I’ve been absent from The Chrysalis for some time. What time I’ve had lately has been spent glued to the German news websites, as I follow political and social developments there (and also found, to my chagrin, that I have unlearned much of my German — or else the German language has changed). There has been, once again, an ominous upsurge of nativism and tribalism in that country as there has been in other jurisdictions, representing a serious challenge to principles of universality.
Still, I have also been pursuing this question of the post-modern “the Dream Society”, as previously discussed in the pages of The Chrysalis, and which, by happy coincidence, has been the ongoing theme, too, of the “subjectivity of nations” on the Aurobindo website. In fact, one posting on “the rise of the subjective age” and the role of Germany in that was published there even as I was immersed in the news from Deutsche Welle.
So, today I want to discuss such matters of nativism or retribalisation, their connection to “the Dream Society”, and altogether in the context of Jean Gebser’s “irruption” and the correlative breakdown of the mental-rational (or perspectival) consciousness structure, as well as Aurobindo’s musings on the “subjectivity of nations”
This quite remarkable statement from Aurobindo about an “Age of Subjectivism” is so pertinent and relevant to what we’ve been discussing about “the Dream Society” and how our “inside” has now become our “outside” (with an attendant “collapse of reality”) that I feel it’s important to reblog it here (thanks to IW for pointing it out).
As both Gebser and Aurobindo point out, this “irruption” (as Gebser calls it) comes as an incipient form of manifestation of the new consciousness, but with attendant perils and dangers as well (the “vitalistic and psychistic”, ie what is called “creeping fascism”). Gebser equally warned against confusing these with the authentically “spiritual”, which is often exactly what is happening.
We tend to conceive of the idea of a subjective life as belonging to an individual in his self-growth and self-finding; we do not generally consider the nation as a subjective existence of its own. Sri Aurobindo introduces the concept of the nation-soul. When we first look at the nation from the viewpoint of what is unique to each nation, we again focus first on the surface phenomena, the habits, customs, traditions, economic model, political arrangement. Yet Sri Aurobindo observes that there is a deeper subjective reality for the nation that identifies the nation as something unique with its own qualities and sense of purpose, and as we move into the subjective age, more and more nations are trying to identify what it is that makes them special and bonds their people together in a deeper way than the superficial material and vital organisation of the communal life.
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‘Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate.’ — Samuel Huntington
The hegemonic power of the 21st century will be the one that wins control of the Global Brain. Combined with Samuel Huntington’s formula for the exercise of power, and justified by the metaphysics of “perception is reality”, you begin, perhaps, to see the problem I also see in Rolf Jensen’s plans for “The Dream Society”, and for what Algis Mikunas describes as “technocratic shamanism”.
This is one of the scenarios in which the prospective emergence of “integral consciousness” may be abortive. Others, of course, may be climate catastrophe or a global nuclear war, in which case all questions about the hegemonic power become rather moot. Death would be the hegemon.