Daniel Pinchbeck: 10

The Dazed & Confused columnist continues his monthly countdown to 2012 by questioning our hunger for conspiracy theories

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10

We currently find ourselves in a phase of rapid political and spiritual awakening, similar in intensity to the 1960s. As people break from consensus trance they discover the prophecies of cultures like the Classic Maya, that point toward this time as one of rapid transformation for humanity and the earth. Many of them also start to explore conspiracy theories, discovering a baroque labyrinth, which suggests  that history is orchestrated by secret societies, sinister forces, or mean-spirited extraterrestrials.

We currently find ourselves in a phase of rapid political and spiritual awakening, similar in intensity to the 1960s. As people break from consensus trance they discover the prophecies of cultures like the Classic Maya, that point toward this time as one of rapid transformation for humanity and the earth. Many of them also start to explore conspiracy theories, discovering a baroque labyrinth, which suggests  that history is orchestrated by secret societies, sinister forces, or mean-spirited extraterrestrials.

According to the prevailing narrative of conspiranoia, a secret society, descended from the Bavarian Illuminati, rules the world by invisible covenant and bloodlines. The Illuminati infiltrated Freemasonry in the late 18th century with an ethos based on nihilism and the naked lust for worldly power. At mysterious gatherings like Bohemian Grove in Northern California, members of the power elite drunkenly cavort before a giant statue of an owl, renewing their contract with the dark side. According to conspiracists, when Michelle Obama appeared on the cover of Vogue soon after her husband’s election, she intentionally flashed the devil’s horn hand signal, letting the elect know that they didn’t need to worry, everything was unfolding according to plan.

One of my favorite websites is vigilantcitizen.com, which analyses music videos by Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, Kanye West, Christina Aguilera, and pop stars from around the world. The Vigilant Citizen finds in these cultural artefacts symbols and themes that refer to Masonic ritual, “monarch programming”, transhumanism, and MK-Ultra. The thesis is that the top echelons of the music industry are consciously involved in a plot to program the mass consciousness to remain submissive and nihilistic – slaves to the machine. A number of outsider scholars pursue conspiranoia farther back in time, from the Freemasons to Ancient Egypt, from Egypt to Atlantis, from Atlantis to the origin of humanity in a genetic experiment set up by alien overlords.

The book Dark Mission by Richard Hoagland and Mike Bara proposes that NASA was created by Nazi rocket-scientists and US Freemasons, and that the various moon landings were all coordinated astrologically with the star system Sirius. This was done due to ancient esoteric knowledge, preserved within secret societies and the Vatican, about advanced aliens from Sirius.

Indulging in conspiranoia can be an oddly comforting past time. It has a certain S&M glamour to it. I admit to having spent many satisfying internet hours plunging down various dark rabbit holes that lead to vast underground dimensions of conspiracy freak-out, catalogues of secret government mind-control techniques, studies on the HAARP Project’s ability to alter the emotional frequency of an entire city, 9/11 hypotheses that dismantle evidence of the official story, testimonies on underground bases where alien technology is said to be reverse-engineered, and so on.

One problem with conspiranoia is the lack of hard evidence, which leaves open the possibility that what is happening is less a conscious plot than an unconscious orchestration. It is also possible that our tendency to perceive an over-arching conspiracy could be due to the particular design of the human mind, which seeks to organise an overwhelming swarm of data into manageable pattern, to create meaning out of insignificance. A more significant problem is that the focus on the murky agenda of a super-mysterious, all-powerful group of conspirators is deeply disempowering for the individual, and negates taking any personal responsibility for what is happening in the world; for our own future. It becomes another distraction, an avoidance mechanism.

In the end, dualistic divisions between light and dark are optical illusions of the mind. In reality, dark and light mesh seamlessly together. For instance, we would never have developed the internet in the same way unless the threat of nuclear war impelled the construction of a completely distributed network, mimicking the holographic organisation of the brain. It’s just as likely that everything conspires for us, rather than against us. As Tantra scholar Georg Feuerstein notes, “When we realise the imperishable Self, previously obscured by karmic habit patterns, we overcome the world, which means we overcome our particular restricted world experience. In that instant the world loses its hostile quality and instead reveals itself to us as the benign ever-present reality itself.”

To counteract conspiranoia, we can construct a parallel myth, of prospiracy. Where conspiracies are secret and nefarious, prospiracies are transparent and open. They are efforts to transform society in a direction that serves the greater good. According to this narrative, we are part of a vast ancient prospiracy to awaken humanity to its spiritual greatness and create a movement of solidarity that brings about a next age of conscious evolution. When we study the potentially ravaging effects of accelerating climate change and peak oil, what we need to do now is get creative by developing new social, political, and economic arrangements that can take over as the empire of control continues its slow-motion breakdown and collapse.

Daniel Pinchbeck is the author of Breaking Open the Head, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, and the just-published Notes from the Edge Times. He edits realitysandwich.com and is featured in the new documentary, 2012: Time for Change

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