We return to the book "Meaningness" for the conclusion of the Eternalism chapter. I delayed this episode until now in case David Chapman wrote more, or revised them, and no longer considered them unfinished. It's worthwhile just as it is, and I have formatted all these short pages as if they were sections in one page.
Eternalist Ploys: Ploys—ways of thinking, feeling, talking, and acting—which stabilize eternalism; and antidotes to use against them.
Imposing fixed meanings: Forcing fixed meanings on experience always eventually results in unpleasant shocks when reality refuses to conform to your pre-determined categories.
Smearing meaning all over everything: Monist eternalism—the New Age and SBNR, for example—say everything is meaningful, but leaves vague what the meanings are.
Magical thinking: Hallucinating causal connections is powerfully synergistic with eternalism.
Hope: Hope is harmful in devaluing the present and shifting attention to imaginary futures that may never exist.
Pretending: Eternalist religions and political systems are always partly make-believe, like children playing at being pirates.
Colluding for eternalism: Because eternalist delusion is so desirable, we collude to maintain it. To save each other from nihilism, we support each other in not-seeing nebulosity.
Hiding from nebulosity: Physically avoiding ambiguous situations and information.
Kitsch and naïveté: The denial of the possibility of meaninglessness leads to willfully idiotic sentimentality.
Armed & armored eternalism: When nebulosity becomes obvious, eternalism fails to fit reality. You can armor yourself against evidence, and arm yourself to destroy it.
Faith: Privileging faith over experience is an eternalist ploy for blinding yourself to signs of nebulosity.
Thought suppression: Maintaining faith in non-existent meanings. It leads to deliberate stupidity, inability to express oneself, and inaction.
Bargaining and recommitment: When eternalism lets you down, you are tempted to make a bargain with it. Eternalism will behave itself better, and in return you renew your faith in it.
Wistful certainty: The thought that there must exist whatever it takes to make eternalism seem to work.
Faithful bafflement: Maintaining the eternalist stance that remains committed but begins to doubt.
Rehearsing the horrors of nihilism: Reminding yourself and others of how bad nihilism is can help maintain the eternalist stance. This is the hellfire and brimstone of eternalist preaching.
Purification: An obsessive focus for dualist eternalism mobilizes emotions of disgust, guilt, shame, and self-righteous anger.
Fortress eternalism: In the face of undeserved suffering, is difficult not to fall into the stance that most things are God’s will, but not the horrible bits.
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