Comments on a cultural reality between past and future.

This blog describes Metatime in the Posthuman experience, drawn from Sir Isaac Newton's secret work on the future end of times, a tract in which he described Histories of Things to Come. His hidden papers on the occult were auctioned to two private buyers in 1936 at Sotheby's, but were not available for public research until the 1990s.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Seeking Solace in Grand Irrationalities

Image Source: Behance.

One theme on this blog is the ironic resurgence of religion, mysticism, fantasy and superstition in the face of ever-expanding science and technology. Science and technology are exponentially expanding our capacity to understand the world around us and are increasing our range of activity, in everything from medicine to mountain-climbing. That greater capacity for thought and action has eroded norms and values; it has overturned mythologies. Our minds are outpacing our hearts and souls. As a result, we are seeing all manner of scientific-mythical hybrids in online cultures; it is a fanstastical backlash.

Some nervous tensions seek solace in the mythic psychological realm of astrology, where astrologers are describing the changing times as a revisiting of conditions of the 1930s and a challenge to the circumstances of the 1960s. They describe this repeated aspect in terms of the relationship between Uranus (a symbol of electrifying change) and Pluto (the Underworld). You can see the seven-fold 2012-2015 Millennial confrontation between these forces described here and here. The result is what The Aquarius Papers calls a 'grand irrationality.' In this climate, the astrologer, Robert Wilkinson, lays claim to the voice of reason, and quotes Thomas Paine: "To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead."

Yes, this is Hocus Pocus. That is why it is all the more unnerving that it takes Wilkinson's language of so-called 'grand irrationality' to nail down the uneasiness of the present moment:
[W]e are in the heart of a long term phenomenon for which I coined the term "The Grand Irrationality." All over the world, events and people seem to be pretty irrational right now, with important choices and changes showing us individually and collectively that we all stand at one or more "forks in the road of Destiny." ... Many tell me they feel driven by events beyond their control, and they and many others report that events seem to be careening forward with no rhyme or reason to what's happening and why. ...

Some seem to be handling it okay, and are able to function with apparent ease despite the hard edged irrational behaviors so prevalent in our world. Others are having a harder time with the generic weirdness. Those who are having the hardest time are those who are trying to figure out the reason the weirdness is a constant, even though reason alone is not enough to figure out what's happening, why, and what to do about it.

Given the rapid and very strange hard-edged developments of the past 16 years, it seems as though a force of Destiny has put humanity at a major fork in the road related to live on Earth. Much we used to believe in or count on in our reality has gone "off the rails," and we are all living a much different way of seeing things than in previous eras of modern civilization. ...

This is the edge of historical change. The period from 1994-2016 will be seen as one where the entire world hit the razor's edge, and found that despite the wreckage of the old era and its ways, a new era dawned that made the old one look dismal by comparison.


  1. If reason alone is not enough to lead us forward, then all is lost, for nothing else actually leads anywhere except in circles. I think the problem with the world right now is people are way too blithe about making ridiculously false statements like "reason alone is not enough".

  2. I can't remember if I ever told you this story, but in the late 80's a friend of mine mentioned something about advanced technology causing superstitions to disappear. This is a recurring theme in the low-budget science fiction movies we both grew up on and I tried to explain to him that the idea had more to do the wishful thinking of the writers than any real anthropological phenomenon. Often in the movies characters in or from the future would make the lofty claim that in their advanced society they had left behind the archaic beliefs of the twentieth century. The two things are really completely irrelevant to each other. Yes, the highly organized and disciplined minds responsible for technological advances are unlikely to think black cats are evil or that walking under ladders is a problem, but there are many more people incapable of creating that technology who are still capable of using it. Thus, it proliferates but it doesn't impact us all the same way. Consuming technology isn't like consuming food; we don't absorb the reasoning behind it like we absorb nutrients.

    To illustrate this I told him to imagine that he was driving on a bright, sunny afternoon. When he comes to an intersection there is no traffic light, only stop signs, and he is cut off by a long line of cars driving on the street crossing his. They are all driving very slowly and all have their headlights on, even though it's sunny out. They are not entering or emerging from a tunnel, so what is he witnessing? He assumed, correctly, that I was describing a funeral procession. I then pointed out to him that automobile had existed for roughly a century and electric lights had been mounted on them sometime after they were introduced, but the habit of leading a funeral procession with lanterns probably went back much further. The fact that technological innovation replaced horse-drawn carts with autos and oil lamps with electric headlights didn't change people's superstitious beliefs. It didn't even change their behavior. They simply incorporated the new technology into it. E-mails replaced paper letters? Scam artists won't stop preying on the superstitious, they just replace chain letters with chain e-mails, knowing that whence goes the public there also goes the stupid. We live in a world where people see religious icons in their toast and discolored corrugated metal walls.

  3. Thanks for your comment, Paul. Yes, I completely agree, and what can one do with total faith in rationality, the adherence to which is enjoined w/ monklike seriousness? That is the rub you see. I fear the inevitable rise of fanatical cyber-religions more than I fear the comforting surrealism of classical Egyptian-Greek myths rehashed with the Hebrew legend of human sacrifice.