Too much in formation, or the death of enchantment

What do you think will happen to you when you die (aside from cremation, interment or entombment)? This question rarely comes up in public. Our death-phobic West avoids the subject. Too modern to fear God, we dread oblivion instead, enough that we’d prefer to dwell in a self-made hell to defer the unknown. Habitually living as if half dead already, too many folk aren’t fully conscious at death, let alone beyond it. But imagine if you were… What version of death would you want?

Because what we want is the bottom line, our top priority in the West. Capitalism keeps asking that question, while making tempting (if empty) suggestions. And the more we tell it, the more it tries to sell us: Would you like fries/popcorn/cream/an endless stream of cute memes with that? Capitalism won’t fat-shame you, it just expands its plus-size range and panders to your appetites (which it had a hand in whipping up). Can-do, slaphappy, crap-filled, corrupting, culture-cancelling capitalism…

It keeps on asking us what we want even if no-one else gives a toss. When was the last time some campaign or company sent you a survey? Five minutes ago? And these relentless, inquisitorial, personal-data-gathering questions lull many subjects into the fantasy that their answers actually matter. But all these surveys are just a diversion. So why not forgo this fake flattery and forget our precious preferences for long enough to ask a few questions ourselves?

Like, what does capitalism want? And what does giving it cost us? Because, let’s face it, at the end of each 24-hour day, capitalism is faring better than we are. For starters, it doesn’t need sleep. The less downtime for us, the more profits it reaps. Need coffee to keep up? You’re welcome, says Starbucks; service with a siren smile on its disposable cups. Need pain relief, sedation or entertainment to unwind? Pfizer, Netflix etc. can’t wait to oblige. Capitalism uses our stress, pain, exhaustion, boredom, loneliness and depression to sell us ever more products so it can swell to yet huger proportions – a planet-sized abscess ripe to be lanced. What would it take to drain it? Wouldn’t we drown in a deluge of pus? And hey, who can afford to pull the plug? We all need a job, a pension, sponsorship. Which reminds me… Notice who sponsored the latest Grammys? But let’s forget about pseudo-music so bad that it seems designed to reverse the upward flow of your kundalini and stifle your life force, and get back to the question of how you’d want death and its aftermath to be…

Or does that depend on the meaning of ‘you’, as in soul vs. ego? The soul has been debunked by Science, and the ego is a fragile construct, liable to collapse under pressure. ‘You’, in this inauthentic culture, can change its identification from one update to the next. Better, then, not to think of death, but of how you’ll be commemorated… Dismembered by hyper-digital capitalist conditions, then remembered in emoji-studded posts on social media or in the minds of mourning, maundering loved ones. But meanwhile, who can you turn to for guidance re what goes down when you die? Science will give a vastly different answer to a priest. But no: we’ve anointed biologists with divine authority. Our spiritual advisers are scientists and doctors. Ergo, life must be preserved at all costs: sacrifice quality, wave bye-bye to autonomy. Speaking of which…

Despite brisk business-as-usual rhetoric (amid calls for a ‘reset’ from an opportunistic elite), a malign and widespread contagion has hastened the slide of our civilisation over the last three+ years. Transmissible without human contact, defying hand sanitisers and masks, spanning oceans and landmasses in one click, destroying old allegiances, ravaging reason… This scourge is fear, its seeds sown by the mainstream media for Big Tech/Pharma to harvest. Fear, mystified in the underground media as ‘mass formation psychosis’ (jargon on par with ‘polymerase chain reaction’), has made an obscenely rich few far richer and a vast poor underclass poorer, while creating even more waste: masks and PPE, vax vials and syringes, pizza boxes, styrofoam cups, plastic packaging etc. And the masquerade isn’t over yet.

But why co-opt the word psychosis? To beat the system at its own game? Most medical terms for altered states borne by humans for millennia without psych intervention serve the mental-health profession more than its highly suggestible patients. A surgeon can remove a tumour without having had one because the task is purely mechanical. But the psyche is far subtler than any machine. Trauma tends to precede misfiring brain chemistry, so empathy gained from having been there has more potential to heal. In days of yore, insanity spelled evil enchantment – the gods made men (or women, or other gendered identities) mad. And when one God displaced them, demons got blamed, so exorcists, with their chants and charms, became the new shamans. Today, we bow to Medicine, which wields its power by naming: ritual diagnosis to banish uncertainty, even if relief is just psychological because the knowledge confirms that suffering, with or without a cure, will follow. Of course it can also curse if a prognosis is terminal and final days measured lengthwise vs. depth-wise. Yet to name is to tame, and so the patient, after submissively waiting, can undergo chemical/surgical treatment or palliation.

Psychosis: an umbrella term for a plague of classifications so vague that they often overlap, as Medicine stands outside looking in, not through the windows of the soul but the lenses of its unblinking equipment. Effecting miracle cures with implants, transplants, prosthetics etc., reversing cruel acts of fate and revising errors made by nature, challenging the spectre of death in its quest for the grail of immortality while leaving a grisly trail of collateral damage, Medicine gains power through mass fear and ignorance, whether or not it delivers.

And Big Tech is on a mission to enforce and compound this ignorance through censorship of dissent, endless mind-numbing repetition of officially sanctioned ‘facts’ preferentially ranked to seize and hold your attention before it can stray from the beaten track and stumble across alternatives to the establishment narrowtive narrative. Unwitting (or uncaring) beneficiaries of countless products tested on animals, we too are captive lab rats trained to chow down on pellets of ‘information’ calibrated to keep us docile and functioning in predictable ways – the better to control the outcomes of planet-wide experiments. A paranoid narrative? Been there, done that – way back in the ’80s. And since that brutal initiation, I’ve ever so slowly gotten saner, only to observe the world rapidly getting crazier.

Young children and psychotics share at least one notable feature: both dwell in an enchanted world. But parents, guardians, teachers and digital media at large keep telling children that fairies, nature spirits and ghosts aren’t really there until children learn to ignore their presence, then lose any natural power to sense it. And for those adults who succumb to so-called psychosis, or use psychedelics, or both, the system offers treatment and won’t always take no for an answer. Psych drugs designed to suppress enchantment can be mandated, while mind-expanding drugs outside of authorised clinical settings get banned. Luckily, drug-free methods exist to enhance our inner potential. And the less we delegate our immense imaginative faculties to relatively unsubtle – if, in its insistence, compelling – technology, the more possible it becomes to rediscover and follow these age-old pathways to soul retrieval, healing and wholeness.

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16 Responses to Too much in formation, or the death of enchantment

  1. To the first question. It’s taken me years to be okay with “dunno, man. Somethin, I guess maybe.” I don’t think nothing. I don’t even know what I want to happen, if we’re honest. And I try to be.

    The clear yet hidden answer is soul-making. I guess you call it soul retrieval. You could call it anything, except late for dinner – as long as you make the shoe fit. The Bavarians had this thing, making your soul. It was expected that youth was for living, sewing oats yadayada. No stigma. When grey hair came and the back bent, you’d hit the books, pass on culture, get ready – make your winter years an enlightenment.

    No mind erasing zen required.

    Of course it’s not for me to choose what others do. But I wonder about the artificial endeavours of prolonging the inevitable. Would it seem so cruel if, as they used to do, treatment came with instructions on making peace? Making soul? Old Bavaria had a bed of culture that the old could sink into. Malaise, I can’t even blame capitalism though I want to, saw to it that the culture bed was sold for scrap. It is a terrible price to pay later, when there is nothing on earth or sea to receive the dieing.

    Which leaves a lot of work for families to do. Culture can be rebuilt, in this I have no doubt.

    • Thanks for your eloquent & thoughtful response. I don’t think nothing, either. Back in the last century, through various means, I accessed a lot of what seemed like past-life memories, & so my this-life philosophy evolved to accommodate them. And I’ve never wholly dismissed them, just radically deemphasised them. Folk who fetishise their ‘past lives’ yet can’t recall what they ate for dinner last night tend to sound flaky to me. My father manifested to me twice soon after he died, in unexpected & unmistakable ways: my most immediate experience of consciousness surviving death.

      I was using the term ‘soul retrieval’ very loosely – the way most people use it today – to refer to a state of dissociation &/or inner emptiness. A more classic example that comes to mind concerns a friend I’ve lost touch w/. About 15 years ago, he got knocked down by a truck on Xmas Eve, spent four days in a coma, then resurfaced w/ holes in his memory. Told me he was a walk-in when I last saw him: an entity had hijacked his body, & he was on a pilgrimage to see folk who knew him for help to recall who he’d been. I was struck by how his personality had changed – he did some listening instead of just talking. Soul-making, to me, is a different thing: you can make soul w/o having lost it, it’s a work in progress.

      Re blaming capitalism – I use the term as shorthand for the toxic corporate-driven system we in the West have enabled, which I guess tends to sound like I think it’s an entity, something w/ its own momentum. Which I think it is (despite my frustration w/ shallow political discourse) – but only to the extent that the majority abdicate responsibility for themselves, each other, all other species & the planet. Capitalism today, as I see it, consists of the disowned energies of a vast global civilisation of dissociated folk.

      ‘Bed of culture’? I like that. Beats bare boards. Residential aged-care ghettos.

      • Your thing on Soul Retrieval reminds me a spot about Annie Dieu-le-Veut. She talks a lot about shaman things.

        I don’t know about past life regression. I don’t doubt there’s something to it. But I never tried it, neither. I do have leave to believe I have been visited in dreams. Some of which I wonder if they might be more than passing fancies in my sleep.

      • Well, Annie D-L-V is good value!

        I can’t say whether past-life regression is reliable. I had a friend who recalled a life as a mistreated dog. And I’ve known folk who only remember their past lives as famous people. Knew a guy who’d been Genghis Khan & a woman who’d been one of Genghis Khan’s grandsons (or was it the other way round?); thought it might be fun to introduce them if he’d lived locally.

        I think most of us are more accessible to the spirit realms when dreaming; we can be visited or go visiting, lucid or not.

      • That makes sense, assuning a noncorporeal sentience dimensionally untethered. Which I might.

      • Dreams that turn out to be actual astral encounters are, in my experience, more vivid & immediate.

      • I would like to say I’ve had a few. One of which permanently altered my frame of mind in a way which becomes harder to elucidate upon the further I go.

      • Aliveness to symbols, & vice versa, seems to come w/ the territory of soul-level dreams.

  2. Now that you’ve asked. Easy – my view on death is that we, including our ‘spirit’, go into the black hole to be ‘reborn’, ‘recreated’. Having had a sudden ‘switch off’ – ‘switch on’ episode a few years ago – just that – the computer being closed down and (I consider lucky for me) re-booted.

    Capitalism – we were conned and allowed it to happen and opened the door for these mega-greedy giants now running the show to take control and suck and lock us in…mostly for things that are ‘unnecessaries’ it seems.

    Medicine – yes, great at the mechanics; not so good with healing the psyche…needs a whole other level of understanding to walk with someone through that. Absolutely special and gifted those who can.

    Somewhere (was it here?) I was reading about the lack of thinking time anyone has these days as we are training our brains via our phones, networks, etc., (or they are training us) to only be able to take in information in short bursts at time. Always in a hurry…always busy, busy. Totally addicted. My sense of soul appears when I give it attention…a listening…a tuning out of my chattering brain or viewing it from a distance…mind/brain. Was a period when I lived more like that. Keep telling myself I need to do it more…go with the flow…and listen.

    Thank you for generating some thought.

    • Thanks for answering. ☺️ I love how you mix science & mysticism: ‘black hole” & ‘spirit’. And your computer analogy interests me; the use of technological metaphors to talk about the body is now so common in our culture that it’s easy to imagine an ever-increasing merging of humans & machines. (Not that I look forward to or even believe in the singularity. Ugh.) But I’m very glad you’re still switched on!

      Also love what you say re soul’s responsiveness to attention. Listening. Viewing from a distance. I want to live more like that & have been, these last few days. Going w/ the flow. Watching the clouds pass over. Listening to the interwoven sounds of waves, wind, birds, planes, crickets (pick the odd one out)…

      • Seems my TV decided to take me up on that last night. One less diversion. Interesting how restless I became. If still not working tonight will have to work on myself a little more.

      • Synchronicity? ☺️ I’ve often pondered what it is that makes TV so addictive. Its immersiveness (compared to, say, podcasts)? Its cosy familiarity (a habit formed in childhood)? The lack of demands made on one’s faculties? The chance to be totally passive?

      • All of the above, except for childhood as we didn’t have one…and to hope to be entertained. Certainly view it as wind-down time.

      • Hope you were OK w/ a TV-free childhood? Sounds healthy. My mother was happy for me to watch TV 5+ hours a day, presumably so that she could watch me. Still remember dozens of theme tunes & ad jingles: what an effective programming device!

      • I think we spent a lot of time outside. Can’t remember really early years. By the time of school it was into ballet and swimming (before & after school and weekends…I had some limb problems so was directed into exercise early) and hitting a ball against the garage door or out on the street (not much traffic then) or exploring the paddock across the road (now a supercenter) or putting on records and singing and performing along, entertaining each other…or reading (dad co-managed a bookshop).

      • That sounds like good fertile ground for a budding performer, creative writer, researcher & down-to-earth teacher. 🙂 ________________________________

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