First published in the International Post-Dogmatist Quarterly – Volume 1 – Issue 1 – 1994
So as to abate any future confusion on this subject, I have decided to jot down a few notes on the topic of Dogmatism.
When Post-Dogmatism was first recognized as having come into being on that third Thursday afternoon in March of 1987 at exactly 3:00 PM, it was preceded by the brilliant realization of Dogmatism. Dogmatism itself as a movement lasted only twenty minutes, after which the age of Post-Dogmatism began.
Post-Dogmatists worldwide realize that Dogmatism itself is the expression of the undiluted and pure truth of Reality as it exists in the Absolute Present and that it cannot, by its very nature, ever be expressed in its totality within the realm of human terms. The Dogmatist Manifesto, that is, the record which expresses the intentions purposes and guidelines for the expression of Dogmatism, is so majestically powerful and overwhelming in its scope that it was considered to be a grave danger to humanity as it would shake the very foundations of civilization as we know it. It was for this reason that the Dogmatist Manifesto has been relegate since time immemorial to its rightful location in the sanctuary of the Absolute Present where it now resides and is inaccessible in its totality to normal human perception.
The founding fathers of Post-Dogmatism, realizing the magnanimous nature of the Dogmatist Manifesto, deemed it humanly impossible to, through effort, emulate the qualities required to be a Dogmatist and, that because of the conditions set forth in the Dogmatist Manifesto, it would be an act of unmitigated gall to call one’s self a Dogmatist.
Recognizing the preexistence of the Dogmatist Manifesto and that it alone is the only authentic Dogma against which all other dogmas are to be compared and from which all human dogmas proceed, the founding fathers realized the futility of creating any new dogmas. They, therefore, had no need or desire to fabricate any new dogmas as such actions could only serve to obscure the sublime beauty and perfection of the one True Dogma and that to adhere to any dogma in preference to the one True Dogma would be an act of cowardice and ignorance. Thus the founding fathers realized the folly of calling themselves Dogmatist or that there could exist a movement called Dogmatism within the realm of human limitation.
It took them twenty minutes to come to this understanding at which time they agreed to become Post-Dogmatists, that is, those who follow after the one True Dogma. This twenty minute period of time therefore, has symbolically been designated as the Dogmatist Movement that gave rise to Post-Dogmatism and, in turn, the International Post-Dogmatist Group. ( It should be noted here that the “Dogmatist Manifesto” presented in this publication is not the Dogmatist Manifesto discussed here but is merely an invention of the founding fathers to provide themselves and future generations with a physical act to differentiate between pre-Dogmatism and Post-Dogmatism).
A Post-Dogmatist then, is an individual who, having come face to face with the preeminent nature of Dogmatism, adopts a Post-Dogmatist orientation. He recognize himself and the world as a mysterious and unknowable substance. He recognized his true nature as being beyond the outward appearance of himself ,that is, beyond his physical appearance and environment, beyond his personal beliefs, actions, ideas, interests, goals, and associations.
He comes to recognize that the personal experience that he has accumulated from his unique vantage point are distilled, over time, into a complex web of personal dogmas that are the essence of these experiences and form that individual’s view of, and response to the world around him. This individual comes to the inevitable conclusion that though, as human beings we tend to identify with this web of dogma as though it were our very self, it is, in fact, not our self. He begins to realize how powerfully these dogmas shape his life and concludes that he will attempt to act out of choice rather than react according to the unconscious decision-making process that is the product of his particular web of dogma. The Post-Dogmatist therefore, does not abandon dogma. Rather, he releases his identification with these dogmas by carefully establishing what these dogmas are and how they effect his responses to and awareness of the world around him. Any individual who begins this work swiftly comes upon dogmas that are in serious need of adjustment or even, in extreme cases, abandonment.
The effect of a dogma on an individual is directly proportional to the degree that the individual identifies with the dogma as himself. The approach of the Post-Dogmatist is to identify and define dogmas rather than to identify and define one’s self according to dogmas. This is a difficult and laborious process requiring constant attention and a rare degree of courage.
For, to detach one’s self from a core dogma is emotionally equivalent to the death of a loved one. There is normally an inward resistance to the dismantling of a long held dogmatic structure due to the psychological and emotional upheaval caused by the confusion of re-orienting one’s perspective without reliance on the dethroned dogma that one had previously identified with. The goal for the Post-Dogmatist is to find himself freed from the job of a dogma tender and to ultimately take refuge and comfort in the selfless mirror-like void of consciousness that is the authentic root of his being and to act with certainty from this position, perceiving reality directly without the interpolation of a dogma.
It is only through this detatchmental process that one gains the ability to confront a dogma directly and to ascertain its effect one one’s perception of reality. One finds that a dogma acts as a filtration system that keys in on certain aspects of experience yet causes one’s attention to be utterly blind to all else that does not conform to the dogma’s structure. Therefore, while it brings seeming clarity to certain aspects of experience, it completely censures anything that threatens the dogma’s structural integrity or credibility. Credibility is, in fact, the vulnerable underside of any dogmatic structure. To question the credibility of a dogma is to shake its very foundations owing to the indisputable fact that all dogmas have their roots in the Unknowable and are not, direct truths as has been proven in the Unified Field of Dogma Theory which states;
‘Dogmas, though they may resemble Reality in varying degrees of authenticity, in and of themselves have no intrinsic value yet, are imbued with dynamic power and functional importance to the degree of the investiture of faith and trust that an individual or community places in them. These dogmas then, in turn, give shape to Reality and alters the world of the individual or community in such a way so as to conform to the dogmas into which the individual or community have invested. If the support of faith and trust that animates and enlivens the dogma is withdrawn, the dogma collapses almost effortlessly though not without dramatic effect.’
One does not have to look very far back in history to see examples of this collapse in whole cultures. Every art movement, for example, that has arisen in this century was empowered by a given web of dogma that supplanted a previous one through attacking it’s credibility. How far reaching each new movement became was directly incurred through the degree of faith and trust the artists brought to it thereby giving it credibility. As soon as this faith began to waiver, the movement’s credibility was called into question causing it to lose currency. Hence, the rise of the next movement, ad infinitum. This pattern of inception, growth and collapses shows how spontaneously and ingeniously human beings use dogmas to discriminate between and ultimately to alter the various aspects of reality, enhancing some and ignoring others, determined directly by the dogma employed.
Obviously, this description brings up some very interesting questions. I personally cannot think of any off the top of my head but I am quite sure they would, indeed, be interesting. The point, however, my fellow post-dogmatists is: don’t waste time building and tending after dogma cages constructed of bits and pieces of other people’s delusions. Start by stripping away stupidities, detaching your self from mere beliefs. Tinker with the foundations of your assumptions. Wake up and become aware. Strike out into the unknown or rather long forgotten fields of consciousness. Seek out the Real become Its instrument. Engage in those activities that lead to your freedom.