We project objective wrongness based on subjective feeling. We invest our wrongness feeling into objects, forget that we did so, and then react to our own secretion as if it were real. We project feelings and meanings into objects and then become deeply entangled self-object hybrids.
The meaning-making machine is simultaneously painter and naive realist. It bends the glass into a funhouse mirror, sees its reflection, and then forgets its prior act of bending and cries in horror. The child cries even though it knows that its m-feelings are fabrications made of rupa (sensation-stimulating MEST objects) and nama (the machinery that reacts to contact with form—i.e, perception, feeling, fabricating reaction, and consciousness.
Knowing that the machine is the author of (meaningful and feeling-filled) reality is the Greater Insight of Buddhist psychology and 20-cent. psychodynamic theory. Buddhist psychology is a physicalist-mechanical model of experience and desire. Psychodynamic theory is also mechanical and deterministic, but favors a hydraulic model, built on analogy with the subjective sense of desire as pressure. Psychodynamics also says that the hydraulics can be programmed linguistically by suggestion, that motivation (pain) can be determined by meaning. Insight psychotherapy is supposed to culminate in the following Greatest of All Realizations—
I am author of meaning, value, and my own action.
Once you hit that, you ought to be in the epistemic-ontological position of maximal power. When you fully cognize the extent of your robot-hood, you are, for that split second, maximally free and minimally determined. But then why doesn’t this epistemic-ontological insight induce lasting ontological liberation? It seems that buried inside our meat—on the deepest, grossest, most automatic, and most intransigent level—the robot cannot be changed, and that the free-seeming self-consciousness is really just a bubble on the surface of a deep lake of unfreedom.
Does cognizing the extent of the robot really help?