Why Materialism Sucks!

There is a big little niggle buried, like an engorged tick, in the flesh of the last piece on Humans and Realms, namely the oft-debated killjoy about whether the realms are purely a way of describing subjective as-experienced ‘reality’ or whether they depict actual ‘reality.’ Those holding to the latter view, which is most of us alive today worldwide, tend to believe that we live in a world in which only physical matter is real and everything else is a mental overlay akin to imagination; such overlay feels real to us, but that is just our physical machine’s chemicals, hormones and internal script-writing abilities fooling us somehow. Our feelings and insights, indeed all of our subjective experiences, are like a movie-generated reality show which works for us personally, perhaps, but ultimately lacks any lasting substance, like letters written on water.

This is a reasonable view but also too simplistic. And in being too simplistic it ends up falling into the trap of being extremist, in this case being the extremism of abstraction, and any extremism of abstraction can otherwise be termed ‘ideological’ which is just a very short step away from being fanatic. That’s why I call this issue a ‘big little niggle.’ That small tick burrowing into just a tiny part of a much larger body can end up infecting that body for decades. By applying the right lever at the right spot, a single man can set a large boulder in motion down a hill, flattening buildings in the village below which had been standing there for centuries. Karma is funny that way: from small acorns grow mighty oaks.

Why do I say that it’s too simplistic? Because of what was described in the previous piece, which is so simple and straightforward and in line with ordinary, everyday experience, namely that our attitudes and actions effect the world around us, not just an imaginary ‘subjective’ world, but the actual, physical world too. We see this all the time: people who live ugly lives create ugly environments to live in, whilst those who lead uplifted lives created uplifted environments. Naturally – especially when dealing with human realm beings – things can get a little tricky in that nasty people might be rich enough to buy very nice houses and hire excellent cleaning ladies to keep them sparkling, but there will still be something in the choice of paint, furniture, room layouts, paintings, cooking implements, bedspreads, clothing, the music playing and so on, details which in the outer, physical world express the inner world, or realm, of the inhabitants. Animal body shapes and behaviours reflect their natures and in turn the environment around. Birds are in touch with the heavens and love to sing enlivening and beautifying their habitats – generally clusters of trees. Rats which tend to dwell in low, dank, dirty places generate a low, feral atmosphere, indeed getting too close to them entails risking becoming infected. And so it goes.

So this is a very simple point, one that is generally overlooked though easily verified in our experience, and yet one that contradicts one of the most widespread superstitions – or philosophical fallacies if you prefer – of the modern age, which might be described as the Age of Science – or Scientism? – namely that the only thing which is truly real is that which is physical matter and everything else is some sort imagined overlay or fiction and therefore not to be relied upon in matters involving any sort of truth or fact. The irony in all this of course is that this attitude essentially is itself no more than a belief, a core belief that only the physical matters (pun intended) and thus anything else does not and therefore must be discounted as non-existent, imaginary, fictive.

This belief is a type of ideology, and ideology, as shall be discussed in the next piece, also sucks! Big League!

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