I’m blogging today just for the sake of blogging. I have recently decided to stop promoting Jean’s and my book, Disobliging Reality, on social media. Generally, I found the participants to be quite young, inexperienced, and full of themselves. I could almost hear the giggles and titters surrounding the comments made on Twitter and Facebook about the most inane subjects and the storm of outrage and hostility aroused by predictably stereotypical scenarios showing various forms of victimization and injustice. It was like witnessing young children first learning that fire can be hot. If this sounds patronizing, it is. We are not all perfect equals in every respect, and respect itself is something that we must earn for ourselves.
Thus, I am not feeling sanguine about the future prospects of Disobliging Reality. It’s time has not yet arrived, and perhaps will never arrive. It is a quirky book, to be sure. It’s all about the illusory nature of the reality most of us take for granted, and what to do with that knowledge in our everyday lives. Sounds useful on the face of it, but I guess its utility is overshadowed by the inescapable persistence of the reality that is misleading everyone so dramatically. We are taught that reactive involvement in whatever the sensation of the day happens to be is a mark of community concern and good citizenship. It shows that we are sensitive, caring, and compassionate. It also shows how easily we can be led around by the nose.
Picture a mob of people gathered before an attraction at a carnival. Now imagine a carny barker holding a megaphone and shouting through it the location of an even more sensational attraction across the midway. As though one, the mob obediently runs to the next announced attraction and rapturously views it. Another barker makes his announcement of another attraction and the mob runs there. This continues uninterruptedly day after day. Every new illusory attraction has just as much appeal as the last one, so nobody gets bored. This, to me, is the nature of “the flow” that we are encouraged to “go with”. If there is an even greater flow of which the aforementioned flow is a part, everyone is too dazzled by the next attraction to perceive it.
Disobliging Reality is that innocent voice that points at the emperor and says, “But he doesn’t have any clothes on.” It points at an immensely popular illusion of reality and says, “But there really isn’t anything there.” It says that the flow you are experiencing is not the actual flow that is taking place. It also says that the flow knows when you are going with it and when you are not. The flow is consciousness itself so it is of necessity self-aware. You are an aspect of the flow when it knows itself. Otherwise, you are an aspect of a flow that is not self-aware and doesn’t know what the process of flowing is about. You are part of a mob running toward the next attraction.
So the flow knows, and when you know the flow, you are part of it. Most people are unacquainted with the flow and don’t even like the prospect of knowing it. It means letting go of whatever attraction you are holding onto that is keeping you out of the flow. Most people think that the endless series of attractions to which they are drawn is the flow because it appears to be a flow of attractions. Nah. Like the Shadow, who knows what distractions lurk in the hearts of men (in the generic sense), the flow knows. Let go and flow.