self-delusion

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, dialogue, education, biases, prejudices, self-determination, self-delusion, polemics, and abysmalisms

Even as most intellectuals and students and "educators" among us imagine they are learning to criticize and sever those prejudices and presuppositions, those biases and preconceptions are mutating like Hydra and putting forth new buds and nodes with new faces on them to go on functioning sub rosa within his "new regime" of clarified and purified self-determination. This unctuous and protean power of biasing principles to vary their manifestation or expression is one of the premier reasons that humans overwhelmingly need living and in-your-face dialogue, need conversational confrontation and polemics, in order to grasp philosophical, spiritual and moral truths, i.e. values and axioms:  without another intensive and acute individual to catch their blindsidedness and call their hand on this permutational untruth, humans only succeed in "rearranging their prejudices," not truly emancipating themselves from their enslaving abysmalisms.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, politics, illusions, lies, deceit, credulity, humans, modernity, gullibility, deception, civilization, domination, slaves, freedom, self-determination, and self-delusion

Modernity and most of all bourgeois-banausic "individualist" ideologues cannot begin to fathom the visceral lust for domination, whether in the form of demented idiotist-master-types or in the form of demented idiotist-slave-types.  If humans profoundly and rationally wanted to live free and think free, they would in every case have spun out for themselves forms of existence that both prudently and wisely foster an ethos of self-determination.  Moderns are self-delusive beings who cannot begin to face much less fathom their own primal need to be taken care of, to be dependent and directed and consoled and reassured etc.  They are inbred patsies standing in droves on the corner, waiting for the next conscription-bus to come along and give their aimless, dissolute and valueless existences some kind of transcendent meaning by putting them to work in imperialist wars for even more brutal domination over other peoples around the planet.  After the third or fourth war cut from the same veil of Maya, one gets weary beyond telling of man's insuperable mendacity to himself.  "Human nature" is forever a topic unable to be characterized without a word like "pseudophilic."  Most humans prove their vacuum of aristeia, of truth, conscience, rationality, or principles, by their truly dreadful and credulous yearning to be lied to.  We aren't just by accident a species gullible enough to believe what mass-campaigns of organized deception feed us; we were truly born hungry for sweet illusions and delusions.  And nowhere near enough humans succeed in emancipating themselves from the simian lust for narcosis, for soporific virtualities, to make civilization truly feasible.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, politics, self-awareness, self-delusion, and ideologies

I can't convince myself that it does much good to try to challenge the everyday political delusions and dementias of Americans at large. Their contained and confined mentalities by far prefer the petty and parochial prisons of the kind of sense they have been trained and rewarded for making out of their lives (and are punished for deviating from them). What it costs them ultimately to be such slaves and infants and ideological zombies is a thought too monstrous and rending and spiky for them even to want to glance at.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, fear, and self-delusion

Between what human beings so naively and stupidly fear and what they most profoundly ought to fear-i.e. what they so pathogenically and addictively do to their own selves-there is a horrendous gulf and disparity.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, self-mastery, growth, will, spirit, transcendence, passions, morality, aristoi, valuing, power, and self-delusion

The aristic thrust and conception of "contra natura" lie in our power finitely to extend our self-mastery, to GROW in will and spirit; but as Nietzsche repeatedly teaches in ZARATHUSTRA, such ends must be WILLABLE, achievable. There is nothing to be learned from the human-all-too-human impulse for self-deification or wholesale transcendence over the vicissitudes of life -- even though this aims at something contra natura, it is not truly concretely WILLABLE, it is just a fantasy of our imagination. We cannot BECOME a God. But we can learn to hold our deepest passions in check for the sake of a higher morality, if indeed we are aristoi. Willing and valuing must become an art, must be made consonant or coherent with the fabric of our natures. Mere megalomaniacal extravagance does not truly increase our charge of concentrated power; on the contrary it fires up our ambition with inflationary abstractions that give no traction or purchase to our actual wills. That way lies radical frustration and a metaphysics of depression: an inevitable life-pattern of self-delusion, as we suffer over and over from the necessity that "it would not be better if men got what they wanted," and yet will not permit ourselves ever to see or to learn anything from this self-deception and self-betrayal.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by Kenneth Smith on philosophy, suffering, human nature, and self-delusion

So long as human nature remains viscerally resistant to enlightenment about its own slavish and self-stupefying necessities, there will ineluctably be suffering: truly, there is some suffering that is gratuitous (having no ground in our own karma or circles of obliquely willed actions upon ourselves), but in nature even the prey brings itself to the predator willingly but unwittingly. Even in the socially and economically and legally most utopian conditions, there will remain this irreducible self-obtuseness, self-evasiveness, self-irreality, in which men forever act as their own premier and unrecognized worst enemies, the obscure causes of their own self-suffering. And for the very same reasons that this suffering is uncomprehended for its true etiology, humans will also incurably continue to project blame onto others for their own self-injuries.

Kenneth Smith

Contributed by: Dave

A Quote by François, Duc de La Rochefoucauld on superiority, self-delusion, and arrogance

The true means of being misled is to believe oneself finer than the others.

Duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613 - 1680)

Source: Quoted in Beggars Ride by Nancy Kress, Tor Books, 1997, p. 341

Contributed by: CajunGypsy

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