“We have entered into an ‘Age of Entitlement’ and a ‘post-truth’ world that combine to form an unprecedented cultural movement where large portions of the public pursue self-interest and self-promotion above all things and truth is whatever you want it to be, where alternative facts are given equal standing with credible sources.”
These are the words of Peter K. Hatemi, professor at Penn State University and co-author of a new study on narcissism and politics conducted jointly between Denmark and the USA(1).
In these times of transition and turmoil, of information and disinformation, of social media and individualism, everybody wants to topple something, whether it’s the patriarchy, the liberals, the paedophiliac illuminati, the meat eaters, wall street, the military industrial complex or just the supporters of Inter Milan.
Echoes of the End of Days prophecies
We are seeing a lot of big things growing and developing in scope at astonishing speed, it is not lost on many people that what the world is experiencing contains echoes of the end of the world prophecies left to us by the Maya, the Hermetic Texts, the New Testament and so on.
Wars, pandemics, crazy weather, earthquakes and tsunamis, irregular solar activity, are certainly heralding significant change, everything is very fluid and uncertain, but where are we going?
Along with many things that excite me a lot about this age, I also feel deeply affected by the other side of the coin: the burning of the Amazon, the ramping up of exploitation against tribal cultures and their lands, and while the developing world is witnessing a rampage of exploitation against people and the resources of land and sea, here in the west is flowering a new golden age of bigotry, where unhinged people from both the left and the right are busy pushing for new types of censorship and promoting their own brand of dystopia and small-mindedness.
The war against those who think differently
The loudest ideas that circulate today in the public discourse in America and Europe, are in my view, pursued with the intention to silence other voices.
It would appear that social media has by and large fallen into the hands of the narrow minded as an instrument to bring about a golden age of name calling, cancel culture and character assassination, .
In the death of pluralism and the complete loss-of-sight of what’s really going on in our corner of existence, everybody is branded willy-nilly either sexist, communist, fascist, homophobic, a paedophile or a murderer.
There’s a great effort going on from many sides to suppress/show hostility towards people who don’t think, speak and act as they command.
Do we need a revolution?
There are many groups today who are demanding some form of revolution.
Some want a world with more guns, others one with less guns, others want a feminist world, others still want a world with more power to the people.
Like many today, I also would like to see a revolution, but of a very different nature than all the loudmouths of this tragi-comic age are proposing.
I want to see a world with many times as much consciousness and awareness, that’s the revolution I would like to see.
The serious worldwide lack of these two all-important factors is the obstacle that stands in the way of any form of revolution.
A revolution by whom?
The world we live in today is being manifested by people.
It’s the people who are electing a certain type of politician, even though they know their CVs.
It’s the people who are asking for the products of certain companies and countries, even though they know their practices.
Their countless shareholders are also people. They definitely are pushing in the direction of “more of the same”.
It’s the people who decide what they’re open to and what they’re closed to, the vibe of every day society is up to them.
The commute to and from work has a vibe that is decided by people, likewise with the vibe of the high street and that of Twitter.
Collectively they create what Don Miguel Ruiz calls The dream of the world.
They are unaware of what they are creating of course, because they don’t realise the full cause and effect chain of their choices and behaviour, so consequences show up that many didn’t want.
Nevertheless, this state of affairs isn’t being imposed on people by the powers that be, people are (unwittingly) asking for it to be this way.
The mechanism by which they do so is also quite clear. It’s to do with the polarity of phenomena and their hidden side, but we’re not going to explore that in this article.
Even though I’m sure nobody consciously asked for it, we live in a world where positive energies can be stifled and negative energies encouraged.
Far from being the only world possible, I feel that we live in a world like the one described by this passage from the Hermetic Texts:
O Egypt, Egypt, of thy religion nothing will remain but an empty tale, which thine own children in time to come will not believe, nothing will be left but graven words, and only the stones will tell of thy piety.
And in that day men will be weary of life, and they will cease to think the universe worthy of reverent wonder and of worship.
And so religion, the greatest of all blessings, for there is nothing, nor has been, nor ever shall be, that can be deemed a greater boon, will be threatened with destruction; men will think it a burden, and will come to scorn it.
They will no longer love this world around us, this incomparable work of God, this glorious structure which he has built, this sum of good made up of things of many diverse forms, this instrument whereby the will of God operates in that which he has made, ungrudgingly favouring man’s welfare, this combination and accumulation of all the manifold things that can call forth the veneration, praise, and love of the beholder.
Darkness will be preferred to light, and death will be thought more profitable than life, no one will raise his eyes to heaven, the pious will be deemed insane, and the impious wise, the madman will be thought a brave man, and the wicked will be esteemed as good.
As to the soul, and the belief that it is immortal by nature, or may hope to attain to immortality, as I have taught you, all this they will mock at, and will even persuade themselves that it is false.
No word of reverence or piety, no utterance worthy of heaven and of the gods of heaven, will be heard or believed.
And so the gods will depart from mankind, a grievous thing!
And only evil angels will remain, who will mingle with men, and drive the poor wretches by main force into all manner of reckless crime, into wars, and robberies, and frauds, and all things hostile to the nature of the soul.
Then will the earth no longer stand unshaken, and the sea will bear no ships, heaven will not support the stars in their orbits, nor will the stars pursue their constant course in heaven, all voices of the gods will of necessity be silenced and dumb, the fruits of the earth will rot, the soil will turn barren, and the very air will sicken in sullen stagnation.
After this manner will old age come upon the world.
Religion will be no more, all things will be disordered and awry, all good will disappear(2).
In the text, Hermes goes on to prophesise that eventually, the continuation of the supercycle will bring about a restoration of all that is good, following this descent into darkness, but I have a question that returns to the theme of the article:
As things stand, who’s meant to carry out the revolution that will supposedly fix everything?
The overwhelming percentage of people who are manifesting the world the way it is already?
Or would it be by a select few who think they know better? And if they know better surely they know that most revolutions have resulted in the same (or worse) crap with different packaging?
Can this premise ever lead to something good?
Or is it a complete waste of energy and a fraud?
We don’t need a new world model that panders to the interests of a new elite, we’ve already got (and arguing about) one.
With the people of today, you get the world of today, so for the world of tomorrow to become reality, the only way is for the people of today to evolve into the people of tomorrow, by learning and by shedding the ignorance, the mental blockages and the poison at the individual level, that subsequently shows up at the society level.
That’s the sort of revolution I am fully behind: one where the individual grows up.
One where people stop wanting destruction and start being interested in their own evolution, it’s a process that can begin today if people want it, there are no obstacles other than ourselves.
The existential journey perspective
Earlier I asked where are we going in these fluid and uncertain times?
Seen in the context of the existential journey, these times begin to look differently.
The existential journey is something quite a bit broader and profound than the normal scope of our perspective and that begins infinitely before man and ends infinitely after. It’s the journey of matter evolving into spirit.
From that perspective, the human soul that we share is going through a transformation phase, it’s being cooked up by a myriad factors, including actual physical forces like fluctuations of the sun’s activity and of the earth’s magnetism.
Humanity today is going through some form of adolescence, a time when hidden phenomena are not well understood, and neither are the potential of one’s actions and their ramifications.
A time when the dark depths of the subconscious are exploding in emotional turmoil but the child/humanity isn’t yet very good at self-observation.
Just like when the adolescent is beginning to get the freedom to go where mum and dad can’t keep watch, into the real world, a world that is playing with live ammunition, it’s a very dangerous and tumultuous time for humanity.
Eventually, adolescence will pass and if humanity has the good fortune of surviving it, it will reach its apotheosis in what Joseph Campbell calls “The Hero’s Journey”.
The sad clown will die and will be reborn in glory as Horus-Ra.
Just like when a person eventually grows out of adolescence and begins to value the life and the people he has, we will eventually begin to value what’s important: peace, health, our planet, etc.
However, as inevitable as this process is, it will probably take a very long time.
By the reckoning of the Vedic tradition of the Yugas, it’ll be another 2000 years from now before what we call common sense becomes actual common place.
So what do we do in the meantime?
Deep inside, we all know that we can have a better world if humans use their power for good, but it’s not just a question of choice. It’s a question of choice, personal development and consistency.
Compassion is not a trivial thing, it can only arise naturally when one has become a giant in the face of her problems.
It’s easy to be compassionate when your wellbeing is unassailable, it then becomes easy to see that the world is full of beings walking the path to their own wellbeing and it’s beautiful the way it is.
When your cup is full, it’s easy to switch from being defensively individualistic to wanting to help others.
In a world where villainous energies only manage to charm a few people, it won’t make a difference, but if everybody wants to be a villain like today, you’re hard pressed to wish for a non-villainous world.
A life dedicated to seeking personal evolution, to seeking inner strength as a project to be sponsored by the whole universe, is in my opinion is the most important thing to do.
If/when you change your own vibration to one of love, freedom, independence and tolerance, you become love, freedom, independence and tolerance.
In my opinion that’s more contagious than being egotistic, which is very contagious in itself.
There’s no need to try and change society. Change yourself and society will change itself.
If you want to change the world, your actions have full relevance only on your personal level.
For an individual to change something at the society level, one either has to catalyse a sentiment and realisation that is already in the hearts of everybody, be a cosmic power, a saviour, or ultimately fail.
I don’t believe in saviours other than the man in the mirror and most of all I don’t believe we need saving from anything more dangerous than our own immaturity and lack of conscious awareness and, as the Buddha would put it, our own unskilful minds.
Most people want to change the world because it’s annoying the proverbial out of them.
Don’t be most people, negation is a negative motivation for action.
The revolution we need is billions of people dedicating themselves to personal evolution and to accepting(3) the world as it is.
It’s a work in progress, like all of us.
(1). Narcissism in Political Participation – Zoltán Fazekas, Peter K. Hatemi
(2). Hermetica – Brian P. Copenhaver – Cambridge University Press; (2008)
(3). This includes fighting, but only as a specific action for a specific situation, not a chronic rejection of the world.