THE WIZARD HAS CREATED A NEW EARTH AND A NEW HEAVEN
Experienced Forces become Observed Measurable Things
During the eight to the sixth centuries BCE the consciousness of human beings, particularly those living in the agricultural civilizations in the Fertile Crescent, suddenly underwent a profound change. This is referred by sociologists of religion as “The Axial Age” when Mythic Thinking was succeeded by Theoretic Thinking. I believe this was associated with a massive change in technology from the previous use of copper and bronze to their discovery of an easy way to smelt iron. This led to more intensive ploughing, more efficient armies and the early beginnings of “market forces”. The development of commodity trading of measurable things gradually began to overshadow the influence of both magical spirits and immaterial gods.
During the Axial Age, significant personalities appeared almost contemporaneously in China, India and the Middle East. The Book of Changes, preceded the appearance of Daoist process philosophers and Confucius in China, the Vedas provided the ground for Buddha in India, Jewish prophets in Jerusalem arose from contractual monotheism, dualism and eschatology arose with Zoroaster in Persia, and predicting the movements of planetary deities produced astronomy in Babylon which led to Pythagoras and cosmology on Samos. At almost the same time, in the seaport of Miletus, the materialistic and reductionist philosophers appeared, whilst in Ephesus, the process philosopher Heraclitus was active.
The mechanistic-technological world view of the reductionist and materialistic Milesian branch of the Axial Age was rediscovered in Europe during the Renaissance and Reformation and provided the intellectual foundations for the Enlightenment and eventually what is now commonly known as the military-industrial complex. It is my contention that our present civilization, which is an explosive expansion of the Iron Age technological foundation resulting from the invention of steam engines and the use of fossil fuels, has added nothing fundamentally new to the fundamental psycho-socio-cultural forms that were established during the Axial Age.
With their superior mechanistic technology, the industrialised nations began to change the rest of the world through economic imperialism, military conquest, and the establishment of compulsory secular education. By the late nineteenth century, they had been successful in weakening and even destroying the ruling elites and intellectual foundations of the Confucians and process philosophers in China as well as those of the transcendentally-validated religions civilizations throughout most of the world.
I believe that the origins of the secular governments based on this military-industrial complex can be traced back to the aesthetic-linguistic nationalism that accompanied the materialistic scientific-technological revolution of the seventeenth century. This cultural process was in turn facilitated by the democratisation of communication by the printing presses which mechanically multiplied the magic words of power manifested on pages in books, which fermented the religious wars of the Reformation. Most of Europe was split into warring regions, transforming Western Christendom into nation states more motivated by economic development than salvation as an absolute good.
To expand and increase its profits, capitalism, which is the characteristic form of industrial economy, externalises much of its real costs in terms of permanent environmental damage and personal health costs to those who do not share in the profits. The final stage of Capitalism has become monetised managerialism free from ethical, aesthetic or even truth values. This has provided a protective wall to protect a colossal Ponzi Scheme in which an economic elite is able to practice criminal manipulation of stocks, uncontrolled debt creation and the issuing of fiat currency as information which, like electricity, is free from any material base, and hence can no longer function as a commodity. Fortunately, blockchain cybercurrencies have the potential to provide a new stable base.
This approaching end to the Theoretic Iron Age may be compared with the catastrophic end of the Mythic Bronze Age which preceded it. My thesis here is that our psycho-socio-cultural Iron Age structures have already been fatally undermined by the fundamentally different technologies based on electricity. Once again, we shape our tools and our tools shape us. If mankind survives the impending collapse of our present global civilization, I foresee the sudden evolutionary breakthrough of a psycho-socio-cultural process cosmology. Process thinking has been greatly stimulated by metaphors derived from all-at-once, immaterial, electricity, which are replacing metaphors based on the discredited, things-in-space, utilitarian, future-oriented cause-and-effect, “time machine”. Narrative driven history which created unilinear time as a dimension, is an Iron Age concept reinforced by monotheistic Old Testament millenarianism.
The accretion of our present mechanistic cosmology took place in Europe during the early seventeenth century. This was not inevitable, despite the opinions of those who believe in economic determinism or historical inevitability. In this short paper, I wish to draw attention to highly relevant events that took place in Christendom whilst the Reformation was ripping Western Christendom apart. Rome and Prague were not just the major centres of the two warring religious factions, but also of other even more profound alternative forms of consciousness. Human understanding of the nature of the physical universe itself was about to be transformed by two men in particular, one of whom triumphed and was later lauded as a secular saint, whilst the other disappeared into ignominious obscurity.
In Rome was Galileo Galilei, a successful commercial instrument maker, and brilliant mechanistic experimenter, and in Prague was Johannes Kepler, the great astronomer, astrologer, Platonic aesthetician and mystical Christian magician. Their fortunes could not have been more different. Living in capitalist Venice and later in Florence controlled by a banking family, Galileo made fine telescopes which he sold to the Venetian businessmen, keen to know in advance which merchant shops were coming to port, and to the navy, threatened by the growing Ottoman fleet. Surrounded by fundamentalist puritans, Kepler was in danger of being killed as a wizard and only just managed to save his mother from being burned as a witch.
Both men had been deeply affected by the simplicity of the heliocentric hypothesis of Copernicus the Platonist who, mainly for its aesthetic appeal, had revived the theory of Aristarchus, an ancient Pythagorean aesthetician-astronomer. Although based on the aesthetics of Platonic perfect circles and uniform speed, the Ptolemaic epicycles were still indispensable for navigation as the best guide to the positions of the heavenly bodies. But they were absurd in terms of mechanics. There was however no observational proof of the truth of the heliocentric model as their instruments could not identify the expected stellar parallax at orbital extremes.
The observations of both Galileo and Kepler, led them to conclude that the heliocentric model was true, incurring the opposition of the intellectual establishment of the time. Kepler had to make do without a telescope since Galileo declined to supply one to him despite his desperate requests. Galileo was on friendly terms with the Pope who was a noted scholar and talked with him in the Vatican gardens about physical cosmology.
Then suddenly the irascible Galileo, emboldened by his commercial success and friendship with the Venetian businessmen and the financial rulers of Florence, lost all patience. In 1632, just as the fanatical and bloodthirsty Thirty Years War was about to break out in Prague and the Ottoman Fleet was attacking in the Mediterranean, he wrote his “Dialogue Concerning the Two World Systems” and had it printed. It was not in the scholar’s language of Latin but in the vulgar Italian tongue and took the form of a play where a superior intellectual, obviously Galileo, gives his reasons for believing that, in spite of appearances, the Earth goes around the Sun. One of the other two characters is convinced by his arguments, but the third, insultingly named Simplicius, insists that the Ptolemaic System is a better explanation. Some of the words put in the mouth of Simplicius are those the Pope used during their conversations in the Vatican Gardens.
The Pope, who had no objection to scholarly debates in Latin about the heliocentric model, was understandably furious. Galileo was found guilty of heresy, forced to recant and placed under house arrest. Secular intellectuals today have no understanding of the damage done then to true cosmology which is not mere astrophysics. The new mechanistic cosmology destroyed the physical base for the complex religious value system of integrated healing, virtue, truth and beauty built up over generations and shared by other major religions. It should also be appreciated that the peasants all over Europe then were already frightened by the rising tension of the approaching religious civil war and the increasing attacks by the Ottoman fleet. Luther too was enraged by the disturbing and unprovable idea that the Earth was now not just spinning but hurtling around the Sun.
From his comfortable home, Galileo was allowed to continue his experiments and to correspond with Protestant astronomers in the North who eagerly accepted his crude mechanistic world system. Since this had no messy connection with beauty nor ethics derived from the traditional Catholic religious cosmology, there was nothing to stand in the way of the rising bourgeois elite adopting his ballistic model to provide the foundations for the military and industrial improvements that would enable them to expand their trading and to defy the Papal armies. This I am convinced was the origin of the Military Industrial Complex currently destroying the biosphere and turning the world into a bloodbath. As the magician-poet Yeats put it just after the First World War;
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
Meanwhile in Prague, the magician Kepler, who was a much better scientist than the mechanist Galileo, was playing with Platonic solids to break the aesthetic dogma that orbits had to be perfectly circular and the planets had to move predictably. He not only worked out the new Platonic aesthetic needed for the elliptical orbits of the planets but also calculated that although the Earth accelerated and decelerated in its orbit, it was sweeping out equal areas in a lawful manner. He did not envisage the solar system as soulless mechanism and hypothesised that the Sun loved the planets as God loved his children, using the power of love to keep them at the right distance and providing the Earth with warmth. He also stated that the Moon affected the tides. Galileo held stubbornly on to the Platonic belief that abstract immutable laws governed the perfect heavenly realm unlike the corruptible Earth and insisted that the tides were caused by the seas sloshing about as the Earth moved round the Sun and turned on its axis.
The seventeenth century saw the utilitarian mechanists in the industrialising countries breaking all contact with their original magician colleagues who were still maintaining connections with the traditional religious-ethical cosmology and platonic aesthetics. This fear and hostility has continued to the present day and probably accounts for the irrational rejection of process philosophy, with its magical aspects, by most irresponsible academics. Aesthetics, ethics, evolutionary curiosity and immaterial magical influences like love have no place in mechanistic modern science. Throughout the Protestant countries in particular at this time thousands of people were burned, hung or drowned as witches or wizards. By contrast, the Catholic Inquisition was only interested in persecuting heretics who challenged the authority of the Church.
Whilst creating my subjective process cosmology in the late nineteen sixties and early seventies I was greatly influenced not only by Teilhard de Chardin’s evolutionary religious cosmology but also by Arthur Koestler’s “The Sleepwalkers” (1959) a carefully researched book on the events surrounding the adoption of the heliocentric cosmology. I quote from page 394, where he is referring to Kepler’s “The Harmony of the World” completed in 1618, three days after the defenestration of Prague!
“What Kepler attempted here is, simply, to bare the ultimate secret of the universe in an all-embracing synthesis of geometry, music, astrology, astronomy and epistemology. It was the first attempt of its kind since Plato, and it is the last to our day. After Kepler, fragmentation of experience sets in again, science is divorced from religion, religion from art, substance (or materia prima) from form, matter from mind.”
There was another opportunity for the acceptance of a non-mechanistic cosmology when a hundred years later, the anti-social and clearly mad Newton and the charming polymath Leibniz proposed their radically different universe models, both having independently invented the calculus to do so. Newton triumphed, as he had the backing of the Royal Society, supported by the military-industrial complex which had formed in England and Holland. Materialistic causation had already passed the point of no return. Writing for a Christchurch newspaper from his remote farmhouse in New Zealand, in “Darwin Among the Machines” Samuel Butler used humour to make the first and best criticism of the new mechanistic theory of biological evolution,
Science becoming Scientism
The mechanistic and reductionist metaphysics of the established but-out-of- date scientific establishment of today, has become patently absurd “scientism”, not true science. Wilfully-blind academic hysterics refuse to take into account the facts before them. The irreducible atoms which as things in space had been the fundamental building blocks of the Greek materialists and their successors, disappeared into a cloud of dancing probabilities. Observers too have been deconstructed by depth psychology, role theory and relativity theory and can no longer position themselves as bourgeois individualists outside the universe as unbiased, god-like beings to observe things objectively. Electricity with its essentially instantaneous flow, its electrical potentials, immaterial positive and negative electro-magnetic fields, and manifesting as neither true particle nor true wave, rendered mechanical cause and effect thinking nonsensical. In the absence of any divinely-ordained absolutes, such as time and location, probability theory and relativity theory flourished. With the end of any belief in an absolute frame and hence absolute size, the shape of universe itself became a choice amongst competing useful fictions. The choice being made in all the current educational and scientific institutions is not based on the truth of any particular model, but its usefulness to the military-industrial complex. After all, they are paying for their research, their publications and often their salaries. There are a few exceptions but they are politely sidelined, as I have been for fifty years. Once educated into a particular ideology or collective psychosis, one is subject to immense pressures to conform. The Scientologists and now the Democratic Party in America provide excellent contemporary examples.
Experimental Social Science in the Real World
Inspired by events during the nineteen -sixties, the anthropologist Victor Turner, newly converted to process thinking, constructed a theory of changes in social structures. Following crises and the potential impact of what he calls “liminal” or “outsider” personalities in deconstructing and reconstructing roles, narratives and social systems, temporary “social anti-structures” could be produced together with a revitalised sense of “communitas”. He experimented with improvised theatrical pieces. In 1968 at the same time, but unaware of this, in my new liminal role of official Wizard of the University of NSW in Sydney, I myself was successfully experimenting with this process on a much greater scale in the strife-torn universities in Australia. Oddly, I was also the first sociologically trained academic lecturing in Australia. I specialised in the sociology of religious revitalisation movements and was undertaking a PhD in the sociology of art.
Revitalisation movements frequently occur when defenceless pre-literate cultures are devastated by sudden colonialisation resulting from the political-economic expansion of industrialised nations. They can also be identified in sudden successful revolutions led by highly motivated power-seeking individuals driven by ressentiment, as in such puritanical cultural phenomena as Protestant and Islamic Fundamentalism, Jacobinism, Communism and Fascism. Revitalisation movements may also be driven by love, as in Buddhism and the early Christian communities, or by beauty, as in the Romantic revival at the beginning on the nineteenth century. Pure self-expression through dressing up in colourful clothes, dancing, singing and making fun of stupid ideas and over-serious leaders, as during the brief period of Beatlemania and the Hippes, can also be a less frightening, less puritanical and more therapeutic form of revitalisation.
For those interested in a theoretical explanation of revitalisation movements based on my own version of process cosmology, here is a brief summary of the involving interconnections between psychological, mythological (narrative) and ideological intentionality and their evolving experienceable manifestations as behaviour, role acting and symbolic expression.
The Theory of Revitalisation as explained in Cosmological terminology
The individual Psycho-dynamic field of intension, as expressed in behaviour, is continuously being influenced and formed by the Narrative or Mythodynamic field of intention, which is expressed in role performances. Consequently, changes in the narratives will lead to changes in role-sets in different social contexts as well as changes in mental health.
The Ideo-dynamic field of intention is acted on by feedback from the success or failure of such role performances (whether measured by acquisition of status, money or power). This will be manifested in symbolic expressions of value made in institutional contexts. The form taken in the expression of values such as truth, love, beauty, goodness and purposeless playfulness or fun, will be prioritised and rewarded or marginalised and punished within the relevant institutional context.
Major changes such as religious conversion or enlightenment, will be manifested in changes in symbolic expressions of meaning taking place within institutional contexts. Creating new roles expressing new mythodynamics, in turn produces changes in psychodynamics and behaviour.
Cognitive dissonance in the Ideo-dynamic field of intention is manifested in absurd and contradictory symbolic expressions in which values are deformed, repressed or even inverted, (as described by Max Scheler in his theory of “ressentiment”).
Electro Convulsive Therapy
Many patients suffering from severe anxiety and depression can be given relief by electro-convulsive therapy This as an extreme form of treatment but is easy to administer and it is certainly better than lobotomy. The present global situation is so catastrophic that a cultural revitalisation movement has become essential. It is this course I have chosen to take in my proposal to apply mass cultural ECT using the social media and mass entertainment institutions.
Making use of current social media, especially YouTube as a starting point, my intension has been to demonstrate that, as a wizard, living work of art, trickster and therapist, not an “objective” secular-state or commercially employed scientist, nor an obedient servant of God, I can cast a word and number spell that will, to all intents and purposes, totally change the shape of the universe as a cultural phenomenon. This new universe model is not only more beautiful, but more rational, more ethical, more fun and more stable, than the old mechanical universe which is falling to bits. Since there is no absolute frame to the universe I recommend voting through the world wide web to choose the most attractive. Scientists working for the military industrial complex could simply carry on using the old Enlightenment “balls in space” model.
COPYING GALILEO AND CHANGING THE WORLD SYSTEM
Step One; turning the World Upside down.
After some entertaining videos on YouTube etc., a pressure group is started throughout the world using the web and social media to vote on whether the Earth should be shown North Up or South Up on all official maps. I calculate that four out of five people can be persuaded to choose South Up. Of course, maps would have to be amended. The Earth is essentially a subjective, culturally-transmitted symbolic construction based on, and including, lower levels of life and matter. The Earth would then, for all intents and purposes, have been turned upside-down, but there would be no apparent change!
Step Two; turning the Universe Inside-out.
Having demonstrated the power of collective human will to transform the world in a sensational but harmless way, the newly empowered and delighted world population, especially those living around the Equator and in the Southern Hemisphere, are now ready for a much more important transformation of physical reality which will destroy the materialists’ global monopoly of education, the media, and political and economic power. Another vote is taken, coordinated again through the World Wide Web, which goes even further. By avoiding the fallacy of misplaced concreteness, where we mistake models of reality for objective “things”, we can make a collective choice for the first time and decide on the relative size and location of the Earth to make it more beautiful, more truthful, more moral, more stable and much larger ‘human world system’ for everyone, except the military-industrial complex who will be furious and go ballistic!
All size is apparent and depends on both the location of real, embodied, subjective observers and their belief in the model they use to account for what they perceive. Until now all such models have been imposed on us by our ruling cultural elites. The new model is a simple conformal inversion of the traditional mathematical coordinates of the spherical Earth model. This produces an Inside-out model of the Earth, no longer a tiny sphere surrounded by the Universe, but apparently framing an enormous hollow region containing the rest of the Universe. The Universe would then for all intents and purposes have been turned inside-out, but there would be no apparent change.
There is no apparent change. It will look exactly the same, since light rays are now travelling in accordance with the new model. There is however an important new centre to the model, a singularity which is directly above the Earth’s surface, where the real embodied human beings are located. The Sun and planets now circle around inside the Earth’s surface. The galaxies are hurtling inwards towards the central singularity to converge on this highest place, which is what mankind has traditionally called Heaven. Hell is now a singularity spread thinly around the outside, so the universe is now Heaven-centred! If we could drill straight down to what was the old centre of the Earth as a sphere, we would encounter the periphery of the model, which is a singularity (like the Big Bang), and we would find ourselves returning to the centre through the other side of the Earth. Materialists who have already had to swallow the absurd singularity of the Big bang, will gag at this new singularity, as the new Heaven-Centred Universe model is extremely unsuitable for calculating the trajectory of missiles.
Uniting Truth, Beauty and Goodness in this Convergent, Transcendent Universe.
There is no God-given reason obliging us to choose the Geoperipheral model of the universe and nor is there any rational “true” or “false” decision to make, but there is certainly the choice of “useful” or “useless”. Useful to whom? That is the question that must first be raised in our current utilitarian civilization. Having duly considered the present state of the world, we can decide which model would be most useful for most human purposes. Freedom of choice, that most precious cosmic characteristic, can then be used to decide between universe models that are beautiful or ugly, good or evil, creative or destructive. If human beings vote for one, even for fun, it comes true! It becomes a symbolic reality, which is the ultimate human form of reality. It is still only a man-made model and should another wizard come along to cast a better universe-changing spell it might be transformed again. As the philosopher Whitehead pointed out, it is best understood not as a material thing, but a self-creating work of art in progress.
In his book “On the Wild Side” (1992), Martin Gardner discusses the Hollow Earth model articulated by Abdelkader. According to Gardner, this hypothesis posits that light rays travel in circular paths, and slow as they approach the centre of the spherical star-filled central inner space. No energy can reach the centre of this space, which corresponds to no point a finite distance away from Earth in the widely accepted scientific cosmology. A drill, Gardner says, would lengthen as it travelled away from the inner space and eventually pass through the “point at infinity” corresponding to the centre of the Earth in the current scientific cosmology. Apparently, no experiment can distinguish between the two cosmologies. Gardner notes that “most mathematicians believe that an inside-out universe, with properly adjusted physical laws, is empirically irrefutable”. He rejects the Geoperipheral hypothesis on the basis of Occam’s razor, claiming rather desperately that it is not a hypothesis but an illustration of the fact that any description of the physical world can be equivalently expressed in more than one way. Wizard’s note, the use of Occam’s Razor is only relevant in rejecting the model’s use for blind materialists like Gardner, it does not apply to psychologists, environmentalists, social scientists or process theologians.
Wizard of NZ 2017 (An essay in ‘The Fun Revolution’)