Hidden in our flesh is about 30 books worth of information forming a story that we call our DNA.
This story is our inheritance, which life struggled through billions of years to create. It probably began as a little bacterium whose story was only one sentence long, but since then the story has evolved. It evolved into fish, plants, amphibians, insects, mammals, reptiles, birds, and eventually humans. Each of these creatures battled through the arena of life with the aim of creating children to carry the story forward.
Our lives are DNA’s way of moving through Time.
Stephen Hawking says that: “The rate of increase of DNA complexity gradually rose to about one bit a year over the last few million years. But then, about six or eight thousand years ago, a major new development occurred. We developed written language. This meant that information could be passed from one generation to the next without having to wait for the very slow process of random mutations and natural selection to code it into the DNA sequence.”
Currently the real forefront of evolution is in the arena of language, which makes ideas, paintings, songs, actions and symbols the new organisms.
Our minds are the vessels for language, and so humans are the animals through which this drama takes place. Evolution no longer happens to us but through us.
DNA designed us to create new language, for example 14 month old toddlers will naturally begin to use their imaginations to decorate their surroundings and some 2 years olds will even create imaginary friends.
Our DNA has sculpted our imaginations as factories for churning out new ideas, because new ideas are pushing the life-story forward. It is through the imagination that us humans have climbed out of the struggle of nature and into the safety of civilisation.
What we didn’t see is how deep of a rabbit hole we climbed into.
The War of Ideas
When the imagination creates an idea, and a human has the dedication to craft it, the idea becomes real. Something comes from nothing. If the human then has the courage to sling the idea into society, it enters the Worldstage.
The Worldstage is like an invisible savannah which is populated full of all the ideas in our culture. These ideas are much like animals, because they need a resource to survive: the attention of humans.
Millions of ideas live in this space competing for our attention, because when an idea is deprived of the attention of humans it withers and dies. Over time, like biological creatures, ideas mutate into larger organisms which are better at surviving. We call these larger organisms ideologies.
Ideologies are systems of ideas which have developed ways of controlling our attention. They do this by manipulating our moral outlook. When we are infected with an ideology it begins to distort our attitude against rival ideas by convincing us that it itself is good and all other threatening ideologies are evil.
Ideologies recruit us into a war against their enemies and have us fight for them by destroying the hosts of their rivals: other humans. This simple tactic has led to many atrocities, such as how Nazism convinced Hitler that Jews were evil during the Holocaust allowing him to condone terrible actions against them. Similarly Catholicism convinced Europe that Islam is evil during the Crusades.
There is a natural antidote to this: the imagination. The imagination creates new ideas so relentlessly that it wears down ideologies like water over sand. See how, over the course of 300 years, Jesus’ message washed away the dominant Roman ideology that had him killed. To survive and prosper, ideologies had to evolve a new and more sinister tactic: the suppression of the imagination.
The ideologies that exist in the world today sustain their control of our attention by using this strategy. We know about this oppression, but we direct our anger at the hosts of the ideologies, not the ideologies itself.
Terence McKenna said in 1990: “Culture is a plot against the expansion of consciousness, and this plot prosecutes its goals through a limiting of language. Language is the battleground over which the fight will take place.”
We have been born into a war we cannot even see.
To us, history is out of our reach, controlled by politicians, onto whom we project all our frustration and glory. Conspiracy tells us that reality is manufactured by these people perched atop a social hierarchy who rule the world with the intent of destroying it.
Unfortunately our anger blinds us from seeing the truth: There is no-one in control. The people at the top are as confused about what is going on as the people at the bottom. This is because we are all looking in the wrong places for the culprit. What controls us is not a group of humans, but an ideology called: consumerism.
Consumerism is a paranoid mutation of an economic idea called capitalism. Those at the top are not evil, they areinfected, they are infected by an ideology which survives by suppressing their own imaginations: the one tool which can break them free.
We are not as unfortunate as them. The rejects of this chaos can still learn how powerful our imaginations are. The imagination can change the tide of history. Jesus died with only twelve men knowing of his vision, yet 1700 years later it was being preached in Brazil and Australia, places he didn’t even know existed. Gandhi led a whole nation to independence based on a ideals.
Our goal is to destroy all the obstacles between us and our imagination, because our imaginations contain the new ideas which will enhance our world. The ideologies we have inherited from our cultures, which suppress the imagination, are one of these obstacles. Mediation is an example of an ancient technique used for this task.
When you succeed you will begin understanding that you are not a consumer, a christian, an existentialist, or a republican. You will see that all these idea were ignorant distractions that rendered your imagination as trivial, when it is infact noble, and has been waiting to show you what you are for your whole life.
Art and music in many schools are of a lower opinion than mathematics and science. Your headmaster imagines that you go to the music room to relax, and that you go to the maths room to learn. This is a mistake. Albert Einstein once said that “The greatest scientists are artists as well.”
All who puncture through the veil of ideology find themselves in the imagination where there is no difference between science, art or engineering. Those tags are an illusion, reinforced by our education system, which gradually smothers our imaginations. What we need is to re-educate ourselves on how to use our imaginations, and the most effective way to do this is through an ancient technique called the artistic process.
The artistic process is simple act of unifying the imagination and reality. First; you see an idea in the silence of your imagination, then you nourish this idea with your attention. When it is ready you craft the idea in reality; creating an artifact. All our great creations have come to us via this portal: the wheel, penicillin, Plato’s works, the space shuttle, the art of rhetoric, Led Zeppelin’s back catalogue.
Our re-education is about finding the lifestyle in which we can master the artistic process. This is often labelled as “living the dream”. Our culture survives based on a job market. This market needs a certain type of worker, and so our schooling involves the restriction of an individual’s “dream” to suit the job market. We tame our capacity to imagine something as important as ourselves and instead we turn towards following what’s given. Options replace possibility. Our re-education is about asking the one thing that knows what you should be: your body.
Us humans treat the feelings that come from our bodies as stupid and not worth listening to, but feelings have a hidden source: they are the language which DNA uses to communicate to animals on how to live the way they were designed. Instinct is the voice of DNA. As mentioned at the beginning, DNA designed you to be a creator, and so the life which you need to be living is hidden behind the artist’s bliss: inspiration.
Joseph Campbell said: “Follow your bliss. If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while waiting for you, and the life you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in the field of your bliss, and they open the doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
Find this feeling, trust it and it will guide you through the trap culture has laid out before us all.