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« Nigerians are the only way out for Nigeria: Not Leaders without any Passion for the Nation | Main | The Ibori Clan: Their Game Plan »

November 01, 2005

Fantasy (Idealism), Physics (Realism), and Metaphysics (Escape): Physics vs. Metaphysics

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- There are three ways of operating in this world: idealistic/fantasy, realistic/science and metaphysical/escape from the world. They are not to be mixed and cannot be mixed, anyway. You have to understand them and know what mode you operate in.

In fantasy or idealism, the individual sees reality as it is and does not like what he sees. He uses his thinking and imagination to improve the real world he sees with his five senses particularly his eyes and comes up with an ideal picture of the world. The ideal is an image in his mind and is not real. Because the ideal is an idea, and an image, his mind and thinking can improve it however many times he wants to. And he does improve it hundreds of times, every day of his life. Every time he sees the real world and appreciates its imperfection, he imagines an ideal alternative to it. This process never ends. What is ideal is always changing, its goal post always extended. When a person is idealistic he tends to forever imagine how ideal things could be. He builds castles in the air (and in excesses, such as in neurosis and psychosis psychiatrists charges him money and lives in his castles, too)

Realism perceives physical reality, as it is, and adjusts itself to it. It studies energy and matter and understands them on their own terms and copes with them as they are.

Realism accepts the world’s imperfections as reality and deals with it on those terms. It does not try to improve physical reality with imagination of how it could become.

Realism, physics and science accepts the empirical world as it is and adjusts to it. This is successful adaptation to the world. The realistic person attempts to operate in the world according to the world’s parameters and largely succeeds in it; he makes a good living for himself and his family.

Since physical reality, biology suggests that human thinking, mind, is epiphenomenal, that is, and is a result of brain activity: the configuration and permutation of the particles, atoms and elements in the human brain, the realist accepts the possibility that he ends with his physical death. He hopes that when he dies that he ceases in being and disappears into oblivion.

Materialistic monism suggests that since thinking, mind is a product of matter, that when we die, our bodies decompose and that our thinking, mind ceases being. Realism might be called ego realism.

Realism does not indulge in wistfulness; indeed, in extreme form, it is atheistic and in minor form is agnostic but seldom theistic.

Metaphysical religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism and A Course in Miracles claim that the world of physics is not real, is a dream world and needs to be transcended.

Metaphysics rejects ego idealism and ego realism. It sees ego idealism as fantasy, as misguided efforts to improve the imperfections of ego realism, in an imaginary way that would lead to no useful results.

Metaphysics rejects the realism of physics, ego realism, and negates the world altogether. It escapes from the world into what it considers a better world: a joined, unified, formless, spiritual world of God.

Only a few persons actually have experienced the world that metaphysics talks about. Those who claim to have experienced that world are called mystics.

One either accepts what mystics claim to be the nature of spiritual reality or one rejects it. There is no way for one to prove those claims in the material universe. The only way to verify their veracity is for one to experience what these folks claim to have experienced. Since most people do not have such experiences, they then must reject them or accept them on the basis of hearsay, on faith. We all know where faith has led mankind, to irrational behaviors.

Metaphysics does not attempt to adapt to the realities of the material universe but transcend it, hence transcendentalism. The term metaphysics, itself means beyond physics. (The term physics is Greek for Latin Natura, the material world. Metaphysics transcends, or claims to transcend the natural, material world.)

As far as I can see, metaphysics does not grapple with the realities of the material and social world and does not enable us adapt to them. Therefore, it does not put bread on our table.

What enable us to adapt to the exigencies of this world is science and its applied form, technology. Science studies energy, matter and human beings as they are and devises technologies to adapt to them, on their own terms.

The only use of metaphysics, that I can see, is that it gives people peace of mind of and helps them eliminates fear. If one believed in the idea of God and life after death, it enables one not to be scared by the exigencies of this world we live in and be calm. Belief in God can give one mental equanimity and calmness. (So does certain philosophies, such as stoicism.)

Those who pursue metaphysics often talk sweet talk but beg their food. Consider Christian ministers. They talk about an all powerful God who gives us everything we ask for. But that God, apparently, does not give the ministers what they ask for. The ministers often have to appeal to their Church members’ sense of guilt and out of guilt they fork out money to the ministers to live on.

As it were, church members go work in the physical world and realistically make a living and then come give ministers’ money with which they exist to talk their unrealistic, world escaping metaphysical talk.

This same phenomenon is replicated at the universities where professors of metaphysics, aka philosophy, cannot earn their daily bread through their so-called knowledge. Philosophy has no market; people are not willing to pay for it. Unable to make a living from their philosophy, these professors attach themselves to universities and have the taxpayers of society pay for their existence. They teach what has no value in the market. Their students graduate in philosophy and cannot obtain jobs with what they studied. As it were, university philosophy professors are parasites living off a host called society while contributing no worthwhile product to that society?

Scientists, especially applied ones, technologists, teach what is useful to people and, therefore, have a ready market. Those who studied science and technology easily obtain jobs with what they studied, for employers need their services to enable them produce goods and services and sell them to a public that finds them useful in adapting to its world. There are people willing to pay for the services of science professors so they are not parasites.

Philosophers and priests seem like parasites carried on the people’s backs. It is only scientists and technologists that produce wealth and who are useful to the people and legitimately earn their daily bread.

A Course in Miracles, a metaphysics, talks about how to escape from this world, how to negate the material and social world and reach an already existing world inside the mind. (Mind does not exist, in fact; mind is name for the abstraction called thinking; thinking is a process and not a tangible reality.)

The world has its physical laws and will continue operating as it has done for billions of years despite ACIM and metaphysics in general. You can escape from the world into your thinking, even into inner peace as in meditation, but sooner or later, if you want to live in this world of space, time and matter, you have to return to it and operate according to its parameters, its imperfect laws.

ACIM is a world view; it is perfectly consistent and unified in its own terms, but seems not relevant to the realities of this material world. It does not yield food and material things in this world.

Like Hinduism, if you follow ACIM, you escape from this world and as in Hinduism you would be poor. Hinduism and other religions do give inner peace, psychological peace, not social peace for there are still earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural forces beyond the control of our thinking; there is suffering in the world despite religion’s consolation (and the consolation of philosophy, for the purely rationalistic).

ACIM as spiritual psychology can enable you understand the nature of the ego (the human self concept, self image, and personality), the ego real (normal persons) and ego ideal (neurotic and psychotic persons). ACIM contains sound psychology and can enable folks to understand the fact that their self concepts/self images are mere ideas that they defend and defense seem to make those ideas real to them.

Defense does not make ego, real or ideal, fantasy real. All that defense makes is give the defender the impression that what he defends is real. What seems real is not real. It is not real and your defense of it merely gives you anxiety, fear, pain, paranoia, depression, guilt, shame, pride, and other negative affects.

You can choose to stop defending the ego, real or ideal forms of it. When you stop defending the ego, real or ideal, you tend to relax, and experience mental, emotional and somatic peace.

Indeed, if you stop defending your ego, you experience mental health, for you are no longer like the neurotic wasting your time defending a fantasy that does not exist, a fantasy of your invention.

Psychotics pretend to be their ideal self concepts/self images, fantasy. The neurotic wants to become his ideal self but knows that he is not that ideal self. He nevertheless, has a compulsion to be like his ideal self and tends to experience anxiety from fear that his ideal self will not come into being. The psychotic assumes that his ideal self has already come into being and is no longer experiencing anxiety; the psychotic has escaped from physical reality and lives in his fantasy world.

No defenses of the ego, real or ideal amounts to having no ego; and no suffering. No defenses you live in peace.

With no defenses of the ego ideal and its ideal world one lives in ego real, that is, the physical world. Here, only minor defenses are called for; defenses of the body, for body must be defended with food, medications, clothes, houses etc for it to survive.

Metaphysics teaches that when the ego and its ideals are not defended, that when body also is not defended, that when one goes inside and tunes out the external world that one experiences ones real self: the Christ self.

Remove the obstacles to the awareness of union, Christ self, love, and one experiences the love, unified self, Christ self that is always already there.

When one stops trying to be ones ego, real or ideal, one stops fighting with the environment, with other people in a foolish effort to realize ones ego, real or ideal.

The neurotic tries to actualize what does not exist, his ideal self; the psychotic thinks that he has already realized it hence lives in illusions.

The ego is mere fantasy, a fiction, an idea, an image, a picture that is always changing hence cannot be actualized, for if you think that you have actualized one picture, it changes and compels you to try to actualize another improved picture, improved idea of your ego and its improved image; there is never an end to self improvement, it is a treadmill without an end.

You must then stop and go inwards and experience your already existing unified spirit self, a self that needs no improvement, metaphysics claims.

ESCAPE FROM POLITICAL SCIENCE TO POLITICAL IDEALISM, FANTASY

Science studies reality, as it is, and designs a technology to adapt to it, as it is. This is how human beings adapt to their world.

Political science is part of the enterprise of science. In that sense, it studies how human beings live together in society and manage their social affairs. Like science in general, what it sees are imperfect human beings doing imperfect jobs of managing their social affairs. But that is reality.

Practical Politics is like applied science, engineering and medicine, that applies what pure science, in this case, political science, knows about human political behavior. The politician is a practical man, he is like an engineer and doctor, and he deals with the world of the real, not the imagined ideal world. He deals with imperfect human beings, people pursuing their self interests hence necessarily having conflicts and needing mechanisms for conflict resolution. The practical politician is a political realist, for he accepts imperfect human beings and deals with them on their terms; he does not attempt to make people and their political institutions ideal and perfect. Democracy, our present preferred social institution, is by no means perfect, but it seems the best we can do given human imperfection.

The political idealist, on the other hand, sees extant politics as not good enough and uses his thinking and imagination to construct idealistic versions of it, fantasies of how human beings ought to behave and ought to be politically organized. He constructs perfections in his thinking, mind. These are politics according to the individual’s ego wishes.

Political idealism, psychological idealism and spiritual idealism are how the individual wants society to be governed, how he wants man to be psychologically and how he wants spirit to be idealistically. This is the world according to the individual’s ego wishes, fantasy.

Of course, the real world is not going to change and become what the idealist wishes that it become. In the realm of spirit, metaphysics says that spirit and its world are already there, are as God created them and that we cannot add or subtract from it with our wishes. The real self is already there. We have to remove our ego wishes, remove our idealism, to experience the Christ, unified self already in us.

Indeed, metaphysics teaches that as long as you wish for ideal states that you are not going to experience your real self. Idealism is an obstacle to the awareness of spirit. In other words, idealisms are bad and must be given up.

In the egos real world, idealisms are certainly bad for they prevent one from adapting to the real, empirical world of space, time and matter and social realities; idealism prevents one from adapting to the physical universe and doing what one must do to adjust to it. Escape into idealistic fantasies only keeps one ignorant and poor.

One must, therefore, return to real politics, that is, political science and its applied form, what politicians do. Like an engineer, one must apply what the science of politics tells us is how human beings operate. The science of politics tells us that human beings are selfish and not socially interested and that, as such, there must be social conflicts, conflicts managed but not eliminated by politicians.

My problem was my rejection of real politics and preference for political idealism, fantasy. That was escapist and useless. Therefore, one must jettison political idealism, fantasies and embrace the real world, the ego’s real world. One did not make the egos real world (according to ACIM all of us collectively made the egos and egos real world) or the Holy Spirit’s real world.

(I need do nothing to experience the Holy Spirit’s real world; in fact, it is in doing something, in constructing go ideals that I do not experience that Holy Spirit’s real world).

A Course in miracles has some uses within the realm of psychology. It teaches basic psychology and if we understand it and do what it asks us to do, we shall experience peace and happiness.

George Kelly tells us that each of us constructs a self concept; Karen Horney tells us that some of us, neurotics construct an ego ideal and try to make it seem real. The ego and its idealized form, special self, are not real; they are ideas, ideas turned into pictures and images and then defended, as if they are real.

All that the neurotic (that is, all human beings in degrees) does with his life is defend his ego, real and ideal self image, and in doing so experience anxiety, pain and suffering.

If the individual lets his self concept and its image go, he experiences peace. But the ego so wants to be real that it attempts to use spirituality and metaphysics to make itself seem real. It attempts to use ACIM to make the ego and the ego’s world one constructed seem real to one. The ego, that is, the separated self identification of the sleeping Son of God, our earthly identity, wants God and the Holy Spirit to make its wishes real. But that is not going to happen, for the ego is the dis/ease: pursuing it gives one anxiety and other mental and emotional upsets.

The Holy Spirit wants one to give the ego up and not make it real. True spiritualism wants one to give up the ego, give up ones self concept, give up the world according to the ego and its ideals and return to the world created by God.

True spirituality wants one to die to the self concept and be reborn in the world of unified spirit self, the Christ self, that does not live in body. That new self and its world is not of the ego, is not created by one; it is created by God and the Holy Spirit, so one needs do nothing to experience it; one only needs to remove the ego and its ideals one constructed to see the real world and eventually to experience the spirit world.

Spirituality and ego idealism are not the same. Ego idealism, spiritual idealism etc are of the ego. True spirituality is not of our thinking, is not fantasy, one must be quiet to experience it.

In this world, you can choose to deal with ego realism, the ego’s physics and survive on its own terms, but you cannot make ego idealism become true. You cannot mix ego idealism, ego spiritual idealism and spirituality. Spirituality is not of ones making.

ACIM, thus, has some uses, it enables one to see that ego idealism and spiritual idealism are all of the egos making and helps one to give them up, so as to experience the world of God, a world already created by God, not invented by one.

In true spirituality, you no longer look outside you to see yourself but look inside you to know your true self that God created, that you rejected and invented the false self in body to replace with and want to be it and present it to other people to accept and keep that dance going on.

Let go of your ego, real or ideal, and experience your real self, which is calm and peaceful and happy. This is the real gift of the Course in Miracles to you: it helps you to give up your ego, real or ideal, and accept your Holy Spirit recreated self from that ego. Ultimately, it points you in the direction of accepting your God created unified self.

CHARACTER CHANGE

When you effect this change in self perception: change in thinking about who you and the world are, change in mind, and your character changes. You change your personality; you change your mind and thinking. This is transformation of the self: from separated ego to unified self. You no longer feel ego upsets. You no longer analyze yourself and other people, all in a futile effort to make your and their egos seem real, for they are not ever going to be real, for the unreal cannot be real.

If I accomplish this end, I have changed my family’s pattern of thinking and behaving, our multigenerational neurotic lifestyles. If I succeed, what I accomplish is no less than revolution of the self and its world, the internal world, not the external world.

It means that I stop trying to change other people. I cannot change other people. I cannot change the mentally it (as I tried to change them when, for over ten years I ran mental health agencies). Only the individual chooses to be who he is and can choose to be different.

The only person that I can change is me, not other people. If I change and live in peace and have no emotional upsets, no fear, anger, sadness, depression, paranoia, etc then I can model that lifestyle for the world and if they want to, they can copy it.

I write about healthy lifestyles and those who want to can read my writings. There are no accidents in God’s universe: those who read what I wrote, those who choose to read my writings, will read them. Those who do not want to read them, even if I shove them to their face, if they are not for them, they will not read them.

My goal is to understand neurosis and overcome it. The neurotic invents an ideal ego self and wants to become it. Normal persons invent realistic ego selves and live it. The neurotic who wants to become an ideal self, around people feels that that ideal self my not be affirmed by other people. Generally, he tells tall stories to make himself seem like the perfect, ideal, all important self he invented and around people fears that they may not accept his lies about himself and fear of exposure makes him feel intensely anxious. Since he is not that self he feels that it would be exposed and feels anxious. Feeling anxious, he runs away from people and in avoidance retains his imaginary, ideal big self. By retaining his desired ideal self, he guarantees that he would feel anxious the next time and the next day he is around people. As long as he desires to be an ideal and all powerful self he must be prone to fear, anxiety, anger, paranoia and depression.

The solution is for him to give up all desire for ideal self and accept normal realistic ego that does not desire perfection; here he reduces his anxiety to normal levels. In the long run, he must give up his ego self concept, and ego self image; he must give up his personality and have no ego, separated self. When he does so, has no ego self, real or ideal, to defend; now he feels perfectly peaceful and happy. If in that state of egoless thinking he dies, he would no longer come back to this world, for he does not wish to come back to the world of egos. He has transcended the world of separated egos and has no lesson to learn from this world and does not come back to it.

Thus, I leave the field of mental health to psychiatrists who believe in body and allow them to shove medications to those who believe that they are bodies; both false. I go to where I belong, the world of the intellect. My goal is to show people how to think in a healthy manner.

Real self is spirit and does not need food, clothes and material things. On earth, we make ourselves into bodies and need food, clothes etc. ACIM says that we did this to ourselves, all in a misguided effort to seem powerful, via self invention, the invention of our egos.

We condemned ourselves to this suffering. I must have pity on a humanity that does this self punishment to itself and do my best to teach it that it is spirit and does not need food etc. If one believed that one is spirit, one would not eat food. (I just went for forty days without food, just drank water.) One would not need clothes for one would not be in body.

Accept your real self, spirit; liberate yourself from the hell of seeing yourself as body and then help other people do the same, liberate them selves from their slavery to ego and its hellish existence.

God has blessed all of us. God has given all of us his grace by having us live in his heaven where all our needs were met. In heaven we are spirit and do not have physical needs. We chose to separate from spirit and go live in body. Here we suffer, scrounging for food. We made ourselves suffer. We have denied God’s blessing of us and chose to live in ego pain. If you see a human being, adult or child, man or woman, black or white, realize that he or she is suffering. Bless him or her and do what you can to reduce their suffering. Love is all that you can do to reduce others sufferings so love every person you see. When you add your blessings to God’s blessing of people, even though they deny blessing for themselves you reduce their suffering.

Posted by Administrator at November 1, 2005 06:46 AM

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