Perhaps the reason every Hamlet wants to be a clown is that he knows it is closer to the truth of the human experience. What is art but evidence of human folly at its finest? Traveling into one’s unconscious to find inspiration for conscious expression can only ever backfire horribly. This is perhaps the only kind of success an artist can hope for–a horrible backfire by which the unconscious replaces the conscious, that is, becomes conscious, at the cost of the part which was previously conscious, or thought it was. Effective art is the destruction of the supposed self creating the supposed “art.” Which reminds me of the quote someone posted at my podcast page recently:
“Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our
traditions, ever reminding us to place principles
The Tao that can be named is not the true Tao; the artist who can be recognized is not a true artist (though s/he may be on the way to that). A flower is that which is one with the flow, and hence can never be picked. You cannot step in the same unconscious process twice, so why try?
It has been a while since I posted at the blog. A few words may be in order about why I do what I do (besides simply calling it compulsion and leaving it at that).
Conspiracy theory is preoccupied with the controlling elite. The controlling elite are supposedly driven by a desire for wealth and power and are essentially psychopathic (whatever that means). This may be true of Hilary or Trump; it may even be true of the shadow individuals behind Hilary & Trump; but how many layers do we have to penetrate before we reach something approaching a true ruling elite, and not merely their handmaids and foot soldiers?
While I have not (knowingly) met any of these individuals, and without speculating as to the existence of old seers, dark sorcerers, and/or reptilian overlords, this hypothetical hidden über-elite do not appear to me to be driven by a goal of wealth or worldly power (since they already possess it), but by something deeper and darker, but also, more nuanced (less obviously psychopathic).
By definition we can’t identify these hidden über-controllers, much less psychoanalyze them, but we do have a class of cultural elite who are very much visible to us and may be instrumental in extending and maintaining the power structures, such as they are, even while ostensibly claiming to want to challenge them. This elite-intelligentsia class may not be included in what we think of as the 1% in terms of wealth, yet their influence is observably more far-reaching than many of the more obvious power-players. These cultural leader types have been the focus of much of my attention as a writer and podcaster recently: more visible elite social engineers who are often indistinguishable from our cultural heroes, characters such as Aleister Crowley, George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley, Timothy Leary, Gregory Bateson, Margaret Mead, Gore Vidal, Richard Dawkins, Arthur C. Clarke, and Whitley Strieber, to name just a few who can be directly tied, either to social engineering programs or to organized sexual abuse, or both. Such characters may or may not participate (sometimes perhaps unwittingly) in an ongoing cultural conspiracy for dominance, via not force but persuasion. The few that can be identified and named are, I now strongly suspect, the tip of a cultural iceberg that has pretty much sunk the Titanic of our individual and collective soul-connection (our capacity for discernment), and they have done so via a kind of cultural colonization of our consciousness, using every last sphere of influence, whether religious, scientific, magical, artistic, political, or spiritual.
Some would say this makes me paranoid, or at least overly suspicious. Not just “ordinary” people but perhaps especially the more sophisticated, cultural leader-y types (some of whom I have had on my podcast), people like James Kunstler, Erik Davis, John Michael Greer, Christopher Knowles, Jeffrey Kripal, and countless others, would I am sure tell me I am exaggerating or even confabulating by suggesting such a thing. Some of them might be lying, but at least some of them would be sincere in their skepticism. When you are a fish, it is very, very hard to reject water. It seems like suicide.
Yet in a way, my current perspective is the opposite of paranoia, since such a far-reaching and deep-running “conspiracy” effectively implicates every last one of us, so there is no “them” left standing. From such a (post-paranoia) viewpoint, all conspiracy theory is woefully naive in imagining external groups pulling strings (though these do exist), because manufacturing the values, beliefs, and narratives which we adopt, from birth on, and which we use to navigate reality, means that we, ourselves, are conspiring, with every breath and word, to oil and polish the golden bars imprisoning our souls, yea and verily, unto the ages. Not a pretty picture, one that makes potentially futile every last attempt to understand the nature of our imprisonment.
And to be sure, none of this prevents me from enjoying my cat, but it is interesting to consider nonetheless.
When I talk about people who would dismiss this perspective as implausible in the extreme, a generalization that cannot possibly be backed up by specific evidence, I am perhaps really only giving voice to a part of my own psyche that continues to doubt the same evidence I am presenting. Every public figure is deceiving us? Yes, but also No! There are the specifics and then there are the generalities we make from them, and generalities are always premature. To have an opinion, one must overlook something. We enter a discussion bringing with us the generalities we have been indoctrinated to believe, such as the generality that most individuals, artistic or otherwise, are acting relatively independently and are motivated by similar things as ourselves. Or we slowly adopt another generality that is the reverse of this, that all public figures are implicated in hidden agendas and dark practices, etc. It’s way easier to argue generalities than specifics, since the former are finite and the latter aren’t. We could get into why we think any given individual is a devious cultural engineer and lay out all the evidence (as I did with Strieber), but though this would be the more fruitful approach, it also takes a helluva lot longer.
On the other hand, the generalities we end up subscribing to are either ones we have been indoctrinated with (making them, to my mind, worthless), or they are based on our own research, experience, investigation, and discernment, and hence of great value to ourselves, at least as temporary stepping stones from one side of the river (total social indoctrination) to the other, where enlightenment, if such a thing exists, awaits us.
Arguments about generalities are generally (!) philosophical ones. Discussions about specifics are more about facts and factoids and our interpretations of them, such as my ongoing arguments with people about whether the information we have about Aleister Crowley indicates complicity with organized sexual abuse and/or ritual murder, whether Whitley Strieber has CIA connections and his alien abduction experiences the earmarks of dissociative trauma states plus mind control, and so on. The obstacle that arises then is that it appears as though I am attempting to blacken the name of cultural figures and accuse them of all sorts of wrongdoings, and/or that I am exploring the question of moral corruption or evil, when in fact, I am only trying to get to the bottom of our social reality, where the truth is concealed. If what I uncover appears to us as evil, then the world itself is evil, and so are we complicit with that evil. Sorry, but them’s the breaks.
I had an insight today thinking about how what I am learning about widespread organized and ritual abuse indicates that the entire social fabric is not what it appears to be, is essentially malign. It occurred to me that, while most people (even those who recognize the reality of widespread organized ritual abuse) are reluctant to reach such an all-condemning conclusion, when it comes to individuals, that is exactly how most people react. When the truth came out about Jimmy Savile, very few people argued that he had also done many good things and so we should not judge him only for his evil acts. The fact he had committed terrible wrongs cancelled out the apparent goodness of his other actions. There was no attempt to weigh the good against the bad and decide if, overall, he might be more good than bad, or an even blend of the two, and so reserve judgment about Savile, the man. One act of the sort of depravity Savile is now infamous for is enough to condemn him in our eyes. Yet Savile was only behaving the way countless others were and are behaving and was protected by a social system, a social reality, that secretly condones the very same acts it overtly condemns. This same society is not now seen as beyond redemption or as in need of total condemnation. It is enough to condemn Savile, totally, and, while expressing some concerns about the society that spawned him, more or less continue to put our trust and faith in that same society. Savile is not so much a genuine boogeyman as a very effective scapegoat. Condemning him as evil is necessary to maintain the notion that society is generally good.
There is a widespread but I think atavistic belief in evil as an independent force that unifies both the religious and the secular point of view. To me, evil can’t be talked about as anything but a side effect of being and acting unconsciously for too long a period, over too many generations. It is denial that has become endemic, corrosive, malignant. But denial is everywhere, and rather than exploring the question of evil, I’m interested in examining the evidence of widespread complicity with things we consider evil, a complicity that permeates our social reality and, once uncovered, more or less invalidates everything we think we know about it, and about ourselves. Jimmy Savile is one such a lens, but only if we remember two things: that his power to commit evil was entirely dependent on the society that empowered him; and that we, as the British public who supported his celebrity, were indispensable to that bestowing of power. (If you aren’t British, substitute Bill Cosby, Woody Allen, or whoever.)
If there is such a thing as conscious, willed “evil” (such as most of us want to attribute to Savile), it pertains to participation in darkly destructive practices for a specific, conscious end. I would guess that it is a spiritual end (immortality, say) rather than a mundane one of wealth and status, and that such individuals are pursuing goals and practicing principals that are quite foreign, even incomprehensible, to most of us. At the other end of this spectrum there is the unconscious, undirected, and unintentional “evil” of what I presume must be the majority of humanity, those of us who have been roped into these agendas by being birthed through and weaned on a culture deliberately created by these groups. It’s the area in-between the two ends of this spectrum of social evil that interests me. I feel as though I have lived my life close to the agendas being perpetrated yet unaware of them, that I have unwittingly aligned with them, aspired to ends instilled in me by them, and suffered unduly as a consequence of an unconscious alignment with “evil.” For me to explore this material then is to live an examined life. It is a seed-sorting process: to identify what is truly the “I,” of the Soul and separate its pure, clear signal from the noise of what is not-I, a blind that is of the world and that has been organized (or self-organized) to simulate the soul-signal, and lure me into a seeming infinity of dead-ends.
Of course it is not enough to say (to oneself), “It is all lies!” or “Everyone who is anyone is part of the psychopathic elite!” and so on. This only leads to subjugation to another generality. One has to see the specifics of it, time and again, until it becomes a lived experience of that “conspiracy” that is not only all around us but all through us. What happens then? I don’t know. A letting go into the morass of evil? A relaxed and even amused submersion into and absorption by that which is most abhorrent to us? The shadow that is the soul, seen from a backwards I?
This is “Neti Neti,” not this, neither that. It is the spiritual path at a pragmatic, mundane level, a process of recognizing that every element within my environment has an equal potential to deceive me as to guide me, that, seen as apparent individual agents, these elements are always deceptive, and that it is only when they are seen as part of a larger, conscious design that they can be recognized as reflections of my own unconscious struggle to become conscious. All of this preoccupation with apparent artists and cultural pioneers being implicated in a dastardly plot for world domination is of course my own shadow, and world domination itself is a poor man’s–or a tragic hero’s, or a clown’s–substitute for the mastery of one’s own attachments to externals. The false individuation through violence of the psychopathic clown is a futile attempt to conquer the world rather than to surrender to the world and so overcome the socially installed “evil” (our world-allegiance) within us.
Ironically, this makes a close observation of false individuation the ideal means to a true individuation. We are whatever is left once we have rejected all that is not-us. We are whatever way is left open to us, once we have uncoupled from the way of the world.
This is why Hamlet must play such close attention to Falstaff, even if, unfortunately, tragically, they are never found in the same performance.
 These thoughts were first expressed in the comments section at an online discussion of an essay by Brian George, “The Snare of Distance and the Sunglasses of the Seer,” Part Two
 This peculiar last line was perhaps an expression of the author’s desire to be less Hamlet, and more Falstaff, and be true to the principle that comedy is a more accurate repression* of reality than tragedy. If so, he of course failed, pathetically, and was a fool to try. Ha ha! [* Meant to read “expression,” but the typo was too interesting not to leave in.]