Whipping the fog and pride

‘It was as useless to fight against the interpretations of ignorance as to whip the fog’.

—George Elliot, Middlemarch

Throughout the first decades of my life I was very naive. I believed that it was possible to reason with people simply by citing facts and solid arguments based on those facts. I hadn’t realised that humanity is a failed species, and that throughout civilisations humans have believed simply what they want to believe, even if they are the most horrible and cruel religions or secular ideologies.

After reading Schopenhauer I realised that everything has to do with the will, and that it is impossible to change the worldview of an ordinary human unless one first gains his will.

When I learned in my twenties of liberal Christian criticism about the historicity of New Testament accounts, in my infinite naivety I believed that I could use that knowledge to argue with my father. For example, I once told him that Herod’s massacre of the innocents could not be historical since Flavius Josephus, the historian of the 1st century of our era, would not have overlooked it in his famous history of Jewry. But Josephus doesn’t mention it. The only thing my father did was get angry, and of course my solid argument didn’t make the slightest dent in his traditional Catholic worldview.

The same I came to observe with the people of the left whom I dealt with. As my visitors know, I grew up in a country in Latin America. In the days before the internet, my acquaintances were not interested in what could be accessed through the cultural magazines of the country, for example, the magazine Vuelta by Octavio Paz: who criticised Marxism-Leninism. The left-wing people whom I dealt with weren’t interested in Paz’s magazine, even though he was the Spanish speaker whose prose was the most lyrical in his day.

(Left, Juan del Río and his wife, who invited me to enter Eschatology in December 1978. Both have already died.) Likewise, when I began to apostatise from Eschatology, a cult of the New Age type in which I spent some years of my life (see the first of my essays in Daybreak), my teacher Juan del Río didn’t answer any of my arguments even when I sent them in writing. Juan died because eschatologists believe that all diseases have a psychosomatic aetiology, and despite having the financial means, a colon cancer that tormented him for years wasn’t properly treated. In his book-review ‘Do not rely on “mental healing”, scepticism is healthy’, the American S. Currie tells about a similar case:

My mother left leather-bound editions of The Sickle (1918) and The Sharp Sickle (1938) [the textbooks of Eschatology] to me before she passed away. She used to read to me from these books on Sundays when I was young. I believe her mother, my grandmother, originally introduced her to these books when she was a young woman. Both my mother and grandmother died of colon cancer. My father was a physician. In my mother’s case, she kept her early symptoms secret from my Dad and everyone else so that she could work on them via ‘mental healing’. When at last she did tell my Dad and she went to her doctor, it was too late. I both love these books as my mother’s close possessions, and despise them for encouraging her to ignore modern medicine. I will not leave them to my children.

Some time later, now with the advantage of the internet, I discovered the forums of white nationalists, and it happened exactly the same that had happened to me with my father, the Latin American leftists and the eschatologists: they don’t tolerate cognitive dissonance. If they tolerated it the first thing they would do would be a severe examination of conscience of how it is possible to be Jew-wise and at the same time bend the knee before the god of the Jews. It took me a few years to realise that white nationalists are as closed-minded as my father, the people of the old left that I dealt with, and the eschatologists.

For the record, I have been in this world for over sixty years, and this has been my experience with the common human. Trying to fight ignorance with all of them has been like whipping the fog: a pointless experience. I’m not referring to one hundred percent of Christians, leftists or white nationalists because it is obvious that there are exceptions. I mean the bulk of the population.

What they all lack is a little humility. I abandoned Christianity, leftist ideologies, Eschatology and White Nationalism out of humility (now I don’t consider myself a white nationalist but rather a ‘priest of the 14 words’ to distinguish myself from them): humility to face tough or ugly facts. What all these people suffer from is pride, the original sin to quote their own vocabulary.

Published in: on January 23, 2021 at 1:42 pm  Comments Off on Whipping the fog and pride  
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