Discover more from docu-mental: mapping the american states of mind
The thinning of the veil is not a Metaversal phenomenon
Also, an important announcement for subscribers
vol. 3 issue 44
Happy All Hallows’ Eve to you.
Here’s something you might not know. Today there is as much day light in the Northern Hemisphere as there is on May Day. The difference is that on this day, the point equidistant between the Autumnal Equinox and the Winter Solstice, what is coming is not an increase in light, but an increase in the dark.
Therefore, we are at the place where the veil is perhaps thinnest between what is seen and unseen.
Apparently, we have chosen to mark this diaphanous moment of the seasons in the only way we Americans know how: by commercializing and infantilizing it with shitty candy and cheesy, possibly even garishly sexy, costumes.
I point this out not to criticize, but simply to emphasize how little we know about the entire Natural world existing and shifting around us at all times. Candy and sex are definitely fun. I begrudge no one any of the sweet stuff in life, but at least, let’s have some perspective on it all.
Why do we focus on buying and selling shallow silliness on this day, the only one in the year when the liminal sliver between the here and the beyond is at its thinnest, while other more traditionally rooted cultures (the ones usually colonized by us and our forebears – again, not a criticism, just a fact) are focused on their ancestors?
I think we found out why back in May, actually. That was when NYT bestselling author of The Immortality Key, Brian Muraresku, explained to us in a podcast interview how the Roman Empire inserted itself between the Cosmos and ourselves. The emperors and others of rank in that era did this by banishing and killing all who would continue the psychedelic rites of the cults of Dionysus, rites which reassured humans that there is a life beyond this one, and that we do not die when we die. It was the beginning of two plus millennia of hierarchical nonsense that says we are all separated from god by our inherent evil.
We’re fallen. We’re not evil. It’s a separation that was meant for us to learn how to create and learn from what is the matter, the mater if you will, Latin for Mother. This is the time of year when we could be reminded that the space between the Universe that is beyond what we can see and where we are in this material world, is in fact easily bridged. That we don’t die when we die, we are reunited with what is beyond us.
Instead, because we’re 2,000 years into being acculturated into thinking we’re supposed to be on one side of the curtain and the Mystery is on the other side, mediated only by whomever we’ve been trained to think is in charge, we submit easily to being distracted by sweeties, and the moment of reunion is lost.
Then! Then, we are distracted by all the guilt we’re supposed to feel for all the sweeties we consumed. So sneaky, those Romans and their inheritors.
Which brings me to Facebook.
I listened to an intriguing podcast recently. It was a conversation between Greg Olear, publisher of Prevail, and Bret Pettichord, a tech guru who filled Olear in on Facebooketeer Mark Zuckerberg’s obsession with Ancient Rome. That dopey hair cut? On purpose: Zuck thinks he’s Nero reincarnated.
Who am I to say he is or isn’t?
More interesting to me is the notion that a Roman Empire obsessed Zuck’s
rebranding of Facebook as Meta, as in “the Metaverse”, is on point with the erstwhile Roman Empire’s morph into the Holy Roman Empire by way of an aggressive campaign of mergers and acquisitions between Roman and Germanic leaders that gripped the globe in its hierarchical, colonizing power from 962 AD, until Napoleon put an end to it in 1806.
To paraphrase Voltaire, there wasn’t much holy about the colonizing Austro-Roman conglomerate, but its branding sure was epic.
It’s easy to see the parallel here: our modern day Nero says he has created a Metaverse and we are all within it. The hundreds of apps that Facebook-Meta owns is too rich and all-encompassing to be defined only by its one product, Facebook (which don’t forget, was created as a way to catalogue which hot babes a few horny Ivy league geeks wanted to bang).
[To which I replied, “deactivate my Facebook account immediately”, but that is another story, although one that is true.]
Much has been written already, including ad nauseum here at docu-mental, about the deadening effect of the anti-trust practices of Facebook and others, not just on the economy, but on the nation’s quality of life. I’ve argued repeatedly it is one of the mechanisms of action triggering our national epidemics of anxiety and depression.
Then there is that issue of how Facebook re-routed our political discourse into a Red Russian Hellaverse, taking much of what democracy depends upon down in flames with it.
There has been plenty said about all that.
What I want to stress here is just that, it has not been through innovation and scintillating imagination (aka the tools that grant one the American Dream by way of a free market, or so the story goes) that Zuckerberg was able to inflict his Romanesque inner-life on the rest of us.
No, Zuckerberg’s Metaverse was made by dividing and conquering.
If an app like Instagram or What’s App, or so many other innovative technologies meant the empirical, I mean meta, brand could dominate and separate us all while telling us it was actually bringing us closer together, Zuck bought it. He bought everything he could until there was no competition, until it seemed the only way to get to access the world around us, the Metaverse, was through him.
Put simply, it’s brawn, not brains, we’re dealing with here. I might cede we’re dealing with an evil genius, but it’s important to see that he isn’t more clever than any of the rest of us regular people, just more self-important. And devious.
That’s all. I just wanted to make you aware that you don’t have to accept him as your pope or leader. You certainly don’t have to submit to living in his metaverse.
Myself, I can’t abide the distractions any longer. I did indeed deactivate all my social media accounts, not just those overlorded by Nero Lite, 2.0.
The calories are hollow, the taste suspiciously too sweet, like the corn syrup in all our Halloween candies.
There are ancestors on the other side of today. I hear them yelling, Boooo!
It’s not a haunting. It’s a chorus of disapproval.
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I’ve been thinking. There are so many others doing a superb job of keeping up with the pulse of the times externally, independent publishers I have mentioned to you before, that I feel like I only add my yips to the howling pack of far cannier alpha wolves. So, I want to change tack.
Mapping the american states of mind seems like an interior activity, doesn’t it? Or at least, it could be. So much of the survey feedback I got, as well as the guests who have agreed to or asked to be on my podcast do combine to excite my imagination for all that we could discuss, but then I think of how utterly exhausted – burnt out – I have become just focusing over and again on all the distractions, like the Holy Roman Zuckerberg. I mean, wtf? That guy is the guy in my head?
We must keep tabs on these f*ckers, but we also need beauty. There is nothing beautiful about these creeps, these mind zombies and psychic vampires. Is it any wonder zombies and vampires figure so largely in our pop culture?
My response then is that, at least for a while, I am mellowing out. To follow the trails of deceit and mayhem, follow the many publishers I listed before. Their hearts are far more into covering all that than mine is.
Instead, I am publishing less, usually on Sundays, and will focus on what is quiet, what is empowering, what brings us all to the crossroads of power in ourselves. That powerful place the Romans and all the other conquerors of hierarchy want to mediate.
Meet me there and leave the conquerors alone with their own thoughts while they fondle their tools of metaversion.
Until I figure out how this new direction will be structured, I am freezing subscriptions. Meaning, for the time being, you will not be charged if you’re on a monthly schedule. If you paid in one lump sum, then when I unfreeze subscriptions, your subscription will resume for the exact amount of time that was left on your subscription as was left as of today.
It’s not that I don’t think quiet reflection is valuable, obviously. It’s that maybe it’s worth reflecting upon other ways value can be experienced, not just when measured in money.
Peace, and happy All Hallows’ Eve.