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    A Legacy Of Nihilism

    Sunday, March 24th, 2019

    Recent visitors may not know that this site — along with its cohorts at CORRUPT, ANUS, Amerika, and Death Metal Underground — consists of the culmination of nearly three decades of writing about nihilism and almost four of thinking about it.

    Nihilism struck me one day as an antidote to the complete insanity of adults around me, who I observed were tormented by death. Alone in the forest, I suddenly felt that everything was in the hands of benevolent force of life itself, and that the tension between the tangible and the present moment and the unpredictable, estimated, approximated, ambiguous, and mysterious future and distant consequences of our actions was the driving force behind humanity.

    To address this, I invented my homebrew nihilism from what I knew at a young age: the woods, and what I had seen in other humans and could test in myself. This nihilism consisted of a simple statement, which is that reality was both the tangible and intangible, comprised of a fusion between what we might call natural law and logic, using the ecosystems of the forest as a guide. It was based on life, in rejection of human life and the triad of universals — values, morality, and truths — which took the place of the one consistent and therefore real thing, which was external reality itself. It rejected humanism and the manipulative nature of human control, and favored understanding the logical chains of events and the reasons why things happened as they did.

    Like most things I write, this philosophy is 60% borrowed from my influences (if you have read Plato, Burroughs, Eckhart, Schopenhauer, Kant, and Nietzsche you have the basics) and 40% entirely of my own creation in a form that I have found nowhere else. It is simply my framework which encloses the knowledge of the past in the unique perspective that apparently only I can bring to the discussion. Since those days, I have endeavored to understand that moment of clarity in the woods, and thrashing toward that clarity through a stream of words.

    You can pick up on these through my writings on nihilism, including the following:

    Nihilist Book Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity Released

    Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

    nihilism_-_a_philosophy_based_in_nothingness_and_eternity_-_by_brett_stevens

    Brett Stevens unleashed Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness And Eternity, a collection of writings about nihilism, in 2016.

    This anti-enlightenment treatment of philosophy rejects the idea of universalism as an artifact of the ego, and points toward an extreme, human-feelings-denying realism which sees adaptation in the Darwinian sense as its ultimate goal. This is a blood and guts, war and pain, total death and full power interpretation of active nihilism which nonetheless exposes where and how values and even spirituality can exist.

    Nihilism will not please the weak of heart, morality, aesthetics or mind. Deny the false, reject the herd, look within and the possibility of understanding reality emerges, red in tooth and claw.

    Where to buy

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    Description

    Most people see the world in binary categories. They believe that there is either an inherent moral good that we must all obey, or there are no rules and life is pointless anarchy. Nihilism argues for a middle path: we lack inherent order but are defined by our choices, which means that we must start making smarter choices by understanding the reality in which we live more than the human social reality which we have used to replace it in our minds.

    A work of philosophy in the continental tradition, Nihilism examines the human relationship with philosophical doubt through a series of essays designed to stimulate the ancient knowledge within us of what is right and what is real. Searching for a level of thought underneath the brain-destroying methods of politics and economics, the philosophy of nihilism approaches thought at its most basic level and highest degree of abstraction. It escapes the bias of human perspective and instructs our ability to perceive itself, unleashing a new level of critical thinking that side-steps the mental ghetto of modernity and the attendant problems of civilization decline and personal lassitude.

    While many rail against nihilism as the death of culture and religion, the philosophy itself encourages a consequentialist, reality-based outlook that forms the basis for moral choice. Unlike the control-oriented systems of thought that form the basis of contemporary society, nihilism reverts the crux of moral thinking to the relationship between the individual and the effects of that individual’s actions in reality. From this, a new range of choice expands, including the decision to affirm religious and moral truth as superior methods of Darwinistic adaptation to the question of human survival, which necessarily includes civilization.

    Inspired by transcendentalist thinkers and the ancient traditions of both the West and the Far East, the philosophy of nihilism negates the false intermediate steps imposed on us by degenerated values systems. In the footsteps of philosopher Friedrich W. Nietzsche, who called for a “re-evaluation of all values,” nihilism subverts linguistic and social categorical thinking in order to achieve self-discipline of the mind. As part of this pursuit, Nihilism investigates thought from writers as diverse as William S. Burroughs, Aldous Huxley, Arthur Schopenhauer and Immanuel Kant. For those who seek the truth beyond the socially-convenient explanations that humans tell one another, nihilism is a philosophy both for a new age and for all time.

    ***

    Among the possibilities that scare humans the most, the potentiality of no meaning — no inherent values, no innate truths, and no possibility of accurate communication — unnerves us the most. It means that we are truly alone with nothing to rely on but ourselves for understanding this vast world and what we should do in it. This belief is called nihilism.

    “Nihilism is the belief that all values are baseless and that nothing can be known or communicated. It is often associated with extreme pessimism and a radical skepticism that condemns existence.” – Alan Pratt, “Nihilism,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved from http://www.iep.utm.edu/nihilism/

    “In the 20th century, nihilism encompassed a variety of philosophical and aesthetic stances that, in one sense or another, denied the existence of genuine moral truths or values, rejected the possibility of knowledge or communication, and asserted the ultimate meaninglessness or purposelessness of life or of the universe.” – “Nihilism,” Encyclopedia Britannica, retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/nihilism

    Nihilism rejects the ideas of universalism, rationalism and empiricism which have ruled the West for centuries. These ideas arise from our social impulses, or the desire to include others as a group and motivate them with what is perceived as objective truth.

    Universalism holds that all people are essentially the same, and therefore that values are a matter of respecting the choices of each person, truth is what can be verified in a way a group can understand, and communication relies on words which have immutable meaning. Rationalism supposes that the workings our minds can tell us what is true in the world without testing, and implies universalism, or that the workings of our minds are all the same. Empiricism, now linked to its cousin logical positivism, states that truth is only found in observable and testable, replicable observations.

    The essence of nihilism can be found in biology. In the tendency of human minds, many identical pieces work together to form agreement, and then act as one. In biology, abundant unequal pieces serve different roles without knowledge of a centralized plan but work together because they are united by very basic principles which cannot be deconstructed further, such as the need to feed, defend oneself, find shelter, and reproduce. Nihilism follows the organic model of different pieces of a larger puzzle working together because they share principles, but not form or the translation of those principles into specific methods. It adds a layer of abstraction to our understanding of how systems — groups of parts producing an output together — function.

    This biological framework reveals a “pattern language,” or index of patterns that match functions, to both human thought and human individuals. We are not all alike, nor do we think alike, and many humans have unique roles they can serve where their proficiency makes them ideal candidates. Within the mind, we can identify patterns at a level below language or even consciousness that reveal our thought and how comparable it is to the reality in the external world. This allows us to use self-discipline to become better able to understand reality.

    Without universal truth, we bypass the proxy of socially-defined goals and standards, and instead must judge our potential actions by their likely results in reality. This escapes us from the ghetto of human intent, where we judge our actions as if they were communications to others designed to show our value, instead of actions toward a purpose. We lose self-consciousness, which is really an awareness of ourselves as we appear to the social group, and replace it with world-consciousness.

    The most difficult part (for modern people) involved with leaving behind universalism is that we now navigate between two poles: first, the wrong idea that there should be one rule and motivation for every person, and second, the wrong idea that avoiding the first pole means that everyone should do whatever they want. Nihilism is the death of “should.” Instead, there is merely “is,” as in each person is what he is and has the wants inherent to being that person. This means that people have different roles, of both vertical (proficiency) and horizontal (specialization) measurements, like animals and plants in an ecosystem. There is no universal role, only a shared mission, and the knowledge of what actions have produced which results in the past, from which we can derive general principles that fit our roles in the civilization ecosystem.

    With this, we return to the Traditionalist idea of cause and effect with the cause being informational instead of physical. Pattern and idea dictate outcome more than the particular material elements or particularities of a time period. Consider the knowledge of man trying to start a fire:

    Action Result
    Rub sticks Weak fire, takes a lot of strength.
    Await lightning Starve (usually).
    Strike flint Stronger fire, but flying sparks can cause forest fires.
    Pray to Xu’ul Nothing so far.
    Bark rope friction Good, but hard to find the right bark.

    Society would insert a third column between those for moral judgments, social feelings, personal desires and other chatter from the incessantly rationalizing mind, which seeks to find a justification for its feelings in the world and remove from itself the need to make hard decisions which remind it of existential questions like death, purpose and meaning.

    When Bra’agh the caveman thinks about how he should proceed, he inverts the order of the two natural columns. He knows what he wants, or quickly will have to find out, and so he chooses the outcome that will fit his circumstances, and based on that, chooses the method he will use.

    If Bra’agh is strong, he may choose to rub sticks. If he has not eaten and is tired, he may take a little more time to look for bark or flint. As a practical person, he may pray to Xu’ul because it makes him feel better, but he will nonetheless seek his own method of making fire (Xu’ul helps those who help themselves). Having bad past experiences getting very hungry waiting for lightning, he will discard that.

    When his circumstances change, Bra’agh makes different decisions. If a thunderstorm has just passed over, he might take an hour to wander around looking for burning trees. If he is in a valley where there is abundant flint, he might go right to that method, almost bypassing choice entirely, which can be risky as he will then be oblivious to the downside of possible forest fires. If he is standing next to a tree with the right bark, the decision also seems to complete itself.

    All of us have these columns in our mind, and varying degrees of the third column comprised of social and emotional thoughts. The strongest among us can balance the third column so that it fits in with the advantages and disadvantages of methods, like the possibility of forest fires. The weakest among us will think first of the third column, and then use that to choose the method, and will then rationalize from there that their choice is the best, a process called cognitive dissonance.

    Nihilism rejects the third column by recognizing the emptiness of shared experience. Some experiences unify us, like love or comradeship in war, but for the most part, we are alone. What we know cannot be communicated unless the other person is willing to analyze it and us enough to know what we are nattering on about. As far as truth, there are accurate perceptions, but these are not shared among people, not in the least because most people do not care about accuracy.

    Suppose that Bra’agh becomes a member of a troupe of cavepeople. They wander the fields and forests, foraging for food and hunting what bush meat they can conquer. Then they retreat to their cave where they feel safe. Bra’agh wants to make a fire, but the others either do not or are apathetic. He cannot argue with them, objectively or subjectively, that fire is needed. After all, they have fruits, berries, roots and bush meat which they can dry in the sun and eat, and they will be just fine.

    But Bra’agh, he has a dream. In this dream, there are big hunts once a week and then the food is cooked and preserved, so that they will have more free time and do not have to go foraging every day. Perhaps Bra’agh wants to write the great cave novel, or dream of gods in the sky, or otherwise discover the world. For him, time is more important than convenience. This is not so for the others, and nothing he can say will logically compel them to share his vision.

    If he demonstrates his idea by slaughtering a caribou, making a fire and roasting the meat and handing it out to others, they may partake. They might not, however, see the utility in this approach, because it is harder and riskier than gathering roots and killing squirrels with rocks. There is no universal standard for all of them.

    Suppose that Bra’agh is a burly caveman who instead of arguing for his idea, simply forces others to do it by beating senseless the dissenters. Soon the troupe of cavepeople are hunting and following his path, and he heaves rocks into the skulls of those who thwart the activity. Over time, the survivors are those who share his vision, and the genes for those who are otherwise inclined have passed into history.

    In ten thousand years, a civilization may arise in the place where Bra’agh bashed skulls. It will be based on the idea that some risk and effort that achieves a better result (second column) is worth enduring the harder activity (first column). Applying that principle, the cavepeople will start domesticating caribou and planting crops, giving them even more free time. They will invent language, writing and early technology.

    After another ten thousand years, the civilization will encounter its first troubles. The people will take for granted that they will always have civilization and stop bashing in the heads of those who cannot direct themselves toward that purpose. Those, who by nature are less focused, will devote their time to the pleasures of the flesh, and become fruitful and multiplicative. Over time, they will outnumber the others.

    The civilization will now take a dark turn. It will abandon the original nihilistic principle, which is that some are of the caliber of Bra’agh and must lead by bashing skulls, and instead turn to the principle of universalism. Everyone is welcome and all are celebrated; in fact, they like to say that they are all one. Quantity replaces quality. Realistic vision is lost. The civilization begins to die.

    A strange thing will have happened to the people in this civilization. They will live almost exclusively in the third column, thinking about what others think of them, with the world beyond the ego and the human social circle unknown to them. If someone explains nihilism to them, using the language which sprung up as if out of the ground once it was needed, they will retreat in fear, like monkeys flinging faeces at a feared totem. To them, there can only be one rule for everyone — the rule of the third column — or life has become bad and evil.

    Nihilism remains controversial for this reason. It connects us to the nothingness in life, and the necessity of sacrifice in order to achieve quality-enhancing results, which naturally brings up the question of mortality that almost all people (except pasty Goths in black) would rather not discuss. People would rather decrease quality and increase quantity, meaning that all actions would be seen as equal, because this is more emotionally convenient for them. Nihilism erases any importance granted to this emotional state.

    The modern West finds itself at a crossroads. The path we are on leads to eventual death and a form of entropy that returns us to the state of the cavepeople before Bra’agh and his vision of fire. A new path beckons which will take us higher than the greatness of the past, continuing the idea that seized Bra’agh as he was wandering the veldt. For us to accept the possibility of the new path, we must first strip away the human-only mental prison in which we exist because of social influences and “peer pressure.”

    Nihilism leads to idealism for this reason. When we remove the over-dominance of the methods we use to interact with the world, we see the importance of pattern and arranging ourselves and material according to the idea we seek. This connects to a primal idea, which is that existence itself is biological, and that life extends past the physical into the metaphysical. In short, idea is all; material — including the third column — is a false goal that causes us to rationalize and become confused.

    In this sense, nihilism shows us the value of transcendental thought. By facing the darkness of life directly and allowing the cold wind of the abyss to lick our faces, nihilism creates acceptance of the world as it is, and then embarks on a search for meaning that is not “social meaning” because it is interpreted according to the individual based on the capacity of that individual. Nihilism is esoteric in that it rejects the idea of a truth that can be communicated to everyone, but by freeing us from the idea that whatever truths we encounter must include everyone, allows for lone explorers to delve deeper and climb higher, if they have the biological requirements for the mental ability involved.

    For this reason, nihilism is transformative. We go into it as equal members of the modern zombie automaton cult, convinced that there is objective truth and we have subjective preferences. We come out realizing that our preferences are entirely a function of our abilities and biology, and that “objective” truth is as much an idol as the Golden Calf of Moses’ time: a fiction and consensual reality created to keep a troupe of slightly smarter than average monkeys working together. Nihilism transforms us from human into beast, and from that, to something which can reach for the stars.

    ***

    In Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness and Eternity, your author explores the possibilities of leaving behind the path to death and choosing the new path instead. This cannot be approached directly, because the path is an effect of a cause, which is our willingness to abandon the solipsistic tendencies of our minds and strive for something greater. It appeals to the Bra’aghs of the world, and not those whose skulls were smitten by his rocks.

    Through the course of essays composed in the wilderness over the course of two decades, Nihilism unearths the first steps toward the wisdom of the past. It shows a path to clearing the mental confusion of this time from the mind, and seeing the value of nihilism as a gateway to re-understanding the world in a new light. While it is not for all, if humanity has a future, it is through a thought process like the journey on which it takes its readers.

    In contrast to accepted doctrine, this book shows that the lack of meaning in modern society came not from the fall of gods and heroes, but from the insatiable human ego and its collectivized counterpart, “peer pressure” or social control. What remains of the old religion is only the idea of universal truth, and that has been reconfigured into an assumption that all that is human is good, and that nature and metaphysics are irrelevant.

    Nihilism remains a terrifying topic because it removes the illusions on which our current worldview is based, but that outlook is rapidly failing. In this alternate view, the tripartite illusion — universal truth among humans, equality-based values, and exoteric communication based on universal tokens — has broken and died, and those who wish to rebuild civilization can use nihilism to detach from it and form the groundwork of a new era.

    Touching on ideas from both the occult and mainstream religion as well as philosophies ranging from Germanic idealism to perennialism, Nihilism: A Philosophy Based In Nothingness and Eternity explores nihilism as a fully-developed philosophy instead of the melange of anarchy and self-centeredness by which it is portrayed in most literature. In doing so, it discovers a way out of our landlocked modern thought, uniting both wisdom of the past and possibilities for the future into a single vision.

    A call to action

    Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014

    autumn_path
    We are in the age of illusion.

    Our modern technologies and supernatural religions have allowed us to impose a new world order onto nature, one which works in the short-term but is incoherent in the long term.

    We pollute, homogenize all cultures, crush the individual spirit and force everyone except the super-rich into compartmentalized jobs.

    Our view is that by accepting nothingness, through nihilism, we can see what is of actual value and uphold it, bypassing the denial and illusion of this age.

    This is the essence of nihilism.

    We affirm realism, not human existential focus, by looking at life as a whole process. A planet evolving higher forms of life; a species coming to awareness; nations as organic entities.

    As such, we are the ultimate minority. Almost every member of our species wants an existence focused on individual human drama and the need of humans to feel an outlet for their emotions and desires.

    Instead, we offer them cold hard realism from the 10,000 year scale. Humanity is not much an achievement; it is likely we will self-destruct, as most intelligent species do.

    The average member of any species acts in a self-destructive way under the illusion that because they face no immediate consequences, this action is not just acceptable but a form of “win” against life itself.

    By their selfish, narcissistic and solipsistic behavior they doom the entire species.

    This path requires the exceptional person who can accept nothingness and the will to carve something from it, much like creation itself.

    Interview with founder of Citizens Against Utilitarian Socialization

    Sunday, September 8th, 2013

    At what point did you realize that society was falling and not rising? Was this an “awakening” for you, or part of a slower process of thought about politics and life?

    I can’t pinpoint the exact time I realized society was in a process of decay rather than rise. There were always clues I picked up on even as a child. One of the first things I noticed was that technology and science just seemed to progress towards having funnier gadgets or toys to play with. Or other useless nonsense rather than exploration. I remember being shocked that our ocean depths were 95% unexplored. And likewise although I never had a passionate interest in space exploration the fact that the technology is just being updated from the 60s now is fairly astounding. Mankind built an overly expensive piece of equipment the Large Hadron Collider which seems to me to be more mental masturbation than anything else. A cool toy for physicists to play around with. The idea that the theory of relativity may not be the full story was known long before they built that overly expensive piece of equipment. There was a time when people believed the sound barrier could not be broken but we built a flying machine which could indeed accomplish it. So rather than attempt to build spacecraft to go beyond lightspeed and once again become explorers of the unknown we stay earth bound indulging in various sacred truths you cannot question in the scientific community. These of course being both General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. The idea that Einstein was some sort of Ubermensch never goes unquestioned despite Lorentz and Poncaire already having put forward a ‘principle of relativity’ and even E=mc^2 is not revolutionary. Even in high-school physics one is aware that E = 0.5mv^2 — v is replaced by the constant c and the 0.5 is dropped because of the magnitude of c.

    In terms of democracy and egalitarianism I always knew that the idea we were all “equal” was an absurdity. If we are all equal then we should indeed be able to see the intellectual output of a mentally retarded person matching that of a genius such as our dear Nietzsche. Democracy is nothing more than mob rule and indeed no freedom even exists in today’s society. It is obvious to see how the media socially engineers the less intellectually endowed or those with some intelligence but lacking in either life experience or common sense to vote for the candidates they have selected. If we had a truly free society, then there would not be laws restricting what one can write and say. Such as a ten year sentence in the EU for merely questioning or even investigating the Holocaust. In Canada it is illegal to publish works criticizing immigration. You are only “free” to think that multi-culturalism is great and that everyone is equal. Questioning the status quo can result in either legal action and/or complete social ostracization. It is a genuine heresy(and indeed a dangerous one) to question the sacred cows the self-appointed elites have created for the caitiff, plebeian masses.

    Where you live, do you think most people can understand what you’ve experienced and thought? If not, is it because they disagree, or are they in denial?

    Sometimes I feel as though I am the only one who feels the way I do. Some people while they will question certain things such as Christianity or admit that the human race is still evolving or even admit they would prefer to have children with a person of the same race. However, when confronted by something like the destruction of the twin towers, war, genocide, etc. become so offended and just have such a knee-jerk reaction it’s amazing. I feel as though I am living in an occupied government like everyone around has been totally brain-washed. They say such stupid things like “fighting for peace, is like having sex to keep your virginity”. This so-called “peace” they enjoy now was won by war, genocide, slavery, etc. The so-called “democracy” and “freedom” they enjoy was won with bombs, guns, swords, etc. These are the sorts of people that instead of fighting beg for their life so they can continue their sub-human existence.

    The thing is most people cannot accept a philosophy of the strong as espoused by Nietzsche and others. The reason being that they are weak, and if the laws created to keep the strong down were eliminated they would utterly be destroyed. They are afraid to die, afraid to rock the boat, afraid to break the status quo, etc. And what’s more some of them are weak so they need to force “equality”. Which is total failure since the strong will always come out on top. They are weak, cowardly, useless and total failures in life. They love lies, they need reality to stay hidden from them. In Nature, the wolves rip apart the cute little bunny rabbits. And the fact is most people are prey.

    Can they arrive at the same conclusions as I have? I’m sure some of them have. Do they have the courage to act on them? Most do not.

    How would you change the world to avoid this fate?

    There is no way this society can sustain itself. So either it will die a natural death with the total collapse and eventual rebuilding of civilization or we can accelerate this process. We need a ruthless, iron leader who is unrestrained by the moral code of the masses. Who stands up to the filth and sub-human masses and says “NO!”. One who is not afraid to indulge in such past-times as genocide, nuclear war, eugenics, espionage, combat, etc. And the men and women possessing even an iota of Promethean character have to accept total responsibility for the fate of the human race and civilization. They have to rise up and take the lead as the true aristocracy of society. Knocking down the so-called self-appointed “elites” and restoring true nobility and honour. It is their sacred duty to do this, anyone who doesn’t is an agent of decay and de-evolution. And if they fail and die out then they at least they went out in a fashion befitting true warriors, proud and defiant to the end. Every young woman and man reading this who fills a fire rising in their belly, and that spark that all great artists felt have to try and become this iron, ruthless leader. Imagine an army of dictators, who could stop them? An army of Saddam Husseins, Adolf Hitlers, Josef Stalins, etc.? They would be unstoppable and that is the sort of elites we need to build. We need ruthless ambition, ruthless belief in destiny and ruthless passion. Indeed genocide and wars are beautiful works of art. Everything great has always been built upon tragedy and conflict. Our ancestors write epics about such things, such strife and conflict.

    What made you decide to start “Citizens Against Utilitarian Socialization”? What does the name mean?

    I decided to start Citizens Against Utilitarian Socialization because I could no longer sit and watch as the academicians moulded young minds to accept lies. Could no longer sit idle and watch everything I believe in and love be insulted and dishonoured. Dirtied by the sub-human filth.

    And I also wanted to meet like-minded individuals such as myself — in person. Individuals who have the same fire inside them I do. Share my interests. Individuals who crave and need harsh discipline. Fanatics who cannot be reasoned with by either force or rhetoric. Uncaring, cold predators. Individuals who follow what Nietzsche would call “master morality”. Individuals ready to burn the world down and build anew.

    The typical individual in a modern democracy lives for their own creature comforts for the most part and their own divided nuclear family unit. They usually possess some knowledge but for the most part are ignorant. All they want in live is be happy, live in comfort and be safe and protected. Not for them is going against the status quo. They don’t want to rock the boat. They just want a bunch of cool gadgets to play with. Some vulgar mass media entertainment to indulge in. Some garbage primitive music to listen to. Go out to nightclubs with their girlfriends and buddies, get wasted and hope to “hook up”. Emulate useless celebrities such as Kim Kardashian. Indulge in gossip. Sit on their ass and watch as it gets fatter and fatter. Buy trendy products that will be obsolete in 6 months. Live through their favourite sports teams or children — in hopes they will be able to accomplish everything they were unable to. In short, live like a domesticated animal. They are nothing more than consumerist pleasure seekers even if they are critical of capitalism and don’t want to work a 9-5. Will they do anything about it? Not as long as they have their nice quaint sub-urban dwelling, a six-pack in the fridge and other comfortable things. Without even realizing it most people are hedonists living only for happiness, pleasure and comfort. They forget that everyone is a part of the whole and no one is innocent. They are too scared to confront reality.

    The name implies we are individuals(citizens) standing in defiant opposition to these sorts of dross plaguing this earth planet. We see them as the enemy.

    Do you think it’s true that as people get older and spend more time at their jobs, they stop thinking about what “could be” and spend more time thinking about details? Is there a way for young people to live so that this won’t be their fate?

    Most people start off with big dreams in their youth. They keep putting off accomplishing certain things, they’ll do it later or when they have a bit more money, etc. Eventually they realize the best years have passed them by and they come to grips with it. Some people dissatisfied with society are just waiting it out, hoping some day there will be a blitzkrieg and everything will be fixed without having to do anything. It is easy to set a goal for yourself to accomplish, and then become too focused on a particular aspect of said goal and get lost. I have done this myself at times. So I think something similar happens especially if one loses sight of their destiny. Young people have to realize that they are totally responsible for their own success or failure. They have to see what they are capable of. Don’t put things off but live in the present, like each day could be their last. One piece of advice I would give is never count on other people to help make your dreams come true or any external factor. You have to count on yourself for the most part. Hopefully someone who has gone the way before will give you some advice but you can’t live through other people.

    Nihilism versus Inherency

    Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

    Nihilism was for us a window of clarity in a munged world. It’s the same way now: the media can report well on incidents, but the vast majority of people in society spend ungodly amounts of time, effort and money repeating a narrative to each other. Roughly, it’s that liberal democracy is the best society ever, technology will solve all our problems, and the type of individualistic selfishness required for consumerism is the best way to live. We are not encouraged to improve ourselves, only to make more money and to conform. This is for the convenience of others, by the way. Government didn’t invent this. It’s a cultural response to us having obliterated culture so that individuals could “have it your way” (Burger King!) and not be responsible to any kind of social standards, higher order, higher power, values, culture or measurement of meaning. Basically, it’s rampant individualism run amok. Nihilism rejects all of this by saying that there are no inherent values to life, and instead, everything is a choice, and by observing reality, we can tell what the results of our actions will be. We can’t hide behind morality, laws and social sentiments which allow us to do whatever we want and then justify it with nice-sounding goals like ending poverty, civil rights, stopping global warming, saving the whales, etc. Morality and those other human judgments remove us from reality. It’s easy to satisfy the justification, and avoid breaking the rules, but also do something vile, selfish and stupid. That’s why people love rules — they’re easy to circumvent! Lawmaking is a constant game of whack-a-mole. We tell people that it’s illegal to shoot each other in the head, and they shoot each other in the groin. Up pops another mole; they’re shooting each other in the gut. Make that illegal, too. Make it all illegal. Who will enforce it? No one is sure. Nihilists remove all of this and look at life entirely as choices and consequences. We know that if we pull the pin from a hand grenade and then hold it for five seconds, we die. We also know that if we pollute our planet, we die. However, we’ve made these rules that say it’s OK to hold a hand grenade for up to ten seconds, and it’s OK to pollute somewhat per person, with no limit on the number of people. Those rules are easily evaded and we still stumble onward toward our doom, pushed forward by the desires, judgments and emotions of billions of people. Nihilism refutes all of that. – Interview with Vijay Prozak

    Frequently asked questions about nihilism

    Saturday, April 13th, 2013

    nothing_really_mattressWhat is Nihilism?

    Nihilism is a philosophy based on the idea that reality alone is important. It rejects belief, faith, wishful thinking, ideology, morality and socialization as in any way a form of reality and/or “inherent”; these are human projections. All potential actions are choices we can make. However, nihilists are not relativists. We do not say all choices are equal, because equality is also a human projection. All choices are simply whatever their results are, because intentions exist only within the human mind and are not important.

    Most people want to read into nihilism the typical kiddie-rebellion fatalism that infects the industrialized nations: “Nothing matters, so do whatever you want!” This is broken, because nihilism eschews the yes/no question of “matters,” since even having something matter at all is a choice. Nihilism also avoids the “do whatever you want” because to prescribe that is to give it a value. The only statement nihilism makes is that nothing is real except reality. Human projections are irrelevant because they are unrelated to outcomes.

    Every action we undertake on earth is a choice. Do I eat the red-spotted mushroom? The utilitarians will say that if most people like eating them, you should do it; the formalists will say that if it’s socially approved, you should do it; the instrumentalists will ask if the goal of eating the mushroom is moral; the materialists of course will say that it depends on what comforts or wealth it gets you. A nihilist says to use the scientific method and look at what the whole of the results are. Will it poison you? Will it mislead others? Will it harm the forest? Will it bring about any gain of any kind? These are all choices, and must be considered in turn.

    Nihilism is not a morality. Morality is what comes between humans and making choices. I can choose to commit crimes, but if morality exists, I will be reacting to the moral judgment of right/wrong instead of the consequences of my actions. This puts us back to measuring our acts by intentions, when we really should instead look at what the results will be. We then have to confront those results and say, “The result of this crime is that I’m going to force this person to work another 40 hours to pay for what I took, and my reward will be 10% of the purchase value, and it’s likely that more people will follow my example and commit crimes.”

    That sort of measurement is emotionally heavier than saying some action is bad or good. If an action brings about good results, we can talk about those anticipated results by looking at past similar actions and pointing out the similarity. In the same way, if a proposed action is likely to bring about bad results, we need to only compare it to past events. “Last time we lit our cigarettes off the propane tank, we blew up three houses and a dog. Is that the result we want again?”

    Nihilism is not negation. If there is religion in a nihilist world, it is esotericism, or the discovery of religious principles from patterns in our environment. If there is morality in a nihilist world, it is unceasing awareness of consequences. These things can exist, but they, too, are choices. However, as mentioned above, nihilism is not relativistic, so “it’s a choice” doesn’t mean “it’s accepted” as it does in pluralist moralist societies. It means instead that the burden of consequences is upon the person who makes a choice.

    Nihilism is also not anarchy. Anarchy is a moral judgment that a leadership structure should not exist. A nihilist will reject the idea that a State is necessary, but by recognizing that leadership is a choice, forces us to consider the consequences of types of leadership versus no leadership. Nihilism does not choose what “ought” to be; it chooses what works. And so the first nihilist question to an anarchist would be, “Where can I find a successful anarchist community?”

    Unlike ideological political systems, nihilism does not view wishful thinking — what “ought” to be, what society “should” do, or a moral jihad for equality — as useful. It questions causes->effects and by looking at effects, chooses to pick the corresponding cause (action) that can be undertaken to achieve those effects. As a result, it is pragmatist, or non-utilitarian consequentialist. This makes it more like the paleoconservative right and less like modern post-1789 state/ideology-based systems.

    As a philosophy, nihilism recognizes that rejection of all values negates itself because it is in itself a value. Instead, nihilism views all values as choices. When these values are based on aspects of reality, they are nihilistic, but the creation of values like morality is dangerous because it removes us from thinking about reality and instead has us thinking about the words, symbols and relationships that comprise those values. A nihilist would suggest that the healthiest human system is one where we look at consequences alone.

    Nihilism is ultimately a philosophy of affirmation. When we clear the human projection out of our heads, we are like children again, and can instead of reacting blindly to social projections, choose what we want out of life. As a conservative nihilist, I choose what Plato found to be the apex of human existence: the good, the beautiful and the true.

    Why does society fear Nihilism?

    I no longer believe that society exists. I should say instead that it’s a moving target. Societies have a life cycle just like humans. If you take care of your society, it can last for a really long time. If you do not, it self-destructs quickly. The remnants of destroyed societies are what we call third world nations. In each of these, there was once a prosperous society led by intelligent and noble people. These people pitied others, and so made life more hygienic, safer, abundant and easier for them, which resulted in incompetents outbreeding competents and dooming the society to failure.

    During the early days of a civilization, there is no need for formalization. People recognize a shared purpose and set of values to achieve that purpose. It can be as simple as adaptation to a geographic area, but only if it includes an added dimension, which is the desire to not just survive but to thrive. Essentially, the best human value is laziness, because it causes us to want to improve our knowledge and self-organization such that we have more time to relax, ponder, create music, wage war, fall in love, etc. You know of Mazlow’s pyramid of needs; in my view, civilization begins in the upper parts of this pyramid where emotions and the need to use the mind like a weapon are found.

    Unfortunately, over time, the aforementioned process of “helping others” leads to a proliferation of incapable people. These people do not mean badly, but they have a fatal flaw, which is that they are thoughtless. They will either overpopulate their geographical area or cause some other tragedy of the commons (an event where a public resource is exploited unto destruction because its cost to each individual is free) and as a result, will find themselves starving, diseased or in wars they can’t win. At that point they turn on their leaders, who are usually the people who had been trying to stop the decay and getting beaten back by the crowd of people who want to believe in what they wish were true, not what they can discern is true.

    As a result, wishful thinking predominates up until the very end, where there is a sudden and conclusion confrontation with reality itself, and the civilization falls apart. It doesn’t just explode, but all the levels of civilized behavior drop precipitously until it is corrupt, dishonest, whorelike, ugly, dirty, commerce-ridden, violent, and directionless. It is usually ruled by warlords or a military junta because such disorder requires authoritarian government to keep it in line.

    During this process people attempt to enforce their wishful thinking because (a) they want to stay in denial about the collapse and (b) this enables them to control others and get ahead through manipulation. As a result, they invent the myth of inherency. These words we use to describe things are not just token symbols we exchange in their view, but are the actual names of things. Our religions are not interpretations of metaphysics, but the whole truth. Government and collective approval are the only legitimate ways to make decisions. Good is a certain list of things; bad is anything that opposes it. Soon we are living in a world of “inherent” symbols that are human-created and often either arbitrary or deliberately controlling.

    This is the origin of modern control. Unlike ancient control, which was cooperation based on having a hierarchy, or a decent authoritarian state, which is essentially paternalistic pragmatism (a form of consequentialism — the idea that we measure our actions by their results, not their intent — that, unlike utilitarianism, is based on reality for society as a whole and not the approval of a majority of its members, a subjective…or should we say “wishful thinking”….measurement), modern control is individuals controlling one another to keep any of us from upsetting the fragile balance created by a civilization dedicated to equality. In practical terms, “equality” means pluralism or that there is no right/wrong except for what is proscribed by the dominant ideology which we see as giving us equality and thus “freedom.” To a modern person, freedom and equality mean the same thing, which is pluralism or no social standards, which is naturally extended to diversity/multiculturalism/internationalism (these terms mean the same thing) and approval of every underdog group that doesn’t violate social/political norms.

    Nihilism shatters this control by attacking inherency. As a nihilist, you realize that everything is indeed a choice. You can choose to deny reality. You can choose to eat feces. You can choose to shoot yourself in the head. All of these are possible choices, and there’s only two ways to make such choices. The first way is wishful thinking; the second way is reality-based thinking. Since we know wishful thinking varies with the quality of the individual, and it can be easily observed that most individuals (I’ll add the Southern hybrid between good-will and pity, “Bless their hearts!”) make most decisions poorly, it makes zero sense to pick wishful thinking, or a subjective standard. Instead, it is logical to pick a reality-based standard. The prole has trained themselves to say “but who decides?” and the answer to that is obvious: we pick the best among us. However, to a non-nihilist, that answer seems dangerous. Someone is more than equal? There are differences between people? But you can’t say that in polite conversation! You will never get laid!

    This is why nihilism is controversial. It destroys control, but unlike anarchy, does not affirm the necessity of control through picking an opposite model. Instead, it tells us we have choices. We can choose a rising society, or by making a different decision, choose to have a dying one. The results of our decisions are clear because similar types of decisions have been made in the past, and we can compare cause->effect and see what effects our actions are likely to have. Most people get freaked out by that “deterministic” view of life, so choose to believe that they can choose an effect, and then assign to it any cause they want, thus they can do whatever they want and claim they “intended” to have a certain effect. Tee hee, aren’t they clever! Logicians will know this as a B->A error: If all A->B, then all A are B, but not all B are A (B->A). Mistaken cause->effect reasoning is the foundation of our declining society today.

    On a simpler level, nihilism is controversial because people prefer pleasant/easy lies to complex/difficult truths. They want to hear absolute and universal guarantees, like the talismans of an ancient religion: just slaughter a lamb to Baal, and you will get rich. Don’t worry about your decisions, and trying to figure out if you do the right one; get the right symbol on there, and everything will be OK. Social decision-making works this way, interestingly enough. If I say nice things to my friend, and then answer with wrong information when she asks me a factual question, I don’t get blamed or seen as having failed because the link in the friendship is the social kindness, not accuracy. People want that level of acceptance-without-challenge extended to all portions of their lives.

    What is Parallelism?

    Parallelism is a solution to linear thinking. Nihilism has us thinking in terms of choices; parallelism has us realizing that to make these choices, we need to compare more than one factor out of many to consider the before-state and after-state of our decision. Humans tend to project their own arbitrary choices onto situations by choosing one factor out of thousands or millions to look at when evaluating a decision.

    For example, “Will this new car produce more or less carbon output than my old car?” If you look only at that one factor, you’ll go buy a Prius, but then there’s the question of what environmental damage is caused by the batteries in the Prius and the energy required to make it. There are other questions to be asked as well: am I more likely to be in a wreck, and thus send both cars to the junkyard? Will this be as reliable as a “regular” car? Is a better use of the money required to pay for its higher cost to simply purchase a few acres of forest land? Can I drive less with my existing car? These questions involve the assessment of environmental impact only.

    Parallelism suggests that decisions are made according to indicators found in parallel between multiple factors. This reduces the arbitrary nature of linear decision-making. As a corresponding notion, parallelism also suggests that structures exist in parallel throughout the universe. This includes the vertical dimension of complexity and the possibility of metaphysics. “As above, so below,” would be an expression of parallelism; another way to view it is that there are no structures in the cosmos which are radically incompatible with any others.

    As such, parallelism is an attack on how most people conceive of religion. The average person is either (a) a materialist, believing that there is nothing but physical matter and thus enhacing physical comfort for people is the best goal (utilitarianism), or (b) a dualist, believing that there is some “other side” where all things are pure and clear and people will live in perfection in the order of God or gods. Parallelism suggests instead that any additional metaphysical dimension will resemble what is here, because in all aspects of reality, nature uses mirrored structures to create an architectonic or self-balancing order. The greatest is found in the least and vice-versa. It is a perfect design.

    In addition, parallelism points out another structure in nature, which is a natural selection-like mechanism that is found in nature, but also in mathematics and thought. Roughly speaking, for any possible action there are many parallel impulses, and each one reflects a certain degree of maturation toward completeness of organization. The most organized tend to form a parallel harmonic level — imagine the parallels themselves as verticals, and a horizontal line being drawn where completeness of order occurs — and thrive, while others go away. Our thoughts are like this: we have many impulses in response to stimulus, and our brain selects those which are the most complete and which do not trigger any negative feedback loops.

    Parallelism also has political implications, notably that it’s nonsense to base a society on a single arbitrary idea (equality, finance) when many other things need to be considered. We need to consider happiness, and more importantly, being a rising society where we’re constantly getting better at what we do, instead of a declining one. Physical health needs to be considered as well, as does environmental impact, as does social consequence. There is no “freedom” from any of the consequences of our actions.

    Further, parallelism suggests that different civilizations go through the same patterns if they use similar forms of organization. This ratifies Plato’s “civilization cycle,” by which nations are born, age and die. Every nation that undertakes the attitude and organization typical of a senescent nation will become senescent; any nation that adopts the attitude and organization typical of a new nation will be reborn. Further, parallelism suggests that the fortunes of our societies are not caused by geography, but by where in the cycle we choose to put our effort. In addition, parallelism would have us thus separate these societies so that each can evolve according to its choices.

    A parallelist worldview also includes that idea that we cannot divide leadership by separating it into different subject matters. For example, financial decisions have effects on the same things that legal or social decisions do, but so also do non-government actions like those of the media, religions, social groups etc. It makes more sense to organize government by the things upon which we are having effect, than by the flavor (religious, economic, social, political) of activity undergone.

    As such, parallelism is an entry point to the birth stage of the cycle of civilizations, called Tradition, and is utterly incompatible with modernity. However, since parallelism is reality-based, it explains the consequences of choices rather than formulate an ideology toward their ends. For this reason, it is a useful tool for diagnosing modern stumbles and finding ways to work around them.

    Nihilism is realism

    Monday, February 11th, 2013

    nothing_really_matters_anymoreWhat is the essence of nihilism? The essence of nihilism is this: there is one externality to us all, called reality, and it alone is important.

    Humans tend to project their own mental images onto reality itself and mistake those mental images for reality. This occurs because we store our knowledge of the world in thought-objects, which like words or emotions, are memories. We access memories more quickly than reality itself because memory is faster and more efficient.

    This leaves us vulnerable to self-deception or deception by others. We tell ourselves this “one tiny cupcake” won’t scotch our diets; car salesmen tell us that a jalopy is not a junker, but a do-it-yourself race car adventure.

    The underlying reality remains the same. We’ve just shifted our perceptions of it so that we are thinking of it a different way. While this is easy, and makes us feel better, the nature of reality itself hasn’t changed and we will have to face consequences in reality, not in our thought-space.

    The same method can mislead us regarding our goals. Savvy operators can shift our thinking from an actual goal to how we our others think, emote, judge, or feel about an outcome. Like the jalopy that becomes a race car, we are suddenly lost in our own minds.

    In essence nihilism is a reduction of reality to what it is. We have limitations on our perception, but because with discipline our perception is consistent, we can still use it very effectively to understand our world.

    A nihilist does not care about feelings, emotions, judgments or sensations. A nihilist cares about end results, specifically consequences. If I do this act, what will be the result? It is more like lab science than politics or salesmanship.

    When we say we are nihilists, that is to say we believe in nothing. Belief is a human construct, and it can be applied to religion, politics, science or anything else where we can be misdirected by our own thought-objects.

    Nihilism does not involve any particular path than that. You can be a nihilist and a Christian, if you can derive your notion of God from things you observe in reality. You can be a nihilist and still be a scientist, economist, priest, doctor, warrior, writer and/or disco dancer.

    There are many people out there, all of them trivial cowards, who will try to sell you a series of “related” propositions with nihilism. These people are not nihilists, but believers. They believe in their own bottom line and the illusions they sell.

    It is better to avoid involvement with such charlatans and instead to meditate on what nihilism delivers: freedom from our own minds. We can observe reality as it is, and both enjoy it and work with more effectively as a result.

    Human death

    Friday, September 16th, 2011

    People always want to make nihilism into the idea that is most convenient for them: do nothing but what you want to do.

    They justify this with “but nothing is true, so nothing is real, so there’s no point to anything” and consider this profound. What they left out: they think nothing is true, except themselves.

    Most human thought tends toward solipsism. We are after all just monkeys that got tossed a bone in the form of higher logic. That’s a mixed burden.

    Having brains capable of processing logic means that we are forever schizoid, divided between two “modes” of thinking:

    1. Logic: the logical mind calculates according to the rules of logic. It is completely detached from a consideration of self, time, physicality and emotion.
    2. Self: we are intensely aware of our physical selves, and our immediate sensations and being, and when logic gets too intense, we retreat into this.

    In other words, we can both think and have animal awareness.

    We like animal awareness because it is a form of control. No matter what threatens, we have this moment and our own will, and we can do what we want (within limits) and this comforts us. We control us.

    This is why nihilists identify nihilism as the gateway to all clear thought, including spirituality. It overcomes the solipsism inherent in being a thinking animal which leads us to prefer the thoughts we control to the logic we can only, at best, channel sometimes to do what we need it to.

    Human solipsism creates a false inherency. We expect the universe to behave like our animal self, where there is an absolute conditioning to all of our thoughts provided by the self and its animal needs.

    We expect the universe to exert control, and pass on to us absolute, innate, universal and inherent truths, like writing on a wall or the word of a controlling God.

    More likely, we are projecting our own animal ego and social ego desires onto the universe, expecting it to act like us when we revert into our animal selves.

    This solipsism — a lack of awareness of everything but the self — occurs when we seek control first, and logic second. It occurs in different frequencies among people. We can discipline ourselves to limit it.

    Nihilism is that discipline.

    By denying inherent truth, universals, absolute reality and belief, we are denying the projections of human solipsism that read those things into our world.

    There is one truth — the world, including the vast universe and any metaphysical dimensions it has.

    We are a small portion of that truth, and our thoughts of truth cannot supplant the whole.

    No matter who we are, we live in the same world and it is consistent for all of us. However, our ability to perceive is different, because we are not all equally smart or self-actualized (the process by which one becomes mentally clear and can differentiate reality from self-projection).

    Solipsism seems to give us power over this world because we are able, by virtue of existing in our own minds, to project our thoughts/judgments/feelings of the world over the sense-data from which we construct the world. It’s like seeing the world through colored lenses.

    However, solipsism cuts us off from (a) the gritty realism for which nihilism is famous and (b) transcendence, which requires union with the cosmos through an understanding of its order.

    For us to understand that order, we must accept that there is a singular reality, and we can at best offer up strategies of adapting to it and interpretations of it, but these are not “equal” to it.

    In other words, there is not an absolute, inherent, innate “truth” to the universe. There is only the universe itself.

    It exists; we interpret it and form truths. It has a logical origin, and that logical pattern (some would say “Platonic forms”) creates a messier physical reality, which we can analyze and understand to some degree, getting closer to those original patterns.

    But the patterns in our heads are not identical to them, thus are not equal, thus are not “truths” so much as approximate interpretations. And not all interpretations are equal; the interpretations of a retarded person or idiot are much less accurate than those of a disciplined, self-actualized genius.

    We could view it this way:

    (logical patterns) -> a rendering of physical reality -> our perception

    On the other hand, this is our mindset with solipsism:

    our perception of self -> (logical patterns) -> a rendering of physical reality

    Truths are a human creation. As said above, they are approximate descriptions of the singular reality in which we live.

    We must clarify our minds in order to know reality, and from that, build up abstractions that reasonably describe (but are not equal to) its logical form.

    The essence of nihilism is breaking free from solipsism, a vestige of our animal past. Cold, impersonal logic is not comforting at first, because it reminds us that we are small and have no control, but eventually, it becomes a warm friend.

    Knowing that our universe is consistent, has an order, and that we can escape the insanity of solipsism and reasonably understand it, as time goes on, becomes a more comforting notion than subjecting it to the control of our reckless animal minds.

    For this reason, nihilism is the opposite of “do whatever you want.” That statement reflects a solipsistic belief and is as irrationally religious as any dubious mystical cult.

    Nihilism does not waste its time on human polemics and attempting to negate beliefs. Instead, it offers discipline of the mind and a clarity to perception, creating a doorway to a logical space in which one can discover what is realistic.

    This will never be satisfying to those still in the grip of the logical mind. They want either an inherent “truth” spoken directly to us by an absolute deity, or a lack of any logic, so they can pursue control through their animal minds.

    In other words, we can only know clarity through death — death to the monkey within, death to the human, and in that stillness of nothingness, an acceptance of what is all around us. We are a small part of a vast order.

    This is not comforting to those in the grips of solipsism. But as in all things in life, appearances are deceiving, and understanding requires a good deal more thought than blind reaction.

    Scientific monism

    Saturday, May 7th, 2011

    Nihilism remains one of the hardest terms to define in philosophy.

    We can easily confuse it with fatalism, which I define handily as “a belief in a lack of order or purpose to life itself.” Such thinking is obviously self-contradictory since we exist in a universe with logical rules, and in which species are squeezed by natural selection until we get higher-level species like humans. There may not be a “purpose,” since purpose is a matter of human faith and interpretation, but there is an order and a sense of a goal.

    Nihilism, on the other hand, is an absence of faith in faith.

    As self-conscious beings, we become aware of our separation from the universe at large. It is our environment; in it, we appear to be independent actors. This immediately prompts two viewpoints, each pivoting on one of the two actors:

    • Human-centric. In this view, everything that happens to us has a purpose because we are the intended target. What matters is our desires, judgments and fears. The universe exists to serve us, and may in fact be part of our perception and under our control.
    • Cosmos-centric. Those who take this view see themselves as the smaller of the two parties, and events as having bigger significance and incidental consequences on the self. The self exists as part of this bigger motion.

    In the former, we have a reversed cause/effect relationship. We see ourselves as the initiating goal of actions that happen to us, as if we were the center of the universe. As a result, we judge actions by their effects (as we perceive them on ourselves) and not their actual cause.

    Faith is what allows us to draw that fundamental assumption that actions in the world are somehow directed at us because they include us. When drought strikes, we wonder at first if we are cursed by the gods; only later does it occur to us that drought struck our whole region because of sunspot activity. In the same way, we make a mysticism out of science where we correlate one activity with a certain result and assume that the correlation implies cause.

    If people who drink wine at dinner live longer, it must be the wine, not the relative opulence or healthy activities of people who like to drink wine at dinner. The implication is that if any random person starts drinking wine at dinner, they will live longer, because the wine must be the causal agent even though we have seen no proof of the exclusivity of that relationship.

    The exclusivity factor is what bonds one action to a result as cause. When we mis-attribute this for reasons of our own desiring, we call that a type of faith. We can have faith in anything, including as mentioned above, science; when we inject faith into anything, including science, we corrupt it from having a view of the world as a functional sphere to viewing the world as a reaction to us personally, with intent regarding us instead of an agenda of its own in which we are caught up.

    Nihilism rejects faith in favor of an understanding of causal relationships. Nihilists reject the first pivot mentioned above, where a human sees the universe as somehow convergent upon the human being. In seeking such a view, a nihilist arrives at clarity regarding the relationship of human to universe: we are small components within a far larger and more complex system.

    In doing so, nihilists throw away all reasons centered in what a human wants to believe, and instead focus on what it is logical to deduce or induce from the world at large, keeping in mind that humans are but a tiny portion of that world. It is a removal of anthropomorphism, a rejection of solipsism and narcissism, and a militant refusal to let “faith” stand in for understanding.

    That being said, a nihilist who found a credible logical pathway to any “belief” would not reject it, nor would he or she reject a belief because of a lack of proof for what cannot be proved. Nihilists are not atheists, but agnostics, meaning that they are not going to make positive or negative claims on that which they cannot know. If someone says the Loch Ness monster is real, a nihilist will take a middle path and say “Perhaps — but I will need proof to be interested.”

    In turn this means the nihilist is aware of how little we know of our universe and ourselves. In our view, it is just as much an article of faith to assume that the material world is all that we see, as to assume that a mysterious sky god exists who judges our every movement and at death, sorts us between good and evil.

    As we explore the world, the gap between what would “seem” to be how reality works, and how it works, lengthens:

    The concept of time as a way to measure the duration of events is not only deeply intuitive, it also plays an important role in our mathematical descriptions of physical systems. For instance, we define an object’s speed as its displacement per a given time. But some researchers theorize that this Newtonian idea of time as an absolute quantity that flows on its own, along with the idea that time is the fourth dimension of spacetime, are incorrect. They propose to replace these concepts of time with a view that corresponds more accurately to the physical world: time as a measure of the numerical order of change. – PhysOrg

    Time is iteration-space, meaning that the sequential interaction between objects in the cosmos creates time. Where there is no interaction, no time exists.

    And space, is it relative, too?

    Gravity warps space and time, and rotating objects like Earth stir up space and time around them, two of Einstein’s predictions from his theory of relativity confirmed by NASA’s Gravity Probe B, according to the space agency. – The Star

    Space is relative to the objects within it, and is distorted by their presence. Another way to view this is that objects define the space around them. From this we see how both space, and time, are dependent upon the interactions of the objects within them. In this light our infinitely expanding universe could not be so much expanding in itself, but growing to accommodate the objects within it.

    We even get a violation of all known rules, thanks to relativity:

    At the center of a black hole lies the singularity, where matter is crushed to infinite density, the pull of gravity is infinitely strong, and spacetime has infinite curvature. Here it’s no longer meaningful to speak of space and time, much less spacetime. Jumbled up at the singularity, space and time cease to exist as we know them.

    […]

    At the singularity, though, the laws of physics, including General Relativity, break down. Enter the strange world of quantum gravity. In this bizzare realm in which space and time are broken apart, cause and effect cannot be unraveled. Even today, there is no satisfactory theory for what happens at and beyond the singularity.

    It’s no surprise that throughout his life Einstein rejected the possibility of singularities. So disturbing were the implications that, by the late 1960s, physicists conjectured that the universe forbade “naked singularities.” After all, if a singularity were “naked,” it could alter the whole universe unpredictably. – NCSA

    We learn quickly how little we know.

    At the extremes of relativity, the rules break down entirely and we have no idea what exists. When cause and effect are no longer linear, time does not exist; without any dimension to space, interaction does not exist. A strange state of both stasis and infinite change could exist, but in an acausal, non-temporal and placeless state.

    Nihilism can accept the logical dimensions of what scientists tell us, and extend relativism to another idea: if non-causal parts of our universe exist, non-causality must be a fundamental part of how our universe is ordered. This means we can no longer separate our cosmos into matter and form as separate, but must look at the idea of an order the two have in common.

    The idea of non-duality, or no separation between mind and universe as well as no “second realm” (like a heaven or hell) where the normal rules do not apply, is called monism. Under monism, there is one order to all and it manifests itself in both physical (matter) and informational (form) channels. Both physicality and idea obey the same set of rules.

    Nihilism is a form of scientific monism. In it, we accept all of the uncertainty in the universe, including that as Kant suggested, we may be perceivers journeying through a vast data field and assembling a reality from the parts of it our brains can handle. How much of the universe do we know? If a bigger rule-set than the strictly material exists, we may know less than one percent, or even a hundredth of a percent.

    Time and space reduce to idea. Physicality becomes an after-effect of a larger order. Do we claim we see God? We only know that we cannot know. What we do know is that we will not project ourselves onto this volatile situation, and will remain curious explorers, looking to further understand this magical place in which we exist.

    Why nihilism is not anarchy

    Saturday, November 13th, 2010

    There are many around you who use language for its flavor. They talk about what they want to believe, rather than what makes sense, because they are trying to construct an identity or an excuse for their own failings.

    They’re not interested in anything but themselves and how cool they look to their friends.

    The philosopher F.W. Nietzsche remains tied to nihilism because he was the first to intelligibly discuss it beyond the idea that some people just wanted to destroy everything. He realized that an impulse toward senseless destruction was not nihilism, but a reverse of it; it was in itself a belief.

    Nietzsche’s realization was that we as a species were coming out of a time when we believed in an inherent order: a God above, a single right way of doing things inherited from nature, a divine order of kings and aristocrats, and even an exceptional position to humans and earth.

    What replaced that vision was modern science paired with the populist revolutions of 1789: we were one planet of many, the individual is alone in the universe, a lack of logical reasons for God and a democratic order replacing aristocrats. There was no inherent order to anything, only a baffling array of choices and science which revealed connections but could not prescribe a social order or meaningful direction to life.

    As Nietzsche noted, our immediate tendency when confronted with this situation is to manufacture false inherencies. He saw Christianity as false: seeing the emptiness of existence, it invented pleasant symbols. Also false was liberalism, which originated in Christianity: the idea of a brotherhood of humans, all equal and pacifistically friendly with each other, was a false kind of inherency for Nietzsche.

    He asked instead that we take a few moments to think, and look at the three paths available to us:

    1. Inherency. Life was created by a single God for a single purpose, so we are means to that end.
    2. Materialism. Nothing exists except us and our pleasures, so we make the right to those inherent.
    3. Aestheticism. Life is the only thing that is inherent; we can choose an adaptation that brings beauty to our lives, or indulge in stupidity.

    His point was that the radical reaction to the loss of God, which was the idea of a meaningless life in which self-pleasure was the only goal, was another type of false inherency. In this false inherency, we assume that because material objects exist, they are important. Starting with ourselves, which we view as a material object, of course.

    As a good Schopenhauerian, Nietzsche knew that our “worlds” are composed our thoughts reflecting the world around us. We live in our heads. As a result, we need to look at all objects as how they relate to our consciousness, not their material role in a world “out there” that we can barely perceive. The self is the result of a physical thing, Nietzsche argued, but it is fundamentally an object of consciousness; perhaps, then, we should stop treating it as a material object because materialism feels more “inherent” than consciousness.

    Nietzsche realized that the “nihilism” of the angry Russian mob was not an assertion of no-order, but an assertion of a simple material order: we exist, and we have desires, so we demand that others support us in the pursuit of those desires.

    Why? Because we’re human too. We must all be equal, because we’re all human, and we all have these desires.

    Nietzsche saw the above as parallel to Christianity, an assertion of inherent order based on shared humanity. Science and Nietzsche agree that humans vary so widely that to construct a universal “human nature” or “human morality” is a pointless endeavor toward false inherency. No such thing exists; some humans rise above others.

    Anarchy, liberalism and other false social notions of equality and the inherent importance of man are entirely anti-nihilistic. In fact, they’re descendants of Christianity: they are falsely inherent orders based on human desires for the universe to be centered around humans. It is not. We are thinking monkeys, and it’s great we have come so far, but it’s not really that far. We’re not that great. And most of us are morons, perverts, lazybones, selfish people, criminals, or people who smoke in bed.

    If you want to confront the true face of nihilism, you cannot do it through anarchy or liberalism. You need to instead reject all notions of the inherent, and entirely make a choice based on cause/effect reasoning toward beauty. What will the effects of my actions be? Will that get me closer to a life of grace, beauty, joy and wisdom, or will that make me more like the humonkeys around me, ignorant and proud of it?

    Demanding that the universe center on the human form is the opposite of nihilism. Christianity, liberalism, anarchy and libertarianism demand that we consider a brotherhood of humanity where we all live as equals, but this is itself based on the false notion that the universe centers on humans and human desires, and that all of us are somehow important for magical religious reasons. There is no logic behind it.

    Nihilism is transcendence of the need for inherency. We are products of a logical universe and our goal is to adapt to it — like any other species. If our consciousness has attributes of the universe, that’s because it shaped us, and not the other way around. Our desires, including the social desire for happy anarchy, are entirely irrelevant. What matters is what we do with this opportunity to live, perceive, decide, create and then die.