OUR INSANELY GREAT AWAKENING

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[DIFFERENTLY ALIVE] - page 4

WE ARE GONNA RULE THE WORLD

In the beginning was the bass line, and it was glorious, and then the organ, calling all to gather, and the spirit took hold and the congregation did embrace the rhythm, letting it infuse their soul, and they did clap along.

(The Reverend) Tim Maia offers his sermon: “We came from a superworld. A world of rational energy. And we live in the energy world. World of animal energy. Read the book! The only book! The book of God! ‘Universe In Disenchantment’. And you’ll gonna know the truth.”

The 20th century did its best to enforce rational energy upon the world. It failed often and tragically and at scale. It may, in fact, be why so many humans repeatedly engaged in ravenous behavior, a non-rational response to the enforced rational thought. Food, drink, drugs, violence, art — Tim Maia feasted upon them all.

The 21st century will spin reality in an entirely different direction. Because — at long last — we humans have created machines which allow us to outsource the rational, off-load thinking and calculating and processing and determining, leaving us to focus on what humans can do far better than our machines.

Wilding. Dreaming. Believing.

We may not put it together, but it will be enchanting.

It may also prove our doom.

Because as Tim Maia’s funk line reminds us, our animal energy remains ever-present.

Brian  

My best to you

DECEMBER TWENTY FIFTH

May your dreams be merry and bright.

God willing, I will return to daily essays on the second of January, 2018 — can you believe it, 2018!

Oh, and never forget. Whatever you have, that is enough for another.

PUT ON YOUR RED LIGHT

And jazz and calypso did have relations with the American R&B, while gospel watched from the edge, and this did make ska and ska begat rocksteady and rocksteady begat reggae and reggae did menage a trois with punk and with rock and roll and this consort did begat The Police.

And The Police was good.

And though they did sound very much of the 1980s and yeah did their considerable musical talent and global popularity did cloak the lyrical sweep of one Sting, the group’s lead singer, guiding force, and prime commercial draw.

The best trio in all of rock music. Yes.

Bass, guitar, drums.

Yet one of their most enduring songs is synthesizer-focused.

Talent will out.

Daring is rewarded.

But I wonder: is this still true?

Never before have we possessed so much, lived so long, and dared so little.

Has our spirit been buried by this material world?

Do our own creations keep us locked in?

You need to earn a few extra dollars? Simple. Drive an Uber! Need to get anywhere? No problem. Hail an Uber! Oh, but you’ll need a phone to do that. That’s mandatory. But those are made in anti-democratic China for the world’s richest corporation.

Freedom!

We are connected, that’s not the same as free.

We have access, that’s not the same as talent.

The world is at our fingertips yet we risk nothing.

Even the music’s gone safe.

“Spirits in the material world.”

Trapped?

How can this be?

We should be the most capable, most fit, most aware, most alive, most ready — the apex of human evolution and technological advancement.

And yet…

Feel great?

Sense greatness permeating around the world?

Where did it go?

Our self-inflicted and fully consensual reduction in human grandness, leading us not into ascension but deeper into hibernation.

The body electric, static.

Ghosts in the machine.

See me, hear me, touch me. I am your screen.

Stay seated before me.

“Where does the answer lie?
Living from day to day
If it’s something we can’t buy
There must be another way”

We need to set our spirit free.

But I am not sure I know how.

Move our eyes from the screen, possibly?

Prioritize the physical over the digital, perhaps?

Surround ourselves with less, maybe?

Welcome suffering, I fear?

Does my spirit need to be awakened, I wonder?

Stop asking questions. All you get are answers.

Look where that’s led you.

EXORDIUM & TERMINUS

“In the year 7510
If God’s a coming, He oughta make it by then
Maybe He’ll look around Himself and say
Guess it’s time for the judgment day”

Sounds wise, but can we trust these words given that the person proclaiming them only achieved fame once?

I say, yes.

One hit wonders remain curious things, as they cause us to wonder what semi-famous, partly-recognizable musicians must do with all the remaining days of their life, with everyone wanting that one song of theirs played over and over and over again while they, even if they are somehow always decent and tolerant about this, are forever unable to replicate that lottery-like success that propelled them into our collective consciousness, but we also wonder how white hot fame can be achieved by someone — only once — because the relentlessness of the machine that is capitalism is always seeking out, always maximizing return, always copying whatever works, and we simply expect this consensual metaverse to throw off enough data so as to ensure that if anyone does it once, they’ll certainly have the tools at their disposal to achieve at least a second go-round on the fame-success wheel, but no, one-hit wonders remain, like a frozen moment in time or a flower that emerges from across the cultural landscape, delivering joy, briefly, and then gone forever. Curious.

In 1964, the duo of Zager & Evans wrote their only hit song — In The Year 2525.

It became a hit, in, fact, in 1969.

Ripples require time to reach the shore.

This is how I feel about several core technologies now radiating towards us. We won’t fully realize the sum total of their transformation of human form and thought and movement for at least another 17+ years.

The flood comes in 2035, that’s when the past will no longer be readable and the future becomes fully writable.

It began with Windows 95. We are now in Year 22 of a 40-year (not 40 day) planet altering, life repurposing, technology infused deluge. A great flood of robotics, artificial intelligences, bio-coding, pharma-induced healing, the digitalization of perception, the merging of daily life into screens, sparring abundances, competing algorithms, and the connecting of all people to all things will transform all life and living on this planet.

The past will then become more unknowable than the future.

That means that together, we can and should build a new way of living with our creations and can and should embed our values — the right values — into all that comes next.

What comes next?

The destruction of everything.

Our collective understanding of purpose, work, ownership, possession, value, wealth, health, learning, serving, believing and perceiving will all be transfigured, shortly. Nothing will be left untouched, not even humanness. I predict the next 17 years will foster the following global trends:

1. TRIBAL WANDERERS

The past is rapidly becoming more unknowable than the future. We are like Adam and Eve, more aware of what’s to come than what’s come before us. This new reality will lead to a transformative break in human values. It will also create a permanent wandering class.

No home, new modes of work, play, crafting, interaction, and the connection of all places and things to all people will lead millions, maybe billions, to forever wander the land, seeking friendships, seeking answers, a willful freeing of their mind and liberation from place forever altering our culture. Hop inside the (autonomous) bus and drive! And sleep and eat and play and learn and share.

Caution: We have erected an economy and government based on the self, which is vanishing, and the local, which is being made irrelevant.

2. OUTSOURCING THE RATIONAL

Atheists are on the wrong side of history. Just as we outsourced our labor to the machines, now we are outsourcing our thinking, our calculating, our rational tasks. As a consequence, we are becoming more spiritual, more creative, and yes, more irrational, free to explore all our thoughts, impulses, desires, fears, hopes, aggressions.

Belief in magic, religion, in spirituality and God will accelerate and deepen because of, not despite of, the rise of big data, machines, robotics, electronics, computing and artificial intelligences. We become what our machines cannot. We do what can’t be outsourced. Faith is our future. Spirituality is our expression.

3. DIFFERENTLY ALIVE

Everything we make from this moment forward will be aware, sensing, responsive — alive. How are ((humans)) differently alive?

Answering this — legally, culturally, politically — will tear apart everyone and from everything.

There’s more. With everyone and everything connected, in real-time, and always, and with the spread of bionics, nano-machines, processors, the very notion of ‘self’ will be transformed. Connectivity is our self.

4. HACKING MORTALITY

Hacking mortality will become the biggest industry of this century. We will not live forever but those that come next will live for probably decades longer than us. Great for them, less so for much of what we’ve constructed. All the systems, institutions, wealth, rules and culture which now exist, all of which are dependent upon most of the world dying by or before age 75, will themselves die off. The notion of economy, jobs, savings will be a distant memory, poorly understood.

Caution: many of the radical life extension efforts will prove deeply repugnant. Prepare to fight them. They are unholy.

5. THE FUTURE HAS ARRIVED ONLY IT’S EVENLY DISTRIBUTED

What becomes of commerce — and power — when we all have as much as we need and are each only a screen swipe away from the leaders of nations and the guardians of conglomerates?

What is your standing? Your source of power? Your desires when everything is within reach?

Remember the “science fiction” story of the little girl who accidentally gets hold of one of the world’s two tablets, tablets which contain the world’s knowledge? In reality, tablets are already available to over a billion people — with the price dropping steadily.

6. THE FREE-ING OF EVERYTHING

Soon, everything will be free. Literally, everything that matters will be free and freely available. Food, healthcare, entertainment, transportation, energy, gadgetry, connectivity, you, me, our creativity, passions, darkest thoughts, where we lay our head.

You won’t be defined by your work or your wealth.

You will pay for things, but not with money, often not with work.

And when no money needs to exchange hands, ever, because the price — of everything — is effectively zero and trading our expertise, our attention, our companionship, right down to the millisecond is all that’s needed, every existing locus of power is obliterated. Where will power come from? What of your self worth?

7. CONSUMPTION IS DEATH

God bless the child who’s got it all.

Even the really fat ones.

Know this: We are fat, obese, and sedentary not because of cars or technology or industrialization or suburbanization or laziness but because capitalism is a fierce, never-tiring always-learning meta-system which discovered that money could be made in selling food and leisure and kept getting better at this, and better and better, and better.

Capitalism knows our desires better than we know our limits.

But having consumed our fill, puking it out, consuming all over again, retching, repeating this process, year after year, generation after generation, the vomit of consumption a toxic force upon our planet, we — the takers and makers and learners of capitalism — have finally constructed an alternative path. We can live full and exciting and interesting and private and communal lives entirely without having to embrace consumption.

You will never again be defined by your possessions, though you will be free to let your possessions define you.

8. VALUES EQUAL PROFITS

Soon, we can get anything from anyone, anywhere at anytime. Businesses will respond to this by differentiating themselves with the only thing they have remaining — their values. Their opposition to gay marriage, their warm embrace of sustainable food practices, their rejection of the profit motive, their deep, abiding faith in Jesus Christ. Values will determine their customer base, their margins, their market. The purely profit-based corporation will whither.

In the next stage of commerce, your values will always be on display and used for exchange.

9. THE INSANELY GREAT AWAKENING

As we alter our bodies, our minds, upend society, reconstruct awareness and deconstruct all that came before, including markets, capitalism, value, power, wealth, influence and experience, there is a right path forward.

We just don’t know what it is.

We will seek out God.

We are eager to believe.

A great awakening is upon us.

10. THE PAST IS MORE UNKNOWABLE THAN THE FUTURE

“But through eternal night, the twinkling of starlight, so very far away, maybe it’s only yesterday”

It’s all not working, nothing is how it’s supposed to be. We have never been more empowered, more capable, more angry, more empty, and we sense, the fear and revulsion and excitement of it always on display, that the very idea of human, of person, of self may soon vanish forever.

We will soon scarcely even understand those before us.

We will not be like them at all.

We cannot go back.

Let’s recall the wise words of that musical duo from Nebraska, what were they called again, Zager & Evans, and that one song they had.

“In the year 8510, God is gonna shake His mighty head. He’ll either say I’m pleased where man has been or tear it down, and start again”

God came early.

THANK GOD FOR MOM AND DAD

The bouncy, banging Hey Ya! by Outkast may be the most fun song with the most happy music paired with the most disheartening words.

I think it a reflection of our present age — despite having been released nearly 15 years ago.

Turn it up.

Feet tappin, finger snappin, lyrical rappin, fist pumpin bass, beat and keys, now rush onto the dance floor, flesh pressed against flesh, everyone happy, free, boundless.

Listen to what is being said.

“Thank God for Mom and Dad for sticking through together cause we don’t know how.”

Dark.

A one line lyrical bomb dropped on the prevailing, prevaricating culture, the culture of now.

Mom and dad stuck it out, through good times and bad, but you know, even at this tender age, that you are too weak, too undisciplined, too fearful of the slightest emotional pain to stay together — as one.

“Oh, we’ve been together, but separate’s always better when there’s feelings involved.”

Feelings, true, honest, lasting, as soon as these arise — run! That’s what this playful, high energy song — doesn’t recommend, but reveals is what’s taking place.

As soon as it gets real, you run.

And the culture, today’s culture, sanctions this, enables this, promotes this.

Are you strong enough to defy?

Make yourself strong enough to defy.

Jesus remarked, in Luke, that: “just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.” 

Don’t get drowned in the flood.

The world doesn’t need your now but your future, not your joy but your strength, not your body but your spirit, not your alone but your togetherness.

You can make the world much better, just as you can make yourself much greater, even as everything the past has constructed demands you focus instead on this now, these desires, it’s appetite.

“Y’all don’t want to hear me, you just want to dance.”

BACK TO THE GARDEN

It’s hard to overstate how huge a transformation Star Wars The Last Jedi takes the whole Star Wars mythos. In the original trilogy, everything pivots around Leia. But now, the past is re-written, as is the future — critical, as these are the only two periods of time that ever matter. Everything has changed now in Star Wars. Luke is Jesus. Luke must die — for our salvation. Luke, now with everything changed, is the one that saved the Jedi order in the past, and now remakes it for the future.

We crave myths.

We believe superpowers exist — and they do — but not in us, though we dream they one day might.

Books, movies, these feed our need for myths. Rock music, less so.

I think of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida as maybe the closest we’ve come to mystical rock music mythos.

Heavy metal thunder.

Upon first listen: nothing before matters, everything from now will be different.

That’s a lot to stake upon the only hit song from Iron Butterfly. In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is timeless, peerless, its psychedelic metal sound revelatory of a future which, we must accept, never came. Guitar, organ, bass, vocals, drums, often in concert, sometimes in solo, this 17-minute, 20-or-so word song proclaims humanity at the dawn of a new age, one completely unlike the past, one not at all previously envisioned, filled with dark magic, seductive waypoints, and forever youth — in all its glory and failings. The song quickly takes us from the before time to its big bang, and from there the possibilities are revealed as not quite limitless but still plentiful.

The future beckons. “In the garden of Eden, baby, don’t you know that I’ll always be true.”

I wonder, can we return to the garden? Will the garden come to us?

These are idyl thoughts, the most human of all the thoughts.

Humans are rational creatures, admittedly, and possessing an insatiable ability to benefit from knowledge and learning. But this is not the same as possessing an insatiable ability to want to know and learn. Even in the 21st century, too many fail to recognize the chasm between the process and the gain.

Humans are rational creatures, true, but mostly not. Mostly, we are emotional, feeling, sensing.

We are rational not by choice but by necessity.

Never forget this!

That necessity is now going away.

Always stay mindful of this!

Just as we have outsourced our physical labors to the machines — nobody mills their own grain anymore, for example — now, at long last, we possess the ability to outsource our rational to the machines. Our machines will do our calculus, our remembering, our data accumulation, our indexing, our choosing, our thinking.

Freedom!

Emotion is our future.

Feeling is our future.

Crazy is our future.

I am not sure if that is how we get back to the garden, but I am sure it is our way onward.

Experts in pedagogy — a horrible word — continue to profoundly misunderstand reality and human composition. They continue to insist that non-rational, non-verifiable, clearly emotional-based responses from people on such “knowable” ideas as, say, how AIDS developed, or why the twin towers collapsed, or the impact of the movement of the stars upon our mood, exist because there is too much “fake news” or bogus sources or children aren’t being taught “logic” or their parents, derided as “evangelical” or “hippie,” prevent “the truths” from reaching these children.

Nonsense.

We have constructed a world where we have the freedom to believe in the non-rational, with each of us able to construct — like an artist — the worldview which best expresses our needs. Surprise! This is the zenith of a thinking, learning, progressive, tool-building human evolution.

The Pentagon, we have verified, and to nobody’s surprise, is spending millions of dollars to search for alien life and to uncover the truth behind various unexplained human – non-human encounters. This includes actual Air Force fighter jets chasing an unknown flying object.

Alien encounters? Maybe.

The Pentagon running psyops using our fear and fascination of aliens to set in motion something dastardly? Maybe.

Rational behavior? And?

Stop expecting humans to fully engage with the “facts” “logic” “evidence” “data” when our newest machines can do all of these better, faster, longer, bigger.

You’re being wrongly non-serious.

We can’t outpace our thinking machines, can’t recall more, certainly not faster, can’t absorb as many facts, can’t reach as many people with the data, and so the logical response is to accept that the rational — the “truth” — is the purview of computers, algorithms, AI, robots, and whatever comes next, while we increasingly embrace and feed those elements of our self which the machines can’t do better.

We are outsourcing the rational.

Fantastical is our future.

This is the dawning of the age of aquarius!

“Please take my hand.”

Here’s the Boney M version of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, suffused with a disco beat and electronic sensibilities. It’s not the equal of the original, but still great.

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