It’s often been said that what begins in California spreads to the rest of the country, and the world. God help us if that’s still the case, because it feels like we are experiencing the leading edge of the apocalypse here.
Then again, the root meaning of word apocalypse, from the Greek, is “revelation…an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling.”
So which sense of apocalypse is it, “the complete final destruction of the world,” as described in the biblical book of Revelation, or a true revelation, an unveiling and unfolding of things not previously known?
Perhaps that depends on the few who still care, and whether they can step into the breech.
Speaking of vacuums, I’m not the only one that feels this QAnon craziness, which threatens to take over the defunct Republican Party, if not collapsed Western civilization, has become, as a philosopher friend puts it, “not fringe at all but the ideology of Trump’s base?”
Facts and evidence, much less truth, don’t matter, or don’t even exist. Are we near the end of this experiment to see how far the mentality that believes truth is what the Great Leader says it is, or can it be pushed further without things completely breaking down?
The question is, will decent and rational people wait to find out? We cannot, since waiting invites a complete breakdown.
The mainstream media keeps chasing its tail by assuming that enough evidence, enough facts, enough revelation of what one columnist calls the “incompetence-meets-evil that we have suffered under the Trump administration” will bring decency and rationality back to American life.
The problem is, you can only bring something back to life if it isn’t actually dead. And as I’ve said ad nauseum in this column, the American people as a people are dead, and have been for over a generation.
So please pundits, stop beating a dead horse and prattling on about “an immense summoning of American character and will.” Let’s acknowledge the death so there can be a new birth.
There is a deeper phenomenon occurring than the full flowering of American darkness and dysfunction. The more apocalyptic the atmosphere becomes, literally and metaphorically, the greater the flight from reality in human consciousness generally.
What is it about human nature that makes denial the first and lasting reaction to an implacable reality like the climate catastrophe? Are the three Pacific states on fire not enough?
Two phenomena appear to be directly linked. On one hand, lacking an accurate metaphysical explanation, by which I mean a comprehensive and coherent explanation for the darkness and madness that human consciousness has become, more and more people are filling the void with all manner of crazy shit. Hence QAnon.
On the other hand, continuing to believe that “this moment in history is not an aberration,” but we’ve been here many times before, provides a comforting balm before the bomb, or whatever event looms on the horizon.
Even if one can give a coherent and compelling explanation for what is happening in consciousness and the world however, explanation is inherently inadequate. It’s necessary but not sufficient. What is sufficient?
Explanation has a place, just not first place. An accurate explanation for a phenomenon is the formulation of insight into it, which tends to become codified as knowledge. Is there explanation that doesn’t do so, that is open-ended, and indeed, that ignites insight?
I feel so, or I wouldn’t write. However it’s important to dispel some shibboleths. The first, which is all but gone, is “believing in a slow, frustrating but ultimately sustainable victory and all the jubilation that would come along with it.”
It’s essential to stop externalizing what first has an inward source. The wildfires in California and Oregon, and the hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, much less the Trumpian nightmare and its equivalents around the world, are outward manifestations of the intensifying crisis of human consciousness.
Therefore the biggest shibboleth remains that “we need the bonds of political solidarity and collective action if there is any chance of alleviating the darkness of this era.”
In other words, we are collective creatures first and last, come hell or high water (and both hell and high water keep coming).
The writer goes even further, and makes such misguidedness explicit: “I can lift myself out of my misery by remembering that I’m part of a collective.”
There is no such thing as collective intelligence and wisdom, only collective darkness and evil. True individuals—undivided human beings—first stand alone. Only then can stand together.