About NOR Texts
A key tenet of Non-Objective Reality (NOR) is that the human mind’s ideas of the world are mere models or maps of reality and, as such, are liable to certain inherent flaws in terms of authentically representing whatever reality may be. Given the important role language plays in framing those ideas, language is itself seen as a medium that somewhat compounds those flaws.
As a consequence, any linguistic statement is regarded as potentially troublesome in terms of producing its intended result. In fact, a degree of linguistic misunderstanding seems inevitable given the inherent simplicity and rigidity of language compared to the seemingly boundless complexity of reality.
The rather confrontational nature of human cultures provides supporting evidence for these ideas; if we all live within what is generally seen as the same reality, how else do we create such profound disagreements on so many fronts?
One answer to this question is to consider that as we all live unique subjective lives, our different experiences create different perspectives – which is to say that we do not in fact live within the same reality. Our many realities are our personal lives.
Another answer is to consider that because the human mind’s modeling of reality is flawed, we are all somewhat misguided about reality, such that we struggle to agree even the nature of our misunderstandings. And of course, this is an intractable problem given we habitually imagine only others to be misguided.
A third answer suggests our uniquely human form of abstract thinking has only achieved a rather embryonic state and thus remains prone to weaknesses of immaturity. Effectively, it can be thought of as a prototype of what it could become. Perhaps we humans have embraced a cultural smugness about our supposed evolutionary superiority, and this obscures how we are nonetheless the very first species to embody developed abstract thinking – an evolutionary new development, complete with growing pains.
Of course, all three answers plus others could combine to explain the various problems we humans currently face – from our propensity to destroy, to our apparent inability to simply cohabit in peace. Whatever the case, the popular but rather vague notion that human ideas and linguistic expressions are the key means by which we progressively understand and better our world sits oddly alongside the hard facts that we insult, attack, and murder one another over mere ideas and matters of belief.
Hence, it is reasonable to ask if our ideas are truly intended to further our understanding of reality, or if the predominant goal behind human exchanges is in fact something else, such as the procurement of social power and dominance. A frank examination of political oratory would certainly suggest that a meeting of minds is sometimes impossible, precisely because coercion of minds can be a powerful but hidden agenda. Religions can be similarly criticized for creating universes in which the individual is made to surrender his own volition to those skilled in manipulating his thoughts and ideas.
With all this in mind, the NOR texts are set out very much as work-in-progress. Sincere efforts to convey ideas provides no assurance of success – especially given the sheer inertia of normalized cultural and academic positions against which NOR rails . In any case, ideas can have validity that is nonetheless lost in the words – either because of linguistic issues, or due to some mismatch between writer and reader perspectives.
Hence, the texts are not presented as a set of supposed truths – that is, as ideas to be deemed correct or incorrect. NOR actually includes the notion that such dogmatic and judgmental positions are rather silly in any case. In fact, one of the goals of these texts is a linguistic illustration of the weaknesses of abstract thought and all such symbolic representations of the world. The medium of language is considered incapable of anything more than extremely crude generalizations regarding reality – complete with all the known flaws of generalizations, and other less familiar flaws.
For better or worse, NOR is nothing less than an assault on many widely held assumptions of both everyday ideas and detailed scientific and philosophical thinking. Controversy is to be expected. No degree of success is guaranteed – even just as a communication exercise. Reader feedback is therefore useful and welcome, alongside possible reworking of the texts.
Certain statements and positions may initially appear alien for the simple reason that they are uncommon. In general, any initial strangeness will not be because ideas have ever been ridiculed; the more likely case is that they have simply never been considered.
Above all, no statements are intended as doctrine or indicative of incontrovertible positions. Discourse can involve the temporary and qualified acceptance of one position for the simple purpose of undermining the otherwise unquestioned validity of another. Hence, logical contradiction is not in itself something I consider as proof that one or other such positions must necessarily be judged devoid of validity. In questioning the otherwise unquestionable value of objectivity, NOR sees the validity of anything as highly contextual, but nonetheless inescapable. Stating for example that 3 + 3 = 7 may appear illogical, but it is nonetheless a real statement serving to illustrate that reality is inclusive of the illogical.
Hence, the conventional elimination within texts of all apparent contradictions appears as a disingenuous attempt to inject consistency in the shallow interest of preempting possible criticisms. But as regards these NOR texts, criticisms are both welcome and expected. Any exchange of ideas is a dynamic process; it is not the discovery of some static perfection that, as far as the human mind can determine, does not exist in any case.
The general avoidance of historical and factual detail throughout these texts is deliberate. There is little mention of specific events, nations, religions, ideologies, individuals and other particulars. On the one hand this aims to keep the narratives on a generic and more universal level, and on the other hand it seeks to avoid the undesirable coloration of the reader’s interpretations by impinging on biases.
Furthermore, given certain culturally widespread ideologies and belief systems can be seen as nothing more than popular myths, it is not helpful to imbue such things with credibility in return for the dubious reward of engaging readers via all the usual and rather hackneyed cultural talking points. In any case, exactly where fact ends and myth begins in such matters is a highly subjective judgment few would thank me to make on their behalf. But it is my hope that the reader can nonetheless look beyond the generic framing to see that real world phenomena are indeed being discussed, albeit in the least inflammatory manner possible that does not actually ignore the many brutal realities of human history – an ongoing dilemma we may yet transcend.
Jan Strepanov – March 2017