not speak its own language. ‘Not self’ is an error to be eliminated so that logical coherence can be obtained. The system has no use for what it sees as errors…
We are our own rational output because we have already ‘converted’ in this way. We have already been assimilated into the system – we were the first victims. We have long since betrayed our true nature – we do not our will, but thought’s will. We put all our efforts into making the world be what we think it should be, what we want it to be. Thought – as we have already said – has no capacity to imagine what the world should be any way other than the way it assumes it should be. Thought has no concept, no category for this…
Thought is the Great Formatter and we have already been formatted. After the age of eight years or so there is very little consciousness that has not been structured (or programmed) by thought, bound to thought. Sensitivity has been lost. We know ourselves not as we are, but as we have been formatted. This is why we are the way that we are – this is why we are consistently aggressive, consistently insensitive to any subtler reality than the one that has been made by thought. This is why we are no more than our own ‘rational output’, which is simply unrelenting positive pressure with nothing behind it.
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.