We Know Everything Already
This is the basic belief of our post-modern, globalized world. Globalization has been poorly defined, although I have tried to do so – and defined it as the takeover of a power complex: the global integration of all power structures. This means nothing to the people in this complex, because they have been instructed to know nothing. Why? Because they already know everything, and any additional so-called “knowledge” would only pollute this perfect knowledge.
I am getting a lot of blank stares from my readers right now: “What on earth is this guy talking about?” (Or even less polite language.) Or more likely, an instant judgment that whatever it is, they don’t want to know about it. Automatic filtering is taking place at the unconscious level – where most of our decision-making goes on.
The subject of the unconscious is a huge one, and I want to spend some more time on it. There are quite a few people (cognitive, behavioral-modification psychologists, for example) who deny its existence completely. In their view, if something is not physical it does not exist. This is an extreme view, almost impossible to defend philosophically – but they are not interested in that. They are expressing the core belief of our new religion – which only exists in our collective unconscious.
It is interesting that no one was aware of the unconscious until Freud discovered it. Perhaps it was a product of modern society in its final phases – when it had hide much of its behavior, because it was morally unacceptable. This didn’t work, and the modern world self-destructed.
Not too long ago I became interested in knowing what this modern world was – and made a serious effort to find out. Strangely enough, no one else seemed interested in knowing this. This amazed me at the time, but now I understand it. The post-modern world does not what to know about the world it came from! But this is not all, it doesn’t want to know much of anything! Why?
Because they are not supposed to know. And being a fearful people, they obey this instruction faithfully. This brings up my next important subject: our new religion. Man is a naturally religious creature, and always creates new religions appropriate to his times.
For our unconscious society, he has created an unconscious religion. This is very useful, because its beliefs are also unconscious – and cannot be critically examined. Nevertheless, some of them are clear enough because it is so closely identified with the power complex – in fact it is part of this complex. At this point I need to make a historical diversion.
The Modern world was a product of the Medieval world. And a key component of that world was The Church. An important activity of that church, an activity which has persisted into our time, was the destruction of heresies – by a mass killing of their adherents. Islam, a close cousin of Christianity, did the same thing. In summary: the Medieval World was a religious world, but this religion was a conscious religion.
By contrast, the post-modern world (which is still in the making) has an unconscious religion – which also persecutes its heresies, but only in its collective unconscious. A persecution which is nevertheless totally effective – and even more so.
It is now time for me to make my Grand Summary. I am aware of the parallel here to the one made by the Grand Inquisitor in The Brothers Karamazov:
The Grand Inquisitor is a parable told by Ivan to Alyosha in Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s novel The Brothers Karamazov (1879–1880). Ivan and Alyosha are brothers; Ivan questions the possibility of a personal, benevolent God and Alyosha is a novice monk.
The Grand Inquisitor is an important part of the novel and one of the best-known passages in modern literature because of its ideas about human nature and freedom, and because of its fundamental ambiguity.
Our new religion believes that the world has been perfected (by our highly-advanced technologies), and now stands in a position similar to that of the Christian Church in the Middle Ages – which was the direct representative of God, who was perfect.
The believers in this new religion are therefore perfect themselves – and already know everything. True, they occasionally need to be reminded of things they already now – and this is the function of the news. And also to provide spectacles for their viewer’s edification: scenes from all over the world, from places which have not reached perfection – and are therefore really important.
Stated this way, this belief is unacceptable. But we must remember we are dealing with unconscious beliefs here, which do not have to justify themselves rationally – or even to admit their existence. They can easily deny they exist, without effecting their power in the least.