By George A. Boyd ©2021
Q: How is it that people can believe such crazy things? Some conspiracy theories are completely bonkers!
A: To understand this, you need to understand the different orders of logic:
- Sensory logic – Also called empirical logic, this holds that for objects to exist in the physical universe, they must be able to be weighed, measured, and detected by multiple observers. This employs filters to rule out optical illusion or observer bias.
- Inferential logic – This extrapolates from observable evidence to tease out motivation, intention, or events that occurred. In a trial, a woman is found dead in her home. The fingerprints of the defendant in the trial have been found on the murder weapon, which was abandoned in the yard where the murder occurred. While no one observed the defendant kill the woman, it can be inferred that the defendant likely pulled the trigger. Additional evidence would be needed to confirm this initial inference to prove the defendant committed the murder beyond the shadow of a doubt, and alternative conjectures about what may have happened refuted.
- Mathematical logic – This is based on mathematical proofs. An analogous method of proof used in philosophy examines logic to determine accurate and fallacious reasoning.
- Algorithmic logic – This type of logic is at the heart of computer programming. It gives instructions to a computer or device with a central processing unit to carry out. What the computer carries out is contingent on what is written in the computer coding language.
- Intuitive logic – This type of reasoning can be found in the “intuitive sciences” like astrology, numerology, and tarot. This begins with a symbolic array, which the reader interprets to explore what they mean. Which cards are drawn in the tarot determine what the reader will interpret; where the cards fall in the array colors their meaning, as does the relationship with other cards. Here, each symbolic element in the array (e.g., number as symbol in Numerology, tarot card, Enneagram type, planet and the house it dwells in) can be interpreted individually, in the context in which it dwells, as well as in relationship to the other elements in the array.
- Revelatory logic – This type of reasoning holds an idea as an infallible truth, and then looks to justify it. This infallible truth can be based on the beliefs in the authority and veracity of the source, a purported supernatural or Divine origin of the idea, or outright superstitious or magical thinking. This type of logic weaves together illogical ideas, fantasies, and distortion of facts into an incoherent system, which believers tenaciously defend as true.
- Core discernment logic – We refer to this type of logic as mandalic reasoning. This is based on discernment of the nature of the Soul, and describing the Path that leads to union with that essence through the levels of the mind. Those who act as guides in meditation use this type of logic to conduct meditation students to unite their attention with their Soul. This type of discernment can also direct meditators to unite with their spirit, a personal identification center (ego or Self), or a nucleus of identity.
The first four types of logic are the foundation of our modern technological civilization. They form a bulwark against irrationality, and work to check inherent bias and perversions of reasoning.
Outside of this, we have the questionable logic of metaphysicians, sundry true believers, and Gurus. These exist outside the parameters of the ordered world mind; those who operate within its structured boundaries of the world mind cannot verify the wild claims of those who wander off into the far country of the mind.
We can characterize seven major varieties of revelatory reasoning:
- Psychotic – These individuals listen to voices that emerge from their unconscious mind that torment them and tease them, and tell them to do all manner of irrational things.
- Paranoid – They develop elaborate defensive systems to protect their ego, and project their unacceptable impulses on others. They listen to the voices of their mental defenses that desperately shield them from the truth.
- Game, fantasy, and novel identification – They identify with characters in movies and television, in novels, horror and science fiction sagas. They live immersed in the themes and drama of these fictional sources, and never seem to embrace their own life. It is much more satisfying to some to be Flash Gordon or Spiderman—or other heroic, superhuman or fantasy figure—than to dwell in the boredom, loneliness, and despair of their own unsuccessful and unfulfilling lives.
- Political cults – They identify as members of a political party, and live their lives to support, defend, and even worship their political hero. Their political heroes, alas, are often not the invincible and mighty saviors of their values and way of life they convey through rousing speeches. Many political “saviors” have turned out to be demagogues, dictators, or authoritarian leaders, who exploit the undying loyalty of their true believers to enrich themselves and remain in power.
- Psychic cults – Those who join these groups receive channeled messages from sundry spiritual beings—angels, Ascended Masters, extraterrestrials, and assorted other entities—who foretell of a future where people live in a multi-dimensional world, where they operate as godlike beings who can create whatever they wish through intention, and they are unlimited by time and space.
- Judeo-Christian religious cults – These base their authority upon what they believe is infallible scripture, which they proclaim is the very “Word of God.” They look to God, the Messiah or Savior, or saints to save them from the sinful world and rescue them from hell after death. They often recount apocalyptic visions of the future of the Last Judgment, tumultuous Last Times, or a Rapture of faithful believers into heaven with the Lord. In addition to evangelical and charismatic Christian and Jewish groups that found their religious beliefs upon a literal interpretation of their scripture, these same patterns may be seen to play out in certain Islamic sects.
- Other religious cults – These groups assemble around a spiritual leader who possesses great charisma, and provides “answers” to the seeker. The leader comes to control every aspect of believer’s lives and literally reprograms their minds to accept every word of the leader’s teaching as unerring truth.
Revelatory reasoning has several characteristics:
- It believes things that cannot be verified in consensual reality; followers believe impossible and fantastic things.
- It uses internalized, subjective criteria for truth, which are often powerfully defended and tenaciously held.
- Attempts to question core beliefs of revelatory reasoning elicit rationalization and projection to protect these sacrosanct truths.
- Believers who embrace revelatory reasoning often live their lives in an alternate reality frame—they are no longer human beings, but star beings, born again believers, or are eternally in union with bliss consciousness.
- It accepts a fluidity of meaning and truth—in the perspective of revelatory reasoning, things mean what believers say they mean; truth is whatever they affirm it is.
- It utilizes superstitious thinking; believers look for signs and omens.
- It may look to external sources for validation and direction, and not trust their own voice of reason and conscience.
We suggest that revelatory sources of information should be regarded as unproven hypotheses or speculation until you can verify them. It is important to examine your motivation for wanting to believe the claims of revelatory reasoning. It is also valuable to ascertain from what level of the mind these compelling ideas arise.
We go into greater depth into the mindset and beliefs of cultic groups in our book, Religions, Cults, and Terrorism: What the Heck Are We Doing? We recommend to those who are interested in exploring this phenomenon further to acquire this book.