The Anthropocene and the Subjectivisation of Reality

In his book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, and in his many other writings, Marshall McLuhan examined media — technologies in general — as the progressive “outering” of the human form itself. This phenomenon of “extending” or “outering” of the human form is quite akin, if not identical with, the psychological phenomenon called “projection”. In the industrial era, many poets and artists saw, for example, precise correlations between the more or less mechanical functions of the body and the workings of machinery — heart, lungs, muscle and bone, digestive system and so on replicated by a more or less conscious process of biomimickry in machinery, in some ways exemplifying that our “inside” was now becoming our “outside”.

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Patriarchy and Matriarchy

Certain recent statements by Steve Bannon suggest that Bannon holds that the essential culture war and political contest of our time is between a masculinist politics and a more feminist politics — in other words, a power struggle between patriarchy and matriarchy. Bannon is on record recently stating that the one thing that could upset his political aims is the women’s movement, and more recently he stated that “Times Up” is the most powerful political movement in the world.

There are echoes of that sentiment in Jordan Peterson as well. There are indications in some of his statements that what underlies his fear of the boogeyman of “cultural Marxism” is something quite different — matriarchy.

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You Might Need Some Encouragement

Let me take a moment to offer some words of encouragement, for in these chaotic times it may seem like someone has opened the gates of Hell and everything foul and devilish is now pouring forth into our world. That may not be far wrong, in fact, for it is also implied in what Aurobindo refers to as the “subjectivisation” of our reality. The nightmare and Shadow side of things was just something Mr. Jensen didn’t address in his happy fantasy world of “The Dream Society”.

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Facts, Meanings, and Metanomics

I’ld like to continue this morning with the theme raised in the previous post, that theme being that we urgently need a “science of meaning” to supplement a “science of facts”. This is especially pressing in view of matters like propaganda, “meme magic”, or the switch in emphasis from marketing “physical products” to marketing “meaning” as exemplified in marketing 3.0 or things like Rolf Jensen’s The Dream Society. We are vulnerable here simply because we aren’t very conscious of the meaning of meaning.

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Fact and Meaning

We urgently need a robust science of meaning to supplement a science of facts. Unless we come up with a science of meaning to supplement a science of facts — or to put that another way, of “the truth that sets free” and “the facts of the matter” — this isolation of meaning and fact will rip us and our world apart.

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The Myth of the Titanic

What’s new in the German press today? Well, one of the things that grabbed my attention in Deutsche Welle is the report of an order issued to the police to clear the reportedly 12,000 year old Hambach forest of its protectors, who are currently occupying some 40 or so tree houses. The forest defenders are protesting the plans for an adjoining lignite mine to expand its operations by clear-cutting large parts of the forest instead. The rather feeble excuse given by the authorities for die Rodung or Räumung (clearance or eviction) of the tree houses and protest camp is that it represents a “fire hazard” to the forest. Duh.

But it reminded me of something….

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A Disturbance in The Force

It is quite remarkable how some contemporary myths like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings have seized hold of the collective imagination. For many people, these are the New Gospel. I have known people, for example, who read Lord of the Rings religiously every year. And they do, in many respects, speak to archetypal themes of myth and magic that lie just below the surface of the ego-consciousness and which do have a degree of psychic validity.

Both Lord of the Rings and Star Wars draw upon ancient legends and stories for their own themes, including the Grail legends. For some people, these contemporary myths have even become their new “Master Narrative” — providing the framework for interpreting their experience and organising their perceptions, and sometimes in quite pernicious and unhealthy ways.

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