Assert Your Inner World

“There’s no reality except the one contained within us. That’s why so many people live an unreal life. They take images outside them for reality and never allow the world within them to assert itself.” -Hermann Hesse

To be is to be perceived. Perception is not a quality of the world, but of our mind.

Hesse is referring to the creative imagination, our ability to stipulate and synthesize original thoughts, or in this case concepts, to render new and original experience.

Concepts are not found in experience; we apply them to experience.

In short: When these words are perceived, concepts of understanding (categories, classifications, definitions) are brought a priori to experience in order to render it intelligibly. These a priori concepts of understanding mediate between subjective judgments of perception (derived from a posteriori sensations and a priori pure intuitions) to yield objective judgments of experience. You do not have direct access to external reality. Think of a priori concepts of understanding as the ‘interpretative lens’ or ‘conceptual structure’ used to intelligibly render and organize and categorize experience. The a priori concepts of understanding being applied determine the objective concepts of experience, and anything objective can be freely disputed by asserting alternatives.

I believe Hesse is asserting that the mind, being independent and a priori of experience, can choose to create and stipulate its own conceptual interpretative system for rendering experience from reality.  So that ‘when we change the way we look at the world, the world we look at changes.’

He is saying that people fail to question the concepts or ‘mental images’ dogmatically dictated outside them, viz. by society via convention, culture, routine, etc., and assert the freedom of their creative mind. When these patterns are broken new worlds will emerge.

Life: Feeling and Thinking

Since when did you hear a man say “I think alive!” Never! No one thinks themselves to be alive. Life is left for feeling! “I feel alive!” says the man. There is nothing rational about life!

I like to entertain that, whereas the happy man feels, the sad man thinks. On a whole it seems that there are much less rational optimists than there are rational skeptics. More often than not, it seems, the happy are the irrational. The sad men are the skeptical, the realistic, the rational evaluators.

However, no one thinks himself into a fulfilling life overflowing with goodness. This is left for feeling. Rich, ripe feeling.

You cannot rationalize feeling. You can only move yourself into feeling. We are moved by our senses, by the sensuous stimuli composing experience. Life is meant for feeling. After all, we do not think senses cognitively; we feel senses intuitively. Likewise it is that we feel alive.

“I think myself to be happy” one might say. This would suggest that there are reasons for feeling. Does one need a reason to be happy? And what if there are no reasons? Is that good reason to feel any differently? Certainly not! We may give ourselves reasons to be sad, but we certainly don’t need these anymore than we need reason to be happy!

Let feelings stand alone, justified singly by the resolute rapture of existence!

licking the earth

No longer do I wish to form judgmental opinions of the world. I am as lost as the rest. I speak of ‘the rest’ as if they were somehow outside the sanctums of reality, disillusioned by choice. We are all disillusioned. I am as much a wanderer as anyone. My desires are as unpredictable as an infants first thoughts or an old mans last. Since I came into this world, my intuition has kindly afforded me with a singular constant: the feeling of strangeness. It has successfully weaved its way throughout my pursuits, pervading my heart and jading my innocence, so that I am left feeling alone and alienated in my own world. Whereas I thought understanding would provide a saving clairvoyance and break the shackles holding me back from the true world, it has only doubled the distortion and distanced me farther. Despite how far I run from the pining habits of subjectivism, or however poignant my desperation to shed the all encompassing feelings in relation to ‘me’, I am always straddled the nascent cogitations I’m trying to escape. Who can run from their thoughts? Does this make sense?

Is there any security other than the affirmations I authenticate with my own will? That alone leaves me doubting. Doubt is corrosive. It imbues the heart with malignant motives. It does not fortify a cause but weakens it.

The question is: If I decide reality, how should I decide it to be? Do I adopt another’s philosophical gestalt? or is it subjective? If I want the most accurate representation of whats going on, how should I perceive? What should I perceive? What matters most? Do I gauge reality through my senses? Do senses exact accuracy? Do I render through feelings? Are good feelings trustworthy? Are positive feelings to be trusted? What is good? What is positive? No no no no no no.

Feelings lie. My imagination corrupts the sensual reality. All man sees is a hallucination. Man needs laws and governing principles to construct his reality, and faith that they are workable. Enough faith to test them and find them true. Otherwise man in all his decadence goes on “Licking the earth” as Muggeridge put it. Trifling pursuits of instant gratification, indulging in feelings and pleasures fabricated by mundane impulses, striving to fill the vacuity of a soul meant for a unification with its creator.

Words are powerful. They invoke reality. They color and illustrate the pallid landscapes of the mind.
Would it be too hard to believe that a God revealed himself to the world through those who opened themselves to Him? Who, disenchanted by the things (impulses, satisfactions, feelings, pleasures, pains, etc.) of this world, looked to a metaphysical unification, a relationship, with something greater? Could this something greater have genuinely instilled truth through their pen, despite their flawed human condition?

gotta go..

“There is something ridiculous and even quite indecent in an individual claiming to be happy. Still more a people or a nation making such a claim. The pursuit of happiness… is without any question the most fatuous which could possibly be undertaken. This lamentable phrase ”the pursuit of happiness” is responsible for a good part of the ills and miseries of the modern world.” Muggeridge

“When I look back on my life nowadays, which I sometimes do, what strikes me most forcibly about it is that what seemed at the time most significant and seductive, seems now most futile and absurd. For instance, success in all of its various guises, being known and praised, ostensible pleasures like acquiring money or seducing women, or traveling, going to and fro in the world and up and down in it like Satan, explaining and experiencing whatever Vanity Fair has to offer. In retrospect, all these exercises in self-gratification seem pure fantasy, what Pascal called, ‘licking the earth’.” Malcolm Muggeridge