The last thing that mankind will come to understand about their existence is the obvious, because the truth was openly accessible to them all along. So if the only thing that changes about the truth is people’s understanding of it, then the implication is that it was hidden in plain sight all along, but you didn’t see it because you 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 is something problematic afoot with the general existence; that there exists a kind of universal 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 instead populated by a citizenry 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 and the legacy of its Enlightenment period, it would seem, ironically, that the disinterested every-man has 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 thorough understanding of his 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 scrupulous worldview is lost on mass society. It’s as if such people think that there is 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 to 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 are not even worth pursuing for fear of being too complicated. Though the self-help industry has stepped in to capitalize off this condition by equipping its adherents with New Age quotables and mantras of positivity, it merely pays lip-service to the idea of enlightenment. Heftily priced meditation seminars and group yoga classes in the suburbs are ultimately a sullied substitute for the actual teachings of the Buddha and writings of the Vedas, of which most Westerners know very little. In fact, engrossed as they are in their modern consumer existence, people don’t know what “reality” even 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 complex, multi-dimensional nature of human personhood and its untold potential for development, then clearly the representations of human beings in the Western cultural traditions of the last 50 years have progressively become more and more caricatured; a mere burlesque of what a man or woman should be. Though modernization has enabled and encouraged the masses to seek fulfillment through the purchase of their identities and beliefs in a marketplace they have little part in creating, it has done very little to balance out this rush for individualism with any sufficient provision of clarity about man’s place in the world. The mass production of individuals has instead yielded a populace deprived of understanding about the history, development and purposes of their most defining institutions and traditions. Though areas like science, politics, religion and art have been explored and developed by their respective specialists and scholars, what is missing is a harmonization of these fields to create a holistic narrative of the last 5000 to 6000 years of human 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, either incognizant 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 surrounding environment and history, but since this ideal is not the current reality, it becomes incumbent on each person to identify for himself the process at work that has divested him of a proper grasp of things. The one who applies himself to such a task will find that the most pertinent understandings about human existence are not to be found in New Age doctrines nor the esoteric musing of mystery cults, but are in fact hidden in plain sight before everyone, and remain concealed from view 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, poets and wise-men have through-out history ascribed different epithets to this plainly observable screen which stands between mankind and their emancipation, we can for the purposes of Greekspeek refer to it by the term “cosmic censorship”.
It is 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 overall dilemma. What one can observe, however, is how such information has come at the expense of insight, as the Internet and its 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 information is primarily a means to arrive at an insight or 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 be the harbinger of techno-humanist utopia that counter-culturalists have been claiming it to be 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 exists in plain sight and is publicly accessible at minimal cost, yet is 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 have been clear for them to see, and 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 even casting the shadows in the first place. They have been sitting in that position since they can remember, and so they think these shadows are all there are, 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 who are trapped in a fog; their vessel could be 10 meters away from dry land, but the fog causes the ship to sail right past it, in spite of whatever efforts of the crew to orient themselves. 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 and hampers critical thought, 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 own 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 inconspicuous 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 and ultimately breaking free of this cloud of censorship? Why can so much be said about low-level matters of pop culture and the circus of national politics, yet higher-order truths about humanity’s destiny are consigned to the realm of speculation, theorizing and pseudo-philosophical blather? Part of the answer lies in understanding that the way in which the world is imagined, and the way people imagine themselves, largely determine how we act and what we value. The Western world is essentially a consumers society, where more time is directed towards entertainment and pleasure, rather than self-development or a pursuit of wisdom. To believe that such a society will become more enlightened as time goes on is an egregious fallacy. Ultimately, a person will be most receptive and appreciative of those things which are similar in nature to himself. The simple-minded person will like what is simple, and the dull person what is dull; a man whose thoughts and convictions are haphazard will be attracted by ideas that are disjointed and fragmentary, and foolishness will seem proper to him who has no brains at all. But most revealing is that people will always have a preference for what they say and create themselves, regardless of its imprecision, as these are a product 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 spheres under the jurisdiction of a commonly 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 is this mass culture of folly that has created an exodus away from any possible culture of self-reflection and 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. Hence, 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, which maintains a tyrannical grip on their reality. It is somewhat worse than a Big Brother state; at least with such a totalitarian government there could be some hope of it eventually being overthrown through the collective effort of its subjects. But with cosmic censorship, only through an external intervention that forcibly redirects people’s perception 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, meaning that though it can be discerned and known, it never will be unless it is first revealed to you. But an Orwellian Big Brother state, where culture and society become a prison, was not the only totalitarian scenario imagined by prescient 20th century authors. 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. Though the society in the book was created as a response to war and bloodshed, much like our postmodern era was ushered in after World War Two, it assuages everyone’s fears with promises of utopia; it offers 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 we see evidence in our world today of a subjugation that has wildly surpassed what the imaginations of the above-mentioned writers 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 through said devices, 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 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.