The contraction of the personal consciousness into this fixture — this fixed point called “point-of-view”, or what is known as egoism — is, quite evidently, connected to both the “empathy deficit” as well as the crisis of identity. This contraction into the point is implicated, too, in both Lewis Mumford’s and Roderick Seidenberg’s thoughts on “post-historic man”, who is, in those terms, post-conscious too. This contraction — one might almost describe it as an implosion — by the same token contributes to the problem of “symbolic belief” and the loss of fluidity of awareness, so that one is unable to “switch perspectives” — say between background and foreground effects, or the context and the text (consequently, the whole and the totality). That is to say, there comes with this contraction an almost complete loss of discernment and discerning reason that begins to look a lot like mass derangement.
“Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.” — George Orwell, “1984”.
“Power remains strong when it remains in the dark; exposed to the sunlight it begins to evaporate.” — Samuel Huntington
These two statements are related, of course, in terms of what we might call “Reality Control”. What underlies both formulas, though, is a metaphysical principle: “perception is reality”. I really want to emphasise and highlight this, because it lies at the root of almost everything today that seems absurd, surreal, dream-like, or chaotic, especially the apparent breakdown of discernment between the subjective and objective aspects of existence, and, consequently, fact and fiction, fantasy and reality, or the representations (images) and that which is represented. This lack of discernment, which we are calling “chaos”, attests to the disintegration of the ego-consciousness or what Jean Gebser describes as “the breakdown of the mental-rational” (or “perspectival”) consciousness structure, also known as “the Modern Mind”.
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”
‘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.
There are four questions I’ll want to be pursuing for the next little while in connection with my last few posts on Rolf Jensen’s The Dream Society.
First, just how far along has this Brave New World — or “theme park world” in Jensen’s terms — of the Dream Society come to being made effectually real? (You can read a view of that here, “Welcome to the Dream Society“).
Second, how does this Dream Society relate to Howard Bloom’s concept of The Global Brain: The Evolution of Mass Mind from the Big Bang to the 21st Century? That is to say, how is Bloom’s “mass mind” (or hive mind) related to Jensen’s “retribalisation” (or re-collectivisation) theme and the Dream Society “market” as being, effectively, the Jungian “collective unconscious” (or “the Shadow”)? This re-collectivisation or re-tribalisation is already evident in events like authoritarian populism, nationalism, racism, fascism, “brand cults”, etc, and the disintegration of the individual.
Thirdly, what is the meaning of “Dream Society” and “Global Brain” in relation to William Blake’s “city of the imagination”, Golgonooza — the “spiritual fourfold” city?
And fourthly, is Dream Society and Global Brain truly the “final form of society” (in Jensen’s estimation), or merely the last dying, decadent or disintegrative phase — the chrysalis stage if you will — of late capitalist society and of what Philip Slater calls “Control Culture” — therefore, something only preparatory for a metamorphosis towards “Integral Culture” or integral consciousness?
But to assess the real meaning of Dream Society or Global Brain in that sense, we need to also understand something of the meaning of Blake’s “fourfold vision” and of his “four Zoas”, who “reside in the Human Brain”, and how they might manifest also in this Global Brain/Dream Society.
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.