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.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Hallowe'en Countdown 2018: The Skeleton Key

Olga Neuwirth, Lost Highway opera stills (2003), based on the 1997 film by David Lynch.

In this year's Hallowe'en countdown, I have been describing a malaise that unnerves us. There is a collective sense that things have gone wrong and somewhere, there is an answer why. Somewhere, there is a skeleton key. If you had it, you could unlock all the problems, find their solutions, and blink yourself awake into a better world.

Lost Highway opera stills. Images Source: Diane Paulus.

In Internet communities, there is a gnostic urge to keep breaking through to truer and truer levels of knowledge and awareness, until we get at what's really true and what is really going on. It is ironic that the establishment and MSM label this endeavour as 'fake news.' The criticism and censorship only fuel the Internet theorists' efforts, and increase their suspicion that we, like the characters in The Matrix (1999), are slaves, and the subconscious awareness of our enslavement is driving us mad.

The Internet is developing an alt-intelligentsia of conspiracy theorists, bloggers, vloggers, anons and trolls who are are willing to entertain any idea or data. They try to maintain old research standards, but given their digital medium, they have no choice but to adapt. Their modes of analyses are intuitive and destructive to the old ways of assessing reality with the five senses, that is, by rational inquiry, and with the scientific method.

These researchers display hybrid sensibilities. Their communities are driven by powerful emotions, but these new analysts try to rationalize those urges. They long for emancipation from the 20th century matrix. Their desire to assert control in the ensuing chaos is so overpowering that they will consider any information, no matter the source, no matter how insane, if it will just get us out of the box, if it will only help us shake the feeling of being constrained and hampered by something larger and unknowable.

There is a lot of finger-pointing in the search for that larger cause, that central agent behind everything that has gone wrong. Anti-Semitism is at its worst in decades. Men blame women. Women blame men. The third gender blames binary attitudes. The poor blame the rich. The rich blame the poor. Political parties blame each other. Cultures blame other cultures. Minorities blame the majority. The majority blames minorities. The public blames the government, the banks, the corporations, the institutions; and the latter, in turn, blame the mob. Across any given dividing line, there are accusations flung back and forth across it.

It is ludicrous to imagine that any one group is to blame for this enormous and universal transformation of the human condition. Engage in the cycle of quasi-analysis, rage and blame, and we briefly expend energy without getting one inch closer to the thing that troubles us, nor understand the demand for a skeleton key that will unlock all the questions and make everything better.

Regardless of the camp chosen, the behaviour is universal. Internecine battles are a sign of societies in distress, as is the search for one answer to why everything is wrong.

The spiritual counterpart of this trend fixates on karma. Again, there is a hankering for freedom from the fetters and something impossible and unseen that blocks us. Eastern and western philosophies blend into one impulse: a desperate need to get off the karmic wheel.

Freedom was easier to imagine in the 20th century. In the egocentric 1970s, liberation meant leaving town or getting a divorce. The 1980s and 1990s cherished a larger idea that one individual could make a difference in society, against an empire, in a battle zone, combating racism, surviving in a genocide, fighting violent governments, or prevailing against corporate corruption.

The new Millennium has moved beyond these simple narratives. In the 21st century, the whole world is a prison, and there is no obvious escape. Where are you going to run? There are smartphones everywhere. You can't escape into mass entertainment, because nothing beats today's reality for horror and surrealist neo-noir. Look outside, look inside, and some nameless oppression bears down upon us. We are haunted by the world and by ourselves.

Gif source: Urban Dictionary.

This change is bigger than any petty divisions we can imagine. It goes beyond the current definitions of politics and the economy. It goes beyond the established religions. This is the end of the Age of Reason. We have rationalized ourselves into an anti-rational space. The future will require people who are adept at rational and anti-rational modalities, who can balance both, and who know the answer to what ails us. And the answer is: there is no skeleton key.

Image Source: pinterest.

See all my posts on the Occult, Horror, and Ghosts.
See all my Countdowns.

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