I’d rather have climate-denying corporatists in power than climate-affirming progressives who deny the spiritual dimension of nature.
Yah, I know… this sounds controversial. But only if we don’t authentically and worthily undertake the thinking around what the FUCK we are doing here. Because if its just about climate worship, then we are doomed.
What do I mean by climate worship? I mean that you believe that climate is the issue of our epochal moment (the next ten years) and you think if we just count carbon and go electric and become climate resilient… then we’ll be saved.
If that is the case, then you have missed the entire point of this civilizational narrative.
Of course, we should all be pursuing every behavioral change that will draw us into closer alignment with the ecosystem (and I do, both with my own 1:1 footprint and substantial investment in, and board chairmanship of, a climate change startup which helps cities accelerate their shift to climate resiliency).
But we are being confronted with an existential threat that demands a transpersonal solution.
The point of climate is defeated by putting all of your focus on voting out Donald Trump or voting in your favorite climate-loving politician because it totally, and purposefully, distracts you from the actual work that we are being asked, by our planet, to undertake.
If that hasn’t completely put you into a wringer of programmed triggers, let’s get into it:
Ralph Emerson – the American poet, philosopher, and ecologist – expressed the radical concept that:
“the worshippers of nature are the destroyers of Nature.”
What, you may ask, is the difference between big ’N’ature and small ’n’ature. For Emerson, nature means the biosphere, and Nature (or Spirit) means the All – the physiosphere, the biosphere, and the noosphere and their domains.
Quoting Ken Wilber:
“[Emerson] maintains that nature immersion and nature worship prevent the realization of Nature, or the Spirit within and beyond, which transcends all. And so he arrives at the very true conclusion: nature worshippers are the destroyers of Nature, the destroyers of Spirit; they would, he says, never look within long enough to find the true beyond… they would never look within for Nature, they only stare without at nature, and thus, as he puts it, their minds are imbruted, they remain a selfish savage – geocentric, egocentric.”
Think of what Joaquin Phoenix said in his powerful Oscar acceptance speech:
“I think we’ve become very disconnected from the natural world and many of us, what we’re guilty of, is an egocentric worldview. The belief that we are the center of the universe.”
What better, and more pithy, a summation of Emerson’s take could be possible, especially at an event as superficial and meaningless – is there any better example of re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic, to get a better view of the distracting screen – as the Oscars?
But the point I want to make is that: in this moment we are being called on to make a larger cognitive and behavioral leap than to cool the atmosphere. People keep talking about the planet being endangered.
Fucking wake up, the planet is not endangered.
And that is because we have now become so estranged from the purpose of being here, on Earth, that the ecosystem is cancelling us. Removing us from the surface of this supernatural plane because we have become entranced with the external (and only fractional of the whole) reality to such an extent that we cannot bear to stop all our manic activity, silence the noise, to gaze inward and outward with the senses of an equanimous witness … and to gather the message that is coming from this world:
It is time to awaken to the cosmic consciousness.
Let me be very clear.
What is the purpose of being here? Again:
It is to awaken to, and become the expression of, cosmic consciousness.
Now some people think that means sending rovers to Mars. Others think its about establishing contact with extra-terrestrials. Still others think it is about doing heavy psychedelics and blasting out of this material plane.
All may be true.
But let’s state very simply what this consciousness is: it is the understanding that there are dimensions of experience beyond the third dimension which we perceive with our senses. And not only that, but these dimensions are where the generators and engines of the 3D reality are located. And that if we want to actually change our (eco-suicidal) paradigm, then we need to understand the parts of ourselves, and our world, which have direct access to these dimensions and begin to architect the new future from there.
The cosmic consciousness says: go within and beyond.
Not beyond and Beyond.
Within. And Beyond.
That is the next frontier for global change.
Did you ever see Interstellar? Ever see Inception? The transit to these dimensions and the seeding of new reality paradigms are the core messages of these films.
But even if you watch those, or read Alan Watts, or meditate daily, the reality is that most people will grasp the truth, but not viscerally feel and integrate it into their daily lives.
Because even though the most cosmic and salvational messaging is ringing imaginal phones all around us, we are incapable of grasping and receiving it through our wound-driven, mania-ridden, genetically-scarred body bags.
Because, it must be said:
We are desperately wounded, traumatized beings.
The experience of evolving on this planet for the entirely of our conscious history has been partly horrifying. Terrible things have happened. We have been hunted and eaten by lions. We have been drowned by angry, remorseless seas. Died from exposure. From hunger. From skin-eating disease.
We have watched our children be murdered. And raped. And we have raped and murdered the children of others.
And we carry the scars of those stories as genetically-programmed determiners of our everyday, modern lives.
But those stories are not the whole truth. Rather, they are that truth which the conscious ego and its master, the autonomic nervous system – which is delivered in each new human with factory settings locked on Sympathetic Response (stressed, ego-centered, fearful) – has determined as the impetus to create the climate-catastrophic society.
And so the trauma at the deepest part of us… which may be driving all of our most self-destructive impulses and patterns… is the belief that we do not belong in this world.
That we are strangers in a strange and dangerous land, instead of children who live in a supernatural garden.
Because that is the other part of the story, which is not horrifying but entirely magical and deeply optimistic, and which has been as much a part of our civilizational history as the earth-as-dangerous-frontier narrative that was first championed by the harbingers of the sky god religions that placed ‘heaven’ beyond the supernatural plane of the earth, and made access dependent on the requisite of suffering and the judgment of some alien, non-biologically inseminated creature who was placed here to die for us and then ascend with his body to ‘heaven’.
[Which story sounds more outrageous?]
I’m not going to go too deep into the impact that 2000 years of monotheistic programming – and its bastard child in deep ecological denialism, the Scientific Revolution – has had on the human consciousness. It barely needs to be said that the Earth-as-supernatural-plane narrative is threatening to the sky-god narrative at a foundational level. Which is why they killed the ‘pagans’ and waged unholy war on any deviant system which dared to present the case for a parallel or complementary cosmic world view.
Namely, that we belong, here. And we should undertake the practice of actively living as if we believe that.
Because, as Alan Watts wrote, “we are not born into this world, we are born out of it“.
And, more critically, that the Earth is a spiritual plane that has the potential not only to heal our deepest wounds, but also to materialize a threshold which, if we are courageous enough to cross, worthily (as the late poet John O’Donahue urged), will deliver us to a new territory, one where the world and our being are inextricably interconnected.
That everything that happens here is for us. For our evolutionary path. For our awakening to the true nature of reality and its cosmic dimension. Which happens through… the soul.
Now this word ‘soul’ gives a lot of people headaches. It repels them.
And I get it.
Because at its core, the soul speaks to the existence of a deeper part of ourselves – one that is beyond spacetime. A place that cannot be touched by the coarseness of this world and a facet of ourselves which has never been wounded.
Given that, it is an idea – forget an actual existential locus – that the ‘modern’ human has abandoned and denied because it does not mirror the (painful, alienating) experience of existence on the material plane.
An existence which has been full of scarring pain and heart-wrenching loss, at the hands of the world… of reality… of nature.
That is why the story of humankind over the past 2000 years – in which we labor under the hallucination that we are distinct from, and threatened by, the universe. So that that we can only rely on our selves to survive and master the material plane. Because there is no salvational force, neither within, nor without, our human body to transport us beyond the suffering of this dangerous realm.
Except, in our modern construct, the short-lived satisfactions of the market, which as we know, is the primary driver for climate change.
Which brings us back to the beginning.
This idea that all we need to do is count carbon and become climate resilient and we’ll be saved.
Which yah, we do… but that is not the point. It’s a half measure and a cop out. That’s why I’d rather have climate denying corporatists running the planet than a climate affirming progressive who denies (or is unable to affirm) the spiritual dimension of nature. Which is the only way we are going to move into the next phase of our evolution.
The worshippers of nature are the destroyers of Nature.
Do you get that now? How dangerous it is if we keep playing this game of inches that ultimately only distracts us from the true transmutational power of our cosmic consciousness and its imaginal realm?
But for most people, they can only imagine “working with what they got”.
Corralled and herded into the stockade of lesser evils by a class of political agents who have zero comprehension of or belief in the earth as anything other than a place to do our business. One in which we have arrived at the best system – even though it is a system that has failed to produce, or even attempt to produce, the societal outcome it was designed to: that being some level of representation of the will and benefit of the broader public – with the net outcome being that the most creative minds and (r)evolutionary warriors of our society, instead of focusing their energy on creating a new system, continue to ‘do the best with what we are given’.
Do we actually need a full system collapse before people of creative minds and warrior courage start actually envisioning something beyond … this?
For a long time I fought that notion, mostly because its not the white people in LA or NYC or London or Berlin who are going to get fucked. Its the non-white, non-mobile, agrarian and urban-serf classes who will be de-territorialized and cast adrift .
But more and more… part of me is like… bring it the fuck on so my people, the people who can actually alter the course of our human narrative, wake up out of their somnambulistic trances and change the way they live their lives and who and what they work for… and accelerate the (r)evolution.
Because life either happens to you, or you happen to it.
And in this category of evolutionary change, we definitely do not want that shit to happen to us.
The ‘left’ and the ‘right’ are being stalked and herded by masterful forces.
Frightened into choosing between a lesser-evil (false) dichotomy by those who govern on behalf of the hidden elite.
Alan Watts saw the answer to this societal manipulation – as he did for so many of our modern socio-political entrapments – rooted in the most ancient of iconographies.
It is by far one of Watts’ most subversive. Just take in the first sentence.
Obviously no society can tolerate within its own borders the existence of a way of liberation, a way of seeing through its institutions without feeling that such a way constitutes a threat to law and order.
I mean really take it in.
And then read the whole brilliant thing:
Obviously no society can tolerate within its own borders the existence of a way of liberation, a way of seeing through its institutions without feeling that such a way constitutes a threat to law and order.
Anybody who sees through the institutions of society and sees them for, as it were: created fictions in the same way as a novel or a work of art is a creative fiction.
Anybody who sees that, of course, could be regarded by the society is a potential menace.
In other words, you may put it in another way: one of the basic things which all social rules of convention conceal is what I would call the fundamental fellowship between ‘yes’ and ‘no’. As in the Chinese symbolism of the positive and the negative, the yang and the yin.
You know, you’ve seen that symbol of them together like two interlocked fishes.
Well, the great game – I mean the whole pretense of most societies – is that these two fishes are involved in a battle. As the ‘up’ fish and the ‘down’ fish, the ‘good’ fish and the ‘bad’ fish.
And they’re out for killing.
And the white fish, one of these days, is going to slay the black fish.
But when you see into it clearly, you realize that the white fish and the black fish go together. They’re twins, they’re really not fighting each other, they’re dancing with each other.
That, you see though, is a difficult thing to realize in a set of rules in which ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are the basic and formally opposed terms. When it is explicit in a set of rules that ‘yes’ and ‘no’, ‘positive’ and ‘negative’, are the fundamental principles, it is implicit but not explicit that there is this fundamental bondage or fellowship between the two.
But the theory is, you see, that if people find that out, they won’t play the game anymore.
I mean supposing a certain social group finds out that its enemy group which is supposed to fight is really symbiotic to them. That is to say the enemy group fosters the survival of the group by pruning its population.
Would never do to admit that.
Would never never do to admit – just as George Orwell pointed out in his fantasy of the future 1984 – that a dictatorial government has to have an enemy. And if there isn’t one, it has to invent one. And by this means …by having something to fight, you see… having something to compete against… the energy of society, to go on doing its job…
Is stirred up.
And what the Buddha or bodhisattva type of person fundamentally is, is one who has seen through that, who doesn’t have to be stirred up by hatred and fear and competition to go on with the game of life.
Does that resonate?
If it does, would it be possible to stave off the shrieking voices all around demanding you to consider the stakes and the necessity to choose and do what’s right, to consider:
What voting and candidates and parties actually mean
When they are facilitated by the order itself.
And, maybe, even further:
If you authentically want to be part of changing this country and this world in a way that fundamentally transforms the machinations of social control and creates the opportunity to birth something entirely new and evolutionary…
Then, to question in a non-reactionary way: whether your place belongs within or without that superstructure.
And if without, then what that would actually look like.
And who you would be in that new paradigm.
I received a few questions and challenges posed to my Mystical Trump post. One of them gives me the chance to answer them all. It comes from AM:
“Interesting. I’m trying to think about it in terms of the relationship between the market and society in Polanyi’s Great Transformation. The idea that the two realms aren’t really separate, but rather society’s response to crisis in the market makes the continuation of capitalist markets possible. So seeing them in a dialectical relationship.
In this context I guess my question would be a somewhat basic one: in what ways does or doesn’t a move towards inward non-opposition perpetuate the dialectical relationship between seemingly oppositional forces?”
This is a great question, and it is where it gets a little complicated. The core plank of my position lies in this graf:
what i would suggest however, in the context of (r)evolutionary mysticism is that we not feed into that binary impulse that drives those groups who are currently engineering reality for the great part of the world. but rather, that we consider that by opposing things with the intent of destroying them, we edify them in the process.
The simple answer to your question lies in the nature of dialectics. In its purest form, a dialectic is a discourse between differing points of view on a subject. In the case of political or social conflict, it is the semantic expression of a chaotic sine wave.
So in the pure mathematical/physics context, if we occupy the polar viewpoint to our ‘opposition,’ and we are engaged in a dialectical process, then we are an implicit participant and driver of the opponent’s momentum and identity. It follows then that if we simply abandon our positions and thus remove the binary curvature in the wave’s force/resistance, it will have the effect of collapsing the entire structure.
But that is a fallacy.
One has only to look at history to know that there have been times when hatred and anti-humanism have marshaled enough force to very nearly approach world domination if not for the willful opposition of an opposing force.
In some cases agents of change have been able to destroy all opposition so that they simply become the structure of reality themselves. They become the new paradigm, and the dialectic continues, within the parameters established by the new order.
This is very much what has happened to the world post-Industrial Revolution, and why Polanyi is able to make him point, that in the capitalist paradigm, even opposition feeds the capitalist enterprise.
I am proposing something very different here. Going inward is not simply about becoming silent and meditating oneself into an innocuous trance. No. Not at all.
When I write about (r)evolutionary mysticism, I am invoking an ancient practice that is more akin to alchemy than non-violent opposition. This is the stuff of the mystery schools who were forced underground for millennia because of the (real and perceived) threat they posed to those who ruled humanity on the material plane. You can find the substance of this deeply subversive thinking through history from Plato, Hermes, Meister Eckhart, and then the modern mystics like Mabel Collins and Helena Blavatsky.
In this line of (r)evolutionary thinking, the reality we are experiencing is not primary. It is a recipient realm, which receives the projection – much limited and distorted by virtue of the time/space confinements of 3D – of a higher, more true source. And it is from this realm that we can connect our earthly consciousness to attain incredibly powerful transmutational power. Power which will not simply neutralize the forces of hatred and fear which we ‘oppose’, but transform them through the vibrational frequency that we attain in our alignment with, and tuning to, the primary, non-material realm.
If we simply ‘oppose’ Trump from within the confines of the same paradigm, we are still locked in the same structure and what you get is another crest in the wave without ever transmuting the generators that created him. (Hence, the 50 year dialectic of Carter-Bush-Clinton-Bush-Obama-Trump).
So this is what I am talking about when I say, in my Mystical Trump piece, that we should:
vanish into the interior realm, where true generative power resides.
But of course, knowing how to connect with and channel a new paradigmatic vibration is not a simple thing. And it is not something that is taught. But, I will tell you, it is something we know innately to do. Just as much as we know that sitting near a 1000 year old redwood nourishes us more than hugging a telephone pole. But we must be willing to let go of the primacy of this plane, and all its amazing spectacles, in order to bring in the new/ancient thing that is what we are all so hungry for.
Let’s bring it back to Trump.
This is a phenomena that is being generated by people who are responding to a perceived threat. The campaign was driven by a system of phobias that essentially create an ‘us vs them’ dynamic which was enough to position Trump as a savior for the millions of Americans who feel deep-seated frustration and anger at their diminished economic and social agency.
The reality is that what these people are experiencing is real. And what Steve Bannon and the Trump team did was take that anger and channel it into a campaign that reflected it back in order to create a force of energy that would propel them to a electoral victory.
(r)evolutionary mysticism is not concerned with opposing these people. It is not concerned with opposing Trump or Steve Bannon or whatever other interchangeable body suit the ruling paradigm throws up to sustain its steady march toward oblivion.
It is concerned with a solution that is appealing to the deepest facets of all humanity. It is about ending the dialectic we are currently trapped in and establishing an entirely new playing field. Call it paradigm shift, call it a spiritual awakening, call it the solution to quantum physics’ search for a unifying theory.
Mysticism is based on the belief that we are in a place in which we are unable to feel the innate interconnectedness of all things, but that we all emanate from the same creative energetic field, and that is something we very simplistically call ‘love’.
And there is no cleaner and purer and more profoundly transformative vibration than love. But ‘love’ as we experience it on the material plane is a mere fragment of its computational and transmutational power in the non-material realm. What I have experienced in my own limited journeys to the primary realm is so beautiful and massive and ancient and futuristic… it is like a wave of creative potential that has the power to sink all of these zero-sum antiquated architectures and simultaneously float all boats to a new kind of world that we have only ever dreamed about. And it is just as real as everything we are experiencing now.
You just have to close your eyes,
when we look at current news and historical events, the frame we use to interpret them shapes their meaning and symbolism.
there are a lot of different frames, but when we look at the world through the mystical lens it requires a disciplined approach to observing – and not reacting – to events. for a global population that increasingly defines itself by its judgment of news, this is a very difficult position to hold.
this is why you will see very ‘spiritual’ people abandon the principles of ‘awareness’ – in favor of ‘realism’ and ‘practicality’ – when they engage with the drama factory that is Donald Trump.
i know a lot of people who adhere to the practice of non-dualism – not believing in a binary system of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – who completely lost their shit when Trump took the Presidency. instead of seeing his victory as a critical phase in the movement towards a new human paradigm, they took it as a signal of retrograde momentum.
and a good reason to drop all the spiritual novelty.
i want to take that phenomena up here. as a way in, let’s take a look at a current news story as a way of seeing the multiple perspectives that can be applied to current events.
the New York Times recently published this headline:
the piece centers on this bit of reporting:
The United States launched more airstrikes in Yemen this month than during all of last year. In Syria, it has airlifted local forces to front-line positions and has been accused of killing civilians in airstrikes. In Iraq, American troops and aircraft are central in supporting an urban offensive in Mosul, where airstrikes killed scores of people on March 17.
Two months after the inauguration of President Trump, indications are mounting that the United States military is deepening its involvement in a string of complex wars in the Middle East that lack clear endgames.
those endgames may well be actually quite clear to the strategic leaders in Trump’s administration. among them, the desire to fortify the American global manifest destiny by embroiling themselves further in a Middle Eastern quagmire.
as the Times notes:
Others fear that greater military involvement could drag the United States into murky wars and that increased civilian deaths could feed anti-Americanism and jihadist propaganda.Some insist that this has already happened.“Daesh is happy about the American attacks against civilians to prove its slogans that the Americans want to kill Muslims everywhere and not only the Islamic State’s gunmen,” a resident of the Syrian city of Raqqa wrote via WhatsApp, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL. He gave only his first name, Abdul-Rahman, for fear of the jihadists.
so there is the story. now let’s look at it through a spectrum of lenses, landing on the mystical to close:
the cynical view is: the military industrial complex have asked for a $54B increase in military spending, so they need to fire off some stock.
the real-politikal view: this is the thrust of a nation that is aware that is needs to re-assert its geo-political dominance in the face of declining power and a shift towards Sino-hegemony in world affairs
the religious context: it’s the natural extension of the clash of civilizations narrative that surfaced as a key driver in US foreign policy after 9/11. this has real apocalyptic planks as Mike Pence is professing to be a pure evangelical. and Steve Bannon wants to drive civilizational paradigmatic conflict.
the conspiratorial view: this sets up a justified narrative for the travel bans, possible muslim registry, and potential blowback on US soil.
each of these has their own built-in conventional wisdom in terms of how to oppose and disarm the threat.
now let’s take it from the mystical context:
first, let’s be clear this has to be intuitive not intellectual. so this read comes from my gut and not my brain. but here is how i see it:
the earth is a generative free will plane. everybody gets to experience what they believe in at some level. especially those large groups who operate under consensual collective paradigms. part of the game here is to get as many generating organisms to buy into your paradigm, and thus make it a dominant world-building engine.
history is made by those who achieve that and get to live out their stories on earth.
Trump’s election is about those groups (who are united across a broad spectrum of social economic, military, and religious ideologies) having agency in the historical narrative.
and those who buy into the binary; into conflict and competition and right and wrong. they will get to fight it out.
it needs to happen if they are ever going to learn about the nature of their impulses. which is part of the trip for us here on Earth.
but that is not to say we should sit back and not fight for the world we believe in. not at all.
what i would suggest however, in the context of (r)evolutionary mysticism is that we not feed into that binary impulse that drives those groups who are currently engineering reality for the great part of the world. but rather, that we consider that by opposing things with the intent of destroying them, we edify them in the process. and that there is another way of vanquishing and disarming an “opponent”… and that is through the understanding the nature of flow and systems of energy.
if we are all connected… if we are all part of the same system (which is a cornerstone of the mystical paradigm), then we are not seeking to destroy our opponent, but rather to draw them into the wisdom of our perspective and our practice. so what do you do with a three thousand pound gorilla who appears to have nothing but ignorance and self-interest as their driving force?
the mystical answer: pull away. vanish into the interior realm, where true generative power resides. and move from there. at least for some small percentage of the time you put towards the oppositional consideration and action. see what happens to that force, which gathers its momentum from opposing forces. it will topple over with its own false momentum.
this is a form of aikido. which differs from traditional combat.
the definition of aikido?
aikido is often translated as “the way of unifying (with) life energy” or as “the way of harmonious spirit”. [the] goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.
i know how counter-intuitive it is, my brothers and sisters, but with everything i understand about political revolution and the militarization of domestic and world police forces, some of us will have to develop a new approach to engaging what we oppose in the closing moments of the old paradigm. and this is going to mean surrendering the conventional wisdom that informs political opposition.
the spiritual precepts of non-duality and soul-based world-creation can no longer simply reside as philosophical novelty items that we pull out during times of peace and tranquility. they are ancient and practical strategies for creating the next world. it’s time we put them to use.
(a follow-up to this piece with answers to questions about it: here)
(there is also a facebook page now for this blog, here)
with deep bows to my brothers in the CJ and especially BB who always puts me through my paces