“People are hoping that Donald Trump gets arrested for conspiring with Russia and dragged off in chains and everything goes back to normal. People are hoping that President Trump drains the swamp, locks up Hillary Clinton, arrests most of Capitol Hill for child molestation, and destroys the Deep State. People are hoping there’s a violent revolution which restores individual sovereignty to the citizenry. People are hoping there’s a peaceful people’s revolution which ousts the ruling class and replaces the status quo with whatever their personal favored strain of leftism is. Everyone’s subconsciously looking for some big, momentous climax where the Good Guys are vindicated and the Bad Guys are brought to justice.
And it just isn’t going to go down like that.”
After struggling against our own self-destructive tendencies throughout the entirety of recorded history, humanity is now at a point where that struggle is probably going to be resolved, one way or another, within the lifetime of most people reading this.
The movie about this struggle has been written with one of two possible endings. In the first, we are unable to overcome our self-destructive tendencies, and the last of our species dies by radiation poisoning or choking on the dust of an uninhabitable planet. In the second, we evolve beyond our self-destructive tendencies and move into a healthy relationship with our minds, our ecosystem, and each other.
Neither of these two endings would work in a Hollywood blockbuster. In the first, humanity dies off not with a bang but with a whimper as a result of nuclear fallout or climate collapse. In the second, conflict and drama as we know it will cease to exist as we pull up and away from the self-destructive patterns which brought us to this point. We’ll either keep along this same destructive trajectory and meet its inevitable end very soon, or we’ll deviate from that trajectory into something wildly different. In either case, there is no kissing the girl while the credits roll, no coolly striding away from the explosion, and no spin-kicking the bad guy off a cliff into lava after uttering a short, memorable line.
I say this because it seems like a lot of people are kind of hoping for a Hollywood ending in some way. People are hoping that Donald Trump gets arrested for conspiring with Russia and dragged off in chains and everything goes back to normal. People are hoping that President Trump drains the swamp, locks up Hillary Clinton, arrests most of Capitol Hill for child molestation, and destroys the Deep State. People are hoping there’s a violent revolution which restores individual sovereignty to the citizenry. People are hoping there’s a peaceful people’s revolution which ousts the ruling class and replaces the status quo with whatever their personal favored strain of leftism is. Everyone’s subconsciously looking for some big, momentous climax where the Good Guys are vindicated and the Bad Guys are brought to justice.
And it just isn’t going to go down like that.
If you’ve paid much attention to human behavior throughout your life, you know that we reliably repeat the same patterns until there’s inner healing and personal growth. If you’ve experienced inner healing and personal growth, you know that the actual experience of it is generally anti-climactic. True healing is always a game of subtraction, and it moves in the exact opposite direction of the egoically satisfying mental narratives which Hollywood has grown so skilled at providing us. When true inner healing takes place, it doesn’t usually make for a good story, and its effects often go unnoticed for some time, because they are evidenced not in the addition of something new but in the subtraction of something old. You look at your memories of your old unwholesome behavior patterns and think “Hmm, how strange that I used to do that sort of thing!”
If humanity transcends its unwholesome patterns at the end of this movie, it’s going to happen in much the same way. Not in an egoically gratifying way where we see our most hated political figures punished and our own ideological preferences uplifted, but in the simple falling away of old patterns. If human consciousness evolves to the point where we can avert our own destruction, then it will necessarily have dropped the egoic patterns of fear, greed and negativity which kept us bound to our old destructive behaviors. Were that to happen, we’d probably struggle to even remember what we used to stress and rage about when looking at the state of our world.
Nothing else will do the trick. If we do come to some dramatic, egoically satisfying climax, like where all the oligarchs and warmongers are guillotined and their wealth distributed among the needy or whatever, then it isn’t the end of the movie. We have not arrived at a point where we’ve transcended our old patterns, we’ve just seen those old patterns manifest in a way which happens to be egoically pleasing to us in this particular instance. And we will soon see them manifest in ways which we find far from pleasing again.
We will not arrive at our happy ending unless we collectively heal away those old egoic addictions to drama and conflict. Even if we did somehow manage to create a utopia without healing away those old egoic addictions, it would be quickly destroyed and the countdown to doomsday restarted by the gnashing, looping patterns which brought us to the brink of extinction in the first place.
Because guess what? From the perspective of our current state of drama-addicted and conflict-addicted collective consciousness, a world without drama and conflict is dull and worthless. Those addictions will keep leading us toward our destruction until we shed them, if for no other reason than our psychological inability to live in a peaceful, harmonious world.
Are you able to live in a peaceful, harmonious world? A world that is boring to the ego and unsuitable for Hollywood scripts? When I look at the behavior of a lot of activists on social media, it seems like a lot of them fear an end to drama and conflict more than they fear the end of the world. It sounds funny to say, but I think this is legitimately the case for many people. Our addiction to drama and conflict is so strong and our ability to just be at peace in the here and now so weak that keeping things from becoming harmonious can feel like an existential life-and-death need. And we all know people who are strongly predisposed toward stirring up drama to feed that illusory need.
To be able to live in a peaceful world where we collaborate harmoniously with our ecosystem and our fellow humans, we’ll have to transcend our inability to simply be. To have a world where all human ingenuity is pointed at making the world a better place instead of inventing new ways to create landfill for mass consumption and new ways to kill and exploit each other, we’re going to have to have minds that are able to survive in an environment with a lot less conflict, and, once our ingenuity really gets going, a lot less work as well. Minds that can rest comfortably without frenetic busyness or drama. Such minds are currently rare among our species.
The reason there are so many Hollywood movies about dystopian futures and hardly any about utopian futures is because there is no drama and conflict in utopia. Hollywood movies bring in the big bucks by being egoically pleasing to watch; it’s ego candy to watch heroes kicking villains off cliffs, because we can place ourselves in the role of the protagonist and imagine ourselves emerging triumphantly from the drama and conflicts displayed on the screen.
This is why I refer to myself as a “utopia prepper”. In order to have a peaceful, harmonious world, we’re going to have to have minds that are receptive to such a thing. I consider cultivating such a mind to be the most important thing I do in paving the way for paradise on earth, abandoning all attachments to our old ways of operating and opening a path within myself for something new. This will necessarily happen among us all if we’re to see the happy ending of this movie, and if we do it won’t be spectacular. It won’t be egoically gratifying. We’ll simply cease engaging in unwholesome patterns in a very anti-climactic way, begin channeling our ingenuity into making the world a better place, and perhaps once in a while look back on history and think, “Hmm, how strange that we used to do that sort of thing!”
“The spectacle of neocons running rampant in his administration demonstrates that this president is not in control — the ruling elite and its cross-pollinated neocons and ‘humanitarian interventionists’ are.”
Donald Trump tells us he wants to put an end to forever war, but this doesn’t include Iran and Venezuela.
He wants to end the Bush wars, subsequently carried over by Obama, and start his own wars, one for Israel and the other for bankers and transnational corporations training a covetous eye on the world’s largest reservoir of oil.
None of this has anything to do with democracy. It’s about control of natural resources, gold, money, and populations. In the case of Iran, the objective is to topple the mullahs and install a neoliberal and Israel-friendly government.
Meanwhile Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have voted to keep troops in Syria and Afghanistan in direct violation of international law. The vast majority of Americans want an end to these wars, but consensus is no longer required, and is in fact scorned when it is noticed at all.
Congress does not represent the people, who are held in contempt by the ruling elite. Congress represents the interests of banks (as the “bailout” revealed), corporations, and in the military-industrial-surveillance complex. Like Macron and the French ruling class, the US ruling class has little interest in the compounded problems of the little people. They exist to be fleeced like dumb animals, which many have become.
Instead of realizing the source of their problems stem primarily from the actions of a corrupt crony capitalist government and the financial elite that own it, they run to the state for protection and redistributed goodies. This can be seen in the growing popularity of socialism among so-called millennials. Many are unaware of the fact mainstream socialist movements are controlled by the elite. Wall Street bankers funded both the Bolsheviks and the Nazis.
Trump’s ignorance and incompetence has allowed the elite to subvert and take control of his administration. Trump is surrounded by insiders, most notably neocons who opposed him during the election.
Trump’s inability to control his administration was more than obvious when the arch neocon Elliot Abrams, who vocally opposed candidate Trump, was selected to be the point man on the destruction of Venezuela. Considering Trump’s thin skin, the demands of his ego, and his willingness to fire those who either criticize his rule, it is unlikely he will ever be able to wrest control of his administration away from the insiders and neocons.
The spectacle of neocons running rampant in his administration demonstrates that this president is not in control — the ruling elite and its cross-pollinated neocons and “humanitarian interventionists” are.
“Genuinely wise, balanced, whole, and mature politicians are rare. Too many leadership choices are motivated by greed and fear and enabled by immaturity, paranoia, and lack of moral development. The politicians we have today are spiritually stunted and immature, yet despite this, they continue to get elected.”
Recent events seem to show our world being turned upside down. With political, ecological, economical and religious stress everywhere, we’ve been experiencing one crisis after another, with no end in sight.
Can anything good come out of this?
Although there is currently a wave of change occurring at a global scale, the natural state of human beings is one of crisis.
We are the only living beings (that we know of) that are aware of our own existence, of the changes we go through internally and externally, and how we expect the world should be. We are constantly in the process of going from the known toward the unknown, the familiar towards the unexpected. It’s no surprise that we are constantly in crisis, the crisis of being alive. We feel this crisis in our perpetual states of existential anxiety, tension, and anguish.
Why is Crisis Necessary?
Our basic spiritual desire to answer the questions “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” are born from the crisis of being alive and not knowing what on earth to do with ourselves.
At a fundamental level, we’re wired to dislike change because it is something we (the ego) can’t control. But our resistance to growth keeps us stranded in a state of stagnation. As a result of this inner stagnation, many of us try to fill this void with all kinds of distractions: work, material consumption, travel, food, socializing, movies, video games, and much more.
The truth is that this abyss within us is always here. But many of us refuse to face this void until we’re forced to, usually through a crisis of sorts.
Every great change in history has occurred in a period of crisis. From Martin Luther King’s revolution and Gandhi’s movement to the French Revolution, the most effective changes have come from the most intense periods of dissatisfaction.
And we’re in such a period right now.
With political and social instability on the rise, we’re starting to see the wide-reaching impacts of chaos and the way it breaks apart our old patterns and paradigms.
Have you ever noticed that when everything is static, we as a collective feel socially indifferent to any particular view? As a result, not much change is possible. But when chaos arises, change is not only inevitable, it is destined.
This is why crisis is actually a necessary force. Without it, we would be stuck rotting away in our ingrained habits, beliefs, and structures.
Rethinking our system and structures is expensive, and there are a whole bunch of people who are invested in preserving the status quo. This system is protected by wealthy elites armed with the power of law, privately owned media, large multinational companies, propaganda, the police force, and the army.
The only way that we, as the other “99%” can make a real, soulful change, is through the force of crisis. Crisis is the only thing that can motivate us enough to change the way we think, feel, and behave.
We have come to a point where a new vision is needed. It has never been needed as much as it is now. Not only is our Earth in an ecological crisis due to our abuse of it, we’re also experiencing a severe political crisis with untold future repercussions.
For these old foundations to dissolve, we must lay new foundations. But for the new to be born, there must be some birth pains. That’s what the crisis we currently face really is.
Why Our Political Leaders Are Immature
The history of politics in Western civilization is full of stories featuring power grabbing or, at best, well-intentioned but psycho-spiritually immature leaders.
Genuinely wise, balanced, whole, and mature politicians are rare. Too many leadership choices are motivated by greed and fear and enabled by immaturity, paranoia, and lack of moral development.
Perhaps our political system is a reflection of our society and education systems that teach us to contribute to the “common good” through self-interest. In our society there is little consideration or exploration of what the “good of the whole” might mean or exploring the primordial questions: “How should I live?” and “How should we all live together?”
Yet when we trace back to the origins of politics we realize how divorced it is from its original Socratic intention as the search for the ideal “good life.”
The good life for Socrates had two primary aspects: what he called “the improvement of one’s soul,” and on the other hand, there is the improvement of one’s society. This sort of Socratic knowledge was what he called wisdom.
This pursuit of wisdom cannot be simply legislated or bureaucratically enforced. The government is only an institution, human-made, and cannot provide the wise society that we seek.
Instead at the center of such a cultural and consciousness revolution must be a spiritual, intellectual and moral rebirth of ourselves as individuals; what Socrates disciple Plato referred to as “Periagoge,” or “a turning around of the soul” toward truth, beauty and good.
Why We Desperately Need Mature Action Right Now
The politicians we have today are spiritually stunted and immature, yet despite this, they continue to get elected. In the end, our leaders are a reflection of us as a society, and as a planet at large. Therefore, our social and ecological health are entirely dependent on our capacity as voters to do some intense soulwork, and go through a genuine process of human maturation.
Only once we have more matured Souls on this planet will we realize that “self-interest” actually includes the concern for other people because we are all interconnected.
The current state of our world brings great despair and anguish to all of us, this is especially true for the old souls with mature hearts among us who feel the rape of society and torture of the earth more intensely.
Mature action involves preserving and protecting all that is left while simultaneously exploring our inner selves and reconnecting to our Souls.
Whether it be political or charitable action, mature action must come from an inner place of humbleness, rather than from a place of “needing to do good” which can easily be tainted with all kinds of needs, such as self-gratification, power, and control — as is the case with so many politicians today.
“Scientific research has found that astronauts suffer problems with coordination, perception and cognition when they are unable to determine ‘which way is up’ in space. There is no ‘up’ or ‘down’ when you’re outside the gravitational pull that our bodies are adapted to, so its absence sends our whole system out of whack. Navigating a society that is made of mental narrative is very much the same; if you don’t know which way’s up, you’ll get lost and confused.”
Anti-establishment movements are a mess. Whether they’re left-wing or right-wing, whether they’re statist or anarchist, whether they’re organized or decentralized, whether they place emphasis on official or unofficial narratives, any circle of people who are interested in opposing the status quo on a deep, meaningful level almost invariably find themselves significantly bogged down by confusion, paranoia, infighting, and misdirected use of energy.
Every day, for example, I get people in my inbox and social media notifications telling me I shouldn’t quote or share anything from this or that lefty journalist or anti-establishment figure because they’ve said something “problematic” at some point or have some kind of association with some aspect of the establishment. Rather than simply using narrative-disrupting tools wherever they come from to fight the establishment narrative control machine, I’m encouraged to isolate myself to the extremely narrow spectrum of voices which agree with my exact worldview perfectly. This kind of paranoid, self-cannibalizing mentality is rife throughout most anti-establishment circles.
This happens for a number of reasons, including the fact that the ruling power establishment will infiltrate dissident movements that it perceives as a threat with the intent of sowing confusion and division. But the underlying reason anti-establishment circles so often find themselves getting crushed by their own weight is ultimately because life itself is confusing and difficult to understand.
Hardly anyone holds a lucid and steady awareness of just how much of society is comprised of mental narrative. Most people live their lives under the unquestioned assumption that when they are moving around in the world, speaking, acting, forming opinions, having ideas etc, they are interacting with something that resembles objective reality. The truth of the matter is that most of the things which draw people’s attention in their day-to-day experience, whether it’s names, titles, news stories, political parties, economics, history, philosophy, religion or what have you, consist entirely of mental noises firing off inside human skulls.
You might think it’s a big jump to go from chatting about the sociopolitical dynamics within dissident movements to making vaguely Buddhist-sounding observations about human thought, but it’s really not. The reason our species is in a mess right now, and thus the reason movements exist which seek to change the status quo, is because so much of life is dictated entirely by made-up mental narratives which can be easily controlled by the powerful, and hardly anyone fully grasps this. If they did, the revolution against the establishment would very smoothly and quickly succeed.
Scientific research has found that astronauts suffer problems with coordination, perception and cognition when they are unable to determine which way is up in space. There is no “up” or “down” when you’re outside the gravitational pull that our bodies are adapted to, so its absence sends our whole system out of whack. Navigating a society that is made of mental narrative is very much the same; if you don’t know which way’s up, you’ll get lost and confused. Before you can see the narrative matrix clearly, you might be aware that some narratives serve power and swat at them while you’re spinning through space, but you won’t have any solid ground on which to orient yourself for the purpose of forming a clear path forward toward a healthy and harmonious world.
Your first and foremost task as a revolutionary, therefore, is to find solid ground on which to plant your feet while operating within a swirling sea of narratives and counter-narratives. Without this you’ll find yourself expending energy on ineffectual agendas, chasing shadows, attacking friends and advancing the interests of the enemy as you stumble around trying to fight a threat you can’t even see clearly. You’ve got to figure out for yourself which way’s up.
The only way to do this is to turn inward and sort out your own mental narratives in your own experience. This takes a lot of dedicated work, because there are many layers of tightly believed narratives which dictate one’s perception of the world that most people aren’t even aware of.
As soon as we’re born we are given a name which has nothing to do with the nature of the slimy, screaming naked creature which came roaring thunderously alive out of the womb. We spend our childhood being told who we are in various ways by our family, then we go to school to get taught how to think like everyone else and get labeled good/smart or bad/stupid for the rest of our lives based on how well we dance that dance. Along the ride we pick up coping mechanisms to deal with the stress of this whole unnatural ordeal, many of which become extremely counterproductive unconscious habits in later years. We pick up likes and dislikes, interests and aversions, life philosophies, religious beliefs, societal beliefs, political beliefs, all of which come together to form our worldview.
Because the foundations of our entire worldview are formed in early childhood long before we’re mature enough to decide for ourselves what a useful foundation might look like, we wind up interfacing with life through this muddled, inefficient network of mostly unconscious mental and perceptual habits which don’t serve us very well. It is with this warped, endarkened tool that we interact with the vast sea of official and unofficial narratives we are presented with in our attempts to decipher what’s wrong with the world and how to fix it.
The path, then, is to unwind this whole confused, unconscious muddle of mental and perceptual habits until we get to the untarnished blank canvass of that powerful screaming baby who first met this wild world, and inhabit it consciously. That right there is our solid ground.
Who are you? Underneath the mental narratives about who you are? Underneath all the stories, labels and beliefs? Underneath the field of consciousness full of thoughts, sensory impressions and feelings? This is the most important inquiry that anyone can possibly engage in, and it is worthy of the entirety of your focus until it’s resolved.
All of these swirling, babbling thought stories have dictated our lives for as long as we can remember, but rarely does anyone sit down and start sorting out where they come from and if they’re useful. We lug around ancient mental narratives about life, about how we should be, about how other people should be, about the best ways to find happiness, about the best ways to avoid unhappiness, and we rarely consider the possibility that we can interact with life unencumbered by that heavy load.
If you want to find solid ground beneath your feet so that you can push effectively for a healthy world, you’ve got to question every assumption you’ve ever made about yourself and the nature of the world, even your very most fundamental assumptions, because it’s all narrative. As you turn your attention toward your essential nature and away from your churning, babbling mental habits, interest and attention will move away from mental narratives and toward the solid ground upon which they appear. The mind will relax and mental narrative will take on its proper role as a tool that can be used when it’s useful and set down when it isn’t, rather than the dominating feature of every minute of waking existence. Unhelpful mental habits can be discarded, and all attempts at narrative manipulation will stand out like a black fly on a white sheet of paper.
I can’t tell you how to do this. Everyone’s path to the heart of the fundamental matter is unique, and you can only travel it on your own. I can tell you that the answer does not exist in the realm of thought, and that it is closer to you than your own breath. Sincere, dedicated inquiry into your own true nature, on your own and in your own way, will lead you to the ground on which you must take your stand in order to fight the establishment narrative machine effectively.