“Even before the Ruination people knew, as we do today, that the brain is physically changed by what is put into it and what it is asked to do. And once it is shaped thus, thoughts and feelings arise and behaviour issues forth accordingly. It is puzzling therefore how they might allow themselves, and even their children, to feed upon every form of falsehood and chaos and still expect that happiness might be possible for them.”
—A Pre-Ruination History of the Known World
I am Nota Dorne. I bring greetings from Euterra in the 277th year of the Euterran Age (E.A.). I am a Telder of the Foundation Arts, T’ai-yo and Tarshin. I am a Lightminder.
Your period of history, the period of the Ruination, is obscure to us. Some of the surviving records give us tantalizing glimpses, but others we find completely mystifying. What we have is only a fragment of what was lost, which probably accounts for its mystery.
One feature of your time that is striking to us is your inverted understanding of yourselves. You were clearly deluded but you thought that you were not. You thought that lucid consciousness is the natural birthright of human beings and that delusional states of mind were aberrations. This by itself might account for the Ruination, although our historians differ on the question.
Now we think that delusional states are more or less normal. Lucidity is attained only through steady Practice with the help of others. Some of our Telders have proposed the idea of “expedient falsehoods” as the default state of consciousness for human beings at our current level of evolution. What they mean is that delusional states can appear in us if they are expedient in achieving nature’s primary goal of successful reproduction. Chronic delusion is nourished by a steady diet of falsehoods, fantasies and the capture of consciousness by instinct. In the short run, something does not have to be true to be expedient in promoting reproduction and thus assuring survival. The difference between delusion and lucidity is found in the space between what will suffice merely to assure survival as contrasted with what is conducive to a good life. The former represents the darkness from which we are emerging while the later represents the Light toward which we are evolving.
It is understandable that one might persist in delusion, but only until delusion leads to ruination. Then there dawns a teachable moment during which it is possible to come upon something enlightening. One should remember and cherish moments of disillusionment. They are dearly bought and easily forgotten. Realizing this, we invented Practice which helps us cherish and remember. We wonder how you, in your time, remembered and what it was you cherished?
Be well. Be diligent in your Practice.