Part Six: A Cultural Overview
a mass hallucination of a society gone mad
© 2005 Antero Alli (updated 2/10/17)
At this juncture in post-history, I see everything simultaneously rising and falling, going to hell in a handbasket and ascending to higher consciousness. It's all happening at the same time, isn’t it? Just as the highest degree of consciousness becomes accessible within the individual, the lowest degree of consciousness consistently drives the herd. I have zero ambitions to change the world or save the world. I am not here to make society better. I do not care about society or what happens to culture. However, I do care deeply about the integrity and autonomy of the individual.
We live in an era where integrity loss and power loss express symptoms of a hyper-materialistic, death-ignorant society fractured by its own spiritual bankruptcy. Many of us carry this spiritual damage as a private burden - consciously as virtue and/or unconsciously by accident. We have mistakenly shouldered the blame and the shame of impersonal culture as personal blame and shame but to what end? To alleviate cultural guilt? Who can honestly take credit for how things have gone wrong in society? A complete waste of time and energy. The impersonal culture of society does not, cannot, care about the person. Society at large acts like a corporation that uses the person to advance its own impersonal agendas. Don't be a tool. Culture is not your friend. But if we can interact and develop relationship with the culture at large, we can contribute and even advance the culture without diminishing our individual integrity and autonomy.
The world does not need saving. The world is full of people that need saving from themselves. Those who drop the impersonal burden of cultural guilt do not become free of suffering. They become free of the impersonal culture of suffering that depersonalizes anyone identified with its hidden corporate agendas. Only after we embrace the honest burden of our own existence, the cross each of us bears, can we see the futility of taking on the tragedy of the world. Only when we become fully accountable for our own lot in life are we less likely to assume the false duty of saving others. Besides, not everyone needs or wants to be saved. Try breaking the cultural trance of anyone resigned to the comfort zones of cultural hypnosis and witness the gnashing of teeth! the bearing of claws!
Not all suffering is meaningful. Suffering becomes meaningless when it leads to the despair of a meaningless life. Unless we're living in abject poverty, enduring a terminal disease, in prison, or in third world countries, most suffering tends to be self-created and rendered meaningless by its own circuitous nature. Round and round and round we moan. Meaningful suffering results from any continual exposure to the existing conditions of our lives -- not the life we wanted or believed we should or could have had, if only things were different. No. I’m talking about your actual life, accepting the way things actually are right now. In the wake of this continual exposure of ourselves to ourselves, we can eventually open up to the living, pulsating mystery in the heart of of existence itself -- never what we thought it was, never what we expected - linking us with everything else that exists. Endure the existing conditions of your life and you may find the manifestations of other more bearable. Dropping cultural guilt does not mean withdrawing from lending a helping hand. It means becoming more aware of how we actually can and cannot help each other. If we are to effectively assist each other, we must learn how to truly see others in their own rite, in their own light, and who they are as a living presence beyond our agendas, fears, and desires. But first we must break the cultural trance that has hypnotized us with false promises, media hype, and endless distractions from the true source of your spiritual authority: earning and restoring the trust in your firsthand direct experience.
Antero Alli, director,
Portland OR USA
This manifesto is a work in progress and updated as new experience
upstages previous ideas and beliefs. All sincere responses, thoughts
and comments encouraged. antero (at) paratheatrical (dot) com
Part One: Orientation
culture, paratheatre, verticality, the asocial
Part Two: Integrity Loss and Recovery
the force of commitment, what feeds the being
Part Three: The Performer/Audience Romance
talent and skill, the total act, the No-Form technique
Part Four: Self-Observation and Ego
on the function of ego, on playing contraries,
Part Five: Self-initiation
on the bridge between the worlds and
what drains the power of dreaming