The entrance to the realm of Creal is not hidden behind a tree, a temple, or an elevator. No one can sell you a ticket to Creal. The entrance to Creal is accessible via thought — perhaps the highest faculty of thought, the capacity to modify reality according to your deepest desire. I am not talking about wanting this or that, desiring an object, or a particular reward. Most of us don’t know what our deepest desire is because it cannot be expressed with descriptive precision. It seems to me that our deepest desire is not for example: ‘I want to find a person that I love and who loves me’. The love for and from one person is important, but it can be found and lost. Let’s say for the moment that our deepest desire is to live in constant bliss and to fulfil our destiny. To be in a place where there can be no regret, where, as Nietzsche indicated, every moment is accompanied by a full and grateful Yes. Or perhaps we should write, more simply and to avoid a dualism between the perceiver and the perceived: a place where every moment is a grateful yes.
Our societies are the result of dialectical antagonisms, violence, conflict, and the imposition of rules and aesthetics. Our societies are not worlds where everyone embodies a manifest great Yes to life. Those are very imperfect compromises in which a large part of the population feels unblessed, unchosen, or indifferent. The most tragicomic aspect of our societies is that many people are afraid. They are not very afraid of the dark, of tornadoes, natural catastrophes — they are mostly afraid of each other. They are afraid of society as they know it, and perhaps even more afraid of the end of society as they know it. Clearly this does not feel like a great yes to life.
Now some might say that a harmonious Creal-world sounds like Huxley’s Brave New World, a society of drug addicts and automatic personas, where people have lost their capacity for critical thinking. This is an interesting objection, because it allows me to distinguish between different forms of thinking: affective thinking, logical thinking, critical thinking, dialectical thinking, intuitive thinking, and crealectical thinking.
Roughly, and temporarily — as this blog is an exploration towards more precision and truthfulness —, we could say that affective thinking is primarily ruled by sentiment, and that logical thinking is primarily ruled by analysis. Critical thinking is mostly ruled by opposition. Dialectical thinking is mostly ruled by consensus, and intuitive thinking by emotion. Crealectical thinking is mostly ruled by a faithfulness to creation and world-forming. The reason why I used the terms primarily and mostly is because I believe there is no such thing, for the moment, as a pure way of thinking in such and such manner: most of the time, our thinking is a combination of affective, logical, critical, dialectical, intuitive, and crealectical. Such a combination can be confusing or harmonious. I believe that an excellent and well-trained crealectician could harmonise the other ways of thinking into a mature and unified crealectical thinking.
Now, I have introduced the idea of harmony, which could be essential to the idea of a realm of Creal. A Creal-society would be the harmonization of everybody’s destiny, faculties, and sense of bliss into a beautiful and meaningful unity. Harmony is often said to be a musical metaphor, which it is, but prior to it being a musical metaphor, the Greek etymology of the word designates elements that are joint together rather than separated. The main idea I wanted to convey with the metaphor of harmony is that the interrelated parts not only form a virtuous structure, but also that each part feels innerly harmonious for itself. So perhaps the metaphor of harmony is in fact not the best one, since in a symphony, we don’t expect each note to feel innerly blessed. What we are looking for in a Creal-society is not the dissolution, suppression, or sacrifice of personal feelings in favour of the equilibrium of the whole social body — or is it? This would be politically akin to a form of totalitarianism, something that democratic people are not likely to accept for too long. More importantly, this would be a contradiction with the postulate according to which to enter Creal is to fulfil one’s deepest desire, unless our deepest desire is to vanish as an individual and be a pure joint part of a symphony, devoid of independence.
Let’s pause here for a bit, because this is a serious objection. Perhaps it should be considered as true that we all have the same deepest desire: to be like a note in a symphony and forget about our self in order to dive in a bigger dimension composed of various interdependent nodes. This is sometimes called esprit de corps (the topic of my PhD), or quorum sensing, or hive mind, or prosociality. If this deep desire for esprit de corps were true, our current society is in bigger trouble than ever, as individualism urges us to become independent feeling entities, and to self-develop above the group rather than self-sacrifice for the group.
We have just met with a knot of complexity here. Let’s take a deep breath. In the process of thinking, it is normal to meet nodes of complexity. It is also often the case in life, even if we try to avoid thinking. Often what people do when such knots of complexity are met is that they give up and shy away from them. They consider that what looked simple at first glance, for example the desire to live a harmonious life, is in fact too complicated to handle or understand, and we might as well go back to simple things, like making a living in a context that is neither blissful, nor unbearable. Many of us humans dedicate a lot of energy and unconscious gesticulation — that they might call a hobby — to simply stay away from complex questioning, or from people who voice such questioning, out of fear that it might make them miserable. After all, most people accept social reality more or less as it is, partly because they think the majority can’t be wrong.
This is precisely where a refusal of our knot of complexity in fact reveals a way out of the aporia. What most people are already doing, although not necessarily consciously, is indeed self-sacrifice to the group. If you stay away from thinking your life because this feels too complicated, and if you choose to proceed according to the values of the society you live in, which might feel simple and even promising (have a family, a job, follow the common rituals, marriage, divorce, etc.), then you are indeed answering the question of harmony: you are self-sacrificing for the sake of the majority group, you are behaving in the manner of an ant, a bee, or a musical note within a symphony. In other words, refusing to answer the question of freedom by following the norm is already affirming that freedom can only be collective.
But perhaps one will decide to be selfish and competitive, in order to be the most successful in a given social game, forgetting that at the same time millions of individuals have also decided to be the best or the most original according to the current criteria. Again, ants and bees of a different sort. Everybody likes to feel part of a majority or what seems like a socially-strong group. Most people like to feel they are normal, or above the norm, but with the norm in view. Being above the norm with the norm in view is another way of being normal. This is not what I call entering the Creal or thinking Creal.
Here another objection might arise. The reader might tell me: ‘This realm of Creal is all very well, but it is your lonely adventure, and you should not try and share it because it cannot be shared. It might even be dangerous to share.’ To which I would answer. If my text cannot be shared, it will most probably be ignored. And if it is dangerous, will it be more dangerous than sharing pornography, violence, stupidity, lies, unhealthy food, injurious medicine, or nocive products of all sort? We live in a capitalist society ruled by laissez-faire and the idea of a global invisible hand that will make the best of free enterprise and low regulation, according to the belief, as in Mandeville’s Fable of the Bees, that whatever individuals do, it will in the end be beneficial as a whole for the general interest. Consider my voice as an invisible hand I am lending to whomever feels ready to take it.