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A Crisis of Consciousness

A Crisis of Consciousness

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Published by: nqtu1798 on Nov 29, 2010
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11/29/2010

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A Crisis of ConsciousnessWell lets see here. I think what we have to do is think in terms of theexhaustion of our own cultural forms. I mean thats what were living through: aglobal dying created by the exhaustion of our cultural forms and the vitality of thecultural forms that we see in the so called primitive, I call them preliterate, people.As Nicole pointed out, they have nothing, but what they seem to have that wecannot seem to get a grip on is a kind of dynamic equilibrium with theirenvironment, and peace of mind in the felt experience of the moment; these are thetwo things we dont have. As a society we cannot seem to make peace with nature.As human beings as individuals its very hard for us to be at peace with ourselves. Imean I consider my own life, the search for peace of mind forget enlightenment,forget (?), all this stuff, just a little piece of mind would be a tremendous boon as faras I can see, so I really think that theres a confluence here of themes andpossibilities.It has this richly plotted texture that always lets you know that youre in thepresence of a higher order of things. Its that the shamans, whom we admire andidealize, are seen to be at the center of this environment the warm tropics that wefind it necessary to destroy. So, its a perfect image of us being at war, not only withourselves, but with nature itself, and youve heard all about how the Amazon andthe Congo basin and eastern Indonesia are all being cleared and lumbered andturned into cattle ranches; this is a tragedy. Obviously we understand and canperceive the dynamics of that, but how to make sense of a situation where as theworld bank and the IMF attempt to halt this kind of destruction on the other side of the coin the United States department and the DEA, these agencies, propose and areplanning to carry out the defoliation of the (???) basin. So, theres a schizophreniahere that is not academic. I mean, are we trying to get the patient well or are wepulling the plugs one by one? We seem to be acting in both dimensionssimultaneously. And I think its because we have not in this culture awakened to thedepth of the crisis that surrounds us.You know, theres a lot of kind of self congratulatory back slapping goingaround these days over the fact that communists everywhere are in hot water, andhave to admit that they did it wrong and this gives a lot of satisfaction to people whofeel that that means we did it right. We didnt do it right. They did it wrong, and nowadmit they did it wrong. We do it wrong and have yet to even raise the possibility of turning away from what we are doing. The internal-contradictions of Marxism werebased on a false definition of what people are. People do not respond to centralplanning, hortatory-propaganda, and stereotyping, neither do people respond to anethos of self-denial or a view of human beings that denies the fact that we havecertain itches which must be scratched. The collapse of Marxism is only the collapseof the outer edge of the societal, and civilizing assumptions that we have made. Afterall Marxism is nothing more that the millenarian retread of Christian millenarianism
 
and so is modern science another secular retread of Christian millenarianism. So ourculture is in trouble, not trouble, we are at a terminal crisis, a bifurcation that canonly go one of two ways; horror beyond your wildest imagination, or breakthroughto dignity, decency, community, and caring beyond your wildest imagination.Now where do you look for models? Where do you go? The answer is soobvious. You go to nature. Nature has been playing this game for three billion yearson this planet. We have been playing the game, we the apostles of Christianscientism, for about 2,000 years. Nature has an economy, an elegance, a style that if we could but emulate it, we could rise out of the ruble that we are making of theplanet.You know it was the geographer Carl Sower(??) who said, Man found theplaneta climaxed primeval forest. He and notice the gender here will leave theplanet a weedy lot. Now this is a metaphor where you exchange climaxed rainforest for weeds, but its also true by clearing land we promote the kind of plant evolutionthat stresses very rapid seed production and annular cycles of growth, in otherwords weeds. And this tendency to find perfection and then to leave rubble in ourwake has haunted us for the past three or four thousand years of our history. Now,with the ozone shield disappearing, with acid rain falling on the earth that can melt blocks of marble, with the CO2 levels rising, with the levels of strontium andchlorofluorocarbons you know the litany. We have now one last chance to catch fishor cut bait, and the place where nature has provided models for how to respond tothis situation is the climaxed rainforest.Only the climaxed tropical rainforest had the kind of complexity of signaltransfer, movement of nutritional materials, movement of electromagnetic radiationthat we find in the modern city. It is a cliché of modernity that the city is a jungle; theproblem is it isnt jungle enough, and I think its the task of the new shamans to takethe metaphor of the jungle, which is a metaphor of tremendous wealth, tremendousvariety, a tremendous outpouring of form and of energy and of potential fulfillment of various bifurcation patterns of flow, to take that and enrich our own lives with it and the way this is done is by empowering the presence of experience. The mainthing that you get with these so called primitive preliterate people, and with peoplelike Nicole who have spent time in this situation is they are in the moment. Theyknow how to have fun. They know how to work. They know how to live, and thereason they understand this is because they are focused within the confines of thefelt presence of experience. They do not live by abstraction, and abstraction is theknife poised at our hearts. We are so much the victims of abstractions that with theearth in flames we can barley rouse ourselves to wander across the room and look at the thermostat. Thats the level of disempassioning that abstraction has laid uponus.
 
Well hopefully this weekend there will be passion, there will be an effort where ever there is abstraction to drag it down into the felt presence of the moment.I think basically what we are a kind of green anarchy; an effort to revivify socialforms that have been atrophied in the west at least since the destruction of Eleusisprobably in most places thousands of years before that. This is our last chance. Ihave done the best I could in terms of trying to sift through all these options, and, asa communicator, offer the best way out. And you know, I could only do my best, andso thats what you get. I cant preach scientism because I dont believe in it. I cant preach Buddhism because I cant understand it. The only thing I can preach is thefelt presence of immediate experience, which for me came through the psychedelics,which are not drugs, but plants; its a perversion of language to try and derail thisthing into talk of drugs. There are spirits in the natural world that come to us in thisway, and as so far as I can tell, this is the only way that they come to us that is rapidenough for it to have an impact on us as a global population
.
 This weekend will be different because we will be hewing close to the source.Nicole is a priceless repository of information, more even than she knows. If I coulddeclare her a national treasure, I would. Who knows what this woman knows? Whoknows how much human suffering, the alleviation of how much anxiety lies in thehands of perhaps half a dozen people of Nicoles caliber, who have paid there dues inthese jungles.This information is flowing through our fingers and disappearing. In anotherthirty years it will be all gone. Every time I go to the Amazon I can feel the way inwhich its slipping away. When my brother and I go off looking for these unusualhallucinogens, often we have the experience where when we finally find the personwho claims they know what were after, the line goes like this, well Ive never takenit but as a child I remember seeing my grandfather prepare it and I think I can do it,if it werent for us standing there asking that it be done it would never have evenrisen into the gentlemans mind as a possibility. This is the knife-edge upon whichthis knowledge is poised. If it can be saved, it gives me hope that we can be saved. If we cant save this kind of knowledge, we cannot save ourselves because this kind of knowledge is ourselves. Culture is a garment which you put on, medical systems arepieces of jewelry which you wrap around your throat or neck, religious ideals arelike objects which you push through pierced nostrils and earlobes, if we cannot come to terms with that which allows us to give birth with ease, to die with dignity,and to live in health then what kind of future do we have? No future at all.So, this is not a meeting of obscurantists or enthusiasts of some private vistaof transcendence. This is a meeting of political activist, people who are sociallycommitted to themselves, to each other, to the larger idea of community, and whounderstand that when you take about Gaia its only an abstraction unless you talk about plants. The division between the masculine and the feminine is only trivially adifference between men and women. It is fundamentally a division between plantsand animals. Plants are the enveloping feminine matrix of control andrefurbishment. Animals are something invented by plants to move seeds around, an

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