In my opinion, if the world of ideas becomes disconnected from reality and starts to exist autonomously, the individual whose reason so proceeds will definitively lose the route to freedom. I try to conceptualize freedom as a state of mind, as an inner joy (such as an erotic pleasure, maybe the more consistent and genuine form of vanity), which is a consequence of coherence between thought and conduct. Beautiful ideas that are distant from the reality of our condition push us away from freedom; and it is in this category that I classify almost all philosophical and religious systems of great acceptance. If ideas gain autonomy and disconnect from reality, they may be very lovely but will be false. The fundamental creative process is lost, that permanent interchange between two worlds; coherence is lost and, therefore, there can be no liberty.
The tendency towards this fascination for ideas is very easily understood, if we consider the principle that people, when faced with the evidence of their biological peculiarities (mortality, for example) and psychological qualities (contradictory emotions, for example), did not appreciate what they observed. Since they possess the capacity for imagining, they can “invent” another perfect human condition perceived as much more refined and interesting than reality – which, by the way, is the only thing that really exists. They cannot avoid developing an enormous disgust for reality, provoking rebellion against self (aggravated and perpetuated by sentiments of inferiority); it manifests, most of the time, in a banal and artificial manner, such as annoyance for physical characteristics (height, face contour, weight etc.), mere signs of this hostility against the real self of the individual and his more relevant peculiarities.
Ideas may be beautiful; in the world of ideas perfection exists; man can feel important, indispensable; humans can and should seek transcendence. The real man is a mammal and has several reactions which “unfortunately” indicate his kinship to other animals; he is imperfect, insignificant and merely seeks pleasure. The more we are seduced by beautiful ideas, the harder it is to accept and digest reality. In face of this radical dichotomy between the illusionary and that which one observes, another type of evaluation arises in which “virtues” (good) correspond to what can be attained through thought; while what is evidenced as the factual behavior of the human being are the “flaws” (evil), from which he will try to escape if he wishes to achieve the greater aims proposed by the realm of ideas. Nowadays, it seems very clear to me that one cannot reach any sort of gratification through this mistaken attitude, based essentially upon the non acceptance of the human condition.
People who are governed by reality are looked down upon by the more idealistic types (besides also being an object of their admiration and envy) and feel a little vulgarized and simple-minded, greatly admiring (not without envy) those who collect “virtues”. Since their behavior is due to several psychological reasons (vanity, ambition etc.) and not the conviction that only the real world exists, they tend to act in a cynical and opportunistic manner, guiding themselves by the rules of the game. Idealists, on the other hand, refuse to take part in the game and only dream of radical changes. Nobody acts efficiently in their own way of life, by seeking the coherence that can only be achieved when one is capable of visiting both worlds. Ideas must have a parallel in reality, even if that, at first sight, implies the need to “downsize” our conceptions a little, getting rid of what might be enticing but is not true.
According to my line of reasoning, nothing withdraws people more from the agreeable and coveted sensation of freedom than beautiful false ideas. Light is reborn to those who do not oblige themselves to be what they are not simply to conform to certain convictions and theories that belittle true human nature.
Translated by: Norma Blum