Part Seven: A Cultural Overview
a mass hallucination of a society gone mad
© 2005 Antero Alli (updated 6/6/11)
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 runs through 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. I care deeply about the integrity and autonomy of the individual.
Culture is not our friend. Culture represents a toxic cul-de-sac, an impersonal beast that consumes, assimilates and spits out whatever fails to conform to its externally-imposed standards. The majority of the populace (aka the masses) have been conditioned into alignment with the dominator default culture, whereas the rebelious minority (aka the fringe) have been self-conditioned through alternative subcultures that nurture and defend their sovereignty. It is with misanthropic horror that I witness the lowest common denominator of society — the consumerist culture — succumbing to a mass hallucination of entitlement fed by:
1) excessive materialism and soul-deadening greed
2) archaic religious beliefs and their toxic guilt complexes
3) government deceptions and their immobilizing corporate-funded, fear-based advertising
The truth will set you free but first it may make you miserable. How can we learn to live with more truth about ourselves amidst a society gone mad? Truth alone will not set us free. Truth without compassion looks and feels just like cruelty. Total self-accountibility may be as free as we get down here on planet earth. Real freedom -- not to be confused with the consumerist instant gratification -- starts with the audacity of total self-acceptance, a radical act requiring enough courage to buy the consequences of any decision and action we set into motion. Without such self-accountability, we can easily remain as spoiled children and petulant bullies paving our way to becoming accidental (and intentional) psychopaths.
The problems of society can never be solved by the same mindset that created these problems in the first place. If any lasting transformation is to occur, it must happen within the individual first and then, through clusters of such self-governing bodies who discover and design new models of intimacy, collaboration, and collective life honoring the individual over the herd. This politic of individual integrity demands that each person define themselves according to the resonant dictates of their own Central Nervous Systems. Define yourself or be defined.
True conscience -- not just regurgitated, twice-boiled cultural moralities -- cannot develop without total commitment to our own neurological truth and the courage to live in accordance with that truth. This has nothing to do with blinding narcissism but a quest for restoring self-trust. Before direct firsthand experience can become a trusted source, we must first discover how this trust was broken in the first place and then, apply ourselves to rebuilding self-trust by whatever means re-ignites the flame of gnosis, of direct perception...the flickering pilot light of our very souls.
Antero Alli, director,
ParaTheatrical ReSearch, Berkeley CA USA
I have posted this manifesto online to stimulate dialogue.
All sincere responses, thoughts and comments encouraged.
My e-mail: antero (at) paratheatrical (dot) com
Part One: Orientation
culture, paratheatre, the emotional plague
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: Double Vision
on the interaction of the first and second attentions
Part Six: Self-Initiation
a bridge between worlds; drains to the power of dreaming
Antero Alli -- paratheatre background