Recently bought paper books, sorted in order of descending weirdness. (Most of my recently bought books are e-books, not easily photographed.)
I felt the urge to read Boris Mouravieff’s Gnosis again. It is a rather specific urge, like the book is wordlessly calling to me. So I’ve nibbled at it again. It is interesting as usual. Some things seem very likely to be true. Some seem out and out weird.
For instance, obvious truth: As ordinary people without esoteric practice, we are swept away by the currents of emotions and influences but are not aware of it, thinking instead that we are acting of our own free will. Once we have studied esoteric Truth, we begin to become able to notice when we are being swept away, but we are still not able to stop it. The “A influences” as he calls them, the influences of this world, are still far too strong for us. To attack them head on would be like attacking windmills. Windmills 1, idealist 0.
What people usually do when they begin to observe that they are rarely in control of their own mind and body? Lie. “Cheat until caught, then lie” as a friend used to have as his mail signature. Avoid the truth like the plague. As if it were the rotting corpse of an Ebola victim, ready to infect anyone who passes downwind of it. Construct a fake personality that is the captain of its own fate. I did it all on purpose! Unless it was illegal or hurt someone, then it was someone else’s fault.
To study this more closely, I have picked up a book recommended by Farnam Street (the blog of secular wisdom seeking mentioned in my previous entry). The book is The (Honest) Truth about Dishonesty by Dan Ariely. It is about the observation that all normal people cheat a bit, but few dedicate their life to swindling. Therefore there must be a different mechanism behind the everyday cheating and lying that you and I do, different from the all-out sociopath swindlers who are bosses of Wall Street corporations.
I have begun reading it. It is borderline boring so far, but I need to know what I am doing to pull the wool over my inner eye. So I intend to persevere in reading it. Some day.