The last thing mankind will understand about their existence is the obvious. Since the truth was openly accessible to them all along, the only thing that needed to change was their understanding of it. But it also implies that the truth was hidden in plain sight, and people didn’t see it because they weren’t paying attention.
– The Greek
Secrecy dominates this world, but foremost as a secret of the domination itself.
– Guy Debord
What is oddly absent from most people’s perception of life is the suspicion that there’s something problematic afoot with the general existence; that there exists a kind of disequilibrium which refuses to right itself. In the place of an informed populace that could at least begin to discuss the issue, the Western world is filled with people who act out their roles as consumers better than they live their own lives. For all of the esteem that such a society has garnered from its Greco-Roman heritage, it seems that the disinterested every-man has, ironically, become the stereotypical native of the globalized world, rather than the cultured intellectual. This every-man appears content to float around in the void of his tiny individuality as he pursues his fill of happiness,
divorced from any real understanding of the surrounding world and its broader history. Perhaps because so much time is spent eating, drinking, talking, careering and being entertained, the importance of having a thorough worldview is lost on mass society. It’s as if such people think there’s a law of nature governing their happy endings, rather than their own judgments and choices.
Tolerant to a fault, globalized society not only makes room for this type of individual,
but actively creates more of them by way of its institutions, from public education and mass media to government. Lost within this vast sea of unknowing, most people either live in a state of troubled doubt, resigned apathy, or obtuse self-absorption. Attempts to seek clarity on the issues of the world are either a dead-end endeavor that yield little insight, or aren’t even worth pursuing for fear of being too complicated.
Though the self-help industry has stepped in to capitalize off this condition by providing New Age quotables and mantras of positivity, they merely pay lip-service to the idea of enlightenment. Heftily priced meditation seminars and group yoga classes in the suburbs are ultimately a sorry substitute for the actual teachings of the Buddha, of which most Westerners know very little anyway. In fact, engrossed as they are in their modern consumer existence, people don’t even know what “reality” is anymore, and with such a narrow focus on their own lives, having answers to life’s big questions has become a peripheral notion.
If one considers the multifaceted nature of human personhood, then clearly their portrayals in Western culture of the last 50 years have become increasingly caricatured;
a mere burlesque of what a man or woman should be. Though modernization has enabled us to seek fulfillment through the purchase of our identities in a global marketplace, it’s done very little to balance this out with the provision clarity about our place in the world. The mass production of individuals has instead yielded a populace deprived of understanding about the history and purposes of their most defining institutions and traditions. Though areas like science, politics, and religion have been developed by their respective scholars, there is still missing a harmonization of these fields to create a holistic narrative of the last 6000 years of civilization. In the place of such an account, entire worldviews have sprung up that are largely based on people’s fancies, claiming to offer answers to man’s existential questions, and despite their obvious contradictions, mankind continues to plod along in an almost dream-like state, unaware or indifferent to the defining events of their time. Whether it be the rise and fall of states in the Middle East, geopolitical movements in Eastern Europe, important archaeological discoveries in South America, or breakthrough scientific discoveries that are swept under the rug, there is no lack of noteworthy events that go unacknowledged by both mainstream media and their audience.
Ideally, human beings should be able to live their lives without having to forgo comprehension of their culture or history, but since this isn’t the case, it becomes incumbent on each person to identify for himself the process at work that’s divested him of understanding. The one who applies himself to such a task will find that the most pertinent things about human existence are not to be found in New Age doctrines or esoteric mystery cults, but are actually hidden in plain sight, concealed by only the thinnest of veils. This veil presents itself as the vast, unquestionable reality which surrounds us, with its primary message being: “The things that seem to be good are most likely good, so don’t worry about them “. The passive acceptance that such a statement demands is imposed not only by its monopoly of images and appearances through the media, but also by an intimidating air of not permitting itself to be questioned. Though many discerning writers and wise-men have historically ascribed different epithets to this veil, we can for the purposes of Greekspeek refer to it by the term “cosmic censorship”.
It’s not so much a lack of information that ensures the success of cosmic censorship.
If anything, the ascendance of the Internet has put information into overproduction, doing little to mitigate the dilemma. What one can observe, however, is how such information has come at the expense of insight, as technology activists make it a point of honor to deliver us details about seemingly everything, from the trivial to the factual and even the absurd. It doesn’t seem to occur to such proponents of “free information” that knowledge is primarily a means to arrive at an understanding. As mere chunks of data or facts, isolated from a meaningful narrative, one can hardly consider the overflow of information on the Internet to usher in the techno-humanist utopia that
counter-culturalists have been talking about for the past six decades.
The thrust of cosmic censorship lies in how it deconstructs once intelligible narratives and redefines their value, rendering otherwise simple conclusions unreachable. The relevant information may exist in plain sight, yet it’s simply glossed over for reasons seemingly inexplicable. A mindset of laziness and apathy has been made to take hold of the world, dimming people’s perception of what should be clear for them to see, but even if they were to catch sight of it, they still wouldn’t suffer themselves to examine it.
With cosmic censorship in full effect, most people are content with a life among the shadows, and they give little thought to what is casting the shadows in the first place. They’ve been sitting in that position since they can remember, and believe the shadows to be all there is, much like the prisoner’s in Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave”.
To use another analogy, mankind could be likened to passengers lost at sea – trapped in a fog, their vessel could be mere meters away from dry land, yet they’d sail right past it.
But what happens when the state of fog becomes so entrenched that no-one even remembers what sunny days look like? In the present times, people have become blinded by the fog that is their cultural, religious and ideological orthodoxies, which have invaded their minds and redirected their focus. This fog is even more dangerous than darkness, as it gives its victims the illusion of seeing, whereas darkness at least would impose some measure of caution and contemplation.
One of the most visible effects of cosmic censorship on our modern times has been the emergence of a new human type. These are people who act less like autonomous agents of their lives and more as bundles of conditioned reflexes – reactionary rather than proactive. Platoons of these interchangeable individuals now fill our streets, from emasculated men to doll-like women with painted faces. One could see it as a form of social control that imposes on the world a flavorless identity, decreeing that everyone eats the same processed food, watches the same Hollywood movies, laughs at the same type of humor, lobbies for the same range of values that are foisted upon them, and asks no intelligent questions about why things are the way they are. If this institutionalized ignorance is not treated as seriously as any other proclaimed crisis of our time, such as climate change or terrorism, then it is because mankind as a whole cannot see it, or refuses to acknowledge its presence.
Why is there such difficulty in discerning this cloud of censorship? Why can so much be said about low-level matters of pop culture and the circus of national politics,
yet high-order truths about humanity’s destiny are consigned to the realm of speculation and philosophical blather? Part of the answer lies in understanding that the way in which people imagine the world, and themselves, largely determines how they act and what they value. The West is essentially a consumers society, where more time is directed towards entertainment and pleasure than self-development or a pursuit of wisdom. To believe that such a society will become more enlightened as time goes on is a fallacy.
Ultimately, a person is most appreciative of the things similar in nature to himself.
The simple-minded person likes what is simple, and the dull person what is dull; a man whose thoughts and convictions are haphazard is attracted by ideas that are disjointed, and foolishness seems proper to him with no brains at all. But most revealing is that people always have a preference for what they say and create themselves, regardless of its imprecision, as these are products of a character at one with himself. Thus, the power to homogenize is the heavy artillery of today’s cosmic censorship. Through its insistence that people conform, it produces a gross flattening of the world, bringing both public and private life under the jurisdiction of a widely accepted “mainstream” – that which is “known” by everyone and taken as the only credible categorization of reality, with all else being underground, alternative or weird. It’s this mass culture of folly that has created an exodus away from any real critical inquiry, towards a kind of faux self-realization that leads nowhere, or at least not to any place of insight.
Cosmic censorship is what maintains the dreamworld of an imprisoned humanity, which ultimately expresses nothing more than mankind’s desire to remain asleep. Censorship is the guardian of this sleep, and though the world continues to toss and turn under the discomfort of its enforced snooze, the nightmares of the current order are not yet sufficient to shake mass society out of its slumber. It maintains a tyrannical grip over them, somewhat worse than a Big Brother state; at least with such a totalitarian government there could be some hope of eventually overthrowing it through the efforts of its subjects. But with cosmic censorship, only through an external intervention that forcibly redirects people’s perceptions can the prevailing condition even begin to be addressed. Until such a time, the presence of said censorship will remain not only invisible, but counter-intuitive to most. But an Orwellian Big Brother state, where culture and society become a prison, was not the only scenario imagined by prescient dystopian writer of the past century. In Alduos Huxley’s “Brave New World”, culture and society have become a parody where people shuffle about in a zombified state, unaware of their predicament yet happily sedated within it. Such a society assuages everyone’s fears with promises of utopia and assurances that all will be well. It no longer says, “The things that seem to be good are most likely good “. Now it simply says, “Things are good, so there “. But in our current world we see evidence of a subjugation that wildly surpasses what the above-mentioned authors conjured up in their books. With the world so heavily reliant on the services of dubious technology corporations and their stupefying smart-devices, whilst also firmly wedded to a state-sponsored consumer reality that tracks their every move, one can only marvel at how, in its display of divine ordinance, cosmic censorship has been able to accomplish more than the Orwelian or Huxleyan paradigms ever could, even combined.
greekspeek for thought
Do you ever feel like something is generally wrong with the state of the world? Most people do. So how can everyone feel that something is wrong with the general existence, and yet live with it whilst the suspicion gnaws at them? And they even admit it when you ask them about it, yet they have nothing useful to say about it!
Our current state of apathy has adopted a “this-is-water” kind of status: Its demands are so thoroughly infused into our culture that to even talk about them can seem, if not hopelessly naive, thoroughly redundant. And even when we do talk about them, the conclusions arrived at tend to reflect an acquiescence to the state of affairs.
Cosmic censorship is the impairment of one’s ability to get knowledge and understanding. It doesn’t mean that the knowledge has disappeared. All the information you need is right in front of you. It’s so close that if it was a snake, it would have bitten you already. But even if you managed to get the information, then what?
What good is it if you can’t understand it?
So this is actually a two-fold problem.
One aspect of cosmic censorship is a lack of awareness of a qualitative order, from high to low. In other words, high-resolution knowledge about things like natural law, spiritual matters and the real rulers of the world has to be bestowed on you. You can’t just find that information because you decided to go looking for it.
There’s a level of censorship in everyone, but some are just less censored than others. Then you have those who are too censored to even know that they’re censored. Those people don’t even know how to ask the necessary questions because their mindset is shot.
Sure, I’m censored too, but I have less of it since I know that it’s there in the first place. We’re all subject to censorship, but if you can squeeze out enough clarity to realize that you’re censored then it indicates a reduced censorship.
Yes, we have cosmic censorship, but it’s not so deep and entrenched that no-one can see through it, otherwise you’ll have people giving excuses later that they had no chance against it. Actually, it’s just a thin layer of deception, but it’s widespread, like an oasis hologram in the desert that affects everyone. It looks real until you reach it.
But no-one is even reaching it because they’ve been made lazy by the same censorship.
You’re blind because you don’t want to see, and if you do by some random chance come to see what the truth is, you don’t acknowledge it, and even when someone tries to tell you about it, you don’t listen. So basically, you’re screwed.