In Thy Body Do I Dwell (The Physical Construct as Host)
The body is coming back into sight as a site for experimentation and as a target for a type of quasi-transcendence. Within the inverted world of the lesser reality, the physical body has always been recognized as the vehicle through which life is experienced. In other words, it is our avatar whilst in this realm. As such, it has always been a site of contestation.
In some religious circles, the body is seen as a material distraction from the Divine and its influence was seen as needing to be repressed and subjugated (which may include certain physical deprivations, including self-harm). Various religio-spiritual perspectives have regarded the physical body as an obstacle, a barrier, to a sense of the sacred. The other extreme is that the body is regarded as the ideal vehicle for experiencing the sensual and sensuous – it is a vessel for indulgence and decadent experience. Still, there has been no consensus reached over how to regard the vehicle of the human physical body.
In my earlier book – Hijacking Reality – I noted how recent narratives are trying to place the human body as a site of weakness. That is, the body is open and vulnerable to disease and infection; it succumbs to aging and exhaustion; it disallows the human being from the full range of experiences. In this light, narratives of transhumanism are attempting to gain ground as a way of offering an alternative to the ‘weak body.’ These, as I had discussed, are attempts to drive the human experience deeper into materialism and a technocratic agenda for a digital-hybridization program within our societies.
The Inversion is steering ever forward into deeper and deeper realms of materialism. It is utilizing a narrative of quasi-transcendence through embedding deeper into the myth of technological salvation. The lines are not so much being drawn but being blurred. American writer Philip K. Dick, famous for his science fiction books that question the nature and validity of reality, spoke about the blurring of boundaries between body and environment in his 1972 speech “The Android and the Human” –
“Our environment, and I mean our man-made world of machines, artificial constructs, computers, electronic systems, interlinking homeostatic components—all of this is in fact beginning more and more to possess what the earnest psychologists fear the primitive sees in his environment: animation. In a very real sense our environment is becoming alive, or at least quasi-alive, and in ways specifically and fundamentally analogous to ourselves.1″
This quasi-aliveness of the environment that Dick speaks about is the animating stage where relations between the human body and the material world begin to blur (and merge). Much of Western spiritual-mystical practice is interpreted as a somatically-felt experience. The body is the instrument that receives and grounds the experience, whether it be in terms of the ‘great flash,’ ‘illuminating light,’ or the ‘bodily rush.’ The body is the human instrument for receiving, transforming, and sometimes transferring, energies. There are many ‘bodies’ in spiritual-mystic traditions, including the etheric, the astral, the ecstatic, the subtle, the higher, and others; the physical, material body is recognized as the densest of them all. Also, it is the ‘easy target’ since it resides fully within the material world and is open to social engineering and influence.
The body in history has always been a site of focus. It has helped define the experience of self/other and the outer/inner and has been regarded as the material vessel for the spiritual impulse. Perhaps for this reason, many societies around the world have, at one time or another, attempted to suppress the power and expression of the human body. It could be that the controlling agencies within the inverted world regard the balanced, correctly functioning human body as a portal for appropriately navigating the perceptive wavelengths of reality. Many of the mystical traditions placed a strong emphasis on the purification of the human body; on it being free from toxins and corruptive influences. In this way, the physical vessel was said to receive the ‘illuminations,’ or the ‘mercy’ of the sacred, divine impulse.
The body acts as an antenna for the nourishing inspirations/energies for the soul. What better way to block these illuminations than to corrupt the body’s purity through a polluting environment – socially, psychologically, and biologically. As such, the body has always been a site for the convergence of power and control. This body-power relationship has been a major theme in the work of French philosopher Michel Foucault. Foucault has deconstructed, in his critical history of modernity, how the body has been fought over as a site of power. The physical body is also regarded as a location of resistance against the establishment powers. It is a fixed place where an individual can be located, found, and held accountable. And now that our physical movements are continually tracked through the digital infosphere, there is even less chance to escape the eye of authoritative surveillance. If we cannot escape from our bodies then, it would appear, we are forever within the system.
The human body has always been accepted as a unit within the social matrix. This has also been expanded to define bodies in terms of social institutions: we have the body politic, the social body, the scientific body, the medical body, the body of an organization, etc. The once sacred site of the body, which was the vessel for somatic spiritual experiences, has been adopted, or co-opted, into a social construction of bodies that belong under control and subjugation of external authorities. In Gnostic terms, the body’s site of power has been referred to as those of the ‘sleepers’ and the ‘wakers.’ Sleepers are those whose inner self has yet to break through the layers of the body’s social conditioning.
The somatic spiritual experience has been seen as a threat to hierarchical societies because it exists beyond their bounds of power. This is one reason why ecstatic experiences, whether through spiritual or other means, have been suppressed, outlawed, and discredited by orthodox religions and mainstream institutions alike. Ecstatic experiences that can break down the thinking patterns and conditioning structures of the Inversion are alarming for institutions of socio-political power. How can you control, regulate, and discipline a body, energy, or experience that has no physical location? Such intangible forces, such as the power of baraka, are positively infectious and beyond bounds.[i] As cultural historian Morris Berman notes:
“The goal of the Church (any church) is to obtain a monopoly on this vibratory experience, to channel it into its own symbol system, when the truth is that the somatic response is not the exclusive property of any given religious leader or particular set of symbols. 2″
In recent times, there has been an increasing focus on what is termed the innate consciousness of the body, and which has been revealed through such techniques as muscle testing. It is innate because it is inborn (born in and of the body), and it is instinctual. Somatic consciousness then is another word for our intuitive intelligence. It is an intelligence that can be communicated through the body, and it is this which threatens those that seek to control the dreaming mind of humanity. However, the matrix of reality is not a clean-cut realm.
We exist in an anthropological environment where nature and culture cannot be neatly divided. The physical realm is a fusion of the real/imagined, and where subject/object is blurred. Yet now, this hybridity is being further enforced and coalesced through genetic engineering, implants, augmented reality, and the sciences of nanotechnology, biotechnology, and information technology (including artificial intelligence). The Inversion is attempting to gain our willing compliance through offering a form of transcendence that goes beyond the body and the bodily senses.
The Galactic Gaze
The dreaming mind has always been tempted and awed by the stars beyond. There is perhaps no living person who has not gazed up into the night firmament and wondered about the cosmos out there. And perhaps, there have been those persons who upon gazing up wondered whether they were not living within some kind of bubble. The dreamer’s world has often been depicted as a bubble reality, most notably by the Renaissance alchemists, as in this well-known engraving:
The Philosopher’s Stone lies outside of the realm of the Inversion; it can only be grasped by one who has exited from the dreamer’s reality bubble (or perceptual prison). For most people, the spiralling star tapestry of the cosmos is the first step of the beyond. Reason enough, then, for this to have become the new destination for the modern pioneers within the lesser reality.
The break from the body begins at an early age through social conditioning. To some extent, all individuals have to relinquish some of the contact they have with the innate intelligence of the body (including the body of the natural world) by being incorporated into the ‘social body.’ And as the social body becomes increasingly enmeshed within the digitized landscape, this alienation from the body will only likewise increase. Modern culture’s love affair with decadence, and the rise of sexualization and drug indulgence, all contribute to a desensitization of the body – even when the body is the medium of experience, such as in sexual experiences. As noted, this is a targeting of the ‘pure body’ so as to corrupt its potential for deciphering deeper layers within the Inversion. The body-medium for the life experience is also viewed by transhumanists as a hindrance upon the evolutionary journey toward an ‘immortal society’ that is destined for the stars.
This view is more keenly taken by mostly western and ‘elite’ types who have begun to feed themselves upon a modern cosmic-religious mythic consciousness. This is what Jasun Horsley refers to as a ‘Galactic religion,’ which seeks transcendence/ascension by leaving the planet and colonizing others. It is a ‘rich geek’ religion based on accelerating technologies and pushed by the major tech-titan companies. As Horsley notes, rather than ascension, it is the reverse: ‘It has to do with dissociation, the attempt of the traumatized psyche to split off from the body and float off into fantasy land, beyond the reach of reality and all the pain it entails. Bodies frozen on ice, souls lost in space, free, free from the terrible travails of the body.’3 In such contexts as these, and more, there is a trauma being experienced through the physical body. Trauma can be related to dysfunctional energy being trapped within the body, causing discomfort and disease. In an attempt to escape the body of the planet we are being forced to ‘techno-transcend’ the limitations of the biological human body.
To travel into the stars, we are told, requires us to upload our consciousness into machinic devices and/or ethereal cloudscapes. In a bid to escape the confines of a depleting ‘prison planet’ we are being asked to put our faith – and our consciousness – into a new techno-prison. Yet who shall be the new guards? This could entail the trauma of a new birth – re-enacting the prongs of the biological birth passage yet through entry into yet another realm of the Inversion. There seems to be no genuine exit of the dreaming mind through consciousness upload – only a leap into another programmable maze, yet this time perhaps with less benevolent programmers.
In the western psyche there appears to be an ongoing splintering between ‘inner space’ exploration and ‘outer space’ exploration. The techno-dream of space colonization is the new favoured trend whilst the inner space research of the psyche is promoted as a dangerous and trickster landscape. Outer space is the new undiscovered realm that offers hope against the twilight of the body (including the body of the earth). And yet such ‘Galactic pioneers’ seem driven less by a unified perception and more by forces arising within their splintered psyches that they have failed to integrate. These are the subconscious forces that grasp at survival, at any cost, and would willingly walk over the bodies of others to secure their own survival. Leaving the planetary body is only for the ‘lucky’ few, whilst the rest must remain grounded – or with their minds in cloudscape orbit. The trick of the Inversion is that there are endless doors to keep walking through, yet no exit to awaken out of. By walking out of one dreamworld into another we may think we are free, yet we remain imprisoned within the dream still. Or worse, we unknowingly become our very own prison guards.
No rockets will ever create enough thrust to take us where we truly need to go, for awakening from the gravity of the Inversion is an inner-space journey. It is the colonizing of the quiet kind – of ourselves. By striving to attain the orbital Overview Effect we are missing the real point, which is the ‘Inner view’ from within ourselves.
The Body as the Holy Host
The Inversion – our inverted world reality construct – is unsure what to make of the human physical body. Is it our saviour – our holy host? – or a danger to our own progress and a threat to the agenda of others? As I have written previously,[ii] the narratives of a new biopower have brought to the fore a medical-political establishment within many of our societies worldwide. The biology of control is now a major player within the current realm of lived experience. There is now a noticeable rush to gain a political-corporate control over the access, use, and sovereignty of the human body. In a very real sense, it is the individual’s last line of physical defence. Each individual is a conscious entity (a spiritual essence) that is operating within this material realm through the vehicle of the physical body. As such, we are uniting with a biological partner. We are a merged being: as it is said, a union of flesh and spirit. Whilst the spirit – the essential being – is immortal, it has to abide in its physical incarnation by the biological limitations of the bodily host. Because of this crucial fact, external control agendas are determined to not only gain power over the outer aspects of the body (it’s freedoms, utility, mobility, etc.,) but also, via interventions, to have control over its internal functioning (DNA code, intra-communication, and more).
The human body functions upon many varied levels and acts as many things – including as a receiver, filter, and transmitter of energies and information. It is only the false, manipulated narrative that posits the human body as a ‘biohazard.’ By using this designation, external agencies of authority can seek to further contain and control the movement of the body as well as gaining internal access through chemical and pharmaceutical interventions. These possibilities were foreseen by many, not least by the social philosopher and author Aldous Huxley. Even as far back as the 1950s, Huxley envisaged the encroachment of scientism to gain increasing intervention into the human body:
Meanwhile pharmacology, biochemistry and neurology are on the march, and we can be quite certain that, in the course of the next few years, new and better chemical methods for increasing suggestibility and lowering psychological resistance will be discovered. Like everything else, these discoveries may be used well or badly. They may help the psychiatrist in his battle against mental illness, or they may help the dictator in his battle against freedom.4
And yet, this is still a viewpoint based on the material and physical sciences. It does not represent a deeper, spiritual perspective. This was to be provided by the Austrian philosopher and proponent of spiritual science, Rudolf Steiner. In talks given during September-October 1917, Steiner had the presence of vision to discuss the later potential interventions and influence over the human body. He said that: ‘Taking a “sound point of view,” people will invent a vaccine to influence the organism as early as possible, preferably as soon as it is born, so that this human body never even gets the idea that there is a soul and a spirit.’5
Clearly, this shows that the human physical body is a site of target in an attempt to curb or block reception of spiritual forces. Through what may appear to be a ‘sound point of view,’ a range of socio-cultural narratives will be created and propagated, according to Steiner, that will push an agenda of increased medical intervention. And these medically backed ideas have the aim ‘to find a vaccine that will drive all inclination towards spirituality out of people’s souls when they are still very young, and this will happen in a roundabout way through the living body.’6 Humanity has arrived at that time now, if we observe current events and their related consequences. We are now at a time within the 21st century where we are witnessing the transmutation of living beings – and bodies. The human being has arrived at a threshold previously unknown to it, and there are forces compelling the human to step over and through it. It is a threshold that will recode environments and bodies. The threshold is the point where a genetic deterritorialization process can begin, and from which we may witness the emergence of a new organism different from the current one. It is a threshold of recombination and recodification; a new assemblage that represents yet another phase within the Inversion. From here on, we are biologically vulnerable to an encroaching machinic impulse that, by its very nature, will morph bodily combinations into machinic connections.
Our bodies are reaching an exhaustion point. The crises we now face across the body of the earth is from a collapse of the individual, social, and psychological body. Already, the social mind is in trauma, and the body is showing this illness or dis-ease. The Inversion has made sure that the biological and psychological dimension has coalesced. The ripple of a bodily trauma is being felt across the planetary membrane as people are forced to unnaturally detach from the physical world around them. New physical arrangements of dislocation (lockdowns) and social avoidance are becoming established practices within our societies. These unnatural ordinances are creating cognitive and bodily dissonance. Bio-traumas have arisen that are affecting our sensibilities. New bodily phobias have been set in motion. This is the newly inverted threshold – a threshold of deterritorialization that has enforced a changing perception of the body. We are sensing alterations in human bodily awareness and receptivity. There is a deprivation too. The body is being pulled back from its natural organic terrain. It is being made to retreat from physical presence and away from the reassuring touch. It is as if the body is being reconfigured to devolve away from the sensual and into a new digitally articulated sensate. This bodily aliveness is being substituted by decomposition and the fear of decay and deterioration.
In the modern age, death has replaced sex as the modern taboo. The sanitized environment of the hospital has replaced the home as the place for passing away. The experience of death and dying has become detached from community life with the effect that emotion and closeness has been replaced by medical management. The dying body has become inverted into a thing of disgust and embarrassment. Death has now become something shameful – a forbidden process. Death is a modern scandal. Modern life has internalized the rejection of death, and we are coded to cringe at the thought of bodily deterioration. Death is a loser. To die is to lose, to fail. There is no room for failure within the deepening layers of machinic materialism and computational competition. Death can be replaced by tech-assisted immortality in the new ‘posthuman future.’ Alternatively, the body can be transcended through transhumanism so that death no longer haunts the halls of the physical flesh. These are the new imaginings in the realm of machinic desire. Humanity is on the threshold of venturing into an Inversion of codified imagination and upturned desires. Desire has overtaken pleasure, and it is the social sphere within the Inversion that creates and sustains this desirous torment and torture of the unattainable. And within the unattainable, greater forms of external control must be endorsed to compensate. For this reasoning, current forces have begun to establish new pathways of control over life processes. And this, by intent and not coincidence, aligns with the rise of the machinic impulse. The question that now needs to be asked is whether the machine impulse is evolutionary or devolutionary in terms of human life upon this planet.
About the Author
Kingsley L. Dennis is the author of The Phoenix Generation: A New Era of Connection, Compassion, and Consciousness, and The Sacred Revival: Magic, Mind & Meaning in a Technological Age, available at Amazon. Visit him on the web at http://www.kingsleydennis.com/.
1 Dick, Philip K. (1995) The Shifting Realities of Philip K. Dick: Selected Literary and Philosophical Writings (ed. Lawrence Sutin). New York: Vintage Books, p183
2 Berman, Morris (1990) Coming to Our Senses: Body and Spirit in the Hidden History of the West. New York: HarperCollins, 146.
3 Horsley, J. (2018). Prisoner of Infinity: UFOs, Social Engineering, and the Psychology of Fragmentation. London, Aeon Books, p189
4 Huxley, A. (1959). Brave New World Revisited. London, Chatto & Windus, p107-8
5 Steiner, Rudolf (2008) The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness. Forest Row: Rudolf Steiner Press, p85
6 Steiner, Rudolf (2008) The Fall of the Spirits of Darkness. Forest Row: Rudolf Steiner Press, p199-200
[i] Baraka, a prominent concept in Islamic mysticism, refers to a flow of grace and spiritual power that can be transmitted.
[ii] Hijacking Reality: The Reprogramming & Reorganization of Human Life