The Use of Fantasy
A fantasy1,2 is a virtual, because imagined problem solution.3 The solution serves as a placebo.4
Likewise all combinations of fantasies.
Because fantasies are virtual, i.e. unreal, they need to be reality tested prior to application in the real (i.e. actual) world.5,6
The notion of the supernatural7 itself is a fantasy since no natural evidence has been provided for its existence. It serves as a placebo, hence protects by providing virtual solutions to actual (i.e. natural) human problems.8
Religions propagating belief in the supernatural operate as protection rackets. The salvation (i.e. as problem solution) they offer curtesy of their fantasies (as virtual solutions) comes at a price. Initially the (entry) price is modest (and therefore a good deal).9 It later becomes exorbitant (i.e. a bad deal, meaning the protector/priest, viz. the medieval Christian Church ‘takes all’).
Reality testing supernatural solutions serves to keep the individual adjusted to nature’s way.
The enemy11 of the religious protection racketeer is the individual who reality tests the racketeer’s salvation solutions. The latter are the naturalists who derive their testing criteria from the ubiquitous12 laws of nature. In ancient India they called themselves Carvakas. Today they called themselves scientists.
© 2021 by Bodhangkur
1. The word ‘fantasy’: derived from the Greek word phantasia; meaning: ‘imagination’, ‘appearance’.
2. Fantasies, iconised mental data streams, are simulated by the brain. Consciousness happens as a dashboard displaying currently active data streams. The simulation operation (of fantasies) serves to solve current survival problems. The body then enacts, and so reality checks, the simulated problem solutions. Supernatural fantasies (i.e. religious (thus political) instructions) are installed as grid or frame or organise later data inputs.
3. Primitive, infantile or naïve humans are faced with a vast array of real and imaginary problems. Clever folk emerge to create whole industries to help resolve those problems, at a price. The various religions are such industries and which naturally work for profit maximization.
5. Supernaturalist priests (even non-supernaturalist priests like some Buddhists, Jains and Taoists and not a few mathematicians and physicists too) reality test their fantasies within (rather than outside) their own virtual (i.e. fantastic) world. Recall the gobbledegook served up by medieval Christian and Muslim scholiasts. Such niche internal reality testing (or verification, happening as it were within an echo chamber) serves to reinforce the original fantasy. A past master at such niche internal (false) reality testing was the Brahmin scholiast Adi Shankara and St Augustine.
6. If not reality tested, application of a fantasy solution to an actual/natural problem more often than not leads to disaster. The inner (i.e. mental) world operates as a simulator generating fantasy problem solution options. Consciousness functions as a simulated dash-board view of the external world of which one receives only quantised, thus unidentifiable, data inputs.
7. That’s the notion that nature is generated, guided and controlled by a transcendent or pre-natural agent, and for which no evidence has been produced.
8. Placebos (like hypnosis) tend to work well for those who respond well to fantasies (or hypnotic induction).
9. The religious racket (or confidence trick) offers quick and easy solutions to pressing problems. It offers immediate freedom from those problems while reducing personal freedom to act authentically. In short, fantasy con-tricks offer a quick and painless ‘freedom from’ at the price of a reduction in the natural ‘freedom to’ urge. However, by ‘freeing from’ insignificant problems such fantasies ‘free to’ less impeded solving of significant problems.
10. i.e. the virtual as useful fiction.
11. The word ‘enemy’ is apt in that both the racketeer and his or her victim are fighting to survive.
12. i.e. common to all identifiable realities.