I keep having an epiphany, or maybe a delusion; I'll call it a hypothesis, that our stories of how history happens and why, the mechanisms we hold responsible, are fabricated, just fabricated, before, during and after. That is a mundane statement about the general dishonesty in human civilizations, the cynical or sincere dishonesty which creates control-narratives that a society can agree to accept, so that it can work in-concert. "Noble Lie", Plato called it in "The Republic".
This creeping (mis?)understanding is that things happen. We have minds that seek meanings, and which seek the protection of predictive explanations of the world. When our predictive calculations are a little off, we may adjust our narrative or do nothing. When they are grossly wrong, and for a whole society, the story in retrospect becomes completely different than what it was projected to be, and portrayed to be during its unfolding. The losers don't write history.
That is still mundane, but it is getting closer to saying that "reality" is NOT what we expect it to be, or what we experience it AS, while we hold the models of the world which we have learned, the models which we believe from our experiences of life, as well as our childhood indoctrinations.
"Scientism" is a core component of most people's world-views these days, including immigrant workers who I have served medically in recent decades, but it was not the dominant worldview in the former plantation workers I served medically in North Kohala, Hawaii. I was frustrated in my attempts to explain medical diagnoses and treatments scientifically. It was a foreign tongue. What did work, and allowed me to provide good medical care, was my sincere connection, my efforts to connect and help, which were readily understood, but it took a long time each time.
My efforts to sustain the clinic finances failed, despite my giving up all other efforts on the island. I came back to "the mainland". I learned something, maybe, that there are societies which shop at Costco and drive Toyotas, work at the resorts, and enjoy a completely different worldview, within the world which I assumed to accept scientism.
I had not seen it quite the same when I worked on the Navajo Reservation. The Navajo people speak no more than necessary, tell me that "they do not think in words" They do appreciate sincere actions in service, and accept people who show them that. I know there is something very deep and strong and unspoken there, which I could see and engage, and which changed my life in the context of a Native American Church purification-sweat, in my benefit.
I also worked for it, but the mystery was wrought upon my being, reshaping my life by those spiritual practitioners.
Scientism is not science per se, but it is mostly a mechanistic interpretation of physical reality, which Isaac Newton described mathematically. Newton did not personally accept "mechanics" as being the dominant form in human life. Newton's mechanics was a tool he described for practical purposes, like understanding planetary motion, and building machines, and bridges. Isaac Newton was an alchemist, a spiritual metaphysics of his day. Natural-Philosophy carried broader existential concerns in that day than "science" does these days. It was philosophy, not technocracy.
"Scientism" is a faith-based religion as it is practiced. There is a hierarchy. There are compliant levels in the hierarchy.
The correctness of the dogma is not much questioned, but the focus is on compliance, so as to be without sin, without non-compliance. This can be all consuming.
I think this explains how good doctors and medical professionals have been turned to conformity with a system which results in harm to patients, not treating with antivirals for COVID, while experiencing all of the suffering in their compassionate hearts, serving long hours in a system, within which they sought devoutly to comply. Many of these dedicated medical professionals were becoming emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed in these long months of service.
I remember not questioning protocols when I was in training. I was learning and doing my best, and I did both. I remember volunteering as a subject for the AIDS-Vaccine trials around Y2k, without question, as soon as I heard that there was a trial site in Austin, and a doctor I knew was a co-investigator.
I was lucky, as it turns out. I recently learned that the trial was halted early, which I had been told at the time, because vaccine recipient gay men had a higher risk of contracting AIDS than the gay male control group. I was never told that.
I was not at that particular risk, and I had happened to be randomly assigned to a non-active-vaccine arm. I suspected that I might have been given adjuvant-without-vaccine, because I did have various symptoms, which I duly recorded. Maybe not, though.
AIDS was the disease of my medical school years, described the summer I started working in research at the med school, before starting fall classes. I learned hard. I saw a lot of strange hypotheses about the cause of AIDS rise and fall. I saw a lot of bad advice given. I saw a lot of people treated like lepers. I saw fear and disgust among some of my peers. I saw some of my peers in med school working as gay prostitutes in Houston. I never questioned the official narrative once it was formulated. I did my best to serve within that narrative. I took an elective with an AIDS specialist in residency.
Did I sometimes mistreat people based upon recommendations which would later change? Probably. I did my best, and that was always appreciated.
So I was trained as a scientist, beginning in engineering, and drifting into pre-med when I got a job in a hospital, working my way through college. I did well in scientific research in college and med school. I was suited to asking questions, finding potential answers, and testing whether they were actually right or not. I was good at that kind of scientific process, and good at working with lab animals (RIP), but I also accepted the hierarchy as being right most of the time, at least as my initial assumption. I did not really question the whole format, but I did learn that some of the better funded labs "always got the results that were expected" and were well funded with grants as a result. This was a subtle denigration, but I knew what it meant. They were scientific prostitutes for hire.
I was fortunate to work on NASA grants for weightlessness-deconditioning research. NASA wanted the truth. No inherent conflicts...
Scientism is prostituted, and that has been the advancing business model as corporate grants fund the parts of science which can justify the use of patents to make exclusive profits on scientifically-proven products, processes and drugs, to pay for more scientific studies to prove that profitable things are uniquely good.
When the same corporations "capture" their government regulatory bodies ("revolving door syndrome") and buy up the print and broadcast media after people quit buying subscriptions, and own the internet monopolies, the game can be played very hard, very fast and very loose. That's what we have been living through for 2 years.
This time around, I was following news, available to me through the internet, which gave me about 3 months of personal information analysis lead time before official narratives were released or updated. I was incredulous at their stupidity for a long time, until appearances became more sinister. I still did not get it , but was frustrated when Trump's advocacy for early treatment, which I already knew was helpful, was met with political denunciation, followed by medical denunciation, despite the available data. The VA and teaching hospitals stopped using it. Anecdotally, from a trusted source, mortality rates worsened, but there were a lot of other variables in the first half of 2020, also.
Right after the HCQ, Azithromycin and zinc protocol was made anathema, and forbidden in my clinic, the ivermectin, zinc and doxycycline protocol was used to excellent effect (Thanks Thomas Borody MD!) in Bangladesh. It was supremely safe; no need to check an EKG before treatment. I started prescribing it and saw immediate benefits from the very start, reliably improved symptoms within 2 days, and very few hospitalizations.
When the narrative changed to deprive the "unvaccinated" of legal and medical rights, to deprive them/us of personhood, I saw the pattern I had warned our kids about at Dachau, the Anne Frank House, and Tuol Sleng museum in Cambodia.
I declared my permanent refusenik stance on moral grounds, not merely on science, but humanitarian grounds.
I put my own flesh on that line. It was a metaphysical act. https://www.johndayblog.com/2021/08/in-crosshairs.html
That kind of personal action is in concert with science, with morality, and more. I sense that it is coherent within Navajo and Pacific Island comprehensions of Reality.
I was puzzled to learn from a really excellent Physics Professor in college, who did a consummate job of explaining relativity and the uncertainty principle, that he did not let this concern his practice of religion, that he, and others he knew, did not try to synthesize these models of reality.
I asked this because I was really trying to do that, and thought that he might be of considerable help to me. ZERO.
That was the same response I had gotten from Deacon Brubaker almost a decade earlier, "I wouldn't worry about it".
Many of us have wondered what madness overcame whole societies, such as overcame cosmopolitan Germany in the 1930s. Carl Jung and Hannah Arendt lived through this time, and studied "Mass Psychosis" (aka "mass formation") https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09maaUaRT4M
In October 2020 I asked "What is the Body Politic?" https://www.johndayblog.com/2020/10/the-body-politic.html
I hypothesized a complex interconnection, through "collective consciousness" and/or "collective unconscious", which are terms Jung used to describe the dynamic he was seeing, a dynamic of social cohesion which transcended, or preceded intellect.
Intellect would explain this wave of perception, but he did not view it as the underlying cause of the wave of perception and massed cohesive societal action.
Do we have "free will" or not? Or sometimes?
Do we have "freedom" to explain what we did after we just did it, to make up an explanation for our impulsive actions?
Do some people have more freedom to actually decide what actions to take than do others?
I know it's hit and miss for me.
I have different free-will now, in middle age, after being a doctor for 35 years, than I did earlier in my medical career, when I was more blithely accepting of medical narratives. (I already knew military narratives were lies, and I still remember that.)
I find myself experimenting, flesh-in-the-game, with "reality narratives". Any real physicist can and should tell you that all of physical science is an incomplete model, and does not adequately describe or predict "reality", which is a term we use. There is the "uncertainty principle" which embeds this fact in the current best models. Albert Einstein expressed his deep intuition that "God does not play dice with the universe". Einstein "did not believe in a personal God", nor was he deterministic/fatalistic, nor did he completely accept the "randomness" in the Quantum mechanics model, prompted by his own work describing the photoelectric effect. What did Albert Einstein mean? He mostly clarified what he did not mean...
There is an assertion in the "mind only" school of Tibetan Buddhism that universal consciousness is the "substance" or context within which all of reality exists.
This assertion cannot be logically proven, nor can it be logically refuted. Would it have implications?
Might the hypothesis be testable by a human, such as myself? How did Jung know what he seemed to know and described so well?
His writings ring-true to me. How does a concept "ring true"? What is the mechanism? How does that concept-resonance work?
Is it a spiritual affirmation given to the human consciousness when it seeks truth? "Seek and ye shall find"?
I just looked up whether Jung and Einstein ever met. It turns out that they did. Einstein repeatedly tried to explain his nascent theory of relativity to Jung, which he could not actually do.
Jung wrote, "When he was just starting to work on the theory of relativity, Einstein came often to my house, and I bombed him with questions about the new theory. I'm not good at math and imagine the problem that the poor guy had to explain relativity. He didn't know how to explain it. Faced with the difficulty of it, I felt insignificant. I wanted to sink into the ground. Until one day he asked me something, and psychology was my revenge. The expertise is a big disadvantage. The intensification is such that you can't explain." https://carljungdepthpsychologysite.blog/2019/11/21/carl-jung-on-meeting-albert-einstein/#.Ygh6_1XMLFg
So Jung and Einstein, the guys whose deeply insightful work I am trying to draw upon, spoke repeatedly and earnestly and could not adequately understand each other. They could see the value, and they really did try.
I can relate to that.
If the universe is not simply mechanistic, but has "unknowability" as I might ask to call it, which is delineated in the uncertainty-principle of quantum mechanics (a useful tool), how does that correlate to "Karma", the workings of which I have repeatedly observed and experienced in my life. Karma has predictive-value in my human experience, but I never know exactly what the blowback will be, though it's pretty clear when it comes, and I long ago figured that I should stop testing it. Really stop testing it. That's enough of a test for my satisfaction. If karma works, then the universe cannot be simply mechanical. That agrees with spiritual models and it does not necessarily disagree with physics if the "uncertainty" we observe in physics experiments is a reflection of "unknowability" through that mechanism of investigation, and not an inherent "randomness". Randomness works in that model, which looks at very specific subatomic interactions, but quantum mechanics has broad implications for all of physical reality. Physical reality cannot be mechanically deterministic because of it, though general relativity works quite well in the macro prediction of planetary movements in space time, even when space-time gets a little bent by gravity and high speeds.
If the universe, all of "reality", exists within universal consciousness, could our observed "uncertainty" be the subtle space where universal consciousness adjusts the "uncertain" mechanics of our experienced "reality" in order for spiritual cause-and-effect to be a fundamental natural law?
It's still not provable or refutable as a theory, is it?
I'm pleased enough to be unable to refute my own tentative hypothesis in my own mind, but I'll readily admit how low a bar that is...
I'll permit myself to pretend I made some progress justifying the concept of relative freedom of choice based upon relative comprehension of physical and spiritual law, which I still seek to synthesize.
We all tend to explain what we just did, as if suddenly asked by an adult how that broken jam jar got to be on the kitchen floor.
Jung was able to observe mass psychosis/formation without becoming entrapped within it. He did always sincerely seek to understand human behavior, and was a spiritual practitioner, who did not seek to intellectually distance himself, as did Freud. I experience Jung's observations as being consistent with my own life experience, and I discern his sincerity and personal-engagement, his skin-in-the-game style of investigating the fundamental workings of human perception and engagement with life. Jung studied the jelly jar on the floor thousands of times over decades. He really did want to know, in an adult way, how the broken jelly jar came to be on the kitchen floor, wanted to completely know.
Is mass formation/psychosis a self-controlling mechanism of human societies? Is it "good" sometimes and "bad" sometimes? Does it function with or without sociopaths to get half the people to kill the other half of the people when the harvest is poor? Do we just make up these stories as control narrative, all of them false? Do we believe one false narrative while we scheme to deceive others with a false narrative we are concocting for their betrayal?
Just wondering, and thinking that free-will seems variable when I examine it closely.
"Knowing the truth and being set free" seems more like an incremental discovery process than a satori-awakening.
Where this leads me is to hold the best intentions for the good of all, while catching myself subtly cheating and wishing some people ill, rather than improvement of their lots. That's a lot of ongoing work and I don't want to tattle further on myself right now. I'll try not to tell myself creation-stories about the unfoldings of history around me.
I'll keep trying to see if my observations match various models of "reality", and I'll try to be honest with myself about it, so that I might observe subtleties, and find ways to understand and communicate them.