Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Serious Play: The Occupy Movement and the Twin Horns of Oppression & Revolution


For this post, collected together from recent comments I have made at Reality Sandwich, Facebook, and in dialogue with a protesting pal, I'd like to address what I see as the delusional aspect of the Occupy Movement, and how all social activism only strengthens the structures that are being challenged. This is not necessarily a bad thing, however, except insofar as people set about with specific purpose and results in mind, and so become frustrated and disillusioned. It's the delusional aspect which I perceive as the negative, and not the activism per se, which is as valid a way to pass the time as any other (for some people at least). There's a growing belief, however, that the “global revolution” is evidence of a collective shift in consciousness and—taking it to the next “logical” deduction—that it is actually the means to it. In my opinion nothing could be further from the truth, for reasons which I will outline as best as I can.

Anonymous is interesting to me in this regard, because Anonymous exists in a shadow realm between the paradigms, without obviously belonging to either of them. Actually, I would suggest that there are three paradigms relevant to this present discussion: 1) the ruling paradigm of money, power, etc. 2) the opposing paradigm of rebellion, resistance, community values and individual expression. 3) the paradigm which I will attempt to describe in this post, a paradigm which perceives the first two paradigms as merely mirror images of one another, and therefore as equally obsolete. In my estimation, Anonymous, which exists somewhere between the second and third paradigms, is not causing change, social or otherwise, but merely a surface manifestation of a change that is already happening. Like their inspirational character Guy Fawkes/V, Anonymous works with fireworks, creating a dazzling play of light and shadows that is of no actual consequence, finally. To my mind it is that very inconsequentiality that makes it all the more pure.


While speaking recently to Ramsey Dukes about the subject, Ramsey commented on the difference between art and magik: magik, he said, is trying to bring about desired results/change, while art is simply creative release of energies, followed by a getting to see how those energies bring about change, independent of our will. (In Ramsey’s fourfold model of Magik-Art-Religion-Science, magik evolves into art.) The Occupy Movement (at best magik) overlaps with Anonymous (at best art), because some protesters wear masks, and Anonymous encourages and even plans protests. And like Anonymous, the Occupy Movement is a manifestation of change, rather than a catalyst for it. The primary difference is that, unlike Anonymous, my impression is that many or most of the OM participants believe that they are bringing about change, or at least aspiring to do so.



This is a key difference. It is the difference between letting a zeitgeist (spirit) move through one (without needing to understand it) and trying to move things oneself towards a desired end. For example, I might be writing this piece in order to persuade others of my point of view. On the other hand, I might simply be using words as a means to see what’s moving around inside, and coming through me, without any specific result in mind. In reality, it is a bit of both—how effective this piece is will be the only real determinant of how much my ego is preventing real “play” (and hence communication) from occurring.

Another difference is that between recognizing tyranny, oppression, etc., for what they, without making a value judgment about them, and having a personal issue with them. Ditto writing this piece: if I recognize the delusional aspect of the Occupy Movement, can I do so without feeling superior to it or seeing it as a “problem” that needs to be fixed? For Anonymous and all those who wish to approach life (including tyranny and oppression) in a similar spirit of play, the global control system is not a problem to be fixed but a worthy opponent in a great game of cosmic ping pong. The difference between the two opponents is that one side knows it's all a game, while the other side views it with deadly seriousness. When activists take their “revolution” seriously, I would argue that they are unwittingly joining the side they are opposing, because they are sharing in the same “spirit” with it.


Revolution and tyranny are twin horns of the same demon, and the proof is that, just as physical law demands, resistance makes stronger. Based on the indications of “history” (i.e., prior experience), opposing power structures only reinforces and strengthens those same structures in the long run. As exhibit A for this argument, I present “9/11” and the resulting “war on terror,” the Patriot Act, and the myriad ways in which the US (and global) government used an act of resistance to consolidate its political power, and extend the apparatus of tyranny, the same tyranny which the attack on the twin towers was (allegedly) intended to undermine.


As I see it (and admittedly having no direct experience of the protests or encampments), the Occupy Movement has two purposes. Firstly it is an opportunity for people to get together and connect in a “fun” way that beats getting fucked up on drugs and alcohol. Secondly, it is serving to widen the gulf between the socio-political power structures (and the supposed “elite” behind them, the 1%) and “the people” (the 99%) who are both subject to those structures and, paradoxically, who support them by relying upon them. As evidenced by the recent police backlash, the Occupy Movement acts to further energize the old “us and them” polarity, in both the collective and individual psyche. This is all “positive” enough in terms of enacting the Christian psychodrama of Armageddon. But is that what's really desired here?

It seems to me that the Occupiers actually want to improve their lot, and the lot of the alleged “oppressed,” and here, perhaps, is the problem. I would argue that all of us are equally oppressed regardless of our social conditions, and that to try and improve those conditions by resisting governmental corruption is like rearranging the furniture in a house that is on fire. In which case, my guess is that the children of the revolution are going to be sorely disappointed when they see that the Occupation Movement— by energizing the “enemy”— leads to the exact opposite result to that expected, i.e., to the concretization of tyranny.


I would also guess that many of the more conscious participants—on both sides—know this, though I may be wrong about that, since nothing blinds people to the truth so much as ideals. It does strike me as interesting that, despite how well-versed in esoteric concepts many of the OM-ers are, they appear to be operating under a relatively naïve, or shallow, interpretation of social change, just as if it were ordinary political structures and corrupt human beings that were running the show, rather than millennia-long collective, ancestral patterns (a.k.a. “demons”) of denial. To resort to a whopping great cliché—no change can occur externally unless it come about as a ripple-down effect of an internal shift. Occupying cities is a great diversion from the oppression of our lives, but that perhaps makes it more likely to postpone such an internal psychic shift, or “revolution,” than to bring it about.

To be clear: I am not opposed to the Occupy Movement, or to defying the “system.” It is a collective ego trip, in my opinion, but that isn't meant as a value judgment, because a collective ego trip may be just what we need right now, as a species. The only thing I am opposed to is delusion, and since I have my hands full getting past my own delusions, the reader may well ask why I am wasting my time challenging other people’s delusions. I would have no good answer to that, except to say that I enjoy challenging other people’s delusions. My comments about the Occupy Movement and all the rest are no more meaningful or important than the movement itself. They are also, to a degree, exhortations of my ego, with something deeper and more real moving around underneath them. I will say this: those who believe the Occupy Movement is part of a collective shift do not need to defend it from my “heretical” ideas, because, if they are right, nothing I say will make any difference.


But from my point of view, the whole movement is about improving conditions for individuals (and groups of them), which implies that it’s sourced in separative, ego consciousness, and that those involved are trying to enact a shift externally. As a kind of cathartic theater, it might be (somewhat) effective, but that would depend on recognizing it as theater, geared not towards reforming outer structures but towards an internal change in the participants themselves. The Occupy Movement is all part of a larger process, for sure, but so is the tyranny, and so is everything else. I'm mostly concerned that a lot of people are going to have their hopes dashed (as previously with Obama) when they realize that the nature of tyranny is that it does not give into pressure . Or at least, it never has before.

At the same time, I think it points at a much larger delusion. The idea of “human rights” is assumed by the liberal mind-set to be a progressive one. It is a given. But the idea leads inevitably onto criminal rights, animal rights, insect rights, and so on. So where does the concept of rights end? Virus rights? Bacteria rights? Disease rights? Isn’t the idea of rights a human/ego-centric concept, one with social and political significance but no wider meaning, because no equivalent in the natural order of existence? Isn’t it just another imposition of the human ego on what already is? I would argue that none of us have rights because none of us need rights.


The idea of rights being ego-centric doesn't mean it can be dismissed, however, any more than a symptom of a disease should be dismissed. My point, if any, is that the idea of human rights is part of the problem and not the solution. It stems from a very deeply-embedded idea we have in the West, the idea of entitlement, the idea that we deserve better. The only way to argue that we deserve better, however, is to argue that God/the Universe has made a balls up of things because we aren’t getting what we want. Most of us feel that way (I know I do); but to turn it into a philosophy and a rationale for social activism is to take it from mere childish pouting into the realm of hubris. There's an argument for hubris, too, of course, so once again, no value judgment is implied.... But again, if people are protesting because they believe they deserve better, that's a sense of entitlement. According to what logic do we deserve better? The answer is, according to human (egocentric) logic, a logic based on the illusion of being separate from the system, both the little system of government, commerce, and social oppression, and the greater system of life as a whole. To oppose the little system is also to oppose the greater system, to defy the gods, as it were. If we were to free our minds first, mightn’t we find that the system of oppression we exist under is exactly the way it is supposed to be, along with everything else?


Unless our idea of God is the rather antiquated notion of an outside intelligence lording it over things, then the buck must always stop with divine—the greater intelligence of the whole system—and not at any point before that. To try and blame a system or group or individual for the way things are is tantamount to saying that they/it are separate from the divine, and so they can, and even must, be eliminated for the good of all! To fight for one’s personal sovereignty or impose one’s idea of what constitutes a good or proper life on to another person or group of people = egotism. To fight for other peoples’ right to personal sovereignty = egotism + arrogance. It is true that people seem to be suffering everywhere, and that it seems like an unnecessary result of a few psychopathic scumbags abusing their power. But a seeming isn’t necessarily a reality. If we see someone dying in a gutter, rather than rushing over to help them, isn’t it wisest to ask them first if they want to be helped? They might be doing a Diogenes and consider our “help” an intrusion.

The Occupy Movement is based on value judgments about what constitutes a good society, a positive direction for humans to move in, and at least partially on the assumption that “one utopia fits all.” At the same time, the idea of what we need seems to stem largely from a reaction-response to the way things are, i.e., from resistance to an existing way of life deemed to be “unjust” and undesirable. All these occupiers may get along fabulously as long as they have a common foe to oppose and can agree, more or less, on the way things ought to be. But what would happen if that enemy (those old outworn structures) were suddenly gone? If there is a shared need to identify and oppose “the other” (corporate oppression, government corruption, etc.) which is bringing these people together, then if victory did occur, wouldn’t they need to find someone or something else to oppose? And wouldn’t they be forced to find it within their own ranks?


Once again, I am open to the idea that getting involved in protests may have a liberating effect on the participants (or at least some of them), just as playing a good game of soccer or participating in a theatrical or musical performance can be liberating (and empowering).The obvious question then is, would that still be the case if the participants accepted that the Occupy Movement was futile, in terms of bringing about social change—or even that it was eventually going to have the opposite effect to the one desired? Would the participants still be willing to engage just for the hell of it—for “lulz”? It is that spirit of play—serious play—that is the spirit of real change.

As mentioned earlier, some people believe that the Occupy Movement and its other manifestations is an expression of a “collective shift” pertaining to the coming Age of Aquarius, the sign that rules the collective. However, the shadow of Aquarius is (its opposite sign) Leo, which signifies individual sovereignty and self-expression. This would support my description of the Occupy Movement as a collective ego trip, as an expression of Leo disguised as an Aquarian movement. The shadow (delusion) heralds the coming of an objective reality, however, so it is only right if things unfold in this way. What would be a mistake would be to take the shadow for the substance, the hope/illusion for reality.


My sense is strong that, if and when a collective shift comes, we won’t have anything to do with it, and most of us probably won’t even know what hits us. It might be suggested that the Occupy Movement is laying the foundation for the shift, but I would argue that there is no foundation either possible or needed for such a shift. What there is, perhaps, is a clearing the ground, a razing, not for some utopian edifice to be constructed but for an unknown new life to burst forth, over time, from that charred land.

In the meantime, a lot of people are getting their hopes up around the movement, just as they did recently with ObaMa (OM baa). I would wager it is many of the same people, too. It's well and good for people to get out and engage with each other, and again, it makes a nice change from watching TV or bowling. It’s also perhaps a natural expression of “the masses” to revolt, so by all means let them incur the wrath of the powers-that-be so that more people can see the iron fist in action and better understand the nature of the Beast. The trouble starts when people begin to take their activism too seriously and invest, both emotionally and psychologically, in some imagined, desired (and desirable) end result. Then they are setting themselves up, not only for disappointment, but for levels of bitterness and rage which they may not be able to deal with (or express constructively, much less creatively). Ironically it is probably such bitterness and (out)rage that got many people out there in the first place; but in the end, I predict it’s that same energy which will lead many people to unwittingly join the demon-forces which they are so passionately set against. They will then be swallowed up by the beast, even as it devours itself.


While Rome burns, people may as well fiddle. All change is good. But what is oppressing us, in my opinion, is not any external structures but rather our own self-importance, our sense of entitlement in the face of a shitty world and a bleak future. It is up to us, as individuals, to let go of that pride so as not to choke on it first. I am fairly sure that, if people managed to let go of their self-importance, they wouldn’t need to protest or to do anything else besides take care of themselves and those closest to them. And if everyone did that, there’d be no need for mass movements. We might then start to see that our conditions are only and exactly what we need, collectively, that the shift, if it is to come, will happen via such conditions and not despite them, and that all any of us needs to do to change our lives is simply to let go.


No matter what sort of conditions we are living under
, that’s really all that any of us can do, in any case —let go and remember how to play.

43 comments:

Chad Woodward said...

This is a very well laid out explanation, thank you. I often find myself at odds with what these movements are actually doing beyond the momentary release of suppressed psychic contents through a "theatrical" catharsis. I often feel that such movements or revolutions are an indication of a "shift in consciousness", but it brings to mind the old conundrum of the chicken and the egg. Astrologically speaking, I'm sure you are aware of the Uranus/Pluto cycle, of which the collective is currently playing out--and for me, it's obvious that each stage of the cycle (each hard aspect made) represents a culminating step towards the slow manifestation of some unconscious intention which we are but impulsed to create. It appears that each phase is significant in creating the whole, so isn't the "acting" out of these energies somewhat significant, in that it represents the collective's attempts at expressing and experimenting with something which it may not consciously understand yet?

Whether the "shift in consciousness" really leads to some paradisaical utopia, or further down the tunnel of oppression--we are engaged in a process of unfolding which is leading us closer to integration and wholeness in the end. The archetype of Uranus is actually separation, the desire for pure individuation from the collective. This desire is really entirely new at this juncture of our evolutionary process--its apart of separating to eventually return. So it seems that the Age of Aquarius is the age of individuation, and whether the movements actually lead toward manifesting the "ideal", they serve the purpose of providing us with the experience of further separation to ultimately return back to the garden-- after having been horrified from the true loneliness of barren isolation from source or oneness. Uranus is one step in a gradual unfolding of archetypes.

I personally feel no desire to be apart of the Occupy movement especially with my knowing of astrology and its "influence" upon the masses--but I can't help but feel that the collective movement is doing something relevant, if not just simply allowing more awareness into the collective field. This awareness is likely to become more painful, like Jung said--Pain, and light, and enlightenment come all at once. That pain is likely to be expressed in the further intrusion of the shadow (symbolized by our tyrannical governmental system). But I suppose either way it doesn't matter--because what's unfolding is really beyond the collective's control anyway.

Thanks for this post, it's an excellent reminder to not take these "shifts" so seriously, and to look at them more as playful experiments.

Chad
kosmicmind.blogspot.com

Kephas said...

Hi Chad,

thanks for the thoughtful response - nothing to "oppose" there so not much to respond either! I'd have said that Uranus/Saturn are more obviously signified by the struggle described - Saturn being structure and tradition - and tyranny and lack of humor - and Uranus being rebellion, disruption, and humor... Saturn also being the god who devours his own children(I almost used Goya's image for the post), and Uranus corresponding with Prometheus, hence individuation.

Interesting how the Promethean urge corresponds both with the spirit of creative rebellion and of hubris, two sides of the same coin, or the same energy, depending on how it is being applied.

Chad Woodward said...

The Promethean hubris is indeed interesting, because the archetype takes on this "humanitarian" tone, which is inherent to the Aquarian ideal. In reality, Uranus/Prometheus/Lucifer is the highest archetype of the mind matrix, and thus the highest extension of ego. Beyond Uranus is Neptune, which is complete dissolution of self and the melting of identity into a pool of universal compassion--which results after facing one's deepest delusions of self--often through the experience of suffering.

The more we solely embrace Uranus/Prometheus, the more we actually embrace the mind/ego complex within the psyche--and the further from true compassion/oneness we become. The Promethean "compassion" is more like the concern for the welfare of cattle a farmer would have--with the intention of keeping them healthy to eventually slaughter. Such is the same as the liberal ideal (delusion) which simply seeks to support the masses so that they serve a viable social function-- but it is not truly a vibration of love or a genuine concern for the individual.

Uranus/Prometheus is merely harvesting bright minds from which it can eventually feed. Also I would agree with Saturn being pulled into the game, especially since the Uranus/Pluto square was initially apart of the "Cardinal Climax" configuration, involving Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto.

Uranus/Prometheus is destined to become the new consensus beyond Saturn, and it appears that what we are witnessing on the collective stage is some form of theatrical dethronement process.

Creative rebellion and hubris are indeed two sides of the same coin....Prometheus came down with "fire", intellect/mind and technology from the Gods. Humanities technology is an attempt to control the forces of nature, "Hey look what I can do, look how godlike I am". Eventually, however, our worship of our creations will merely result in a collective liver disease from all the synthetic toxins....and on the story goes.

Kephas said...

It's not that easy for me to get chills, but this line gave me them:

"Uranus/Prometheus is destined to become the new consensus beyond Saturn, and it appears that what we are witnessing on the collective stage is some form of theatrical dethronement process."

It may be too early to put into words why I got chills, but it has to do with the idea that the hidden powers-that-be are actually allowing, and even co-enacting, the dethroning/dismantling of the old power structures, as a means to introduce a new Uranian system of control that will be pure genius and subtlety compared to the old lumbering machinery of Saturn-tyranny. Since Uranus rules not only the mind and technology but also electricity and the nervous system, it would be not a social tyranny but one of the mind - using the Uranian (nano)technology of AI (the InterNet), the biochip, and all the other ingredients of "Ultimate Hubris" which every paranoid is so familiar with.

I am wondering now if this would only be an apparent victory of Uranus, however, since in the myth Saturn castrates Uranus? better sleep on it!

dboy said...

timely post jason, plenty to chew on there; and i am enjoying the comments very much. i was dicking around on youtube yesterday and someone said in an interview that 'there can be no grace received whilst in a state of rebellion. ' which i thought was interesting, and maybe pertinent here.So it goes.. indeed.

Marg Verite said...

I wrote some un well-received responses over here: - http://tinyurl.com/82qo9o3 - Have more to say and to fill in and to answer: Bye for now.

Kephas said...

What would be your definition of well-received? Total agreement?

Chad Woodward said...

Interesting.....I've often pondered this issue, because it feels as if it's more a reflex reaction. Consider Saturn "devouring" his children--in a sense this could be symbolic of Saturn assimilating the outer archetypes beyond himself, taking them into his own being. If that were the case, then Saturn has simply absorbed the Uranian archetype--he's put on the suit or cloak of Prometheus. So maybe he hasn't been dethroned at all, perhaps it's just the opposite.

Saturn is Kronos, which is time. We are enslaved by time, and the only way to escape it is to move beyond the entrapment or illusion of time--to get purely in the moment, to get "conscious". The more grounded/conscious we become, the less impulsed we are by higher dimensional archetypes, and the better we can use them to our advantage.

These archetypes are entirely new for the collective at this point, and it seems that it has only the capacity to express these higher constructs through the filter of time, or the filter of Saturn until it can move beyond it. Consider that Chiron chose to sacrifice his "immortality" to essentially save Prometheus and his liver--he descended into time, and chose to die, taking his place in the underworld ruled by Pluto.

The "gift" of Prometheus is our awareness of time, but awareness can only take you so far. Chiron is the antidote to our dilemma, or our upcoming crisis actually, because it's now just beginning to unfold. In my own observations, i've been able to validate that the more "consensus" minded people stop evolving at Saturn return--it appears that if you can't pass this threshold, you're destined to begin the dying process--and cannot fully assimilate the full activation of potential which is ignited at the "mid-life" crisis, or Uranus opposition. The most powerful belief/admonition of people beyond 30 is quite often that they're somehow "past their prime". Thus the rest of their lives are lived out through that Saturnian filter, and they have nothing to look forward to except accepting the inevitability of death, and yet do everything they can to escape it....

pueokeokeo said...

"Humanities technology is an attempt to control the forces of nature, "Hey look what I can do, look how godlike I am". Eventually, however, our worship of our creations will merely result in a collective liver disease from all the synthetic toxins....and on the story goes."

riffing on the above comment from Chad:

So then we must step out of the role of thinking that we, as human beings, are the heart of the earth and step into living the role of the liver, which I believe is closer to the truth of what we each are to the earth-body. We then can simply be in the role of the processor

Here's a bit about the liver:
The liver is a digestive and exocrine glandular organ that produces bile to break down the fats. It filters out all of the toxins that you consume and put into your body. It also stores nutrients and sends it around the body through the circulatory system.

and a quote that sums it up:

"In general, people do not think about their liver until it malfunctions. Rodney Dangerfield always says: “What does a guy have to do to get some respect around here?” This questions truly applies to the liver and its operations. Since none of its functions can be observed, as the heartbeat, pulse, or respiratory rate, the liver is the last thing people think of or value."

I propose that we think of ourselves as the heart and because of this, we don't value what we really are -- and thusly one hold signs demanding justice, blind to how one is screwing oneself by simply not doing his/her real job -- the job of filtering out toxins, storing nutrients and sending them out to the greater circulatory system in a perfect time-release fashion, and producing bile without getting angry that one produces bile , because that is our fucking job. You are goddamn right I'm full of bile (anger), it's part of my job as the liver , and thank goodness I can simultaneously balance that anger with the joy of being a filter and a releaser of nutrients to keep the blood clean and flowing and the heart beating ... all because I'm a human being. But it is a challenge to accept my lowly role as the liver.

Kephas said...

That last, lively discourse on the liver arrived as the 777th email in my inbox.

So bile is not sin-anonymous with anger? As you may know, Pueky, in Chinese healing tradition, the liver is said to store anger, and the balancing energy is that of forgiveness. I think humor might work even better – which is the energy of “nothing to forgive.” I wish! (Funny to consider that Anonymous’ slogan is “We do not forgive.” All part of the play?) I have anger management issues myself, though it generally only comes out when it is just me and inanimate objects, and occasionally (to my shame) smaller, weaker animals, authority figures (i.e., total strangers in positions of power), close family members, and sexual partners. Sometimes I think if I could be rid of all my anger, I would be 100% better off. But as the song goes, “anger is an energy,” the energy of Mars, who also bestows the energy of play - a relevant polarity to the present debate. Maybe it’s above all an inability to play that prevents that Mars energy from expressing in a healthy way, and so forces it to come out in violence and revolt? So to turn the OM into an opportunity for play may be the only way to redeem it from becoming just another misuse of Mars energy, one that will only cause more anger and distress in the long run.

“…i've been able to validate that the more "consensus" minded people stop evolving at Saturn return--it appears that if you can't pass this threshold, you're destined to begin the dying process--and cannot fully assimilate the full activation of potential which is ignited at the "mid-life" crisis, or Uranus opposition. The most powerful belief/admonition of people beyond 30 is quite often that they're somehow "past their prime". Thus the rest of their lives are lived out through that Saturnian filter, and they have nothing to look forward to except accepting the inevitability of death, and yet do everything they can to escape it....”

Continuing with the personal nature of this post: I thought, until recently, that I got through my Saturn Return quite well, with my first publication deal at 31 for the book I wrote at 29-30 (The Blood Poets). I didn’t feel past my prime in the years following it, on the contrary, I felt like I was finally coming into my own. My Uranus opposition boded well also, with a new relationship and a business (SWEDA) at 41. However, more recently, in the past two years (43-44), with the messy termination of all of that, I have started to see life through the Saturnian filter you describe: with “nothing to look forward to except accepting the inevitability of death.” I’m almost coming out the other side of a long and grueling Uranus-Saturn conjunct, so the tension between those energies is extremely close to home, which is perhaps partly why I’m so personally interested in the OM question.

With my Uranus and Pluto in first house, I’m increasingly aware of how everything I write is an unconscious attempt to address issues and blind spots in myself, and as a result, how I seem to be moving into more controversial areas that are almost bound to bring “heat” down on me and lead to a conflict of opinion and of interests. If I am, Prometheus-like, challenging the structures of belief I see in others around me, I believe it’s a reflection of an inner hubris that refuses to awaken to Saturn’s reality-lesson (my own limitations), and a somewhat futile attempt to assuage the resulting depression and feelings of impotence. So then, what I am doing with OM, Strieber, Castaneda, entheogens, and all the other exposes I am writing, is what I am yearning will happen to me: for my old outworn beliefs, etc. to get busted wide open by Uranus’ lightning bolt of truth, leaving me exposed, and with nowhere left to hide.

Anonymous said...

hi jason, it does occur to me that if we'd all teken the thrid paradigm attitude their never would have been votes for women, greenpeace, nuclear dismemberment and the like. mnow what kind of world would that bee?
love and peace ian joynson

Chad Woodward said...

peuokeuokeuo....
Very interesting insight, I've been pondering that very concept for some time, because it wasn't until I contracted a liver disease that I was personally forced to acknowledge it--and the anger inside me. It resulted from my abuse of pharmaceuticals (synthetic uranian technology), which I was taking off and on for several years. I don't know why I originally took them, I was 17 at the time, I felt "depressed and isolate", and instead of choosing to process these emotions and toxins myself (also the result of poor eating, etc)--I suppose I chose to numb them out--which didn't work.

I became addicted to stimulants, and this power to ascend the limitations of my human existence--essentially to become super-human. The power consumed me, and my liver, and I have since been healing from that abuse, and beginning to embrace my liver, to support it, and to empower it through proper nourishment. Looking back I can't believe how unconscious I was of my body, but then again, that was the conditioning, and all I was exposed to.

Very interesting that we as humans, are more closely symbolized by the liver. I find that our task is to process emotion and to ground it--make tangible use of the intangible, or even the "imaginal". We have no training for this in the consensus--but it's the very root of say Buddhism and many eastern based philosophies--to allow the impulse, desire, or emotion to pass through us, as opposed to holding on to it.

I suppose that was, perhaps still is, my fear--of letting go, because the impulse, desire, and emotion gives us power, power from the "other side" which radiates that sense of immortal timelessness. We mistake that power as our own, but it is not, because we are impermanent in the end, and the power really belongs to the oneness of eternity--our role is to simply "process" it all. I'm reminded of something Jason wrote in his article The Serpents Promise...that while we're alive....we're LIVERS.

Chad Woodward said...

Kephas...

It sounds like you are now embarking upon the next gateway within the bounds of time--the Chiron return, which occurs around age 50. Barbara Hand Clow wrote:

"The last part of the cycle is the Chiron return at age 50-51, when we intensify our vibration again (such as at Uranus opposition), and we have a mental crisis--a crisis of meaning. We are to let go of our ego attachment, of our linear mentality; we are to let go completely now because this transit will empty us so that the soul can come in completely into form. Obviously, few have achieved this transit because it has been getting the full physical plane integration only since 1977. However, the cycle has always been with us and has always been known as the path to enlightenment". -Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets

I've yet to fully "understand" this transition myself, but then again, I have yet to experience the Saturn return in my own life--however I've assisted many through it, and have been intimate with individuals who have. It feels like the Chiron return is the point where we are to surrender our minds, the Promethean intellect, and fully come into form--where we are to completely "ground" ourselves in the human vessel. Barbara goes on to say....

"One of my most clear examples of this transit is what happened to St. Thomas Aquinas when he reached Age 50. Thomas is a great example, because his mental or left brain development was so intense during his lifetime. But just like everybody else, it was time for the right brain, the mystical response. Thomas' scribe reported that at age 50, Thomas, became blind and dumb and transmitted a last work which is called the Aurora Consurgens. The "Aurora" is available in Marie Louse von Franz's book on alchemy, and it is a completely Chirotic alchemical tract. Readers might want to read it as a fine example of a Chirotic breakthrough. After he finished it, Aquinas died. Ideally, we all would have a fourth major life transit at the Uranus return at age 84".

As I said earlier, Chiron is the antidote, in astrology it's symbol is a key--literally the key to unlock the path beyond the mind and beyond time. Chiron, the wounded healer, sacrificed his immortality and chose to fully descend into matter, and into time-- to free Prometheus, and his liver. This wasn't truly an act of complete selflessness, because Chiron was in pain from the arrow, he chose to die so that he could cease his own suffering.

Kephas said...

I can relate.

Not yet had your Saturn return?? A babe in the woods then.

Kephas said...

More thoughts: The global conspiracy, corporate corruption, political oppression, etc, is a collective mirror with which we can perform self-surgery. This is why the Occupy Movement and all resistance misses the point, unless it be seen as a means to get the outer powers to manifest themselves more openly and nakedly, and so assist with the surgery. But that would entail aggravating the situation, forcing them to clamp down and reveal the machinery of tyranny that is only an external projection of the collective unconscious. It's besides the point whether the OM is being seeded and directed by the powers-that-be, then, because, in either case, the end result is the same. All that matters, all that ever matters, is individual awareness.

Marg Verite said...

- http://tinyurl.com/7p5qaf8 - trying to clear crossed wires.

Otherwise, "all the ever matters is self - awareness" - is that a tautology?

Is your point that if people's consciousness morphed in the proper direction, the transformation of the world would hit the mark effortlessly? If so, I agree. That is my constant cry, to which no one listens.

And that is why "Information control is the #1 top priority of the modern military"

Kephas said...

Yes that is what I'm saying, mas o menos. Unfortunately it has become such a cliche that no one seems to take it seriously anymore.

Anonymous said...

Kephas says -'Unfortunately it has become such a cliche that no one seems to take it seriously anymore.'

Which sort of suggests you don't take it seriously either, (unless you think you're the only one that does,) so much easier to just talk about it.

Kephas said...

More that I try to find new ways to say it so that people won't immediately dismiss it as a cliche.

Kephas said...

From dialogue with MV:

To be clear, when I say that we are all equally oppressed, here’s my reasoning: if there is a natural state of “enlightenment” that entails freedom from the false identity-virus of “ego,” then either we are free of it or we are not free. I would question the assumption that there are gradations in-between enlightenment and unenlightenment, and that we are all somewhere on a scale or bell curve of awareness . In which case, everyone who is not enlightened, i.e., in their natural state of being and free from the foreign installation of the false ID, is equally oppressed. I didn’t spell it out before because I figured anyone could simply ask, if they wanted to know, and because I didn’t want to get into “flyer minds” and matrix-terminology, or talk about enlightenment, as these are all things that are open to multiple interpretations. As, evidently, is the idea of “oppression.”

In the end we can only base our opinions on our experience, and mine is that, unpleasant as externally oppressive circumstances may be, they do not necessarily increase my sense of inner oppression, and can even reduce or resolve an inner blockage, over time. Hence the idea that people’s circumstances need to be improved to increase their awareness, while there’s some truth in it (a sick body usually leads to a sick mind, so to speak), it’s not an absolute truth, IMO, and can even be the reverse. (When we are comfortable and content, we tend to slip into mechanical behavior or ego inflation.)

I have never proscribed yoga or meditation techniques, going inward or withdrawing from the world, as a means to become more aware. What I’m proscribing is seeing the external problems we are engaged with, local or global, as reflecting our own inner distortions, and so embracing them as true teachers. Do not kill the messenger. In this case, the world is the messenger. Trying to change the world strengthens the illusion of there being a world to change. There is no external world of objects. There is only energy in constant flux and flow, and our perception of that energy. It’s our perception that makes the world, and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

'Trying to change the world strengthens the illusion of there being a world to change.'

But it's ok for you to try to change people's understanding,isn't that the same as trying to change the world? Doesn't that strengthen the illusion of there being other people to change? According to your arguement shouln't you look at the message of 'people are unenlightened' and wonder what that means in terms of your inner distortions rather than try to change it.

You said yourself you're trying to change people - 'I try to find new ways to say it so that people won't immediately dismiss it as a cliche.'

Kephas said...

Touche.

I just had this conversation with a friend, who thinks that we are always trying to persuade others, and that even an invitation is an attempt to persuade. JdR said that we use the voice when we wish to persuade. I respectfully disagree, but I may just be in denial.

"it's simplest to state, for me, that I have become more aware over time of the ways which I use language, and other means, as a way to persuade others and that this is really a way to control, and that it has only brought grief, in the end however, as a writer, i am obviously in the business of persuasion my wish is for it to be playfully done and not in earnest"

To your own comment I'd counter that people are not objects and that communicating my POV isn't necessarily an attempt to change anyone but only to engage with them. Yes, there's part of me that wants you all to agree and tell me, 'Yes, Kephas, you nailed it!', and that feels great when that happens - on occasion. But there's also part of me that wants to engage in discussion, and that requires disagreement to do so, and a part of me that likes being opposed, and a part that just likes to play with ideas, and so on.

Anonymous said...

Baron Moth says:

I think that we are not always trying to persuade. I would say we are trying to form communities, to enlarge our sense of identificaation with the universe and with our ego. Sometimes it is healthy for the ego to be agreed with, for affirmation to take place and sometimes it is good that their be disagreement and therefore growth as long as it is in the communal spirit. We are both ego and observer of that ego and both are necessary for grokking the divine, I think.

Anonymous said...

'Trying to change the world strengthens the illusion of there being a world to change.'

Couldn't you also argue that trying to change one's inner world of beliefs and assumptions etc also only strengthens the illusion of there being an identity to change. I mean shouldn't you engage in the same way for both your inner and outer worlds otherwise you create more of a division between them?

Kephas said...

Yes

BrandonD said...

I liked the tone of this article. Some of the older ones had sort of a distance between you and the reader. This one gave me more of an impression of you standing amongst the audience. Maybe because I seemed to intensely relate to much of it.

Anyway, the image in my head from the OWS movement is a man standing in front of a mirror, with lights moving across it. The lights reflect off the mirror, attracting and absorbing the attention of the man and giving him the temporary impression that the scenery is changing. But from an outside perspective nothing is moving at all, it is just a guy standing in front of a mirror, as it's always been.

As I'm typing it out, it sounds suspiciously like Plato's allegory, hehe.

And for the record, I don't think that even purely "egotistical" movements and actions are quite what they appear to be, because in the end everything that happens seems to come not from our own will, but from the will of something greater that we don't understand. We are not in control of the show, so we don't need to hate ourselves for what we have done, or failed to do.

I only mention that because I picked up on a bit of self-judgment/condemnation and wanted to cheer you up. But this could totally be just projection on my part.

Anyway great article, it got me thinking.

Kephas said...

"I picked up on a bit of self-judgment/condemnation and wanted to cheer you up. But this could totally be just projection on my part."

It could be; then again, it could not be. Throw a stone in a lake, wherever it lands you'll hear a splash.

It's definitely my aim to close the gap between me and my audience, and between both of us and the subject matter at hand.

We're all studying lights in that mirror.

pueokeokeo said...

"So bile is not sin-anonymous with anger? As you may know, Pueky, in Chinese healing tradition, the liver is said to store anger, and the balancing energy is that of forgiveness. I think humor might work even better – which is the energy of “nothing to forgive.” I wish! "

Bile is not synonymous with anger if the anger is embodied, which simply meanz that I would be doing my job as the liver when I live in such a way without care -- accepting my fate, not as the center (the heart) but the as the slab of drab (quite a mundane organ) known as the liver. Can I be the liver beautifully? This is the question. I only can, I suppose, if I don't resist the bile (self-hate), as well as don't love the bile (self-worship).

I'm a bile making machine. Now fuck off ... or be broken down.

Kephas said...

As long as Mrs. Pueky is OK with being a bile-receptor...

Anonymous said...

A bit off topic from the original post but I was interested in this from one of the comments '..if there is a natural state of “enlightenment” that entails freedom from the false identity-virus of “ego,” then either we are free of it or we are not free. I would question the assumption that there are gradations in-between enlightenment and unenlightenment, and that we are all somewhere on a scale or bell curve of awareness.'

I think it's possible for a person to be 'free from the false identity-virus of "ego"' but still act like an idiot for a lot of the time just out of sheer habits. I think in the East where meditation and simple lifestyle is encouraged some purity of mind will happen if a person is free from ego identification or not, wheras in the West our minds are somehow more tainted or infested.(vasanas I think is the hindu term) I think ideally these tendancies would naturally fall away with time depending on how deeply ingrained or how possesed one had been,and a more blissfull silence would naturally take it's place, remaining aware rather than judging seems to be the process.

Anonymous said...

So my point was,I was wondering if someone from the East who had freed himself from false identity, would have a higher or purer grade of enlightenment in the sense of their serene nature showing through, than someone from the West, who had freed themself from false idfentity, but was still quite grossly acting out their dross.

Kephas said...

One would first have to accept your idea of enlightenment, which is contrary to my own, which is that enlightenment = liberation, the dissolution of the false self and of all attachments to such patterns which you imagine being acted out. So, if someone had an awakening and was still acting out their patterns, as I observe at work with JdR, then (it seems to me) that would not be enlightenment but something else. Paradoxically, in my limited experience, a false enlightenment entails assuming the airs of a new, more detached self, while the real thing might appear as tho the person had not changed much at all - assuming they were pleasant enough people pre enlightenment (which I would assume, if enlightenment can only occur in a state of letting go).

pueokeokeo said...

What about Occupying Madison Avenue and those master advertising executives who basically are the henchmen of the Wall Street bankers? If this happens then things really might get cookin in the realm of our collective shadow-work that is just getting underway again. It is the henchmen who are paid to keep us in the dark -- to maintain the shiny facade of what is being sold to us -- to keep us mesmerized so that the elite can keep the power and wealth and then , in turn, pay the advertising execs really well.

Eos said...

Good idea, Pueokeokeo!

I like the article, I like the debate/discussion that follows, have a lot of things I COULD say, but won't for now... I also looked through some of tinyurl links and the comments therein, and liked that as well (maybe you should get a facebook-ish 'like' button!), really reminds me of certain elements of some of the old discussions we used to have J.

Could offer a lot of commentary on that as well, modified by 'evolving' through 'my patterns' and 'living my life' of course...

Which brings me to what I did want to comment on: Patterns and enlightenment. Some questions. Briefly: What if a perpetual state of enlightenment is a red herring? What if such a thing can only occur perpetually (if at all) when the ego bonds have been thoroughly dismantled (i.e. the body has ceased all functioning)? What if we are all already enlightened and have forgotten? This thread of thought is not as wishful or lazy as it might appear on the surface. What if enlightenment only occurs to embodied, ego-bonded nodes of consciousness in discrete instances? You know when you reconnect with your other and feel empty and vast and full and impossible? Is that because enlightenment has no real interest in the temporal? We just think, our egos just think, that we've come back to this state. But maybe we simply have to finish what we've started here, enshrined, or entombed, in this body, and whatever others may follow, depending on our patterns, but none of that is of any consequence to the enlightened true self because it's all IN TIME and the true self exists both within and without time. Maybe, like perpetual motion, perpetual enlightenment in the earthly realm is (thus far) little more than a carrot at best, a red herring at worst.

Maybe the path to enlightenment is not only IN the patterns, but IS the patterns. Which is why "the real thing might appear as tho the person had not changed much at all" minus the value judgements of what is or isn't 'pleasant'...

I agree about letting go, but don't think that would of necessity have any bearing on how a person behaved, or rather, on how other people might favorably or unfavorably perceive that behavior.

I was just thinking, thought I'd share and reflect and get reflected at and hopefully shared with...

word verification is 'undstly'

Theofilia said...

Good riff Kephas!

Here's my 2 Canadian cents:
The collective 'ego' is feeling the sting of injustice, and that's a good thing ."Wild idealism" judges actions according to what is 'appropriate' -- and that's a good thing. Once 'idealism' is born there is no shoving it back, no matter how immature it may seem its outward expression.

Eos, you ask "what if perpetual state of enlightenment is a red hearing"?

Not so much, not for those of us whose Soul-awakening is complete. At this stage we seem very ordinary.

If curious? In my blog spiritspeaks-theofilia.blogspot.com I write about what this process is like.

Kephas said...

is there an enlightened person in the house?

Eos: I don't see the ego (ie false identity) depending on the body or vice versa. On the contrary I see the body as the true identity which not only doesn't need the false ID (ego) to survive but can only really thrive without it.

"Is that because enlightenment has no real interest in the temporal?"

Is enlightenment an entity, with interests and preferences? Consciousness goes where it can. Nature abhors a vacuum, but God just loves one!

"We just think, our egos just think, that we've come back to this state. But maybe we simply have to finish what we've started here, enshrined, or entombed, in this body, and whatever others may follow, depending on our patterns, but none of that is of any consequence to the enlightened true self because it's all IN TIME and the true self exists both within and without time."

Yes. But what's the point? I never used to use the word enlightenment at all - I used the word unplugging instead. They mean the same thing to me. The latter is a bit TOO concrete and literal, coz it comes from a movie, and the former is too vague and abstract, because it hasn't happened to us yet so we can only imagine what it might mean. It may not be a literal "goal" in that it isn't an end point but a starting point. Yet it is also, I am pretty sure, A TURNING POINT.

To quote Kafka: "From a certain point onward there is no longer any turning back. That is the point that must be reached."

Kephas said...

"I agree about letting go, but don't think that would of necessity have any bearing on how a person behaved, or rather, on how other people might favorably or unfavorably perceive that behavior."

can we trust our instruments to measure anything besides their own behavior? Don;t we have to be enlightened to recognize the same in someone else - or to have let go to know what letting go looks like, etc? A person might appear to be a total dick to us if they were picking up and reflecting back at us our own disowned patterns.

But another part of me says No, serenity and lightness can neither be faked nor concealed, and if it's not there, keep looking.

Marg Verite said...

I think the priests of yore placed a red cap, pointed, on their heads to either signify the Penis or the Liver. The Phrygian Cap. I guess ... if it's the Liver it'd be like a "tin-foil hat" - used to filter impurities from entering the head / mind? - http://tinyurl.com/ckmc9x5 -

Marg Verite said...

- http://tinyurl.com/6ntwk5t - To me, worrying about what is Enlightenment or trying to discuss it in language is the antithesis of "hitting the mark." Like "chewing on ball bearings?" Why not [and I'm telling myself this] just go into the space of the heart? Wouldn't surrender definitely include surrendering a desire for attainment, at some future moment, of spiritual accomplishment? Wouldn't one just concentrate on spiritual disciple? Path = the Way etc.?

Anonymous said...

'A person might appear to be a total dick to us if they were picking up and reflecting back at us our own disowned patterns.'

Funny how the words 'total dick' and 'idiot' are pretty much synonymous.

William Hunter Duncan said...

Coming a bit late to this discussion, but thought I might add to it anyway. I think much the same about the OWS, that they believe themselves transforming the world, but if given the power to change what they would, the end would only be more governmental power, which only leads to more oppressive coercion. Whether their actions are symptomatic of a more profound, systemic shift of the unconscious forces that drive most of our collective actions, is another thing entirely. I would certainly like to believe that we are at the cusp of a fundamental shift, some end and some beginning, unlike anything we can fathom, into some different state of existence that is more healthy for the Earth and People. I see glimmers of such a shift here and there, but only glimmers, and not enough to convince me that such a shift is imminent.

Coincidently, as to the comments, I owned a van once, which I called Chiron. I was living in it at times, 1999-2001, in the time of my Saturn's return. I gave it away in favor of a 2006 Toyota Tacoma, which was one of the most egotistical, profoundly stupid decisions of my adult life. I am very fond of the Promethean myth as well. It has not heretofore occurred to me to equate his actions with hubris. About that, I'm not convinced. Did he act out of self-interest, or in service? I have always thought his theft of fire from the gods, and giving it to us, prevented Zeus from destroying us, as he was intending to do. And yet here we are, on the seeming verge of destruction, again. Is it hubris, to steal from the gods, to prevent the destruction of humanity? Or to want to? Even knowing, that saving humanity will not necessarily mean humanity will do a damn thing with that gift?

And then I walk back to your point that the universe simply is, and the only thing to do is get aware and interact with it playfully, even if that sometimes may involve poking the beast...and now it is 2:43 and something like hubris that I am still awake.

www.offthegridmpls.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Interesting - post and comments! Thank you each! Kephas, in your article you raise much that touches on a vague 'take' I have on OM that I've not articulated because I'm not sure what I want to say. As I pay attention to OM and all else that's going on in the world, what do I 'sense'? What's this all about?

I do believe we've come some way in the last few thousand years. We've carried seeds of our own destruction, and have continually made brutality manifest. But we've also carried seeds unrecognized or dismissed as irrelevant during that time. Empathy, cooperation, and inclusiveness have barely been tried as an intentional blend. It was only late in the 20thC that "human potential" became wide-spread as a movement in the general population, and with it, a broadly embraced quest for 'enlightenment'. It was individuals who made the search, and generally they've held to a view that the quest is intended primarily to serve the individual.

Sometimes I wonder if OM has shifted the highly individualized focus of the human potential movement (which implies search for enlightenment) to an intentional cooperative effort. I think it may be true that, without abandoning commitment to 'individual' change from within, it is necessary to ease the way for more individuals to find 'the enlightenment experience' by establishing societal systems that are less brutalizing. It may be that our our inability (due to ignorance) to serve one another's well-being is a factor in our "inevitable corruption".

I especially appreciate the work OM has done with consensus democracy, (and wonder - since it's 'inefficient' - if they can stay with the underlying principles.) I also appreciate their efforts to practice non-hierarchical inclusion, and know it's complicated; non-hierarchical inclusion has never been successful as a principle in large systems of human organization.

Re OM, I've used the metaphor of a tide coming in - wave upon wave. We've had such waves before; we've been trying to sort out who we are, to understand our corruption, for several thousand years. OM and the entire global uprising against entrenched hierarchical systems may be relatively temporary.

In any case, if the metaphor is apt for the wave pattern, there will be another. We're not finished, not even if, in the next 10 years, we arrive at an 'improved' system. We still don't know ourselves; we still don't practice easing the material path for one another in order that they/we may more easily heal 'soul' wounds.

That said - I don't dismiss the possibility that larger forces are at work than we could possibly fathom. The above is, however, where I've decided to 'settle' with regards to OM. It's a diverse group of people, with many motivations, some barely compatible.

(My take).

Anonymous said...

I must say, I agree with your view that the consciousness shift is going to occur whether humanity wants it or not. However, I think that a lot of the occupiers might already be on a wavelength similar to yours. While there are definitely a lot of people in OWS demanding a socialist utopia, there seems to be a contingent hellbent on unironic freedom. Inside this magazine are a fairly compelling list of demands:

http://otccmagazine.com/current-issue/