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The premise of Isabel Myers’ exercise, in Gifts Differing, is that all personality types have and can access their type opposites. Which means if ESFPs [Extravert Sensing Feeling Perceptive] habitually rely on Feeling and weighing their own values to decide, with only weak or impaired reasoning, or no thought at all, and this interferes with relationships, they can strengthen Thinking from within because they already have the ability to do so. The ability is there but undeveloped or under-developed. It’s weak not because this is a missing limb but simply because they haven’t been using it. Their INTJs [Introvert Intuition Thinking Judging] haven’t been surgically removed. They’re just neglected. Myers’ exercise is aptly named, because precisely what a little-used personality type muscle needs is exercise.

ESFPs may prefer to base the direction they take on what they feel is important to them rather than on reasoned, reflective choice if they are Perceptives with weak or impaired Judgment. They prefer the experience of having their fortunes brought to life spontaneously to having them deadened by a lifeless, colorless regimen of judging and planning. Though it’s irrational there is method in their madness. The method in ESFPs’ madness is their instinct for the light: to avoid the captivity of Judgment in service to rigid tradition, bigotry, and conformity – to the values of darkness. What makes it irrational is its reliance on spontaneity at the expense of mind, on unreliable fate to produce untroubled waters when violent rapids could lie around the bend. When survival requires thought and preparation. When reason, Judgment, and planning could make the difference between life or death.

The premise of Isabel's exercise is identical to the premise that underlies all of Western ethical philosophy: that the ability to uncover wisdom, reality, and truth through thought, reflection, and logic dwells within our own minds. The great exponent of this insight was the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates, the mentor to Plato who mentored Aristotle. The “Socratic method” that famously trained generations of lawyers at Harvard simply consists of questioning our minds until they awaken. Until they’re forced to think. Until they learn how to track down the answers, the common sense, the truth that they seek simply by using their innate ability to question. To reason. Simply by making use of humanity’s greatest gifts: Free Will, mind, and its ability to think – mind that exceeds the ability of mere brains through its reach for Consciousness.

Socrates was so certain that he was right that he badgered strangers on the streets of Athens with questions until their minds yielded wisdom, comprehension, and insights they didn’t know were there. Questioning our minds is the key that unlocks the joy of discovery, so joyful that it eclipses any that can be experienced by relying mindlessly on spontaneity without Judgment. The spontaneity that Perceptives without Judgment actually seek, but make themselves unaware of, is the spontaneity of thought guided by Intuition, the Free Spirit of Inquiry, that leads us where it will. That leads us to places in our minds that are no less unexpected than what lies hidden around the bend, only now we are alert to the possibilities.

To think as Socrates taught is the greatest adventure in all of Creation, full of discovery and surprises – surprises that keep us away from danger instead of attracting it – so long as we connect our thoughts with reason. So long as they are not disconnected from Judgment and left to the captivity of mindless chance to decide our fate. The alternative to a false spontaneity that promises freedom and adventure but delivers captivity and disaster isn’t lifeless planning by a deadened mind. It’s genuine spontaneity produced by mind, that protects itself with thought and logic, that’s exercised and brought to life.

These very insights that trace back to classical philosophy aren’t the product of stale formula, the dead hand of the past. They’re the product of Love: love of mind, love of adventure, love of freedom. They come from the Free Spirit of Inquiry, of questioning that celebrates and expresses the joy of learning and growth that depends on no one and nothing but its own ability, its own strength, its own gift. It wasn’t hectoring that Socrates sought to share with others. It was passion for the joyfulness of freedom and adventure that became his lasting gift to Western civilization: the gift of thought. The gift of mind.

It is the authenticity and strength of Isabel's intuition that though we inevitably define ourselves by the personality types we prefer, it is nevertheless a choice. We have the freedom and ability to modify our choice, to expand and grow out of the categories we’ve put ourselves in. A muscle weak from lack of use is still there. Our personality types are not where we end but where we begin. Though they define us they need not confine us. We are not locked into our types. We can use them to imprison ourselves if conflict in ignorance is what we want. Or we can use them to liberate us if peace in awareness is what we want. In offering us liberation Isabel's intuition is firmly in step with spiritual psychology -- Jung and A Course in Miracles -- and with classical philosophy.

We can choose to be who we are.

To imagine otherwise is only to curse ourselves with a prophecy that fulfills itself. For we have Free Will. Accessing our personality opposites, choosing who we want to be, could be the fullest expression of it. This is freedom, not the false promise of unreliable, ambiguous chance. Not the captivity of mindlessness. This is the fun we seek from Spontaneity -- the only safe, rational fun there is.

Not long ago, I asked a friend for a favor. It was a bit unusual and I knew it would require some thought, but not so unusual that it could upend a friendship. But it did, at least for a while, quite emphatically. The way my friend and I interpreted what happened was a study in contrasts. It was as if we lived in two separate realities, spoke different languages, and transacted business with different currencies, hers as worthless to me as mine was to her.

It was one of those things, a train wreck in a relationship we’re all familiar with. And yet it turned out to be very interesting. It revealed that my friend and I, who have been close over the years, are exact opposite personality types. I’m an INTJ and she’s an ESFP: INTJ for Introvert-Intuition-Thinking-Judgment, ESFP for Extravert-Sensing-Feeling-Perception. These are from Isabel Briggs Myers’ Gifts Differing, not as “scientific” as other theories some might prefer, but my Intuition trusts her Intuition.

The holidays are all about one universal value: everything that makes us family. Forgiveness is one of those things, and let me be the first to admit: If you’re reading this it probably means you’re a big nuisance but you’ve been forgiven – many times. “I love you in spite of your many faults” my dad liked to joke, usually to a good laugh. But it’s no laughing matter, because real forgiveness is beyond reach. At least it is for me. Especially if the big nuisance happens to be my exact opposite personality type.

My instinct in this case was to bail for good. I was on my way out the door. Then I read Gifts Differing and discovered that Isabel’s theory doesn’t stop at showing us how opposites wreak havoc with relationships. It shows remarkably how opposites can be used to bring us closer together and, in the process, promote personal growth and self-awareness. What philosophy, what faith, couldn’t use an analytical tool like this to bring about peace and forgiveness!

It’s done by accessing the opposites of your weak personality traits – mind-Intuition, for example, if you’re a body-Sensing type, -- preferably in consultation with someone who’s your opposite. You “pool your resources,” and at the end you’re both more fully developed, better balanced personalities, more sympathetic, more adaptable to change, and better equipped to forgive. That's the theory and, so far, it's working for me.

Isabel’s theory is inspired, not least because the metaphysics of A Course in Miracles calls for its practical application to individual circumstances, and students of the Course intent on practicing forgiveness will find that it’s a big help. If my friend is reading this she might be incensed that I’m talking about us, but not if her Feeling has accessed Thinking, and Perception has accessed Judgment. You see, what this is all about is making everyone more like me. Proof that what I've learned from her is the joy of spontaneity and laughter. Pity the poor INTJ Scrooge who never learns it!

Wishing you the Joy of Life and laughter for the holidays and all through the New Year.

2

What value most expresses Mind’s stance of Being in opposition to no-being? In opposition to no-life, no-mind? What value anchored in the philosophy of Jesus most accounts for its unprecedented influence on Western thought, personal behavior, relationships, and religious practices? What value lies at the heart of “Life,” that gives it its psychic force and purpose both in the telling of the Story of Mind and the Story of its Child, in Consciousness and unconsciousness? It’s Love.

“Worth” is all of Love’s expressions put together, all of its constituent values: the beauty of purity and innocence, family, community, freedom, health, self-worth, purpose, learning and growth, abundance, protection, empowerment, and hope. There are no values that do not express their root value of Love. “Worth” is the sum and integration of all values. It is the ultimate consideration in all things.

When we say our purpose is the Creation and reciprocation of worth, we simply mean our purpose is to Love and be Loved: to Love ourselves, our Parents, and our Creations. To “Love our enemies” is simply to overlook the unreality of who they are in our state of unconsciousness – guilt -- and to Love their Reality in Consciousness – our Innocent Self.

No statement of our purpose in Life, in Being, is complete that does not begin and end with Love. What motive that accounts for the feeling, the force behind Creation, behind Life, can arise without Love? What force could possibly arise in Reality and Truth in response to the awful implications of nothingness, to its implied power to rule the state of opposites, if not the power of Love?

What is the cause of Being if not Love? What is our cause if not Love? This is what “the Creation and reciprocation of Worth” – our purpose – means. These are not arid speculations about academic abstractions, distinctions in search of relevance, “pure” research with no discernible application. How can they be if the Logic of Mind holds that every thought is driven by feeling and every feeling in Reality is guided by thought?

Without feeling thoughts which are causes can have no effects. There are many ways to understand Energy, the force of Logic that gives the thoughts of Mind their power to connect, to make Real, to give Life, to Create, that gives Mind and its extension, the Child, its authority to enforce the Logic of Mind with order and discipline. But beyond its eternal restlessness the most important way is to understand that Energy expresses and applies the power of feeling. Feeling that no less than any other gift, any other value, can be perverted by the Child’s mind in its unconscious state to serve its opposite. And this is where we find ourselves, coping in our confusion with the very thing that Being does not stand for: fear, guilt, and hatred.

What brings Love, feeling, and Energy or force into the Story of Mind now? They were present at the “Beginning” when they as much as Mind-Consciousness and Logic pierced the darkness with light when Consciousness was switched on. They and Mind are joined at the hip, all of one piece, equal partners in Being and Creation. They come into the story now because they are the working end of Consciousness, the dynamic that sets Mind in motion toward its purpose of Creation once we establish what it is. Now we are into the fun part -- the joyous, open-ended adventure into the unknown that gives the free spirits of Inquiry and Love their meaning, their outlet, their voice.

Without Love thoughts are just thoughts of no consequence. “Being” is just a word without Love. Why? Because Love is their purpose. Our purpose in Creating and reciprocating worth through Creation is to bring Love into Creation, to use and apply it, express and connect with it, in everything we think and do. The great thought systems of human history, our philosophies and theologies, are striving through trial and error to reconstruct the Child’s obliterated Consciousness, to find his way – our way – back to Love. Our purpose in validating Mind’s stance, Being, to stand for Life against the possibility of no-life, is to Love Mind, to Love the Consciousness, the Oneness, the seed of Creation and Innocence that gave birth to us and gave us our role, our purpose in Creation – our Source, our Parents Father Mind and Mother Love.

Love isn’t an afterthought when Mind-Consciousness switched on and took its place. It’s what Mind-Being is all about. It’s what we’re all about: gratitude that consummates the gift of Love, of Worth – all the values that Love represents. Thankfulness for our Reality and for the opportunity to learn and grow in knowledge and freedom, so that we can all awaken and return to Reality. To our Source: Love.

We got to this point simply by starting with the thought of Mind and letting Mind trace its implications for us. The entire story of Mind and our own, the Story of the Child, can be readily explained by asking what is implied by “Mind.” It’s an exercise of what Mind does: it Reasons. We can start with what Mind is and move on to what it does. From there we can move on to How it does it, When and Where, and to the always intriguing question: Why?

The ground we’ve covered so far is a few conclusions meant to awaken the thinker in us. Without more reasoning, more context, they won’t make much sense. They’re meant to stimulate interest, and if I’ve succeeded you’ll have the patience to wait me out. There are insights ahead that might be worth a Huh? before we move on or they might change our minds. And if we change our minds it might change the world, because our world may only be a projection of our minds.

What “Mind” implies is Consciousness. I give the word an initial cap, like certain other words, to make an important distinction. “Mind” also implies unconsciousness, because, as we well know, we all have minds and they can be in one of two states: conscious or unconscious. The distinction is critical to the story of Creation that the Logic of Mind tells in its Consciousness. It’s equally critical to the story that the Logic of Mind’s Child tells in his unconsciousness, the story of our material world – our bodies with their brains and senses and their physical universe of time and space, organic and inorganic matter.

Terms that refer to Mind in its Consciousness are flagged by their initial capital letters. If the same terms are lower case they belong to the unconscious world of Mind’s Child. This distinction raises as many questions as it answers but I don’t want initial caps to be a distraction. Just remember that an initial cap refers to the Reality of Mind-Parent Consciousness while lower case for the same term refers to the unreality of Mind-Child in his unconscious state.

The Child was not always in an unconscious state. When his Parents gave birth to him he was Conscious. Everyone, you might say, was in “Heaven.” There was no sign of matter and bodies, no suffering and mortality. Something happened that caused the Child that we were at the beginning to lose Consciousness. It was this event that triggered a chain reaction of events that produced us and our universe of violence, a very different place than “Heaven.”

What I am attempting is an explanation for this seminal event. To my knowledge you won’t find a rational explanation anywhere in metaphysics or theology, though that’s not to say there aren’t home-grown philosophers all about who are working on it and may already have come up with good explanations. What gives us the right to be so bold? The answer is we all have within our minds a shared Memory of who we are, where we came from, and specifically what happened that triggered this chain of events. We don’t have to access a deus-ex-machina to do it for us. We don’t need “saviors” or “redeemers.” We need nothing external, because what we seek lies within. We only have to access our own minds – to do it ourselves.

That is, using our Intuition, because Intuition takes us beyond our brains, beyond our bodies’ senses, to insights that are the gifts of Memory, the Memory of who we are and the Reality we came from, whose purpose is to guide us to the answers we seek, to guide us back. These are the same familiar, well-documented insights that inform the physical sciences, technological progress, the arts, and every other field of human learning and endeavor that depend on spontaneous revelation – on being “gifted.” Those of us so bold as to speculate about things “divine” are only doing what comes naturally. We are using a “God-given” talent: our minds and our power and ability to Reason with help from Intuition.

Why haven’t philosophy and theology explained this phenomenon, the Child’s loss of Consciousness? All the thinking that’s gone into the Story of Mind and the Story of its Child to follow is needed to answer this question, and it will be answered. Let me only say at this point that there is a distinct pattern that runs through the history of philosophy and theology: a split between thinkers who believe that Reality is to be found in the reasoning of mind and those who insist that there can be no credible reasoning that does not acknowledge and account for the reality of matter.

“Rationalists” stand resolutely with their thoughts, “empiricists” or “materialists” just as adamantly with their bodies. Rationalists predate Plato with his predecessor and mentor Parmenides, whose School of Reason questioned the reality of matter. It was Aristotle, a student at Plato’s Academy, who broke with Plato and opened the split, stood firmly for matter, founded science, and inspired all the empiricists and materialists to come. With one important exception: he believed in the Reality of Mind. He believed in “First Cause.” So even then, philosophy was of two minds about Reality, and the course of thinking since then has been a dance between two views that can’t find their footing: mind tripping over matter, matter tripping over mind.

The same split runs through theology, the history of religious thinking, rather violently in the branding of Gnostic Christians as “heretics” by Church orthodoxy and their suppression by force. Biblical Christianity allies itself emphatically with the materialists though, paradoxically, it leaves unquestioned the miracles of its founder and even encourages belief in miracles. Did the miracles of Jesus not expose the illusion of matter? In fact, the version of Christianity channeled by Jesus in A Course in Miracles surrounds his miracles with a unique, fully developed thought system, grounded in Reason, that leaves no doubt that he is on the side of Mind. The same tension between mind and matter, “spiritual” reality and “concrete” reality, permeates Eastern and Western religions.

What’s to account for the divide? It could be something mysterious or diabolical, the stuff of conspiracy theories. But we all have minds corrupted with some degree of darkness that comes from the same source. We will get to that when we come to the event that followed the Child’s loss of consciousness. The likely explanation is nothing more exotic than differences in personality types.

Four Myers-Briggs categories are at the root of it: Intuition and thinking, on one hand, and their counterpoints sensing and feeling, on the other. An “Intuition-thinking” type puts their faith in mind-reasoning. A “sensing-feeling” type is firmly grounded in the body. They speak different languages and come to different conclusions, and precisely where they disagree is at the juncture of opposing philosophies: What is Real? What’s real for one type is not real for the other. Period.

Mind is not synonymous with brain. The business of the brain is with the body. The business of Consciousness is with thoughts. The business of Mind that is unconscious is with regaining Consciousness. This is its only concern. It is mind blocked by a brain that cannot hear this.

Mind contains the seed of Creation. The seed is Oneness that contains everything of Creation: its purpose, process and structure, its archetypes of Masculinity and Femininity, their Relationships and Creations, and the Energy that animates all of it.

Abundance and Freedom are the Joy that extends and expands Love. Logic is the attribute of Mind that disciplines and empowers Creation. Reason is the function of Logic that mediates between them. Love and its expression of Abundance and Freedom are married to Mind and its expression of Logic by Reason. Their marriage – Freedom with Choice -- produced a Child.

We are the Child. We have Free Choice because we are Free Choice. Because the role we were given in Creation is to Create and to Reciprocate Worth the only way Worth can be Created: when it is Freely Chosen.

The role we were given in Reality is to Learn and to Grow: until we have attained proficiency in Creation; until we have attained maturity and earned responsibility for Parenting; until we can role model Parenting and extend Life through an abundance of relationships; until we have learned the Worth of Happiness by Reciprocating it.

Two events interrupted our training. The loss of Consciousness deconstructed Reality in the Mind of the Child. Unconsciousness dreamed another reality, a reconstruction of facades meant to deceive. The dream is our unreal world of appearances -- bodies and brains, time, space, and matter -- from which an unconscious Child must awaken.

We choose to resume our job in Creation when we choose to awaken. We choose to awaken when we choose to deconstruct the dream of deceptions, to rediscover the Reality and the Truth of our Self. We will learn how to do this when we tell the Story of the Child that illuminates what has happened, puts it in context, and gives it meaning. For now, telling the Story of the Child in the context of the dream is his Story.

Unconscious Mind was invaded by the author of the dream of appearances and deceptions. We choose to deconstruct the dream when we abandon its author. A corrupted mind cannot heal itself without help from Mind that isn’t corrupted. We abandon the author of the dream when we choose another, our Self guided by Reason from Consciousness, a collaboration between us and an offer of help that’s accepted.

The case for telling the Story of the Child – for explaining the loss of Consciousness and its context, what preceded and followed it – runs long and deep. What’s in it for me comes down to this: having my Self, my story, deconstructed and handed back to me in a pile of lies, meant to keep me from my job, bothers me. I’ve got work to do – the gift of Purpose, usefulness and Worth, the gift of Happiness – and I mean to do it. I’ve got my Self to reclaim, my Sovereignty. I am Masculinity who would reclaim his Manhood. If you are Femininity, you would reclaim all the pride, the glory, the beauty that is the essence, the Spirit, of Womanhood.

We all have work to do, nothing less than a central role in Creation: the Reciprocation of Worth back to Being, its Source, that’s meaningless without it. This is what’s in it for us.

Shall we awaken? Or shall we continue our journey down the Niagara River?

A purpose of my forthcoming book is to question the structure of our “reasoning” – its knowledge-information base and its premises -- by examining it from another perspective, the one implied and given form by A Course in Miracles.

The break we need in our circular reasoning can be accomplished by reflecting on the role of Energy-Force: in defining appearances that our bodies’ senses register; in establishing the properties-attributes that distinguish them and describe how they behave, how they interact to produce the variety of forms they take, the variety of compositions with different functions and uses; that collectively prop up our sense that we belong to a grand movement of causes and effects that must have an intelligible purpose, because they constantly change, and the changes have consequences.

Energy, whether or not it enlivens-animates appearances that mean what we think they mean, still attests to the connection to our Source, whatever or whoever it is, that cannot be broken. Even if it enlivens what mind is only imagining, Energy is still Energy, and even if our thoughts are trapped in self-referential reasoning, the Force that powers our flawed reasoning is still active, is still here.

Breaking through the circular chain of thoughts so infused with Energy and dominated by it can be accomplished by changing one assumption, one premise. This is the premise that the Mind, the Logic that produced the Energy that animates our appearances and now our reflections on what they mean, can only be in a conscious state. That because the appearances Energy makes seem so real for us, seem so consequential, only a mind in a conscious state could possibly cause them.

Have we not ever experienced vivid dreams? Have none of us ever hallucinated? Do not some of us exist in a mental state that’s divorced from “reality?” Is not the record of psychological states replete with bizarre three-act dramas that Freud himself couldn’t unravel?

Another premise that’s ripe for questioning is that Energy itself can only “exist” in one state. In a context, an environment, that clearly includes substances of endless variety, varieties that pit opposites against one another, why is it not possible that the attributes we associate with Energy, for instance, that it can neither be created nor destroyed, are only the attributes that can be “detected” in one state? What if the attributes of Energy serving the Logic, the Thoughts, of Mind in a Conscious state were distinguishable from mind that’s in an unconscious state?

What if Energy that enables the Creation of eternal Life, by joining in its extension and expansion, does just the opposite if it enables an illusion, a dream of death? What if Energy there, in Mind’s Conscious state, in Reality, is living, while here, in mind’s unconscious state, is dying? What is “entropy” telling us if not this?

What is entropy telling us about appearances? About vitality and decay, order and disorder? About how things can transform from energized to inert? Why should Energy not be subject to the same laws of cause and effect that govern everything else in our state of opposites?

What we assume about perspective is another premise that can break through self-referential reasoning. This is the assumption that the “knower” that we connect with the “known,” the mind that interprets appearances, is capable of only one perspective. Certainly if our perspective is confined to bodies consulting one another on our little planet, in our little solar system, in our little galaxy, in our little universe that may be only one of billions of universes, in a moment of time that stretches into infinity, we might draw our conclusions with relative confidence even if appearances on a human scale bear no resemblance to reality on a micro-quanta or a macro-cosmic scale.

But what if we interrupted our conversation with one another to bring in another point of view? One that isn’t bound by the attributes of our existence, by our appearances, that answers to a Reality governed by their opposites?

Just because our bodies’ senses won’t let us sit down and talk to this perspective can’t mean that it’s not there, that it’s not accessible to mind, when, actually, it may be here in a way that we aren’t. Must our little bodies that come and go, and our little planet that comes and goes, lock us into one point of view that can’t possibly admit another, that doesn’t come, declare its singularity, its infallibility, and then disappear?

Must the tortured reasoning that’s led us to a standoff on this question stand in testimony to our irrationality, our fecklessness, forever? Must we really wait for an outside force, a magical “redeemer,” to rescue us from helplessness? Or is it enough for some to lead the good life, La Dolce Vita, to amuse themselves in Rome’s Trevi Fountain while others can’t, and everyone eventually runs out of energy and dies?

Three premises: that Mind can only be in a conscious state; that Energy can only exist in one state; that sensory perception only allows us one perspective, could free us from circular reasoning if we let Logic and Intuition, with the Holy Spirit’s help, reflect on their implications. If we gave ourselves the opportunity to exercise Free Choice: the power to change our minds.

Humanity needs to re-engineer the structure, to re-design the architecture, of its Reasoning so that it works.

Human antics and foibles provide a rich source of material for the Holy Spirit’s sense of humor, none more than what passes for human “reasoning.”
Connections are the genius of Creation.
It’s precisely in the sleeping Child’s bungling of connections, our halting attempts to heal the ego’s disconnections, that we reveal the extent of our unreasoning, our irrationality, our slapstick incompetence.

There’s “reasoning” to support any proposition – democracy, monarchy, fascism, communism, dualism, non-dualism, civilization, anarchy, and so on.
The Child keeps experimenting with reasoning at the collective-community level, building up experience and expertise, a track record of experiments to add to the data base, to add to understanding of the Child’s human mind from observation of human behavior, the results of human thinking.

Always with a view toward isolating flaws in thinking-reasoning that cause wrong-undesired effects.
Namely, conditions that promote and facilitate disorder and conflict.
Conditions that promote and facilitate imbalance among the self-interests that compose the dysfunctional community of humanity.
Conditions that favor the opposites of our values rather than the values themselves
For example, unfairness rather than fairness; harm rather than safety; vulnerability rather than protection-security; deprivation rather than abundance; disempowerment rather than empowerment; taking rather than sharing; contempt rather than respect; oppression, confinement, and dictatorship rather than freedom to think, explore, and invent; rule by the few rather than governance by the many; and so on.

Reasoning flows from its premises.
Premises are only so good as the base of knowledge-information and understanding they’re drawn from.

If the architecture-structure of Reasoning Child-humanity has built so far seems to be delivering choices with alarming results – suffering, unhappiness, and threats to our survival -- then the Logic of Reasoning suggests that the first order of business can’t be our usual response.
It can’t be to discredit flawed ideologies, attack their corrupt institutions, and replace them with yet more flawed ideologies and corrupt institutions.

If the human mind is corrupt yet endowed with the power to Reason, our ideologies and institutions will always be flawed until we develop the ability to Reason, by re-examining its information base and premises, and by nailing both.
We won’t get anywhere until we exercise our minds and learn how to Reason.

The first order of business must then be for Reasoning to examine itself.
To question its structure, beginning with its premises and their knowledge-information base.

When Child-humanity acts, when we attempt to move forward, when we put all that we value at risk with the choices we make, are we confident that our choices will be supported by the Logic of who we are, where we are, what brought us here, why we are here, and how we can move forward?

If the premises that support our Reasoning continue to deliver alarming-unsatisfactory results, are we certain that these are the right premises, the best premises, the only premises possible?
Are we certain that the thinking that’s gone into the premises we’ve relied upon is the best we’re capable of?
That the knowledge-information base from our experiments, to date, can’t be expanded and improved upon?

Are we so frightened by our prospects, so immobilized by the fear we project onto our future, that we can only seek comfort by sheltering thoughtlessly in the familiarity of the past?
A past that brought no better than what we fear for the future?
That brought temporary relief for some at the expense of others?
That brought freedom for some and oppression for the rest?
That took as much as it gave?

Are we sure that the perspective we’ve been handed to view ourselves and our predicament is the only one possible?
That the context our embodied minds have constructed for making sense of things is actually doing its job?
Is leading us forward?
Is doing what we’ve asked it to do?
Isn’t fatally compromised by narrow self-interest?

Or is the perspective we’ve inherited showing signs of weakness?
Is the architecture, the structure of our Reasoning, standing firm?
Or are those the cracks, the snaps, the moans that we are now hearing of it giving way?

Is the building we occupy – the architectural marvel that scrapes the sky -- coming down?
Is the dam we built – that engineering marvel for the ages – about to burst?
The volcanic mountain we thought was dormant about to explode?
The earth beneath us that we imagined was solid about to quake?

Or is it a house of cards about to collapse under a whiff of air?

Are we so locked into circular “reasoning” by our cultures, by our careers and personalities, by group-think, that we’ve strapped ourselves into a plane crash unable to move?
What does it take for us to awaken?

The purpose of my book is to reflect upon Child-humanity’s Reasoning, to experiment with an interpretation of humanity’s knowledge base implied by principles and insights taken mainly from A Course In Miracles, to come up with a fresh look at premises that guide our Reasoning.
To examine what these premises imply about human behavior; what light they can shed on causes of our frustration with our lack of progress; and what contribution they can make to better Reasoning about the context of our efforts. about our situation, from a different perspective.
To examine what contribution they can make toward engineering a better structural design for Reasoning that will stand firm, that won’t collapse around us as our current structure may well be doing.

The 20th century took flaws in our Reasoning from the past, a thoroughly misunderstood Reality, gross perversions of the Truth, ignorance and irrationality, bull-headed ideologies, their servile followers and passive victims, and erupted into ruinous global conflicts, a burst of sheer madness, that would have wiped out our species if it could.

“We got through it, so we will get through whatever is threatening our survival today” is a mindless response that is of one piece with the corrupted reasoning, the rationalizing, that perpetrated the conflagration in the first place.
It is the anthem of gratitude, the wishful thinking, the youthful fantasy, from those who happened not to have been its victims and refuse to grow up.

The voices of those who were its victims may beg to differ, and it is those voices we need to hear.
It is to give them a fair hearing that this book is being written.

Survivors of history’s conflagrations will always be voices of false hope, reassuring themselves that “everything will be OK” forever so long as they get away with excluding those who didn’t survive from the conversation.
It is to shift the conversation away from false hope to true Hope that these thoughts are offered.

Reassuring ourselves that “everything will be OK” in the midst of an unfolding calamity is only another instance of circular reasoning that humanity has relied upon since the dawn of civilization: consulting ourselves for answers to questions about the facts of our “existence,” the Truth, that can only come from another perspective.

Instead of asking if matter -- our bodies and their material environment – are real, and relying on our bodies’ senses to assure us that, yes, of course they are real, why don’t we try asking if Mind is real?
Why don’t we try going to Mind for answers that has a different perspective, that clearly isn’t matter?

Instead of tracing matter to its origins and destination – an effort that’s brought us to questions that are beyond “scientific” answers – why don’t we try tracing Thought to its origins and destination?
Why don’t we “resurrect” philosophy that Stephen Hawking famously declared to be “dead” and get serious about finding answers?
Why don't we try Reasoning?

Since the study of matter is leading nowhere and our habitat is becoming uninhabitable, why don’t we rethink the nature of Reality, the relationship between Mind and matter, the attributes of Creation, and the meaning of our circumstances, the value of our gifts, instead of trusting to dumb luck?
Why don’t we use the occasion of our spectacular 20th century eruptions and 21st century horrors – the rise of racist fascism, global warming, vanishing water supplies, vanishing forests, pandemics, collapsing economies, rampant misinformation, gun violence insanity, and so on -- to get serious about our thinking, about our metaphysics?
About the theories we rely upon to understand, predict, and manage events?

Let’s not stop there.
Let’s go back and reexamine the very nature of Being, our origin.
Let’s get serious about ontology, and maybe then we will awaken to the harm we do to our prospects by circular reasoning – by “reasoning” that isn’t Reasoning.

What our bodies' senses produce is a series of appearances that time erases.
What physics produces is journeys that start from any arbitrary coordinates in our universe and finish at the same place -- no “place.”
What our finite material “reality” is telling us is what Einstein’s relativity discovered, that spacetime is curved, that it’s circular, the source of Newton’s gravity, the force that produces black holes where the laws of science are suspended.

What it’s telling us is that it makes no sense, that it’s pointless.
That reasoning that’s dictated by our bodies and their material environment can only be circular, a perversion of the Logic that governs infinite Reality.
A Reality where infinite Oneness has Real Causes and Real Effects; where Creation has Real Purpose and Real Meaning; where there is Real Value, Real Stakes and Real Worth; where there is Real Substance distinguished by Real Attributes; where there is Real Being in timelessness, that time cannot erase.

And the Child that we are has Real Worth, a role in Creation more important than we could ever imagine.
That centers on Free Choice, the E=MC2 of Creation.
The marriage between Mother Love-Freedom-Creativity and Father Mind-Logic-Reason.
Our Parents and their Gift of Purpose: Mother-Free and Father-Choice.
Their Gift of Happiness that could not be without Purpose.
The Gift of Free Choice: the province of Love, the province of Reason.

Stay with me -- we're just getting started.

John Wild's book, Introduction to Realistic Philosophy (Harper and Row 1948) (RP) has made a contribution to my thinking and thus to my forthcoming book, for which I am very grateful. However, as I hope these reflections will show, it makes a better case for my book than it does for his. [See "My Forthcoming Book" and "On Circular Reasoning" posted to this website 4/25/20] We agree on the need for "realistic" philosophy, but we disagree on the fundamental question of what's real. What's real for him is matter; what's real for me is Mind.

My understanding of what’s going on with us and our world is that the Child we are, our spiritual ancestor, was stripped of the knowledge base he depended on for free choice when he lost consciousness. He lost much else, besides, but here, in this world, his focus has been on rebuilding his knowledge base. Without it he is operating in the dark, and getting out of the dark, returning to the light of consciousness by exercising free choice, is what he must accomplish.

This provides the context for my understanding of RP, its contribution to this broader purpose. Its specific contribution is to the pursuit of knowledge through experimental and theoretical science, which has, until recently, relied exclusively upon sensory perception, because RP does provide an argument to support it, if inadvertently. Its argument, not coincidentally, joins with body-centered Church dogma which, through Thomas Aquinas, gave cover to science when other faiths did not.

“Inadvertently” because science seems to play hardly any part in RP. Einstein isn’t registered in its name index even though general relativity upended Newtonian concepts of absolute space and absolute time. This dealt a momentous blow to certainties about material reality that one theoretical physicist, Rovelli, has likened to “the stuff that dreams are made of.”

RP makes no mention of Einstein’s theory in its discussion of time, a significant omission which suggests that undermining dark-age enemies of science played little or no part in its motivation. RP’s declaration that “Time is to be sharply distinguished from spatial extension;” that it’s “a mental measure with a foundation in extra-mental reality,” [p. 347], that we experience a “now” that’s more definable than Einstein’s “present” that’s neither future nor past, [pp. 375-376] are at odds with the science of its day.

The injustice that RP seems intent upon righting is “idealistic philosophy,” the synthesis of “empiricism” and “rationalism” propagated by Immanuel Kant. Its exact offense was positing reality in the eye of the beholder, a subjectivist take on reality that made a bystander of the body and its senses. But where idealistic philosophy rates a rebuttal, “spiritualism which reduces the physical to the mental” [p. 400], is dismissed with nothing more than it’s “far removed from the common insight of mankind.” [p. 395]

Had RP hypothesized the existence of a spiritual reality its reasoning would, I think, have yielded an opposite result. This is because its own take on reality treats as extrinsic any material object outside the body that senses it. Thus, it can claim “objectivity;” it becomes a common-sense “objectivist” philosophy; and “facts” are its exclusive domain. Since this assumption is intertwined with our everyday perceptions and feelings, it rings true.

But were a spiritual entity given a voice, the logic behind it would quickly be revealed for the fallacy that it is. Bodies integral to a system of material appearances are logically unqualified to pass judgment on their own system’s reality, i.e. on themselves. To grant them this status – to include the knower in the known -- is to grant rationality to circular, self-referential reasoning, which is irrational. Of even greater concern to RP, it would substitute subjectivity for objectivity, the ultimate violation of its logic.

In the event, RP is at pains to keep this from happening. Not only is spiritual reality not allowed to challenge “the realistic analysis of hylomorphic substance,” [p. 400], RP doesn’t allow Plato, its co-founder, to interpret the meaning of his Allegory of the Cave in his own words. These are the words RP uses: “perfection,” “sound social order,” “social justice,” “jointly ordered, cooperative community,” “just community,” “unjust community,” “bad society.” “good society.” [pp. 173-174]

How can the primary issue with captives of deception imprisoned in a cave be about justice and not about appearances and reality? About truth? Here are Plato’s own words:

“[O]nce seen, [the form of the good] is inferred to be responsible for whatever is right and valuable in anything, producing in the visible region light and the source of life, and being in the intelligible region itself controlling source of truth and intelligence. . . . When the mind’s eye is fixed on objects illuminated by truth and reality, it understands and knows them.” [Quoted in Wapnick pp. 298-299, my emphasis added]

“[O]ur true lover of knowledge naturally strives for reality” is a statement attributed to Plato in an earlier passage about Plato’s philosopher-kings, “the truly wise,” in Wapnick’s words, “who. . . no longer value the appearance of the Good but the Good itself; the reality illuminated by the truth and not the shadows.” [Wapnick p. 300. Wapnick’s and my emphasis added] Socrates, killed by Athenians, was the model for the freed prisoner “because he tried to awaken in them the truth of the difference between appearance and reality.” [Wapnick p. 298, my emphasis added]

If they relied on its interpretation alone, RP’s readers would not only miss the gist of Plato’s allegory, they would be mis-led. They would be victims of an intellectual cover-up that presents itself as beholden to the highest ideals of reason, common sense, and objectivity. Manipulation of facts is a predatory manipulation of people who depend on facts to make informed choices, a betrayal of their trust, and a sign of disrespect that would make fools of them.

The basis of RP’s logic is that if a thing appears real to body’s senses then it must be real. There’s no possibility that anything internal or external to our minds can be real that isn’t detectable by the body’s senses, an assumption about the place of the body in all of Creation that is breathtakingly ego-centric.

If I were to interview one of the shackled prisoners who occupied Plato’s Cave about what he was observing, I would expect a near-perfect articulation of Realistic Philosophy, a viewpoint that’s firmly committed to the logic of the Cave and oblivious to anything outside it. I would expect something on the order of, “What I observe in these flickering shadows is real because it appears real.”

The point of Plato’s allegory is to suggest that appearances may deceive, and, indeed, when an occupant frees himself to discover the reality outside, he confirms it. Plato’s philosopher king, modeled on the prisoner liberated from the deception of appearances, is possessed of an awareness supported by reasoning derived not from ignorance and misapprehension but from knowledge and truth. Elevating his subjects’ minds out of ignorance and misapprehension into the light of knowledge and truth – liberating them from appearances through reason and virtue, – was the inspiration for the philosopher king’s rule and for Plato’s Academy.

On the strength of Plato’s Allegory of the Cave alone I disagree with RP's claim that Plato "co-founded” its school of thought. [p. 379]

In another instance of selective truth-telling, RP begs off anything to do with “theology.” But it can’t resist noting that it accords with body-centered Church dogma and in so doing takes sides in theological controversy:

"Genuine Christianity. . . has much more in common with authentic materialistic thought. . . than with that extremely widespread spiritualism, , , which tries to deny matter and other basic facts of life. How surprised most of our contemporaries would be if they could discover the fact that Christianity, , , is actually a hardheaded campaign for the conquest of ourselves and the world we inhabit, , , , [F]or nothing is of more decisive importance for a people and its civilization than its religion, and how this is understood." [pp. 234-235]

Though gratuitous, RP’s acceptance of added cultural legitimacy from Western civilization’s most influential religious institution would be acceptable were it not for the fact that it’s also disingenuous. “Hardheaded” Church dogma contains an obvious contradiction which RP fails to mention: miracles. Miracles whose purpose was to demonstrate that our world, our material universe, our “laws” of science, our bodies and their senses, are illusory.

The author of miracles inspired Gnostic Christianity that was unpersuaded by Church dogma and was forcibly suppressed as a result. He has restated his message in A Course in Miracles, a unique system of thought and practical guidance based not on unquestioned faith but on tightly-reasoned philosophy and psychology. Its affirmation of Jesus’ miracles and their purpose was not available at the time RP was published, but the elephant was certainly in the room. How could this aspect of Church dogma not have drawn RP’s attention?

The answer must be that RP would have been obliged to confront a central article of Church followers’ faith and thus potentially offend many in its audience. The Church would be obliged to weigh in, and “the common insight of mankind” would be common no more. It would have been better had RP given spiritualism a hypothetical voice – the voice, say, of authority, reason, and compassion from Conscious Mind, like A Course in Miracles -- not only to correct philosophical subjectivity in its argument for sensory perception but also to practice the Platonic virtue of honesty.

Acknowledging that there were competing versions of Christianity; that “genuine Christianity” – Church dogma – achieved dominance only by force; and miracles that were part of dogma and opposing theologies flatly contradict RP, would be honest.

RP: I’m sorry, dear reader, but Realistic Philosophy says your revered miracles could not have happened. You’ll have to try another religion.
Believer: Yeah, well how about trying another philosophy?

Reliance on sensory perception is being questioned among theorists, I suspect, in many fields, and so it’s highly unlikely that RP could be put out there today with a straight face. Its author will have read books by Becker and Rovelli on quantum physics, a field whose discoveries are so bizarre that physicists protective of their careers steer clear of it. The search for quantum gravity -- the synthesis of general relativity / cosmology with quantum mechanics -- shreds “the common insight of mankind.” Neuroscience going back to the 19th century has questioned RP’s notion that consciousness resides in the brain. A material world that has become strange, incomprehensible, disorderly, and threatening can no longer anchor our sense of place and familiarity.

But why rely on RP’s argument to refute it when sensory perception can do better? Let it run its own course with cosmic reality and it will self-destruct.

The “potency” that RP depends upon for many of its conclusions is Energy. The Energy that powers our universe originated with Logic that powers Creation. The Big Bang was a release of energy from Reality-Consciousness – from the irrational thought of splitting up the oneness of Being -- that initially empowered our material, illogical universe. It is an imagined break with the real Logic-Energy of Creation, a disconnection, not a connection. Which implies that it is not a real-living current that can maintain its force but an illusory-dying current. It’s the flip side of real Energy -- flip side like everything else in our universe, the opposite of what’s real. Which explains why our illogical, illusory universe is in a state of entropy, destined to decay, tending toward disorder, and becoming inert.

This means that all the forms of energy – nuclear strong and weak, electromagnetic, and gravity – will gradually weaken until matter will no longer be produced by energy and its components will no longer hold together, from the quanta level on up. When the energy that’s locked up in matter dissipates, bodies will be long gone and nothing will be left that’s detectable by their senses. The Achilles Heel of RP is its reliance on "potency," i.e. energy, that eventually will abandon it. So, all that's really needed to put it to rest is time-lapse photography and a lot of time on our hands.

While it supports the physical sciences RP can also be appropriated by a less enlightened pursuit. This would be “objectivism,” the personal credo of Ayn Rand and her libertarian followers who noisily denied the legitimacy of any interest beyond individual self-interest. They suffered the handicap of narcissists unable to see beyond themselves, to accept the presence of a larger, communal self-interest, that makes governance in the public interest, for fairness, justice, peace, and civilization possible.

Objectivism makes a close match with the thinking behind “conservatism” that masks its will toward unopposed power, the license for its followers to do whatever they want behind the flag of “freedom:” their freedom to take away your freedom. It’s a prescription for fascist dictatorship which frees the dictator to take himself and his captive audience to the bottom of a sea of contradictions and “appearances.”

The reasoning that supports RP is that of a human mind corrupted by irrationality – the ego and its purpose to deceive. RP’s reasoning is flawed because its knowledge base is both unintentionally and intentionally mischaracterized and omits critical material that has since come to light. RP’s reasoning is flawed because it has been invaded by the ubiquitous manipulations of power relations – by self-interest in our state of competition and conflict. And RP’s reasoning is flawed because it intentionally compromises with the truth, not the minor infraction of everyday discourse but a betrayal of Philosophy’s Hippocratic Oath.

The reasoning that supports Jesus’ A Course in Miracles is reasoning from Conscious Mind, the spiritual perspective that could have corrected RP’s flawed reasoning had it been given the hypothetical hearing that the logic of philosophy, science, and fairness demanded. ACIM’s knowledge base lies beyond human access, but it invites the reader to dismantle the logic of its guidance with reason. After over thirty years of reflection, this reader so far cannot. The ubiquitous manipulations of self-interest are beneath it, but this is not to say that it lacks self-interest when all Creation is composed of self-interest. The difference lies in the logic, the definition, of “Self” that is Reality, that is Truth. Guidance from ACIM that cannot compromise with the Truth, by definition, that cannot betray itself, leads to the Truth about ourselves, our Worth and our Purpose, that cannot be compromised.

The search for scientific “knowledge” was supposed to end successfully before it reached the end of useful experimentation. But quantum physics-gravity requires that inquiry extend beyond physical experiments into philosophy, which takes us back to Plato’s unfinished business, the philosophic system that he never fully developed. It takes us back to the unified theory of everything that Einstein never finished.

A Course in Miracles accomplishes what Plato, Einstein, and experimental science have failed to do: construct a coherent thought system that isn’t shot through with contradictions and irrationality. It accomplishes this through uncompromising non-dualism, the proposition that between Mind and matter only Mind can be real.

It must have been in the backs of the minds of those who have clung to sensory perception –the learning disciplines, the professions, politics, the arts, communications, religion -- that it’s the first and last line of defense for civilization. They must have feared what populist politics, pop culture, the internet, and social media have wrought, a breakdown of consensus around reality, truth, morality, and the institutions – the “establishment” -- charged with maintaining it. Fears around replacing a paradigm as ingrained in the human mind as sensory perception are not to be taken lightly. The stability it has provided cannot be taken for granted.

This could have been the larger purpose of RP’s case against “idealism” and “spiritualism,” philosophies it considers subjective and irrational and, therefore, unrealistic, a threat not only to the reign of sensory perception but also to common sense, learning, and civilization. It takes its place among the Child’s evolving experiments with regaining its knowledge base for informed choice, a flawed product of the insights, the threats, the irrationality, and the politics of its time, but a worthy cause, nonetheless. It deserves respect.

Works cited:
Kenneth Wapnick, Love Does Not Condemn: the World, the Flesh, and the Devil According to Platonism, Christianity, Gnosticism, and 'A Course in Miracles' (Foundation for A Course in Miracles 1989)
Adam Becker, What Is Real? The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics (Basic Books 2018)
Carlo Rovelli, Reality Is Not What It Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity (Riverhead Books 2017)
A Course in Miracles (Foundation for Inner Peace 1975)

Dave Harrison
May 5, 2020

Five words express thoughts and feelings that I believe are among the most important to humanity. Four of these are Love, Reason, Intuition, and Worth.

What I want to share on my website, with you, is what I try to share in all my personal relationships, especially with children. It is a truth that stands up to the deception that says that I am my body, my body is insignificant littleness, and my destiny is to die and disappear into nothingness. I believe the truth is the opposite: Worth that is not only a thought but also a feeling, that I not only have worth from its Source, I am Worth. I am not my body.

My true Worth is a gift that can never be taken away because it is who I am. I cannot help but share it with children because we are all children of the same Source, because who we are is also what we do, sharing our Worth that is shared with us by our Source, by Worth itself.

Love, Reason, and Intuition that lead us to our Worth lead us to the fifth word: Happiness. Everything we have is who we are: Worth that leads us to Happiness if we will let it, if we choose every day to follow it. For it must be chosen of our own free will.

What I try to share with children, with all my brothers and sisters, is the abundance given to me, my Worth, and the choice Love, Reason, and Intuition would have me make, every day, to follow where it leads us all, to peace, truth, and sanity – to Happiness.

The ultimate purpose of my writing is to share Worth from its Source. It’s to share the truth about the Child we are, whose Worth, whose Happiness, was hidden from us by an event that our ego-corrupted minds have misrepresented and covered over with guilt. The truth that we separate ourselves from is Mind that is Innocent -- the Child’s and ours.

Little rational thought has been given to what caused the Child to lose consciousness before he supposedly lost his innocence and dreamed up this world. The purpose of the very modest contribution I hope to make, to metaphysics and ontology, is to help remedy this. With guidance from Love, Reason, Intuition, and Worth, these thoughts might help to undo a truly awful deception, the root cause of human suffering: the belief that we are our bodies that live, suffer, and die, and within our bodies lies guilt.

My purpose is to be of service in the Child’s awakening to the truth – to our Worth and where it leads, to Happiness.

Asking our bodies to tell us if they’re real is self-referential, circular reasoning. Of course, they will tell us -- sensory perception will tell us -- that they’re real. This isn’t rational; it’s irrational. We must go to an objective source to tell us if they’re real. And until we settle on who or what that source may be, we must suspend judgment on whether our bodies and their material environment are real. We must rely on Reason and Intuition. We must try to be rational without rationalizing.

Let sensory perception do what it’s designed for -- helping us to procreate, achieve some measure of comfort and satisfaction, avoid pain, and survive. It can play a support role, but it cannot lead us into matters of truth and reality that are the province of Mind. Sensing and rationalizing lead us nowhere in philosophy – metaphysics and ontology -- where the only possible guides are Logic, Reason, and Intuition.

Instead of asking matter, our bodies, to tell us if Mind is real, let us ask our Mind to tell us if matter is real.

That so much of civilization is based on this absurd premise, that our bodies and their material environment are real just because they say they’re real, is sheer madness. It is a mental wall that imprisons us in endless conflict, suffering, confusion, frustration, and deception, that undermines and sabotages every effort toward true progress instead of ever more sophisticated technology and half-baked, conflicting ideologies.

Circular reasoning on what’s real has been unquestioned, even propagated for centuries, by science, because without it physics, neuroscience, and other disciplines couldn’t exist. “Shut up and calculate!” has become the mantra of physics now that quantum mechanics has upset Plato’s and Einstein’s perfect order of the universe. Circular reasoning, with few exceptions, has been unquestioned by philosophy going back to antiquity, because without it, academies and careers that require students and patrons couldn’t exist.

If we are going to stick with circular reasoning because any other kind of reasoning is beyond us, or because letting go of sensory perception is too big of a paradigm shift, let us at least be honest about it. This is chaos.

Intelligence complicit in its own deception, warped by self-interest, won’t lead us anywhere but back to the choice where our story began. It began with letting ourselves be led by Love, Reason, Intuition, and Worth to peace, truth, and sanity -- to Happiness. Whatever our circumstances, I believe we all want to make the right choice.

I write to help us look into the story of the Child – our story, – honestly and with Reason instead of guilt, because this is where the journey begins. This is where thinking begins. I find it quite interesting, consequential, and relevant. I hope you will agree.

Watch this space!

David Clark Harrison

www.DavidClarkHarrison.com

April 17, 2020

Asking our bodies to tell us if they’re real is self-referential, circular reasoning. Of course, they will tell us -- sensory perception will tell us -- that they’re real.  

Circular reasoning that’s allowed to support belief in material reality comes with a major cost. It corrupts the human mind, already split into opposing thought systems, one good-oneness, the other evil-separation, with yet another split into opposing realities, one body-matter, the other mind-spirit. A mind tasked with reasoning that’s burdened with contradictory thoughts can’t work very well, and if we want a good explanation why our world seems ungovernable, this would suffice. Something has to give.

Only one of these sets of competing truths can be true, good-mind or evil-matter. The human mind has been trying to do its job with both, and it isn’t working. Our choices are sometimes rational but too often they aren’t, with tragic consequences. We live, today, in “interesting times” that should be a surprise when two world wars, a cold war, and the onset of global mass extinction should have taught us the error of our ways. But we seem to have learned nothing. The mind-set of a political cult that entrusts its fortunes to a concatenation of lies, deceptions, and contradictions advertises our plight: we are failing, and failing badly. We aren’t thinking.

Understanding that we must choose between competing realities can’t be the end of the world if it’s the beginning of Reason. Accepting that between the two competing realities our sensory world of matter must be unreal can’t be the end of sanity if it ends insanity. It can’t be the end of light if it leads us out of the darkness. It can’t be the end of innocence if it ends our addiction to guilt. It can’t be the end of good if it disempowers evil. The forces arrayed against the good can only lose their strength if our belief in their reality – the logic of their argument – is withdrawn. The deceptions that clog our thinking with contradictions, confusion, and ambivalence, can only give way to the truth if we take away their premise. They aren’t real. And the idea that they should be taken seriously, that we should simply adapt to them the way we adapt to our insane politics and every other calamity, is a joke.

Understanding that our bodies and the material world that they inhabit are part of an illusion, a dream meant to deceive, can’t cause more confusion if it explains it. Our confusion, our endless mistakes, owe their existence to nothing more than a misperception: that two contradictory states are real, and logic will prevail in a split mind, already beset with fear, that holds contradictory thoughts. It won’t. It never has and it never will. The wars between conflicting ideologies will never end until we find a way to end the war between conflicting realities in our minds – until we get clarity on what’s Reason and what’s not and learn to make the right choice. Circular reasoning that’s allowed to support belief in material reality is not the right choice.

David Clark Harrison

www.davidclarkharrison.com

April 18, 2020