Wednesday, 9 May 2007

The Liberation of Consciousness

"Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language" (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

I believe fundamentally in the liberation of the human spirit. This is all I believe in, and all that I work towards. The emancipation of intellect from the categories and hollow forms that bewitch it; the freedom of mind from the cage of intellect; and the growth of life, consciousness itself, beyond the boundaries of individual mind.

This is the ultimate aim of all philosophy; and indeed, at its source, all religion. Philosophy has always served the purpose of disambiguation. It serves to demonstrate where the truth lies behind the veils that obscure our sight. The veils are language (that which conceals both thought and experience within the narrow concepts of society, and tricks us into thinking in terms defined by the lowest common denominator), social custom (that which defames individuality and the perspective of true consciousness by placing the so called objective above the subjective - and thereby replaces the most concrete, indubitable form of truth with an unknowable facticity stripped of perspective and therefore inapprehensible), and mind itself - that is, the false ego which itself is a creation of social custom and false categorisation. Selfhood is perhaps the most pernicious of all these three veils, but its effects can only be tackled once the initial pair have begun to be deconstructed. Our illusion of selfhood locks us tightly into consensual reality, creates self-ishness which divides us from our neighbour and is inherent in the consumptive, flaccid drive to satisfaction that controls our society. Only when we believe in a 'self' can we be manipulated by mass marketing and politicians. Only when we have a self-image to preserve and feed, do we let other people tell us what we need in order to be fulfilled. Only through the illusion of selfhood can we be led to forsake those around us and our environment, by believing that others' feelings are different from ours.

So, philosophy has always sought to liberate the spirit by means of disambiguation - by reminding us what life is actually about, and rediscovering the elementary truths concealed by our naive infatuations. Religion also has sought to do this, though the means of the mystics who gained these insights have been turned into dogma by those who misunderstood and had themselves not yet gained this perspicacity. They intuit the beauty and freedom of the mystic's soul and set it in stone, let it corrupt and disintegrate through the ravages of time and weather. This is the reason that religion must constantly renew itself - this is a large contributing factor in the multiplicity of religions and their apparent (surface) tensions. Anyone who has gone within their tradition and found the gem at its core reports the same colour stone, the same patterns it casts, for at the root of reality and consciousness there is only one truth. And that is consciousness itself.

No comments: