Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Exegesis: The Psychedelic Solution

Silence by Max Ernst

When it comes to the question of transcending ordinary consensus reality, there are three basic solutions...

There is the Religious solution (the creator will suspend all of the complex and interlocking laws that govern the Universe in order to reveal himself to the world), the Scientistic solution (the laws of the Universe will be re-engineered in order to facilitate the apotheosis of the cognitive elites) and the Psychedelic solution, which argues that consensus reality is a fictional construct based on faulty and/or incomplete sensory information.

I think most of you know which solution I gravitate towards.

Both the Religious and the Scientistic paradigms are linear, hierarchical, anthropocentric and profoundly narcissistic. The more I read about Transhumanism and the Singularity the more it reminds me of Sunday School, only with Kurzweil and his minions on the Creator's throne.

But those lessons I learned in Sunday School weren't exactly the ones being taught in churches today. The only thriving churches in the world today preach the Prosperity Gospel, which teaches that God- the creator of the Infinite Universe- is a magic genie who wants you to win that football game, buy that Escalade, and generally bask in his endless bounty until the time he calls you up to come sit by his throne so he might spend the rest of Eternity indulging your each and every whim. Wesleyean theology didn't really pan out that way. Which is why no one teaches it- or any other conservative Christian theology- anymore.

I wonder how many of these people have come to know the Ocean, something I recommend to each and every one of you reading this. The Ocean is my Psychedelic touchstone- my metaphor for reality. It's the nursery of all life on Earth, it is the counterpart of the Sun, which is the source of all life. It can provide food and entertainment. It can moderate our weather and provide means of travel, but it can also wipe us off the face of the earth- it's possible that one day it will.

A Psychedelic worldview would teach us that we need to learn how to co-exist with the Ocean. We need to stop dumping our shit in it, stop overfishing it and learn how to get the hell of its way when its on the rag. A decent tropical storm can make our most powerful nuclear weapons look like a wet fart. The Scientistic mind might dream of taming the Ocean but only because they only know it on paper (the Religious mind doesn't care- the oceans in Heaven are tame as kittens and the temperature of bathwater, since that's what suits the believer's temporal needs).

But the Psychedelic mind looks at the Ocean and sees both creator and destroyer.
Or feels it, since a higher perception unfettered by reductionist rationalism is the (or a) definition of the Psychedelic mind. Rationalism apotheosizes itself as Scientism, which in turn leads to Transhumanism and the rest of it. Digitizing our life processes seems like a nifty idea- until a massive sunspot wipes out the grid, or something travels too close and screws up the magnetosphere. Then there are earthquakes, ice ages, asteroids and all of the other unforseen events that laugh at our efforts. Didn't we just hear about a tsunami early warning system that didn't work?

But being humbled can often tear away the blinders that prevent you from seeing the world as it really is. Having the certainties of life - an oxymoron if ever there was one - torn away can open your eyes to a deeper panorama. It doesn't come without a price- look at Charlotte King, who senses earthquakes and volcano eruptions better than any machine. But it often comes with incredible rewards as well; a profound sense of wonder and connection not the least among them.

Scientism-leading-to-Transhumanism (which all secular thinking must necessarily lead to) and Evangelicalism are the only socially-acceptable viewpoints on offer in the media. You might have smatterings of watered-down Psychedelicism at the fringes (usually in the form of corporate New Age gurus), but that might in fact be a function of physiology, not censorship.

Those cursed/blessed with a Psychedelic view of the world have some condition or have some extraordinary experience in their history that changed their basic perceptions of the world.
Which is why a lot of them gravitate towards the arts, it's the only way they can express the ineffable.

Even so, there needs to be a renewed effort to communicate the Psychedelic/Sensitive worldview since both the Scientistic and Religious ones are materialistic, reductionist and linear. Both need to impose themselves on the rest of us in order to facilitate their own apotheosis. Both of them are profoundly dangerous in a world pie increasingly being carved up by more and more of us.

The Psychedelic worldview argues that we don't need more, we need to look at what we already have in a new way. Nothing is linear, not even history. Everything is cyclical, everything is revolving. Everything comes, goes and then comes again. The problem isn't what we have, the problem is that we haven't figured out how to use it yet. The aliens and the angels are all around us, waiting for us to scrape the illusions from our eyes and finally seem them as they are, not who we think they should be.