Basically, on PrincipiaDiscordia.com, there is something of a movement, or idea, called the Black Iron Prison. You can read about it here, its basically a collection of new ideas that came out of the effort to update Discordianism (in keeping with a religion of chaos, change is sometimes a good idea).
Anyway, along comes Laz from ClosertoGod.net, wanting a new entry for his site. So we direct him off to the more interesting and philosophical threads and he eventually vanishes and writes this complete and utter misrepresentation of the metaphor.
So naturally, I'm going to correct him.
The Black Iron Prison is an idea that I have come across on a website that touts the Principia Discordia and the Illuminatus trilogy books.Not strictly true, the site is named for the book, but many of us are actually bored with discussing it and have moved onto over areas on inquiry. A small point, some may say pedantic, but important.
The idea as it was explained to me is that in life you are trapped in a prison cell, it is dark and it is inescapable but you cannot see the walls that surround you. As an unwilling convict of this invisible penitentiary, you are in a position of pain and suffering and you have no way to break free until someone points out and makes you understand that you are in a prison.Then you misunderstood the metaphor entirely.
The prison is indeed inescapable, but not necessarily dark. That you equate it with pain and suffering, which were never originally mentioned, says a lot about both your preconceptions and metaphysics in approaching this.
Also, furthermore, the point is that you cannot escape. The prison was a metaphor for your senses and how you understand the world. You will never have perfect knowledge. You will never be able to know, be 100% certain of what is the truth and be objective about existence.
Once you understand that you are being held against your will, you may start to break down the bars of your jail window, it is a revalation, and a means of evading capture. however, your initial rapture of becoming a free man is short lived, as you will find that there is a cell outside of the cell in which you had been incarserated. While the walls of the first prison are now crumbled, there is another larger wall encasing the captive and another set of bars holding back the freedom which is sought.How can you escape your senses? Do you posit some sort of transcendent knowledge here, or are you merely misunderstanding what has been said? I am unaware of any of the former and the latter seems more plausible.
What I have found is that this analogy is a an unenlightened one, for it tells of failure to achieve enlightenment, and you had better not try again. It touts freedom but does not deliver. It is no truth bringer or real enlightenment, and is instead a masturbatory thought process that leads in a circle, and this ends in conformity, and bondage.Who spoke of “enlightenment”? Apart from you, of course. Enlightenment is not the point or the goal. Understanding mental processes, limitations and perceptions are the goal here. Enlightenment is a sham, a metaphysical construct for a perfection of knowledge that cannot exist in this Universe.
You already have freedom. Freedom is gained through choice and choice is contingent on subjective perception and understanding. If you do not like how you view the world, how your philosophy or ideology or chosen system works, you can change it. You cannot ever be right, but you can improve and progress. That you seek a definite goal and define freedom as the lack of external barriers (as opposed to the ability to chose) again shows flaws in your basic assumptions of what this is about.
How does this process end in conformity? If anything, it expresses the creative urge of the individual and how they can empower themselves to change their environment. That there is no perfection, no idealist Utopia at the end of the road, is an issue of your own perceptions about how the world should work. Its very presumptuous and also quite volatile and reactionary, as previous Utopian and Positivist movements have shown.
Breaking down walls is a good thing, but to find that behind every wall is another, is an idea that breads contempt, inadeqacy, and selfish behaviour, it is an idea that is a trick.How is that so? Only if you are weak minded and fear challenges, it would seem. Who is there to direct contempt against? No-one is responsible for your position except yourself, there is no divine trickster here, you cannot blame your cell mates, for they have unwillingly been thrust into the same position as you. Inadequacy implies goals that are not met, and there is no goal here. Selfish behaviour, I cannot even see how that follows from what we have said. To what end would selfishness be in any way beneficial?
I have broken free of the BIP and I find that it is actually a lonely place, it is not populated with individuals, but it does not have any further walls and is not devoid of life. It is a free place that is to be explored and learnt from.You have not broken free of anything. Your own philosophy drips from this tract and shows your own limitations in your thoughts and ideas. To claim you have broken free of anything is highly unlikely. A Nietzschean would easily detect the underlying Christian/Positivist philosophy in your writings and quite correctly bring you to account on it, at great length. That you probably do not realize this says so much about the invisible bars that hem in your thinking.
There are individuals everywhere, Laz. A planet of them, over 6 billion now. Many try not to be, because they would have to face responsibility for their actions, the fear of there being no control or higher power to justify their actions. But they still exist, try as they might to deny it.
Edit: Other even more excellent responses to Laz can be found here