It is the human predisposition towards drama and projection that underpins much of our suffering – our need for drama. I define drama as the “irresponsible emotional manipulation of others with the aim of establishing a personal agenda.” Drama is rewarding to the ego because it grants an opportunity to get what one wants in situations where the ego feels that it either has no real power, or when it does not want to pay the price for embodying genuine strength. That cost may vary, but always involves taking personal responsibility.
Research indicates that when we employ our peripheral vision, our sense of presence, awe and wonder increases. We relax, gain a deeper perspective of our place in time and space and our capacity for spatial memory improves. We become more positive about the future and the jigsaw of life begins to piece itself together. Thus, as our gaze habitually collapses outward while peripherally constricting, we lose touch with the human spirit.
South African author and lion tracker Boyd Varty learned early the deep knowing which life seeks to instil within each of us: that there is something profound which transcends and connects our discrete human minds.[ii]
Varty’s tale of the terrifying involves a single night, set in time a moment or two following the initial post-apartheid elections in South Africa, when chaos and violence were common bedfellows across the troubled nation.
In Ginsberg’s rendering of the Machine, our intrinsic joy or “Heaven” has been consumed by the ravenous Moloch, along with our innate spirituality and embodied presence. We have become “loveless,” chasing “unobtainable dollars” like dumb mules stumbling towards carrots on a stick, not seeing what lies beyond the desirous thing dangling immediately before us.
As we spend more time online, it is very easy to lose track of what is important. It is very easy to lose our mindful, bird’s eye view of the world and our lives, and instead get caught up in earthbound cat fights. Often the squabbles and projections are with people we barely know, or do not know at all. I’d like to think that the Oath to Power and Presence, whatever version you make of it, can inspire you to keep your life on track, an dto affirm the higher values that we humans share as a collective.
Mindfulness is often most potent when combined with other practices. We shouldn’t employ mindfulness in our lives, naively assuming it is the most powerful problem-solving tool ever invented, while excluding other practical and useful methods and behaviors.
This is my very recent presentation at the Society for Consciousness Studies, 2021. “Embodiment, Classical Intuition and The Future of the Metaverse.” My central argument is that it is vitally important that we retain a strong sense of embodiment & intuitive intelligence even as the 3D Digital Society evolves. To further diminish that awareness would represent the deepening & perpetuation of a major civilisational error that has engendered the crisis in sensemaking. It thus represents an existential crisis that is potentially catastrophic, literally &/or metaphorically. Establishing an Authentic Self via Embodied Presence is a vital component of all this.
We are entering a liminal phase where we humans are being asked to question our place in the cosmos. This podcast episode represents the promise of the internet when it was first conceived. It is sensemaking at its finest. We have an interviewer, Curt Jaimungal, allowing his guest to speak, sometimes challenging him, but without constant interruption or moral and intellectual superiority. We have two people open to the wonder of both science and spiritual insight.
In AI theory they refer to “the Jetson’s Fallacy.” As with the 1960’s futuristic cartoon show, many people today naively believe that AI is just going to walk beside us into the future. But no. It’s going to increasingly walk inside us. The interface of human and machine intelligence is going to become increasingly blurred. And don’t think that people won’t let it happen. The steps to get there will come one at a time. Many of us alive today might find it abhorrent to have a neural chip drilled into our skulls. But the shift won’t happen all at once. Each generation will likely take one step further towards cybernetic embodiment.
When The Rebel is unable or unwilling to assume responsibility for what arises in his mind and emotional body, an inevitable result is a descent into drama. Drama emerges within any given life situation because we fail to develop the right relationship with our judgments and anger, and they become projected onto the other: onto the parent, the spouse, boss, the leader, the institution, the system and so on. The Firestarter typically hits out in scorn and rage, and tries to damage or even annihilate that which is around him. Fights, arguments, backstabbing, gossip, formation of angry tribes, gangs and work cliques are common behaviours for Firestarters.