"IDENTIALISM AS THE HIGHEST STATE OF DUALISM
Initially these words were intended for the magazine of the Cuban Armed Forces “Oliva Verde”. But it would be foolish to insist in trivialities of this kind now, when we know for sure that the whole plan of existence, with its magazines and its armed forces, is simply a sequence of moments of cognizance, united only by the fact that in each new moment, there is a notion of the preceding ones. Even though this continuity remains unbroken since beginningless times, the cognizance never becomes aware of itself. This is why man's condition is so pitiful.
But the great fighter for the freedom of mankind Siddhartha Gautama pointed out in many of his works that the main reason for man's pitiful condition in life is first of all the notion of the existence of man, life, and the condition of pitifulness, i.e. the dualism that makes one divide into subjects and objects that which in reality has never existed and will never exist.
Siddhartha Gautama was able to demonstrate this simple truth to many people, because in his days feelings were simple and strong, and their inner world - clear and unclouded. One word could completely transform a man's whole life, and momentarily carry him to the other shore, towards unbound freedom. But many centuries passed. Today, the words of Buddha are available to all, but salvation does not find many of them. Beyond doubt, this is has to do with the new cultural circumstances, which the ancient texts of all religions called the coming “Dark Age.”
This Dark Age has already arrived. And this is first and foremost connected with the role that the so-called visual/psychological generators, or objects of the second type, now play in a man's life. When Buddha said that dualism is caused by conjectural separation of the world into subjects and objects, he was talking about the subjective/objective separation of the first type. The main distinct mark of the Dark Age is that the defining influence on a man's life is brought on by the subjective/objective separation of the second type, which just didn't exist in Buddha's days.
To explain what is meant by objects type one and objects type two, let's give an example - television. When the TV is off, it presents an object type one. It's simply a box with a glass wall which we are free to observe or not to observe. When someone looks at the dark screen, the movement of his eyes is directed exclusively by his inner nerve impulses or the psychological process that occurs in his mind. For example, the man may note that the screen is covered in fly dots. Or decide that it would be great to buy a TV twice as big. Or that he should probably move it to a different corner. A television set in itself is in no way different from the objects that people observed in Buddha's days, be it a rock, a dew drop on a stem of grass, or an arrow with a divided point - on other words, all that Buddha gave as examples in his conversations.
But when the television is on, it is transformed from object type one into object type two. It becomes a phenomenon of a completely different nature. And although the person who is looking at the screen does not notice the metamorphosis, it is tremendous. To the viewer,
the television disappears as a material object with weight, dimensions, and other physical qualities. Instead the viewer gets the sense of being present in another place, a sense well familiar to all here gathered.
Only one question remains: who exactly is present? Can it be said that it is the viewer himself? Let us repeat the question, because it is crucial - can it be said that the television is watched by the person watching it? We assert that it is not. And here is why: When a man looked over the turned-off television set, the movement of his eyes and his flow of attention were directed by his own will impulses, even if they were chaotic. A dark screen without any image did not influence them in any manner, or it did, but only as background. The turned-on television almost never presents a view from one still camera, therefore its image does not function as a background. On the contrary, this image changes intensely. Every few seconds there is either a change in frame, an upclose on some object, or a switch to another camera - the image is constantly modified by the operator and the director behind him. This change in image is called technical modification.
Here we ask for your undivided attention, because the next situation is rather hard to understand, although at core it is very simple. Furthermore, you might get a feeling that we are discussing something insignificant. We take on full responsibility in stating that we are discussing the most important psychological phenomenon of the end of
the second millenium.
We can examine the change in image that occurs as a result of the various technical modifications as an alternative to the hypothetical mental process that would make the observer shift his attention from one thing to another and select one more interesting, i.e. to manipulte his attention in a way that the filming crew does it for him. There appears a virtual subject of this mental process, that for the time slot of the program exists in place of the man, entering his consciousness like a hand into a rubber glove. This resembles the state of being posessed by a demon; the difference is in the fact that there is no demon, only the symptoms of being posessed. This demon is hypothetical, but when the TV viewer allows the filming crew to shift his attention from object to object, it's as if he becomes the demon, and the demon that really doesn't exist posesses him and millions of other viewers. This can be adequately called an experience of collective non-being, because the virtual subject dislodging the viewer's own mind does not exist absolutely - he is only an effect that appears as a result of the collective effort of the editors, operators, and the director. On the other hand, to the man watching television nothing is more real than this virtual subject.
Moreover. Labsang Suchong from the monastery Pu Er believes that should the situation arise when over 4/5 of the Earth's population will watch one particular program - let's say, a soccer match - this virtual effect will be able to displace the collective karmic vision of the human plan of existence from the joined minds of the people, and the consequences may be unpredictable (it is entirely possible that in addition to the hell of molten metal, the hell of blade-like trees etc. a new hell will emanate - the hell of the eternal soccer match). But his hypothesis has not been tested, and in any case, it's a matter of the future. We, on the other hand, are interested not in the frightening prospects of tomorrow, but in the no less frightening reality of today. Let us draw our first conclusion: object number two, i.e. the turned on TV, goes with subject number two, i.e. the virtual viewer that would have directed his attention in the same way the editing- directing crew does it for him. Feelings, thoughts and secretion of adrenaline and other hormones in the body of the viewer are dictated by an outside operator and calculated by someone else. And of course, subject number one does not notice the moment at which he is displaced by subject number two, because after the displacement, there is no one left to notice - subject number two is unreal. But he is not simply unreal. That word can be adequately applied to everything in the human world. There are no words to describe the degree of his unreality. It's a piling of unexistances one on top of another, an air castle with abyss for foundation. A question may arise - why flounder around in all these nonexistances, measuring the degree of their unreality? But this difference between subjects of the first and the second type is very important.
Subject number one believes that reality is the material world.
Subject number two believes that reality is the material world shown on television.
Because he is a product of the faulty subject/object division, subject number one is illusory. But the chaotic movement of his thoughts and moods at least has a viewer - metaphorically, it's possible to say that subject number one is constantly watching a TV show about himself, gradually forgetting that he is a viewer, and identifying with the show. From that point of view, subject number two is something totally unbelievable and indescribable. It is a TV show that watches another TV show. This process involves emotions and thoughts, but the person in whose mind they appear is absent.
Surfing of channels that is used to escape the commercials is called “zapping.” The bourgeois inquirers has researched quite thoroughly the psychological condition of a person engaged in zapping, and the corresponding type of mentality that is gradually becoming the base of the modern world. But the type of zapping that those inquirers have been researching corresponds to the surfing of channels by the viewer himself.
Zapping of the viewer conducted by the director and the operator (i.e. the coerced induction of the subject number two as a result of the technical modifications) is another type of zapping, a forced one, and research on this subject has been terminated practically in all the countries, except Butan, where television is outlawed. But the coerced zapping, when the television transforms into a remote control of the viewer, is not simply one of the methods of organization of the video clips - it is the basis of tele-conveyance, the main process of influencing the mind with the infomercial field. This is why from now on the subject number two will be referred to as Homo Zapiens , or HZ.
Let us repeat this extremely important conclusion: just as the viewer, not wanting to sit through the commercials, surfs the channels, the momentary and unpredictable modifications surf the viewer himself. Transformed into HZ, he becomes a TV show operated from a distance. And this is the state in which he spends a significant part of his life.
The condition of the modern man is not simply pitiful - it can be said that it's absent, because there is no man to speak of. There is nothing that can be pointed to, and labeled: “This, this here is Homo Zapiens.” HZ is simply the leftover glow from the luminophore of the slumbering soul; it is a movie about the filming of another movie, shown on television in an empty house.
Naturally, a question arises: why is the modern man in such a predicament? Who is attempting to replace the already dazed and confused Homo Sapiens with a cubic metre of emptiness in the state of HZ?
The answer is obviously clear: no one. But let us not dwell on the bitter absurdity of the situation. In order to achieve a deeper understanding of it, let us recall that the main cause of the existance of television is its advertising function, connected with circulation of money. Therefore now we will have to adress the direction of the human thought known as economics… "
/Che Guevara's famous posthumus lecture/
It's worth reading once in your life if you haven't read it yet.
See the world in ORANGE - "reality" show (theme)
"IDENTIALISM AS THE HIGHEST STATE OF DUALISM