The phrase “collapse of reality” is a very strange and startling one. I’ve been coming across it more frequently lately and, as mentioned, there seems to have been a progression in a very short period of time from “post-rational” to “post-truth” to this “collapse of reality”. But just what does it all mean?
It’s not as though I might be driving along a highway in my Jeep and my reality breaks down rather than my Jeep. Perhaps if I were to have a psychotic episode that might be the case. I might truly believe I’m driving along a highway when, in fact, I’m barrelling through some farmer’s wheat field. Here, normal distinction between the subjective and objective breaks down and dream and reality exchange places. And we may say that something akin to this is mirrored in the phrase “collapse of reality”. It wouldn’t be the first time in history that something akin to an epidemic collective psychosis has occurred.
“All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real conditions of life, and his relations with his kind”. — Karl Marx
The quote from Marx’s Communist Manifesto suggested itself as I read further into Rolf Jensen’s The Dream Society and what I call his “market mysticism” or “mystique of the market”. And in this post — part III of my review of that strange book — we plunge into some pretty bizarre and surreal stuff (one might even say demonic) about the Dream Society as something deeply profane in conception, but one that seems perhaps set to all-too-soon overtake us.
We will continue with my review of Rolf Jensen’s The Dream Society: How the Coming Shift From Information to Imagination Will Transform Your Business….
Two years back (some of you may recollect) I posted a critical review of Rolf Jensen’s 1999 “international bestseller” The Dream Society: How The Coming Shift From Information to Imagination Will Transform Your Business, wherein I mocked Jensen as “the Oracle of Copenhagen” and dismissed his “Dream Society” as being, rather, the stuff of nightmares and more akin to Huxley’s dystopian Brave New World. Even at that time, it was thought that a civilisation in energy decline would pre-empt any realisation of Jensen’s “dream society” and we could safely kick this can down the road indefinitely.
It seems that almost anything can become an instant “international bestseller” if it purports to show you how to monetise your soul, your spirituality, your ethics, your “brand”, or even your god (I believe this is what they call “the prosperity gospel”?). In any event, Jensen’s book and thesis also sent me on a wide-ranging excursion to understand what is sometimes referred to as “marketing 3.0” (or “spiritual branding” or “holistic branding”) as something basically descriptive of the propaganda system of this “Dream Society”, but also as being representative of what Algis Mikunas described as “technocratic shamanism” in his essay “Magic and Technological Culture”.
Let’s segue from the previous post on “Fractured Paradigms” to the manifestation of that fragmentation in the dissolution and increasing incoherence of what Philip Slater calls “Control Culture” (in his book The Chrysalis Effect), which is, after all, the very meaning of “chaotic transition”. In fact, I would say that the present theme of “the collapse of reality” very much attests to the accuracy of Jean Gebser’s anticipation of the turbulent breakdown of the mental-rational consciousness structure (or “perspectivising” consciousness) associated with Control Culture.
Both Slater’s “Control Culture” and Jean Gebser’s “mental-rational consciousness” are conjoined in Iain McGilchrist’s “Emissary”, and these are also the meaning of “the matrix” in the famous movie by that name. The “matrix” of the movie is not just this Control Culture, but also the consciousness structure and mode of perception of which it is a manifestation. That manifestation is called, by William Blake, “Ulro” — the shadow world — and the architect of the Ulro is his mad god or demiurgos named Urizen, who is also McGilchrist’s “Emissary” as described in his great book The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World.
This must be understood: Nietzsche’s “death of God” is only Blake’s death of Urizen as described in his Prophetic Books. And that means, too, that the death of Urizen is coincident with the “disintegration of the ego” (Rosenstock-Huessy) or “the Emissary”, and so to with the fragmentation and dissolution of the mental-rational and its “Control Culture”.
The phrase “paradigm shift” employed to describe relatively big changes in configurations or patterns of thought and perception (theory) originated in Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. It’s a very good book (I’ve read it already five times myself). The term hasn’t always been understood or used appropriately as Kuhn intended, but the term is useful and relevant for describing what we mean by “chaotic transition”, and for understanding the seeming epidemic of the crazies that appears presently to afflict much of the globe.