Before our minds create the world, how does the world create our mind?” -Gabor Mate
These philosophy posts are to help anyone who had the same problem I had. I’ve always been interested in philosophy and once I got to an age where I could start understanding the ideas more deeply, I was lead to nihilism. RAWism is a metaphysical toolkit I created that kept me from the logical cliff of nihilism, which is suicide. So I offer this for anyone who likes to play with metaphysical ideas like I do.
Robert Anton Wilson saved my sanity. When I was eighteen, I was an unbalanced mix of sexual frustration, egoic grandiosity, and philosophic curiosity. Adding weed and college, and later psychedelics, I started wondering into metaphysical labyrinths without yarn. The Minotaur slayed me more than once.
My second semester, I failed all my classes, which resulted in a 0.7 GPA. I was sure I’d be kicked out of college. A huge personality shift happened that summer. One of the major reasons was because I came across the book Prometheus Rising. This book changed my life. I have reread it every year since.
This post is called RAWism because, well, his initials, and that these basic principles are the yarns his work helped me get through the metaphysical labyrinth, or as RAW describes it, “through chapel perilous.” If you understand these, you can play with any reality tunnel and not get stuck or lost. The most important principle is the first one, however. Always remember, nothing is the actual truth, it is a model of the truth that is molded and dependent on the human nervous system that created it and uses it.
The 3 principles are:
We live in illusion. Our nervous system’s wiring is shaped by the hand of evolution. The raw, buzzing atomistic data interacting with our sense organs are codified as solid, discrete objects. Objects we can interact with. Our nervous system is not deceiving us. It has coded the data in a “true enough” way that the body can survive long enough to diversify its programming language, DNA, through sexual reproduction.
Model Agnosticism is a term we get from physics, also known as, “The Copenhagen Interpretation.” Articulated by Niels Bohr, this interpretation states, “Any grid we use to organize our experience of the world is a model of the world and should not be confused with the world itself.” Anton’s favorite Semanticist expresses this, “The map is not the territory.” The Zen American Alan Watts’s take was, “The menu is not the meal.”
The subtly here is realizing this for the first time. The moment you were contracted and squeezed through the birth canal, you have been physically and psychologically molded into a certain perspective of reality. This is not sinister, it is nature. You looked to your environment, your parents, and culture for cues toward how to behave. More so then any other factor, language has molded how you perceive reality.
Model Agnosticism is the first assumption I make. It is the first because it completely frees me. With my freedom, I become the creator of my world. But the price of this freedom is that you lose the meaning structures that got you through infancy and adolescence. The task now becomes your burden, or opportunity — to create your new models of meaning.