Jun 19, 2022
We return to the book "Meaningness" for the conclusion of the
Eternalism chapter. I delayed this episode until now in case David
Chapman wrote more, or revised them, and no longer considered them
unfinished. It's worthwhile just as it is, and I have formatted all
these short pages as if they were sections in one page.
Eternalist Ploys: Ploys—ways of thinking, feeling, talking,
and acting—which stabilize eternalism; and antidotes to use against
Imposing fixed meanings: Forcing fixed meanings on experience
always eventually results in unpleasant shocks when reality refuses
to conform to your pre-determined categories.
Smearing meaning all over everything: Monist eternalism—the
New Age and SBNR, for example—say everything is meaningful, but
leaves vague what the meanings are.
Magical thinking: Hallucinating causal connections is
powerfully synergistic with eternalism.
Hope: Hope is harmful in devaluing the present and shifting
attention to imaginary futures that may never exist.
Pretending: Eternalist religions and political systems are
always partly make-believe, like children playing at being
Colluding for eternalism: Because eternalist delusion is so
desirable, we collude to maintain it. To save each other from
nihilism, we support each other in not-seeing nebulosity.
Hiding from nebulosity: Physically avoiding ambiguous
situations and information.
Kitsch and naïveté: The denial of the possibility of
meaninglessness leads to willfully idiotic sentimentality.
Armed & armored eternalism: When nebulosity becomes
obvious, eternalism fails to fit reality. You can armor yourself
against evidence, and arm yourself to destroy it.
Faith: Privileging faith over experience is an eternalist ploy
for blinding yourself to signs of nebulosity.
Thought suppression: Maintaining faith in non-existent
meanings. It leads to deliberate stupidity, inability to express
oneself, and inaction.
Bargaining and recommitment: When eternalism lets you down,
you are tempted to make a bargain with it. Eternalism will behave
itself better, and in return you renew your faith in it.
Wistful certainty: The thought that there must exist whatever
it takes to make eternalism seem to work.
Faithful bafflement: Maintaining the eternalist stance that
remains committed but begins to doubt.
Mystification: Using thoughts as a weapon against authentic
thinking, to create glib, bogus metaphysical explanations that
sweep meaninglessness under the rug.
Rehearsing the horrors of nihilism: Reminding yourself and
others of how bad nihilism is can help maintain the eternalist
stance. This is the hellfire and brimstone of eternalist
Purification: An obsessive focus for dualist eternalism
mobilizes emotions of disgust, guilt, shame, and self-righteous
Fortress eternalism: In the face of undeserved suffering, is
difficult not to fall into the stance that most things are God’s
will, but not the horrible bits.
On next week's episode, we return to the Nihilism chapter of
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