these questions were based on the article
"The Conscious, Subconscious, and Unconscious, a New Look at an Old Metaphor."
This Week's Questions
[posed by John F.]
Do you know?
This week's questions were based in part on our ongoing discussion of why logic and in part, on the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq released by the White House on October 2, 2002. For those interested, a copy of this resolution can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/10/20021002-2.html . For those not having read this resolution, I offer the following brief summary:
The resolution is four pages. It was agreed on by both houses of the US Government. It begins with twenty-three "Whereas ... " paragraphs, each taking the form of some stated wrong doing done by Iraq. These statements take up two and one half pages. These statements are then followed by four Sections of Resolutions, these sections being  the "SHORT TITLE"; wherein this document is officially titled, "Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq",  the "SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES DIPLOMATIC EFFORTS" section, wherein the resolution states it will support, including with force, the UN Security Council resolutions against Iraq,  the "AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES," wherein Congress authorizes the President to use force both to defend the US and to support the UN, and  the "REPORTS TO CONGRESS" section, wherein three conditions are put forth for how the President must inform congress regarding these matters.
This Week's Ten Questions
[Question 1] The president recently announced that the intelligence used to design this resolution was not accurate, although he suggested he would have made the same decision knowing what he knows today. Does this mean the above war resolution an example of why logic, or is it just a mixture of inaccuracies, opinions, and facts?
Herein lies the problem and a clue to what makes them so difficult to answer.
The nature of Layer Two is that it represents our attempts to understand life in very broad strokes. It is the layer wherein we create all of our politics and psychologies, as well as all of our religions and philosophies.
So what is the essence of these four things? How we experience both "large groups of people" and "long periods of time." In other words, Layer Two is the "step back and take a good long look from a distance" view, the place where we discuss and consider our existence impersonally; as in "the group is so large and the time is so long" that we lose our personal sense of what is happening. We literally become but one small grain of sand on a big beach.
Here then is what makes this Layer so cold. And these questions so hard to answer. Because the scope of these questions exceeds our natural ability to personally and intuitively experience, we use cold hard logic to attempt to discern the truth here. It is, after all, better than having no sense of what these parts of our existence mean.
Even as I write this though, I can sense how many people, including me, could rebut these statements with that this cold hard logic kills many young men. And women. And babies. And innocent people. John, for these things, I have no answer. Only great sadness and a terrible feeling that I am not doing enough. Yet what can I do? What can anyone do?
Personally, what I can do right now is to do the best I can to publicly answer your questions in the hope that someone will then see though some of our excuses and rhetoric. Perhaps then, we could begin to find some better solutions for these questions.
So do I have anything to contribute to these better solutions? My better solutions begin with using the Layers of Aloneness to explore this resolution. So what do I see?
To begin with, this resolution begins with twenty-three "Whereas ... " paragraphs, each taking the form of some stated wrong doing done by Iraq. Setting aside whether these statements are accurate or not, in and of themselves, these paragraphs, for the most part, are simply statements of purported facts with an obvious bias toward some as yet to be stated end. Thus, up to the point at which these statements end, they could simply be seen as "informative."
As soon as the four Sections appear, however, we see that these twenty-three "whereas ..." paragraphs have been set up as the "cause" side of a "why-logic scale." (No coincidence the "scale" is the symbol we use for "justice.") Thus, the twenty-three "whereas ..." paragraphs are the "cause" side of the why-logic scale, with the four Sections making up the "effect" side of this why-logic scale. In our language then, the twenty-three "whereas ..." paragraphs are the cause of and rationale for what happens in the four Sections.
Now to answer your question, in a sense, yes, this document is a why logic statement. Thus, it lives very much in Layer 2. However, there is one more thing to consider. This is that what is put forth in the four Sections, while being the effect end of a "why logic scale," are also punitive and have no stated time limitations. This makes what is in this document very much more a Layer 4 thing than a Layer 2 thing. Why?
In Layer 2, we search for the logical cause and effect for things, the "what made it happen" stuff. We also, when we find this cause and effect, excuse people for what happened by saying they were ill, meant well, were lost from God, or were understandably following a group's accepted beliefs as in the "just following orders" excuse. These excuses are part of what make us justify these kinds of cause and effect searches. We believe if we can understand why the person did what they did to us, that we will feel better and will then be able to forgive them for what they did. And we do feel better when we do this. At least until the next time they hurt us, or until they hurt someone close to us.
So in Layer 2, we search for the logical cause and effect for things, so we can let people off the hook. However, the resolution we are currently discussing does not let anyone off the hook. Thus, while it does at first appear to be a why logic document, in fact, this resolution is more an example of "uncivilized blame."
What is uncivilized blame? Blame which is meant to punish. Thus, in Layer 4, we do not care why we punish people, nor do we excuse them for what they did. We simply hurt people for what they did.
Being as politics itself is a Layer 2 career though, when politicians punish people, they dress up their punishments with why logic scales. This then is where the obvious confusion comes from. It is also a good portion of what allows good people to do politically bad things.
Finally, at a personal level, many people justify physically abusing their children by using a Layer 2 why-logic scale to disguise a Layer 4 response. For example, some people endorse and rationalize their physically abusive actions with sayings like "spare the rod and spoil the child." This saying is philosophical in nature and is therefore a Layer 2 response. Then too, the saying itself is a why-logic scale in that saying "spare the rod and spoil the child" says that spoiling children is caused by not beating them. This is insane to say the least. It is also a Layer 4 response.
Perhaps this is why many of the people we consider to be most sane use ideas just like this one to justify physically abusing others, including people who justify abusing their children and those of other races and religions.
[Question 2] I cannot determine if why logic only applies to wounds or if it has other purposes as well. Does why logic have a legitimate purpose? It seems to me like it is everywhere. Or do I not understand what it is?
As for your question John, yes, why logic has a legitimate purpose. What purpose? In order to show you, I must first remind you that why logic is the essence of what we experience in Layer Two of our personalities. As such, what exists in this Layer has both its good side and its bad. As is true for what exists in all other Layers as well.
So what is good and bad about why logic? Why logic is both the way we avoid our suffering and the way we downsize our urges to inflict suffering, on ourselves and on others. In other words, why logic is both a blessing and a curse; both a tool for evil and a tool for good. Which it is depends on what we are doing with it and to what degree we are conscious of what we are doing with it.
I can now hear you asking me, but doesn't why logic reside in the unconscious compartment of the mind? The answer? Yes, it does. So how can you be conscious of something you are doing unconsciously? In effect, how can I be saying such a contradictory idea?
The answer is, we humans have the incredible ability to simultaneously be in two states of consciousness. For instance, we can be using why logic and so, be in the unconscious level of the mind, while at the same time, be in Layer 9 and so, be in the conscious level of the mind. This means we can actually be in two states of consciousness in the very same moment. Or at least, we can be switching between these two states so rapidly as to mean, for all intents and purposes, we are in two different states of consciousness simultaneously, preemptively multitasking so to speak.
Please know John that to understand what I have just said requires one to have had some pretty deep and painful spiritual breakdowns. Not something I would wish on any of my friends, no matter what the benefit. More over, I'm not sure I could put this experience into words in a way wherein I could teach it to anyone else, even though I myself have had these spiritual breakdowns. For now, let me just say this.
It is very possible for people to both be in shock, as in using why logic to blame someone, and in the same moment, be consciously watching themselves from the ceiling as they are doing this blaming. This means it is very possible to use why logic to mindlessly avoid pain and at the same time, be using why logic to compassionately ease someone else's pain.
Confused? Welcome to the depth of human nature. And to some of the very best mysteries we human beings could ever aspire to understand.
[Question 3] Is why logic used to manipulate both unconsciously and consciously, and if it is, is getting temporary satisfaction the draw; that we say whatever makes sense in order to get what we want and or need is OK?
Ultimately, our theory of personality explains it this way. We are programmed in the moment of birth to feel very powerful urges to avoid ever again feeling the experience of being connected then feeling aloneness; essentially the experience of leaving the warmth and beauty of Layer 10 / 9 and being propelled with neither warning nor understanding into the hellish abyss of Layer 8.
Why logic is but one way in which we disguise these terribly painful experiences from ourselves, by making it look like something which has a purpose and direction; to prevent recurrences of this very sequence. Of course, were we to successfully avoid ever feeling the sequence of connect / alone again, we would then live life as if we were already dead, a "going through the motions of life" state wherein we felt no feelings whatsoever.
On the other hand, if we were to live our lives in a constant state of moving from connected to aloneness, we would live life as if we were newborn babies; constantly needy and moving in and out of wonder and pain.
So, do you want to live like a baby? Then get rid of all your why logic. And do you want to be the most conscious being on the planet? Then get rid of all your why logic. My point?
As I've already stated, every Layer (and every conscious state) has its up side and its down; its good side and its bad; its uses and its uselessness; its beauty and its ugliness. This means it is up to us how to use these things, why logic included.
[Question 4] Is why logic, "civilized blame?"
[Question 5] I feel that I would have made the decision to go to war, given my nature under the circumstances. If I made the decision, would this decision be a "natural why?"
[Question 6] At the same time, I could not see sending my son to war, although I could see myself going to war. Is the pain of this conundrum a natural why followed by a recurring wound?
Don't answer, John. We all must simply do the best we can when confronted with the real situation. We also must do the best to help ourselves and our fellows to become more conscious in and around these terribly difficult questions.
[Question 7] Did all of the fighting and war our country has engaged in contribute to our freedom? Or is this more why logic? I feel a deep guilt about not having served in the armed forces and having just living off of the results of others efforts. It would seem natural to condemn the war to avoid the pain of not having ever contributed to our way of life.
Is it what gave us our freedom or is this statement simply why logic? To see, let's look at what is within human nature. To begin with, this question might be better phrased as, "Is it natural for us to both want to preserve life and to want to end life?"
The answer? It is within human nature to condemn war as being a crime against humanity, at least in the conscious sense of the word. It is also within human nature to kill people in war and to justify and excuse this killing.
In a way then, asking whether something is natural or not here probably has much in common with arguments about whether natural foods are better than foods affected by man.
Arsenic is natural. It is also a deadly poison. Most medicines are not natural. Yet things like antibiotics save lives every single day. So is it the fact that something is natural what makes it better for us?
The Layers of Aloneness is a ten layered onion meant to represent what is natural for us, what is normal for all human beings. This includes the parts of ourselves we love and desire and the parts of ourselves we hate and wish did not exist. My point is, using this theory to condone unconscious behavior is simply a failure to see why I wrote this theory in the first place. My reason? To help us to be more conscious, by healing what blocks our natural ability to be conscious.
How would this help though? If I am consciously angry enough to kill you but am also conscious enough to love you then I will be a heck of a loving being and more; I will be the person I aspire to be. Myself. No excuses. No judgments. Just me. More over, I will not repress who I am nor worry that I may lose control and do something I will regret. I will not simply lose control. I will simply be me no matter what I feel.
What I've been trying to say here is, no Layer is good or bad. Only the way we use what is in these Layers makes something good or bad. Other than this idea then, the natural conditions presented in the Layers of Aloneness are simply the ways in which we are programmed. In other words, they are simply "the way we are."
[Question 8] Could we exist without war, or is war the opposite of peace in same way as death is the opposite of birth? Are birth, death, peace, and war divine connections?
Not coincidently, in my simple minded understanding of how historical Buddhism came to be, the Buddha reacted largely to the harsh Hindu reality that one must stay in the birth situation in which one is born; that there is nothing we humans can or should do to change our status is life. Layer 4 is it.
In light of this then, the Buddha's reaction is understandable. He was born rich and only saw his good life as life. Then he saw, all at once I imagine, the pain of poverty, and in seeing this poverty, was deeply affected by the contrast between the poverty he saw and his own initial good life. so much so, he remained affected by this for the rest of his life, in fact.
What I believe happened here was that Buddha had an emergence on a grand scale; that he had emerge in him a thread of similarity between the experiences of extreme poverty and extreme wealth. The proof? He fell in love with the good in poverty. He became an ascetic monk.
By his actions then, we can see he was unwilling to accept "unchanging" poverty as simply "the way it is." In this, John, I so agree. At the same time though, I so see Arjuna and Krishna's discussion of the nature of life in the Bhagavad Gita as that the "war in our lives" is simply the way it is too; that war is normal, and that to believe we can completely stop it is to deny our nature as humans.
In the end, I believe that understanding this conflict; understanding the fight in us between compassion and war, is simply the essence of our whole search for humanity. Then too, in a sense, it is also the whole point for our having been enrolled in the school in which we are currently enrolled; life. Then again, my obvious escape into Layer 2 in that last sentence satisfies nothing in me in those moments wherein I imagine a young man of any race being brutally killed during a war.
Ultimately, I believe there is no answer. In fact, I believe this to be true even more deeply each time I read that Gandhi, who arguably was the personification of non-war / peaceful change, said of the Bhagavad Gita, that it was his "eternal mother." A whole poem about war, and about the conflicts within the soul, is to Gandhi, his "eternal mother."
I do not try to understand such things. I simply feel relieved that I have things in common with such a great man.
[Question 9] Is being unconscious analogous to why logic, similarly to how being conscious is analogous to natural logic?