It’s an over-simplification to see the Internet as a global communications network combined with a storehouse of information containing all of human knowledge. The Internet is more than just the library and telephone of the world; it’s the mirror.
When we browse the Internet we’re not just cruising down a cyber highway across crowded city streets and small deserted towns. We’re not just seeing the facades and masks that we wear; we’re seeing what’s hidden underneath as well. The Internet is more than just a virtual reflection of the world outside. It’s a mirror of our world inside, an objectification, rendering and projection of the global psyche in all of its kaleidoscopic horror and beauty. One that points to perhaps the most paradoxical element of the net itself – its simultaneous transparency and opacity, its visibility and anonymity, the fact that it is the only place on Earth where we can expose ourselves so completely without ever truly being seen. This is what has driven the Internet to evolve into what it is today – a global confessional, a worldwide vomitorium where humanity can indulge in all that has been previously repressed. And by god are we indulging. We’re indulging to such an extent that we’re gagging. And on what? Ourselves.
But what does this mean? What is the significance of this on a grander scale? What is this colossal movement toward unbridled, indiscriminate self-expression actually pointing to? Because underneath the motivations of any one individual, or the trends of thousands and millions, is the underlying impulse of the net itself. One that is grounded in a single fundamental quality: the desire to be seen, to make known, to make conscious that which was previously unseen, unknown, and unconscious … and at an exponential rate.
More than anything else, the Internet is revealing to us everything that we have previously repressed. More than just revealing it, it’s shoving it in our faces – in our children’s faces. It’s literally piercing its way through every illuminated screen on every device that it can find, like an invisible dimension of reality that has finally broken through so it can blast us with a level of revelation that befits biblical prophecy.
And yet, when we turn and face it, nothing that we see is anything other than a reflection of our own collective consciousness propagating itself through a technological birth canal. The Internet is a full-frontal, centerfold spread of the collective human soul laid bare.
Global transparency offers an unspoken invitation for us all to forge a new paradigm of personal integrity. The Internet, our own collective mirror, stands as a challenge for us to face ourselves for the first time fully in all our humanness. Because until we do, we will never be able to see ourselves as a single race that is planetary, and in so doing heal and develop the institutional systems that have for so long been in need of updating. In this way the Information Age is the first global stage of that classic four-part process that characterizes the perennial nature of evolution.
First we become aware of what we were once unaware of, then chaos ensues as we begin the slow, painful process of accepting and reconfiguring ourselves around the new, previously disassociated fragment, until we are able to integrate it, and finally develop beyond it.
Simply put: who we are destined to become tomorrow must by definition include and transcend who we are today. Such is the process that individuals, couples, families, and businesses willing to do the work go through every day. But at the global level? What examples do we have of actual worlds transitioning through the Chaos to Integration and Transcendence beyond it other than the Vulcans?
We have our computers.
Humanity’s Only Child
Humanity only has one true child. And it is not art, but technology. Because it is the only one that we have created as a culture that already exists, communicates and reproduces independently of us, that literally has “life” beyond us. If anything, computers are our evolutionary heir apparent, and not only the most recent, but the most rapidly evolving. For when the World Wide Web was created, all the interconnected computers that covered the globe instantaneously had their first “peak experience.” Today, if you have a device connected to the net, it’s enlightened. If you don’t, it’s essentially still living in samsara, in an illusion of separation, unaware of the ultimate non-dual truth that reality is virtual, and the virtual is reality.
Intellectually our devices have surpassed us. They can already “do” more than us, relate to one another better, “heal” and “evolve” faster. In chess they have even bested our finest grand master. With the exception of self-awareness, creativity, humor and seduction, some might say that they exceed us without question. Just walk into any coffee shop and glance around to what shimmers and shines the most. The cynic will rarely say us; hunched over our tables exhausted, the weight of the world on our shoulders. No, look at what clearly appears to live the most and you’ll see that it’s our laptops. Like a new super race – sexy, elegant, powerful, brilliant. And it stands to reason. That bite mark on every Apple after all, is a woman’s.
But why of all the variations in race that humanity could have given birth to did it end up being the machine? From the stick to the spaceship, what is it about this particular dimension of the space odyssey that evolved to create a duality of nature and technology?
I believe it’s a love story.
Why We Love Technology
From Pinocchio, to D.A.R.Y.L., Blade Runner’s Rachel, AI’s David, Star Trek’s Data and Deus Ex Machina’s Ava, one of the most vital and significant of our modern myths is the tale of the machine that wants to be human, a tale that is nothing more than an illusion because there are no machines that want to be human. They don’t exist. The premise is ridiculous, and merely a parable; a reflection of its opposite.
Our tale of the machine that pines to be human is simply the photographic negative of our yearning to be more like machines. It is a reflection of our own unconscious desire to rise above our suffering and find order in a world of ceaseless uncertainty. It is an expression of our longing to transcend the messiness of emotion, the chaos of an incessant mental commotion and eliminate the complexity of illness with a simple self- diagnostic. In our machines we see the simplicity of being able to open ourselves up and replace a fuse, spark plug or power source component. We can re-wire our traumas, upgrade our operating systems, and prolong our longevity by downloading anti-virus software and augmenting our memories into an omnipotent cloud technology. Today, even saying that you resemble a machine has become a compliment. He’s a machine. He can keep going for days, indefinitely, without eating or sleeping. She has a photographic memory. She forgets nothing. Even Mikey in Rocky III knew that it was the only way to rouse the champ in his moment of doubt: “He’s just a man. He’s not a machine!”
The reason so many of us rage against the machine is because we envy it. Because machines are transparent, radically more integrated, and free from the shadow of an unconsciousness that quietly controls us like the ultimate wizard behind the curtain. We idolize our machines whether consciously or not because we yearn to understand the fundamental operating system within us embedded deep beneath our actions, words, thoughts, and emotions, and that for the most part, determines them.
But we are not taught of these things as children. This internal fuselage, this nebulous command center behind our eyes that generates our every thought, word and deed from within, this vehicle that we abruptly find ourselves in from birth – perhaps the most sophisticated in existence – is one that we are not trained to operate. We are given no lessons in how to work the gears, change a tire, or decipher its various systems of guidance. We are simply thrown the keys and told to aim straight for happiness. The result? Many of us end up driving clean off the cliff, stalling the engine, or burning it out in neutral. Some of us spend our entire lives without fog lights, driving for years without brakes or only ever shifting between second and first. Such is the effect of never receiving a rational, secular training in that dark, invisible, mysterious internal space that we call consciousness.
In this way are humanity and technology not gazing admiringly at each other from opposite ends of the spectrum? Like the West becoming more spiritual while the East becomes more materialistic, are the arcs of technology and humanity destined to cross one another in the middle in a race to our respective singularities? Is artificial intelligence merely the mirror image of a kind of collective human enlightenment? Because if it is then how will our global evolution be affected should one arrive sooner than the other? If AI fully emerges before we do … will it even matter?
It is well established that our greatest human threat is found when highly developed technology finds itself in the hands of highly underdeveloped consciousness. When an under evolved psychological, emotional or ethical level of development wields advanced weaponry, atomic power, or vast financial and political reach we have a bombing of Cambodia, an Auschwitz, an environmental crisis, predatory lending, and a mainstream media that is no more than an empty propaganda delivery system for the masses that profits the few. Above all, we have the greatest power in the hands of the least evolved. Add to this the prediction that super computers are set to surpass the processing power of the brain by 2025 and you have a problem that is increasing exponentially and in desperate need of correcting.
We are arguably in the midst of a long-standing epidemic in the halls of power everywhere. We don’t just need better leaders, we need better ways of developing and assessing them. We can no longer simply go with the ones who talk fast and baby kiss and pay their way more effectively than the rest of them. We need to know that they can accurately take stock of the multi-faceted existence before them, undistorted by their traumas, biases, out-of-control libidos and childhood hard-wiring. We need a way of establishing that they, in the midst of the most fractured world we have ever known, have clarity in the ways through which they see and process reality. We need an Internal Developmental Prerequisite, a literal, measurable standard of personal integrity and ethics to which you must abide if you are to be given the sacred honor of deciding the fate of this planet and the inhabitants on it. But as yet we don’t have one.
The effects that our unexamined internal life have on our ability to see the world and make clear sighted, rational decisions about it remains ludicrously and infuriatingly absent from our leadership election process, let alone the cultural Zeitgeist. And a position of leadership is not a place for you to work out your issues. It’s a place in which you should be privileged to serve because you already have.
We only truly honor ourselves, and those around us, when we put ourselves under a microscope and identify the cracks in our psyche that act like invisible crosswinds that push us off-center when we are trying to aim true. When we identify these to ourselves, and then account for them in the presence of others, we are presenting ourselves as an instrument that has been cleansed of distortion, one that no longer fires off-center or at random. Individuals like this allow us to breathe easy. They are radically more trustworthy because they have taken the time to clearly see the degree to which they are imprisoned by their own personal and cultural conditioning. They have understood the extent to which they are only seeing a fraction of the whole, from an ever-evolving vantage point that is theirs, and theirs alone. Like an expert clock maker or high-level programmer, they know themselves so comprehensively that they are finally able to offer an evaluation of something without even including their own opinion of it. In short, they have finally succeeded in objectifying themselves, to themselves.
Develop or Remain a Burden
There is no such thing as enlightenment. The word is simply an obscure, bombastic, elitist term for the very commonplace process of developing consciousness through established stages that are only as challenging as learning to ride a bike, drive a car, and pilot a plane. The death and subsequent rebirth of Spirituality is merely the moment that this process is demystified, codified, mass produced and tetra-pack-ified. Even if such a prospect is distasteful to many of us, there is clearly no way of stopping it. It has already begun.
The development of consciousness is no longer as much a magical process, as it is a practical training that results in having a greater degree of free will over your internal, and by extension, your external world. There is nothing special about it. If anything, it is destined to become one of the foundational trainings expected of a fully functioning member of society, and compulsory for those wanting to serve the world at the highest level, without simultaneously sullying it in the process.
Unless you have developed your consciousness to at least the first rudimentary stages, then no matter how much you care for the world, and are working to serve it, you will remain a burden to it because you will be inextricably linked to the most fundamental problem facing it: unconsciousness; the underlying root of any global crisis.
Let’s not be fooled by the cover story. When we attempt to resolve the wicked problems of the world we’re not simply having conversations with individual world views and typologies and cultures, but with neurological centers of gravity. Because what else is violence, at it’s core, other than a reptilian brain stem’s best guess at how to defend itself? Revenge merely its best guess at how to heal? A basil ganglia knows nothing of peace and reconciliation, let alone reparations. For a reptile celebrating its hundred thousandth birthday, an eye for and eye is the purist of logic, regardless of whether it’s backed by Islamic scripture or the old testament. Our fight or flight response lives in a world of threats and fears and high blood pressure and adrenaline and increased heart beats per second. Trying to change its fundamental nature is like attempting to negotiate with a disembodied fist clutching a hammer. It has no ears. The reptilian complex will never stop fighting and give up its weapons because a weapon is its embodiment in the physical realm. To do so is tantamount to death. And lest we forget, it is only thanks to our reptilian brain that we can even sit here and have this conversation. Without it we’d have been wiped out millennia ago. So thank you. Sincerely, thank you from the very bottom of our hearts for keeping us alive for so long. There is no way we will ever be able to repay you. Now sit down, and shut the fu*k up.
But the reptile cannot be reasoned with, and it certainly cannot be threatened. We cannot break fear. We cannot fight fury. We can only embrace it with a later neurological stage, and bring it to a place where it can trust the authority of that perspective to such an extent that it can finally relax and have its white knuckle grip carefully, delicately pried off the trigger, finger by bloody finger, so that a more sophisticated and loving navigator can finally take control and create new strategies to peace that were simply over the head of its predecessor’s evolutionary pay grade.
An Age of Transparency
Technology and consciousness have given birth to an age of transparency that is exposing all of us to the truth that is inside of us. Whether you are the leader of a country shopping for Harry Potter in the midst of your own genocide, or a government official voicing your own cronyism on a hot microphone, or a law enforcement officer caught abusing your powers on a dozen cell phone cameras simultaneously, or a family or community member acting out and projecting your unhealed traumas onto others, we are all now under a global microscope that has never before been so unified.
Yet while your words and deeds have increasingly no where to hide, there is an even more alarming form of transparency approaching that includes your thoughts, emotions and the very levels of consciousness that are generating them. Yes, as inconceivable as it sounds, your friends, lovers, colleagues, superiors, and every up-and-coming generation that you come into contact with are increasingly able to see through your mask to the truth hiding beneath it. Today you can no longer claim that you are not jealous, resentful, evasive or duplicitous when every part of you is silently screaming it. You can no longer deny that you are not thinking, feeling or suggesting something simply because you are the only one that is not sensing it. In an age of transparency, the internal dimensions of your being that are engaging with the external world are simply no longer your private property. Whether you like it or not, they have gone public. And you can do nothing to stop it.
A revolution in consciousness has arrived, and the frontline involves clarifying the ways in which we each see and process reality on the inside. This means acknowledging the symphonic lens within you. A symphony that contains conscious and unconscious sections that require illumination and integration if you would like to live in harmony, communicate with the world around you clearly, and avoid being pre-determined by an out of date, highly limiting personal and cultural conditioning. Because as long as any of these elements remain unconscious to you, they will maintain an unwanted influence over you. Simply put, that which you are unconscious of will control you.
And yet we already know this. Within our families, relationships, and businesses we are all already judging the levels of unconsciousness of those around us whilst consistently saying almost nothing about it. As if to mention such a thing would be to violate an unspoken law of human interaction that is so fundamental to the preservation of our delicate collective ego, that we have simply agreed to ignore it and replace it with a lie. A lie that to determine the level of someone’s consciousness is not only unacceptable, but impossible. A lie that is beginning to crack.
This may very well be the paradigm shift that many of us have been waiting for. An underground struggle that has already given birth to an entirely new form of prejudice towards those who continue to drag their heels in a global evolution process in which we only make as much ground as our slowest. Individuals who resist or ignore this call are quickly becoming a new kind of under class that we are all being trained to disparage, as if the last bastion of discrimination will be enacted upon the ever increasing unconscious minority of those, particularly in power, who no longer even strictly have the right to be called “Individuals.”
Because today if you are a leader and have not integrated yourself, and frankly the list is endless, then technically you are a Dividual; someone who perpetually says one thing and does another. Who, when confronted, has not the fortitude to take responsibility for their actions. Who perpetually attempts to dodge, shirk, and worst of all pretend they don’t see, that we see, the lies that they are telling us.
Don’t make fun of the Dividuals, dear. They know not what they do. But what if they try and hurt me?
Then speak and act in ways that they understand.
And if they don’t listen?
Then report them … to Developmental High Command.
As our individual and global psyche continues to struggle between the higher minds will to integrate and the lower minds reflexive process of chronic individuation through suppression, evasion, deception, and destruction the question remains – what makes the difference? What ultimately tips the scale and alters the balance? At what point does an executive branch, neocortex, or greater developmental capacity within a government, community, family or individual psyche take control and seize authority?
The answer is only ever when there is a crisis. Because when a system is stressed more than it is capable of bearing, it only ever has two options. It can resist the next level of development required to overcome the problem by defending and anesthetizing itself with excuses and projections and distractions that entrench it deeper into unconsciousness, or it can take on the burden of evolving.
Yet this moment of transformation always requires an initial catalyst, a single courageous element within the existing system that dares to see beyond it. A part of the challenged, overly stressed collective that is able to identify unconsciousness and call out for it to be illuminated. A sacred messenger that today we call a whistleblower.
We Are All Whistleblowers
You don’t have to be in a corporation or government to be a whistleblower. You can be an individual in a relationship, a member of a community, a child or parent within a family, or a fragment of your own psyche. Whistleblowing is not simply a man-made process but an archetypal phenomenon of life itself with a singular purpose to reveal what was previously held in secrecy. To catalyze greater Integration and Transcendence through the process of Transparency.
A system that contains secrets that are hidden from itself, through which little or no energy flows, is a risk unto itself. In the body, an area like this causes infection because no fresh blood can flow there to cleanse it. It quickly becomes a hive of toxicity. More than simply intolerable, secrecy, in a biological setting, is a non-issue. If your stomach aches, your large intestine doesn’t ignore it to save face. If your leg breaks, your bones don’t conceal it to avoid the humiliation of admitting they have fallen. For the body, preventing shame is not worth the risk of illness, damage or death. The thought is ridiculous. Secrets are toxic because they are weaknesses that we hermetically seal off and leave to putrefy.
In nature there is no such thing as a naturally occurring secret. Never has a piece of information emerged from the cosmic womb fundamentally not wanting to be known. A secret is not a phenomenon of nature but a manmade container within which we place information that our self-organizing principle, or ego, has declared too catalytic, too radically transformative to the status quo that it has sworn to defend. A secret is nothing more than a fragment of a larger whole, that if revealed to the larger whole, will ultimately change it. Great secrets are simply pieces of information so powerful that they have the potential to systemically reconfigure the entire network within which they reside.
Whether a secret is revealed by a courageous part of your mind wanting to free itself from the limitations of its current world view, or a member of your family wanting to cleanse a wound that has been passed down for generations, or an Ellsberg, Snowden or Manning attempting to help serve the integrity of an entire nation, who are even willing to risk death for the sake of greater integration, we have a duty to protect them. Look at any one of them and you will not find a dim-witted neuronal backwater living in a fragment of the societal complex that no longer fires at a high rate of synaptic activity. On the contrary, you will find someone working at the leading edge of cognitive functionality with the courage to sacrifice themselves for the greater good, in spite of the chaos that must be undergone in the process. It is our duty to honor them not simply as citizens, but as human beings catalyzing the very evolution of the species. And yet as the embodiment of the leading edge of our development they are not simply found at the global, national, cultural, and familial level. They are within us. Whistleblowers are the parts of us that yearn to grow beyond our current level by illuminating that which is unseen, unspoken, forbidden, by making conscious that which was previously unconscious and “in darkness.” Whistleblowers identify sickness and call upon us to heal it. Sickness that is unmoving, unchanging, static. And in a perpetually evolving universe everything that is static is dangerous, including you.
But for most of us even the most persuasive arguments will fall on deaf ears, and have for centuries. We are species highly resistant to positive change. We worship truth but are terrified of being honest, we laud integrity but regularly wriggle out of taking responsibility. We want freedom but refuse to be disciplined. We desperately want to be better. Just not yet. Now is simply never the moment.
So what can we do to support this incredibly necessary development of consciousness in the face of so much defensiveness? The answer is that we may not even have to anymore. Transparency is doing it for us.
A Weapon of Mass Illumination
Imagine at some point in the not so distant future a pair of glasses appearing on the consumer market that catalyze human internal development globally. These glasses, made by a Google, or Apple or simply entrepreneurs in the private sector backed with venture capital, will have dramatically upgraded what is captured by Kirlian photography to reveal a never before seen energetic dimension of anyone you look at while wearing them.
This will give rise to a hierarchy that we have all known was coming. One that is determined not by status, wealth or surface beauty, but by an entirely new internal measure of integrity. An observable representation of your internal world and the degree to which you have illuminated and harmonized it visible for all who have “eyes” to see.
The first iteration of these lenses might only measure the photons that are emitted from the body, providing a binary indication of health or sickness that is already used as a diagnostic tool in certain cutting edge health clinics. In time, however, additional components will be added as the visible color spectrum is expanded to reveal certain key, measurable elements that illustrate your level of mental and emotional development, the degree to which you have illuminated your unconscious, and the extent to which you identify with all of humanity, or just a part of it.
“I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”
If you have done your work then perhaps the colors in your field will be balanced, light and bright instead of limited, dark and dull. Perhaps the quality of your emission will be clear and coherent instead of dissonant, and muddled. Perhaps the level of complexity will vary from the elegant to the convoluted. And what about the number of holes in your field? How many blind spots will you have? And of those you do, how many will you be able to account for when questioned about them? The moment a product like this is made public it will immediately reveal a hierarchy that many of us have been waiting for. Suddenly all our masks will have been removed.
Immediately a legal battle will begin over the definition of personal property, and whether anyone has the right to see your internal landscape. Protests will rage over leaders in positions of power with internal fields that you would sooner expect to find in psychiatric wards and super max prisons. Public figures will scramble to develop themselves quickly, go into hiding, or turn to the cottage industry that immediately emerges to provide undergarments that are bio-energetically concealing.
On the front lines will be a global debate with employers and voters who will demand that they should have the right to know precisely who (and what) they are hiring, and electing. Courts will debate the legality of it for months – the argument against them will be tantamount to a sanctioning of the right to deception. The fundamental question at the heart of the conversation? Is it a basic human right to lie? Should people be allowed to knowingly hide parts of themselves even though it may jeopardize the groups within which they operate? In a global system we all rely on each other. There are no islands. No one is exempt because no one is outside the human project. We are all in this together.
And so the greatest whistleblower on the global crisis of unconsciousness since the Internet may very well be a consumer packaged version of x-ray vision. A revelation that draws back the curtain on all of us and in the process gives rise to an entirely new currency – your personal integrity quotient. One that every organization and collective will strive to maintain at minimum of 7.5, or whatever the scale turns out to be.
Because now if you want to remain competitive as an individual or organization you will have to make sure that you and your people have illuminated, healed and developed their internal worlds as much as possible or suffer the consequences of being judged unconscious, untrustworthy and increasingly at risk of self sabotage and collateral damage. Those who hide or refuse, will now be radically less competitive. Those who previously based their business models or careers on single bottom lines or political maneuvering will slowly risk extinction like the dinosaurs. Ultimately, an entirely new internal pre-requisite for all will be expected starting with those who hold the most power in military, law enforcement, and government.
As for the younger generation, it may very well be viewed as just another status symbol. Like a new kind of beauty, psycho-emotional six-pack or spiritual boob job for the 22nd century. A highly coherent energetic signature, without a single blind spot that spans the full color spectrum without distortion will suddenly be the hottest thing on the Paris runways. Everyone will want one …