Saturday, November 7, 2009

Rappin About the End of Time

Here's a link to a YouTube channel showcasing the work of a small but enterprising group of Torontonian citizen journalists. Their coverage of the swine flu vaccination lines is particularly interesting and topical, but what I really want to share with you is this video in which they interview KRS-One as he visits Toronto (search for 'press for truth toronto' if the link doesn't work.)

Now, I think his basic message - that there is no such thing as governments or corporations, because they're really made of people and if you have a problem with the institutions, you have a problem with the people, the community, the individual, ultimately with yourself - is entirely correct. One of the citizen journalists who conducted the interview gives this an overly simplistic discussion, stating that it amounts to an assertion that KRS-One is denying that the President is hand-picked, that there's no conspiracy either at the government or financial level but, I don't think this is what the rapper is trying to communicate at all.

The problem today is that far too many people have given away their agency at the same time they have given up their communities, and are thus stripped of every kind of power. That there is tyranny, crime, injustice and the 'con'spiracy(ies) that sustain them is a natural outgrowth of this abdandonment of freedom. All that is required to recover that freedom, and to take back those communities, is the choice to do so. That choice made, the conspirators will be as nought for their tyranny will become untenable, their crimes redunant, their injustice rebalanced. They seem powerful but the truth is they are only men: if those who serve them reclaim their own power, the conspirators will be stripped of that which they have stolen.

The more I see KRS-One the more I like him. Have a look at his lecture Hip Hop Beyond Entertainment if you'd like to see why. I don't even really like Hip Hop, and am honestly somewhat indifferent to his own music. What's fascinating here is the deeper and very spiritual message he's passing on, in an amazingly powerful and succint form and with a clarity that's almost impossible to misunderstand.

Getting back to the interview, KRS-One also gives a particularly vivid impression of the terrors the future may hold and this too is something it's refreshing to see. Sure, we may be on the verge of seeing a global tyranny ages in preparation crumble overnight as we each take back our own power and become resistors rather than conductors of the dark will but ... there is no guarantee of utopia at any point. Even with our planet unified under the banner of a newly resurgant omnihumanity, well, the universe is a very big place. In all liklihood there are within it expressions of the dark that are so profoundly negative they make our most sadistic acts seem positively benign, even as at the same paradises beyond our comprehension flourish in other locales.

At every level, at every scale, the universe is poised against itself, revolving and revolting, self-overcoming and subduing, an endless spiraling motion that shows up the path of a charged particle, in the shape of galaxies, in the yin-yang and in the landscape of human history.

It may well be that our planet is a battleground in a war older than we imagine, one in which our entire history is but a single short engagement in a conflict that draws whole galaxies - perhaps indeed the entire cosmos - into its orbit, between two vast and diverse and diamaterically opposed entities, which to describe by the term 'civilization' or 'empire' would be to understate their sophistication as though calling an elephant an insect, because one knew only insects.

Let us assume that both entities have access to all those technologies that science fiction has dreamt of: faster-than-light travel, time travel, telepathy, manifestation, everything. Ultimately, both of these entities arose from something much like our own biological past, with all the blood and suffering that entails, while over time developing to higher states of consciousness until, eventually, a certain point was reached: that of technological singularity, the moment in which understanding of the nature of the universe became so complete that the various powers listed above become available. At that moment they became as gods, and the universe opened up around them but (here's the thing) they would do so only to find that it was already populated, by themselves (as well as by every other variation of 'intelligent life') and had been all along, a natural consequence of the whole 'time travel' thing. Even their own history, right back to the seeding of life on their planet, would have been manipulated and interfered with by their god-like acausal descendants. In fact it was probably them who did it, while at the same time seeding and guiding the emergence of life on planets all over the universe.

Aany civilization that gets roughly to the point we're at today is faced with a fork in the road. On the one hand, it can pass into the singularity consumed by the bitterness that comes from all the negative garbage that litters its own past. If that happens, the sure outcome is some kind of global tyranny run by psychopathic monsters grimly determined to conquer the whole universe in order to feed their insatiable appetites for power. Now, my bet would be that as the singularity approaches, the negative 'reptilian' influence on the timeline would grow, attempting to introduce as much suffering as possible in order to guarantee that when the moment was reached, the planet became theirs for eternity.

But what if enough of the planet's inhabitants are able to put their suffering behind them, as a lesson and not a cause for dispute? What if peace were to really break out, and these powers were to fall into the hands of altruistic collectives whose members allow each other perfect freedom, while each practicing perfect responsibility? You know, that whole consciousness awakening thing? What then?

Well, any civilization that comes from such a seed will be of a distinctly different character. Far from seeking to dominate the universe, they would rather wish to help the universe grow, to offer guidance while at the same time respecting the universe's desire to be as it is. With all their material and societal needs met thanks to these technologies, spiritual ascendance would become the primary goal and service has always been of the highest importance to this path.

What I've just described here I guess you could say sounds a lot like heaven and I guess it is, but even in paradise there is no utopia. Forget all the petty problems we humans are dealing with on our little global scale. Heaven has to deal with hell, and that's a larger and more terrifying problem than any for while on the one hand they must constantly work against its terrible influence, on the other they must never do anything directly to attack it as after all, it too is a part of the universe, a part of god, and deserves to exist because it does.

The situation we face here on Earth today might seem strange and unique but the truth is it's not. It's happened again and again on planets across the universe ... over infinite time, it doubtless happens on every planet in the universe (what, you didn't know? Planets are born from stars and then like us they grow.) Each is guided as they develop by those who live out of time, and while the details may differ the broad strokes will be the same. In every case a certain point is reached, and in every case, nothing either side does matters a whit in the final analysis because at that very last step, everyone decides for themselves which way to go.


Rob Meade said...

Thinking about the ramifications of technological singularity and good and evil, I think it always boils down to some pretty deep questions about the universe yet to be answered, (and our concept of good and evil as well). Your concept resembles the Christian idea that evil is there because of free will (the free will of the universe?) or part of God.

And, if there are some hyper-advanced pan-dimensional benevolent races lurking about, I can assure you that they have not contacted me via my G- mail. I have not received any letters or phone calls either. And I tend to think we could get a little bit of help down here, man!

But I guess that's how it goes with the prime directive and all.

I think it's true that in the end we all decide which way we go, but whatever decision we make is probably one that could just as easily be made if there was nothing but chaos in the universe and eternal suffering.


psychegram said...

Hey Rob,

You're right, in the end none of this speculation, none of these possibilities really matter. In the end it comes down to a single choice, made over and over again in every moment of every life: a choice between fear and love. Bill Hicks laid it out that way and no one else has ever said it better.

You're also right: we could use some help. We all could. 'Hell', I know I could. Doesn't seem to be forthcoming though. I guess we're supposed to help ourselves, and whether we help ourselves something, or help ourselves to do something is what really matters.

Rob Meade said...

Yes, I also like to boil it down to aesthetics, because even in the aforementioned universe of chaos, pain and suffering (think Sisyphus) we still have the ability to be. Create, or be something. Even for a brief moment. So it's really just what you yourself find most pleasing. A universe of fear, or one of love? Or one with just humor and absurdity? Then we act like a person in our most pleasing universe would act. 'Art for Art's sake'. Fear or love is like the color or mood in the universe-picture. But there is also line, or composition for example. That probably would have more to do with our comprehension and our rational side. It's more like what we do (in itself), regardless of what place we are doing it from.

As for help from some universal love, you might want to check out this youtube video of Jim Carrey emanating pure love:


the BCth said...

psychegram, I am so grateful that you posted this. You have no idea how profound was the effect on me of watching KRS-ONE's lecture. It literally brought me back to life. Also, your thoughts are very interesting to read, as always. Much appreciation here!

Rob Meade, thank you for the Jim Carrey link - it made me grin so hard! I really felt the love. The video is now in my favourites and I'm passing the recommendation forward.