The continued existence of the self-concept is facilitated by the turning of the wheel of illusion. If that wheel didn’t turn, and didn’t keep on turning, then there could be no self. The identity needs illusion just like a fire needs fuel. The turning of the wheel of illusion generates the fuel for the maintenance of the everyday purposeful self.
The wheel of illusion turns when we believe that plus is different (and preferable to) minus. This is an illusion because plus and minus aren’t different and since they aren’t different neither is preferable to the other! The wheel that we are talking about here is the gimmick used by the System of Thought in order that it might disguise the fact that nothing real can ever happen in it. If we saw this then we would see that the SOT is ‘a fraud’ and so we’d have nothing whatsoever to do with it; the SOT never reveals this about itself however. The SOT is after all the domain that is created when plus is assumed to be fundamentally different to minus and that it is very much preferable!
This system of thought is a very peculiar place to spend all of our lives. The SOT gets to be the SOT by not allowing anything to happen that hasn’t been specified by the set of rules governing it; the realm that we are talking about here can only exist when nothing new (i.e. nothing unspecified) is ever allowed to happen, and yet it represents itself as being that domain within which meaningful change can and does take place. It represents itself as being the only place meaningful change can take place; even though this representation of itself is a perfect inversion of the truth.
The wheel of illusion is the gimmick by which the System of Thought conceals the fact of its own sterility. Nothing new can ever happen in the Continuum of Logic (that continuum where everything is explainable in terms of rules or precedents) and this means that the COL isn’t a real place. Because it isn’t a real place it has nothing to offer us, nothing to sustain us, nothing to maintain our interest or nurture us and so, whether we realise it or not, we are always looking for some ‘special ingredient’ to make life worthwhile (or at the very least tolerable) when we are living within the System of Thought. We’re always hungry, in other words. What we’re looking for is newness, i.e. an actual event that can interest us, something that can give us some relief from being continuously stuck in the mind-created ‘Groundhog Day’ scenario. The SOT snares us by getting us to think that the transition from negative to positive is this change, is this ‘breaking free’ that we are looking for. We don’t yearn for freedom therefore, we yearn to succeed at the task at the thinking mind has set us.
The more we look for release from the starkness of the mind-created game (or the mind-created task) the more we spin the wheel therefore; the more we try to redeem our situation the more irredeemable it becomes. The wheel of illusion is what keeps us trapped in the SOT, and the other (complementary) way putting this is to say that ‘the wheel turning’ (i.e. ‘polarity’) equals ‘itself’. The gimmick that the SOT uses to disguise the fact that there is no possibility of creativity within it is therefore at the same time the gimmick that creates the everyday purposeful self. No wheel turning means ‘no self’ and since ‘no self’ seems that the very worst thing in the world when we’re caught on the wheel we have no choice but to keep on spinning that wheel as fast as we can, hoping through our diligence to win the jackpot, hoping that this is how we are going to find the pot of gold at the other end of the rainbow.
Putting things like this helps us to see the irony and the clearer we can see the irony the better it is for us! The clearer we can see this particular irony the better it is for us and yet this is the last thing we want to see – the further we can get from the irony we talking about here the happier we are going to be (in a manner of speaking). The irony in question has to do with a pot of gold that we are hoping to find at the other end of the rainbow. The prize we are hoping to find is ‘the prize of being a self or identity that doesn’t have to struggle the whole time to maintain/validate itself’. This is the prize of being ‘an All-Time Winner’ as James Carse says – the winner who doesn’t need to prove themselves any more. We finally get to break free from the gravitational field of the deterministic or mechanical life, in other words. This is the prize of having definitely won the game so we don’t ever have to play the game anymore.
Our wearisome struggle is made worthwhile by the promise of this glorious release from our repetitive labours. The irony is therefore that by putting all our emphasis on the positive pole we hope to be free from the ongoing conflict of polarity (i.e. the ‘ongoing conflict of positive versus negative’) whilst actually it is our one-sided emphasis on the positive that constitutes the very conflict we want to be free from! Or as we could also say, we put more and more effort into spinning the wearisome wheel because we see this as the way to get to the blessed realm of freedom where we don’t have to spin it any longer. What we don’t see though is that we ourselves are the spinning and so of course we will never be free from ‘the onerous need to keep on spinning’. We’re buying into that ‘need’ more and more with every day that passes…