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.
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….
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.