Much of the mediocrity of spirit that composes our post modern epoch is related to the state of "Consensus" that is so highly valued. Public policy, the media, the Arts, the so-called facebook and twitter revolutions are nothing short of approval and validation systems that constantly seek the lame approval of the bland invisible abstract other in terms other users, anonymous comments, focus groups, scientific surveys of ordinary opinions, the expert opinions of the critics in reviews and panel shows on books and other artistic enterprises. This system is indeed powerful. It's true power resides in the fact that it's invisible and difficult to centrally locate in any known nexus that allows rational scrutiny to bring the light that separates the true from the false, the valuable from the superfluous, the significant from the trivial, that allows even a partial fragmentation of the consensus to occur. The system is so uncannily composed that its impossible through the sheer volume of abstract comments and opinions that are part of the public sphere, and by the misplaced egalitarian internet dictate that says all opinions should be valued and respected equally that have allow the average human mind to stagnate into a state of complete conformity and mediocrity over the last 20 years in particular that's essentially numbed the creative sinews of most developed societies. It shouldn't be a surprise that this generation of under 40s must be the most passive, lame and consensus driven generation that's been produced for a very long time. Unlike previous generations who could see the the system in terms of a centralized institution that was visibly bad, like Nixon's Whitehouse, this generation cannot see what's bad, because what is bad and rotten, is so well disguised in the consensus mentality that trades in a multitude of abstract anonymous opinions that are of course the hallmark of of our democracy, where we're all encouraged to join in.
Opinions as even Plato knew are anathema to the thinking, creative soul. What might the solution be to regaining what has been eroded over the last 20 years could amount to some of the following rules I've drawn up:-
Read a proper book every day for at least 30 minutes.
Write, paint, compose, something, no matter how small each week.
Use the Internet in a non-responsive and directed way (no idle surfing)
Disconnect from Twitter and other news/social blog sites.
Get out of your own environment at least 4 times a year.
Visit a non English speaking country as often as you can.
Get out into the hills and deserts every so often.
Act on natural impulses "to go" until its second nature.
Really talk to people who you meet casually in a gas station or a train.
Don't be in awe of young people just because they are young.
Go to seedy places on whims, you can meet gems in such domains.
Care for an animal, even a frog will do.
Say something shocking to people you know really well.
Really study the structure of fine things, like a musical composition.
Treat with hilarious scour the media and the rest of the circus.
Be thankful and show real gratitude each day.
Prepare and reflect on one's own departure with maturity and grace.
Learn to love members of your own sex in a sensuous but non -sexual way.
Sleep on a beach when you can.
I could say more....but....the clipper is on his way down the carriage.
There's a thing or two to learn from an ever-present motif throughout recorded history as we know it to this point in time of December 2014 c.e., and that motif is that of the ever-present eschaton. The theologian Paul Tillich "existentialized" eschatological anticipation to the "eternal now," as did Thomas J. J. Altizer, the "christian atheist" death-of-god theologian in the 80's following Tillich's lead, in terms of interpreting the eschaton in terms of total presence. I must admit that the two thinkers were on to something, something very, very significant, perhaps even the heart of all parousia-kind of religious and quasi-religious anticipation.
Our blog here had been swept up with T. McKenna's eschatological prolepsis of Timewave-zero and the end of the Mayan calendar of December 21, 2012. That was almost two years ago. The hype of the latter was real while the former was lesser known and "esoteric," but even people of conventional thinking did get caught up, to an extent, with the hype that even commercialized on a large scale starring John Cusack and Woody Harrelson who suspiciously looked like Geoff Stray. But it's all said and done, at least on a mass scale, relegated to the Y2K hall of crap. But personally speaking, I experienced concrescence over a year prior to that date, while pretty much nothing of significance happened on that date itself. If you are to be spoken to by teleological fields, guided by cosmic information, you already know that it was all a very personal journey. The hype was just a hollow husk housing encapsulated kernels relevant only to you and you alone.
Recently I watched for the second time the joint called Synecdoche directed by Charlie Kauffman. It's a depressing movie but quite amazing at the same time. It hints at an eschaton at the end of the movie as almost everyone on the set is dead; the protagonist spent decades designing the set of his masterpiece play which never opens. Like K. in Kafka's Castle, there is only the anticipation that something is going to happen next, but never does. Like Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot, Godot never arrives. Like for christians for two millennia, the second coming never comes.
There is anticipation and anticipation only, its object never makes its advent. We might as well learn something from this ever-present eschatological motif. Otherwise, it's just an absurdity of human historical existence, a delusion. But that's too much of an obvious copout to label it a delusion and leave it at that. It's rife with profound implication and hidden meaning. I might as well go out on a limb here and interpret what it should mean.
It should mean that evolution is an ever-present process, a teleological process that never ceases. Quantum jumps, call them evolutionary bumps to the next stage, can always be anticipated. It's what Nassim Nicholas Taleb called the black swan principle, viz., that the "highly improbable" could very well happen at any time, that applying the Gaussian curve to the process of unfolding history is worse than imposing an inaccurate artifice on "natural" phenomena to "do science" with them, it is an outright delusion; ironically, it's pseudoscience. According to the theory of the black swan principle, the defining moments of history were black swan moments, utterly unexpected. Though eschatological prolepsis and anticipation are "expected," no one knows what to expect. Hence that is what the motif is; it is the ubiquity of the possibility of the black swan, and as such, human beings are ever in the state of anticipation. The object of anticipation happens in mysterious ways, and what matters is how it is understood, "existentialized" subjectively, personally, to have deep significance. After all, we should all be evolving and resonating with the Future. Something will happen, it always does, and that something could very well be the advent of what you had been waiting for, in disguise. The Future is always calling you, in the here and Now. If you are waiting, you are waiting for Godot. Stop waiting. It's here and been here the whole time.
I like old-book hunting. Every now and then you find a gem, like this one here, whose find I briefly report here in the seasonal spirit: Marion L. Starkey's The Devil in Massachusetts, Time Inc. Book Division, New York (1963). This book I discovered and purchased is the 1963 republishing of M.L. Starkey's 1949 historical piece based on court transcripts of the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. To make the package even more delectable, it comes with an introduction by Aldous Huxley. This was quite a find, and its condition was definitely not poor; the book, I can tell, has never been read, probably never even cracked open, for 51 years. Huxley's introduction is refreshing, considering that he makes no bones whatsoever about the paradigm shift with respect to the "wholly evil," that it is the force, the authority, which has perpetuated witch-hunts throughout the centuries.
From M.L. Starkey's introduction:
"It's bad business meddling with the devil; it makes you superstitious. I find myself impelled to report that the very hour I began my formal research ... a small hurricane came through my open window, wrecked the room, brought every tree in the yard crashing against the house, and toppled the steeple of the East Saugus Community Church, visible in the lightning beyond my window. Then again, the evening of the day I finally shipped off this manuscript, there came a plague of lightning, continuous and directly overhead, striking neighbors' houses but missing mine."
Here are some questions regarding the ancient Roswell UFO incident of July 8, 1947 at the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF). Why this topic, all of a sudden? I was watching something on TV about it, so these are all my somewhat rhetorical questions about the event.
If the object which crashed was in fact the purported nuclear-testing Project Mogul balloon, then how come Walter Haut and 509th Operations Group of the field didn't know about it? And even if he (they) didn't know about it, why would the Roswell Army Air Field public-information officer say that a "flying disc" was uncovered if a flying disc wasn't uncovered? Why did he use the word 'flying,' why didn't he just say they uncovered a disc, plain and simple? Why would he have publicly jeopardized his job and secret military activities by saying such a thing to the media, to what avail?
Think about it. Let's say you're a coast guard person on duty. You see something unusual floating in the ocean, in the dark. You see it for a while then it's gone. You don't see it again. First thing you'd think, and be trained to think, is that it's something that belongs in this world. Would you hold a press conference the next day and claim that you had seen the Kraken, Godzilla, or Cthulhu? Would you say you had seen a flying unidentified object when it was only floating? Would you jump to that unwarranted, absurd conclusion and come out and say it? No, you wouldn't, though you didn't know what it was that you had seen. You wouldn't say anything about it in the first place except to your close circles, because it would be something important to report, but that would be about the size of it. In other words, a high-security military man wouldn't have called a fallen balloon a "flying disc."
So what would compel a man to say he had seen a 'flying disc' uncovered at a high-security military field if it was a balloon? No matter how you view it, his choice of words is very odd, the very action itself is very odd, if in fact they had just uncovered some kind of balloon.
There's a lot of ideology contrary to extraterrestrial scenarios of all kinds, but people experience what they experience, sometimes shattering their ideology of a closed world governed by scientific principles as contemporaneously known or ideology based on religious dogma. People who embrace scientism would never admit it, but their closed-off zeal is quasi-religious. There have been publicly prominent, respectable people who have said to have seen UFOs. Why would they do that, what for, if they didn't?
In the 80's I knew a retired professor emeritus, a deep, brilliant man of keen intelligence, tell me quite matter-of-factly that he stepped outside to the back of his house to feed his mountain cats, and there was an enormous disc-object that had landed there (this is up in the desert mountains of Southern California). He said it was very quiet, that it had lights on it. He watched it for a while, then went back in to his house, and when he returned, it was gone. He had nothing to gain by telling me a whopper. It wasn't his style. In fact there are many people who have seen unexplainable things in the sky or on the ground; it would beat all scientific odds if every instance is based on misperception or hoax. It's far easier to believe that there is indeed something extraordinary to the overwhelming accounts than to believe that they're all hooey.
Laughter was your savior
An honorable stigma
To have us brighten,
For a moment,
To make us
The world, Will always be-
You made us
Laugh, into laughter
From the laughter
Like the morning
Out to sea
Took life Just to be- "The Joke It really was meant to be!"
The ironic Pagliacci syndrome; he himself could not laugh though he made millions laugh. Comedy ended in tragedy, which is tragic indeed. I believe there are and will be stragglers of the age of tragedy who cannot embrace the human comedy, the ego comedy, the laughable absurdity of self and collective importance. Tragedy is to be subsumed into Comedy, not the other way around. Robin Williams. His merit is truly great. He has brought the Medicine of laughter to millions; he prescribed transcendence and healing. True teachers never need preach. From a Dzoghcen pericope:
Since everything is but an illusion, Perfect in being what it is, Having nothing to do with good or bad, Acceptance or rejection, One might as well burst out laughing.
The Great Perfection’s Self-Liberation in the Nature of Mind
Practice the high Comedy which subsumes tragedy, Robin Williams. Continue making laughter and medicine.