Let’s just get down to it:
There is only one way to throttle human aggression, which has zero interest in reasonable debate: by delivering a figurative bloodied nose to its practitioners.
While that sounds like a declaration of counter-aggression, it’s not intended to be. America’s presence in Iraq proves that outbullying the bully is a tactic that’s long-since seen it’s day. “Shock and awe” doesn’t work, because now so many of America’s enemies don’t care if they survive or not, even under an umbrella of deadly bombs, fireworks, human gore, and thundering, screaming sound effects.
Dirty Harry’s day is over, and it’s now time to face that. So are his scripted punch lines, which were always blindly self-righteous and delusional. In any case, about the only way for aggressives to have their noses bloodied now is by their own hands, it seems clear.
That day, I believe, may be just around the corner. The meek are conceivably on the threshold of inheriting this beat-up Earth from their emotionally ill aggressive counterparts, who not-so-surprisingly claim no particular nationality.
Aggression is now a global psychological illness.
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It must first be determined that greed and materialism (and their fleet-afoot chariot, human aggression) are unattractive contributors to a world spiraling into apparent collapse across-the-boards – at least from an incontrovertible human rights, safety and survival standpoint. That shouldn’t be difficult to verify.
Unattractive means such behaviors are just that: these are ugly political and big business character defects, with what’s now only a negligible positive application. Greed and materialism (a positivistic stranglehold on the material world as a be-all and end-all of existence) are undeniably on shaky big-picture footing philosophically, unless you argue for a strictly random, pointless physical universe – which is a lot harder to defend than one might imagine. Discoveries in quantum physics alone have dispelled such a notion as outdated.
As for aggression – if you’ve been on the receiving end of it (and who hasn’t?), you don’t like it, no matter how it manifests. Conceptually, as well, because of its self-destructive nature (it’s “I’m not okay, you’re not okay,” in transactional analysis terms), it is untenable in a caring world … and let’s be clear about this: almost all of us care – even the cynics and murderers among us. Those few who don’t are sociopaths, and the majority of those individuals are just characters in our movies.
Yes, yes. There have been remarkable advances in the arena of material goods and services over the last century, even if some of those advances have proven ill-considered, like pillaging Earth’s limits in fossil fuels.
But does the life, liberty and happiness of people matter anymore? As a package it doesn’t appear to. In the new Creed of Greed established by global economic practitioners today (including their enabling governments), people are just plain expendable in favor of what’s become an almost mindless materialistic and relentless pursuit to “obtain” – while what is obtained doesn’t even seem to much matter any longer. Psychologically, thus, such pursuit has arguably devolved into addiction.
That old saw about He Who Has All the Toys Wins has become a single-minded blind obsession. Too much secular life now is about winners and losers. Both inside and outside houses of religion, the global economic game plan regularly slithers into little more than a rendition of a Parker Brothers’ game of Monopoly, motivationally – not an enormously mature turn of events since, say, the 1970s.
It doesn’t matter (yet) that there are so many well-meaning and capable people in world governments at this point. Too many political leaders are now often little more than naughty, self-serving adult children practicing sociological delusions and ugly one-note determinations to end up the winner of this Monopoly game.
Such aspirants face this: how does the last political (or corporate) winner “collect rent,” so to speak, once everyone else has been removed from the (figurative) playing board? Answer: they can’t. The “game” ends in a dead-end stalemate.
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Such undeclared, materialistic beliefs seem to have become a widely embraced (if unspoken and uniformly unexamined) philosophy of sorts, too. And if they’re the real enemy – emotionally-driven aberrant beliefs, as opposed to alternative cultures – we simply have no other alternative but to examine them.
Broad strokes will do for now.
First, let’s dispense with manipulative capitalism vs. manipulative socialism as an issue, because neither is at play here, and they’re unlikely to factor into a future solution. Neither political philosophy understands the nature of the world we now live in which, once again, is neither random (completely) nor pointless – perhaps the chief argument to be formulated here, which at its core clarifies our entire global structure along with the probable purposes of physical existence. Earth’s inhabitants no longer appear to be in any mood, it should appear obvious, to be pushed around any longer by those who have now become, however blindly (on both the political and corporate levels), mere crass, garden-variety manipulators.
Only denial blinds one to such a clear-cut deduction – although there’s plenty of that still going around.
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What will be proposed next will be theory, but it will be tenable theory – and that’s a notion whose day has hopefully arrived.
Why do masses of people murder other masses of people these days? Are we as blind, ignorant and stupid as our predecessors in history – or are we simply angry and frightened robots whose behaviors are the result of genetics? One thinks not, on both counts. Something else is going on here. And that something else is both psychological/emotional, and silently philosophical, in nature.
Studying the world’s political issues can all be clarified by digging ever deeper, deeper, and deeper again (as may any symptomatic behaviors), to arrive at a far-closer-to-the-truth reason for why our physical world has become an increasingly unhappy and violent place. There are no known think tanks that look at the planet and its inhabitants’ ills in quite this fashion, either, one should note.
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How deep must we dig, in order to get a true sense of the primary issues at play?
Very, very deep – beneath the layers of physical reality that have blinded us as a species.
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Our chief determination goes like this: at the sub-atomic level (or faster than the speed of light), the rules of physics, well, shift – not change, really, because that would make the sub-atomic and physical worlds separate and unrelated, which simply can’t be true. Sub-atomic matter forms the building blocks for the physical.
In any event, the statistical analyses in each realm, let’s call them, are consistent, but different. Why that’s so hasn’t yet been made clear to scientists. Regardless, these seemingly disparate circumstances and rules suggest – strongly suggest – that the sub-atomic and physical realms are, in fact, different realities, intimately related though they may be.
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Consequently: If there are (at the very, very least) two related realities that are to all appearances different – which rules, of which reality, best reflect the nature of our greater reality in general?
Which reality is most “real,” in other words?
It logically must be the sub-atomic realm, for it is that which undeniably provides the foundation for our physical universe.
Given that, then: our physical world must be a construct of the sub-atomic realm.
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As a construct, then, too, it’s not a primary reality (think about it) – but rather, again at best, a secondary one. The sub-atomic reality, therefore, necessarily reflects the nature of how things really “work,” only we can’t readily see it, touch it, smell it or what-have-you while living in this illusory physical universe.
Illusory physical universe – as in an illusion. Our physical universe, therefore, is a phantom. It’s there, only it doesn’t really “look” the way we think it does.
Is that an apple you’re eating? Yes, in the physical realm. But neither your mouth nor the apple are anything more than constructs of sub-atomic bits of this and that – in a reality which is more reflective of the sub-atomic nature of mouths and apples, where neither look like anything the least bit distinguishable to us here in the physical world. Mouths and apples are really sub-microscopic multistructures that bounce around inside what appears to be mostly empty space.
There’s just no getting around that, according to repeatable studies in physics.
So what’s that got to do with our global politics, and the Creed of Greed? Plenty.
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As physical “people,” we’re as illusory as our physical universe – only not one substantial culture here on Earth acknowledges that yet.
But once we do absorb that, and let it sink in – if we do – our behaviors will change.
How could they not?
Our personalities at our deaths do not wisp away with the illusory “dust” of our illusory empty-shell bodies. Why? Because we’re not biological robots. Positivist science insists that we are, but that’s a bias, it makes no sense – and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence and even some empirical evidence (The Afterlife Experiments, Gary E.R. Schwartz, the University of Arizona) to support life after death.
The idea that we’re randomly-conceived robots makes little sense because all indications insist that we are not only consciousnesses, but constructs of some intelligent design – just like our illusory, if outrageously grand, universe.
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Returning to our physical world, here is just a handful of what all of that implies:
* Skin color is irrelevant. Regardless of pigments (themselves an illusion), our bodies are illusory.
* In a random, meaningless universe, naked greed and aggression, though still untenable philosophically, might still make a smattering of sense to the severely unhappy (read that, emotionally ill), who are outraged about life’s meaninglessness and so “not okay” about it. But in a non-random, illusory universe, as promoted here, such misery and outrage could far more easily be dispelled – because the Earth and universe would prove not to be meaningless, after all.
* A physical life built around greed and, in particular, materialism – even going so far as to structure a philosophy around either or both of them – could be dismissed far more easily in a caring universe, as materialism would make no sense, given its lack of purposeful intention, much less a lack of foundation in empirical research. One may believe what one will, but folks needs to be on their toes if they’re to buck scientific discovery. Otherwise, delusion and unfounded bias are all-too-prominently in play.
* We would likely strive to be far more in touch with our emotional natures (or, at the very least, less out of touch with them), because our robot-like brains, with all if their (construct) synapses, would be determined to be illusions.
* Once we come to realize death is nothing to be afraid of, we’ll all relax a lot more – and death and violence will resultantly prove to be less sexy.
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Point of order: by labeling the physical world and its people as illusions is not to make light of either, or to marginalize our meanings in experiencing physical life. We can go on and on with this – but if the universe is purposeful, we would better spend our time trying to identify that purpose, ever keeping it in line with our latest scientific discoveries and substantial anecdotal evidences – which almost no one in even this contemporary world’s (far-too-inflexible) religions tend to do.
You can’t have your reality both ways: religious tenets, in conflict with science’s. And the nature of our world, and our purpose (or lack of it) in “living” here won’t ever be settled by popular vote.
Anger won’t just up and go away, we should add, because in this physical world, our emotions are arguably far more reflective of our conscious and unconscious natures (which survive physical death), and so anger will likely remain active for some as-yet undetermined purpose – with us left with how best to acknowledge and deal with what’s always been a very awkward and disruptive emotion.
We might even fight wars. It would be stupid, under the circumstances – i.e., we not only all survive death, but the grounds, atmospheres and waters of every global nation aren’t really what they appear to be, after all. Yes, it’s all illusion – but a meaningful one, which is another topic for discussion further down the road.
There’s very good reason why murdering others (or even committing suicide) in this construct reality is all “wrong.” To date, our emotions understand that better than our egocentric intellects, unfortunately – while too many of our philosophies unduly have planted our intellects on pedestals.
Aggressive behavior, by the way, is not as “strong” as its proponents currently believe. Aggression is a sure symptom of emotional problems, left unaddressed. There are few addicts in any serious 12-stop programs who don’t understand that – as at least half of them “bottomed out,” all on their own, due to no longer finding themselves able to continue to act out their aggressions.
Left unchecked, our aggressive natures either always run out of gas or transform. History is riddled with examples of that – which in another orientation would be correctly labeled a spiritual awakening – which is what the inhabitants of planet Earth appear to desperately need at this stage of their development.
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Returning to the present, and the “real world:”
While all of what has been stated here surely has tenable merit, history has shown that change – real change – comes pretty slowly.
So what might the near future hold for us?
Global warming events, and all of the nature issues related to them, seem likely. (A suspicion here is that our planet is far more capable of healing itself than we are apt to give it credit for, however, once we stop beating it up – a notion that finally appears to be catching on.)
Prejudice appears to be a certainty, too, with its wars, along with all of its ever-increasing fears and rages – all of which are tied to prejudice’s apron strings. There is no prominent religious or philosophical practice on Earth that appears up to the task of heading ongoing prejudicial events off at the pass. That must change, along with the limited (and limiting) world views behind them.
As to the topic of global economics, more and more people will become homeless or starve, while the rich will get richer – at least until our faux “healthy economies” collapse, highlighted by the probable bankruptcy of the United States federal government – an event that’s sure to only become obvious in retrospect.
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Once these threatening events finally become observable on a global consensus level, however (if they do), no one will be left to continue to pretend that their set beliefs were correct. Denial will fall away, and humility will finally work its way in.
Figuratively speaking, noses that needed to be bloodied, will have been – and it will happen the very moment the bubbles of denial begin to pop.
Ultimately, greed and materialism, too, will likely mostly die off – maybe not for the reasons stated above alone, but because they, too, result from aberrant emotions whose immediate foundation is insecurity. Behind that foundation lies only fear. The philosophical roots behind greed and materialism will one day prove to be as illusory as our reality.
Emotionally, it might even be said, our greatest single deterrent to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness is fear. Are the inhabitants of Earth courageous? Yes, but only a minor fraction of us, and for only a minor fraction of the time.
We’re not nearly as tough, bulletproof or aloof as our figurative, bravado-laden press releases to one another – particularly as voiced via our global governments – would lead us to believe we are. Mostly, our entire planet’s inhabitants – the lot of us – tend to be scared-to-death behind our poker face masks and/or our severely entrenched denials and prejudices.
A good cry would do us all good, probably, one suspects, to help wash those deeply-buried fears away.
And, honestly – that release will probably be our first real cause for genuine hope for our collective material future: in this illusory, though highly purposeful, illusion.
That is, of course, if the global consensus is determined to even have a future.
Destroy our planet, and it’s still gone – illusion or no illusion.
That we’ll all survive our collective physical deaths then will matter not one whit.
Donald Croft Brickner lives in Florida. Comments and questions may be e-mailed to him at [email protected]