The times in which we live are almost enough to make me into a Gnostic.
- The stupidity on display everywhere has the flavor of fatedness. The fatedness, however, arises not out the beneficient providence of God but the delusions of a Demiurge. We have become entrapped in a lunatic mind. The levers are broken because the Engineer has disconnected the power.
- American voters will be forced to choose between two elderly men representing two dying ideologies. And every effort to find a way out of this bind serves only to heighten the hatred and division and further solidifies the goddamned inevitability of it all. We both must and must not act. Is some new Archon set to inherit this age? Has this Archon devised some perfect Chinese finger trap?
- Is reality an illusion? Whatever the answer to that question, Apple intends to wedge glass and silicon between you and the physical world. Enhanced reality, like enhanced interrogation, is a euphemism taken up by those who love their fantasies. Gnosticism told us that we were born into a world of unreality—a world from which, if we would listen, secret knowledge would deliver us. Soon enough, a large number of us will be paying premiums for beautiful blinders and immersive illusions.
I know I’m playing a bit fast and loose with some ideas here. On the other hand, maybe that’s sound strategy. Stay slippery; surf the weird. If we are in fact living in gnostic times, we should not count on predictability and solid reality. Perhaps the key skill we must learn is negative capability, which John Keats said is
when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason
Just as there will be merchants of illusion, there will be merchants of certainty. Reject them both and trust your gnosis.