Monotheism/Monomania

Has anyone ever stopped to think what monotheism has done to the world? It might be the single belief that has “enslaved” the human head more than any other. – When there were many gods, there were many possibilities for thinking. One god did and said this, another did that, and there was a certain “openness” to what life was all about. There was also an openness to what man was all about…Suddenly, with the Judeo-Christian single god, all that stopped. God became an absolute dictator. He made all the rules. He made the world. He created men and “men were all the same”, i.e. God’s children. They were all supposed to have the same view of life, the same vision. The meaning of life was one thing: follow the church and go to heaven. The entire universe was explained in a single thought…GOD. And there was no place for thinking about man and life differently. Even animals were “the same”. Men were the same and animals were the same. Man was there with God and the rest was “nature”. This thought has enslaved the human mind ever since. It is such a subtle enslavement that almost nobody can see outside of it. Almost nobody can envision the world differently. Even atheists will still see the “man” and “nature” dichotomy. Man, of course, is thought to be “free” and nature is said to act “instinctually”. Nobody can imagine that could be a million different types of “men”, that men have nothing to do with “free”, that words like freedom, thinking, and instinct have nothing to do with “life”, that nature (man included) could be something completely different from what we are used to thinking, that the whole bag of tomatoes could be a deep deep mystery – far deeper than anyone has imagined. – One God, one set of rules, one definition of man, one vision of animals and plants, one vision of the “non-living” rest (rocks, dirt, stars, moons, fire, water, etc.) and BOOM! All the mystery is taken out of existence! BOOM! The mind is paralyzed! With monotheism, man lost his ability to run, jump, and fly…and maybe even to love…life.

Language & Reality

The significance of language for the evolution of culture lies in this, that mankind set up in language a separate world beside the other world, a place it took to be so firmly set that, standing upon it, it could lift the rest of the world off its hinges and make itself master of it. To the extent that man has for long ages believed in the concepts and names of things as in aeternae veritates he has appropriated to himself that pride by which he raised himself above the animal: he really thought that in language he possessed knowledge of the world. The sculptor of language was not so modest as to believe that he was only giving things designations, he conceived rather that with words he was expressing supreme knowledge of things; language is, in fact, the first stage of the occupation with science. Here, too, it is the belief that the truth has been found out of which the mightiest sources of energy have flowed. Very much subsequently –only now – it dawns on men that in their belief in language they have propagated a tremendous error. Happily, it is too late for the evolution of reason, which depends on this belief, to be again put back. –Logic too depends on presuppositions with which nothing in the real world corresponds, for example on the presupposition that there are identical things, that the same thing is identical at different points of time: but this science came into existence through the opposite belief (that such conditions do obtain in the real world). It is the same with mathematics, which would certainly not have come into existence if one had known from the beginning that there was in nature no exactly straight line, no real circle, no absolute magnitude.  Nietzsche

(HA 11)

             This is a mouthful – or an eyeful – or a “headful”- but it does serve to help understand Nietzsche’s view of truth and metaphysics. Man has essentially forgotten that language was invented by man- not by supreme all-knowing types- and that with language man took the world apart and put it back as he saw it, breaking it down, dividing it up, and setting it up as was expedient for him. If we think back to the Geneva physicist and Nietzsche’s view that there are no “things” but rather a great flux of becoming-of forces-we can see that with language man has artificially cut up what is uncuttable and called it “reality” or “truth” or “world” or “thing”.

            To make this idea clearer, let’s imagine the world as a Jackson Pollock painting. We show it to a child, or an adult for that matter, then cut it up in a thousand pieces and ask the child to put it back together again. The “world” will still be there, i.e. the stuff of the painting, but it will hardly look like the original –it can hardly be now called “a Pollack”. Language has cut up the world and put it back together again; but what it gives us is hardly “the real world”.

            Language- like dreams- is a culprit in the flood of erroneous thinking that has covered Western man. Nietzsche calls grammar “the metaphysics of the people”. The thing, the doer, the doer that does: all falsehood born of language.

 “Language belongs in its origin to the age of the most rudimentary from of psychology: we find ourselves in the midst of a rude fetishism when we call to mind the basic presuppositions of the metaphysics of language- which is to say, of reason. It is this which sees everywhere deed and doer; this which believes in will as cause in general; this which believes in the ‘ego’ as being, in the ego as substance, and which projects its belief in the ego-substance on to all things- only thus does it create the concept ‘thing’… Being is everywhere thought in, foisted on, as cause; it is only from the conception ‘ego’ that there follows, derivatively, the concept ‘being’… At the beginning stands the great fateful error that the will is something which produces an effect- what will is a faculty… Today we know it is merely a word.”  Nietzsche

(T “Reason” in Philosophy 5)

          Words do not correspond to reality; they fabricate it.

 “We set up a word at the point at which our ignorance begins, at which we can see no further, e.g. the word ‘I’, the word ‘do’, the word ‘suffer’: – these are perhaps the horizon of our knowledge, but not ‘truths’. Nietzsche

(WP 482)

 We think with language, hence thinking is muddled.                              Jon Ferguson

A Short History of Human Being

First, man really was like horses or flies or whatever. He just looked for things to eat into order to survive. Of course while doing this he tried not to get killed. This probably went on for millions and millions of years until language developed and human beings decided they had a better chance of survival by forming groups. Groups became towns, cities, states, etc. You had to follow the group and do what the leaders told you to do. The wild animal became tame, but the price was freedom. Leaders eventually needed to consolidate and legitimize their power by connecting themselves to GODs. Continue reading A Short History of Human Being