Sunday, January 7, 2018

Lead Out (Prose on Skepticism)

I’ve been there
I’ve been out to the edges
The fringes
I’ve been deep into that place

Some dabble
Some read in magazines
Some even venture a little
Some watch The Matrix and joke
What if this isn’t real?

These aren’t the logical people
Nor are they the questioners

The truth seekers
They know they can be wrong
They know they can misinterpret

Some question as is convenient
They question only as much as they cannot deny
They will question your beliefs
Your faith
But deny theirs is no less than faith

Some will question your books and facts
But their own is on equally shaky ground
They just don’t look down

But where is truth?
Is there such a thing?
How do we know something is real?
Is anything real?

What if this isn’t real?
How? When?
What a frightening question
It demands an answer
If I ask it, I find I must ask it again
Over and over
Where does it take me?

It’s scary there
You find answers you don’t like
You don’t find the answers you hoped you would
You’ve always taken a different angle
You’ve wanted to escape lies
You’ve wanted to know truth
You’ve wanted to have the courage
To face your own beliefs
To not let fear rule you
To let go of a belief if the evidence is against it
Even if it makes you comfortable
Even if leaving it is terrifying

So you are attached to nothing

You make it a discipline
Question everything
Question everyone
Question yourself
You’ve seen the pride
You’ve seen it in yourself and others
It’s dangerous
It hurts people
So you run in the opposite direction
And you learn that if you live it well
That if you doubt your initial reaction
If you doubt the common narrative
It’s easy to think doubt finds you the answers
It’s easy to think your questioning puts you in a better place than others

And then you realize that you’ve stopped doubting
You stopped doubting you because you thought you’d reached
The End

So you keep going
Doubt again
Doubt yourself again

And there’s a new layer
You doubt
The books
The authorities
The histories
The religions
The claims
The people
The logic
You doubt it all
You question everything
In the world of logic
You find there’s always room to question
There’s always room for doubt

You go crazy

Can you prove you’re not a brain in a vat?
If you can’t prove something
You shouldn’t believe it
You very well could be a brain in a vat
This could all be meaningless

I think therefore I am
Yet that still requires logic, Descartes
And our logic can be wrong
You don’t know that you are
Nor do I know I am
Nor do I know anyone
Or anything else


It rings
It fuels
It drives
You ask because of pain:
Why does it hurt to be alive?
You can’t ignore pain
You can focus on the positive but pain catches up eventually

We want pain to have purpose
We understand laboring for a goal
That’s why we asked

But as suffering washes over us
With no end or purpose in our vision
Pain is torment and confusion on an even deeper level
Why pain?
It doesn’t make sense

In the doubt
Sometimes we make answers
Simply because
We are asking why
And because
There is room for that answer

Sometimes I wonder
Am I a rat in a lab
Of the psycho-scientists
Running the simulation I live in
Who simply wonder
“How much pain can he take
Before he snaps?
How far can we push him
Without breaking him
From the inside?”

If I’m honest
That’s logical
Occam’s Razor
The simplest answer is the most likely
Suffering makes sense with that
I’m a science experiment

If I’m honest
That makes the most sense
There’s no disproving that
Not with logic


This is a scary place
Out here
With no reality
With no people
With no matter
With no God
With no me

These are the fringes
These are where logic reveals its emptiness
To claim we only do what is rational
It’s a dead end
You will die here
Logic says you should
Logic leads you here
And leaves you here
There’s no disproving that
Not with logic

Not with logic


Ah, I missed something
I’m fallible
And in this way
I did have hope

I had trapped myself
But I had put myself in a trap
Under the authority
Of my logic
And I am fallible
And in that weakness
The slip-up of the gatekeeper
I had hope he might not keep me
He might have made a mistake and I could get out
And he did

I missed experience

I betrayed logic
I betrayed myself
I had a presupposition
That logic could sustain and prove itself
That logic was the foundation
That logic was the core
These are presuppositions
Presuppositions are not logical

Logic is a tool
Logic assists experience
Experience is reality
And logic lets me work with it
With logic I go deeper in experience

Logic is not the depths
Logic is an empty death
Logic is an empty vehicle

But experience is full
Experience needs no explanation
Experience is there
In our face
Before logic
In the moment
A piece of our human depths
Experience proves itself

Only when logic presupposes itself above experience
Do we find ourselves alone in the vehicle of logic
An empty car
Floating in vast soulless space
But experience is the world in which
The car of logic can travel well

Rational empiricists
Who presuppose logic
Are in reality logic’s enemies
Pure and simple
That is the true foundation of human reality

Only when I cut off my experience
Do I forget it
When I shut off my senses
That is when Nihilism is the only logical conclusion
It’s because I’ve discounted facts of experience
When experience is given permission to come back
Then the answers come before I can even think them


Logic wasn’t needed here
Here is here
No observation or proof required

What beauty
What joy
What hope

Reality is home

As I live
As I taste my humanity as it is
I notice the great flavors

I am relationship
I am soul
I am love

In this world of science and causes
In this world of logic
In this world of order

Relationship, soul, love
These experiences defy this world
They love this world
But they supercede it

Logic does not explain love
Logic does not explain self
Logic does not explain beauty

Beauty endows logic
Soul reveals logic
Love embraces logic

I feel this love that explains all
What is it?

Who is He?


I knew it was out there
I knew there was love
I saw it in humans
I felt it in myself
But I was not enough

Why do I hurt others?
Why do I hurt myself?
I wondered
I was driven to my doubt by these questions
Because love is in me
Deeper than logic
A driving experience

Love demanded I know
It would not be satisfied
Not without answers
Answers deeper than logic

But now I’ve encountered Him
I see what I want
What I want to have
What I want to give
Real, true, and untainted
It makes experiential sense
It makes logical sense
(If experience is not precluded)

Why pain?
I am sick
I am sick with Selfishness
But I am Self
How do I heal?
How am I cured?

My sickness is my loudness
My sickness is my grandiosity
My sickness is my grasp

I will be quiet
I will be small
I will let go

And the Self will heal without these burdens
And room will be made in me for love
And I will have something to give

There is joy
There is love
There is peace
There is beauty
There is hope

Beyond logic
In the depths of experience
I have found all of these things

The only step now is to continue

And should I return
Should I walk into that dark place
Questioning everything
There is a path
I’ve walked that path
Many times
The path out
From the fringes of doubt and skepticism
Where nothing is real
I have been lead out
Through pain
To experience
Of Love
I have been lead out
Again and again
Loved by Truth Incarnate
Yet still able to be Self
I am lead out once again