Discover more from Don't Forget Yoga with Derek Pashupa Goodwin
Conspirituality, Duality, and Reality.
My take on the world of conspiracy, and the search for what is real.
“Wisdom tells me I am nothing. Love tells me I am everything. And between the two my life flows.” ~ Nisargadatta Maharaj
Today I am home riding out my second bout of Covid, which has given me time to reflect and organize my life. In doing so, I found this blog post, which I had begun writing in April of 2020, in the midst of the first wave of Covid. During that “pause” I had reconnected to my creative spirit, and was writing a lot, but never finished this one. At the time I didn’t realize how many of my friends and family members would become amateur scientists and doctors during the pandemic. I am still surprised at the certainty most people feel about their own opinions being facts.
I found some interesting themes running through this piece and decided to finish it now that we have some hindsight, even though I don’t think any of us are seeing 2020 with 20/20 vision yet. Nor will we ever.
Conspirituality: a hybrid system of belief
Conspirituality is a rapidly growing web movement expressing an ideology fueled by political disillusionment and the popularity of alternative worldviews . . . It offers a broad politico-spiritual philosophy based on two core convictions, the first traditional to conspiracy theory, the second rooted in the New Age: 1) a secret group covertly controls, or is trying to control, the political and social order, and 2) humanity is undergoing a ‘paradigm shift’ in consciousness. Proponents believe that the best strategy for dealing with the threat of a totalitarian ‘new world order’ is to act in accordance with an awakened ‘new paradigm’ worldview.
~ Journal of Contemporary Religion, The Emergence of Conspirituality
The Covid-19 wet market conspiracy
When I first heard that a pandemic was emerging from a wet market in China, I was not one bit surprised. I went vegan in the nineties during the era of Mad Cow Disease. Feeding cows to cows was the crime against nature that started it. The news cycle exaggerated it. The Texas cattle ranchers were suing Oprah for mentioning it. Ag-gag laws were becoming prevalent in reaction to the nascent animal rights movement highlighting the horrors of factory farming.
More zoonotic diseases came afterwards; SARS, Avian influenza, Swine Flue. I saw each of them as karma from the way we treat animals, and dress rehearsals for something bigger. In 2020 the Covid-19 virus made is way across the sea. It was inevitable, and I thought to myself, “now people will see how abusing animals comes back to haunt us!” Of course, for the umpteenth time in my life, I was overly optimistic.
I reluctantly admit, there is equally probable possibility is that the virus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, China. Without an admission from the Chinese, we will never know. As the virus became politicized, the story of the liberal media suppressing the lab leak theory became well known. Censorship leads to conspiracy, because we all want to know what is being hidden from us, and without reliable information our imaginations will fill in the blanks.
Along with the lab leak theory, I started hearing wilder conspiratorial whisperings from my closest friends, and it got me thinking. What’s really going on?
The chaos theory of conspiracy
As a scientist of the internal realms, the yogi observes the rhythms of the natural world as it is. She understands that relative truth has no single-pointed location in mind nor matter, and ultimate truth is beyond the reach of either.
All matter is vibrational, meaning it pulsates. Life is an interplay of expansive and contractive forces, and our individual and collective understanding of everything is always changing.
Mainstream media, a conspiracy?
Many of the official stories we hear from the mainstream media about Covid-19 are contractive. Anyone we meet could pass a deadly disease on to us, or we could be the vector that transmits the virus to them. These ideas become the white noise in the background of every human interaction. Part of us clenches like a fist.
We bring our worldviews and prejudices to the table. For those of us who accept that established news sources are being truthful, we still have to choose sides. Within the boundaries of mainstream thinking, the liberal tribe tends to lean towards expansive explanations, and the conservative tribe tends to ratchet things down another notch.
The real conspiracy driving mainstream media is money. Whoever is paying for, or profiting from the news, is going to shape it to fit their narrative. It used to be that giant corporations selling products were the driving force, influencing stories from the top down. The age of social media has shifted the paradigm, because now each individual gets to “choose” what we click on, and that influences content from the ground up. News outlets and viewers become more tribal; the most outlandish headline gets the click, and the individual joins the wave of his tribe in manifesting the reality we want to buy in to.
The Venn Diagram of Conspiracy + Reality
The stories we hear from the conspiratorial dark web offer a boundless, expansive view of the world. Flat Earth, aliens, and illuminati are all discussed rationally. Nothing is outside the realm of possibility.
Within the overall expansive nature of conspiracy, there are subsets of expansion and contraction. The liberal-leaning tribes tend to go with new age explanations, which push us out towards the cosmic. The conservative-leaning folks are attracted to beliefs in secret cabals and lizard people, intermingling racist interpretations that draw us into a paranoid worldview.
There is even a fun conspiracy middle ground. The aliens and illuminati are trying to control the world, but the more powerful forces of the divine plan will bring in the Age of Aquarius. At last, a space where all conspiritualists can get along!
Inhale. Exhale. Truth is the wave, we are the particles.
Some are saying that Bill Gates may have created coronavirus to microchip people with a quantum tattoo. There is also the one about Covid-19 being caused by 5G technology, or alternatively created as a diversion so the technology can be rolled out. The mainstream media reaction is to discount all of these theories completely. But is 5G a benign technology? Does Bill Gates have an agenda beyond creating vaccines to reduce suffering the world? Was Covid-19 created as a bioweapon?
Mathematics, the language of the universe, is perhaps the only reliable system for generating true statements. Once we mix capitalism, politics and religion together within a human language, all bets are off.
My way of interpreting all the data I get from the outside world is to apply the “as above, so below” paraphrase from the Hermetic Emerald Tablet, (proving that my conspiracy theory credentials are solid). My armchair understanding of physics surely puts me further into conspiritual territory. Nonetheless, thinking about particles and waves as metaphors for truth might be useful.
When we look out at the media landscape, it is a swirling wave of possibilities. We google “coronavirus” and millions of possibilities are displayed. We click on the one that appeals most to us (or to the A.I. that presented them to us), and get our particle of truth. We accept or reject the results, and the A.I. roulette wheel spins again, so we can pick another particle of “truth” from the wave of organized chaos. We believe we are scientifically curating our results into a big picture of truth, but are we?
It surely gives us hits of dopamine every time we find a ‘fact’ that aligns with our beliefs, and we go seeking more of it. Zooming out, we are the particles, becoming our own truths, finding the similar human truth particles swirling in our communal wave of truth. Culture is the scientific experiment, waiting for the various waves of truthiness to fight it out and establish a new paradigm of absolute truth. A paradigm which will eventually crumble, because we are humans, not mathematical equations. If we invest all of our certainty in truthiness bull market of the day, we are likely to lose when it crashes.
Make sure you buy some other possibility bonds.
Can’t We All Get Along?
I don’t know… I hope so. As I tell people in my life about getting covid again, I get the waves of answer paradigms. “Are you vaccinated?” “Are you OK?” “Did you wear a mask when you (…)?” I can almost read the thoughts beneath them. “Is he one of us, or did he have it coming?” I hope that is not the case, but it’s where my mind tends to go.
From my experience as a particle, the virus hasn’t been to hard to deal with, and the vaccine didn’t cause me any side effects. I wish it was the same for everyone, I feel sadness for all of the suffering caused by both. Some of us have strong immune systems, and some need a… booster. And sometimes one persons medicine is another’s poison. Our bodies are complex systems, and all react differently. Sometimes we get lucky, sometimes we draw the shortest straw.
To my friends, acquaintances, and everyone else who might read this, here is my suggestion; Don’t assert your certainty. Be humble, put your truth out there as something you are open to discussing. Our minds are more resilient in wave form.
We pulsate. Being talked down to by angry people asserting their righteous truth, makes us contract. Hearing people explain their beliefs with humility and the willingness to admit uncertainty, is attractive and expansive. (Having no beliefs at all is the negative result of too much expansion, which we should also be wary of).
The middle path is the way back to the center of the Venn diagram, where truth is a wave of possibilities, often overlapping. The center is the place where collaborations and solutions are discovered. Lab leaks and wet markets both suck and spread disease, we should deal with them rationally. The center is where we can weed out the most extreme narratives and find common ground.
We are more similar than different, let’s find the Venn diagrams between us!
Last question: What kind of a S.N.A.G. conspiritualist would I be, without ending this piece with an overused Rumi quote?
“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing there is a field. I'll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.”