Shunyamurti is the founder and director of the Sat Yoga Institute, located in Costa Rica. The Institute is now building a residential ashram and eco-village. Shunyamurti leads retreats and offers individual transformation sessions, as well as providing professional training in Clinical Atmanology, a healing modality involving dreamwork, energywork, guided meditation, and spontaneous expression. He is the author of The Transformational Imperative. For more info, go to Satyogainstitute.org.
This article publication is part of a cooperative effort by grahamhancock.com and realitysandwich.com/ to promote cross pollination of thoughts and ideas between the two sites.
We have entered a period of epistemological chaos. The true condition of our world, indeed the very nature of our phenomenal reality, including agreement regarding the meaning of knowledge itself, is completely up for grabs. Not only are we witnessing rapid paradigm shifts and schisms within mainstream science, but also, and more dangerously, the politically motivated suppression of authentic discoveries and insights has led to epistemological blowback on every front. Every established authority has been de-legitimized. This has led to the rise of a new and unprecedented kind of discourse, which can be categorized as psychotic knowledge.
To call it psychotic is not to disparage it, but to recognize that such knowledge is produced by ripping apart the fabric of consensual reality. What pours through that tear in the discourse of conventional sanity may be brilliant with lucid transcendental insight and it may equally be speckled with nuggets of paranoid fantasy and archetypal imagery serving the narcissistic ego. It is psychotic from the perspective of the hegemonic paradigm that cannot permit multiple realities that elude the control and deny the legitimacy of the materialist construct. Coping with the accelerating explosion of psychotic knowledge, and the general contamination of the current information deluge with every sort of misinformation and disinformation, will become ever more challenging. It may, therefore, be useful to establish some guidelines that will enable us to maintain our sanity while remaining open to new horizons of possibility.
We can trace this problem back to the period immediately following the Second World War, when the government of the United States created a national security establishment and a general secrecy state. The geostrategic push to gain total hegemony over all global political actors had to remain covert. More and more information became classified as top secret, not only in areas of normal politics, but also in the sciences. Some of this rush to restrict the flow of information was a response to the intrusion of alien spacecraft into our skies. Since the government had no adequate response to this threat, the existence of such entities had to be denied and ridiculed. Many careers of honest observers of such phenomena were destroyed by that disinformation campaign.
The secret levels of government soon overshadowed the public government and turned it into a mere front for the actually ruling powers. This opened the field for conspiracy theories, many with a high level of credibility. Challenges to the secret government occurred from time to time from within Congress or the White House. This led to limited revelations of horrifying criminal acts on the part of the secret government against its own people as well as on a global level. Most of the challenges to the secret government were successfully squelched, however, leaving a wake of assassinations, suspicious deaths, smear campaigns, vindictive prosecutions, and other forms of intimidation.
As time went on, it became clear that not only was the government holding out on the people, but the scientific elites were as well. Mainstream medicine, for example, lost its credibility when it became recognized that many treatments were motivated by profit margins rather than curative efficacy. In an even more general way, the entire system of information distribution, through the major media, lost its credibility when it became recognized that the news media serve the secrecy establishment rather than challenge it. The public’s alienation from the actual conspiracy by mainstream media to prevent the release of true information reached new highs after 9/11. The capitulation of the media, in turn, has led to the use of the internet as an information source inviting ever more independent efforts of whistle-blowing, epitomized by the recent wikileaks phenomenon.
But another pillar of knowledge control that has fallen is that of religion. To understand the import of this epochal change, we must go back in history to the establishment of Christianity as the official state religion of the Roman Empire. We must focus particularly on the year 325 A.D. (and keep in mind that even the calendar and its dating of the years is an artificial political convention that upholds a specific paradigm of knowledge, in this case that of Christendom). In that year, the Council of Nicaea established official orthodox doctrine. Anyone who dared to think differently from then on was subject to being referred to the office of the Inquisition, which had many well-known ways of changing one’s mind, including that of terminating one’s heresy through salvation with extreme prejudice. The current practices of official torture are simply a continuation of the program begun long ago in the name of our God of Love.
Not only was the canon defended by cannon, and the sword of knowledge backed by the sword of steel, that would now go on to convert the heathen to the same narrow line of thought, but more significantly, the new regime of orthodox knowledge suppressed the use of natural psychoactive substances such as psilocybin-containing mushrooms, that had been part of the original Gnostic psycho-technology of awakening. Much of the ideological effort of social control from then on went to criminalizing and demonizing the use of mind-altering substances, as well as even more natural mind-altering processes such as meditation. Mind control efforts invaded the deepest levels of our consciousness, by establishing the very words of the prayers that were allowed to be offered to God in the privacy of our own minds. In fact, the purpose of religion was to eliminate all privacy of mind. People eventually became fearful even of inner silence and peace!
Similar regimes of orthodoxy ruled other religious traditions as well. Historically, only in India was freedom of thought allowed, and that only among a single class of people: the yogis. The teachers and practitioners of yoga remained outside the system of vedic doctrine and the control of the Brahmin caste. The great liberated yogis did not fear the brahminical system, and the system recognized its need of yogic sages to maintain its own legitimacy, and so a pax yogica was established. The yogis could teach their own kind of knowledge, could establish their own social forms that allowed dropping of gender and caste discrimination, and could propagate their own lineages of teachings, so long as they remained in their forest retreats and ashrams, and did not try to undermine the social system. Eventually, the yogis became incorporated into the system as its own safety valve. By allowing dissidents to egress from the system of social control through yogic renunciation, the society remained remarkably stable throughout the stormy vicissitudes of history. In this way, the discipline of yoga remained free of mind control by the clerical elites.
In other regions, however, including China, the Middle East, and Russia, as well as Western Europe and the colonized Americas, the effect of suppressing independent thinking led eventually to the blowback of religious schism and turmoil that eventually resulted in the overthrow of the dynasties that had reigned since the ancient times. In Europe, the Protestant Reformation led to the French Revolution and the bourgeois overthrow of the feudal system. Capitalism had its own golden age of free thought. But that was soon controlled by the new priesthood of scientism, applying what Lacan referred to as “university discourse” on behalf of the class of robber barons that had gained control of the levers of society. The older discourse of religion now also bowed to the same masters.
The religious establishments gradually lost their credibility and their membership dwindled. Newer religious movements attracted the alienated adherents of the older ones. But each new movement became co-opted by the same hegemonic forces and lost their steam. Eventually, it became impossible to launch a successful challenge to the dominant regime. Even such originally revolutionary approaches to human understanding as psychoanalysis, which Freud proudly labeled “a plague,” and later, the more transcendentally oriented Jungian analysis, have been tamed and blunted as instruments of change, in fact have been largely converted into instruments of oppression, by the power of the hegemonic masters, through strict licensing laws and the peer pressures and homogenizing edicts of professional societies.
Whether in the political realm or in that of grassroots media or alternative healing approaches or theoretical science or religion, the power of surveillance and infiltration by the secret agencies of government and corporate machinations became so overwhelming, thanks to new technologies, that every effort to sustain a viable new paradigm was doomed to failure. We can look back in the U.S. at the wreckage of the black power movement, NICAP, the socialist parties, the Green Party, Pacifica Radio, Greenpeace, in fact the whole environmental movement, the political insurgency of Ralph Nader, et cetera, et cetera, ad nauseam, and recognize the futility of confronting the ruling masters with Truth.
This, however, does not mean that the game has been lost. The deceivers have not gained the victory they supposed would ensue from total control of the political realm. Instead, their misguided and malevolent efforts have now led to the rise of psychotic knowledge. The internet has functioned as the main instrument of this new and hyper-revolutionary development. Much of this was presciently foretold in the work of Jean Baudrillard. His writings were the stimulation and simulacrum behind the film hit known as The Matrix. And his concept of hyperreality has opened a new level of critical understanding of the internet’s capacity to remake the collective consciousness.
The internet is necessary as an instrument of surveillance, but it comes at the price of unregulated communication. And because the internet functions in the realm of the hyperreal, of virtual reality rather than ordinary reality, it does not need to give birth to an actual political movement in order to be effective. In fact, its effectiveness comes in the form of birthing anti-movements, massive fragmentations of parallel, paranormal, paranoid subcultures, flowing lightning-like along fleeting lines of flight, operating in a transverse Deleuzian rhizomatic underworld of conspiratorial fantasy, requiring no verification and therefore also free of the possibility of refutation.
These hyperreal exponents of exponentially audacious intervention by impeccably invisible yet omnipotent intergalactic and interdimensional powers have finally trumped the merely real authorities of our de-legitimized demiurgic and merely phenomenal sub-world that used to be able to claim to be our entire reality. We have gone from Nietzshe’s axiom that God is dead, to the postmodern claim that Man is dead, and now we can say that reality is dead. Reality has been overcome, not by any single alternative worldview, but by a burgeoning legion of otherworldly messengers. And who is to say that they are false or demonic? Who has the credibility to say anything authoritative any more? Who will listen? By suppressing authentic information and feeding the public too much flavorless and undigestible disinformation, the merely mortal authorities with their clearly fallible forms of knowledge have given birth to a disinformational universe, in which they are the first victims of their own bad karma.
But the situation is more radical than that. Language itself has been exposed as a primitive and ineffective instrument of consciousness. Yet we have not crossed over to any higher wave of coherent interconnectivity. The reign of the signifier has been overthrown, yes. But no new monarch has been crowned in its place. We have fallen into the gap, the abyss of an unprecedented autism of un-communicability. Each of us floats in our own bubble of narcissistic idiocy, a subculture of one, unable to establish common terms of discourse with others. The solution of many is to hide within the slightly larger bubble of biological family enmeshment, but there is no genuine communication in that realm, either. Increasingly desperate attempts to find a soul mate have arisen in this context. At least there must be one other person who can understand us. But such efforts are rarely successful in the long term. Of course, the same logic applies to social and religious groups. The centrifugal force of dueling signifiers fractures every field of human intercourse.
The great question is whether it is still possible to re-establish the gold standard of all human organization and bring about a renaissance of human unity at a higher level than is presently manifest. The first clue to the answer lies in understanding how the ancient yogis were able to maintain an independent power center that sustained the original culture field of Bharata, and later what is called the classical Indian culture. It is essential to recognize that the same principles of yoga became the internal power that underlay the success of all the cultures of the world. It was through their practice of meditation that the yogis became powerful energetic batteries that enabled cultural integrity and propelled human achievement in every field of knowledge.
The symbolic systems that grew out of and explained the energetic secrets of yoga were merely representations of an achievement that had nothing to do with discourse, but was unimpeachably Real. The power of the Supreme Real is what gave birth to the world’s mythologies. Those myths soon were downgraded to religions and fossilized as dogmas, and the Supreme Real was repressed in favor of what became mere phenomenal reality. With the appearance of the virtual reality of the internet and artificial intelligence, we can distinguish between reality and the Real. What we refer to as reality is conditioned by discourse and can be corrupted. It can also be shifted by events in hyperreality. But the Supreme Real is beyond such effects. Its power and its energies cannot be affected by events in either reality or hyperreality. If we are to survive in reality, however, we must return to the Supreme Real and manifest as authentic avatars of the archetypal Real Self. We must jettison our identifications with both reality and hyperreality, which have both been proven to be unreal. This is what the teachers of advaita and sat yoga have been teaching for centuries. But most of the yogis, whose function as conduits of the energy of the Supreme Real maintained the world, have now passed from the scene. And with them, the energy that keeps our world alive has sputtered and is dying away. Our world cannot long maintain itself in manifestation unless our batteries are re-charged.
The energetic battery of yogic Realization that once powered human history, the energy of Spirit supplied by the masters of meditation, has indeed gone dead, all over the world. This has been a long process, involving the suppression of monasteries, the destruction of the world’s indigenous cultures and their yogic/shamanic lineages, and the materialistic indoctrination of society, turning people against their spiritual leaders, as the Chinese are now doing in Tibet, having destroyed its monastic culture. Only a few sparks of Real spiritual power can be felt anywhere. But those embers of the sacred flame can still be fanned into a fire that will renew human existence for another cycle of cosmic time, at an even higher level of consciousness than in the past cycle, if we are willing to perform the great work of becoming adept yogis.
The modern attempt at demythologizing religion, which can be seen in such contemporary cultural artifacts as the Zeitgeist films, falsely proclaims that the great avatars of the past were mere representations of the Sun, and that the world’s mythologies were only descriptions of astronomical events. Such a view contains the half-truth of its recognition of the amazingly profound astronomical knowledge of the ancient world, but fails to recognize that astronomical data, and indeed the Sun itself, was used only as a representation of the Supreme Real. Those who have had near-death experiences and those who have entered higher forms of Samadhi, and even some who have had nonordinary tryptamine experiences, can testify that the light of our physical sun pales in comparison to the supernal light of the Supreme Sun of Transcendent Consciousness!
Because the signifier can no longer be trusted as expressing Truth, we must return to the gold standard of Silence. Only the utter mental silence of authentic inner peace that radiates the ineffable but irresistible divine energy can be effective as an organizing principle for new communities. Knowledge of the mechanics of the ego and its deceptive cognitive malfunctioning is important, but that knowledge can only be trusted when it is taught by those who have achieved genuine transcendence of the ego and freedom from its drives and pathologies. Words are cheap, but silence is golden. The byproducts of inner silence include humility, compassion, virtue, detachment, and luminous fullness. These byproducts also cannot be counterfeited. Their appearance in a community today is extremely rare, and any community that can operate with all its members resonating at such a frequency of conscious harmony will astound any visitor.
The only way that the general ideologies of cynicism, materialism, and even that of entheogenic psychedelicism, can be cracked is through the experience of such a communal energy field. No mushrooms or peyote or cannabis are necessary for this transcendent attainment. In fact, those substances do not dissolve the ego; they only offer at best brief glimpses of the paradise of pure consciousness. Only the true heroic work of surrender to the One Self will avail to reach the Real. This achievement will be the new wonder of the world. It is through this passage beyond knowledge to the Truth of Supreme Silence and Theomorphic Presence that the current ascendancy of psychotic knowledge will be overthrown. It is not new information, whether psychotic or shamanic, that will effect change, but it is the infinite power of God’s Presence that will announce the dawn of the new Sat Yuga.
Through baptism in the waters of sacred silence, a spiritual community can restore the efficacy of language. Once a community of yogis sits together in silence long enough to download and establish a common carrier wave of loving interconnectivity, the manifestation of knowledge will arrive as a renewed expression of Truth. In this way, humanity can be reborn as a telepathic union of the many and/as the One. From the zero point of Supreme Silence, the One God can again be represented truthfully in language. This renewed alignment of knowledge and Truth will bring about an end to the eclipse of God in the world of ego consciousness. The Sun of Truth will burn through the veil of illusion and reveal that our GodSelf is all and everywhere!
Be prepared for the coming ascendancy of Truth. Better yet, be a divine manifestation of the highest Truth. The Truth, the Real, like the famous alien in the Hollywood film of that name, will emerge from your own chest, from your own heart, and kill your ego as it gives birth to the Great Self that will transform our universe. You are the Alien. Let your heart be sacrificed to the Self, so that the new world may be quickly born!