We find ourselves in a temporarily stable state of absurdity. Baroness Whitewash, the chair of the defiantly uncurious Inquiry is the perfect symbol of our time. Powerful the self-righteousness of the deluded is, as Yoda would put it. Behind the nonsense the usual predations of power continue. Those who have fight to get more; those who have not are fed platitudes and empty promises.
The internet, for all its benefits, has proved to be a remarkable tool of oppression. It has empowered the grandiose to do stupid things on an epic scale. Collectively we have been clever enough to build a machine that we are not wise enough to use well.
This is unsustainable in the long-term and, while our overlords are already planning Net Zero, gender utopia and the next pandemic, the collapse has already started it. It may be catastrophic, but it could well be long, slow and very painful. Almost all of those in power are extraordinarily unaware of how badly they misunderstand the world.
2023 has seen culmination a worldwide process which Carl Jung called 'enantiodromia', a notion he took from Heraclitus. Truly there is nothing new under the sun.
Jung defined enantiodromia as
“the transformation of the hitherto valued into the worthless, and of the formerly good into the bad”
and “the emergence of the unconscious opposite in the course of time.”
The underlining of the word 'unconscious' is mine. This unconsciousness is critical. It arises and subsists or subsides within each of us. The greater the unconsciousness the greater the conformity to the norm. It is by means of this unconsciousness that good science, common sense and progress have transmogrified into deceitful manipulation, folly and decay.
Enantiodromia is illustrated by the perfect misnomer of wokeness. Those who awoke to injustice have become hypnotized into ideological slavery. Wedded to intersectional abstractions, they are unable to see straight. Hence group think is enforced in the name of diversity, prejudice in the name of equity, and cancellation in the name of inclusion.
Enantiodromia is everywhere. Net Zero sets out a hubristic mission to save the planet and becomes a mechanism to deprive us of liberty and erode our environment. The Government oppresses those it should serve, the police have become untrustworthy, schools indoctrinate instead of educate, trans therapy mutilates those it purports to help, banks close branches 'to serve our customers better' and the mayor of London’s schemes to improve the city are destroying it. Lockdowns caused more harm than they prevented and vaccines by some miracle of coincidence have preceded an astonishing number of ailments. In my own circle of acquaintance I know of vaccinated people who in the last three years have suffered the following afflictions: fatal heart attacks (2), non-fatal TIA, Lymphoma, breast cancer (3), myocarditis, early onset dementia (2), non-viable fetus, Parkinsons disease and appendicitis (2). At least we can be thankful the experts tell us that there is no chance that these ailments were caused by the covid-19 vaccinations. Nevertheless, somewhat enantoidromatic....
As I observed back in May 2020 mainstream thinking now has all the hallmarks of a cult. The more the official predictions of doom and disaster are proven erroneous, the more fervently the priesthood asserts them. Government policies and the consequent threats to our lives feel absurd and disproportionate because they are absurd and disproportionate. Mainstream media are entirely captured by a simplistic, self-serving, elitist point of view. This abandonment of open-minded consciousness is the path of enantiodromia.
But what of the rest of us? What are we doing? And what can we do if the awful truth is that many people don't want to wake up? What if they like being hypnotised? Trance is relaxing. What if they just don’t want to make the effort to think? Or what if those who are willing to think have to face the horrific possibility that they have been duped into acts of medical, social and economic self-harm? That is a bitter medicine to swallow.
In the face of maleficence and unconsciousness what can we do?
The ubiquitous sin of our times is the tendency to tell other people what to do, and those least qualified are those most keen to dictate to others. Nonetheless we are in desperate times and we need all the help we can get. So what can you do? What can I do? Perhaps I can share my own experience and others can take from it as much, or as little, as they wish.
I can do my best to be conscious, alert and thoughtful and politely note every instance of absurdity, however small. I can register my disapproval of dangerous policies, protocols and political parties.
I can continue, as I believe you do, to seek out like-minded free-thinkers to create new solutions to everyday problems.
Even more importantly, I can reach out, very, very, very gently, to the diligently conformist, to those walking the seductive roads paved with good intentions and offer them tiny inklings of alternatives. These inklings can take months, even years to bear fruit, but from such humble beginnings may grow great movements. Neither you nor I know 'the answer', but good may come when each one of us takes up our own possibility to question received wisdom and discover a little more with – and about – this extraordinary consciousness we have been given.
In my own career it has been a year of a remarkable book and woeful marketing and I am responsible for both. An example of the latter is that I failed to do the standard “My Book will make a Marvellous Christmas Present” marketing. I don’t want to hassle you with emails and urge you to just 'click here’. I would rather elicit your thoughtfulness. So if you feel inclined to give a thoughtful gift – or indeed the gift of thoughtfulness – to usher in the year 2024, you can do so by purchasing The Bug in our Thinking and the way to fix it on Amazon or, preferably by means of this link where the word Enantiodromia will get you a £2 discount before 12th January. By the way it is virtually impossible to escape the codification of marketing: the previous sentence is know in marketing as a "New Year, New You" promo. Sigh.
I wish you a Joyful and Merry Christmas and an unexpectedly positive 2024.