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The Social Cosmology

Even as a kid, I noticed that the hierarchy of heaven suspiciously resembled the social organization of humans here on earth.  As an adult it is clear that the heavenly order is a metaphor for idealized human society.  Atheists might say religion is stupid and false.  Religion is true, though, in the language of symbols.  Symbols are very powerful because they are rooted in the collective consciousness—everyone intuitively understands them, even if they don’t know it.  Literal-minded modernists think themselves logical and above-it-all but in their pride they have deafened themselves to the deeper dialogue.  From politics to policies their initiatives backfire because they engineer structures without understanding the less tangible natural forces.

If heaven is the ideal social order of the rulers, hell is the concept of the ultimate counterculture.  In between lies earth where ordinary people are subjected to the ebb and rise of the great forces fighting for their souls.  In the social cosmology, the highest status people live in heaven and their most dangerous enemies are from hell.  As the ruler represents the state itself, there can be gods of other abstractions such as love, wisdom, or war.

About a decade ago I started intuitively thinking of cultural conflicts by this model of Zoroastrian/Christian dualism.  I realized that in a society of hundreds of millions of strangers, those known to all are best thought of as gods who are not people but divine representations of concepts and ideals.

Humans can only process around 150 personal relationships, the Dunbar number.  The demands of mass society are so astronomically beyond those limits, we need to repurpose our mental constructs to process our environment.

The memetic spaces that used to be occupied by polytheistic deities and animistic spirits are now used to comprehend entities whose every word is heard by millions.  This was how I came to understand people’s reverent attitudes to celebrities, athletes, or royal families who will never personally know or care about them.

Even where the stars are selfish and dysfunctional, it is little different than reading about Zeus’ serial infidelity and Hera’s spiteful revenge or Apollo getting his sister’s best friend killed out of jealousy and then punished for it with exile to the mortal world.

The reality show dynamic has an unmistakably mythological feel to it.  People are hard-wired to be receptive to archetypal human narratives about the interaction of abstract concepts because it has been a reliable means of transmitting complex ideas to simple, illiterate people since prehistory.

Cain and Abel have sibling rivalry fueled by jealousy that any of us can understand.  Through this conflict that culminates in the first murder, we understand the depth of the ancient rivalry between farmers and herders.  Trying to explain things logically is by comparison a very feeble way to communicate, especially back before everyone had modern levels of information exposure.

In modern times people still understand the world through these primal archetypes.  If you try to talk to the average person about the strengths and weaknesses of Trump’s policies, the conversation does not typically go far.  Trump is one of the great lords of hell since he has opposed the established order and acts contrary to the supposedly genteel manners of the ruling class.  If I try to explain Trump’s reasoning to someone aligned with the status quo, I may as well be trying to persuade a Christian that Lucifer had good reasons to rebel against God.

I have found this heuristic to be a very useful way of analyzing and predicting how a group will perceive the world.  Sure enough, those who see Trump as the devil have raised great idols to him that would not seem amiss in a traditional Balinese procession of demons.

Likewise, I thought of Hillary Clinton as a high goddess of the establishment and it proved to be an excellent way to model the social reality.  When she fell, it was clear from the reactions of overwhelming despair, even from people who reluctantly voted for her, that greater forces were at work.  They had witnessed nothing less than the fall of a goddess from the top of their pantheon and the ascent of a victorious devil.  Viewed in this context, the magnitude of their hysteria and the violent methods they are now willing to employ make a lot more sense.

From watching the cultural unraveling of 2016, the hierarchy more clearly revealed itself.  As far as I could figure it looked something like this:

Olympians:  Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, MLK, Harry Potter, Gandhi, John Lennon, Lincoln, Mandela, Dalai Lama, Mickey Mouse, Coca Cola, Apple
2nd Tier Gods: A list celebrities, Nancy Pelosi, Che Guevara, Noam Chomsky, Frida Kahlo, Zuckerberg, Daenarys from GoT
Angels/Mythic Heroes/Paladins of the Light: Actors, Musicians, Athletes, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, George Washington Carver, Susan B. Anthony, Betty Friedhan, Neil Degrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Steven Hawking, Jackson Pollock
Saints/Martyrs:  Malala, Emmet Till, Matthew Shephard, Anne Frank, Tibetans, Trayvon, Galileo

How they perceive hell:

Greater Evils: Trump, Hitler, Voldemort, Holocaust, KKK, Nazis, Putin, Russia
Lesser Evils: Bannon, Timothy McVeigh, Saddam Hussein, Columbine shooters, Goebbels, Himmler, Goering
Greater Demons/Dark Angels: Alt-Bloggers, podcasters, youtubers, twitter accounts who get millions of visits.  Alex Jones, John Wilkes Booth, David Duke, Dylan Roof
Demonic Centurions: Less popular internet personalities with a steady following, “neo-nazis”

I hesitate to try my hand at defining a dissident cosmology yet because it is still settling into place and none of the factions would agree.  Figures like Trump, Bannon, or Spencer play prominent roles in that hierarchy, but at the moment it’s hard to know if that will be true even next year.  Nevertheless I can guess at some of the divine archetypes.

The Holy: 40k’s God Emperor of Mankind, Kek/Pepe, Gnon, Dune universe, Men of Gondor and Rohan, Starship Troopers(Heinlein book), Space Marines, The Joker, Bane, Harrison Bergeron, Marcus Aurelius, Pinochet, the red pill

The Underworld:  Sauron, Uruk-Hai/Orcs, the Zerg swarm, Nurse Ratched, Grendel’s Mother, the Borg collective, Big Brother, Diana Moon Glampers, Trotsky, Lenin, Alinsky, the blue pill, Le Happy Merchant

That’s all of that I will do for now.  I feel like I’ve gotten the idea across.  Feel free to expand on it, critique or make your own in the comments.

See Also: Election 2016: The War In Heaven

Election 2016: The War In Heaven

Every culture has its leaders and heroes that establish the legitimacy of the social order.  In a society of millions, those at the top of the prestige pyramids are effectively Olympian or Norse Gods of myth.  The human mind is only well designed to handle about 150 relationships at a time, the Dunbar limit.  To conceptualize someone at the top of a pyramid of millions, we need to conceive of a god-like figure with super-human qualities who is the very essence of what they symbolize.  The best person of a thousand is a very unusual person.  Even the lifestyle of the richest person out of every hundred strains our imaginations to the limit.  The highest ranked among millions is as distant from us as a star is from the Earth.  Sure enough, these deities are known as “stars.”

I have pointed out that Hillary Clinton is a high Goddess in the pantheon symbolizing the values of the 60s Cultural Revolution, 3rd wave feminism, civil rights, globalism, equalism, that whole generation of royalty—the boomers.  These values are at the core of everything we are taught to believe in polite homes, at school, in college, and wherever people are paid by salary in the workplace, aka. “real jobs”.  That makes Hillary goddess of our social reality, of the water in which we swim, of the air which we breathe.  Every corporate pamphlet, ad, and webpage with the clean white background, a smug, beaming, plain white woman in her early 30s surrounded by portly brown women in the front row, the non-threatening simpering Asian man to one side.  The middle aged friendly black man with the modest paunch on the other side.  And as always, back in the back row, overlapped by everyone else is one sad looking white man with a weak chin and a watery smile—every one of these images a shrine to the Goddess.  The brochure might as well be one of those portable pocket triptychs from medieval days.

Hillary in her time of need has summoned the lesser Gods to her aid.  Athletes, TV Actors, Movie Actors, Comedians, former officials, ex-presidents, newspapers, TV channels, every person of note in our culture.  They join her in the fight as we’d expect Ares to help out Zeus against the Titans or Thor to battle alongside Odin against the trolls.  Because they are from the same pantheon, they band up without hesitation against forces that challenge the social reality from which they derive their divinity.  We can imagine that even arch-enemies Horus and Set would ally against the Greek or Norse Gods.  Their existence, world view, and vision is intertwined and if they were to be defeated they would together see their power extinguished forever.   What we are witnessing in 2016 is a great war in heaven.  God and all his angels against the usurpers and their teeming legions of demons from the rift.
Against every expectation the fight has reached the gates of the Holy Kingdom itself and laid siege to the battlements of purity.  The chanting demonic legions hold aloft torches smoldering with unholy incense as a burning battering ram, a great steel wolf’s head with flaming nostrils, crashes against the gates.  As every angel, archangel, and saint has thrown themselves into the fray, so every one of them may perish and fade from the starry heavens if they fall.  It is all at stake, tonight and tomorrow.

Some of us speak of policies, the candidates themselves, the political parties, but all of that is secondary to the war that now rages like a Boschian nightmare across the jagged dream terrain of the collective subconscious.
No matter who wins, the damage is done, they will never again rule the heavens unopposed. There has been a great schism across the entire length of the culture.
The NFL, LeBron James, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, West Wing, the Avengers, Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, Jay Z, all Hollywood, the pollsters, the authors, the magazines, the newspapers…everything.  For many millions already, these cultural icons are fallen from grace, now merely the chieftains of hostile tribes screaming for war, for eradication of the Other that is us.

See Also:  The Ritual of Unity

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