On knowing

Excerpts from the book: “Civilization at a Crossroads” by Gennady Shkliarevsky


“There are few traumatic experiences that can compare to loss of reality, that is, “situations when people get a feeling that they can no longer understand reality or interpret
it correctly. For a consciousness that experience such situation, reality becomes a void, an abyss devoid of any meaning, or worse, filled with negative meaning. In words of
Shakespeare, time gets “out of joint.” Such consciousness develops a sense of disorientation, confusion, and fear. Violence is a very common corollary of fear.

To make things worse, the capacity of such severely limited consciousness to cope with this condition is reduced to only one cognitive operation—assimilation. Such consciousness
is incapable of critically examining itself; it simply cannot see the internal sources of its predicament. Rather than address the real source of its fear within itself, this consciousness tends to look for the cause of the fear outside itself: it develops the need to construct the enemy, to create a scapegoat on whom it can project its fears.

Since fear causes violent reactions, the constructed “enemy” becomes the object of this violence and the destruction of the enemy becomes an obsessive but also an elusive goal—elusive
because the true cause of fear is never addressed.”

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