Why New Age failed

I was wondering why the New Age spirituality wave collapsed quite rapidly in the early-2000s.

Sure, part of it must have been the fact that it over-promised and under-delivered. What it promised was rapid spiritual evolution, ascension, positive transformation of life on Earth into a more spiritual octave. What it delivered was, basically, some ego-pampering, feel-good emotions that wore out after a while, and the basic New Age philosophy contained so many easily exposable weak points that the exponential growth of the Internet made most of it sound silly. But surely that couldn’t have been all, because I didn’t need Wikipedia and Google to find it silly even in the mid-1990s. Some of the theories that circulated included “spiritual people having 12-strand DNA instead of ordinary 2-strand”, and you need only the basic understanding of biochemistry to know that this is total horseshit. Also, if you listened to the New Age bullshitters, you’d think that everybody is full of alien implants, being abducted by aliens or at least having their dreams invaded by aliens, and that Jesus was an alien starfleet commander whose real name is Sananda Kumara and what not. I mean, it’s such horrid crap that it attracted only two main population groups: people who are total fucking idiots, gullible and uncritical to the point of serious mental illness, and people who had genuine spiritual experiences and reasons to believe in strange shit, and who somehow got stuck in this shitpile. To be sure, I was never popular in the New Age circles. In fact, I was very critical of things they considered certain beyond any possible doubt, and my approach of exhausting all reasonable explanations before trying all sorts of crazy shit seems to be the opposite of the New Age approach, which is to try all the crazy shit first and perceive reasonable explanations as some kind of a ballast weight that prevents you in your ascent to great spiritual heights. I don’t know, I’m the kind of guy who sees a rainbow and thinks of Newton and the angle at which sunlight hits those water droplets in the air; I don’t think of unicorn farts. I don’t think being crazy is a sign of spirituality. Spirituality is a difficult and treacherous enough subject without getting lost in bullshitful nonsense.

One of the most dangerous things I encountered in the New Age circles was insistence that they were using “cosmic energy” in their healing and spiritual practices, which went completely against my experience. In my experience, the entire concept of “channeling energy” is impossible. You always use your personal spiritual energy for all kinds of interventions, if it’s in fact something that actually works and has consequences. If it’s make-believe, you can pretend it’s unicorn tears for all the effect that it has. The stuff I did was always very taxing and I needed at least a full day to recover the depleted energy reserves. It’s not fun and games, by any means, and, having consulted other authentic spiritual people, it seems to be as taxing to them as it is to me. They usually pretend it’s nothing or it’s cosmic energy or channeling from this or that fictional source, but they do it because they want to lessen the sense of obligation and guilt in the recipient. This, however, is a horrible strategy, because it has a twofold result: the recipient doesn’t take the intervention as seriously as he should, and the force-wielder is chronically drained and can actually be profoundly spiritually harmed by the practice, to the point that requires another force-wielder’s love in order to recover. I pulled the term “force-wielder” from my ass just now because it strikes me as the most appropriate description of what’s going on; shaktipat-master or something similar is used, but it doesn’t really fit. You have a spiritually powerful being, whose soul is simply bigger, stronger, and wields greater influence over spiritual energies of a lesser magnitude. This being can influence others, but this comes at an expense to the wielder, it has negative karmic consequences if the recipient is undeserving or ungrateful, and the greater the power differential between the two, the less benefit there actually is to the receiver, and at a greater cost to the force-wielder.

As for the “cosmic energy” or “divine energy”, it sure sounds better and more poetic than what’s actually going on, and which would sound more like a kind wealthy person paying for someone’s debts and saying it was Santa Claus. The problem is, the recipient then figures he’s on good terms with Santa and gets into more trouble, since getting out of it appeared to be simple and free. The wealthy person can laugh it away and appear to have suffered no ill effects, but if this repeats long enough, eventually he or she ends up seriously drained and hurt, and the worst part is, at this point the force-wielder already painted himself into a corner, because his narrative was that it’s all God doing things, it’s a cosmic divine energy; he’s only a channel.

No, he’s not “only” a channel. He or she is a presence of God in the world. Being a Divine presence is expensive, it requires constant investment of effort and diligence, and praising God while dismissing the “conduit” actually turns the actual situation upside-down. The force-wielder is able to manifest God because, well, he or she is simply a spiritual being of higher magnitude. You can say that God is everywhere but God is everywhere in a form useless to anyone but those great souls who are able to feel God directly, and then perform spiritual transfusion of this higher spiritual energy into the lesser beings. This effect is expensive, taxing and temporary, and in the long-term, the force-wielder feels the negative consequences of the lack of recognition, feels used, exploited and unloved. The aggravating circumstance of all this in the New Age circles is when everybody and their dog are claiming to be doing some form of divine energy channeling, so the apparent value of the process goes to the basement, and 99.99% of the practitioners are total charlatans. As a result, those few who are actually wielding force are perceived not as Gods, but as run-of-the-mill bullshitters. And don’t get me wrong, in all that steaming pile that was New Age there were some very genuine spiritual powerhouses, who didn’t necessarily know what they were doing and how it’s all working, but they could do real things that have real consequences. From what I can see, the greatest evil of the New Age movement is that it exploited those people’s empathy and their genuine desire to spiritually uplift people at their own expense, and left them exhausted, drained and abused in all ways, essentially replacing them with some other toy after it stopped being interesting.

I’m not saying that those force-wielders who ended up wrecked didn’t participate in the entire process that was inherently harmful to both sides. They were often misguided, deluded and sometimes actually ignored the warning signs, because they didn’t like what the reality was telling them. What reality was telling them is that this shit isn’t working, and it’s not because they are doing something wrong on a good path, it’s not working because the entire approach of taking from the spiritually wealthy in order to give to the spiritually poor has the same chance of working as socialism, which is to say, none. The irony is, socialist rationalizations about what “should” be happening, and pretending that the state budget that pays for it all is some kind of an inexhaustible cosmic resource that is supposed to be tapped into for free, that it’s not blood, sweat and tears of actual living people that is being used to finance the whole thing, it all sounds exactly the same. We want free goodies, and we want it to be paid by pixie dust and divine cosmic energy because we are assholes.

Why the New Age collapsed? Well, it consisted of two main groups, those who were actually the genuine spiritual people (all five of them), and the stupid, unworthy parasites who were in it for the promise of free goodies. When Internet and social media provided a cheap and accessible source of ego-stimulation from buying shiny new gadgets and having your worthless shit liked on Facefuck, they simply followed this abundant new source of getting liked for free and being just as valuable as anyone else without having to actually do anything. In the meantime, they left the genuine New Age gurus drained and fucked over, wondering what the hell actually happened.

The reason why I’m untouched by all that is simple: I’m quite good at figuring out patterns, and I woke up and smelled the coffee early on. The desire to be of help to others and be a bodhisattva is a tempting side-road, and it would actually make some sense if those whom we wish to help actually needed us or benefitted from our efforts, but the sad truth is, the only one who actually needs great souls are other great souls. What small souls say they need is great souls, but what they actually need is a lot of small souls exactly their size, who will like them on Facebook. The only use they have for great souls is to screw them over and show them they aren’t either all that great or all that necessary. Essentially, great souls want the small souls to become great, and small souls want to shit and piss on the great souls, to humiliate them, exploit them for resources and show them there’s nothing so great that they couldn’t make it small.

An instruction manual for great souls: if you want small souls to become great, put your trust in the greatest, most efficient way for becoming a great soul, the one that created the likes of you. It’s called natural evolution. It’s an efficient vehicle, and you don’t need to get out and push in order for it to work. If you think you need to get out and push, you’re not being compassionate, you’re being an idiot.

About spirituality and sausages

There’s one great sentence in Harry Potter books, saying something along the lines of “never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain”. This sentence came to my mind when I was thinking about why all the spiritual schools and disciplines, abundant in late 19th and throughout the 20th century, seem to have failed.

If you don’t see the connection, I’ll cite another example, of some tech pundit whose article I read on the web somewhere, who said that the reason why Steve Jobs opposed the idea of making a bigger iPhone was that he misunderstood the reason why iPhone was popular in the first place: it was the phone with the biggest screen. Essentially, he got it right, but didn’t understand what exactly made it right. Then he got it right again with the iPad, and still didn’t understand what it means: that people love well made touch devices with big screens. When Apple decided to act independently after his death and made bigger iPhones, they sold the biggest quantities ever. So basically, you can have a very smart and innovative person who got things right twice in the same device group, and still managed not to see what was it exactly that made those devices great. He also didn’t see what made the first GUI devices he made such failures, because he was in love with the concept, and he was right, the GUI concept was great and all our current computers use it. The problem is, this concept doesn’t work well on a machine with 128 K RAM and a 400K floppy drive. It starts working well on a machine with a 100 MB hard drive, 4 MB RAM and a 80386 processor, which is Windows 3.11 generation of hardware. Before that, the GUI machines were technological demonstrators at best, too weak to be actually useful. The problem with Steve Jobs was that he stubbornly insisted on his vision because he saw that those machines were the future, and tried to force the future into existence by force, before its time. Bill Gates, on the other hand, was much smarter. He, too, knew that the GUI machines were the future, but he also knew that the contemporary hardware was too weak to make the system work properly, and he knew that because his team wrote all the software for the first Macintosh, and he knew what tricks they had to pull off in order to create the pretense of a functional machine. It’s not that he had a choice between MS-DOS command-line interface and a Mac-like GUI and he chose MS-DOS; he chose the Mac-like GUI. It’s just that he was smart enough to know that the contemporary hardware can’t pull this off, and he chose to implement the thing that ran efficiently at the moment. Basically, the difference between Steve Jobs and him was that was in touch with the reality of the situation, while Jobs was so blinded by his vision that he decided to yell the facts into submission, and, as a result, was fired from his own company because he simply refused to see reason.

The analogy with spiritual teachers and teachings is clear. When something works for them and they attain results, they seldom understand why it worked. They usually try to reproduce the process they themselves went through, with students, and it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. As with Steve Jobs, they sometimes fail spectacularly, and sometimes they succeed spectacularly, and in both cases it’s quite possible that they don’t understand the process enough to be able to tell why. Their charisma can lead others into great things: great failure, or great success.

I don’t exempt myself from that. Sometimes it took me a while to stumble around until I figured out why something works, and why something else doesn’t. The problem is, you can’t always wait to have all the answers in order to start doing things. Sometimes you need to sail across the Atlantic with a shitty sail boat, little or no navigation, and stumbling into America by accident, thinking it’s India. Sometimes you domesticate a wolf and it turns out to be a great idea when he kills someone who tries to kill you while you sleep. Sometimes your wolf kills someone’s child and domesticating it appears to have been a terrible idea. However, when you move in uncharted territory every mistake you make is better than staying safe and doing nothing, because it improves the situation for those who will eventually follow in your footsteps. We don’t remember Columbus as the idiot who hit America while trying to reach India. We remember him as the great explorer who discovered America.

It would be all to easy to criticize the mistakes and failures of all kinds of spiritual researchers, explorers and teachers, but realistically, physics didn’t exactly start with getting things right, either. It started with all sorts of bullshit and getting things completely wrong, but improving with each iteration, and it’s now all to easy to forget impetus and phlogiston and alchemy and Ptolemaic geocentrism and all kinds of failures.

In the 1990s, I was on a mailing list that contained a mishmash of all kinds of spiritual practitioners, loosely described as experiencing Kundalini phenomena. What was striking in this group was that you had people with completely different and opposing ideas about what’s going on, what is good and what is bad, and they looked quite similar, going through very similar experiences and experiencing similar forms of mental and emotional instability. Essentially, you had pagans, shamans, Hindus, Buddhists, Wiccans, atheists and Christians experiencing weird shit, which for the most part went against their beliefs about what’s supposed to be going on, with very loose consensus about the proper way to approach it, and with 90% of the participants being quite mad at least part time. The weirdest part is that sometimes people with craziest ideas and weirdest spiritual practice had great spiritual power, and some people with intellectually coherent and sensible world view were spiritually sterile or actually quite fucked up. Things didn’t fit neatly into an orderly pattern. I certainly don’t fit into an orderly pattern about what spiritual people are supposed to look like, or how they are supposed to do things. I am too much of a scientist to be liked by spiritual people, too much of a spiritual person to be liked by the scientists, I don’t seem to conform to any typical pattern, and I don’t even have the ordinary frame of reference for evaluating success and failure of spiritual efforts. I don’t even have the ordinary understanding of truth and reality; I basically couldn’t care less if you believed in talking unicorns that fart rainbows, as long as your inner spiritual concepts associated with that are something I see as useful and uplifting. I also don’t care if you have all the right answers and can name all the right Gods and gurus, if you’re an asshole.

When I say that the problem is that people seldom understand what works and what’s shit, I mean it quite literally. It isn’t about knowing the right God and surrendering to the right guru and practicing the right technique. Sometimes, it’s about having the right attitude, even if it looks all fucked up. Being a fanboy of a comic book superhero can sometimes be spiritually more useful than all the Jesus bullshit that most Christians do. It’s about the actual quality of the spiritual vector, not about what you think it is. What matters is the direction and magnitude. What imagery you use in your head is secondary; you can pray to Batman, for all the fuck I give about it. Sure, it makes sense to clear your head and organize things in a sensible manner, and I guess I’m the prime example of success in that area, but the thing is, people who like the end-result of my thinking would probably lose their shit if they knew how I got there. It’s like sausages: you wouldn’t like eating them if you knew how they are made. One of the main reasons why I managed to figure out so much about how things work is because I experimented with shit so weird you wouldn’t believe. One of the techniques that I did was to go through the entire emotional spectrum, shade by shade, and explore the inner workings of my energy system with each shade. And I mean it quite literally when I say entire emotional spectrum. Die as a slave under a whip. Kill a slave for fun. Be impaled by the Turks. Disembowel prisoners. Be disemboweled and cut to pieces. Torture people. Be tortured. Rape, be raped. Be a pregnant slave girl who is routinely raped by some warlord’s gang and who falls in love with her captors. Be the warlord who beats his henchmen into submission. Be the submissive henchman of a warlord. Be a clerk doing a boring job in his boring life because he always made all the safe choices. Have a wonderful life that’s a fulfilment of all fantasies. Have an average life full of bad things with occasional good things. Have a terrible life that’s agony and failure. Be immensely wealthy. Die in squalor. Deepest depression, slight depression, melancholy, indifference, slight pleasure, profound joy, bliss when touched by spiritual beauty. Be that spiritual beauty that invokes blissful love in others. Explode as the whirlpool of light that grants liberation and knowledge. Be God.

It’s not a linear thing, it’s not about some predictable, stuck-up pattern. Sometimes you don’t know what you’re doing and you succeed, because your heart was in the right place. Sometimes you do all the right things and you end up in flames, because your heart was in a very wrong place. Sometimes Satan seems to be all about love and forgiveness and sometimes God seems to be distant and insensitive, but the surest way to know you fucked something up is when you’re not regularly surprised by the shit that keeps popping up.

Laughter and ridicule

There is a common prejudice that laughter and ridicule are a positive thing, in that laughter makes one feel better and helps one overcome situations that would otherwise overwhelm him, and ridicule exposes that which is worthy of contempt and thus serves a positive purpose.

I disagree. I think both laughter and ridicule are neutral, in that they can both be good or evil, depending on the circumstances.

Laughter might help people to overcome difficult situations, but personally, I can’t remember ever having such experiences. What did help me overcome difficult situations was either faith, or trust, or someone’s helping hand. I actually find it more helpful to endure difficult situations by admitting their gravity, crying and asking Gods to help me. Laughing in the face of a difficult situation looks more like denial and madness, an attempt to portray a lion as a sheep in order not to fear him, but a lion remains impervious to such mental fuckery and will eat you regardless. I find it more useful to cry for help and beg for a gun, than to pretend that I’m not facing a real lion. Laughing might help you not feel afraid, but it will not help you survive. It’s the opposite of helpful. The Jews in Hitler’s Germany had two options: optimism or pessimism. Those who chose optimism imagined Hitler as a silly character who can’t really hurt them, and those who chose pessimism fled Germany and Europe in general, and made a new life for themselves in America. We know how that turned out for each group. As I said, optimism and laughter can indeed make you feel better and safer, but it doesn’t actually help you solve any problems. It’s a form of putting your head into sand and hiding from reality, and is not all that far from madness, at least the way I see it. What does help you is to acknowledge the gravity of your situation and seriousness of your problem early on, to invest all your powers into solving the problem and asking for all kinds of help in order to increase your chances of overcoming the problem. If you still fail, at least you didn’t die in denial.

Ridicule is similar, but different in that it isn’t directed at oneself, but others. The role of ridicule is to present the object of ridicule as small, unworthy and contemptible in the eyes of the audience; essentially, it’s a form of social manipulation. When used in order to put emotional accent on the conclusion of an argument, essentially by applying tar and feathers to someone whose arguments were soundly defeated, it can be legitimately used in the context of a debate, but when it is used as a substitute for arguments, in order to manipulate emotional responses of the audience when arguments themselves fail to convince, it is a grave logical fallacy and a form of demagogy.

Let’s see some examples of proper and improper use of ridicule.

Let’s say someone is stating that the Earth is flat. Proper use of ridicule is to state that this person obviously didn’t travel much, because if he did, he would notice how the constellations in the southern hemisphere differ from those in the northern hemisphere, which, combined with the evidence of daily rotation of the sky proves we are on a sphere. This form of ridicule uses a strong argument to disprove a fallacious thesis, and then uses the obviousness of the argument as evidence that the person making the fallacious statement is stupid. Essentially, ridicule is corollary to the conclusion, and not an argument in itself, which is why it cannot be considered a form of ad hominem fallacy. Ad hominem would be “this person is an idiot, which is why his argument is false”. A corollary of the proper conclusion is “the argument against the thesis is x, and since x is rather obvious and straightforward, this person is an idiot”. Such argumentation serves the useful purpose of encouraging one to perform thorough examination of one’s arguments for obvious errors before expressing potentially idiotic theses in public.

Improper use of ridicule is to use one’s own ignorance and ignorance of the audience as an emotionally charged argument against a valid thesis. Examples of this are unfortunately abundant throughout history; Kepler was mocked by Galileo for stating that Moon’s gravitational influence causes the tides. People who produced meteorites as evidence of extraterrestrial origin of meteors were mocked by Lavoisier. Tesla was mocked by Edison who tried to suppress Tesla’s invention of highly efficient alternating current in favor of his direct current. Jewish physicists were mocked by Hitler and his propagandists for inventing relativity and quantum theory, which didn’t sound “right” to the Nazis. Everybody who expresses support for eugenics or racial differences is immediately labelled as “Hitler” without any kind of argument provided. Essentially, it is used to dismiss an argument by emotionally labelling it as either ridiculous or evil, by association. The problem is, everything can be portrayed as ridiculous. To an ignorant person, Al Gore can be portrayed as over-the-top silly for stating that he took initiative in creating the Internet; an informed person would know that before his “information superhighway initiative”, Internet was an academic curiosity at best, without commercial value to the broader public. He saw the potential and knew what infrastructure needed to be built, and he saw to it; essentially, he deserves more praise for the existence of Internet as we know it than any other person, but he is ridiculed for it because people can’t believe that a single person could be so far-sighted and important. To use an even more shocking example, Jesus was mocked and ridiculed in his suffering and death, because “he called himself the son of God” and “because if he was God, why doesn’t he come down from the cross”. It is very important that we never forget those arguments, because they sounded valid to those who said them, and probably to the audience as well, and we now see them as cringe-worthy, in hindsight. Mockery is a terrible thing, because combined with ignorance, it is a terrible weapon against truth, courage and independent thought, and I am therefore highly skeptical of it. Mockery is like an idiot with a hammer, breaking priceless porcelain and bragging how it was trash to begin with, or he wouldn’t be able to break it. It is the favorite weapon of stupidity against challenging and difficult ideas, and the fact that it can occasionally be used against idiots and stupid ideas doesn’t fully redeem it. I don’t see it as a weapon of mass destruction that must never be used, but more as candy, that can be served after a proper meal of rational arguments and evidence, but never as a substitute. It’s sweet when used in moderation and properly, but misuse it and the consequences can be grave.

Empiricism vs. rationalism

I learned one important thing a few years ago.

It doesn’t matter if something sounds convincing, or if it makes sense.

It doesn’t matter whether something sounds weird, improbable or tenuous.

It doesn’t matter whether something dovetails nicely with the currently held beliefs.

It doesn’t matter whether there is sufficient reasoning behind something.

The only thing that matters is whether it’s actually true.

Let’s take an example of a platypus and a unicorn. Platypus is a monotremate mammal that lays eggs like a snake and has a duck-like beak. However unlikely or improbable it sounds, it’s real because it actually exists. Unicorn, however, sounds quite reasonable and plausible – a horse with one horn. There’s no reason why it couldn’t exist, but it doesn’t. It’s completely fictional. A platypus exists because it exists, and unicorn doesn’t exist because it doesn’t exist. There’s nothing else to it, no Platonic or Aristotelian issues, and reason doesn’t even play a role. The only thing that plays a role is existence of an actual being and evidence of that existence.

I don’t believe in things because they are reasonable or they make sense. I believe in things because I am presented with evidence of their existence. Reason and sense are something I use in order to arrange evidence of things that exist in some order that doesn’t drive me crazy, but the part where I use reason in order to make sense of things is actually most likely to be false and revised. That’s because reason is mostly glue that fills the parts of the puzzle of reality from which the actual parts of the puzzle are missing, and I need something to hold it all together and present it in a meaningful way.

That’s the main problem of rationalism vs. empiricism; rationalism assumes that things that are true will make more sense than the things that are false, but empiricism is primarily interested in evidence, and only when the evidence is there can it afford to ask about meaning.

It makes sense for me to speculate why a platypus exists, because it exists. I don’t give a single fuck about unicorns. Yes, weird and apparently improbable things sometimes exist, and sensible and probable things sometimes don’t. That tells you more about poor applicability of mind for establishing reality, than anything else.

Good God, evil world

I’ve been watching the Game of Thrones clips on Youtube yesterday, as well as some of the reactions.

There’s a character named Ramsay Bolton who is an evil sadistic fucktard (OK, that applies to most characters but he’s above average). There’s a scene where he rapes a female character and apparently there was all sorts of shit in the media about how that’s horrible and how could they film that and how it’s a semi-historical portrayal of the dark ages when women were treated like shit and so on. And it wasn’t a particularly nasty scene, he simply fucks her against her will and treats her like a thing of little worth. Poor women bad men, right?

Not really, since the same fucktard character in another episode has a prisoner crucified in the dungeon, where he cuts his dick off, bores through his foot with a screw, cuts him with a knife and humiliates him in every possible way. A logical conclusion would be that this is a fucktard character, not that women are in a particularly bad position relative to men. If anything, I’ve seen more scenes of men getting a shitty deal, having their arms chopped off, eyes poked out, being crucified, having their cocks cut off, being humiliated and denigrated by both relatives and enemies, being flayed alive, disemboweled, having their heads crushed and so on. Yeah, women are being raped, strangled, stabbed, have their throats slit and so on. It’s a lovely series of which Satan would approve fully.

But there’s an interesting scene, where a female character, Arya Stark, pokes a man’s eyes out, stabs him with a knife multiple times while humiliating and denigrating him, and eventually slits his throat. Not a single feminist seems to be offended by that scene, and I am yet to read a single comment stating that it’s a semi-historic portrayal of the medieval times where men were treated like shit by women because there was no equality or men’s rights. When a man does it, it’s a horrible crime, but when a woman does it, it’s cute. It’s female empowerment.

The problem is, the series is quite realistic. The horrors might be more concentrated than in actual life, but I read enough history to know that reality was sometimes actually worse. Also, although feminist hypocrisy initially pissed me off enough to start writing this article, I quickly came to understand that something else pisses me off even more.

The purpose of this world is, supposedly, evolution, and learning things that would otherwise be impossible to learn, in order to accelerate spiritual evolution. That is according to Sanat Kumar. He’s a really compassionate fellow interested in the well-being of others, or at least so he says.

You get to learn horrors of the kind that are impossible on the worlds that were actually created by God, and not by Satan. You get to be exposed to pressures that would otherwise be impossible, with the purpose of making you believe that God had forsaken you and that you are worthless, trying to break you spiritually and turn your evolution away from God. You get to be raped, starved, tortured, humiliated, exposed to weakness, disease and poverty. And the supposed purpose of all that is “to be like God”.

The actual purpose of all this is to subject souls to such humiliating treatment that they would never even dare to think that their destiny could be anything other than humiliation, pain, weakness and loss. The actual purpose of this world is to convince souls that the Prince of this world is their master and that they shouldn’t even dare to think of any other potential destiny, for instance that which God actually wants them to achieve. The purpose of this world is not evolution, it is to break your spirit to the point of such hopelessness and despair that you accept your enslavement willingly and actually refuse any possible salvation, calling this world the only valid reality, refusing to believe in anything transcendental.

And I agree that this thing is possible only in this world, which is why its creator it the most evil being imaginable. I completely understand why people who think that God created this world want to become atheists (although the argument negates itself, because if you believe that God did something bad, and you renounce his authority because of that, you’re not an atheist, because in order to hate God you have to believe there is one). If I believed God created this place, I would spit in his face and curse him with my dying breath, and I would refuse any kind of an afterlife where I would have to look at the bastard who created this cursed dungeon of a world – because that, too, is the purpose of this world. It’s meant to make us hate God and turn away from him. The whole purpose of this place is to convince us of a lie. But it’s not reality; the true reality is the beauty and magnificence that is God. This is just a very persistent, convincing illusion that is perpetrated by suppression of memory, mandatory restriction on use of spiritual powers, and immersion in a sensory illusion. Imagine the Game of Thrones, a virtual reality engine, that suppresses your memory so that you can’t remember anything before immersion, and then the “fun” starts, when you are forced to try to survive by committing and surviving hideous acts that break and condemn you spiritually, all with the purpose of altering your spiritual evolution so that you become a plaything of Satan.

Tolkien told a story about how Morgoth created the Orcs, by capturing the Elves and deforming them by vicious torture in his dungeons. When I read it, I thought: so that’s where we are, and that’s the purpose of this place. We are in the dungeons of Satan, submitted to vicious torture and humiliation in order to turn us into Orcs.

What I don’t understand is how anyone can look at this world and seriously believe it had been created by a good God. Because there is good in the world? Yes, there is. There’s a good thing on the hook, too, says the fish. The problem is, sometimes it’s the good thing that gets you into trouble, because it’s the real purpose of its presence there. The bait is always a good thing. Discrimination, or viveka, is not so much about knowing what is true and what’s false, or what’s reality and what’s an illusion. It’s about knowing when an apparently good thing is really a bad thing, because, how many fishes would try to eat a hook without a worm on it?