“You call me paranoid; I call you uninformed.” Anonymous
What are the chem trails marring the beauty of our internal skies? How are we frakking our own nervous systems and justifying it as “the way things are”?
What would be a truly revolutionary act in our own lives? Giving up sugar or caffeine? Allowing our vulnerability to show with others and risking being rejected or exploited? Taking a week off work to attend to our own long-denied needs?
Is worrying about global problems which we are powerless to solve a convenient way to avoid seeing a more local and immediate crisis within our own lives and bodies? If we simply accept the global crisis as it is and let it be, might it provide vital clues to figuring out what we can do to help the whole system return to balance?
We may be surprised to discover that our own little part isn’t so little, once we scale it correctly to fit our own lives.
I have a column to write. It’s about paranoid awareness and how the feeling of living in an “end-times”—a period of massive and catastrophic change—can be managed.
The trouble is, for me it’s become so instinctive that it’s mostly unconscious, so how to describe something that’s unconscious?
I first decided I was living in the end times at about twenty. A couple of artworks (Alan Moore’s Watchmen, Talking Heads’ Naked album) combined with a New Age channeled work, The Starseed Transmissions, was all it took. I spent years reading books and wrote a few of my own. I believed everything and nothing. The only thing I was sure of was that things were not the way I’d been led to believe. That, and that something BIG was coming.
I never stockpiled weapons or filled a basement with canned goods. I was always sure I’d be guided to the right place at the right time to survive the Apocalypse. I was one of the chosen few, vouchsafed the special knowledge and insight, not only to survive but to help usher in the New Aeon.
Back then (the late 80s and 90s) I was in the relative minority. Now everyone and their dogs are expecting the end to come and many of us have become cynically bored with the whole thing.
How quickly things change, yet how much they stay the same.
I no longer think I am living in the end times—not because there’s less evidence of it than before (on the contrary), but because I no longer feel qualified to have much of an opinion about it. Information is only as good as its source, and I know next to nothing about most of the sources for the information I am getting, and which I have absorbed over the years, about the world and everything in it.
There’s only one end I am sure of: my own. Those are the end times I’m trying to manage. Aren’t we all?
What’s the difference between awareness and paranoia? First of all, increasing awareness often leads to paranoia, the discovery that there really is a “Them,” out to get us, that there are hidden agendas, dark forces, global conspiracies. It’s all real!
That’s the first stage I went through, which lasted roughly twenty years. Very early on I realized that the dark forces which I deduced (was informed) were at work (or play) in the world were so far beyond human comprehension that paralysis and despair seemed the only “sane” response to them. Either that or getting out a megaphone and trying to wake people up to the “truth” in order to feel less alone, less powerless. I didn’t use a megaphone but I wrote a couple of books and did a series of podcasts called “Stormy Weather: News from the Front Line in the End Times.” I used a pseudonym, Aeolus Kephas, just to be on the safe side.
I was never a follower of the David Icke/Alex Jones school of “awareness-raising.” A literal interpretation seemed like a mistake to me. Paranoid awareness means recognizing that not just society but reality itself (what we take for it) is a deadly trap for consciousness. Like in the movie They Live or The Matrix, the world is what’s been pulled over our eyes to keep us from seeing the truth: that we are slaves.
The conundrum of paranoid awareness is that, if what we take for reality is an illusion, then any understanding we try to apply within that illusion must also be illusionary. The idea of a matrix has been generated inside of and by the matrix, so is not to be trusted.
Every statement is a lie, including this one.
How much does it really help to spread awareness, if that awareness only leads to paranoia, which leads to helplessness and despair?
On the brighter side, I discovered over time how becoming informed about parapolitical and occult “realities” led to a deepening of self-awareness. This was a necessary discovery, because paranoia that didn’t lead to deeper self-awareness took me in the other direction, into a sort of stupor, like watching B-movies all day long. It was a huis clos, a dead-end.
The world, with all its hidden agendas, dark forces, and malignant conspiracies, definitely seems like a problem. But is it? It’s not a problem in the same way that, say, having no water and a lot of dirty dishes is a problem. The world is mostly just a collection of statistics, very few of which we can confirm for ourselves.
Paranoid awareness means testing everything and trusting in nothing—not even in our own senses (though that’s the best place to start). It means recognizing we know next to nothing about anything.
Paranoid awareness says there’s one thing we know with absolute certainty, and that’s that something is happening and we don’t know what it is. Perception is happening but we have no idea how. That’s it. That’s all we can say for sure. Every other so-called “fact” can be tested and found to be an assumption supported by the uninformed acceptance of a hundred other assumptions as “facts.”
The belief in global warming depends on the assumption that we live on a planet floating in space, which is something almost none of us have verified for ourselves The idea that some people have verified it, and that we have photos to prove it, is also an assumption. And so on.
Paranoid awareness involves recognizing that the ground which we thought we were standing on, isn’t. That it’s more like extremely thin ice, rapidly cracking underneath us.
Einstein said you can’t solve problems with the same thinking that created them. I would go a step further and say that every problem ever created is the result of trying to fix some other problem.
The machinery of parapolitical (conspiratorial) workings is a close match for the inner workings of the human ego, which is what makes it useful, and potentially liberating, to understand parapolitical realities. It’s also how paranoid awareness can lead to self-awareness.
A lot of informed (“paranoid”) people today have a tendency to see what’s happening in the world, both covertly and overtly, as a problem. My advice is to see it instead as information to be used. The question is, how?
I’m not what you’d call an activist. I don’t believe in trying to bring about social change, or even in “saving” the environment. Firstly, I’m not sure there’s necessarily anything wrong with the way things are. Secondly, I have smaller fish to fry—my own, the ones already in my pan. Why would I try to fix society’s problems when I don’t have the first idea what they are? At least if I start with what I recognize as my own problems, I have a chance of identifying them correctly.
Popular wisdom is that collective problems, by definition, are everyone’s problems. But my problem isn’t bad water or filthy air, or even crappy food products in the local store. My problem, mainly, is trying to identify my authentic needs from phony, artificially induced ones, and live my life accordingly.
As within, so without. If there is a collective crisis facing the species, it can only be because we haven’t dealt with, or even recognized, our own internal crises as individuals. So says I.
We are all living in the end times, seeing (or refusing to see) our own impending personal Armageddon and Judgment Day bearing down on us like a freight train.
We only have a limited time to deal with that awareness, to “make good,” make peace, do the necessary preparations to leave this world at least somewhat better than we found it.
There is a lot of talk about “Earth awareness.” How we as responsible human beings need to protect the planet from destructive political policies, insane economic agendas, and corrupt corporations. But each human being is an individual piece of the Earth. Isn’t it logical to suppose we can only take care of the planet exactly as far as we take care of our own pieces of it, namely, our bodies? What if this is all we really need to do?
The way we live includes (especially?) what we tell ourselves about ourselves. We are continually programming our bodies with our thoughts, feelings, and acts. If we go along with the social norm and act friendly to people we’d rather not even look at, if we say what we don’t mean, suppress our deeper selves, all day long just to get along, isn’t this the same as supporting a political and economic system destroying the environment? I don’t see any difference, except for one: my own behavior is something I can do something about.
This doesn’t mean environmental slash paranoid awareness isn’t helpful; only that any actions that stem from it have to start with our immediate environment, the body. What are the myriad ways we unscrupulously use our bodies and pollute them with the unnecessary products of our thoughts and feelings? What about the ways we impede the flow inside us by filling our bodies and minds with “waste” material (crappy diet, alcohol, cigarettes, junk TV shows and movies), depleting our own individual natural resources?
Negative thoughts and feeling that aren’t allowed expression, or that are expressed destructively. Don’t they also create toxins that build up inside the body and eventually come out in symptoms—as crisis?
The internal structures of our socially conditioned identities (EGOS!) may be the exact equivalent to the unethical corporations which we despise so much for exploiting the Earth. Before pointing out the mote in our leaders’ eyes, better pull out the beam from our own. He who is without sin cast the first stone.
The idea of End Times Management is simple but radical: what if the aberrant behaviors and destructive agendas “ruining the Earth” have a useful function for us as individuals? What if they are reflecting back at us our own distortions? Suddenly, the supposed enemy becomes an ally and paranoid awareness becomes self-awareness, and we didn’t have to “do” a thing about it. Except one thing: look.