egoism

Law of nature my ass

Sacrifices have been made over the course of millions of years. Our species has competitively extinguished life in order to get to where it is now. I would say it is time to afford ourselves some luxury of being more than just followers of survival-of-the-fittest.
Nature isn’t the end of all wisdom. Nature is a harsh mistress. Nature is boot camp. While it can be wise to learn from nature, nature works based on energy-conservation, and that is part of survival-of-the-fittest. It is base-materialism. Anything not following that pattern is of higher origin (one might say of divine origin). That is where the journey is going. Humankind has more and better means to move in either direction. We should not disgrace and dishonor all the efforts being made by our evolutionary ancestors and the lives having been traded for our own benefit by still acting as if all that hadn’t happened. Because otherwise all that passed time would be meaningless. Meaning enriches life. By giving meaning, we are using and nourishing our divine side, which has the power of not being purely reactionary and materialist and treating life like a zero-sum game, but creating something out of nothing; bringing new into this world.

Sadly, people of great influence who live lower modes of life can shape the world in a way that makes it harder for others to ascend to higher modes, and while responsibility rests with everybody, there are quantifiable differences. Just as with humankind’s evolutionary advantage over other species, those who attained great sustenance and means within our species should realize that and afford the luxury of acting more based on our divine gifts. Acting based on fear can either bring about a state where you don’t have to be afraid anymore, or it becomes a self-purpose, when you are weak and lose control, and become more and more afraid the more you try to bring about that state where you shouldn’t need to be afraid anymore.

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The Mutual Fools Game

I’ve read an article about Malcolm X and realized how similar my experience/perception is to his.

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/malcolm_x_was_right_about_america_20150201

The article mentioned that he talked about a game of “You fool me and I fool you”. I tend to refer to this as the wearing of masks, but in more detail, I recently gained an even stronger awareness of how this game works. (I understood long ago; I’m just talking about renewed awareness here.)

‘Weak’ people have emotional attachments – they strive for comfort and convenience; they shun discomfort. Others know how to exploit that for their own gain. It’s basically some egoists exploiting other egoists as well as altruists. And the game ‘works’ with those that decide to join it. It’s a deadly game, but within its parameters it works. The real threat is when someone doesn’t play along. You attack one node and others will compensate.

One good example of this mutual fooling is censorship of vulgarity on TV – the bleeping. By now everybody knows the word that is being bleeped, they probably even hear it in their head when they hear a bleep, yet they keep this idiocy up, because acting realistically would cause too much discomfort in a lot of egocentric TV viewers and thus in the entertainment businesses, too.

Oh wow, I just realized a perfect, classical analogy for this problem: The Emperor’s New Clothes.
You might think these days everybody would point out he is not wearing clothes, but that would be foolish, too. The Emperor is an authority figure. Today there are similar situations, often similarly ridiculous, and the number of people willing to point out the obvious truth is small. Naturally, in the story, it is a child’s untainted perception that does it. It hasn’t learned about the things it is supposed to be afraid of yet. A free mind. Sometimes people accept this in children because they secretly envy their purity, but when problems are growing as they are now, they start to become afraid of their children and try to corrupt them as soon as possible to prevent them from being an uncomfortable reminder of what is healthy.

Another good exemplary case is Obama. Hyped by a psychologically optimized marketing campaign as the champion of black people, the giver of hope. (The word “hope” is really starting to bother me, because it is often a tool for personal disempowerment and rejection of responsibility.) Rock star Obama. This created such a powerful emotional attachment, people projecting their personal ideas of what he supposedly embodies, that you now, still, have many millions of people in a severe state of denial, busy finding excuses and justifications for the things Obama does that don’t fit into their ideas. They are trying to avoid mental-emotional discomfort, which is a very selfish motivation, and based in fear.

Then there’s the related case of Obama having been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – in advance! Which is ludicrous. They said that they hope this will give an impulse/incentive/inspiration for him to actually live up to it. This is extreme denial based on an equally extreme attachment. With this, the Nobel prize committee is serving their own egoistical desires of avoiding discomfort. They, too, are signaling Obama that he got them in his pocket. His mental slaves. Enslaved by the mere fear of some discomfort. So much for fighting the enslavement of the black people, hah. You say “Who’d have thought a black man would become president one day?”. I say: “Who’d have thought a black man would become a mass enslaver one day?” … Well, I’d have. Because why not? I don’t delude myself. I don’t fuel the bitter irony of judging by skin color.

There are so many other cases of the same control games. Sometimes it can seem difficult to find an oasis of health in that environment. Especially if people are put to the test, once the mutual fools game of telling each other and yourself lies is broken and actions drown out words.

I tell you, it’s not at all a pleasant feeling to repeatedly see your cynicism being confirmed as realism. But this is a discomfort I prefer over sacrificing the truth. No matter how bad the situation is, you gotta act based on it, and if you don’t, it will only get worse.
Sadly, when things go down that road, it’s usually the knowing ones who become the first victims. Because at that point, people will be so much in the grasp of fear that they will passionately feed their inner demons.

Those who kick downwards in the power structure are the problem. Those who punch upwards are the solution.
People are deluding themselves into believing they found a comfortable way of being courageous.

They are fools.

Courage is – by definition – uncomfortable.

Like Malcolm X, I want to be remembered as sincere.
(Although – and this SHOULD go without saying – more important to me than being remembered as sincere is to actually be sincere.)

UPDATE:
Another important thing to point out is that this popular system of wearing masks is also what makes it possible for sociopaths to succeed. They’re merely gaming the system. When you cannot or don’t want to see past a mask, then you cannot know what’s under it, if anything at all.

Alliance of convenience vs. working together for the result

Apparently there is a common confusion, sometimes self-deception, about this difference. When people are working together, look at what it is that made them do it. Explore their motivations. They can vary a lot.

For example, when you look at a game like World of Warcraft, it’s one of the best examples for the worst kind of cooperation: Coerced by a ruleset, coercing loot-crazed egoists to participate in group activities because that’s the way to achieve their personal goals.
This kind of thing masks the real character of a person, and only when put to the test will it reveal itself.
Another type is like the above, but people putting up an act of altruism because they were subject to certain healthy social norms and don’t feel comfortable with themselves being an egoist unless they tell a better story of themselves.
This could lead to another phase where this self-lying is believed by the person themselves. (There’s a nice hint to that in Far Cry 2, or it’s literary source Heart of Darkness.) It’s like NLP, or self-indoctrination.
Then there are people who are not kidding themselves about their true egoistical motives and are OK with them. This is actually a step in the right direction. (Explaining why would require a lot more time. I’ll leave it for you to meditate on.)

All this will be very alienating to someone who is capable of real altruism, is doing sincere introspection habitually, is not just caring for themselves or for others only when it fits into their agenda, and is actually looking forward to enjoy seeing something accomplished, regardless of what’s in it for themselves.
Because it is a bit like this:

There is a game of everybody lying to themselves. It works as long as they all agree to keep playing by the rules. Only if someone introduces actual altruism into the game and the others realize it’s for real, they will fear that their game of deception might have to end. It’s like an insult to them, sometimes even the mere presence, because someone ‘thinks they’re better’ (They actually don’t, but the players ‘know’ (=believe) they’re worse and don’t like to be reminded of that). It’s an insecurity issue. Even if the altruist is understanding enough to not try and ruin their silly little game, it’s the nature of fear to always try to preserve itself.

That’s why it’s so important to sincerely hunt your fears, identify them, and then overcome them. One step at a time. Baby steps is much better than actively giving in to them out of convenience. The more people allow themselves that convenience, the more this burden will fall onto the very few who are too well-spirited to just stop caring and succumb. But, everybody has their breaking point, and they might eventually get majorly pissed and start gunning people down. And then, more than ever, having realized what the world has become, nobody wants to take responsibility, but instead revels in the dramatic rhetorical question “WHY?!” and their self-imposed convenient powerlessness. And those who do understand, but are naive enough to judge those people based on themselves and take it as a sincere question, will get demonized, making everything even worse.
And sometimes it seems things aren’t getting worse quick enough for people to get their shit together.

P.S.:
Someone whose personal aims are beneficial to yours is an ally.
A friend is someone who cares about you regardless of that.
Profound difference.

Real empathy

Just in case you are confused about what empathy and altruism actually are. I will expand on this topic soon, because apparently there really is widespread confusion of egoistic intentions for a shared goal with the goal itself as intention. (UPDATE: https://dowlphinblog.wordpress.com/2015/01/21/alliance-of-convenience-vs-working-together-for-the-result/)

Thus, first, an anecdote about empathy and doing the right thing.

I used to work for a year or so in the IT department of a non-IT company. It was a crappy job. Way too much to do, so stuff had to be left undone, or done in a way that defeated the intention of saving money that caused the whole massive work load.

When my contract was about to expire and my successor arrived (likely selected because he has family and can more easily be pressured and exploited due to that), I wanted to make sure that he gets proper instruction on how to do the daily business. I had worked out some basic procedures and documentation to get some order into the mess and speed up paperwork.

Naturally, he, although an extra during the transition phase, was quite busy, too. But I had to keep mentioning that we still need to do the briefing on how to do those things. I was not instructed to do it; The boss wouldn’t even have cared or known. I could have just said: I’m outta here soon, see you, suckers. That would have been the easy way for me. Why should I care about them if I never see them again?
But I did care. Imagining how my successor, a good-spirited man, would have to handle the same mess that I did; it pained me. So I actively pushed and urged him several times, and eventually I said: Now or never. Come, look, we’re doing this now.
He commended and thanked me for caring so much. I said it’s the right thing to do. He said he had experienced very different things with people before.

Yeah, I have, too. Plenty. But I am not like those people. I cannot. Better be sickened by them than be sickened by myself.
Those other people choose the fool’s way, the easy one: They are being egoists and convince themselves they are not. And then you have to keep figuring out whether someone you meet is for real or playing pretend. (Finding that out is beginning to become second nature to me.)