More Musings on Reality, the Scientific Method, and the Cure for Dandruff

November 23rd, 2005 by Steve Pavlina

Consider this a continuation of the original post on this subject.

The Million Dollar Experiment isn’t going to prove anything even if it works.  It’s totally unscientific.

Of course it won’t prove anything to you.  It wasn’t designed for that purpose.

But don’t you realize you’re just deluding yourself?

Precisely.  That’s the whole point.

Huh?  You don’t see anything wrong with that?

Not at all.  It’s better to delude myself than to let other people do it for me.  The way most people live their lives — now that’s delusional.

The average American spends what… 7 hours per day… sitting in front of the delusion installation box.  They spend another 7+ hours unconscious, lying on a soft surface drifting through la-la land, not even dreaming most of the time.  Then, like hypnotized zombies, they gobble down some addictive toxins before driving box-like machines around a maze of artificial structures while listening to more delusional material.  They march into these structures and obediently come to rest in their personal 8×10 foot cell with 4 foot walls that they think they can’t climb over.  Then they devote the bulk of their waking time to doing something that no one will even remember in a decade, let alone a millenium.  They consume more toxins, stress over trivialities, then return to the box vehicle to go to their box home, consume even more toxins, and repeat the pattern all over again.  When they achieve a big enough number to retire, they get the privilege of not having to leave the first box as often.

And this is what we refer to as sanity.

You don’t see anything wrong with that?

Are you seriously saying that you’re intentionally deluding yourself?  What’s the sense in that?

I feel it’s best to decide for myself what’s worth living for and what isn’t.  I don’t feel the need to have those choices programmed into me by others.  But in order to install my own software, I first had to uninstall the bug-ridden operating system that was pre-loaded at the factory — the one that includes the following programs:  Get a Job, Make Money, Buy Stuff, Watch TV, Buy More Stuff, Obey, Do What Others Do, Buy Better Stuff, Retire Quietly, Die.  Then I had to setup a firewall to keep such virus-like infections from getting reinstalled.  The firewall I use is one of the best ones on the market — it’s called Awareness.

I’ve intentionally unsubscribed from the social delusion so I can consciously explore other delusions.  The idea is to develop a better picture of how reality really works.  Eventually I may hit upon something that isn’t just another delusion but might have a shred of truth to it.

Why am I here?  What’s the point of human existence?  Why do I seem to be associated with an individual body-mind?  Why am I conscious at all?  How come I can do things in my lucid dreams I can’t seem to do while awake?  Why do synchronicities occur?  What can’t science do that maybe I can?

These kinds of questions are more fascinating to me than asking how to make a better widget or how to get more people to buy widgets.  I’d rather comprehend the nature of existence than have all the widgets in the world.

But in order to explore the space of subjective realities properly, I have to keep shifting my beliefs as I map out that space from the inside.  From your perspective this will manifest as changes in my behavior.  Sometimes those changes may appear barely noticeable, while other times they may be abrupt and obvious.

But how is that possible?

It’s possible because I am not my beliefs.  I’m free to change them.  I know that any belief I hold is a choice about how I view reality, and I’m free to consciously make different choices whenever I want.  I could choose to be an atheist this week, a Catholic next week, and a Buddhist the week thereafter.  To me they’re all just different delusions.  Among the delusions I’ve tested, none so far have seemed accurate enough to explain absolutely everything in my experience.  There are still gaps that need to be accounted for.  I’m going to keep searching until I find a belief system that accounts for every experience I’ve ever had and which contains no gaps whatsoever.  Then I know I’m done.

But I like selling widgets.  People need widgets.  Without widgets we’d all die.

If you believe that, you’re already dead.  You just don’t realize it yet.

What the heck is a widget anyway?

You tell me.  This is your delusion.  I’m just a figment.

I think you’ve finally lost it, Steve.

Yeah, it happened sooner than I expected.  I’ve always been a fast learner though.  Let’s see what happens next.

But aren’t you worried about making a fool of yourself in public?  You might damage your reputation, and then where will that leave you?

Better to do it myself than to have someone else do it for me.

Seriously though, who has time to waste worrying when there are such fascinating questions to explore?  I’d only be concerned about my reputation if I still had all that social conditioning installed that tells me I need to worry about such things because there will be consequences if I don’t — like losing some of the stuff I was socially conditioned to want.  But after uninstalling those programs, I find there’s no particular reason to worry about delusional social constructs like reputation or branding.  Those things might be of concern to someone who’s preoccupied with survival.  But when you get past that point, you may realize there are more interesting challenges than the pursuit of survival alone.

What is the public anyway but a collection of automatons who obediently accept their conditioning as real?  It’s hard to be too concerned about what the sleeping minions think.  For the most part, they don’t.  They mostly just eat, sleep, and obey.  Ask them a simple question that runs contrary to their programming, like, “Why do you feel it’s OK to torture and kill turkeys but not cats?” or “Why do you eat food that harms your body?” and it throws them all out of whack.  That’s because it’s inherently painful not to obey… at least initially.

One thing that’s a lot of fun is to grab a minion, present them with an alternative view of reality that stretches their consciousness to a new plane of awareness, and then release them.  That’s something I truly enjoy about my work.

I find that insulting.

Your loss.  I happen to think it’s pretty funny… and insidiously accurate.

I’m not an automaton!

Sure you are.  I even have a copy of the next segment of code you’re supposed to execute, at least for American automatons:

Buy( dead_turkey );
Eat( dead_turkey );
Weight += 4;
Health--;
Gratitude++;
Dandruff++;

Look familiar?

That does it!  Now I’m really unsubscribing!

I know.

Ruff.

Meow.


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