Madman’s Guide Vol. 2 Issue 2: The Power of Bullshit
I do not like having to write this issue of Madman’ Guide. Hence the delay. I have barely proof read it. The best I can do is have it be out there to be looked at. I am putting some trust in you, I asking that you be on my side and forgive me a moment of mediocrity. For today is the scratch moon and I have a vessel to purify.
In 1978, I was born. In 1975, My parents converted to Jehovah’s Witness.
Usually when I reveal this to friends, they generally react with confusion, pity or recognition. I only ever reveal the second part of my personal mythos. The first part is either a complete fiction or an unprovable truth. Lets’ not get into it yet in the interest of sparing each other’s sanity.
Zooming back to our main point; I got set back a few decades from having been raised in a cult. And I learned some valuable lessons. How mind control works, how to use selectivity to weaponize ideas, how to tolerate social isolation. Also, it taught me the power of believing bullshit. I know most will see this as a bad thing but I see it as a tool.
I now have a keen awareness of an ideological attempt at mind control. I’ve become convinced that ideas are sentient. Some want to become beliefs that they may more firmly anchor themselves in the minds of they willing to propagate them. There is an ideological pandemic. From twitter trying to sell you Pepsi to that elderly woman who wants to give you a Falun Gong brochure. Your attention is desired (see Madman’s Guide Vol. 1 Issue 3).
The redeeming factor of the life I’ve lived is that escaping a cult, along with the alienation, disconnectedness and probably trauma I had to take with me, I also stole away with various useful tools. It was consciousness bootcamp. Without being taught I learned what I later read in Peter J. Carroll’s Liber Null: “Every new form of liberation is destined to eventually become another form of enslavement (…). There is no freedom from duality on this plane of existence, but one may at least aspire to choice of duality”.
A mustard seed sized amount of bullshit will move a mountain. There are war fields filled with bones who will testify to this truth. The lives sacrificed at the altar of bullshit write a blood testament to the brute power of lying, to the unignorable violence of deception.
When I moved to Vancouver after a years long period of secret intuitive questioning, a key aspect of my experience was fear. When you are told for decades that leaving the inner sanctum of your religious family will result in terrible things happening, and then you leave, you have to be a tough son of a bitch to not give in to that fear. This is where the power of bullshit comes in handy. In looking back at my journals, I see how tumultuous my first year in Vancouver actually was. Lost jobs, financial pressure, culture shock and so forth. Just terror in general really. But my leading belief was “everything will be ok”. I sort of bought in to this notion that the universe is on my side, unconditionally (my favorite pronoiac would be proud). I now see this belief as a necessary tool to overcome great fear. I had to essentially stick my head in the sand so as to not slip into paralyzing self-doubt. You have to understand how hardcore of a cynic I was before all of this. So much so was I cynical that I fell into nihilistic depression. It almost killed me. I saw no hope anywhere. So for me to go from “nothing will be ok” to “everything will”, is a huge swing of the pendulum.
There is an in-between chapter here that is too fresh to unpack in a way I can write about. Though I already have. So I need to jump cut.
I’ve come out the other side of this not believing “everything will be ok” but rather that “I can/will make things ok” and more recently I’ve kind of let go of even that and just allowed myself the dignity of playing in the sandbox of now. I must have learned that whatever belief I may have now is under constant threat of being revealed as total bullshit. I get to decide to keep believing for the sake of usefulness, or set fire to my reality. There is power in disrespecting one’s own worldview. It depends on my aims. This tattoo on my shoulder binds me to constant movement. Believe a thing, burn it, believe another thing, burn it. I live in that church and I worship the fire consuming it.
Any perspective we have says more about ourselves and our aspirations than it does reality itself. Leading me to think that moving from an “everything will be ok” mindset to a “I can/will make things ok” paradigm means I am transforming out of blind faith in Other, into self-confidence in my Self. I estimate this to be a milestone step towards self-actualization.
Something my parents can’t grasp is that belief is informed by experience. At first. Then your experience becomes caused by belief. They’ve painted themselves into a corner with extremely limiting beliefs. Dark magic indeed. It’s that whole Will and Perception thing that you read about in Liber Null. Chicken and the egg.
Oh bullshit, you dual-edged sword you!
I’ve mentioned this before in passing but I’d like to elaborate a little here. I am aware that this all probably sounds cynical. Nothing is true, hold on to nothing, everything burns. Gee that guy must be depressed! It seems that it is only in art that I can express the aliveness of my experience of void. If I really was a giving up on everything, I would not be constructing world views at all. Yet I’m here. I don’t doubt you’ve picked up on my curious nature. On my fighting instinct. I am interested in all the angles, I’ve given myself overwhelming options.
Everything is beautiful and moves.