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Vexen Crabtree 2015


Vexen Crabtree's Live Journal

Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

Solipsism, LaVey and Greater Magic

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I actually have a variant of solipsism that exists somewhere between the 'reality per person' and 'one reality, one self' views.

I do believe that because the way I view the world is subjective - it is probably true that my world doesn't look the same as the way you perceive your world. Imagine looking up a city street - I see it in terms of symbols for the bits I'm not interested in (cars are simply the generic symbol 'car' rather than distinct models and colours - until they attract my attention). My (rapidly shifting) interest in the scene literally changes the way it exists in my view. If you do the same thing, chances are that we're not interested in the same things in the scene - and if you don't do the same thing, then your worldview is radically different to mine anyway.

I also believe in the 'one reality, one self' view, though I admit it greatly disturbs me. The concept of being utterly alone in the world is not a pleasant one - action becomes irrelevant without something to interact with or be observed by. By fully accepting the view that you are alone and following the ramifications of this, the only conclusion is the destruction of just about everything - the self and universe are the same thing and both are empty and void. By following just such a train of thought (admittedly, under the influence of psilocybin) I inadvertantly introduced myself to a mode of thinking that I've only been able to satisfy since through readings on Zen. However, this train of thought starts from a logical mistake - that what I perceive to be 'I' is the 'one self'.

The middle ground comes from acceptance that whilst we can be sure we exist ("I think, therefore I am") we cannot be sure that we understand the scale on which we exist. I am only one facet of that 'one self' - you are another. Our world views are very different, but sufficiently congruous that we can provide the feedback and interaction that is so vital. Ultimately, yes, our interaction is a conversation played out by a single consciousness with itself - but at a level that does not disturb us as 'individuals'. Zen is a breaking down of that 'closed mind' view of the individual - and ultimately leads to the same dark and empty places that I spoke of before, but the voyage is illuminating nonetheless.

I have no idea whether what I have just outlined is true, of course, I only accept it as a worldview that feels right. I don't know if it has a name but I know that I'm not the first to explore it - and it pleases me that I found it for myself before I ever started reading about such ideas.

Excellent response

I think the 2 belief systems that derive from subjectivism are equally valid. There seems to be 2 basic possibilities. The first is (some fear it, some embrace it) that we are absolutely alone and solitary in a desolate Creation in which the inidividual is the only entity. and the second is that we all do indeed live in the same absolute reality, but merely observe it differently.

  • A very existential combination (which seems similar to what you are saying), which is pleasing to many, is that we do have meaningful relationships with the elements within our reality, and that perhaps we do interact with other conscious beings (who live in their own reality). Although the meaning is most likely up to the individual, the sentiment still remains that we are not alone.

  • The other possibility is as you say, that there is a single reality. This makes most sense from a scientific point of view but not from a epistemological or philosophical point of view. Many who consider the effects of subjectivism never see the need to postulate that an absolute reality (that we all perceive) exists.

    I find it impossible to choose between the two!

    I like your thoughts on the middle ground, that we don't indeed know on what scale we exist. We cannot really verify what exists independently of ourselves from what is merely self reflection. I do think the "scale" of ourselves we cannot see, which could extend anywhere from our bodies (simple subjectivism) to entire creation (solipsism) does not actively effect our opinion of ourselves as an individual.

    Tell me more about your comments on Zen... what happens when an individual, who is deluded and does not understand his own scale, breaks down hir closed mind?

    I think becoming pan (a universal consciousness, such as Buddha) would be the result. This would be true if we are not individuals but part of a greater whole (but we are deluded until we experience this), OR if the greater whole is ourselves. I think it's possible both these things (which could be classed as solipsism) result in the eventual breaking down of any meaning and is, perhaps, the same as the dark and empty place of which you speak.

    I think a lot of beliefs touch on this such as Buddhism (Nirvana is the state of losing the limits of the self), Universalist Christianity (where unification with God could perhaps remove all the reasons for being alive), Satanism (Where we are all eventually drawn to the Boundless Darkness), atheism (death as the absolute nothing) and solipsism.

    I don't know what the name for your combination is... it's not pure solipsism, neither is it mere subjectivism. It's ... "Solipsist Nihilistic Existentialist Subjectivist", which unfortunately could be spelled SNES. Don't worry... as soon as you think it's unique, you'll find out some dead famous group or philosophical school holds the same beliefs but calls it something you've never heard of!

    I think the best thought on a subject is done before you go ahead and research it... especially in such esoteric areas as this!

    It seems hard to study something, and *then* break out of the mold and approach it from a fresh angle. I think there is a lot of potential in "amatuer" approaches to grand subjects.

    I write too much sometimes... sorry 'bout that!

  • What happens when an individual, who is deluded and does not understand his own scale, breaks down hir closed mind?

    Psilocybin is very good at allowing you to follow a train of thought without needing to justify yourself at each step. As a result, insights are muddled and flawed - but you can get a lot further down the spiral before you start needing to back off because the conclusions are too uncomfortable. Indeed, on one particular strong trip that I still feel was one of the most important experiences of my life to date, I found myself unable to back away from those conclusions and followed it all the way down until I felt there was nothing left to do but lie down, close my eyes and allow the universe to end. You cannot imagine, and I cannot convey, the relief I felt when the phone rang. The trip was psychologically self-destructive and the 'escape' unbelievably life-affirming - I find it hard to imagine accepting that conclusion and not simply coming to a halt.

    I remember that, boy were you fucked up. :)
    I never should have left you alone in that appartment though. :(


    From what I have read I think what you say is true. But if I get in contact with my inner self, what if my inner self controls me? I view the world as I want to view it with my inner self, but it sometimes changes without me wanting it to. How do I control it?

    question about the title from this lovely article

    Hey Vexen,

    Very informative article! Just wondering; in the title it says "Laveyan Satanism"? Did you choose that with a purpose / reason? Looking forward to your reply!

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