This article is dedicated to Bonnie Lange, my dear friend and publisher, who passed away last week. Bonnie was an unbound creative spirit who lived her life as a titanic vision. Leaving her physical form behind, she expands her vision, her life, her work, her ever-present joy. Much love, my friend…
NBC News is in the process of appointing a new chief. The purpose? To rearrange what is already false reality, to make it more interesting and dramatic.
The desperate networks are grasping at straws. Their ratings reflect a continuing audience exodus.
I once wrote that, if tomorrow the top news anchors admitted they were drag queens, the whole country would immediately collapse. That’s how fragile America actually is.
I’ve updated that comment, because the USA is now so tolerant the top anchors could come out as collies or toasters and everyone would feel compelled to consider the revelation with warm regard.
So here is the new formulation: If tomorrow, television news disappeared completely, the human mind would lose its mirror and chaos would ensue.
The minds of most viewers lack context, are satisfied with cartoons of reality, yearn for authorities, and will accept any version of “being informed.”
This is what the news is all about. The superficial mind clings to the news as a representation of what the mind is.
Take away that mirror and millions of people would enter a highly disturbing void, an absence, a vacuum.
It would be quite interesting.
Some people would realize the degree to which they demand to be told what to think, what to see, what to assume. Others would simply spin into a deep confusion.
At bottom, most minds want to know what exists, even if the portrait is a total lie. A lie is better than nothing. “Give me something, anything.”
That morbid desire is in direct proportion to the absence of any ambition to create reality on one’s own.
Every psyop since the dawn of time is based on, and works because of, the individual’s refusal to create his own reality.
This refusal is, in turn, the cornerstone of highly organized, layered, hierarchical, top-down societies.
These societies generate majestic deceptions, enemies, wars, and huge disparities between the haves and the have-nots. History reveals many elements of progress, but it doesn’t show a solution to these chronic injustices.
To put it another way, the solutions will not appear, in the long run, until millions of people do, in fact, create their own realities.
And that capacity to create requires a revolution at the deepest possible level.
Most people don’t even understand what it means, and/or won’t admit it’s possible.
They would rather rearrange deck chairs on a sinking ship:
“Give me THESE liars as leaders (creators of mass reality), and if you won’t do that, give me THOSE liars as leaders…”
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the end of the last newscast anywhere. Good night and good luck.” Blackout.
If government’s media mouthpiece were gone, people would be forced to make up their own minds about government. And eventually, they would. And it wouldn’t be a happy moment, for government.
Unsurprisingly, the first “newspapers,” in ancient China, Egypt, and Rome, were government-issued bulletins. They were decrees, commands, and announcements.
They were deployed to control citizens’ actions and paint an official picture of reality.
At some point, leaders recognized that, with the expansion of individual freedom, more subtle methods for control and “guided perception” were necessary. Hence, modern media.
For this to work, reporters had to be elevated to privileged status. They were now town criers dressed to kill.
“Owing to excessive propaganda, lies, and style masquerading as substance, all news is canceled.” That would be a kind of forced declaration of independence.
In 1982, when I began writing for LA Weekly, I sat down with the editor, who explained that investigative reporting was a dying function of the news, because it was too expensive. Its outcome was always uncertain – a newspaper could assign a reporter to a story and pay him for a few months, and at the end of it he might or might not come up with something explosive.
There was, of course, another reason for squelching investigative reporting. A reporter might dig too deep and find too much gold. The wrong people (actual high-level criminals) could be indicted and exposed.
For the most part, mainstream news has canceled real investigation. It’s gone. It exists as limited hangout, meaning it’s constructed to execute partial and ultimately harmless exposure of crimes. The limited hangout pretends to be the last word, and everybody packs up and goes home, thinking the job is done.
Which is exactly the way most minds operate, when it comes to the truth. They poke around a little, come up with a bit of “deep” material, and check out. Nothing more to see, move along.
Any reporter who goes too far with a story is stopped by his bosses and reassigned to lighter topics. I know of one such hound, who broke open several heavy scandals and was then pulled off to do other work. Allowed to continue his investigations, he would have torn apart the Dept. of Justice and the CDC.
All of mainstream news is a limited hangout, because it purports to be coverage of reality. Actually, it invents reality by establishing narrow context, selecting which stories are important, and twisting their meaning.
So my original question, what if television news disappeared, is in a way a moot point. It’s already disappeared. It never was. It was always a simulacrum.
The Matrix can be viewed as the simulacra the mind invents to stand in for reality. This obsession for what psyops specialists used to call stereotypes is the putty-like target for engineers of deception:
“People already want false images. We merely make sure they buy our false images.”
Coming out of World War 2, US psychological warfare operators turned their attention to new conditions of “peace.” They fed the population images and simulacra of distant peoples and places and cultures.
The premise was: there are billions of people Americans will never meet or come to know. We, the princes of psyops, have to give them pictures of who these foreign humans are, to align with US foreign policy (empire building).
Now, the psyop operators’ target has expanded to a significant degree. The premise reads: there are billions and trillions of bits of information people will never be able to evaluate or organize. We have to tell them what all this information means. We have to shrink it down and frame it and paint shorthand pictures of it. Our pictures, not theirs.
Hence, the news.
Notice the basic fixation in all this madness. It’s the fixation on deciding what reality is, rather than what new realities can be created.
That is the threshold most people refuse to cross or understand. They’ll do anything to avoid it. And when I say most people, I don’t mean groups, I mean individuals.
Here is the real news: People’s problems and confusions and anxieties will never be resolved until they invent realities they truly desire with power and imagination.
I’m talking about inventing social reality and political reality and personal reality and aesthetic reality. This is no cotton-candy prescription. It calls for the deepest conviction and commitment.
When, in the 1960s, various Asian philosophies and spiritual systems were twisted and reduced and re-cooked and distorted, for importation into the West, one of the underlying themes was: enlightenment comes by accepting What Is.
That was a psyop of major proportions, on the level of consciousness and spirit. It was aimed at the closing the door on the oceanic creative impulse.
Accept What Is. Don’t try to change it. Surrender. Stop struggling. Then all your problems will disappear.
The ability to accept reality ultimately and paradoxically depends on surpassing it by inventing new realities in profusion. Then, you can look at What Is and accept it as a fact that, like all other facts, can be radically changed.
Peace attained through a struggle to “let go of everything” is a deception. It’s one piece of a much larger story. That story centers on us and our creative force, the titanic and submerged faculty that always was and always will exist, no matter how many ploys are engaged to reject it.
The news doesn’t cover this story
The news is a drug to put this story to sleep.
The news is a voice expressing itself. But what about the far more important voice of the individual? What is it expressing, if consciousness itself is buttoned up?
I can tell you this. 100 percent of individuals have no idea what they would express if they opened up all creative channels. Oh, they might know what their opening shots would be. But beyond that? They don’t know. They couldn’t know. Because they haven’t invented the full range of their voices.
You could sit down and write a thousand pages to “express what you really want to say,” and you would only be scratching the surface. You would only be warming up your engine.
The mind is trained for delivering summaries and bytes. After throwing off that colossal inhibition, you’re at the beginning of the road. Just the beginning.
The news and all its allied support systems are a reflection of the mind held in check, the imagination held in check. As such they are really meaningless.
We have no clue about what a civilization would be, if many individuals entered the untapped universes of what amounts to endless expression. We live in a shorthand world. We convince ourselves that’s all there is.
That isn’t all there is. It’s just one atom of potential experience.
As far as individual creation is concerned, we live in a world that’s a kindergarten. It’s a nursery school. When people are asked to invent something, to express something, they look for the short form. The brief statement (like the news).
Write a thousand pages and see where you are. Paint a thousand paintings and see where you are. Reinvent your business a hundred times and see where you are. Reinvent your group that seeks to fulfill a social cause a hundred times and see where you are. Become an endless artist of expression and invention and see where you are.
Now we are getting down to the real crime of the news. It looks for the lead paragraph and the bottom line. It searches for the wrap-up and the stinger. It short-circuits the potential of the individual mind because the mind wants to be short-circuited.
And within this prison, people look for answers. It’s a joke. There are no answers there.
We are operating at one tiny end of the light spectrum, claiming that the whole remaining arc of possible light is invisible. Yes, it’s invisible because we shut ourselves off from it, because we fail to realize it becomes visible only when we live through and by imagination.
The myth of Prometheus is really an expression of self-limited creative consciousness seeking to break out and invent realities and worlds without end. The fire Prometheus stole from the gods wasn’t merely “knowledge” or “technology.” It was the infinite creative force.
There was no crime. The gods were already bored to death with their own powers. They had abandoned imagination. They had become tyrannical managers of humans. The gods were pathetic paupers living on borrowed time.
And when Prometheus delivered fire to humans, he wasn’t punished by the gods. He wasn’t chained to a rock and tortured. He was astonished by humans’ refusal to pick up the torch.
The Olympian gods were the News. They were the purveyors of What Is. They demanded allegiance.
The people chose to listen to the news from above. They chose to abdicate the endless road of expression and creation and instead worship an external narration of existence, a tired and bloated and worn-out and stench-ridden song emitted from Broadcast Central.
Imagine this: Scott Pelley, the anchor of the CBS News, appears on screen and says, “Tonight I begin to tell you a story. The story of myself. But not the narrow history. Not just where I was born and what happened to me. Yes, there will be some of that. But my story, like yours, is largely unknown, because I haven’t launched it yet. It isn’t only memory or fact. It’s a fuller and deeper expression, and it’s also an invention. Every night, for a thousand and one nights, I’ll be here on television unspooling and imagining myself. There will be many starts and stops. There will be moments of confusion, and there will be times when I don’t know where to go. But I’ll continue, because I want to, because I’m the artist of myself. As I talk, you’ll see parts of myself disappear and new parts surface. No doubt there will be long periods when I speak impersonally, and then a new intimacy will arise. It will loom up, vanish, and I’ll move into other realms. There is no wrong way to go. This is an Everything, an everything that expands and shrinks and submerges and ends and begins and swells and explodes and starts again from nowhere. This is an adventure. The goal is not a specific thing. The goal is not the truth. The truth is an illusion we concoct to sum up the adventure and give it structure, but this story will be about far more than the truth. It occurs to me that the news is our way of avoiding the ocean of our being, and that ocean contains logic and illogic, myth and also what could never happen but does happen. We perceive certain immovable and credible boundaries that we actually throw up to cover ourselves, to eliminate great cores of energy, to pretend we exist in one centralized space and time. I will tell this story in as many dimensions as I can…”
As improbable as it seems, if such an event took over the news, night after night, for years and years, the so-called vital events of our time, as usually reported by the news, would pale in importance, and something else would take over.
Something we sense but do not express. Something that will revolutionize our lives. We will remember we once knew the endless telling of the endless story, we knew it was the projection of both dream and reality that could and would change, not just the world, but how the world is built…taking it out into uncharted islands, snapping the chains we forged to keep us in a minor tale, always waiting for a romantic moment of liberation to come, forgetting what we need to do to change the sameness of the music:
Tell the endless story without limits.
Ordinary self, extraordinary self, both fuel for the fire.
Here is a quote from a work-in-progress, The Magician Awakes: “There is a thing called Endless Story. It has no walls, floor or ceiling. It reflects how consciousness actually operates, once the programming is cast aside. Endless Story isn’t a cultural artifact. It cuts across all cultural lines. It is pure invention. Nothing that has already happened is sacred…Imagination finds its energy. All common and inhibiting symmetries are cast into the creative fire. Exploration and discovery are redefined. They no longer depend on what already has been laid down as Pattern. Symbols no longer have conventional meanings. Endless Story is the answer to the old alchemical mystery called Quintessence, or Philosopher’s Stone, which was supposed to be the key to transformation of unresolvable conflicts. Endless story overtakes and overrides ‘things as they are.’ Beginning, middle, and end, the cherished components of traditional story, fly out the window into a new dawn, a new day, a new night…”