The 13 Major Myths of Our Time
- By Peter Wilberg - September 27, 2012
The universe is alive and aware throughout – consisting of countless planes and species of consciousness – of which our own physical planet and species is but one manifestation…
- Truth is ‘objectivity’. Wrong. For the most self-evident truth of all is not the ‘objective’ existence of a universe of things or beings but a subjective awareness or ‘consciousness’ of that universe. ‘The Awareness Principle’ is the recognition that awareness or ‘subjectivity’ cannot — in principle — be reduced to the product or property of any object or phenomenon, thing or being that we are conscious or aware of.
- Science is ‘true’, factually-based knowledge. Wrong. What today we call ‘science’, far from being based on tangible facts, takes its own terms and concepts, and its own abstract and purely mental mathematical constructs as more real than the tangible, sensory phenomena they are used to ‘explain’. Thus it is that for all the ‘advances’ in knowledge supposedly accomplished by modern science, it cannot begin to ‘explain’ even the most elementary features of our everyday ‘empirical’ experience of the world — our experience of colour for example. Instead it seeks to reduce all qualitative dimensions of our experience of the world to measurable or calculable quantities and, ultimately to so-called quantum physics.
- Consciousness can be ‘Explained’. Wrong. To believe that consciousness as a phenomenon that can be explained is to reduce it to one phenomenon among others — thus forgetting that consciousness is the pre-condition for our awareness of any object or phenomenon whatsoever. Again, consciousness cannot — in principle be ‘explained’ by phenomena that already assume a consciousness of them.
- Consciousness is Private Property. Wrong. All Western attempts to ‘explain’ consciousness or subjectivity wrongly assume it to be the private property of an individual being, self or ‘subject’ — or else the property or product of some ‘object’ such as the brain. Yet since we only know of any thing or being — including our own being — through an awareness of it, how can this awareness be the private property of any being, let alone the product of some thing such as the brain? In reality all things and all beings are individualised portions and expressions of a universal consciousness — one that is not the private property of any thing or being. Consciousness is only a ‘mystery’ in need of explanation if it is not recognised as the universal source and essential nature of all things and beings — the very “stuff” of which — like dreams — they are made.
- Thinking is ‘Brain Power’. Wrong. To believe that brains can create conscious, aware and thinking beings is like believing that musical instruments can create their own music, musicians and composers, that brushes and pigments can create their own paintings and painters, or that bricks and mortar can create their own buildings, builders and architects. The reduction of thinking to some calculative activity of the brain that happens to be accompanied by consciousness, and that can be gymnastically enhanced by puzzles and arithmetic exercises shows how little understanding there is today of the nature of thinking itself, and how little deep and truly meditative thinking and questioning — as opposed to purely calculative thinking — goes on. Thus it is that despite all the supposedly ‘rational’ thinking that goes into commercial, political and scientific activity, what we call ‘reason’ has become nothing but an instrument for the rationalisation of the egotistic interest of individuals and/or of commercial and political ‘interest groups’ — leaving no room for or even interest in thinking as such.
- ‘The aim of medicine is to fight disease’. Wrong. The myth here is that illness has no meaning and that health is merely a matter of finding ‘causes’ and ‘cures’ of disease. The medical ‘war’ against ‘disease’ treats the body as a clinical object, preventing us from understanding disease subjectively, as the embodiment of what for the patient is a subjectively felt discomfort or dis-ease. Far from being ‘scientifically’ founded on biological facts, modern medicine is in fact built almost entirely on verbal metaphors — for example the military metaphors employed in talking about illness as some hostile and alien disease entity, one that is ‘caused’ by hostile and alien ‘foreign bodies’ such as viruses, faulty genes or cancerous cells which ‘invade’ or ‘attack’ the body — and against which it must therefore ‘mobilise’ its ‘defences’. The very idea of ‘fighting disease’ is a military metaphor — resulting in a military model of medical and health treatment. This model of medical theory and practice serves only to eradicate the stresses and dis-ease generated by what is an inherently pathological and sickness-generating social and economic system. The ill-health of individuals is ultimately nothing but a symptom of the ill-health of this system, a symptom of the sickness of human social, economic and political relations.
- ‘It’s all in the genes’. Wrong. This is now a principal myth of biological medicine and psychiatry. To think that our body’s genetic vocabulary determines the nature of our bodies or behaviour is like thinking that our personal vocabulary determines what we say — and that illnesses can be cured by correcting genetic ‘mis-spellings’ or removing offending genetic ‘letters’ or ‘words’. Just because their personal vocabulary may predispose people to speak in a particular manner does not imply that it determines what they say. To try and prevent or cure illness by manipulating or deleting genes is like trying to prevent people swearing or using hurtful language by abolishing or re-arranging the letters used in swear words. The myth that ‘It’s all in the genes’ also totally fails to explain why millions with ‘faulty’ or supposedly disease-disposing genes develop no diseases at all — despite the onslaught of carcinogenic ‘mutagens’ and other so-called ‘causes’ of disease.
- ‘Everything is energy’. Wrong. And yet this is the principal myth shared in common by both modern science and New Age pseudo-science with its talk of spiritual ‘energies’ and of ‘energy medicine’. The term ‘energy’ is used in both scientific and spiritual literature without the question ever being raised as to what this ‘thing’ called ‘energy’ essentially is. In place of the myth that ‘Everything is Energy’ The Awareness Principle argues that ‘Everything is Awareness’ — for awareness is, in principle, the pre-condition for the experience, conceptualisation, calculation or measurement of any phenomenon whatsoever — including what is conceptualised as ‘energy’.
- ‘Mental illness is caused by chemical imbalances of the brain’. Wrong. This is the myth of biological psychiatry and the pharmaceutical corporations. The myth is based on the fundamental misconception that consciousness is rooted in the brain. But since the brain itself is an object of waking consciousness, to claim that it is the very foundation of consciousness per se is like claiming that some particular object we dream of is the foundation or cause of dreaming consciousness per se. Science has not yet grasped the simple yet fundamental philosophical principle that consciousness as such — what I term ‘awareness’ or ‘pure awareness’ — cannot possibly be explained by any particular ‘thing’ we are conscious or aware of — such as the human body or brain. To seek to do so is, again, like seeking to explain dreaming as such by something specific thing we dream of.
- There is no alternative to the market economy. Wrong. This is the myth of the global financiers and multinational corporations, whose drive for profit through unending economic ‘growth’ cannot but lead to global poverty and exploitation, along with total ecological devastation and increasing wars over declining natural resources. Within the ‘no alternative’ myth go many other myths — for example the myth that competition generates ‘employment’. In fact, competition for the same markets results in the over-production of commodities, leading to wage cuts and/or job losses which in turn reduce people’s ability to afford the very commodities they create as producers. In the capitalist system work itself has become the single most dehumanising and unfree form of ‘economic activity’ — one in which the true creative potentials of millions of human beings remain massively under-employed or totally unemployed. And far from increasing their ‘choice’ as consumers, competition results in the mediocre standardisation of commodities — in hundreds of near-identical cars, mobile phones or TV channels for example. Far from there being ‘no alternative’ to capitalism, the ‘alternatives’ has never been clearer — socialism or the end of human civilisation.
- ‘Nations are in debt through overspending’. Wrong. This is the myth sustained by the global financial and monetary system — which demands that nations borrow from private and international banks at interest, and prevents them from issuing their own sovereign, interest-free money — as Lincoln sought to do with his ‘Greenbacks’. National debts do not arise from public overspending but from public over-borrowing — from private banks. Instead spending for industry and employment, public works, welfare and education could be funded by governments simply issuing their own sovereign, interest-free money directly through national and public banks. These could provide money for investment in the real economy and not merely money placed in the hands of the banks — which includes trillions spent on ‘bailing out’ those banks when they over-lend and accumulate bad debts. These bailouts are of course paid for by massive cuts in public spending — and are dependent on nations borrowing yet more money from private and international banks. This is a vicious circle that can only be broken by national, public banking.
- God is a ‘Supreme Being’. Wrong. This is the common concept of God shared by ‘theists’ and ‘atheists alike’ — both of whom understand ‘God’ as a supreme being that merely happens to have or possesses consciousness. Yet thinking of God as a supreme ‘God-being’ makes no more sense than thinking that the ocean — just because it is indeed the creative source of all the fish within it — must itself be some sort of big or ‘supreme’ fish. The concept of God as a supreme being also reduces God to the status of one being among others ‘with’ consciousness — rather than allowing us to understand that the very essence of God is Consciousness — a ‘God-Consciousness’ that is the divine source of all beings. Only by understanding God as a supreme, all-pervasive consciousness can we overcome the false debate between atheists and religious ‘believers’ in a ‘supreme being’, understanding all beings as individualised portions or personifications of that divine-universal consciousness which is God.
- The Universe Began with a ‘Big Bang’. Wrong. If creation did not begin with a supreme ‘God-being’ then neither did everything begin with a primordial ‘Big Bang’. The belief that it did is perhaps the philosophically dumbest myth of our time — even though it comes through the authority of the new religion of ‘science’. For one does not need to be a philosophical genius to ask what came ‘before’ this Big Bang — and to see that it makes no sense to speak of time itself as having a ‘beginning’, when to talk of a beginning is to already assume the existence of time. Ultimately, neither time, space nor light are dimensions of an ‘objective’ physical universe ‘out there’. Instead they are inner dimensions of an infinite field of subjective awareness. For without the light of awareness no things could appear or ‘come to light’ as cosmic phenomena in the first place. The light of the sun and moon, stars and galaxies all reveal themselves first of all in the light of an awareness of them. We live then, in a multi-dimensional universe or ‘multi-verse’ of awareness which has no beginning or end in any dimension of space-time. For all dimensions of space-time are ultimately dimensions of awareness — just as every thing, body and being manifest within these dimensions is a specific form or pattern of awareness — a distinct mode or ‘species’ of consciousness and not just an ‘object’ of consciousness. Therefore we do not need to search for, prove or merely ‘believe’ in the existence of life beyond our planet. For the universe is alive and aware throughout – consisting of countless planes and species of consciousness – of which our own physical planet and species is but one manifestation.