Shadows on the Wall: Myth, Reason, and the Quest for Gnosis

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– By Patrick Ryan
Since the advent of human cognition, humanity has made its main purpose to focus all of its energy and creative ambition on the postulation of thought into coherent structured forms able to translate an entire universe of meaning. These structures were itself only a reverberation of the so called “objective” reality — a participatory juxtaposition with the end result being a reflection of the very observers themselves. The interwoven riddle in this proposition is that reality itself is inherently mythological, with objectivity being only an automatic and instinctual lift into the light of the imagination. “REALITY IS SLIPPERY!” the Faery folk exclaim! Claiming to know the whole and complete truth of ANYTHING is a recipe for mass cognitive perceptual crash, leaving one potentially bitter and or in utter denial. The unquenchable thirst of postulating the truth of the situation has left us in a dire stupor – often times leaving us unable to decipher between the subjective version of truth from its objective twin.

The longing for a finite, digestible basis for a given hypothesis is a necessary one. We need to come to a basis of understanding — A concrete foundation through which to base all of our other thoughts and ideas from. Science was birthed from this impulse and has served to identify and acknowledge phenomena in our universe that were seemingly invisible prior. As in the case of Descartes, renunciation of everything until reaching a repeatable conclusion was the name of the game. Humanity strives for the laws of nature from which we could be aware of our limitations. But at what cost? We’ve been led astray by our own arrogance of believing we could encapsulate Truth – imposing a schism on an aspect from the whole. Quantifying aspects and shards of this truth? Absolutely, but making the error of confining a given phenomenon to a static and rigid representation is a grave error of human thought.

That’s not to say one shouldn’t indulge in his or her meme-making endeavors. Quite the contrary—bringing ones inner vision to manifest is perhaps the primary purpose and goal of the imaginative intellect. With the fundamental realization that what’s called ‘objective’ is so incredibly vast, complicated,and mysterious that human thought can be seen as a tapestry of inner creative vision that colors the void left by the objective. Despite this, stable patterns emerge, often with its own myriad of complexity and detail. Through these patterns, analysis and observation can chart a relativistic chart of the immediate fractal fluctuations. Modern science has embraced this idea fully and unapologetically, often times without any room for change or alternatives. What today is known statistically as the “bell curve” has dominated our scientific aspirations often undermining the very essence of scientific inquiry itself. With Cartesian thought, the bell curve served the purpose to condense, marginalize, and voraciously neglect the necessity of uniqueness and spontaneity. It served as a way cognitively stifle our innermost impulses and creative longing; a way to make us identify with “everybody else” and where we lay on an imaginal hierarchy. This ideological scalpel deconstructs and dissects everything in its path, often times abandoning direct experience as a type of perceptual fallacy.

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The Case for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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On 12 October of 1492, Cristobal Colon, known as Christopher Columbus, having made landfall on the island of Hispaniola, first encountered the native peoples of the Americas. Columbus was certainly not the first European to visit the Americas,and perhaps not even the first visitor from the Old World to visit North and South America since the closing of the land bridge in ancient times. He was, however, the man who opened the door in modern times to vast new lands, full of new plants, animals, and people, and the effect of 12 October, 1492 on the Americas cannot be understated.

The narrative in Western, and especially American history books is mostly one of vauge allusions and rhetoric: a story of exploration, strangers in a strange land, a journey fraught with danger, leading to the discovery of a whole “New World”. The Europeans, after hearing of this new, exciting place, pulled themselves up by their bootstraps and headed across the ocean, bringing their religion, bringing industry, and sharing new crops and resources across the New World – and, of course, the United States, the shining “City on a Hill,” the light of democracy, was eventually forged in this new place.

Lovely. But we know, of course, that this isn’t the full story. The activities of Columbus in the Caribbean are not in dispute; indeed, he writes about them in his own journals, and other primary and close secondary sources document well what occurred in the aftermath of Columbus reaching Hispaniola. For those who do not know of, or are not very familiar with, the whitewashing of Columbus’s history, take a moment to watch a brief recap in this video:

So, Columbus was a murderous, slaving rapist, a man who lusted after wealth and fame, a sycophant scrambling for the approval of his benefactors, who brought red war, terror, and genocide wherever he went. This much is hard question, given the body of evidence. So why would we celebrate such a man? Well – to not do so would disrupt the narrative.

Continue reading “The Case for Indigenous Peoples’ Day”