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The Dream Society and the “Collapse of Reality” Part III

“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.

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The Dream Society and the “Collapse of Reality”, Part II

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….

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The Dream Society and the “Collapse of Reality”

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”.

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Trumpology: The Great Derangement

In The Game of Thrones series, there is a poignant scene where Brianne of Tarth is training her rather naive squire, Podrick Payne, how to fight. Podrick is taking a beating until Brianne reveals the secret of why: “Don’t go where your enemy leads you”. It’s also one of the biggest mistakes of the present period, and not just Trump’s alone, and it is the meaning behind the phrase “useful idiot”.

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The New Normal is the Gorgon

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
— WB Yeats, “The Second Coming
Last evening, I had a very long talk with my ex- about the state of the world. She’s in a blue funk about it and world-weary. She doesn’t even use social media. And although you could delete your social media accounts, or ignore the newspapers, television, and radio, you won’t escape the New Normal, because many of the people you will encounter in daily life will have become vectors for it themselves. The New Normal has very rapidly become our very milieu — the sea we swim in. We had best learn to understand it if we hope to stop being fish and become birds…. or eagles. That is to say, to learn to “unfold the wings of perception”.

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Truth, Fact, and Chaotic Transition

Just following up on my previous comments on the Peterson-McGilchrist encounter, I’ld also like to touch once again upon a recurring theme in The Chrysalis in respect of that encounter — that is, the proper relationship between “the facts of the matter” and “the truth that sets free”. That relationship also strikes me as an umderlying issue in the “Peterson versus McGilchrist” issue.

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The Dissolution of the Sensate Consciousness

“Sensate consciousness” is a term used by the sociologist Pitrim Sorokin (in The Crisis of Our Age) to describe what Jean Gebser refers to as “the mental-rational” or “perspectival” consciousness structure. Sensate consciousness is a form of consciousness beholden for its sense of reality and order to the empirical senses (the physical senses), and the evidence of the empirical senses. Sorokin’s “sensate consciousness” is, in those terms, an optional name for what Iain McGilchrist calls “the Emissary” (in The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World). “Seeing is believing” might be taken as even the motto of sensate consciousness, although it must be pointed out that “seeing” is quite ambiguous, since the Seer — the man or woman of insight and visionary experience — also sees, but in a quite different sense than understood by the sensate consciousness. There is a difference between sightedness and insight, after all.

But for sensate consciousness, there is no other reality than that disclosed and revealed via the empirical senses, and this is usually the only understanding of the word “perception”. In other words, what we call “materialism” and “sensate consciousness” are interchangeable terms, and this is what Blake means in saying that “man has closed himself up till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern”. In other words, too, “sensate consciousness” is equivalent to Christopher Lasch’s “culture of narcissism”.

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