Think of the old cliché of the wild child raised by wolves without any social instruction (human, anyway). Man in his natural state with no ego, no self-conscious, and no ability to make an atomic bomb or vaccine, and yet containing all the building blocks of what we call intelligence; reason, logic, memory, wisdom and compassion. What if suddenly, an entire generation of a society’s children is kidnapped by wolves. This goes on for a hundred years, generation after generation are raised by and as wolves. Just as suddenly, they are returned to society. Would the wolf people re-assume something like their predecessor’s lives before the cities and their systems deteriorated beyond repair? What the wolf people came back without was the mass-mind of their predecessors. Everything you can imagine them being unable to do is because they lack the artificial consciousness that built the systems. Some other features of civilization might be noticeably absent, like modesty, egotism and pretension. These are all attributes of the self-conscious mind. All civilizations have, or had, there own unique brand of self-consciousness that is, or was, shaped by the other-consciousness or mass-mind. There is no way to know the meaning or purpose of the cities they built without them. For the wolf people, it’s starting over. For the former mass-mind, it’s the Apocalypse. It is the end of the arti-physical world that their ancestors lived in. The macro-organism has perished, because the people who created it no longer create it.
For many reasons other than wolves, this seems to be the fate of one historical macro-organism after another. It isn’t always volcanoes or bad luck, either. Most of the time, it’s because of us. The people that once created it no longer do or no longer can. Sooner or later, something happens to our minds and we turn on our own society. New generations don’t want to think they live there. Sometimes they can sense the end coming or just feel an impending sense of doom that the world is headed for ruin. That’s one way to spot a culture on the edge of destruction- everyone in it leads self-destructive lives. This sort of apocalyptic mentality can have a tragic impact on people’s ascent aspirations. The crisis arrives when the ego-selves that this culture raised can no longer see a path of ascension within the arti-physical world. Destruction seems like the only way out of world that is finished and has become all it can ever be. The world we believe in has closed all avenues to being more. The old conscious world has become an impenetrable fortress for the elite, and the peasants have discovered that they are not a part of what the fortress is protecting.
The consensus holds on to the past as technology pushes us farther into new and different lives than the consensus was designed to handle. The gap between past and present stretches until it can no longer, and the mass-mind comes hurtling forward in time. This usually happens in spurts as the mass-mind digs in its heels to hold its ground in the past. Some times the snap is total, and the new explanation is so completely different that the experience is like waking from a dream… an epiphany or a revelation. Suddenly, the old arti-physical world looks like a confusing jumble of perceptions based on roles for, and images of, selves that no longer exist. Just as suddenly, the tools, technology and public systems of the old consensus can become impossible to maintain. The only organizational system that could operate them is the old authority structure, and it’s full of roles that no one wants to assume. The easiest way for anyone to show disrespect to that authority is to not cooperate with it. For most, the only tangible means of expressing that disrespect is by undermining society’s ability to sustain itself, including its physical public systems. The very systems that make it possible to sustain large, disillusioned populations. This is a dangerous condition that can begin a cycle of decay that sends the standard of living in a downward spiral. The cycle starts with too much of society’s energy being consumed in making itself work. Which leaves us working more for it than for us. Our own lives have to provide the slack. Experiencing a decline in lifestyle puts fear into our organic self (the one that actual lives here), and that fear effects our conscious ego’s perception of society. We see menace lurking within it and have no trust in anyone who doesn’t share our views. We turn on each other. Not necessarily individually, but once removed, as a whole. Sticking it to everybody which doesn’t seem the same as the person next to you. More of society’s energy is consumed with protecting itself from its own citizens, forcing itself to work despite them, which causing a further decline in lifestyle and the cycle resumes.
This is the tragedy that replays through our history. Frustrated with what’s in our heads, we lash out at the physical world which never did us any harm. Not always with violence and destruction, maybe just the little things that any of us do to stick it to the system (whichever system), or give society a kick in the pants. But the only pants society has are in our minds. Why does it have to be a kick at the physical world where people can get hurt?
I think it comes down to this conundrum: In order to believe your conscious ego is you, you must believe the conscious arti-physical world and the real physical world are also one in the same. This can give the illusion that the cause or causes of our destruction are rooted in the actual universe of God’s creation which could give the mistaken impression that we might be helpless pawns in some wrathful supernatural plan. That might even be true, but I think the greatest danger we face today is something you can’t see, can't touch and can't find. It has no physical existence at all. It is what's in our heads that poses the greatest threat to our survival.
It’s only our collective anticipation of society’s continuing existence from one moment to the next that creates the illusion that civilization is taking place “out there”. Since the conscious mind is only conscious of what it recreates of the outside world, that puts ourselves and everyone and everything we are conscious of squarely inside our head, or heads. The point is that “social culture”, “the nation”, “logical positivism”, “basketball”, even the Apocalypse, cannot be demonstrated to exist anywhere else but in that part of our mind that is conscious and the home of the ego. Sure, there’s “stuff” out there, but the moment everyone stopped being conscious of it, all that stuff would lose any meaning other than its original identity as plant fiber, dirt, stone or bits of earth and become near useless. Look at any part of the modern world around you and imagine how Beldar Conehead would describe it in its most material and un-conceptual form. “Stuff” has been organized and catalyzed by us into forms and devices that require consciousness to understand or operate or live in. The resulting culture’s survival depends on each generation inheriting that catalyzed organization intact. When that goes wrong, the culture goes down.
We need to realize how different this situation is from the expectation that God will stop the universe and render unto us a Judgment Day. Sure, the end of the world is coming but it’s no big deal. We are the ones with control over what happens, we just don’t believe it. Civilization continues only because we let it. Sure, the earth could dry out or the sun could explode or galaxies could collide, but never because the humans have strayed from their sacred traditions and morality. Besides, this sort of end of the world has happened many times before.
All the empires that ever existed, except the current ones, are no longer here. Having an empire means being able to say what’s what and everybody has to believe it, willingly or not. All of them assumed the authority behind their description of the world was God and they had a truer picture of creation. Each of those thought up worlds is gone and yet the earth still orbits the sun. Each of them thought that what they held within their conscious minds was what was actually out there, and that what their conscious minds made of their spiritual life was like having typed memos from God. We have to accept that any explanation we can be conscious of is our own creation and at best a re-creation of our actual relationship with God’s creation. We aren't as good at creating as God is, so we can create quite a mess for ourselves. And all by ourselves.
Otherwise the Apocalypse can seem like the whole universal enchilada is at stake when it’s only the enchilada in our brains that’s at risk. The universe has never failed us but the world we’re conscious of keeps letting us down. This time around we have farther to fall than probably anyone ever has, and far more potential to harm the physical world than our ancestors, who may have lost the game but didn’t destroy the table. We have to look both ways, for destruction from the way we look at the world and destruction from how we actually treat the world. Either way, we could really be toast this time. Either way, I’m sure the universe would manage just fine without us.
None of that has anything to do with the Apocalypse, except to the vanquished victims. Cruelty and brutality are business as usual for mass-minds. Much more so for type A societies, less often and more shockingly in mid or post Golden Age societies. The Apocalypse is the destruction of the whole internal arti-physical world and not just the bodies that think they live in it. That can happen when one mass-mind conquers another. It’s also what happens to a society that doesn’t sort out the identity crises necessary to creating a stable type C social order. Either way, the ascent aspirations of the populace are trapped in a conscious world they cannot ascend in. The resulting frustration will emerge in the conscious mind as visions of the end of the world- the destruction of that which contains us. The apocalyptic prophesy is the conscious mind’s explanation for the gut feeling that comes from that frustration. It’s the voice of our organic selves asking consciousness to find a way out of the conscious world. The end of the world was always assumed to include the physical world, even if that meant us destroying it. Which it usually was, and not by some supernatural means. It was also assumed that there would be something left after the physical world was destroyed. An afterlife that was more like mental experience than physical, and a better place for one’s ascent aspirations to aspire in with no one else’s different ascent aspirations getting in the way. Both hope for ascension and its frustration are expressed in everyone’s explanation of the spiritual side of their conscious world. Which is what makes them so emotionally precious to our organic selves. Separating that organic craving from what our conscious minds made of it is difficult as long as the conscious spiritual path is seen as the only means of satisfying it.
Not only is consciousness trying to contain and control our organic self, it insists that this is necessary in order to contain the evil that lurks within us. For the conscious mind, religion is a pursuit of a purity of consciousness and a perfect mind. Should we fail to be perfect, there’s no one left to blame for imperfection except our sinful inner nature. Which, like Evil, also lurks within us.
I think recent events demonstrate how evil is well represented in the conscious world, which our inner nature knows nothing about. But this is an easy mistake for those who require keeping a comforting grip on evil-free absolute certainty in their most basic and treasured assumptions about the world. The ego-self wants some connection to perfection however distant or fantastic. Since the conscious world is our creation, it only has to be consistent with itself and not nature. There is no physical test for narrated truth in the arti-physical world. We’re in charge. We moderns were given a world where we are allowed to consider our own experience in deciding what the new self-evident facts are. These would become the foundation of our conscious world. We would build on a sturdy base of our best tried and true facts. But in the conscious world, self-evident facts are anointed by other facts that sooner or later are anointed by facts that aren’t even slightly self-evident. The bottom of the foundation is built on clouds. No single human being can perceive all the evidence for themselves. To build on these cloudy facts, one must commit to them. That commitment is the conscious mind’s version of faith. Believing in a truth of the arti-physical world, especially in great numbers, is the motive power that makes it true. History has shown how enterprising we could be whenever we had a cohesive set of people with a cohesive set of facts. Facts that everyone can build their conscious world upon. Whether they feel absolutely comfortable in believing in them or were brutally forced to accept them, everyone builds on the same ground. This can create an absolute moral authority on which peace and prosperity can be built. To the extant peace and prosperity are achieved, its membership will wish to preserve it by remaining committed to believing in the absolutes they’re built upon. Any threat to an established social commitment would be considered rebellion. Including facts that rebel against the old facts. Surrendering one’s commitment, being conquered, is hard to live with. Take away those absolutes and they would feel rudderless because then moral authority would be no more than an anointed gamble at best and a fraud at worst. That would mean anyone’s idea would be as good as anyone else’s, and the only leg anyone would have to stand on is results. That is a prospect so terrible for Great Leader that he will push his moral authority to limit, using that authority to authorize otherwise unjustifiable acts, fearing the loss of justification for his previous actions.
Letting go of this commitment is stepping into the abyss… a moral freefall into chaos with everything being justified by anything. Notice how absolutism has, in the modern world, been the motive force behind the commitment to actions taken from flying into buildings to carpet bombing. The very things that make the world seem to be in a moral freefall toward chaos with everything being justified by anything.
Sometimes the end of the world is the result of two mass-minds going apocalyptic together. Each side has to justify only its half of the decision to follow a course to destruction. Nuclear war between America and the Soviets is a modern example, but this can be seen all through our history, like all the destruction along the geo-political storm front where Christianity meets Islam. Traditionally, the fighting would be between a Christian kingdom and an Islamic kingdom. Ideology would take a backseat to civic pride as anger and constant avenging keeps everyone too busy to ask philosophical questions about what it’s all for. Sometimes this conflict would appear without the issue of nationality. That leaves the ideology out in the open, where it visibly that which is fought for. For humans, that is the best opportunity to deal with it.
Right now, the War on Terror is being waged between two different ideas of what the world is, and what us and them is in it. One of the protagonists is not a state or nation, it’s a state of mind. A mind that is disinherited from the modern global community and goes by the curious terminology “radical fundamentalism”. Its current focal point is Islam, or the fringes of, and there’s a branch office or two on the fringes of Christianity. After watching the British Empire fading into British Petroleum, and then watching western immigrants creating the state of Israel, the people of the Middle East have understandably had an identity crisis. Who’s world do they live in? What are they? Are they adherents of the pillars of Islam, or entrepreneurs struggling for freedom and democracy? Which world better accommodates their aspiration for ascent? We in the west have mostly presented our way of life as a means of satisfying material aspiration with little to offer their spiritual aspirations. When any system imposed upon them fails to provide for those needs, they might do the same thing we would do- cling to any system that had once met them. Ancient golden age cultures linger in their descendents and are remembered as a time of spiritual (re: mental) purity. As fundamentalist, survival hinges on maintaining the first laws of the golden age, the ones that were declared with permanence and divine authority. Conversion to Christianity is just trading one mass-consciousness for another. As a religion, Islam is Christianity’s equal. And Islam offers hope to their spiritual aspirations. We can’t simply cater to everyone’s material aspirations and offering them Christianity is the worst idea of all. We must offer them (and us) hope of another way out.
We in the west are the inheritors of a deeply embedded public relations problem. We are connected to a long history of indifference or total disregard for any culture or religion we ever came across. We have never acknowledged Islam as a nation and now find it difficult to engage it in combat. Our western imposed borders won’t help us here, we’re the only ones who believe in them. Our opponents are not defined by nation or border, they are, loosely, anyone who hates where we think we live, or in the case of the Middle East, anyone who hates where we think they live. How we justify our actions or make righteous our philosophy is for our own consumption. The other side isn’t interested in how we perceive ourselves.
Today’s technology is broadcasting the one thing about America that people everywhere find very attractive- the freedom to think. Granted, the vehicle is often garbage or puerile decadence, but the message is clear and irresistible. The one part of American expression where this message is not included is and has been the expressions of our government, which have remained largely consistent with western governments of the past. And not unlike any conquering mass-mind for the last six thousand years. Benevolent as we may now be in fostering peace, we still demand that our conscious world is where that peace can be found. We end up making peace agreements only with those who consent or surrender to living in our world as what we think they are (we call them moderates). Those who escape westernization or see no personal value in moving into our world aren’t likely to feel bound by agreements made within it. There’s no reason to see us any differently than any other foreign invaders their cultures had ever dealt with. Just another mass-mind that wants to drive yours away. A giant squid that wants to impose its tentacles into your mind. This pisses off the giant squid whose tentacles are already comfortably parked in your mind. Until, within all our minds, two giant squids are having a knife fight that is of no worldly usefulness to any of us, even though we’re holding the knives.
That struggle has taken an alarming turn. Now that our economy and technology have spread to all corners of the earth, anyone anywhere can use money and information to express their commitment to their philosophy in large organized acts of destruction. Just like we do.
Sure we got documents and badges and oaths of office, but only within our own borders do these things mean very much. It is our philosophy and how it is perceived by others that’s at stake here. If America is going to convince the other side to accept our philosophy, or even just change the way it is perceived in their eyes, it won’t be because our ideas and laws are founded on this or that hero or book. It will be the example we set with our actions around the world. We have to be better stewards of the freedom and democracy we cherish.
How? So far, we have come to accept all people physically as equals. The next step, and the one that’s always the hardest to take, is to accept their minds as equals. They’ve got heroes and books too, which provide a foundation for a sense of justice for their point of view. And a great big God just like ours who’s only one or two prophesies away from showing up and sorting things out Himself and with even greater ferocity. And we don’t want that, do we?
On the fringes of the War on Terror are those who have run out of metaphysical patience. There are some from all sides who are convinced that if they rattle the physical world hard enough, it will start an Apocalyptic Chain-Reaction of Supernatural Intervention. As if a big enough bang will rouse God and get him involved. They will look for this bang in a world we’ve filled with instruments of such expression left over from that surreal chess-match with the Soviets… whose philosophy we hated. We didn’t want to live in the world that they though we should be living in.
Ridding the world of evil can only mean killing certain people or at least destroying the organizations they create. This is so for everyone including the certain people. If, for you, evil exists in someone else’s mind, than it also must exist in yours. Evil can only be destroyed if everyone destroys the beliefs within them that make others, any others, evil.
The only way to disarm those who would violently impose whatever side on whoever else is to undermine the authority of the Great Beliefs that every side is fighting for which, unfortunately includes those held by people who are very nice. The outcome will hinge on whether either side can produce enough people who are nice, who also realize that their seasoned, tranquil niceossity no longer need come from religious enforcement or social containment. For most of us moderns, enlightened self-interest of the self-conscious ego provides the real regulation in our lives. Most of us have a sense of right and wrong and possess a conscience that is independent of any belief system we may use to describe it to ourselves. Most of us would survive a loss of faith and look for someplace else to put it. Abandoning orthodoxy doesn’t mean going feral. Somebody has to go first. It should be us.
This will be a difficult war to win against people who view us as supernatural beings- human tainted with an unholy spiritual influence- and thus not like killing a real person. But that’s not the primary objective. We’ve seen how vulnerable our socio-economic organization can be, and how our daily lives depend on its stability. If the high tech world we live in collapses, they win. Their system is built for subsistence level agrarian societies. There is nothing about the way we raise our young that could prepare them for the agrarian way of life that could result if we were hit hard enough put out the lights at Taco Bell. Sure, we would survive (some of us), but America the Mass-Mind as we know it would probably not.
I would rather be protected by a nice international image and relationships of mutual respect than fear of some expensive electronic whatever. But if that’s how we’re gonna do it, then I want the most badass whatever money can buy. If this goes badly, it will be about and all come down to emotions, and the more technology we have, the harder we will hurt. If this is what we’re gonna do then obviously we have to win, whatever that means.
Our current approach could only succeed by arresting a whole generation from inheriting their ancestors’ culture uncensored. Do we really want to do that? Because to them, we already look like we’re trying, and that’s what they’ll do anything to prevent.
We are scrambling now to determine who is on whose side and in doing so may discover on the side of what. Islam cannot consider this an ancient religious schism and neither can we. If we wish to claim both religions for our side we will have to find a more distinctive way to distinguish ourselves and our view from theirs.
We have to stop playing it their way. We still, as a nation, maintain that we are what we are because of Christianity and Judaism and God is on our side and answers to the name Jehovah. This is the face that we show the other side. Combine it with a long history of bigotry impaled into the world by our economic power that reflected little of the Christianity is was supposedly based on, and we present ourselves in a form that could only appear to them as the enemy. Respected means being treated by others as what you think you are. Showing respect means treating others as if they were what they think they are. The more unfamiliar the outer personality, the more effort is required to earn it. And the less the self should expect it.
As absurd as it may seem, the only way for our side to communicate with theirs is to become what we’re perceived to be. If we are the Great Satan, then let’s be the Great Satan. That’s the face they’re going to see and the voice they’re going to hear. But it just becomes a Halloween mask to distort the message of whichever political party is on top, which was expressed to their own supporters anyway.
Maybe we could say, to the “terrorists” something like, “Most of us over here think of religion as an inspiration and not an oppression, which is how many here have read the face of Islam that you have shown them. Most of us know very little about Islam , let alone reject it. You guys want to go straight to the death part which doesn't represent Islam well for anybody. All you can do is ruin people's lives. It won't do the American government any harm. It will be the last thing standing. If we go down, what remains of the satanic west would unite against you in an instant and would act without the restraint that the American people insist on, and demand of our government to impose on the rest the world. Push us hard enough and we will ask it to turn your neighborhood, all your neighborhoods, into a smoking crater.”
“But first, we’re going to ask your fellow citizens to join us in an effort to find a way out. Perhaps together we can go where neither has gone before. We will build a world where we can meet our spiritual needs without investing in and anointing the likes of you. Those of us on either side who hold most dearly to faith in our noble enlightenment should see that our task is not to destroy radical fundamentalism, or Islam, or Christianity, or anybody, but to outshine them.”
All the ideas and attitudes that we consider prejudiced or racist are only here to be racist about because they were once considered the truth. Even if that was along time ago. Because they’re built into the systems we social interact in, we are sometimes forced to treat some of these old notions as if they were true. Whether or not anyone participating thinks they’re true, the system still operates on the assumption that they are. Sometimes in ways that are far removed from their original form. Even in our enlightened idealism there are fundamentals that continue to fundamentalate even though we are not conscious of a self that believes in them. The mass-mind believes in them. In a long forgotten chain of logic, connections are made that cause us to treat each other in ways that could reinforce anyone’s suspicion that something is still the truth. Even if you couldn’t find one person who would tell you it’s true.
This is how we can become blind to injustices that only the victims can see. It is pointless to deny anyone else’s conscious world even if it’s full of ideas and information that you don’t think are true. It doesn’t matter whose conscious world is right. No one should be making the presumption of certainty. No one’s conscious world actually exists in the physical world of God’s creation. God had no direct involvement in any of them. Where they exist, God cannot go. Because we are already there. Each are equally creations of the minds that believe in them. That has to include everyone or this notion is of no use to anyone.
Everyone has their own physical relationship with the spiritual world and so do communities. The arti-physical worlds we live in were created to organize and enhance the ascent aspirations of our organic selves. Just beyond anyone’s explanation is a powerful emotional attachment to a system that is spiritually satisfying. Acknowledging that in each other is important to anyone’s sense of personal dignity and the only means of a clear channel of communication and sharing between contrasting conscious worlds. What this requires of us is the ability to believe that we are someplace else other than our conscious world in order to stop believing that it is really there. This would be an organization of mind that was aware of being conscious. A new somewhere from which to be while observing consciousness instead of experiencing it. Taking away the reality of our conscious world means putting reality someplace else. That could mean our unconscious perceptions becoming our primary experience, or it could mean a cognitive state that experiences a perceptual organization of both second and third stage mentalities.
Part of the mess is that we have built a world to accommodate our consciousness that focuses on its own priorities, and we have increasingly contorted ourselves to struggle to lead the life that consciousness thinks its having. This time, the key is to recognize that while the ego must be abandoned before it goes down with the mass-mind, this must be accomplished without eliminating the third stage itself by starving it and passing on inferior versions to succeeding generations. You may reach a break over point where you have a generation who, thinking that they simply no longer want to live in the system, are actually incapable of sustaining it. Then the system self-destructs and civilization collapses.
By whichever means- vulnerability, self-destruction or mutual destruction- the result is the Apocalyptic end of the arti-physical world that has become heavy and sluggish. We become weighed down by our minds. We have chosen lives whose only means of survival demands a form of perception that requires non-stop conscious activity. It becomes our highest level of organization and our experience. We are actually in our consciousness and need to be to survive in the world we are conscious of. Our conscious minds have become a trap and we can’t imagine using them in any other way except believing in them. So certain in our convictions to our arti-physical worlds that we would struggle to suppress the growing revolt in our organic selves by self torture or medication rather than question the rules we live by, refusing to admit that we would only be questioning ourselves. That inner revolt haunts the conscious world and fills it with visions and dread of a looming doom.
Since the Renaissance, our moral fundamentals are defended by a new interpretation of faith that is more optimistic than its medieval counterpart. While we are free to seek our own reasoning in nature, when we can’t find it, we must default to total acceptance that our anointed sources of The Way It Is had supernatural access to a perspective not available to the rest of us. Even if that means throwing human frailty away for those few whose creditability is so necessary that they must be granted the dispensation of divinity. Only this time divinity means the opposite- no longer a consciousness that was pure and free of evil, the modern divinity has a inner self that is pure and free from evil. Since we could suffer the consequences of things that we can’t be conscious of only such a singularly un-sinful inner self could be trusted as the un-polluted Source of What’s Up From the Great Beyond that we can’t be conscious of. Trust in an inner self became the new faith for the modern mind, which only further alienated those who strayed into the secular world of dangerous ideas that science presented about the world.
Secularism and its unfortunate offspring godless communism and godless consumerism have grown to rival religion as the decisive force in the mass-mind. But the two of them are young and carry on like a couple of over-excited toddlers romping about and breaking things. Starting with breaking the rules, which means stepping outside of the static do-this and do-that morality has become in the conscious world. Some people are starting to use different, non-religious information to explain to themselves what it is they’re looking at when they look at the world. And using it while looking at the same things as everyone else. Soon it becomes clear that there are two ways of looking at things. Prosperity has made society more dependent on the secular view. No longer heresy, now the secular and sacred are equals. Society acknowledges them both. Everyone can see the contradictory information and has to choose a side. Some mostly city-folk, find they’re lives depend on thinking they are in the secular world, and only visit the sacred world on Sundays or when they’re frightened. A few at first, then lots. Since the Church still holds the rationales for morality, popular culture on the whole feels it doesn’t have to. That is, live up to one or create much of one on their own. In its haste for excitement, the secular world abandons generations of acquired social knowledge and undermines the only reason the Church ever gave for sticking to a morality. They’re not afraid. Normal levels of fear and intimidation are not are not scaring or intimidating anyone anymore. Rebelling against Church authority, they mistakenly assume there’s no reason to be good. In fact, just what good is seems to be a matter of debate. The secular world has forced the issue. Religion finds it must put up or shut up. Either it is the arbiter of morality or it might as well sell off its properties. A growing struggle between the old type B social structure and the naive and drunken type C run amok creates a polarization of the populous as everyone has to take sides about more and more things. Eventually cultural warfare is declared, and people start to die. A few at first, then lots. Since there can’t be two worlds, each side must dominate or eliminate the other. There can only be one world that indulges and tolerates or punishes those with delusions of another. As long as both sides are convinced that is what they are doing to each other, the tension can be manageable. If either side begins to doubt it, things can quickly escalate and get ugly. Such a conflict is not the end of the world. It is a part of the growth process of society and ourselves. A type C mass-mind is trying to emerge from a type B. There is no historical evidence of any culture ever surviving this process as anything more than shreds.
What these two worlds are fighting over, is the same thing that makes us fight for them- our aspiration for ascent. When we believe that either of these worlds is where such aspirations can aspire, that living energy becomes the mass-mind. We are convinced that this is where we will find God. It becomes where we live our spiritual life. Should the mass-mind become destroyed, it takes the spiritual path with it. It is nothing less than our most innate aspiration for ascent, the one God gave us, that motivates us to sustain and protect our arti-physical world. That’s why we will pick up the knives and fight for them in the cause of nothing more than information. The more motivated we become, the more action we are willing to take to maintain or achieve dominance of our favorite information. We’ve seen how far Islamic militants are willing to go which is quite far. Their religious type B mass-mind is in a struggle for its life. Few of us ever have to actually see how far our side will go. Our type B is in a similar if gentler struggle.
We may seem to ourselves like we’re the more reasonable ones, but we in the West are facing the same crisis as the people of the Middle East. Their society is as stratified into sacred and secular as ours, and their secular world has our registered trademarks all over it. So, unlike us, they might see the secular world as imported from abroad instead of growing within them. In the struggle for dominance of the Islamic world, that paints a great big target on us. They might think western influence has infiltrated and corrupted a people who never would have been corrupted if not for us. People who would have thought like them if only given the chance. They’re probably right. European imperialism had already put the cultures of the Middle East on a defensive posture and into a type B shell. Temple-centered authoritarianism is the mass-mind’s only hope of survival as a conquered or dominated society. America is leaning the same way out of fear of becoming a conquered or dominated society. In times of imminent danger, it’s understandable to feel uncertain about uncertainty. We feel a lot safer with metaphysics on our side than without it however secular our lives may be. That provides opportunities for those who are absolutely certain they know how to provide it. More power is in the hands of the newly named religious zealots, who have more power to use than ever before. Those who live in the secular world don’t want to give up on religion. They still want a spiritual life. There’s nowhere in the secular world for spirituality to go except the temple. Whichever temple.
In the struggle between the sacred and secular worlds, the winner will be whichever side notices first that both are the same thing. They are both conscious worlds. Creation lies within neither of them. But as participants in those worlds, we do.
When your conscious world goes down, the spiritual connection you’ve built to God’s creation doesn’t have to go down with it. If it’s a real connection with the universe, and I’m sure it is, it will still be there. All you lost is what your mind thought is was. Your feelings are real. They’ve been hijacked by your conscious mind. One’s religion can be lost and spiritual life taken away. In an increasingly secular society, the church may feel marginalized. But this separation is an effort to protect our aspirations from any fate that may befall the state. That limits the Apocalypse to Wall Street.
America’s founding fathers were founding a system that could sustain an open agreement about what we perceive as self-evident. We live by a truth that is not greater than ourselves and one that can grow and evolve at a pace that we choose. That has to be part of the equation in how we govern ourselves. We must arrive at an agreement about how much pain we will allow social change to inflict on anybody. And decide what rights are so desirable and precious that we will willingly grant them to everyone else regardless of their explanation of what their rights are founded on. We already expect to be expected to respect each other’s religion. Which means respecting the choices they make. Including and especially the ones you don’t make. You don’t need to know the explanation and are not obliged to share yours. Some choose to swear off certain foods or activities or demon drink, or no meat on Fridays. It would be a breach of etiquette to induce some to break a well-established and popular religious taboo. But that should apply to everyone’s choices, including those of us who have sworn off the corporate mindset. We have chosen as our political expression to do no conquering. We will not conquer for anybody or anything in the conscious world. We will not deceive or participate in deception for any organization of the arti-physical world. We will not recognize any authority from our conscious world other than one founded on a representative government. We will work toward a political and social system that tries harder to accommodate our organic selves and with less emphasis on its own static regeneration.
Rude as that may sound, it’s hardly a call for the elimination of the church. Just a loosening of its grip as it clings to a disproportionate amount of power over all of us. Relativists have an equal stake in the spiritual world. Those who think going strictly secular is a workable option haven’t been looking around. This isn’t a revolt in the old reformation sense even if some carry on as if it was. Equality with religion will not be achieved by shouting at it.
I’m as tired as anyone of the endless assaults on the religious instead the church. In rejecting the religious viewpoint for its primitive understanding of ourselves and Creation, we reject the life it makes possible. In rejecting morality for its rigidly restrictive authoritarian-ness, we close the door to our only means of ascension from the conscious mind. So far, the secular world has failed to provide a new home for the spiritual side of our ascent aspirations. It lacks any kind of alternative to offer in its place. It does not provide a path at all. That sort of indifference to social responsibility and spiritual growth presents a thanks, but no, option that is often confused with moral relativism. Recognizing the limitations of a rigid morality does mean that all moralities are equals, but doesn’t mean you don’t choose something like it anyway. Relativism does not get rid of anyone’s religion. It frees it from the burden of perfection. Remember, check with me first. Religion doesn’t have to go anywhere. What if we did?
What if we walked away from the conscious self and the conscious world? Where would everyone be if they did that? Our identity would be vested in a greater organization than consciousness. We would be in a mental state that had cognition of our ability to be conscious and was not a retreat into the unconscious mind. Freedom from the ego while maintaining all the social graces. Religion would still be the tool our conscious mind uses to help sort out and organize one’s spiritual life. To take it and not your life as the ultimate reality you spiritually live in is like thinking that all the people in the phone book are actually in the phone book. Religion and the Church can still organize peoples lives without becoming a corporation that looks out for its own interests. Maintaining a social support system independent of government is great idea. Government would do defense and law enforcement. All sorts of social institutions would handle our social cohesion. Either system resorting to intimidation would be a sign that the system needs an adjustment. Church and state could be working for us instead of the other way around. It only a phone book that prevents us from being able to do that. We already have the democratic system we need to make this work in place. Secularist society is fertile ground for religious organizations that connect people and create a conduit for contributing to our general welfare. If we freed all these organizations of the burden of perfection, we wouldn’t have to worry about them trying to destroy each other. There would be no toleration for, and no reason for anybody to conquer anything. There would be no mandates to get in the way of experiencing each other however diverse we might get. Except for that one. Moral Relativism would be the only mandate. Limits on behavior would be democratically sorted out by a systems that is barred from considering anyone’s information as a final truth.
There are lots of us who are convinced that scientific discovery is distancing the rest of us further from God. They would insist that secularism and its other offspring relativism are taking us in the wrong direction. The secular world is in no direction from the sacred. It’s an entirely different place to think you are. There are two worlds to live in now. Both sides see the same conscious world built of mostly the same information. Both are metaphors for the process of consciousness itself. An ability so powerful that it can dominate what we are and become our highest level of organization. By being the focal point of our identity, it will dominate our experience. We will recognize the loss of our organic self and strive to recreate in our conscious minds. First, as a quest for redemption in a sacred world, and then as a quest for enlightenment in a secular world. Only science could eventually reveal how distant we’ve been from God all along.
Like other cultures through history, we have a tug-of –war in our heads between the established structure of perfect fundamentals of a fundamentally perfect type B culture and the relativistic uncertainty of an emerging type C. Fundamentalists now had to live side by side with secularists who lived in another world. A world whose very existence was contrary to their fundamentals and an invasion of imperfection into Our God’s Blessed Land.. For them, the emerging type C is a manifestation of evil. An Evil that crept into the lives of everyone born since “I Love Lucy”. “Counter culture” is the egalitarian mass-mind. To us digital ready generations, the lives of pre-TV generations may seem close-minded, single purposed, pointlessly obedient and servile, but as long as stuff like nations and faiths are in us, their way is the only way that will work. Work, as in, the lights at Taco Bell or the signal level on your cell phone. The world you think you deserve, you don’t. But it is the one they fought for, and they may never accept that. The fate of the emerging type C society is at stake. The lives we live in it are threatened by type B fundamentalism and our own internal moral erosion. You may not like the socio-political system you live under, but it’s always the one that we together are willing to accept and nothing more. Striking back against the system is like kicking ourselves for our own bad ideas.
But here is where I want to depart from the usual gloomy end of civilization stuff, and point to an alternative view to those who suggests a futility in man’s future and a need to go back to our unconscious origins (they know who they are). The good news is that we can have our arti-physical cake and think we’re eating it, too. The bad news is that the cake and the world we eat it in can never be real. It might do a great job of looking like the real cake, but can never ultimately be the cake, and must never be swallowed as if it really were. Our conscious mind, ego and all, can be a tool of our physical survival once again, instead of the other way around. Doomsday can come along whenever it has to without making anyone late for work.
When the big apocalyptic moment comes, when the Kingdom is at hand, that moment will be when we realize that we have the capability for ascent any time we choose. What if it didn’t matter whether our current paradigm were true and worthy of being believed in. What if the only issue was, “would we last a lot longer if we were all thinking we lived in this world, or that one?” This relativistic perspective is of course yet another paradigm to add to the collection, but this one can be kept in its original packaging. It never becomes the one and only real world. Relativism would not be without a moral compass. It would be mutually decided what moral restrictions we would live by and, once agreed upon, enforced. That chaos is what we’ve got if we don’t decide to do it. Relativism presents a better reason to do it. Ultimately, this doesn’t come down to a matter of debate. The inevitable process will be, like it has always been, that the traditional view will be less and less successfully passed from one generation to the next. This is a trying and often ugly process of transformation, but for cultures of the past and for us now, it becomes the final test of survival. So far, the leap has not been taken in great enough numbers to allow any culture to be more than an inspiration to those that came after it.
The world that we think we live in has become too far removed from the world we physically live in. For all of us everywhere, our fundamentals, and what some of us will do to protect them have become the greatest threat to our survival. Which leaves the rest of us in fear of each other’s brain activity. The fundamentals have become the means of our destruction. This becomes the opportunity to discover the line that separates reality from the arti-physical world. To draw a big chalk line around all the parts of the world that aren’t actually out there, just in here in our minds. And realize that we are its creator and God had nothing to do with it (except for making us capable). God’s creation is the physical world that you physically live in and not the one you think you live in. Anything you can be conscious of is a part of the world in our minds, and we are responsible for everything in it. We have ultimate and final authority to make it anything we want. Ready?
How do we do that? How, amidst the threat of evil, do we leave the fortress that’s protecting us from it? How did we get into this mess? Maybe the answer is right there in Iraq. In the district of Eden, where the first humans lived in Paradise until becoming corrupted and mucking thing up. Where man let God down and fell from grace. Where did Paradise go wrong? What happened in the Garden of Eden and why would God let it? Why was knowledge a threat to Adam and Eve? Where did Satan come from? What was he doing to occupy his time before God created man? Trying to corrupt beavers or insects? Before creation, was Satan moping around waiting for God to create something? What was going on in Hell before Satan fell there? Were there sheets over the furniture?