The Zeroes That No One Has Been Waiting For (Perceptual Warfare 26)

As the Tao the Ching has it:

And this is the fine art of “dimming” one’s light. According to this [set-up] the soft overcomes the hard; and the weak, the strong. Fish should be left in the deep pool, not taken away from water. And sharp weapons of the state should not be displayed, but left where nobody can see them. [36.2-3] The Tao never does; it takes no action. Through it everything is done, yet there’s nothing left undone. [37.1] The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world. The softest substance radiates through the hardest. Also, what’s most yielding can eventually overwhelm the hardest. Formless penetrates no-crevice; substanceless it can enter where there’s no space; all this could be not-yet-being entering and jostling non-space. [43.1]

The society that feels itself to be under attack, without being able to recognize the nature of the “attack,” feels compelled to victimize those most in need of its care, and to demonize innocents to obscure its own behavior, projecting it outward. That projection then becomes a form of justification. Kevin (We Need to Talk About Kevin) is the demonized child who kills America’s children, its precious future, its pathological dreams of democratic world conquest (it’s probably no coincidence that he uses arrows to do so, evoking the original victim of democracy, the Native American). But Kevin, the disowned, disenfranchised, demonic nightmare-child is America’s future. He is the final end product of a pathological culture that, like the Borg, knows only how to destroy everything unlike itself, to assimilate it and so continue expanding. A culture doesn’t live with its environment but off it. It is locked into a symbiotic, antithetical relationship with Nature in which it is driven to destroy the very thing that keeps it alive—like a child that slays its parents, or conversely, a parent that kills its child and thereby destroys its future. “Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.”[1] Each generation is culture-bound to bring about its own apocalypse.

A culture and a society that forms around a predatory relationship with its environment cannot experience in holistic or holographic terms. It has to maintain a clear sense of separation from that environment, between self and “other,” and perceive everything as friend, foe, or potential prey: us, or them. Those who are not with us are against us is perhaps the simplest summary of “the American Way,” but the autistic perceptual mode doesn’t ascribe to this view. It doesn’t, or can’t, make a clear distinction between self and environment; or if it does, it perceives no strong desire to draw a dividing line between them. It is part of a greater hologram. The irony and tragedy of this is that such an empathic, holistic way of seeing the world — from a cultural, tribal viewpoint (that of the neurotypical group mind) — is the ultimate “other.”[1]

But there is no self without the other; and the zeroes that no one has been waiting for — have been here all along.

[1] Matthew, 24:34

[2] Witness the current attempt by Internet giants like Google to ensure that all web users keep to a single user ID! It is perhaps no coincidence that the internet was largely designed by Aspergerians.

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