The Role of Eso-Terrorist Vs. Role of Philanthropist
I just listened to Daniel Pinchbeck arguing with Whitley Strieber, which I may discuss in depth later (since I am currently working on an article about Strieber). Pinchbeck mentioned David Lynch and his transcendental meditation techique for reducing crime in high crime areas by sending out positive waves; by a curious synchronicity, minutes later i recieved an email about the same subject, from a reader who wanted to know what I thought of the idea of "philanthropic sorcery." I am trusting he won't object to my mentioning this, and citing my response here, as it seems also to pertain directly to the argument between Strieber and Pinchbeck, in which Pinchbeck took the side of the "positive" (arguing that humanity could adapt and survive in the coming years and create a new, more enlightened society), while Strieber took the "negative" position, insisting that a "dieback" was inevitable and that we just needed to get ready for it. To my surprise, altho i agreed with Strieber about the facts of the situation, my sympathy was almost entirely with Pinchbeck, who kept his head throughout (and even had the dignity to apologize) while poor Whitley wound up sounding like a petulant teenager (even telling Pinchbeck he wouldn't be his friend anymore!).
My question is, however, why is a dieback necessarily such a “negative” thing anyway? This is basically a humancentric POV, and unworthy of a supposed cosmic culture prophet such as PB. We are all going to die anyway, so why not en masse, especially if it is necessary for the Earth and other species to survive? And surely it is better, wiser, to predict a dieback and get people psyched for it, and then to be wrong, than the reverse, to be optimistic and give people a false sense of hope? Pinchbeck argues for a visionary's job to imagine the best-case scenario. I guess I am more old-fashioned, and stand by the Koran on this one: "a prophet's job is to give warning."
But Whitley certainly lost a whole lot of my respect. You would think he had never heard of the Blakean principle that "friendship is opposition." The best way we can "help" our fellow men is to oppose them, and Pinchbeck certainly acted in that spirit. But his insistence on saving humanity, and even civilization, struck me as narrow-minded, cosmically speaking.
I am not a philanthropist and i doubt i ever will be. My interest is simply in those to whom I am personally connected; beyond that, i do not consider it any more worthwhile, and probably considerably less so, to connect to the "masses" than to insects or other life forms. Frankly, they deserve our attention far more than most people do, and they are better company too. I also think we can benefit far more by "serving" Nature than by aspiring to any kind of social function. I feel absolutely no loyalty to my species. The idea of philanthropy is probably the most fundamental, and also the most dangerous, trap a sorcerer can fall into.
In my estimation of the situation, the best we can do for most people is to help them prepare for their deaths. And since they won't be open to any direct counsel there, really all that means is being considerate and kind to everyone we meet, and trying to see them as they are, as individuals. The mass does not exist at a higher level. It is by definition soulless, a mechanism, an automaton.
Nor am I particularly inclined to want to enhance the atmosphere in any way that will make it more "comfortable." On the contrary. People need to confront their shadows, to be hurled into conditions of terror and duress under which they can overcome their complacency and self-importance, and open to other modes of perception. This is why I chose to call myself an eso-terrorist.
In the words of Jung: “The modern world is desacralized, that is why it is in a crisis. Modern man must rediscover a deeper source of his own spiritual life. To do this, he is obliged to struggle with evil, to confront his shadow, to integrate the devil. There is no other choice.”
This is why I feel as sure as Whitley that dark, dark times are coming, and yet why I feel deeply optimistic: not despite this, but because of it. We have summoned the shadow, and now we must confront the shadow. Only so - under conditions of direst necessity - can we discover the true source of light within us.
What is good for the individual - the Soul of Man - in the long term, is evil for humanity as a collective, in the short. We must make our choice as to which we consider more worthy of our attention. Are you going to try and save the human race, or rescue your own soul?