Introduction: The Sacred and the Digital Media Environment, Part 3

Many think that Religion is an outdated concept, that it is no longer relevant to modern life. This is because digital media seems to have fulfilled the very quest of Religion. The global synchrony of human knowledge seems to be a kind of god or god-like phenomena. But it is only a simulacra of God, a cheap imitation or parody.

The synchrony of global human knowledge is in some way the fulfillment and culmination of all of our historical desires. But even the seemingly infinite knowledge does not quench our undying thirst. The assortment of historical facts does not itself give us a way to order the plurality of different categories in their associations. Thus our modern day internet confusion. Only the highest importance, the highest meaning, God Himself can give order and priority to the world, through our inner senses. And only this collective realization gives order to society.

The global synchrony of human knowledge through digital media minimizes the time between cause and effect. Causes and effects are increasingly tightly coupled. This allows us to directly realize the interdependence of all phenomena, and therefore to increasingly understand the transcendental unity of all subjective awareness. This naturally culminates in Christ, who is the supreme awareness of the organic whole.

The internet is a simulacra of God, it is a fake god. It breaks down social order and institutional structure. Only the living wholeness of God gives order to society. The truth of God is revealed in our organic, everyday consciousness, in our organic interaction with the lifeworld. The internet is merely the training ground for true organic spatial synchrony. The digital media recollects the sacred science, the modality of carefully handling space and information, of ordering the intuitions and objectives according to the higher will. Digital media is by no means the final stage, but is merely a preview of organic spatial synchrony.

This gives the Religious order of life the highest importance in the contemporary internet situation. The Religious order is the way that we bootstrap from digital media into organic spatial unity.

Secularism is rampant, and it is clear index of the degeneration of Western society. Postmodernism, the second world war, and the communist gulags are the final logic of secularism- utter chaos, violence, and confusion. The loss of a coherent, organizing principle, the loss of a common story that organizes social movement, reducing people to bare secular categories of race, sex, and class. This was building for a long time. There is no coordinating function within secularism, there is no community within secularism. There are only passing fashions, idle musings, short term curiosities. There is nothing enduring.

People stumble and grope their way through life, operating on the surface assumptions that they inherit from the past and from the environment. But every once in a while, assumptions interact in a catalytic manner. There is an ordering and alignment of underlying narratives, something breaks through the stumbling and groping to reveal the superstructure of man’s relation to the cosmos. This in-breaking, this Revelation, transcendentally coordinates people’s movements through space for ages and ages. This is an ontological property of the organization of the cosmos. There are periodic eruptions of divine concordance.

The Christian story is such an alignment, as are each of the Abrahamic faiths, as are the Eastern traditions. The Revelation of Christ literally begins our consciousness of time. If we no longer believe in the Christian story, then time itself is without a foundation. We nihilistically drift on the fumes of degrading materialist conventions. To not believe in the transcendent and pragmatic value of the Christian story is to assert that time itself has no foundation, no validity. It is to assert that our way of counting time is arbitrary and meaningless, it is to give in to nihilism of modernity.

Is there any release from modernity? Is there any resolution to the culture wars? Is there a process by which these unbearable tensions in modern society culminate into something that transcends them? Are we heading from the Kali Yuga back to the Golden Age?

The internet, the global synchrony of human knowledge, can be seen as the culmination of human ingenuity, an almost sacred psychic achievement, the networked totality of human knowledge. Perhaps it means that we are headed back to a Golden Age. This would perhaps be in line with Steven Pinker’s and Peter Diamandis’ claim that society is in fact improving, we are all getting richer, we are getting less violent, things are actually getting better. We are moving toward abundance.

Yet at the same time, the internet is a clear sign of social decline. Our addictive dependence on metallic technology, hysterical arguments, pornography, fake news, clickbait, a chaotic hypercapitalistic, hypermaterialistic plurality of information. The internet is the id of human society. And it is leading us towards a transhumanist, posthumanist future. This would in line with the traditionalists assertion that modernity is pure social decline, that we have yet to see the worst of things.

Is there any redemption or salvation in the age of the internet? Is the Golden Age behind us, in the distant past, as the traditionalists claim? Or is it in the future, as messianists and apocalyptics claim? Or is there only mundane, secular, linear, machine world of lifeless human robots?

There are three conceptions of time that I would like to emphasize. The first is cyclical time, which is Traditional time. The second is linear time, which is modern, progressive, evolutionary time. And the third is chiliastic time, which is apocalyptic or messianic time. Where we place ultimate meaning determines which conception of time we have. In Traditional time, ultimate meaning is in the past. In linear time, it is in the present. In chiliastic time, it is in the future. As we get closer to the event horizon, cyclical time and messianic time start to overlap.

We are now in the event horizon of the final paroxysm of being into a fully lucid interdependence, the collective realization of the whole organism. The conflict between the three notions of time is the force that keeps us from fully realizing this collective paroxysm of being. It is a long quest to fully realize this collective awakening, but someday someone will possess coherently unified scientific and theurgical intuitions to pronounce the Divine Word that brings into unity the final significance of collective human purpose. And this purpose will radiate out and renew the face of the earth.

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This essay is part of a series. I am writing a book on the traditional and contemporary foundations of sacred science, which I will publish as a print book. To be notified when I release new chapters and to be notified when the print book is available, subscribe to the e-mail list. To support the creation of this book, subscribe to http://www.patreon.com/anthonyvzmorley, or share this article with a friend! Thanks!

Introduction: The Sacred and the Digital Media Environment, Part 2

St. Thomas Aquinas used the term “sacred science,” to refer to what is now called theology. For him, it was the synthesis of Greek science with Revelation. It was a form of prophecy. Many people have the view that science needs to be somehow reconciled with spirituality. The problem is that many people who have this view assume the primacy of science over theology, rather than theology over science. They assume that it is theology which must bow to science rather than vice versa.

The modernist understanding of the hierarchy of knowledge is that mathematics explains physics explains chemistry explains biology > psychology > sociology > philosophy > theology. Materiality explains everything from the bottom up.

Modern science is then a bottom-up process, from materiality to transcendence. However the modern scientific way of thinking never gets to transcendence. Thus theology is considered the emptiest form of knowledge in the modern conception. If science tries to get to transcendence, it gets stuck in technology and virtuality. Modern science has no way of breaking through in an exoteric fashion to true Revelation. All of the scientists who are discovering their own “theories of everything” in their respective disciplines, have no way of transcending their lingo to solve actual cultural problems. Science does not unify, it divides. Religion does not divide, it unifies.

Sacred science is the highest form of knowledge because it is what coordinates the collective ensembles of people. Sacred science is the ordering of the objectives and intuitions in accordance with the divine and natural order. It is based in the initiatic Mysteries. Plato and Aristotle included insights into the Mysteries in their philosophy. Sacred science is able to coordinate ensembles of people because it constitutes a universally shared subjectivity of people. The deep sense of the sacred, of something ultimately important and meaningful, manifests in people’s daily conduct. Sacred science deals directly with the inner content of this deep sense. It deals directly with the internal-external, individual-collective, esoteric-exoteric barrier. Sacred science is the only science that can successfully navigate this barrier well enough to produce language that maps to public comprehension.

In a traditionalist conception, sacred science (which is akin to mathematics) explains philosophy > sociology > psychology > biology > chemistry > physics.

Sacred science is then the top-down process, moving from the transcendence to materiality. Dionysius the Areopagite maps this process in his Angelogy, which describes an energetic hierarchy of beings who are ordered in divine succession all the way down to materiality. It is worth noting that we know far less about the coordinating science of these top-down modalities than we know about the bottom-up modalities of material science.

We have perfected the modern science of materialism- the standard model, the period table of elements, and the theory of evolution. These explain matter, but they do not explain the immaterial. Modern science itself tells us that the immaterial is far more prevalent in the universe than the material.

We do not have a perfected model of the transcendent, how it organizes and coordinates human society. Yet this is what Religion does. Religion is not a fad or fashion, it is not something that comes and goes, like everything else in modern society. Religion is human being. Rene Girard argues that Religion or the sacred is at the origin of every human institution.

The deadly experiments with fascism and communism and the increasing instability of liberalism are proof that the modernist, secular understanding of the state is inadequate. Society is always organized around a nucleus, around a center of attraction that is never merely secular. It is imbued with sacred forces from the collective attention. We need nothing less than a perfected sacred science of sovereignty, kingship, and the collective distribution of energy. The true sacred physics of populations, the true decentralized coordination of large ensembles of people, is facilitated by sacred science.

What we have today are two tendencies of sacred science. The first tendency was instituted by St. Thomas Aquinas and is continued today in the exoteric doctrines of the Catholic Church. And the second tendency evolved from the Catholic doctrine, it is the  known as the mathesis universalis.

This mathesis universalis is seen under different forms in Rene Descartes’ Rules for the Direction of Mind, in Gottfried Leibniz’s philosophy and scientific discoveries, and in Georg WF Hegel’s, Edmund Husserl’s, and Martin Heidegger’s phenomenologies. These represent a strand of sacred science that attempts to get to the very core of modern subjectivity. It tries to discover the absolute ground, the absolute basis of subjectivity, and thus create a universal science of shared subjectivity.

Unfortunately the modern scientific approach is inadequate for this undertaking. Only the alignment and interlocking of events in a sacred theophany is capable of instituting a universally shared subjectivity that bridges the internal-external, esoteric-exoteric, individual-collective barrier. Thus we must study these alignments, and we must also study how to bring about these alignments. The modern situation is in desperate need of a theophany from above to end the cycle of decline and bring about a restoration.

The perspective of the mathesis universalis must be reconciled with the doctrines St. Thomas Aquinas. The mathesis strand of contemporary thought is one of the few aspects of the secularizing, modernizing tendency which is striving to overcome the modern decline and decadence by bringing about a universally shared subjectivity. The synthesis or reconciliation of the mathesis and Aquinas would be the Aquinian synthesis of reason and Revelation of the contemporary time.

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This essay is part of a series. I am writing a book on the traditional and contemporary foundations of sacred science, which I will publish as a print book. To be notified when I release new chapters and to be notified when the print book is available, subscribe to the e-mail list. To support the creation of this book, subscribe to http://www.patreon.com/anthonyvzmorley, or share this article with a friend! Thanks!

Introduction: The Sacred and the Digital Media Environment, Part 1

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With the advent of digital media, the essential dogma of the collective groupthink of American society, had so cohered around certain principles that they could be codified into the claim of a “progressive religion” that dominated the popular culture. This progressive dogma included the tenets of secularism, scientism, liberalism, globalism, materialism. It was basically an atheistic variant of Protestantism. The progressive religion covered the disparate political views of progressive liberalism, classical liberalism, neo-liberalism, and even perhaps neo-conservative ideologies. These ideologies took over Western civilization.

In the U.S. all of these political ideologies share in Enlightenment and Whig origins at the founding of the United States. We may characterize this broad, general trend of human social behavior, as “liberalism”or “modernism.” It may be hard to precisely define this elusive phenomenon, because it engulfs so much of the contemporary world, it is the water we swim in. We can safely say that it is the modern tendency towards anti-religion, pro-science, pro-individualism, and the belief in historical progress, that has taken root since the 17th and 18th century.

Basically all of these things people believe with the absolute best of intentions, but collectively they keep us in a state of pure dispersion, chaos, and confusion. They keep us trapped in a cycle of reciprocal hostility that perpetuates the very thing people try to solve for. And this is the perversity of the Kali Yuga, that the very people who believe they are the “evolutionary” apex of society, are in fact the leaders of the deepest social decline.

We can perhaps best define the Blue Church by its fundamental alternative. Against modernity and the “progressive religion,” there is the traditional view of the world. The traditional view sees the world as the “moving image of eternity,” it is the sense of an unitary, animating higher principle in all things. The sense of a superior, supra-human order, of cyclical or apocalyptic time of harmony between man and cosmos. It is the sense of the “order from above,” of a transcendent source of unity.

While the three Abrahamic faiths and the Eastern religions are all sources of the traditional view, we must here consider Christianity as manifestation of the primordial tradition, because Protestantism and the Renaissance are what gave rise to the “progressive religion” of modernity. And so it is only through traditional Christianity that they can be corrected.

The rise of the progressive religion was an index of the decline of Western society into materialistic, technocratic minutiae, as described by Oswald Spengler in the early 20th century. This decayed secularization became a methodology in academia known as “value neutrality.” It was conceived of as necessary to the “social scientific” approach, as outlined by Max Weber. According to this value neutrality, no subjective value judgements are permitted. We cannot judge social phenomena at all, because we have no objective criteria to judge them by. This was the entire spirit of academia, as it bent further and further toward progressive nihilism.

If one asserts that knowledge is not value-neutral, that there is a greater and lesser, more and less important, good and evil, and that these things are essential to life, this opens one up to the problem of universal knowledge. What knowledge is universally valid? What is the universal criterion by which we judge? If one goes further and claims that Christianity and the ancients are still universally valid, this is seen as no more than a relativistic, outdated perspective, even as a form of identity politics. The modern consensus is that there is no universal truth, that we are wandering aimlessly with no higher guidance, in an empty cosmos.

And so the modern consensus is that we must be tolerant of everything, that is, tolerant of everything that belongs to the progressive religion of the Blue Church, otherwise, ostracism. There is a regressive bigotry embedded within the progressive religion, an antipathy towards everyone who violates its tenets of secularism, scientism, liberalism, globalism, materialism. There is particularly an intolerance toward those with traditional views. The Blue Church is the parody of Christianity, it is Christianity shorn of all its life and intrinsic spiritual meaning.

Under conditions of digital media, these supposed ideals of secular tolerance are revealed as a silly and stale farce. One is faced with the sheer plurality of information. One is forced to make a decision. One can no longer afford to be “liberal” with respect to knowledge. One has to hierarchically evaluate and prioritize in order to deal with the plurality of information. And so those supposedly espousing universal tolerance are quickest to become intolerant of those with traditional views. The whole of the Blue Church dogma stands or falls with its claim to universal tolerance, and what digital media reveals is that this claim is an utter mockery of real Christianity.

And so, under conditions of digital media, it becomes increasingly obvious that the Blue Church consensus is not only itself regressive and bigoted, but it breeds chaos. The Blue Church is a kind of groupthink coordinated around materialistic lifelessness and thus all it can do is spin off trends and fashions that will be marketable for a short time, causing confusion and chaos. The Blue Church effectively reduces human beings to the bare categories of sex, race, and money.

The traditional reality is the human person is endowed with dignity, nobility, and divinity, within himself. This is not identity politics, this is not a relativistic claim, it is the basis of the human being as he has always existed. And so under these conditions of digital media, with the plurality of information, it becomes increasingly obvious that the human being cannot himself order the plurality of information correctly. The human being must rely on higher guidance, he must carefully follow the long term plan combined with the most immediate, subtle intuitions.

And so this is the insoluble conflict between the Blue Church and traditional Christianity which has to come to a culmination: the final battle between the Blue Church and the traditionalists is ultimately about the virtual world versus the organic world. The Blue Church is leading people to be swallowed up into virtuality because they have absolutely no conception of the divine within, they have no deeper connection with anything that is worth preserving. All of their concepts of the human being are rooted in superfluities and passing fancies, and so they will be swallowed up by metallic technology.

The tension is building everywhere in the Western world. The primordial tradition has yet to find its ultimate, exoteric expression. But once it does, it will provide the groundswell for all people of the tradition to gather around the eternal principle, to renew the sense of life, to regenerate traditional Christianity with the force of love that is all-conquering, and to let this self-propelling, self-radiating love overcome and subsume all of its modernized, degraded derivatives.

Living surrounded by the Blue Church, stripped bare of everything that would give us guidance, in the environment of digital media and the plurality of information, we are forced to choose criteria, we are forced to judge. We are forced to retreat into Churches and tribal factions, we are forced into the war of Nous, the war of the intellect. Not by our own choosing, but by the historical circumstances. Only the most enduring ideas will survive. Everyone, in the end, is forced to concede their opinions to the highest, most sublime ideas. All of the superficial nonsense of the culture wars is washed away. All the garbage think pieces and opinion columns are forgotten. The force of loving eternity shines through.

And this is the central message of digital media, that only the most enduring content is relevant to the real, organic world, everything else is merely virtual and never actual. Digital media is awash in superficial annoyances, trends, fashions, cliques, memes. It seems to give credence to the endlessly short attention span and the collective regression into schizoidal fury. But through all of the noise, the most enduring and infinite content manages to penetrate the virtual-organic barrier and have relevance in our daily, organic world. Only the best ideas come through the screen and into our actual lives. Because that is what matters, our life outside the screen, and how we are collectively ordered in organic life. And only the Eternal Traditions of Religion and politics are sufficient in this regard.

Through the plurality of information on digital media, the question becomes, what source has ultimate validity? Who can I trust? These are the primary questions that plague the digital media landscape, with the questions of fake news, the crumbling legitimacy of broadcast media, the increasing emphasis on characteristics like race, sex, and money as the basic organizing principles. There has to be higher standard, there has to be some fortuitous alignment of events in which there is an in-breaking of the divine, a theophany which reveals the objective validity of the sacred. And this has already happened in the Revelations of our Christian tradition.

In broadcast media, it was more obvious what sources were valid, because there was only a few sources. In digital media, there are a plurality of valid sources. The liberal consensus would have us believe that the free choice of the individual is the highest authority.

But this gives us no way to understand these greater ensembles that we observe in digital media. What is the meaning of these social contagion, these distributions of intelligence that have a life of their own, that are ordering and affecting our society? These are not simply the free choice of individuals. Only collections of individuals thinking in unison collectively construct these ensembles.

These collective ensembles are vast storms of human intelligence, deeper layers of complexity and spiritual symbolism. These collective intelligences cannot be understood to be of purely human origin. No individual is capable of steering or understanding these ensembles. To truly understand the phenomena of social mimesis and collective consciousness that are at play, one is required to drop the silly materialist assumptions and enter into direct relation with the community of the philosophers, and with the community of the supra-human, divine order of God.

The traditional religious community has been operating as a unified collective intelligence for thousands of years, even for all of eternity, in unbroken succession. Only with theology does one start to understand how the coordination of society is possible, and what are the foundational structures that order people’s interactions in space.

Every Western philosophy from the Machiavelli on represents a further decline into liberalism, materialism, secularism. The decline of Western thought from the Enlightenment on became clear when it culminated in postmodernism, which waged war on the very concept of truth itself, the very center of societal organization. And the shift of philosophy to modern science, the emphasis on materialism, engineering, and metallic technology, led to the spatial simulacrum of the internet, a paradoxical, parodic media if there ever was one.

And thus out of this wreckage, a nascent group of intellectuals will constitute a new distributed, global elite. It is the digital media “antiversity,” a modality of learning and information sharing that is cohering around ultimate meaning and importance, in opposition to the Blue Church consensus. It is a resurgence of the traditional view. Catholicism has an important, unrecognized role in this digital media cultural zeitgeist. Catholicism is the conscience of digital media.

There is a nascent body of classics of digital media which will determine the formation of an intellectual global class, and will shape the future of politics into a localized universality. Right now, the ideas on the internet are chaotic and disorganized. But the fundamental significance of the internet for human social development will become more clear, and the classics of the digital media era will emerge.

This new type of digital media distribution signifies an archaic retrieval, a memory of the depths and heights of human existence. It signifies a pre-Logoic, self-organizing chaos, a chaos that is giving birth to a new world. Not a world government, but a world Idea, a distributed, localized, yet universal sacred science that orders the plurality of information into a system that never changes yet never stays the same. It is a way of handling and synthesizing information into ordered, complex wholes. It is the ordering of all information towards the natural human ends of divine, Christed superconsciousness.

Most people do not want the virtual world to take over the organic world, they do not want to become robots, they do not want to live in virtual reality, they do not want brain laces or microchips. They instead want the virtual world to serve the purpose of revitalizing the organic world with wonder and awe. In other words, they want the organic world to “compete” with the virtual world. They want to see the revitalization of institutions, the re-enchantment of the world. But right now the virtual world is winning, it is capturing all our sacred attention and dispersing it into mindless fragmenting confusion. This is the self propelling satanic modern tendency, to get lost further and further into virtuality until we lose our very being. This is the logical culmination of the Blue Church progressive religion of secularism, postmodernism, and the internet, that people are indifferent to the very issue of life, and lose themselves in virtuality to become sub-human mutants.

The return to the naive Religious consciousness, the basic wonder-filled inquiry into the world of God’s creation, is a function of the consciousness of digital media. The return to the organic world, to the sense of eternity which has always held us together, to Church and community, that which breathes and sanctifies life, this is the impetus that digital media is creating for the world.

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This essay is part of a series. I am writing a book on the traditional and contemporary foundations of sacred science, which I will publish as a print book. To be notified when I release new chapters and to be notified when the print book is available, subscribe to the e-mail list. To support the creation of this book, subscribe to http://www.patreon.com/anthonyvzmorley, or share this article with a friend! Thanks!