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!

2 thoughts on “Introduction: The Sacred and the Digital Media Environment, Part 1

  1. Excellent stuff, Anthony. It’s hard to find anything to disagree with. You’re ideas of a “community of inquiry” also sound very Peircean.

    Like

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