Bullshitters, The Fraudsters Who Live From Them, And Health.
Rudolf Steiner speaks about Socrates, and the way this philosopher worked:
“When he was talking with his pupils Socrates did not wish to transmit anything at all of himself into their souls. He wished to leave it to them to draw out from themselves what they already possessed.”
If you use Socrates’ method of examination, and examination it is, you will be in for a disappointment. In our day and age if you are stupid enough to ask questions of others, you can expect some rough treatment.
After all, we live in times where it is polite to ask nothing. Nothing at all. Should you be asked a question that asks nothing, it is polite to respond by saying nothing at all. I mean, things will be said, it is more that the things that are said have no content, no meaning. That way, nothing is said.
I ask Hendrik how he is, and he responds with, “Oh, fine, fine.” Does that mean he’s feeling happy, sad, frustrated or wistful? If one is possessed of a consciousness that responds by saying nothing, how is one to discern within oneself how one actually does feel? Saying, “fine, fine,” helps nobody – yourself included!
Last Friday I phoned Hendrik and got no response. It’s not unusual, he spends a lot of time on the phone talking to his friends, saying little nothings and hearing them too. It is one way to pass the time, it is not the best way to become aware of oneself. Now: if he has been on the phone, he’ll usually phone me later.
Only on this occasion, he didn’t. Which was unusual. I phoned him the next afternoon to hear a gravelly voice that sounded quite unlike the usual Hendrik. He was ill. Decidedly so, and had even taken days off work – he works at the kind of place where you will go to work even if you are at death’s door. It’s the best way of getting the best results, if you’re a manager. It’s also the best way of enacting contagion. Managers, in our day and age, measure things in ways that take little account of reality – and in doing this, cause more damage than they can ever do good.
It’s something that Hendrik simply has to accept if he is to continue to be paid to orate. He knows no better, his students know no better, his managers and bosses know no better. The end result is that the students have a qualification, but know no better.
Put in terms more applicable to this blog, nothing lives in them.
Ask them a question where there is no recourse to data and they flounder. Like me asking them how good is my Dutch. If they can answer that, they are actually telling me that they can think for themselves, make a decision for themselves. If they can’t, they tell me that one of their authorities has to have written down the answer for them. Not just anybody – and this is crucial if you are to understand the nature of the decisively crippled – it has to be someone they trust as a guru. In trusting, they do not question. The wheel of fate closes the circle of its path.
The people I seek are those who will question me! I have no time to be a guru who stands to have her words taken as gospel. Jesus did that, and being the Logos, He had every right to do so. I do not. I don’t know everything, and cannot. But that isn’t going to stop me trying! I will question anybody and everybody in order to learn what they know.
Which is when I hit their wall.
They live in a world where ‘little nothings’ are the rule of life. In saying nothing, they need tell nobody that they know nothing. There are times they will wax lyrical, and will usually contradict themselves at some point. If offered something to think about that is outside their abilities, you will get a curt riposte: ‘Bullshit’.
If you think that by saying this I am pointing you out, you are sorely mistaken! How many times does a weak-minded thinker say ‘bullshit’? That very word, not the myriad others that tell me they need a hand to hold when making a decision. That hand being their guru.
It’s easy to say bullshit because it means you don’t have to think. Saying ‘Bullshit’ is the offensive equivalent of saying nothing at all. Oh, then they’ll tell you that you’re being impolite for having asked them – for all their choice of expletive being the height of impertinence! (Not to say, ignorance). The wheel of fate closes the circle of its path.
They will want facts – but not just ordinary facts: facts from their personal guru. The one they trust. The one that might – or might not – be defrauding them. They’ll never know because they’ll never question. And they’ll never question because they are scared that they might not get the answer they want. If they did ask a fraudster, they will be sated with pleasantries and answers that tell them what they want to hear. The wheel of fate closes the circle of its path.
The Antithesis To Bullshit.
If they ask me, it is likely that they won’t get a pleasantry. They will get an answer that searches the scope of their knowledge as much as it answers their question.
That is being impolite!!
It is intrusive, hurtful and nasty.
That doesn’t make it any less truthful, only in our world, the one thing people run from like the plague itself, is the truth. They’ll tell me how they seek the truth… and all you need do is show it to them. They will turn pale, they will get cross, they will curse you and shout ‘bullshit!’ You will always know them because they say they seek the truth.
Those who truly seek will simply answer you. They are wise enough not to say that they seek the truth. They just do it. They might just shake their head in a mute ‘I don’t know.’
I’ll tell you this: that person who ‘doesn’t know’ has something that the bullshitters of our world simply cannot conceive of. For in admitting they don’t know, they tell me that they are ready, open and willing to accept the harsh realities of the truth. There are times I say that I don’t know: I would rather say that and find out if they can help.
What’s more, in questioning their ‘don’t know’ it is possible to learn a great deal from them. But that’s where the four of us find ourselves sitting around a restaurant table in a forgotten suburb of Utrecht and just chat. The questions fly, only to be answered with more questions, along with a few answers. We all learned something, and that learning made us happier. The circle of the wheel’s path was widened, there was a little more that lived in us by the time we parted.
And yes, Hendrik was there. He didn’t say much, he did listen. By the time we were back upstairs in his flat, he was looking decidedly healthier. It’s what breaking the path of fate does for you.
It’s why so many people cry ‘Bullshit!’ All they’re telling you is that nothing lives in them.