We suffer more in imagination than in reality
From apocalyptic Day After Tomorrow doomsday scenarios to predictions of imminent cyber attacks with “covid-like characteristics,” while there is no shortage of doomsday scenarios in our age, the promise of a hopeful future or prospect of revival seems almost non-existent.
But might this be by design?
Is the world as countless Hollywood, Netflix and MSM narratives suggest, a soon-to-be dystopian “hunger games” in which hoards of renegade humans struggle for survival in a Mad Max eco-nightmare, or are we the victims of predictive programming and self-fulfilling prophecies? Is it possible that while ostensibly eschewing these narratives on a conscious level, many of us are nonetheless acting them out unconsciously? And if the future isn’t as the many predictive models suggest, what could it look like?
As the Tavistock Institute’s Brigadier John Rawlings Rees once observed, winning wars is not about killing, but destroying the enemy’s morale while maintaining one’s own. As one of the founding members of the Tavistock Clinic—the mother of Anglo-American psychological warfare across the Five Eyes—Rees knew a thing or two about psychological operations. Since that time, the imagination has long been understood as one of the key battlegrounds for modern information warfare. Today, demoralization and “flooding the field” with information is one of the chief psychological weapons used to induce populations to disassociate, escape reality, and set aside their ideals in the interest of more immediate survival.
But what happens when there is no practical solution out of a dead and dying system? What if the only practical solution is to leave behind one’s own most entrenched conceits and assumptions about the world and imagine something completely different?
From the triumph of a humble Christian movement over a mammoth pantheon of Roman imperial gods and the Renaissance’s flourishing from the ashes of medieval feudalism and Satanic crusading vampire cults masquerading as Christians, we are reminded that the history of Western civilization involves a series of qualitative leaps in man’s conceptual power, vision, and ability to love—often in the face of dire and hellish circumstances. In this very real sense, imagining and doing the impossible has been at the very heart of what makes Western civilization great.
Of course, like the poet Dante Alighieri in his Divine Comedy, breaking into the higher spheres means first descending into the bowels of Hell. For, only once we’ve confronted the darkness can we truly regain the stars. So, rather than being a cause for demoralization, confronting the darkness today should be seen for what it is: we are ready and willing to do so because we do have faith in our humanity and that of ours, we know our deeper story, and we are ready to do what it takes to make it to the other side—knowing we’ve already come too far to turn back now.
So, let’s see if we can make it to the other side….