Jordan Bates 3 min read

Dogma is Sickness. It’s Time to Transcend It.

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“Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.”

— Robert Anton Wilson

Let’s talk about ideology, and let’s dive straight into the thick of it:

Dogmatic attachment to any ideology is sickness.

Over-identification with any ideology is sickness.

Fascism, anti-fascism, leftism, rightism, NRx, feminism, scientism, Hinduism, veganism, et al.

Ideologies are best employed as loosely-held lenses; all become poison when made into gospel or identity.

“Belief is the death of intelligence,” Robert Anton Wilson observed. “As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence.”

Anytime you notice yourself proselytizing in favor of a particular belief system, take a step back and ponder whether you may be over-attached.

Recognize that there are infinite ways to interpret reality, that no map can contain the Territory, and that it’s unlikely that your particular cherished map is the best or most useful one.

Different maps are useful in different contexts; this is why it is wiser to collect various maps/ideologies to use as lenses in specific contexts, and to avoid becoming hyper-invested in one particular map. To limit yourself to one ideology is to encage your mind.

Dogma Breeds Violence

Throughout history, dogmatic over-identification with ideology has resulted in untold violence and destruction.

Because it gives a false sense of security, people become hyper-attached to their particular map and gradually become willing to attack or kill the “bad guys” who believe in a different map of reality.

This is a key meta-pattern that has plagued human history.

Humanity is presently being summoned to transcend this meta-pattern.

Dogma has become a self-terminating strategy, as the stakes are now global in scale.

Dogmatic, hyper-tribal ‘Us VS Them’ dynamics are obsolete in a world with weapons of mass destruction.

“Either war is obsolete or man is,” as Bucky Fuller put it.


It Begins With You and I…

Transcending dogma begins on the individual level.

Believe nothing absolutely.

Attach to no ideology.

Form no final conclusions about anything.

You can still discover a deep personal truth and soul-level ‘knowingness’ about many things, and this can be an invaluable compass. You do not need absolute beliefs to do this; rigid beliefs block your ability to listen deeply to yourself.

Letting go of dogmatic belief may feel uncomfortable at first, but as you wade into the waters of ambiguity and embrace them, you’ll soon find that life becomes more beautiful, fascinating, and expansive.

When you stop trying to cram the Territory into one particular map, you allow it to be the irreducible, many-layered, labyrinthine, technicolor Dance that it is.

From a space of Beginner’s Mind, you get to witness the Great Mysterious Dance in all its glory.

This is why Lao Tzu wrote, “Not-knowing is true knowledge.”

Begin trying out Beginner’s Mind and see what happens.

You might just find that letting go of your cherished beliefs opens up newfound freedom, wonder, and curiosity.

I’ll leave you with a few more words from the wily psychonaut-trickster, Robert Anton Wilson:

“If you think you know what the hell is going on, you’re probably full of shit.”

Non-Dogmatic Soul-Felt Love,
Jordan Bates

If you want to dive deeper into these ideas, I recommend reading:

1. 8 Ways to Recognize a Mind Infected by Political Dogma

2. Why Politics and Religion Make Everyone Crazy and What You Can Do About It

3. How to Wake Up and Become Unstoppable

4. 10 Ways to Avoid Becoming Just Another Fool on the Internet

5. Charlie Munger on the Dangers of Ideology

Jordan Bates

Jordan Bates

Jordan Bates is a lover of God, father, leadership coach, heart healer, writer, artist, and long-time co-creator of HighExistence. —

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