The Confusion: Babylon Surrounding Truth

Does Truth Exist?

Is there such a thing as “Truth”? That’s the question I address in this blog post! And from a completely different perspective than what anyone is used to hearing. What I have in mind is the deeper question of truth seeking itself–the philosophical path–and the issue of whether or not we can know anything to be “True.” Tons of people and various religious institutions all claim to have the “Truth” with a capital “T.” The reaction to their inability to prove that claim has resulted in blowback from various philosophical positions and the agnostic-atheist community.

The dogma of postmodern philosophy goes to the tune of a quote by Frederick Neitzche: There are no eternal facts, as there are no absolute truths.

To the observant reader, this quote is self-contradictory. I chose postmodernism because it’s an easy example. Low-hanging fruit? Well, yeah. Which I’m sure is very insulting to people who subscribe to this obvious “self-contradiction.” But I can’t ignore the facts over hurt feelings when philosophizing and taking an intellectually honest journey down the truth-seeking path. I have to confront some tough issues–I just have to. And it’s in everyone’s best interest for at least some people to put their minds to this and try to figure out what went so very wrong and what possible solutions can come from recognizing and realizing that yes, something went very wrong and we’ve been on a false scent for a long time where Truth is concerned.  

What I need to know here is whether or not we can close the door on the possibility of any certainty, truth, or anything that qualifies as an “absolute.” Postmodernism tries to close that door and demonstrably fails through self-contradiction in the process. I apologize if I am offending anyone who subscribes to this view, but I will offer you a better alternative by the end of this post. I will not knock anyone or anything down without making sure that a lifeline to better, more solid footing and position is thrown out in the wake of any failing worldviews I target. There’s always another choice! There’s always a better way. You just have to keep moving when things fall apart of their own accord or when you suddenly realize, “Wait a minute, this isn’t right!”

I’ve argued this point with countless people over more than 20 years as a forum moderator at aggressive, atheist-dominant online forums, moderating for various book authors, freethought communities, and book reading groups. Truth-seeking requires getting your hands dirty and jumping (blindly at times) into heated discussions. Just to see what happens. Just to test the strength of various arguments to see how they hold up. Aristotle settled this issue thousands of years ago in the following way: 

“Finally, if nothing can be truly asserted, even the following claim would be false, the claim that there is no true assertion.” – Aristotle 

It’s as simple as asking someone who says there is no certainty if they are “certain” of that. It’s a bear trap. The person self-contradicted themselves from the outset, and there’s no going back. The deed is done. No, they cannot be “certain” that there is “no certainty.” So, what can they be? They can assume that there isn’t any certainty, even though it’s a false claim from the outset. The result is a “false assumption.” They can ignore logic and reason if they prefer–everyone’s free to ignore it. But they can’t turn the demonstrably “false claim” into a fact, truth, or “certainty.” It’s just a guess and very likely a wrong one! Because the assertion red flags itself as false the minute anyone tries to make it. Okay, so if we move forward on the assumption that the claim that nothing can be certain is demonstrably false, then how do we proceed with figuring out what, if anything at all, might actually be true, certain, and “absolute.” 

This is where “Philosophy of Mind” lends a helping hand. I’m purposely leaving religious beliefs off to the side for now. I will circle back to it once we’ve established whether we even can know “Truth.” Also, this can get pretty technical, but I will minimize my use of complex philosophical terms. This blog is about informing the general public, outside of academia. 

Descartes is famous for saying, what has been translated in simple terms as: I think, therefore I am – Renee Descartes.

The point of Hermetic Idealism is that I want to know–What can not be reasonably doubted? This leads to realizing that we can doubt just about everything except that we are “aware and experiencing.” We could be brains in a vat, we could be plugged into the Matrix right now for all we know. The whole thing could be simulated. And it would look, feel, taste, touch, and smell physically and locally real. Natural laws would be part of the simulation. People could do science within the simulation and essentially figure out that yes, we appear to be in a simulated reality. And today, many people are suggesting just that. 

Even in that scenario, however, the one thing that we could not reasonably doubt is that we are “aware” and “experiencing.” Meaning that “aware experience” is a strong, solid Truth that we can know with certainty. You may not understand the specifics of what consciousness is, but you can understand that whatever consciousness is, we are all experiencing it right now. That is as true as true gets for a human being. This is within our ability to understand about ourselves and of our current existence as “aware experience.”

What certainly exists is “aware experience.” 

Everything else is up for grabs. Lots of uncertainties and confusion surround this core Truth, which essentially blocks it from plain view. That is a type of “Babylon” as the old metaphor goes. This is why many people have a hard time seeing what’s been right under their own noses all of their lives! Until they either suddenly get it or someone points it out. Then it’s very obvious, usually. But even then some people are going to try and resist this core Truth. 

Materialism, Panpsychism, and Analytic Idealism

Does it all end right there? No, not by a long shot. We must press forward. Now we have to sort through the issues of materialism vs. panpsychism vs. Analytic Idealism. 


The accepted academic view has been the materialist worldview (loosely speaking, conflating physicalism and materialism into one discourse) amongst most scholars and intellectuals. We can all probably agree that it is true that “aware experience” is all that we know for sure, beyond reasonable doubt. Peter Russell made this argument in his lecture, “The Primacy of Consciousness.” But people diverge when it comes to unpacking the common understanding of “aware experience” as Truth. 

Materialism basically assumes that everything can be explained through material and physics. I feel justified in conflating materialism and physicalism because one isn’t better than the other, and here’s why:  We know that we are “aware of experience” but if we assume, as materialism does, that our “aware experience” arises from matter and physics, then the “hard problem of consciousness” arises. How do quantities (particles of matter) give rise to qualities (touch, taste, smell, emotions, and consciousness itself)? This has remained unanswered. Even though it seems as though material gives rise to consciousness, it only seems that way until you look much closer and realize that it can’t be explained that way as it stands. How does something as immaterial and non-physical as consciousness arise from not-conscious matter? 



Panpsychism comes along and tries to do better. It accepts that matter exists in a locally real sense but then interjects that there must be little bits of consciousness within locally real sub-atomic particles of matter, which flows up through all of material existence. It’s a dualistic idea. Two separate things exist:  consciousness and matter, and consciousness inhabits the matter.

The biggest issue that arises with this panpsychism–and there are many–is that work on quantum entanglement and “non-locality” suggests that physical objects in space are not locally real! Three Nobel Prizes went out for “non-locality” in 2022. Non-locality moves towards “non-dual” reality. That is still new information for a lot of people, but it’s going to change things up going forward, IMO. And that basically takes out panpsychism along with materialism/physicalism in one sweeping shot, exposing a lot of the confusion or metaphorical “Babylon” involved in those worldviews.  

Analytic Idealism–the 21st Century’s Only Plausible Metaphysics

Analytic Idealism provides a way out of this mess. It starts with a different set of assumptions by placing the one thing that we can be sure of, consciousness and “aware experience,” first rather than second. When we do that, there is no “hard problem!” No red flag at the base of the model. No trying to build up on top of a red-flagged substrate level. No house built upon the sand! And this is technically a top-down ontology, rather than bottom-up. 

No one has to explain how consciousness exists as a byproduct of matter. Nature itself is viewed as a type of “core subjectivity,” which translates to core awareness devoid of things like thought content and human-like brain thinking. It’s just the “awareness” that has to exist in Nature and the Universe itself. All the interactions that happen in Nature do so through this sea of awareness, which is all-present. We experience subjective things like qualities because that’s the very Nature of Reality. It has awareness and communication ability throughout itself. It’s the “One” that interconnects the “many.” It is the “Source.” 

The issue of the “One” and the “many” is explained in terms of seeing Nature as Mind at Large (MAL). Within that all-encompassing MAL, dissociation processes naturally occur. This brings about the ability for an Infinite, or spatially unbound, Mind to experience and perceive itself from across a dissociative boundary from “within.” An example of this from nature is dissociative identity disorder (DID) where a singular mind can dissociate itself into multiple altar personality perspectives. 

DID could be viewed as corresponding to what happens on a larger scale with MAL. The Hermetic axiom, “as above, so below” comes to mind. That’s the idea here. And that’s modern idealism. “One” omnipresent field of awareness interacts with itself and runs these self-simulation types of realities in Consciousness, which we see as the world of experience, the universe, and so on. This is why the old metaphors of “dreams” come into play. The Universe runs its own type of self-simulated dreamlike state, which we see as objective reality “out there.” 

This correlates to the ancient “Philosophy of Mind,” which is Hermetic Philosophy. That’s where the two philosophies, both ancient and modern, begin to converge. In 1908, a mystical book entitled “The Kybalion” was published. It claims to reveal the “key” that unlocks the Hermetic philosophy literature. It was old-world stuff, pre-modern scientific era released in the early 20th Century. It was kept from becoming a religion in and of itself throughout its history and, therefore, prohibited from devolving into religious dogmatism. But all three dominant Western traditions used Hermetic philosophy in the creation of their religions. They used the old wisdom and philosophy that was available at the time, which was Hermetic, Platonic, and essentially Gnostic. The book covers the seven principles, which the writers go through once and then a second time in more depth. 

The Hermetic Principles

The 7 Hermetic principles are loosely described as follows: 

  1. Mentalism: The ALL is Mind, the Universe is Mental.
  2. Correspondence: As above, so below. As within, so without. 
  3. Vibration: Everything moves; nothing rests; everything vibrates.
  4. Polarity: Everything is dual in nature; everything has its polar opposite.
  5. Rhythm: Everything flows back and forth; the pendulum swings both ways. 
  6. Cause and Effect: Every cause has its effect, and every effect has its cause. 
  7. Gender: Masculine and feminine gendered energies exist across all planes of existence. 

Both ancient Hermetic Philosophy and modern Idealism begin with the same central premise–a “Consciousness First” platform, which corresponds to the first principle of mentalism. All else flows from the existence of “Universal Consciousness.” Each of the remaining six Hermetic principles follows from the existence of “Universal Consciousness,” which is the same as the new metaphor of “Core Subjectivity.” The new metaphor provides a fuller vision of how this can be visualized according to today’s science. Today, we see reality as a vast quantum field and particles as “fields” within a “unified field.” 

Philosopher Bernardo Kastrup, double-PhD and founder of “Analytic Idealism” uses this commonly accepted scientific view and models his philosophical model of MAL as “A spatially unbound field of core subjectivity, with constant excitation of the field.”

This is not so different from Hermetic Philosophy. The excitation of the field causes the dissociation processes that transform the “One” into the “many.” This is what mystics have traditionally viewed as “Infinite Mind” being filtered through a “finite mind” perspective. Modern mystic, Rupert Spira, speaks at length in this general type of language. It’s a non-dual model. Reality is “One” unified substrate interacting with itself at all times with things like energy vibration as a constant. One thing exists–Mind/Mentation– and the one thing that exists is everything. What appears as lifeless matter, or nonliving, non-metabolizing things, are viewed as “appearances” that appear in “Consciousness.” 

We already know that physical objects in space are not locally real and have no stand-alone existence separate from the unified quantum field. Non-locality points towards non-duality. It all sort of comes together from a big mess of confusion and complexity, down to simplicity. It doesn’t get any simpler than condensing all multiplicity down to unity. And this is currently being argued as “the simplest explanation” for the fact that “aware experience” (which is immaterial) exists. This explains the existence of the only “Truth” that we have access to that can’t be reasonably doubted! 

I won’t make any claim that this is the final word or that we now have everything figured out and it’s time to stop thinking or learning. That’s not remotely the case. After arriving at simplicity and rearranging a new (but somehow ancient) perspective, all of the nuance and detail that build from the new “Core Subjectivity” view has to be worked out now. 

The Path Forward

I offer all of this information in the spirit of the old Greek myth of the Phoenix, or Bennu Bird, as the Egyptians called it. Let’s face it, folks, I’m looking at the strong possibility that very soon–maybe within a few generations–our currently accepted and traditional ways of thinking, from religion to science, will crash and burn of their own accord! 

No one could force the old ways out of power by fighting them. The communists of the world have tried that and failed time and again. The secular far left of politics in the US has been trying to do that. It doesn’t work. People have tried and failed to force religion out of existence. But religion itself has long since peaked and is failing because of its own choices, which have rendered it increasingly irrelevant to society over a long period of time. My position here is that materialist metaphysics in secular science is next in line to fall of its own accord because of its lack of explanatory power.

So, what are we, the common people of the world, to do? What can we do in our own lives to impact the path forward? There are many possibilities. My personality type contributes to what I can see and how we, the people, may be able to rise up from the “figurative flames” (a mental state) of the former dominant worldviews crashing under their own weight due to their own mistakes and misjudgments. This is a natural death according to a natural type of life cycle for worldviews in general. They don’t last forever. That’s not how Nature works. 

This is a pacifist position in that I have no interest in forcefully deconstructing the old ways. I don’t want that karma. I’ve had to think long and hard about what I do want to see happen. All I want to do is plan ahead and have something in place that makes sense going forward in the wake of imminent failures that I foresee. That’s why I said that this is a “lifeline.” It’s a way of rethinking things in such a way that maybe we won’t lose all faith, belief, meaning, and purpose to the crushing steel jaws of metaphysical materialism, which will go down along with mainstream religions. Its demise will render its steel jaws illusory–just frail dentures in reality. With no real bite! It can’t crush belief, faith, meaning, and purpose! 

Where does that leave human spirituality? As bad as it may look via the projections I’ve made, the most obvious place that I see this landing human spirituality is “Spiritual Independence”–stronger spirituality, free from religious institutions that have signed their own death warrants due to corruption, sexual misconduct, and things that I will invite the religious among us to see as “counter” to the “Will” of “God!” And to the non-theists who can hang with this sort of philosophical thinking, I invite you to view this in the most conservative sense of viewing Nature itself as operating as a quantum field of “core subjectivity with constant excitation of the unitary field.” Both of these views are compatible with the “Consciousness First” platform. 

I get the feeling that the future is going to be more the case of various agnostic-atheist secularists living a peaceful co-existence with what will essentially become the “spiritual, not religious.” The spiritual will pose no threat to the secular, and the secular will pose no threat to the spiritual. 

I see a way out of this mess, and I feel like I owe it to the world to say it out loud. What if I’m right? If I’m right, this new outlook can make us all stronger. Less fractured. Less hate. Less bigotry. Less misogyny. Less all of the things that thinking in terms of literally separate objects existing in a void vacuum space reaps from the societal standpoint. Separateness thinking (dualism) spawns all things negative and bigoted! It’s the dark source of those negative things and the mentality of divisiveness. Its only power is the power of “confusion” or “Babylon!” And that particular “Babylon” looks like it’s on the edge of “Falling!” 

In Conslusion

I’ll end this post by letting the reader know what the worst part about most of our Western organized religions is. They all started out mystical and then the core “origins” were basically lost to time for competitive religious and political reasons. They had the insight of unity, wholeness, and “Oneness” from the outset. But that core realization, what is called the “mystical realization,” was trampled over and eventually, the mainstream organized religions turned 180 degrees, away from the mystical, Hermetic Philosophical core. 

That Hermetic Philosophical core was the original divine message, and it never was truly lost. It was simply hidden from the corrupt churches and the general public as a type of safeguard until we matured to the point where it could be reintroduced. Technology has made that possible. Technology is not our enemy. It serves a greater purpose, which is instant and global access to information for all. 

I realize this has been a long-winded post, but it sets the stage for understanding future posts from myself, as well as some of my peers who have the same general overview. “The Primacy of Consciousness” is “The Good News” that was trampled previously when others before us tried to get it out to the public–to the common people. 

When the current age, the age of Pisces-Virgo, began, early mystical Christians wrote symbolic letters between their communities about the Good News. It was, unfortunately, premature and took serious casualties. The result was that the Good News would be pushed back all the way until right before the next age–Aquarius-Leo–drew closer, signaling those with the mystical and Hermetic “gnosis” that another wave of inspiration would be coming, just as the last time the ages changed. And the time before that, etc., etc.

This time, however, the landscape of power and authority has changed! And conditions are much more favorable for trying to get “The Good News” out in modern language, with modern metaphorical symbolism, and with modern technology at our disposal. I don’t believe that this is anything that can be stopped. It will just keep coming back again, and again, and again until the “Truth” of “The Primacy of Consciousness” is spread far and wide! Only then shall the end of the great “confusion” or “Babylon” come crashing down! 

I’m just reporting on what I’ve observed, witnessed, learned, and interacted with over a 20-year period. Basically, this all came to me at the start of this century and out of an inner devotion to the truth-seeking path. I was willing to press on and keep moving forward, regardless of whatever hurdles popped up along the way. 

The biggest problem that I’ve seen is that most people stop short where truth-seeking is concerned. Institutional religions tell people to stop looking, and stop searching because the truth is only found within said institution. That’s the lie. That’s the deception that “masquerades as light” but which in reality is exposed as “darkness” and “ignorance.” It’s painful, I know it. 

To realize that you’ve sided with a position that turns out to be incredibly wrong and misguided. That happened to me with organized religion. I turned to secular science to try and do better, but that also began to crack and fail. I’ve lost the feeling of having solid footing several times. And it can hurt emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. I’ve had to go through all of it myself. But I can say this, I do feel all the better in the long run for having gone through it. And I have restored faith and belief in life, humanity, and Consciousness itself, which is the Absolute and the Divine! It’s what the symbolism of “God” has meant all along. 

Stephen Wollard

The Hermetic Idealist 

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