The Inefficiency of Literacy
“What strength do the laws have? If someone is wronged and cries out, will the laws come forward and offer assistance? No. They are only bits of writing with no power to accomplish this sort of thing. Where then is there power? In yourselves, if you uphold them and always make them powerful to help those in need.”
The very fact that writing and reading are passive and undemanding types of exercise as compared to the effortful exertions involved in memorization and recitation bespeaks the inefficiency of writing and reading as Literacy forms. It is for this reason that reading had easily became a popular pastime for the masses the moment writing was invented.
Memorization and recitation, on the other hand, had usually been an exclusive exercise reserved only for the ecclesiasts, the intelligentsia, the royalty, etc, etc. Memorization and recitation was never for the general public as the masses and the general populace could never quite wholly fathom the effortful demands of memorization and recitation. But, on the other hand, writing and reading have always been for the masses or the general populace.
Dr. Eirene Ragousi wrote, for instance, that in ancient times “Phoenician economy was developed around the commercial activities of individual traders. In the absence of a central administrative bureaucracy, the individual traders were responsible for the recording of their personal transactions and the keeping of their accounts. This increased the number of people involved in accounting and, accordingly, the number of people who should know how to use a script. The Phoenician script, which developed during a period of increasing Phoenician involvement in commercial transactions in the Mediterranean, was simpler in its use than the complex Minoan and Mycenaean scripts. This would have enabled more individuals to learn and employ the West Semitic script, making possible the process of bookkeeping and the indication of ownership by the Phoenician traders.
“The Hellenic archaic economies were developed along the same lines.”
The point here is that memorization and recitation and writing are usually mutually exclusive, that is, wherever and whenever there is memorization and recitation there will be no writing or reading; and the reverse is the case whenever or wherever there is writing and reading there will be no memorization and recitation. That is to say that part of the reason why the masses and the general public quite never put up with memorization and recitation is because the writing and reading they were used to mutually excluded memorization and recitation from beyond their reach.
In the same vain this present modern civilization has found it difficult to adopt memorization and recitation as a means of documentation and communication simply this modern civilization is already opiated and obsessed with writing and reading. Now then, since we all know that memorization and recitation breeds literacy while writing and reading breed Illiteracy we see now clearly this modern civilization is an Illiterate civilization.
The ‘Mass Effect’
“Moreover, it [writing] depends on absences—which amount to the same thing as artificiality. I want to write a book which will be read by hundreds of thousands of people. So, please, everyone leave the room. I have to be alone to communicate. Let us face the utter factitiousness and fictitiousness of such a situation, which can in no way be considered natural or even normal.”
Professor Walter J. Ong
The ‘Mass Effect’ of Writing and Reading refers to the fact that it is always a popular phenomenon whereby the general populace is involved. It is this mass effect that marks out the triviality or effortlessness of Writing and Reading. For the masses always go for what is not effortful or exerting.
This mass effect of Writing has been driven to its peak by the relentless ‘Reading and Writing’ campaign of this present Modern civilization. Since this present Modern civilization has wrongly equated Literacy with Writing and Reading everybody has been encouraged to acquire the basic skills of Reading and Writing. The result has been the mass psychological effect of a universal illiteracy on the par of the masses of this present Modern civilization.
Written Information Explosion
But far more than that has been the dazzling Information Explosion, a uniquely Modern civilization phenomenon. By the Written Information Explosion we refer to the unprecedented increase in the number of those who can read and write in these modern times.
In the past, especially before the rise of Europe, it was quite rare to see in any given society a significant population of those who can read and write. But today it has become common to see societies whereby the greater majority of the population can read and write. England, for instance, boasted in the nineteenth century that it was the first fully literate nation. There has occurred an explosion of the Reading and Writing type of Illiteracy – you call it Literacy – in this Modern Age.
Since, as we have discussed at length all along, Writing and Reading is a form of Illiteracy, it is quite clear that the Written Information Explosion is in fact an explosion of Illiteracy in modern times.
The problem of the Written Information Explosion is that it made available information and date that is not meant to be personalized or imbibed through Memorization and Recitation.
How did this Written Information Explosion came about? The answer is very simple and not far fetched; the written Information Explosion came about through the invention of printing. In fact it should be noted that it was the three separate inventions of the compass, firearms, and printing press that brought about the European Ages of Discovery, Conquest and ultimately Colonialism.
These simple sounding inventions were each potentially impregnated with stupendous powers to transform societies, cultures and civilizations. As for the case of the printing press, which is the focus of our present discussions, it is very clear how it gave unimaginable powers to the decadent arts of writing and Reading.
In the fine we note the dazzling effect of the Written Information Explosion which is a unique development of the Modern civilization. This amazing phenomenon is characterized by the sudden increase, ‘explosion’, in the number of those who can read and write.
The Printing Press
It is true that all along writing and reading have been popular arts of the humanities meant for the masses and common people in the society but still yet writing and Reading never quite commanded the large number of those who can Write and Rea until the invention of the printing press.
And since it was this Modern civilization that perfected the art of printing to its highest peak, it is this Modern civilization that has witnessed the greatest of the written Information Explosion.
The dangers of the written Information Explosion on this Modern civilization is that it has greatly multiplied and amplified the deleterious effect of Writing and Reading on a larger section of the human race. By now we should all be familiar with the dangers associated with the Writing and Reading. But for the sake of recapitulation we shall retrospectfully review some of these dangers.
Writing and Reading is Impersonal
“Like it or not, we are teaching a technology, for not only print, but also writing itself is a technology—a matter of tools outside us and seemingly foreign to us…”
Professor Walter J. Ong
The greatest danger of Writing and Reading lies in the fact that an impersonal element – in the form of a recording paper, computer, or otherwise – is brought into the question. Plato realized and discussed this long. In Writing and Reading the information or data to be written or read is recorded on a physical medium that can be a tablet, a piece of paper, or a computer or some other such physical material entity.
The problem here is that this physical prosthetic is impersonal in the sense that it is not part of the human mind and it is, moreover, not a living thing.
Life can be in this corporeal world – in the form of a plant, animal, or human being – and in the spiritual world – in the form of jinns, angels, and human beings. Accordingly material prosthetics like tablets, papers, and computers are not living things.
The implication here is that the inclusion of these non-living prosthetics of documentation introduces an impersonal element to the whole issue of Writing and Reading. The tablet, paper, or computer has no living influence on human mind. Instead these material prosthetics of documenting and communicating information are cold and impersonal; they obey the laws of physics and physical chemistry and not the biological or spiritual laws.
The implication is that these physical and material prosthetics therefore contributes nothing to the literacy (that is, memorization and recitation-related) of the mind. That is the consequence of the impersonal nature of the material prosthetic: the promotion of mass and accentuated Illiteracy on the part of the human mind.
On the other hand this frustrating situation of the material prosthetic being impersonal also presents the dangers, however remote, of engendering the so-called ‘Danger of the Matrix’.
The ‘Danger of the Matrix’
To many people the Danger of the Matrix sounds more of a science fiction than a reality. But while the type of the matrix portrayed in comic strips and Hollywood productions is ad amussim far fetched and rather impractical, the Danger of the Matrix is a real one if only we take a look at the matrix in another perspective different from the popular science fiction type.
It is well known that the life force is not the only active force in creation. That means that even non-living things can be possessed of elemental forces that are active. It means that powerfully active forces can and do exist in the non-living worlds whether physical or metaphysical forces.
The physical and material prosthetics of writing like the stone tablets, paper or computers might not have the active life force necessary for actively influencing the human mind in a living way but they do influence the mind with the active forces of elementals that they do possess.
Elemental forces do influence our minds in all sorts of ways every moment that we live in this corporeal world. What is remarkable in this context is that the higher forces – the biological, living, spiritual and soul – can harness these elemental forces and channel them into super-active forces that can be used for positive or negative aims in the physical or metaphysical worlds.
That means that it is very much possible for higher negative forces like the demons to harness the elemental forces of the material prosthetics like the stone tablets, papers, or compass used for the recording of Writing in the furtherance of their demonic ends.
The demonic scenario here began to unfold as we realize that the impersonal material prosthetic of Writing and Reading can in fact be harnessed and constructed into higher forces that might developed into super-artificial intellectual forces that can be used to drastically influence and affect the human intellect and psyche in general. This is the possible type of the Danger of the Matrix that we have said is practicable and is different from the comic strip or Hollywood matrix.
Finally, though most people assumed the danger of the matrix to be rather fictional, the truth is that there is a kind of the Danger of the Matrix that is real, that already exists and that has haunted mankind ever since the invention of the art of writing and reading.
The Spiritual Grand Matrix
Ever since the days of the rise of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-18th century there has been talk of the evolution of the machines into super Expert Systems that might one day become so more intelligent than man as to subjugate and control not only man but even human civilization. Isaac Asimov best illustrate this concept in his novel titled ‘I Robot’.
Isaac Asimov’s fantasies are being experimented with by scientists from different parts of the world. Professor Hugo de Garis of both Melbourne and Kyoto universities have, for instance, been busy since the year 2000 working on the production of the first artificial human brain complete with the exact neuronal composition that real human brains have.
Professor de Garis have himself shivered when he observed that “A massively powerful artificial brain could easily develop contempt for its comparatively puny human makers.”
….Asimovian reality science fiction indeed!
What secular science fiction writers failed to understand, however, is that an evolution in the Artificial Intelligence of the machines is too far fetched a conception. Spiritual beings, in the form of demons or negative jinns, can easily harness the elemental forces of the non-living physical machines into spiritual media that can be easily used to control the spiritual faculties of man.
This is what has been going on in the form of idolatry whereby demons hide behind physical and material idols and spiritually harness their elemental forces in such a manner as to make human beings worship the physical material idols.
Now then if we consider the fact that stone tablets, papers, and computers are not just mere physical and material prosthetics but that, just like the graven images, convey particularly recorded, etched out or Written information, we would easily see why demons can easily use stone tablets, papers, and computers to manipulate the human mind through Writing and Reading into what we might aptly refer as the Grand Matrix.
From the context of the Grand matrix explained above, it is very clear that the danger of the phenomenon of Writing and Reading is not just a passive or even fictional one. It is a reality that is not going to manifest in some future era but that has already been with us ever since the invention of Writing and Reading. It will thus no more be surprising why the rise of a secular and materialistic world order in Prehistory coincided with the rise of the art of Writing and Reading as the underlying culture of most civilizations thenceforth.
Unknown to modern mankind Writing and Reading have been causing a most catastrophic havoc on the psychological and spiritual faculties of man ever since. Because of the thoroughly materialistic outlook of Modern Ages, modern mankind has failed to perceive the havoc Writing and Reading is wroughting on his psyche and spirit.
It is quite unfortunate that science, secular modern man’s means of critical analysis, is devoid of any spiritual or even true psychological abilities.
Hence science has failed to perceive the psychological disaster that writing and Reading has wrought on modern mankind. Otherwise, the spiritually-minded remainder of today’s mankind is well aware of not only the dangers of Writing and Reading but also of the catastrophe it has so far wrought on mankind.
It was Writing, for instance, that through the invention of the printing press brought about the European Age of Discovery which in turn led to that bloody monster known as European Colonialism. It was literacy, in the form of bureaucracy, that maintained Colonialism for its almost a century reign of world terrorism. In the same regard it is writing that has brought about the world Illiteracy that is being wrongly referred to today as Literacy.
At the last it should be recollected that ever since the days of the Industrial Revolution there has been fears that one day machines may become more intelligent than man and consequently enslave mankind. In the spiritual world, however, this scenario has already been brought into existence ever since the days of the invention of the art of writing and reading.