Ayn Rand states “A contradiction cannot exist. An atom is itself, and so is the universe; neither can contradict its own identity; nor can a part contradict the whole. No concept man forms is valid unless he integrates it without contradiction into the total sum of his knowledge. To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one’s thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one’s mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality.”
I read some books on mysticism that claimed life is nothing but an illusion. Many of the authors went as far as stating A isn’t A, that each one of us creates existence from our thoughts. Well, I found that quite intriguing and decided that the idea that A is A places many limitations on the individual. It’s possible I could discover ultimate liberty and freedom. Maybe instead of existing as a Reluctant Objectivist I could become a Mystical Objectivist. I’m sure any objectivist reading this considers the last term I used a contradiction.
I went to my kitchen cabinet and retrieved a box of matches. I sat down at my desk and pulled a matchstick out of the box. For several minutes, I contemplated it. I thought “Here is an unlit match.” So, in my infinite wisdom I lit it. After observing the flame for a few seconds, I blew it out which meant the match went from unlit, to lit, to burnt out. It went from A to B to C which seem to contradict the Law of Non-Contradiction. That seemed to prove what Dr. Albert Ellis stated in the book “Is Objectivism a Religion?” …or did it.
As I thought about it, it became evident that there’s a different between an unlit match, a flaming match and a burnt-out match. Dr. Ellis didn’t come close to proving A doesn’t equal A, since he wasn’t perceptive enough to see the error in his so-called chain of reasoning. Being a Mystical Objectivist seemed more difficult than I suspected.
I was reading a book by Stuart Wilde titled “The Force.” Now this guy had some credibility because he understood the free enterprise system and the efficiency of the gold standard. Certainly, he couldn’t be wrapped up in a contradiction.
The first chapter Reincarnation, Guides and the Higher Self fascinated me. My objectivist friend Jorge asked me what I was reading. I handed it to him and he started flipping through the pages. Finally, he looked up at me and asked “What in the hell is wrong with you? I said “What do you mean?” He pointed to a sentence that stated “Six hundred lifetimes ago, Your Higher Self might have had an experience as a cow and, bit by bit, learned to adapt its energy to the physical plane.”
As he shook his head, he said “Whatever happened to the hard-core objectivist, capitalist I used to know? You don’t really believe that utter nonsense, do you? If you do you’re turning into a damn contradiction.” I said “Well reincarnation could be true.” He smacked me down by stating “The burden of proof is on the one making the claim.” Then with a smirk on his face, he walked away.
Darn, this Mystical Objectivism is hard to practice. If this keeps happening, I will lose my faith in these teachings of the higher self. Didn’t Ayn Rand say something about relying on faith?
The Coyote and the Skunk
I decided that I could go another step in my quest for an existence as a Mystical Objectivist and discovered Carlos Castaneda. His books supply the individual excellent lessons on becoming an impeccable warrior.
Here’s a powerful statement he makes in the profound book Journey to Ixtlan “A warrior calculates everything. That’s control. But once his calculations are over he acts. A warrior is not a leaf at the mercy of the wind. No one can push him; no one can make him do things against himself or against his better judgment. A warrior is tuned to survive, and he survives in the best of all possible fashions.” Now that’s a belief to internalize and never forget.
Near the end of the book a coyote comes across his path. Carlos and the animal indulge in a conversation which to some might seem absurd and a complete contradiction. Still what happened had something to with ‘Stopping the World.” Apparently, if you’re a sorcerer, and talk with a coyote in other realms, you two are companions for life.
I thought that must have some kind of symbolic meaning. However, one night I experienced the following dream. “I was outside walking towards a brick building. Suddenly, I saw a skunk sitting by the doorway. Of course, I walked away from it not wanting to frighten it since that could cause quite stink.
Well, I ended up standing about 60 feet away, waiting for the skunk to leave the scene. Much to my surprise it approached me which caused me to freeze. It got up on its hind legs and scratched my right palm, then it walked away. I could see the scratch, but it didn’t appear the skin was broken.
Instead of walking towards the building, I went in a different direction. I looked behind me and noticed the skunk following me. I ran into an acquaintance and asked him if he saw it behind me. He said “Maybe it has something to tell you.” The next thing I knew the skunk was next to me and actually talking. It seemed to have some important information for me. I wish I could remember what it said.
Anyway, the skunk started getting playful and began gently nibbling on my fingers.” It was at that point that I woke up.
When I thought about my dream during my morning meditation session, I considered that maybe it isn’t a contradiction if an animal speaks to you using actual words. Later in the day I told an girlfriend of mine about the dream. She suggested that I should see a psychiatrist.
The Girl in the Park
On a beautiful fall day, I was walking in the park enjoying the scenes of nature. One of the main benefits of meditation and realization is that your sensitivity to music and beauty increases.
As I strolled along I thought about the mystical teachings. It seemed that it was impossible to renounce the axiomatic concepts of existence, identity and consciousness. Maybe there was a way to integrate the mystical teachings with Objectivism. Yes, I will become a Mystical Objectivist and figure out how to eliminate any contradiction I come across.
As I walked into a wooded area, I heard a voice and turned around. Right before me was a pretty young girl around 18 years old. She asked me if I wanted the rock that she was holding and before I could answer she handed it to me. I looked at it briefly and when I glanced up she had vanished into thin air, or at least that what seemed to happen.
I walked back onto path, wondering where she came from. When I looked closely at the rock, I sensed that it seemed to possess a spiritual significance. Is it possible that girl in the park is a guardian angel or some kind of spiritual being?
Later that day I told my objectivist friend Jorge about my experience and how I felt that she might be a guardian angel. He suggested that I had flipped my lid and that I better get back in touch with reality before it’s too late. He then stated, “She was probably just a girl who felt frightened when she saw you, so she handed you the rock to distract you in order to make her escape.” I said “I don’t know about that because she didn’t seem frightened.” He stated “If you believe she’s a guardian angel then you really are crazy.” I said “I guess you’re right.” Later when I thought about it, I wondered why she would hand me something I could use as a weapon if she was just another girl who felt frightened by my appearance.
I always believed life is logical and with the power of reason you can achieve your goals and desires. There’s no such thing as contradictions. It’s obvious the A is A and that reality is reality…or is it?
RA Meyer – Mind-Expanding Journeys Through the Social Maze