Hiding from nebulosity

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Hiding from nebulosity is the first of several eternalist ploys that blind you to evidence of meaninglessness. (Previous pages in this section discussed ploys that allow you to hallucinate meaning where there is none—a related but different strategy.)

This ploy attempts to physically avoid nebulous situations and information.

It’s difficult to apply this ploy as an individual. It’s more effective when applied by social groups (such as religious sects or fringe political movements).

Extreme examples are closed cults, which try to isolate their members from anything that contradicts their eternalist beliefs.

Hiding doesn’t work well. Even in a cult compound, you can’t separate yourself from the obvious meaninglessness of everyday randomness.

Attempts to hide leave you narrow and fearful.

The antidote is to allow, or even actively seek, nebulosity. Experiment with odd media, anomalous situations, and unfamiliar social groups or cultures. Learn to enjoy not understanding quite what is going on.1

(This is related to the method “eating the shadow” I’ve written about elsewhere.)

Nebulosity provokes anxiety, so one should not rush this process. Sensible care is called for.


This page is in the section Eternalist ploys and their antidotes,
      which is in Eternalism,
      which is in Meaning and meaninglessness,
      which is in Doing meaning better.

The next page in this section is ⚒ Kitsch and naïveté.

The previous page is ⚒ Colluding for eternalism.

This page’s topic is Eternalism.

General explanation: Meaningness is a hypertext book (in progress), plus a “metablog” that comments on it. The book begins with an appetizer. Alternatively, you might like to look at its table of contents, or some other starting points. Classification of pages by topics supplements the book and metablog structures. Terms with dotted underlining (example: meaningness) show a definition if you click on them. Pages marked with ⚒ are still under construction. Copyright ©2010–2017 David Chapman.