Cognition and Delusion. The Problem of Science in the World Crisis
, Berlin
Where are we? Notes on a non-trivial question...
We live on the surface of a globe, which chases through the cosmic night at considerable speed. Whatever happens, whatever we do and omit, experience and suffer, build and destroy etc., it takes place on this speeding globe, on the “spaceship” earth. The inhabitants of earth, so it seems, have erased the nearer or further cosmic environment somehow from their consciousness. There are the celestial bodies of the day and the night, other celestial bodies which travel their course, there is the cosmic light and the darkness, the radiating majesty of the day and the occasionally disturbing majesty of the night. But both are not regarded as ontological being, each with their own dignity and depth, but ultimately anonymous, blindly occurring course of events about which one does not have to think more deeply and which does not mean anything metaphysically. And which also could not possibly have any meaning.
We stand, indeed inseparably, in cosmic fields of experience, but for most people in the ruling intellectual culture this plays a vanishingly small role to begin with, compared with what they regard as solely important and essential, namely their immediate lifeworld on the celestial surface, their horizon of experience, their wishes and wants, their suffering and much more. What enters the consciousness as cosmic in nature is at most the so-called astrology or the cosmological narrative, which the ruling abstract natural science has transplanted into the minds of men and which has meanwhile been adamantly anchored there. This largely dead image of the cosmic environment is like a ghostly foil behind everything that goes on. Sometimes and to some people the suspicion arises that something strange is going on and has perhaps been interpreted wrongly or shortened or one-sidedly. But quickly this suspicion is stifled again. After all, “the” science has explained to us, without alternative, how we have to perceive the cosmos and in what manner it surrounds us in a demonstrably real fashion. “Demonstrably real?” Is that really true? Is it not possible to see many things quite differently? This question is rarely asked, but it actually imposes itself on every serious thinker sooner or later. Doesn't it?
In what I write here in the following, a foreboding around this “completely other” is vibrating. And the problem of science and this world crisis are not only considered immanently or isolated, but spiritually-cosmic, without me feeling called upon to present this “other view” in my perception and in my thinking more broadly here. Only a gentle background murmur, a kind of cosmic murmur without language, is underlaying this essay and cannot be detached from it. This may irritate some readers but it would be dishonest, if I was to conceal this “other view”, which can also pass as a kind of working hypothesis... Yes, it is a working hypothesis, not a phantasm. Perhaps also a metaphysical premise, epistemically speaking, a kind of metaphysical a priori, for which there are nevertheless empirical indications.
Corona - something is missing...
From the very beginning, I have also understood the so-called COVID crisis as a spiritual challenge. I wanted to understand, from a philosophical point of view as well, what it was actually about, “what was happening here”. Early on, it became clear to me that the official narrative could not be true. Recognizing this was comparatively easy. So many contradictions, inconsistencies, unsupported assertions, nonsensical measures declared to be sensible – even necessary, an authoritarian air of almost astounding simplicity and chutzpah under the guise of science and the so-called lack of alternatives, and much more were impossible to overlook. This was and is confusing at first. How was and is such a thing possible, and possible on a global scale? How could this have come about?
Much has been written about this. There are illuminating and astute reflections from which I have learned a lot. The front of the “corona skeptics” or “critics of the measures” has brought substantial aspects to light. But I always had the impression that essentials were not recognized and understood. A statement, which I do not formulate lightly or in a know-it-all fashion, but from decades of experience in the field of the so-called science criticism, which I have presented to the public in books, essays and video contributions. My criticism of the prevailing natural sciences (and this was my primary concern) was and is essentially a fundamental criticism. Decades ago I had already gained the impression that this was lacking on all fronts, that hardly anyone approached this “hot potato”. Why? Because here, if one consistently touches the (in the last analysis metaphysical) foundations, the mostly unquestioned premises and axioms, on which the whole impressive building of the abstract natural science rests, one is faced with tremendous resistance. The conclusion suggests itself that there is a kind of taboo here. In addition, there is to a certain extent the understandable fear of exposing oneself to ridicule and, in connection with this, of being ostracized, of losing one's reputation (if there is one), and of going to ruin for all practical intents and purposes. It is unnecessary to further illustrate this point in this context.
Global crisis of consciousness or: “Recognize the situation”
First of all, I would like to note that, like many others, I consider the COVID crisis to be part of an unprecedented world crisis, which can be understood as a fundamental crisis of our entire way of being-in-the-world, as a crisis of consciousness, or as I occasionally argue, also as a psycho-cosmological crisis, which causes us grief and, to varying degrees, also neuroticizes us, if we are honest. No one gets through this unscathed.
“Recognize the situation” is the title of an essay by Gottfried Benn from 1944.
That's what I want to try to do here, in relation to the world crisis “since Covid”. To recognize the global situation, also in the complex variety of interlocking factors that are often difficult to see through, seems to me indispensable, although there are of course limits to this, especially since overarching mental and spiritual factors also come into play which usually do not receive any attention at all because they exceed the narrow horizon of the prevailing state of consciousness and are quickly devalued as “esoteric” or “astrological”. I have to take this risk, although I write here exclusively as a philosopher and a thinker who has been striving for true understanding for decades.
Science as religion
As early as spring of 2020 I noticed that many people paraded before themselves what they considered to be science like a monstrance or like the famous Ark of the Covenant. For a long time, it has been obvious that science has become a kind of secular religion with ex-cathedra declarations that are in no way inferior to the pronouncements of church dignitaries. The dogmatic air, even with, let us say, bold or even flimsy theses is occasionally breathtaking and astounding. By the way, this relates primarily to the natural sciences here, which as a primarily abstract type of natural science represents the foundational and leading science of the intellectual culture, in the face of which “laymen” often left standing admiringly and marveling. This is especially true when it comes dressed up mathematically (and thus for most people incomprehensibly to start with), or better still as a computer simulation, whose premises and axioms are not supplied. (Mostly the researchers concerned are not aware of them themselves.) The modern/postmodern contemporary is more or less believing in science. As a rule, however, he presents himself as a skeptic (“you can't tell me anything”), well informed, capable of judgment and with an alert mind.
The reality often looks quite different, also (but not only) because the possibilities of direct and indirect influence by the media have become so differentiated that the individual is initially overwhelmed and also lacks the criteria to adequately judge a fact that is presented to him as a fact. Particularly when issues are concerned (and this is usually the case) for which he lacks the direct background of experience. The spectrum of direct experience of the individual is very narrow; most of it is read, uncritically accepted, taken up through the lens of one's own ideology or rejected as “wrong anyway”. The sea of opinions is incalculably large. A word in “Faust” may be a good addition here: “O happy, who still can hope/to emerge from this sea of error!/What one does not know, one just needed,/and what one does know, one has no use for.”
The power of authority of personalities and institutions that have a reputation and are thus considered trustworthy adds to this. To distance oneself from this and to critically place one’s own against it requires a commitment and strength that is usually impossible to muster and therefore rarely occurs. Especially in the case of science and its assumptions and assertions, this is a problem that is often underestimated. In addition: Only the person who suspects that something is not entirely right, that something is “fishy” here, distances themselves and even feels the need to do so. Then the focus is sharpened and the weak spots are scrutinized for which one tries to invalidate in order to bring down the entire narrative. It is always important: without a viable alternative, any criticism hangs in the air. This does not mean that the alternative then covers everything and can explain everything, so to speak, but this is often expected. A tricky field...
These are actually well-known issues. In the COVID crisis, however, this was and is shown as in a magnifying glass. There are countless so-called “studies” on most topics. Those who are inclined to a certain view, however it may have come about, will only trust the validity of the study that confirms it, and reject the others or regard them with suspicion. Moreover, there are, so to speak, epochal false beliefs that transcend the individual. If these false beliefs have been accepted and spread for long enough, they have their own inertial force against which little can be done at first. Anyone who doubts them faces the most severe and occasionally existential hostility. And it is of little help at first to the person destroyed if at some point it turns out that they were right.
Collective Misconceptions
The history of science is always also the history of collective misconceptions, even delusions, to which people cling stubbornly. It is important that scientific “opinions” or “dogmas” cannot be detached from a rather diffuse worldview context that informs them. This worldview context does not even have to come into consciousness directly; it can remain undetected and implicit and often is so. This can be shown in great scientific controversies, for example in the correspondence of Newton's student Samuel Clarke and Leibniz from 1715/16. Here the central issues were space, time, causality and God, the absolute and the relative. Whoever reads the correspondence entirely, which was conducted on a high intellectual level, reaches without great acumen the conclusion that both combatants (Clarke in the place of his master Newton) did not, ultimately, deviate even one millimeter from the conviction presented at the beginning. Neither can convince the other of his own view. Thus, the match ends in stalemate, if one is inclined to see it that way. Of course, commentators evaluate the contest according to their own basic assumptions or from what they think they know.
Is space absolute, that is, always there even if it contained nothing (Newton), or does it exist only insofar as objects are present in it (Leibniz)? What is the quality of space? How does space relate to God? Both antagonists argue throughout with the omnipresence of God. If God exists independently of space, space would have its own, quasi extra-divine reality, or does it, i.e. space, actually not exist at all (as the idealist thinkers, Kant above all, assumed)? Etc.
Or the controversy between Niels Bohr, representative for the quantum theorists, and Einstein. Both had a fundamentally different understanding of reality. The quantum-theoretical approach, consistently thought through, dissolves the traditional concept of objects completely; something diffuse, nebulous remains, which can be grasped only mathematically outside of causality. Einstein argued against that “God does not play dice”; at this point he argued quite realistically and from the starting-point of conventional causality...
I myself, in order to push the thought indicated at the beginning a step further, take as a starting-point a completely different understanding of reality than that of the abstract natural science. I set out from the premise of a comprehensive aliveness and a deeper meaningfulness of the cosmos. Gaia is everywhere, one could say in a simplifying manner. The human beings on this planet and on innumerable other celestial bodies are integral parts of the soul of the world and the infinite-eternal universe. We look into the cosmos but, what is hardly considered – this cosmos looks back as it were. Any monologue breaks down in the face of this. We are comprehensively looked at, even if we believe, when we push our powerful telescopes into the nocturnal firmament, to find only a world of dead objects in front of ourselves, which has nothing at all to do with us in any sense, to which we are completely indifferent and which is equally indifferent to us. The “you-are-not-meant-universe” of the prevailing cosmology is, according to my conviction, an illusion. I will come back to this aspect. As living beings with consciousness, we are embedded in a comprehensively living and conscious universe. Life and consciousness arise from life and consciousness. Life arising from dead things has never been observed...
How did science come into being? The suggestive power of abstraction
At this point, it is appropriate to say something about the nature and origin of what was and is considered science. This requires a brief look at the history of science. Modern natural science as a structurally abstract search for knowledge arose in the late 16th, early 17th century as a response to the challenges posed by Copernican science. Copernicus saw himself primarily as a mathematician. Exchanging the relative positions of earth and sun (speaking in a simplified manner) did not contain any reference to the physics of the heliocentric approach that needed to be supplied here. The most difficult and troubling question was this: If the Earth is moving at dashing speed (and this had well to be assumed), why don’t we notice this? Why does the earthly perception, including what was and is considered physics, seem to be closed off to this “unleashed earth” in its frantic run around the sun? By the way: This question can also still cause puzzlement or confusion today. Has it been answered convincingly? Not at all, as I believe to have shown comprehensively.
The post-Copernican physics, that was considered to have been completed by the Newtonian celestial mechanics at first (not entirely identical with the physics of Newton himself, as we know), offered a rather abstract answer to this. It postulated the physical equivalence of the famous rectilinear-equal motion (a fiction if there ever was one) to the state of rest. This was and is the “principle of relativity of classical mechanics”. The rather disturbing question, how the movement of the celestial whole and the calmness of the celestial surface as perceived on the ground carrying us, are to be brought into congruence, was not really answered with this. It still is not within the prevailing physics, as are many other questions which wrongfully are considered to be answered within the general consciousness.
Since technology in general works, many (most probably) believe that with it not only the physics on which it is based has been proved beyond doubt, but the abstract natural science far transcending it as well, including physical cosmology and its inherent hypotheses and fictions. This is a plain error. The largely empirical basis of physical principles on the Earth's surface or its cosmic vicinity in no way proves the most daring theories and hypotheses of so-called cosmology – for example the big bang, black holes, the space curvature and many more.
Physics, as mathematical natural science, was from the outset and until today never really related to the world of actual human experience, but rather to a quasi de-sensualized, skeleton-like diluted, and in this sense more or less dead, world. It has not been concerned with life, but with the abstract description of things that have no inherent life of their own. This inherent life also encompasses consciousness, it encompasses essentially everything that characterizes the living existence, for instance including also color, emotion, complex variety of perception, to offer only a few examples. All of this was now excluded. It slipped into the realm of the mere “subjective”. Not a worthy candidate for the supposedly “objective” search for knowledge or, more modestly, the “description of the world”. Thus, a split has been created, which basically tears the living human being apart and/or drives him into a lifelong state of schizophrenia.
Today in the extreme: “Out there” a world of objects which is more or less hostile to life, a monstrous, senseless universe, which hardly deserves the old designation cosmos anymore. This transforms man, as Sloterdijk says, into a “cosmic idiot”. Ultimately it ruins him, if he does not succeed in opening up a livable alternative, which can only meaningfully be thought of as part of a living universe filled with consciousness, as I have preferred to conceptualize it for a long time, in the succession and in further developing the thinking of the natural philosophers and cosmologists Giordano Bruno (1548–1600) and Helmut Friedrich Krause (1904–1973), to mention only two of my most important inspirations in this line of thought.
Science of the dead
The so-called abstract natural science, as a science of the dead, continues to be regarded as the supreme discipline and model of science in general. This also includes what Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker called “methodological atheism”, with which another premise that underpins the scientific project is made explicit. The individual may “believe whatever he likes”, but as a scientist he must work strictly atheistically and also materialistically, and in a reductionist fashion anyway: Overlapping mental and spiritual principles of explanation and effect, which fill the universe (many indications point in this direction) are more or less taboo, they are not allowed in scientific discourse and considered to be exclusively private opinion without any scientific relevance, which makes the individual who presents them in public seem somewhat suspicious. This has damaged our collective perception across the board. And it needs a personal act of strength to set a creative counter-example here, in order to reach a different, deeper and more comprehensive understanding of science.
The methodological atheism is therefore necessarily accompanied by a complete methodological materialism (= everything is ultimately material), which presses all scientific approaches to the world into a narrow ideological corset and – necessarily – leads to grotesque distortions, which have nothing to do with reality. Thus, only material or energetic (“quasi-material”) effective factors can exist in this view. And these are tracked down in the deepest depths and the smallest particles of matter. At some point, the “researcher” is sucked down into these caverns of matter, a process which is accompanied by a kind of mineralization of consciousness that causes everything genuinely human to disappear. In transhumanist thinking this becomes brutally apparent.
COVID-Science Virology in the World Crisis
What has come into public focus as the discipline of virology during the last two years is almost paradigmatic for the dead concept of science I have just outlined. No virology without computer simulation, without mathematical modeling, and all of this on the basis of abstract premises which, in large part, consider the living human being a mere object, a thing, a function of mathematical principles. To these the human being has to submit, when the model-based constructions are declared as political necessities and amplified by the media as the basis of far-reaching interventions into the lives of countless people. Science then often mutates into a fetish, even into an idol: the distilled, mostly isolated numbers mostly presented without contextual information take on a uncanny life of their own, which can completely overwhelm the “normal human being” (if there still is such an entity) and drive them into madness.
The dead triumphs; the living finds itself between the hammer and the anvil. The technocratic dictatorship leaves hardly any room for a life of its own, at most it graciously tolerates margins, which are cleverly offered in order to prevent the insanity of the whole to appear too obvious.
True and false science. Do viruses exist?
In the COVID crisis, we are experiencing a sometimes heated and ideologically charged discussion about the question: What is real and serious science, and what needs to be called pseudo-science and therefore be rejected? Camps have emerged and frontlines have been drawn. Many assertions have been made which claim to be based on scientific knowledge and research. The boundaries are often difficult to draw. Study is pitted against study. One almost always finds a study that confirms one’s own opinion or at least moves it into the realm of high probability. And the so-called layman often asks himself confused and frustrated: So, what is true then?
Example: Do viruses exist at all? The fact that they have never been clearly isolated and purified tends rather to speak against it. But is that a convincing argument? Can it be proven beyond doubt, if the famous Sars-Cov-2 virus does exist, that it is causally responsible for the disease known as Covid-19? Are we therefore dealing with a scientific finding or only with a weak, rather meager hypothesis, perhaps even mere fiction? Is the alleged Sars-Cov-2 virus, as some assume, only a computer-generated construct? The colorful representations of the virus, which the “reputable media” constantly and seemingly manically spread and use in a manipulative fashion, are products of pure fantasy in any case. Such a thing has never even approximately been documented with an electron microscope. In posing such questions one ends up in a kind of minefield, especially when answering them is interwoven with positions of power, reputation or political influence and the prerogative of interpretation. The stakes are high on all fronts. It is not uncommon for the tone to be irritable, emotionally charged, haughty or defamatory. Everywhere and with amazing confidence, things are passed off as facts that are at best to be understood as supposition or working hypothesis.
Beyond this, many things – more than assumed by most contemporaries – is fundamentally beyond the scope of scientific access. Spatiality as such, to offer only one example, represents a kind of sphinx from a scientific perspective, a complete riddle, which has so far pulled every true rationalist into an intellectual abyss. The same is true for time, for the self, for the origin of life, for consciousness... We are surrounded by riddles and mysteries, in the face of which the common project of science seems pathetic and at the same time megalomaniac.
It is an epistemological naivety of the first order to seriously assume that this world in its entirety is accessible through rationality. To define the limits of cognizing reason, as Kant tried to do, is impossible by means of this cognizing reason itself; one would need a quasi-divine meta-perspective, an absolute cognition, as Nietzsche already argued against Kant. A few more things for clarification:
Experience, Hypothesis, Fiction
Undeniably there is something like empirical natural science, i.e. science based on experience; beside it exists the incalculably wide field of hypotheses, conjectures, assertions and “mathematized occultism”. From here it is not far to the realm of pure fictions. Most consider the kingdom of empiricism to be very large, that of hypotheses to be “somewhat smaller” but still sufficiently large, and that of fictions to be rather small. My conviction is that it is the other way around. Little real experience, much hypothesis formation and conjecture as well as an incalculably large field of the pure speculation and the fictions. This becomes particularly clear in cosmology, whose matadors consider themselves to be the spearhead of earthly intelligence. At the same time they are not even able to explain how the light can move so straight through the empty space. Which carrier medium makes this possible? The light ether was abolished, but what took its place? Actually nothing. The nothing, hung up with the word “quantum vacuum” transporting little content substance – a pure fiction. Here, real progress is only possible on the basis of more subtle ether ideas, which, however, exceed the customary science.
I do not presume to be able to make this differentiation between empirical, hypothetical and fictitious in every case in last consequence. But undeniably there is this rough division into three realms, and it is quite helpful and enlightening. There is much, that I, or “one”, must simply accept or more or less believe. Naturally, there are only relatively few fields in which I can fall back on my own, actual empirical research. The whole thing becomes even more difficult, the more abstract, complicated and indirect the respective chain of evidence or reasoning is. The basic question “What is a scientific proof?” thus becomes an abyss.
In cosmological questions the empirical approach in any real sense is completely absent; results are depending strongly on models and are based on premises which are metaphysical apriori at their core and whose ultimate justification is impossible. The so-called “big bang” is a good illustration of this. It cannot be proven structurally at all, so to speak, as one can readily see. If one interprets the so-called red shift, i.e. the shift of the galactic spectral lines in the direction of red, not as a Doppler effect (i.e. as a flight of the spiral nebulae, as was said at the time) as Hubble did at the end of the 1920s, but as “light fatigue” or caused by other field effects, then one arrives at completely different conclusions.
Cosmology and Anthropology
I refer to cosmological elements here not only in epistemological or science-critical respect (as important and interesting as this aspect is), but from the perspective of the man-cosmos-problem, which is of tremendous anthropological relevance. This at the same time addresses the image of man. What is the nature of man?
This (metaphysical) question is mostly dismissed as too speculative. One gets the impression that political, sociological and scientific processes on our home planet can be, and indeed should be, considered completely independent of overarching cosmic or rather cosmic-spiritual factors, and that they take place immanently, as it were. I consider this to be a grandiose mistake.
The prevailing cosmology reduces man, the “earthling”, to a quasi-nothing, to a being emerging pointlessly from the night of non-being, a being with really nothing to it in any deeper sense. And which chases inescapably towards its own death, only to be shattered by this black wall which fills most people with fear and dread. The anthropological and cosmic nihilism of this picture is palpable. Everything that goes beyond this conception of life is considered in the public discourse as mere opinion, as ideology, as “only subjective” without any basis in solid, material and rationally determinable factors. This touches on the already mentioned methodological atheism – one could also say methodological nihilism, methodological meaninglessness. For decades, I have also been talking about the “subject-blind natural science”, which has never been abolished or overcome, even by quantum theory, as is often claimed. The abstractionism of the prevailing physics, which is distant from life, even hostile to life, finds its crowning glory in quantum physics. It is strange that many do not see this. In reality the quantum theory can explain not a single entity of nature, whether an ant, a blade of grass or the human being, in as far as he is nature.
The conflicts of our time cannot be solved at all in the context of this methodical nihilism, this pure and barren immanence without any spiritual-cosmic foundation. This is perfectly obvious. The majority of people on this earth in the prevailing state of consciousness, the intellectual culture, experience themselves as senseless flotsam in the sea of the dead outer space which breathes on them coldly and mercilessly. The “project world soul” is considered to have failed on all accounts (Sloterdijk). The forementioned “cosmic idiot” is then the only possible and scientifically approved form of existence of man. The so-called dignity of man, which is ultimately anchored metaphysically, then falls by the wayside. The consequences of this can be seen everywhere. The majority of so-called modern or postmodern people have crashed down onto the concrete ceiling of the material outside world. This pure, materialistically conceived immanence, eventually destroys or shatters everything that constitutes the core substance of man. Here man must become a neurotic ghost, with a mindnumbing fear of death - this seems self-evident. The Corona regimes exploit this nihilistic fear of death with shameless sophistication.
The transhumanists are on the advance because there is no creative and genuinely spiritual counterforce against the all-around sick vision of the machine-human. The so-called AI (artificial intelligence) is cheered on by the masses. Why? Because it lacks natural intelligence. Because it is here where man has failed completely. I am well aware that many have a quite different perspective.
Science and the image of man
Which brings us back, inevitably, to science and the image of man. The erroneous development here causes the erroneous development there. What is cause, what is effect? Man has lost himself, one could say in a formulaic way. He has delegated his core substance, as it were, to the machine and to the many technical and digital idols he serves. The technosphere has long since become the theosphere and now dominates this battered planet. This does not serve any of us well, even if we seem to profit from it and trivialise the idol that whips us forward. "You think you are pushing, but you are being pushed" (Faust, Walpurgis Night).
Also: The already mentioned “quasi-nothing” human being naturally all too often acts up as “quasi-God”. “If we find no god on earth,/we will be gods ourselves”, one finds in the "Winterreise" (22nd song). This is the ostentatively joyful or rather desperate maxim, which in reality is more of a slogan or a battle cry.
In this world crisis, which threatens to ruin us all, many cling to “science” as if it were the only safe and reliable ground. It is probably necessary to define more precisely what is actually at stake here. The original impulse of modern science in astronomy, in the confrontation with the Copernican challenge, has already been mentioned. This challenge exists in a certain way until this day. And this is because the questions emerging at that time (contrary to what most believe) have not been really clarified at all. The matadors of abstract natural science, of which Galileo was the first, rejected (and still reject or forever again reject) the question regarding the essence, the inner quality of being of the objects and forces in this world, in favor of mathematization and abstract modeling, which does not really explain anything. But it does enable the power-oriented technical access to the world.
Who calculates, does not think. Who thinks, does not calculate. Is that true?
I occasionally speak of the “mathematized occultism” of abstract natural science, to invoke this term once again. The essence of things remains hidden (= occult) and appears also increasingly less interesting, while the functional and formal aspects of all parts of nature and the cosmos, which are more or less imagined as dead, almost exclusively dominates the field. Why think deeper, if one can calculate? Who can calculate, does not think. And who thinks, does not calculate, at least not with the dead numbers, which alone are taken seriously in science. “Numbers kill”, says the cultural philosopher Oswald Spengler (who was also a mathematician).
The large-scale scientific project is ideally based on the effort for rational knowledge of the world at the guide of clear and strict principles and criteria, which also include the so-called reproducibility. The basic premise is this: rational and empirical knowledge of the world is to a certain degree possible and meaningful. It reveals constantly widening and deepening perspectives on “the world”, and in the final analysis on the whole of all existing things, the universe (= cosmology). The basis of science should be empirical, i.e. based on objectifiable experience, as far as possible. Much, indeed most of this world eludes the direct experience. The indirect dominates the direct. This is rarely reflected upon more deeply, for which there are several reasons. One of them is rooted in the hubris and the megalomania of the scientific spirit, whose delusional ideology entails the claim to represent the summit of human spiritual greatness, which considers everything and anything to be legitimate to be summoned before the judgment seat of its own great power, to be without alternative anyway. The self-idolatry of man becomes visible here. His ignorance is directly proportional to the megalomania he displays.
In the Corona crisis, many things have come to light, as it were, in a prefabricated manner, things which have been the case for a long time anyway (I repeat this thought, like many others, quite consciously, for mantric reasons), namely the lack of a higher image of man, adequate to the mental complexity and depth of man, and this in close coupling to a world view which in parts is downright absurd, a senseless and dead universe, dominated by unconsciousness and machine-like functioning so-called “laws of nature”. We have masked or blocked the comprehensively living and meaningful cosmos with our projections, as it were. This crushes us and also shatters every spiritual-cosmic context of meaning. But without this we are lost. Meaningless flames of consciousness in the desert of heaven, which are blown out after a short lifetime by the storm wind of our own projections, which appear as objective realities.
Credo, quia absurdum...
The materialistic/reductionist view of the world and of man is demonstrated by Corona in its dullness and hostility to life. All so-called measures, globally, bear this brutal stamp. The epistemological errors and misdirections are palpable. For example, the fixation of the “governmental” scientists on computer models, abstract numbers and diagrams with prognostic claims, which cannot be connected at all with the complex living reality of actual people. The justifications offered were and are monocausal and one-dimensional and therefore purely speculative in their basic direction. The disoriented politicians deefer to the “expertise” of the relevant scientists, who ascend to a quasi-religious rank. I have always felt reminded of the famous statement of the church father Tertullian “Credo quia absurdum.” (I believe it because it is absurd). It is true, there also is solid and well-founded science, but usually only on a comparatively manageable terrain, where the possibilities of error are manageable also. The situation is quite different when difficult and only indirectly accessible complexes and causalities are concerned. This is where most of the scientific energy flows. At the same time, this opens the door to often wild speculation.
Science and morality
I must add one more factor not mentioned so far. We live in a time in which almost everything is somehow morally charged. As well and especially science, whose ideology ironically encompasses being beyond beyond moral norms and guidelines. In the Corona crisis, there is little evidence of this. The dispute among scientists is now no longer primarily about right and wrong, but about what is ideologically correct and agreeable to power centers. Not the open dispute of arguments is in the center, but often enough the attitude, the political ideology, the favored world view and also so-called morality. Why, actually? Perhaps as a counter-movement against the factual nihilism of a mankind drifting into senselessness, the majority of which being whipped forward by that metallic glittering idol, which I call the mega-technical Pharaoh, as a collective name for the abstract power apparatuses. The crown of morality is mendaciously put on each respective insanity, and this with amazing success. Whoever believes himself to be a devoted citizen, but also ideologically on the right side, needs the moral posture to feel good. “You're endangering human lives if you, quite selfishly, don't get vaccinated or walk around without a mask!” With it a condemnation sentence is pronounced, which is supposed to bring the person addressed in such a way morally to their knees, even to rob them of a genuinely human attribute.
How the cosmos is seen (world view) has a lot to do with our image of man and with the way we inhabit the earth as well as our attitude towards it. Each culture or collective soul formation has its own psycho-cosmology and thus its universally binding inner space, which embeds and supports the individual. This binding inner space has been lost in the occidental history of ideas and cannot be regained; which would hardly be desirable, even if it were possible. Only as soulless cyberspace on the basis of the cosmic forlornness of the individual is commonality still bindingly established. The connecting element is actually nothingness.
When the world of stars is silent and the cosmos only comes into view in a monstrously distorted way, because living, connected space energy fields are no longer allowed in the sea of the world soul, then only the black and consciousness-blind outer space remains as a desolate toil, which makes the human being a cosmic outcast, trembling in fear of death and being lost. Then the spiritually “pre-imagined” desert “out there” is materially produced on the surface of the stars. The cosmos has been spiritually destroyed and depopulated and now grins demonically at the earthlings. “The cosmos is like a mirror,” goes an ancient Persian wisdom saying. “If a donkey looks into it...”, an image of himself must also confront him. (I should ask the donkeys, these wonderful animals, for forgiveness that I bring them up here in such a way). Briefly and almost trivially said: The human being sees and evaluates the cosmic and earthly environment according to his own consciousness, collectively and individually.
When the dead cosmology falls, which can only come about through a “metaphysical revolution”, the mega-technical delusion with all its absurd and life-denying fictions and narratives also collapses. Then, as it were, the sky clears. And man understands that he was never separated, that his exile was always an illusion. I take the liberty of sharing this vision, without trying to paint a detailed picture, accepting the risk of now being counted among fantasy authors. “I love him who desires the impossible”, says Manto in the second part of “Faust”. But it is important, indeed indispensable, to develop a saving perspective that pierces the prevailing delusion. How and where would this be found?
The question of all questions
Ultimately, all questions of this kind lead to the one big question: What kind of world (= universe) do we actually live in? Its answer, whether explicitly or rather implicitly, determines our entire being-in-the-world in all its facets. Are we, that is the inhabitants of the earth, alone in an absurd universe governed by blind forces and laws, which is indifferent to our wellbeing, because we are not intended at all, so to speak, and our existence stems merely from a crazy turn in the gear of things? Surrounded by the nothingness from which we come and which at some point makes us disappear again, chasing towards an ultimately senseless death, a universally feared cruel prince whom we cannot escape and who is always “already there”, like the hedgehog or his wife in the famous story of the hare and the hedgehog?
What is behind it? Isn't the fear of death in its depth a completely different fear, namely the fear of oneself in the extreme confrontation with one's own self, one's own being in its spiritual-cosmic anchoring? Who are we ontologically if we are not simply dull schemes or chimeras, mocked by the chance that lurks at every corner (on earth and in space)?
The Corona crisis has brought into our collective focus the perceived meaninglessness that is rampant everywhere, and the fear of annihilation by death. What has been repressed on all sides is now coming dangerously close to us. The virus becomes death par excellence. The enemy par excellence. This enemy must be must be fought by all means. And in the only-outside-world of the materialists this means simply the prolongation of life at almost any price. Man becomes a mere body, and this body is mercilessly taken possession of, colonized, even patented and pressed into the Great Machine of which he is to become a part. Spirit, soul, creative intelligence, resistant liveliness, metaphysical dignity, – all this falls by the wayside, is hardly of interest anymore. Who thinks deeper, disturbs the course of the machine and the transhumanistic agenda, which is mercilessly advanced.
The smart delusion
Science (in the sense of the abstract agenda) becomes not only a fetish, as already mentioned, but a kind of compulsory process, and this according to the motto: More science; that helps us all. We will overcome, sooner or later, what has harassed mankind before. Now we are moving into the Brave New World, from the smartphone to the smart city, to the smart state and, even better, to the smart planet. Speaking of which, there is constant talk of the planet (of its salvation anyway, which is already being verbally celebrated on T-shirts and backpacks), although it counts for next to nothing in its own cosmic dignity when viewed more closely. In the end the earth man does not know at all, which heavenly body he actually inhabits.
The smart delusion knows no limits. The chips that you get implanted are only the beginning. You yourself become a chip and are then freed from the burden of the flesh.
How do we move forward?
How do we overcome the materialistic, reductionistic and abstract science that is favored by the majority today? By this I mean primarily the so-called natural science (which deserves this designation only with restrictions), to which ultimately all other sciences look up to. Criticism of science, as I represent it, is not hostility to science, but the passionate effort for knowledge of the world, and thus also for a science that takes cosmos and man in its depth and fullness (and that includes consciousness) into consideration.
The world crisis we are living through, which basically overwhelms us all, cannot be overcome without a radical rethinking. That's easy to say, but what does it mean? This rethinking can probably only happen in a kind of cultural revolution, which cannot be planned or produced on the surface, but can probably only develop and constellate in the extreme threat, when the “project humanity” threatens to fail completely, when “everything is over” or at least seems to be. Then, in the deeper understanding, which includes but exceeds the systemic component, a (cosmically induced) “turnaround” can take place, which turns many things around. And everything rests on the question, who will be at this point. This cannot be determined in advance or even demanded. Postulates are futile. But real thinking, related to the living reality of the earth and the cosmos, triggers effects. Every living being in its own intensity and fullness of design is a counterforce against annihilation, against the nihilistic matrix, which for the time being still triumphs here and has almost everyone and everything firmly in its grip. Resistance against it is required, in thinking and in doing.
The powerlessness of immanence
Without the spiritual-cosmic perspective, which I have already hinted at, without defining it in a more differentiated way, there is no way forward. Trapped in immanence, I believe, we are lost. “Only a God can save us” says Martin Heidegger in the famous Spiegel conversation of 1966. Does this help us? Hardly. Although something is addressed there that seems to me worth considering, namely that progess is immanently impossible. Earth people, left to their own devices, will not succeed in breaking through the prevailing delusion. There is at least little to be said for it. The “cosmic factor” must come into play, indeed: represent the initial ignition. That would be the counterpart or equivalent to Heidegger.
Everything is animated, gifted with a soul and permeated by consciousness. That is my metaphysical premise. Much follows from it. Everything that is animated and has a soul wants to preserve itself and wants to and will defend itself against threatening or destructive forces. We humans, on all inhabited celestial bodies, are actors in this drama. Spirit battles rage, as it were, around us and in us, if it is permitted to use this terminology. The cosmos is not idyllic in this sense, instead it is life formed in the wrestling for consciousness.
Everywhere beings are wrestling for consciousness. Space is not a dead extension of a barren toil, but permeated by the world soul. This wonderful word has almost completely vanished from our vocabulary. The desolation and trivialization of language corresponds to the mega-technical and abstract formation of consciousness that dominates the globe. How much longer, how much longer?
“Räume, Dimensionen, Weltmodelle. Impulse für eine andere Naturwissenschaft.” Diederichs Verlag, München 1999, erweiterte Neuausgabe Drachen Verlag, Klein Jasedow 2007.
“KOSMOS”. OVALmedia, Berlin 2022.
Kritische Gesellschaftsforschung
Issue #01, July 2022
ISSN: 2751-8922
In this Issue:
Jochen Kirchhoff
Cognition and Delusion. The Problem of Science in the World Crisis
Hannah Broecker
Negotiating the future of political philosophy and practice: A renewal of democracy or technocratic governance?
Mark Neocleous
Immunity: Security; Security: Immunity… ad infinitum
Christina Gansel
Communicating Fear in the Corona Pandemic: On the Pattern of a linguistic-communicative Practice
Adam Szymanski
On the Scapegoating of the Unvaccinated: A Media Analysis of Political Propaganda During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Armin Triebel
The Destabilization of Democracies – A Discourse Analysis
Michael Meyen
Why communication studies needs a reboot
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