Your World is on Fire

 Part 1:  The World is on Fire

A cruel and dark solipsism can be projected onto the world in a so realistic fashion that we might fail to discern our projection from the genuine world. Such conditions are much like a pessimist or fatalist stuck in a funhouse full of mirrors, seeing nothing but doom no matter what direction taken. If the world is not on fire, then it is just you.

There are a handful of means which could have ignited one’s view of the world. Of the many facets of consciousness which we experience, there are some that grant us new understandings. And it is these experiences of understanding which are easily subject to contamination and pollution; as though someone had added a distorted, one-way filter which blocks one’s bottom-up perception and allows only for top-down, a top-down which originated from sin. The expectations and mental models one has of the world, in such circumstances, are indeed solipsistic projections: reflections of one’s own intentions rather than a genuine world; It is like calling the world a dark place while holding the dripping brush used to paint it so.

If our sources of social interaction or political knowledge become tainted, then it is with this polluted view which we paint; and if the contamination lasts long enough, even the origin point of our own thoughts become toxic. A failure to take seriously one’s own view of the world can lead to nothing good, a path trodden with deceit, manipulation, and abandonment. How disheartening a view.

When we fail to put up proper barriers, neglect to have healthy boundaries, in our social lives, we welcome those of ill-intent and dysfunction. Like blood in shark-infested waters, dysfunctional people swarm around the feeding signals that those with no boundaries put out – a beacon to bring an unholy mess. As a result, those without boundaries develop a prototypical model of the social world that is filled with vitriol and resentment; of which is predicated on nothing more than the dysfunction which surrounds them. Their representations of people and society are but mere solipsistic projections filled with hate and immorality.

Furthermore, if we commit ourselves not to moral principles but rather cost-benefit analysis alone, we shall find yet more dysfunction. For when our friends are down, there will be no benefit in our helping them. And if we are ocassioned with a benefit for our offerings of aid, then we will help only because of the benefit. These are not the marks of a good friendship.

A good friend helps because of empathy, they approach from a place of morality and genuine concern; the act of assitance is to be done in the name of goodness, not benefit. It is precisely this difference which cost-benefit analysis cares little for. Like a legalism that enforces laws not from a place of morality but rather from a position of indifference, that is, to enforce simply because the law exists, a strict cost-benefit analysis is superficial. Thus, if one’s social life is devoid of moral sentiment, then they will have no genuine connections; those deep bonds which enliven one’s passions for life. Their perceptions of social life shall be as shallow as the puddles which form upon the sidewalk after a good evenings rain.

But toxic folks are not the only means by which one can have their worldview set to flames, for life consists of much more than people. Indeed, our beliefs about the economic and political standings of the world we live in are a cornerstone of the perceptions we have about the world. How resources are distributed, of what policies we must be subjugated to, and which direction society should head are matters that not only regard political economy but also our lives.

And so we must be ever so discerning in our selecting of sources for political or economic knowledge; for of these sources, a great influence by means of sculpting our perceptions of the larger body politic will be had. Those writings of the intellectual giant named Adam Smith can change one’s view of capitalists and landowners; his presentation of the benefits of being a landowner rather than a capitalist might persuade one’s goals in life and thus their views that regard it.

Though whatever good fortune comes upon thee as a result of reading the most credible political and economic literature, there are those among us who have committed no mental resources to the process of discerning: no determinations regarding quality made. And when one is in such a predicament, their views of the political economy become infected with unjust pessimism, irrational beliefs regarding the morality of capital and its acquisition, and foolhardy propositions about the efficacy of policies which they understand little of.

The undiscerning mind is much like a man with too much bravery; eager to encumber challenge and face down fear, the brave man overlooks the nuance of life. To the overly brave man, everything must be conquered: no time for details. Likewise, of those who put forth no mental effort in their judgments, they rally behind self-righteous rhetoric and like sheep are lead to fulfill tasks without knowing the details. If they are told the world is full of criminals, savages, and brutes, in mob-rule, those who do little discerning of the details will knock down the society around them; only because, to them, it is the mark of the beast. And thus, the view of the world becomes painted in a murky black, making everything unclear. The intellectually lazy become surrounded by their own perilous projections; they effectively ravage society while fighting their own delusions.

Now, in an ever so unfortunate circumstance, of those who have neither boundaries nor discerning intellects, a world of deceit, manipulation, and general treachery shall be constructed. If one’s social life is polluted and tainted, and one’s economic views are vindictive and bitter, then the once blossoming gardens which gave rise to colorful thoughts will have become a dumping ground for toxic waste. No more will beautiful thoughts sprout from those once fertile grounds, for there resides a toxin which suffocates the beauty of life. Such is the condition we find those unforunate souls that have had aspects of life encroached upon by toxicity. They see nothing but darkness and chaos all around them; only because that is what they have come expect of the world, their lack of boundaries and critical thought have done them no favors. To be stuck in an echo-chamber of one’s own thoughts when they are so polluted is to pollute one’s self by merely thinking. It is as if each thought represents an act of self-harm. For these people, the world is on fire, though it is just their world.

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Ideasinhat is a business development analyst and longtime reader of academic literature. He writes books and essays on science and philosophy, and posts them to this website. The essays, as with the books, cover topics from psychology, philosophy, and cognitive science to economics, politics, and law.

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