Copying Mode

Nick Williams
7 min readFeb 28, 2024
Image credit — pxfuel.com

We can either carry on copying (i.e., carry on reading from the script that has been conveniently provided for us) or we can ‘become aware of what is actually going on’, but — crucially — we can’t do both. We can’t continue to read from the script and yet be aware of what’s going on at the same time. There’s nothing in the script that can tell us how to be aware, and there’s also nothing in the script to tell us that we’re not aware. The script tells us that everything is fine, and we believe it. The script tells us that we are already perfectly aware, thank you.

Nothing and no one can tell us how to be aware, of course. There’s no theory to it, there’s no ‘how to’ involved — we just are aware, that’s all. There are no official guidelines, no standards that need to be adhered to, no tests we can pass to settle the matter one way or the other. When we’re in Copying Mode then we’re not aware, we’re not conscious — we have no connection with reality, despite the fact that we are convinced that we do. Or — if we were to express this another way — when we’re ‘reading off the script’, so to speak, then we’re not independent, we’re not autonomous. Everything we know about ourselves (and everything we know about the world) is provided for us by the script that we’re reading from and don’t know that we’re reading from, so how on earth can we possibly say that we are ‘autonomous’?

It doesn’t matter whether we talk about ‘being aware’ or whether we talk about ‘being autonomous’ — it’s the same thing either way. There’s no way that we can be said to be aware if we’re acting on the basis of second-hand information (i.e., if we’re acting on the basis of some ‘external authority’ that we can’t question) and there’s also no way — of course — that we can be said to have any genuine autonomy and yet be running on the basis of ‘what we have been told is true’. The script tells us that we are aware when we are not; it tells us that we’re independent (or free) agents when we’re not — whenever we act on anything the external authority tells us this is ‘acting on the basis of a delusion’…

When the script (or the EA) tells us that we are free then this is a very big delusion. If everything I know is supplied for me by ‘an unquestionable external authority’ and that authority tells me that ‘I am free’ then this is simply a joke — how can I possibly be free when I am totally actually dependent on the script to tell me that I’m free (or whatever else)? How can I be in any way ‘autonomous’ when I am totally dependent upon the script to tell me how to operate in the world, how to exist or function in the world? There’s a very basic confusion going on here — that’s called ‘being a slave’, not ‘being free’. When I’m dependent on the system that’s in control of everything to tell me if I’m free or not then this is — clearly — utterly absurd. It’s not just ‘absurd’, it’s a grotesque distortion of the truth.

When we’re in ‘Copying Mode’ then we are (by definition) dependent upon the template — I may think that I’m perfectly autonomous (I will swear blind that I am) but then if you were all of a sudden to take that template away from me then I would very quickly discover the truth, which is that I can’t cope without it, which is that I can’t survive for even a second without my ‘invisible support system’ telling me what to do every step of the way. Instant panic sets in and as a result I have to run go running in search of ontological security in whatever form I can find it (with no regard at all to the question as to what the consequences of ‘availing of the security on offer’ might be). I am — in other words — ‘dependent upon the Matrix’ — the Matrix might be a lie, it might be a false reality that serves no good purpose at all, but I will nevertheless kill to defend it. I will do whatever needs to be done. This isn’t of course volitional on my part — the Matrix acts through me to protect itself. When I copy from the template then I am the template; when I adapt to the System then I become the system…

If we were to be very blunt about it therefore (and not waste time mincing our words) we could just come out with it and say that ‘when we are in Copying Mode then we are Servants of the Lie’. We could say that — as conditioned beings — we are ‘the Puppets of the False Master’ — all we can ever do is ‘keep on replicating the lie‘. What the super-confident External Authority tells us just plain isn’t true, after all, and so how else could we describe this profoundly ‘non-autonomous’ state of existence? It’s not as if anything good (or anything meaningful) is ever going to come about as a result of me subscribing to the Fake Reality News Channel, after all. It’s not as if I’m going to get a big prize at the end of it all to reward me for my loyalty to the official bullshit. I might believe that I’m going to reap some kind of wonderful benefit for all my years of service,’ but I’m not. That’s not how it works.

The reason we can’t be conscious and yet be in Copying Mode at the same time is because the official template that we are copying from so diligently is ‘a big old dud’. It’s a big old dud because it has no correspondence whatsoever to reality despite the fact that it claims to. The template can’t not claim to have a genuine correspondence with reality — there would be no point to it existing otherwise. The template can hardly not claim to have a direct relationship with reality since that supposed relationship is the only reason it has for being there in the first place — in the absence of any meaningful correspondence to anything outside of it the template would be 100% useless. Clearly, there is no way that we can claim to be ‘aware of what’s going on’ when the only reality we know or are in contact with is the counterfeit one! If we did have a connection with reality then that would qualify as being conscious, but since we’re not the only thing that can be said is that we are dreaming that we are awake. We’re dreaming that we’re not dreaming, but that’s still just a dream…

I can quite happily say that ‘I’m awake’ (or that ‘I am conscious’) therefore; I can say this and firmly believe in it as well. I can believe in this story because [1] I am conscious or awake within the terms of the game, and [2] I don’t know that the game is a game. The game is just a game whether I know it or not however, and so no matter what I might perceive to be the case I am actually asleep and dreaming. As far as I’m concerned, actual consciousness isn’t a thing because — being immersed as I am within the game — I don’t know that there is (or could be) anything outside of the game. There is always something ‘outside of the game’ however and that something is called reality. We can experience that reality directly, which is to say, we don’t have to be told about it by some spurious external authority. The absolutely can’t be told about reality because as soon as we are told about it then it turns into a lie. ‘Second-hand reality’ is always false.

Someone else’s truth is always a lie, Jung says. Whenever there is ‘a middleman’ there is no truth and with us — in our everyday Copying Mode of existence — there is always a middleman. We won’t get rid of the middleman, not for anything. There isn’t enough money in the world to convince us to let go of the middleman. The middleman is the script, it’s the template we’re copying from, it’s the external authority we are always deferring to. There is simply no such thing as someone else or something else ‘telling us about reality’ — when this happens (as it almost always does) then instead of ‘the truth’ we end up being brainwashed by sleazy propaganda of one sort or other. Instead of being guided by the lumen naturae (‘the light of nature’), we are following the ‘ignis fatuus’.

The middleman or — as we might also say — the ‘External Authority’ — is the Mechanical Mind which describes the world in a literal way; the mechanical mind doesn’t (and can’t) make any allowance for the possibility that ‘the way things are’ is always going to be radically different to ‘the way we have of describing it’. The mechanical mind is fundamentally incapable of appreciating any such subtlety and so in this sense we can’t blame it for leading us astray; it’s up to us to be more careful about the forces in which we place our trust — the only trouble here being that we’re just not interested. The very last thing we want to do is to ‘discern what’s true’…

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