In the Illuminist line of thinking with its focus on reason, madness, with its focus on subjective meaning comes with the territory, it seems. When your entire worldview and perception of reality is altered, you’re lucky if you only come out the otherside mildly unscathed. Some of us with religious families or friends, lose them, and if we’re unlucky enough to grow up in a conservative area, our left-wing politics can be quick to leave us stranded, with no outlet for expressing our own ideas besides the internet. This can lead to isolation and, if our genetics leave us prone to it, mental illness.
One of the primary reasons I see for madness in online Illuminism concerns the sufferer’s attempts to find meaning in the smallest occurrences. Some become paranoid of others and, because of our link to the Pythagorean Illuminati, delve deep into absolutely deranged conspiracy theories, never regain their previous rationality.
I find it necessary to state clearly the difference between reason and meaning in the hopes of avoiding these events in the future, as the lines seem to blur for these people and create a canvass of terribly confused mythos delusions and ideas.
Meaning is Not Reason
Here I will define meaning as something’s intended purpose or result. People who undergo cycles of madness typically believe that an occurrence in their life had an express purpose of creating a certain result which becomes crystal clear in hindsight. Fortunately or unfortunately, it’s an innate feature of the human condition to search for meaning, and some are plagued with the notion that it is to be found in the most minute and obscure of places.
Reason, as we define it in Illuminism usually refers to either rational thought or as a descriptor of the “stuff,” or arche, of existence itself. Here I mean quite literally something’s cause. We can say “everything has a reason,” and still maintain our objectivity. “Everything has meaning,” unfortunately delves into the purely subjective realm. Reason pertains to Logos, and meaning to Mythos.
Meaning is Unimportant Overall
So many people in esoteric circles, especially on the twisted, abhorrent, and horribly sickening mess of tubes that we call the internet, are obsessed with finding meaning in every tiny crevice of a series of events that they become insane cave people, trolls, or a terrifying combination of the two: Discordians. Carl Jung suffered from regular psychotic episodes because of what I think were obsessive quests to find meaning in every thought or feeling he had. He had a need to link them to a higher order of symbolism, especially because of his theory of humanity’s vast reservoir of meaning and history stored within the Collective Unconscious.
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Although we ascribe great importance to Jung and his theories, people become infatuated with his idea of synchronicity. A synchronicity in the Jungian concept refers to, basically, a “meaningful coincidence.” Some Illuminists seem to forget the “coincidence” part of that definition. Coincidences do exist, and if we look deep enough, we can connect almost any two disparate ideas or events in as convoluted a fashion as we like.
Meaning Needs to Be Left Behind
Here’s how to avoid the insanity that results from making everything into a synchronicity: focus on REASON. Instead of trying to find subjective meaning that makes you feel like a special snowflake, search for the reasons why these synchronicities are possible in the first place, and think about them in an objective context (IE how they occur for each of us, not just yourself). Thankfully, we now have about one hundred books that detail how the entire universe functions and why it functions, including an entire series dedicated to eradicating the insane theories of subjectivist trolls.
Hopefully this helps to keep some of you rational and level-headed. The last thing we need is for more of us to succumb to madness, irrationality, and the subjective abyss. Unfortunately most of us are not as adept as Jung in pulling ourselves out.
Nec dextrorsum, nec sinistrorsum
Brett Urben writing for the Apollo Institute of Reason AIR Review©