Freedom Digital Library


Civilization and Beyond


"Dear Friends"

14 October 2004
Dear Friends,

A Pact With the Devil
by J. Harmon Grahn

Once again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in their glory. 'All these', he said, 'I will give you, if you will only fall down and do me homage.'1

There you have in a nutshell the archetypical "deal" for all who participate in any way, in any stratum of Taker culture2 – i.e. human civilization. It is the essential core of Taker culture, and the lynchpin of its hierarchical structure.

This is certainly not the most "politically correct" way of expressing it, and I imagine some reading this will read no further. For "the deal" offered to participants in Taker culture has no shortage of – ah, takers – willing and eager to accept the stated terms. Yet those who do so generally do not like to have the transaction represented so baldly.

Like it or not, however, this is and always has been "the deal." It was the deal on the table, for instance, when the King awarded a Title of Nobility to an individual for outstanding service. The deal wasn't necessarily stated in these terms, but the clearly understood essence of it was that "I (the King) grant you all these lands and peoples to administer for your personal gain and profit – with the understanding, of course, that you will support my policies in all your actions; and furnish soldiers when called upon to fight my wars; and pay me regular tribute, which you will exact by taxing those within your domains; and see to it that my every command is obeyed throughout your domains; and you and all your subjects shall 'fall down and do me homage' when in my presence." Well of course. What's wrong with that? Who wouldn't jump at the opportunity?

This, by the way, is how the King got to be King in the first place: a) by making exactly the same deal with the Emperor, or with a bigger and more potent King or Warlord than himself; and b) by offering the same deal to numerous retainers ("creating" some of them "Lords" in the process). And so the King gradually gathered around himself a powerful army, and a political machine to match. The single purpose of the entire exercise, top to bottom, has always been the wielding of pre-emptive force3 as the means of achieving the King's ends – which is to say, the Warlord's ends; and the Emperor's. And the devil's. And to achieve their ends, the King's Lords wield pre-emptive force in turn – always in accord with the King's, the Warlord's, the Emperor's, and the devil's ultimate ends.

And so it goes, up and down the hierarchy, no different today than it has ever been in "civilized history." The Lords deputize Knights to carry out hierarchical policies; the Knights retain Squires, ...and so on. Bottom line, everyone lines up somewhere along this hierarchical "chain gang," which is forged, link by link, by endless repetitions of the original "pact with the devil," which achieves its ends by means of pre-emptive force. And there you have, tra-la, civilization.

The chain of pre-emptive, hierarchical tentacles stretches into every nook and cranney of civilized society, and the "golden rule" prevails: He who has the gold makes the rules. Today, giant corporate advertisers suborn the integrity of the media; corporate endowments from the same sources suborn the integrity of academic and scientific research.4 "All these I will give you, if you will only fall down and do me homage." Following are the unusually candid remarks of a 19th century American journalist, allegedly in response to a toast to "the independent press."

There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.5

There is no profession or calling in the civilized world which is not tarred with the same brush. Might makes right, and pre-emptive force is "the only game in town" – any town, anywhere in the civilized world. To be "civilized" is to be either a pimp, or a prostitute, or both. To be "civilized" is to be a slave in a "chain gang" – whether the "chain" be wrought of gold, or of iron.

Who is the devil?

Now that is a fair question. If civilization consists at bottom of "a pact with the devil," who, or what is this alleged "devil" people are going about having "pacts" with? Is it the Takers? Or the pharoahs? Or who? Or what?

The devil, as spoken of in this essay, is a myth, just like everything else discussed in these pages. So I can, and I will, tell you what the devil represents in my mythology, and why; it is naturally up to you to decide what, if anything, the devil represents in yours.

As previously discussed, "the vital elements for the functioning and evolution of metaconsciousness are diversity and complexity."6 As also previously discussed, The "universal metaconsciousness" of "All That Is" must be benign, purposeful, potent, and present, everywhere, always, without exception.7 These are qualities traditionally attributed to "the gods," which the Metaconsciousness Myth equates with "the metaconsciousness of 'All That Is'." The evolutionary tendency of "All That Is" is toward the expansion and proliferation of diversity and complexity, a spontaneous and, shall we say, "meta-intentional" product of which is the manifestation, expansion, and evolution of metaconsciousness. This seems to me as useful a summing up as any of "what the universe is about," and it seems in its totality to be a singularly benign process. Elsewhere, I have written that it is positively "Good," not bad, and not neutral. "This leads to a clear definition of 'the good'," I wrote, "which is simply 'What Is'."8

Therefore, it makes sense to me that "the devil" is a mythological label which may be appropriately applied to any agency, force, or instrumentality which has the effect of stifling, or inhibiting metaconsciousness; and conversely, that anything which fosters, nurtures, or encourages the expansion of metaconsciousness may be considered as generally a "Good Thing," beneficial to all Life, and to all living things, including but not limited to humans and human culture. Thus, a "pact with the devil" is a metaphorical way of describing any cooperative venture, particularly among humans, which has the effect, in large or small ways, of inhibiting the expansion of metaconsciousness. "The devil" is in these terms not an entity or a "diabolical personality." "The devil" is a peculiar set of circumstances, probably highly unusual, aberrant, and short-lived in the wide Cosmos, which combine to inhibit and / or reverse the overall trend of Cosmic evolution toward ever expanding, ever enriching diversity, complexity, and consequent metaconsciousness.

Today, Taker culture – human civilization – is almost perfectly suited to advancing "the devil's agenda." That is, there is very little about civilization that nourishes the expansion of metaconsciousness on any level, and conversely, almost everything about it stifles metaconsciousness on every level – primarily because the "engine" that drives civilization is and always has been pre-emptive force, the most effective inhibitor of metaconsciousness... that I, anyway, have been able to imagine.

Even this formulation is not entirely satisfactory, for it is an oversimplification. Simple predation is by all appearences the exercise of pre-emptive force; yet nothing lives, except at the cost of the life of some other living thing(s). Thus we are all predators, one way or another, and do not have the choice of being otherwise. Yet predation by itself does not have a stifling effect upon the evolution of metaconsciousness, and is on the contrary a vital part of the process. Without predation, the web of Life wouldn't work.

Perhaps Daniel Quinn expressed it as well as may be done, as a "clause" in the Law of Life to the effect that

You may compete to the full extent of your capabilities, but you may not hunt down your competitors or destroy their food or deny them access to food. In other words, you may compete but you may not wage war on your competitors.9

The fundamental nature of Taker culture – civilization – is to wage war upon its competitors, and this is definitely destructive to metaconsciousness, and to the web of all Life. In terms of the myth of the gods, civilization by its very nature "kills the gods." If we think of "the gods" as superhuman entities like mighty Thor wielding his hammer and thunderbolts, the idea of "killing the gods" may seem whimsical to contemporary minds, and not easily taken seriously. However, if we see the connection between "the gods" and metaconsciousness, then "killing the gods" – stifling metaconsciousness – may be seen as a very serious matter indeed, for it is by nature what civilization does, and it is deadly to all Life.

This must cease, and it shall, if for no other reason than that it is unsustainable, and will therefore not be sustained. I submit that a preferable means of bringing it to a halt is for we humans to elect to sustain it no longer. If "doing civilization" stifles metaconsciousness, i.e. "kills the gods," then it must be possible to "kill the devil" by doing the opposite, by walking away from civilization and fomenting metaconsciousness.

Simply walking away from civilization is a heck of a lot easier said than done, though, isn't it? Surely, stepping literally into the wilderness and subsisting on nuts and berries, the way Leavers used to do,10 is not a viable option for very many of us anymore, and if matters reach the point on this planet where that is absolutely the only way to survive, a great many of us, if not all of us, will simply perish.

Prospects for Change: the Bad News

What, then, are the prospects for change? What's the outlook for any who may not want to accept "the deal" offered by Taker culture, who want a "better deal" instead? In a word, I would say, "mixed." It's too close to call, and "the outlook isn't brilliant." On the other hand, "The game isn't over 'till it's over." We're still standing, we're not dead yet, so don't write us off until we are.

The bad news is that there is nothing "written in the stars" (so far as anyone knows) that insists the story of humanity on planet Earth is destined to have a "happy ending." As noted earlier,11 the dinosaurs ruled the Earth for a hundred million years, and their mammalian contemporaries just had to make the best they could of a situation that relegated them, for all that time, to the sidelines of the biological action. We humans have only been here now for the past three or so million years, only the most recent ten thousand of which have we any "memory." By those standards, a hundred million years is a mighty long stretch; yet the dinosaurs might still be in charge of the planet today, were it not for the "fortunate accident" (for the mammals, as it turned out, not for the dinosaurs) of a catastrophic collision, evidently, with a passing asteroid or comet. This fortuitous event wiped the dinosaurs out, and opened up innumerable ecological niches, formerly occupied exclusively by reptiles, which enabled the surviving mammals to flourish; and eventually, for genus Homo to make our appearance.

Today, the world is dominated by Taker culture in much the same way it was dominated by dinosaurs during the Jurassic and Cretaceous Periods of the Mesozoic Era. This leaves little "wiggle room" for anyone on the planet with a desire to opt out of Taker culture – which operates on the basis of pre-emptive force and does not offer an "option" for opting out of the Taker chain gang. The choices on the Taker menu are two: Join us, and obey us, or die. Which is ultimately only one choice: Die. Taker culture is on the way down, not because of an asteroid or a comet, but because of our own insane self-destruction, bread in the bone, and died in the wool of Taker culture. Mother Earth simply cannot sustain Taker culture any longer, so Taker culture is on its way out. Whether there is anything left of the planet, biologically, after the Takers' self-immolation has run its course, as I have said, is too close to call. That's the bad news.

The Good News

The good news is of several different kinds. Although Taker culture accounts for "99%" of the world's human population, there are actually two quite different kinds of Takers: a) the "pharoahs," and b) the "pyramid builders."12 The pharoahs account for only a minute "1%" of Taker culture, and consider themselves practically a different species from all other humans, Takers and Leavers alike; and who knows? maybe they are! Maybe they're "Lizards from Outer Space,"13 for all I know. Whatever they are, whoever they are, they are the "drivers" of Taker culture, and everyone else in the chain gang are draft animals, as far as the pharoahs are concerned. (For that matter, in Taker culture, everyone below oneself in the hierarchy is effectively a draft animal – notwithstanding the efforts some Takers make to be conscientious about treating their draft animals well. A pampered slave is made no less a slave by a golden chain, or cage.)

So that's one item of good news: "we" outnumber "them," millions to one. The only thing that gives "their" agenda any viability at all is that "we" support it. "We are the jumping jacks," as John Swinton remarked, "they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities, and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes." What if "we" decided to stop being "intellectual prostitutes?" Or pimps, or slaves of any kind or description?

This is something any human on Earth can do; for there is nothing – nothing – that is able to compromise the freedom of choice of every individual. The "pact with the devil" is exactly that: a pact; a mutual agreement between and among individuals to cooperate in the exercise of a policy of pre-emptive force on behalf of some pharoah, in exchange for the pharoah's favorable rewards. That's "the deal." No one is compelled to make this deal, with anyone. It is a choice. The American patriot, Patrick Henry (1736-99) opted out of "the deal" when he uttered the fateful words, "Give me liberty, or give me death!" That nameless Chinese student in Tieniman Square opted out of "the deal" when he allowed the tank to crush him, rather than surrender to the overwhelming pre-emptive force of the Chinese Army. It can be done. No one claims it's easy, and no one can make anyone else's choice for them. Yet there is no one on Earth who cannot – and in fact does not – make the choice for him or herself, every day, either to opt in, or opt out, of the "pact with the devil."

Please do not imagine that in saying this, I am taking a "holier than thou" position. Myself, I've been moving gradually away from Taker culture for a good many years now, yet I am not completely "clean." The best I can say for myself is that "I'm chipping away at it," and it's not easy. I opt out of what I can live without; continue my "prostitution" in exchange for what I find indispensible for survival. I have not yet learned how to subsist entirely on "nuts and berries," and I still bear the yoke of "civilization." Still, it can be done, opting entirely out of Taker culture, even if done incrementally; and it must be done, if any living today, or our children, are to survive and flourish. Of this I am convinced.

So here's another item of good news: after ten thousand years of Taker tyranny, we still have the choice, if we so decide, to walk away from the pyramids we've been building for the pharoahs. It has been done in the past,14 and it can be done today – if we so decide. Furthermore, it isn't an "all or nothing" choice. We can walk away incrementally. We are tethered to civilization by many strands. Every strand we sever is a step beyond civilization.

Another item of good news, corollary to the facts that we in the chain gang outnumber the pharoahs "millions to one," and that we ourserves are the forgers of the chains that bind us, is that, contrary to what we have been taught in Taker schools, churches, and temples, there is nothing particularly wrong with us, aside from our somnambulant acquiescence in slavery, which has been our choice by default. We're not "born sinners," or "killer apes," or plagued by "a perverse and contrary nature." We're just people who in good faith have persisted in a course that, to our dismay and alarm, does not lead us to our intended destination of peace and happiness after all, but leads instead to war, suicide, and global catastrophe. This has been an error, and errors exact their toll; yet errors, when perceived, may be corrected. We have made the mistake, as have many before us, of adopting Taker culture from the pharoahs, who have attempted to take the Law of Life out of "the hands of the gods," and have assumed it for themselves.

This cannot be done, for the Law of Life, like the "law of gravity," is not "written" anywhere, or subject to "amendment" to suit the preferences of any living individual or species. It is the accumulating treasury of what works in the dynamic context of "All That Is" – which is ultimately a mystery and so constitutes what we have sometimes called "the hands of the gods," or "the metaconsciousness of 'All That Is'."

And here's another bit of good news: All is not as it seems. Why is this good news? Because, out of the mystery, out of "the hands of the gods," out of "the metaconsciousness of 'All That Is'," anything is possible! Who's to say the asteroid that evidently gave the mammals their liberty 65,000,000 years ago, for instance, was not a deliberate "act of the gods," arranged by the metaconscious intent of "All That Is," or of the Galaxy, or the Solar System? Who's to say the gods might not exercise their prerogatives again – if we, here on the ground, rouse ourselves from our slumbers and do everything we can to remedy our own desperate predicament?

Here's just "one little example" of what I mean by All is not as it seems: Crop Circles.15 They appear in fields of standing grain every season, nobody knows for sure how or why. Some pranksters have come forward and claimed to have made the Crop Circles, by walking on the grain with planks strapped to their feet. Really? All of them? All over the world? For the past 30 years or more? Now that really would be amazing!

Discounting such hoaxes – and there have been at least some hoaxes – here we have literally thousands of instances of a physical phenomenon pressed into fields of growing grain, witnessed, viewed, photographed, investigated by large numbers of people in all parts of the world, over an extended period of time, which have so far eluded all attempts at "rational explanation" – a "rational explanation" being one that fits comfortably with Taker culture and mythology. Different individuals take different "messages" from these phenomena, yet one seems clear enough to anyone with an open mind encountering Crop Circles:

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.16

Breaking the Pact

The first – and perhaps the most difficult – step in walking away from Taker culture is reaching the decision to do so. The most formidable "sticking point" is not physical logistics – although these certainly have their place in the equation. Before "how to do it" can even be given consideration, one must first disarm the "killer memes" that keep one locked into the chain gang:

If the above five statements come anywhere close to approximating your fundamental belief, it is doubtful you will have read this far, not to mention forming in your mind the absurd notion of abandoning civilization. The shot is simply not on the board; end of discussion. In that case, these remarks are not addressed to you, and you should be (and probably are!) reading, or viewing, or paying attention to something entirely else.

On the other hand, this is being written under the assumption that there is someone, somewhere, reading it; who presumably agrees with me, at least to some extent, that "all is not well with human civilization." If so, then the question spontaneously arises, "What shall we do about it?" and the options are not overwhelmingly numerous.

The more I mull these things over in my mind, the more I find myself returning to the myth of metaconsciousness. Again, the "large-scale" trend of Cosmic evolution seems to be decisively in the direction of ever expanding metaconsciousness. Metaconsciousness – which bears the same relationship to consciousness, intelligence, and creativity that the entire electromagnetic spectrum bears to the band of visible light – is (according to the Metaconsciousness Myth) a spontaneous product of diversity, variety, and complexity among components of information-sharing systems. An information-sharing system can be extremely rudimentary: e.g. a red flower petal shares information about itself by selectively reflecting a portion of the sunlight striking it, and absorbing other frequencies. Thus "information-sharing systems" are ubiquitous and omnipresent.

Therefore, I feel justified in saying – mythologically – that the expansion and evolution of metaconsciousness is "the path of the gods." Since the path of Taker culture – the path of civiliation – is to attempt to take the Law of Life out of the hands of the gods, and take it upon them / ourselves, the path of civilization is diametrically counter to the expansion and evolution of metaconsciousness; as we can readily verify by just looking around at the fruits of civilization. Everywhere we turn, we see diversity, variety, and complexity being "leveled," and replaced by uniformity, homogeneity, and hierarchically regimented simplicity. Civilization, by the very nature of what it fundamentally is, is effectively "at war with the gods," and the enemy of metaconsciousness.

Given that direct confrontation with the momentum of civilization (e.g. fomenting a revolution) is a strategy of already demonstrated ineffectiveness – because it employs means in diametric opposition to its presumed ends – I submit that a strategy more likely to bear satisfactory results is deliberately, intentionally, and systematically to foment metaconsciousness – in every possible venue, in every available way, at every scale within access. This strategy does not require war, confrontation, or any nuance of pre-emptive force. It only prescribes making connections among the billions of potentially information-sharing "cells" that comprise the human race.

I have already suggested some means of implementing this strategy.19 More generally, the fomenting of metaconsciousness may be achieved by overcoming and neutralizing the obstacles within ourselves that hinder making connections among our fellows. Fear is the the most prominent, effective, and omnipresent of the many inhibitors of metaconsciousness. If we fear our neighbors, or those with different mythologies than ours, or those we have never even met, we are far less likely than otherwise to connect with them, or share information with them. If we fear what they may think of us, or what they may do to us if for any reason they think ill of us, we are further inhibited from making connections.

And so... guess what? Look what the pharoahs are doing to the entire world right now: spreading terror everywhere, so thick you can cut it with a knife. The effect of everything they do and say is to sever connections among individuals, to shut down metaconsciousness with fear, mistrust, and mutual, reciprocal enmity. This is nothing new, really. Divide and conquer has been a "tried and true" strategy for the past ten thousand years, for stifling metaconsciousness and gaining pre-emptive control over the will and action of large populations. It's always "worked" in the past, and it seems to be "working" today – even if it doesn't work in terms of sustainability in the real world.

Well, what if at least some of us cease being terrorized? What if we observe the trend of civilization over the precipice and into the abyss, and decide that there is no "lessor terror," beside that, with any potency for us anymore? Works for me. What have I to be afraid of that is more terrifying than the destruction of the entire planet? That Blue Meanies from Outer Space might invade and take over the Earth? Hell, they already have! The worst that can possibly happen has already happened and is now in headlong progress, today, right now, this very minute. Don't believe me? Better have another look around, Friends; then tell me it isn't so.

Yup, the barbed wire is being strung, the Gestapo is ramping up, and we in the "Pipel's Republik of Amerika" could be swept up in a military police state before you can say "Jack Robinson."20 Still think I'm being Chicken Little shouting about the sky falling? Okay, then who do you think destroyed the World Trade Center September 11, 2001? Arabs wielding box-cutters?21

That the "Government-Issue 911 Myth" is a myth says nothing either good or bad about it: everything anyone believes about anything is a myth, for reasons already discussed.22 The relevant questions here are, "Is the 911 Myth useful? Does it improve human conditions, and survival opportunities for humanity, and Life on planet Earth?" There are those for whom the "GI 911 Myth" is essential, whose entire concept of "reality" would utterly disintigrate, were they to entertain the notion that the mythology dished up by the corporate media isn't Gospel. Presumably, any such are not reading this. If any are, Bravo! I salute you. This is not an easy path, and even to glance in the direction I am pointing requires a kind of grim determination that many seem not willing to muster. It is much more pleasant to settle back into comfortable notions that all is well, and that matters of vital importance are in wise and competent hands.

Comfortable is fine; but we're talking survival here, and not just your survival, or mine, but survival of the race, survival of the planet. The human predicament has gone far past comfortable and uncomfortable. Will we survive the winter? Or if we do, will it be behind a razor-wire-topped chain-link fence? These are not "happy thoughts." I wish conditions were such that considering them were far from necessary. I am certainly giving them serious consideration myself, however, and evidently I'm not alone in this. I hope not, anyway, because the "answer" to this that I come up with is fomenting metaconsciousness.

Fomenting Metaconsciousness

In general, this means make connections, of as many different kinds, in as many different ways, with as many different people, entities, beings, as possible. Share information, and work deliberately to streamline and facilitate the sharing of information. Thinking about this, I have changed the copyright notice each of these essays bears. They used to say, Verbatim copying and redistribution are permitted in any medium provided this notice is preserved. Now they say, Copying and redistribution, in whole or in part, are permitted in any medium provided this notice is included. It is a way of encouraging the sharing of information, including incorporation into dirivative works.

I submit to your consideration that if creative people began deliberately, aggressively – although not pre-emptively – sharing their creativity in this spirit, the result would be a geometric, or exponential explosion of metaconsciousness among participants in expanding, proliferating networks. The result would be – could be – the spontaneous ignition of a synergistically combined human metaconsciousness entirely transcendent of the consciousness, intelligence, and creativity each of us experiences in varying degrees as individuals.

The beauty of this strategy, it seems to me, is that it in no way calls for "going to war with the devil." Or with the Takers; or with the pharoahs; or with anyone. It is a means entirely in harmony with the ends it seeks. It "resuscitates and empowers the gods," while at the same time "disempowering the devil," because it is no longer responsive to the fear and divisiveness that is the primary strategy and the driving force of Taker culture. It does exactly what Buckminster Fuller recommended:

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.23

The Net is a venue peculiarly suited to the project of fomenting metaconsciousness, and given a sufficient volume of enthusiastic participation, the process has the potential of expanding with extraordinary swiftness. It doesn't require the participation of "everyone" – which is fortunate, because there is no way "everyone" will want to participate, or will have any notion of how to go about it. Yet there are those, spotted about the Earth, some in small groups or networks, many in relative isolation, who given the vision, "will know what to do about it."

Mainly, – if you elect to do so – notice the large and small ways in which metaconsciousness is stifled by existing "civilized" conditions. Envision, if you can, ways in which these conditions might be altered with the effect of nurturing, instead of stifling metaconsciousness; and bring these conditions, and if possible, their correctives, to the attention of those within your personal network. In general, make, nourish, and expand connections among receptive, responsive individuals already known to you. They too have networks. If they do likewise... who knows what changes may be wrought in the human metaconsciousness? Remember: we humans are not the only "interested parties" in the events unfolding on this planet. We are not alone, and things are not as they seem. Go for it!

Here is an example:

"Daylight Saving Time" stifles metaconsciousness because it severs the relationship between entire populations and the natural rhythm of the universe in which we live. "High Noon" is usefully defined as the moment in the day at which the Sun stands at its zenith. Under "Daylight Saving Time," this event is artificially redefined to occur an hour later, at one o'clock in the afternoon; which is a pre-emptive distortion of what's so, and has the effect of distorting the natural daily rhythm of everyone under its influence. Compounding the problem, "Daylight Saving Time" yearly reverts again to "Standard Time," and the artificial rhythms that have been established over the course of the previous six months are again upset, as "High Noon" is reinstated to its proper position on the "Celestial Clock."

By this means, twice every year virtually the entire population of the "civilized world" are subjected to a disorienting temporal discontinuity which does not in fact save anything, for there are 24 hours in a day, any way you slice it. The net result is, human metaconsciousness is stifled by this regular and unnecessary disturbance of our relationship, globally, with "All That Is." I suggest this is not a trivial matter, and that it is a deliberate element in the war on metaconsciousness. If this is brought to the attention of expanding networks of individuals who have consciously decided to foment metaconsciousness, perhaps it can be corrected, e.g. if everyone agrees, by keeping Noon at twelve o'clock throughout the year among participants in the expanding networks.

This is just one example among myriads of ways, large and small, in which metaconsciousness is stifled by "civilized practices" that have become so routine and commonplace that practically no one notices them. Each one may seem trivial in isolation, yet in their combined aggregate, they have the effect of enclosing the entire planet in a stifling atmosphere that is as poisonous to human metaconsciousness as a closed garage filled with carbon monoxide would be to any air-breathing creature.

The point here is not to become enmeshed and immobilized by an endless labyrinth of minutia, but to become aware of the innumerable ways in which metaconsciousness is stifled, mostly by default; and the consequent vast spectrum of ways in which metaconsciousness may be nurtured and encouraged by expanding networks of aware individuals working purposefully toward that end. Just as every tether one severs that no longer links one to civilization is another step beyond civilization; similarly anything, large or small, that one is able to do that nurtures metaconsciousness, makes its positive contribution to the metaconsciousness, and to the Life of the entire planet.

There is something to be done, in other words, for anyone and everyone who wants to participate in a deliberate effort to expand the human metaconsciousness; and none of them need have anything to do with "battling the bad guys." "Good guys" and "bad guys" are no longer the issue. Fomenting metaconsciousness is the issue, and it can be done by any two or more individuals who want to, without coming into conflict with anyone. Indeed, since conflict is one of the most pernicious destroyers of metaconsciousness, this endeavor will avoid conflict in every possible way – consistent with the expansion of metaconsciousness.24

One way to begin, I suggest, would be to bring the idea of metaconsciousness to the attention of others in your circle. You may distribute this essay, if you wish, or the parts of it that seem to you most relevant; or in some way convey to others the concept and the project of fomenting metaconsciousness. Mainly, this idea is "only an idea," and has no effect unless it is put into circulation, and captures the attention and participation of significant numbers of individuals with an active desire to see the course of human events diverted from catastrophe. Would you, who have read this far, like to help?

I, meanwhile, will set to work on digesting this mosaic of ideas into a more accessible form, with the objective of rendering them more easily shared and assimilated. Thank you for your time, your attention, and your participation. Together, we might turn this Earth yet into a gloriously habitable planet! While we're still alive, can you think of anything better to do? If so, by all means do it!

This essay is followed by a sequel, A Metaconscious Mosaic, 10/27/04.


Civilization and Beyond


  1. Civilization and Savagery – 5/25/04;

  2. Beyond Civilization or The Killer Meme – 6/20/04;

  3. The Tribal Ideal – 7/2/04;

  4. Leavers and Takers – 8/6/04;

  5. In the Hands of the Gods – 8/18/04.

  6. The Gods & the Law of Life – 9/9/04.

  7. The Metaconsciousness Myth – 9/22/04.

  8. A Pact With the Devil – 10/14/04.

  9. A Metaconscious Mosaic – 10/27/04.

  10. More About Metaconsciousness, Part I – 2/5/05.

  11. More About Metaconsciousness, Part II – 3/20/05.


1. Matthew 4:8-9, The New English Bible: New Testament, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, 1961.

2. Takers are the single human culture who have decided to take the Law of Life into their own hands; as opposed to Leavers, designating those peoples whose choice is to leave the Law of Life in the hands of the gods. After Daniel Quinn, Beyond Civilization: Humanity's Next Great Adventure, Three Rivers Press, New York, 1999. See also Leavers and Takers, particularly the section on It's All in the State of Mind, where the differences between Takers and Leavers, and their consequences, are developed further.

3. Pre-emptive force is how the King (or Emperor, or Warlord) came to be in "possession" of "all these lands and peoples" in the first place: i.e. by conquest. See "Dear Friends," 12/15/03 for a discussion of the "morality" of pre-emptive force, including its broad definition. See also Beyond Civilization or The Killer Meme.

4. See "The Kept University" by Eyal Press and Jenniffer Washburn, The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 285 No. 3, March 2000.

5. John Swinton, preeminent New York journalist, ca. 1880, boldface emphasis added. This is why, in part, I wrote in The Metaconsciousness Myth, "Therefore, if you do nothing else,  turn  the   &*%$ing   TV   OFF!" Emphasis in the original. By the way, in contrast to John Swinton and his fellow-journalists, I am not paid anything for keeping my honest opinion out of the Freedom Digital Library, or for including it: and so that is what you will find here: honest opinions. Whether you agree with them or not is your business. If you value freedom, Go thou and do likewise. That is (if this is important enough to you), find or create a venue where you too can express your honest opinions.

6. The Metaconsciousness Myth. The metaconsciousness myth is given preliminary explanation somewhat earlier in the same essay, and is elaborated further in The Gods & the Law of Life.

7. The Gods & the Law of Life.

8. See "Waves of Change," July, 2003.

9. Daniel Quinn, The Story of B, Bantam Books, New York, Toronto, London, Sydney, Auckland, 1996, p. 252, quoted in The Tribal Ideal.

10. Beyond Civilization or The Killer Meme.

11. In The Metaconsciousness Myth.

12. After Quinn, 1999. See also Beyond Civilization or The Killer Meme.

13. See David Icke, Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster: Why the official story of 9/11 is a monumental lie, Bridge of Love Publications USA, Wildwood MO 63005, ISBN: 0-9538810-2-4, among others of Icke's works. Actually, the pharoahs probably number more like "0.0001%" or less of Taker culture. that "1%" is intended as a metaphore representing a very small fraction.

14. See Daniel Quinn, 1999. See also footnote 10.

15. Information on Crop Circles may be found online at the following, among others, in no particular order:

16. Hamlet, Act i. Sc. 5.

17. Beyond Civilization or The Killer Meme; The Tribal Ideal; Leavers and Takers; The Metaconsciousness Myth, after Quinn, 1999.

18. E.g. Quinn, 1999.

19. In The Metaconsciousness Myth, Saving the World.

20. See Sianews/Friends of Liberty – FEMA CONCENTRATION CAMPS: Locations and Executive Orders. See also Coup D'etat in America? by Michel Chossudovsky, 13 July 2004.

21. This question – squarely faced – opens such an astonishing can of worms, there seems no end to its shattering implications. You already know the 911 Myth. Now, just for the sake of a little "reality check," have a look at some of these:

The above resources didn't show up in response to a search on "'911' or 'world trade center' or 'wtc'." That gets you a surprisingly short (one page) listing of the 911 Myth, Standard (GI) Version; or anyway that's what it got me. You have to go looking for this stuff, but it's out there, and there's more where that came from. Don't take my word for it; check it out for yourself.

22. See The Gods & the Law of Life, specifically the section on Mythological Speculation and The Hands of the Gods for discussions of mythology. See also "Creation Myths," 11/5/00.

23. R. Buckminster Fuller, 1895-1983. Quoted in Quinn, 1999, p. 137; quoted in turn in Beyond Civilization or The Killer Meme.

24. This does not imply that one is obligated to lie down like a doormat when confronted by pre-emptive force. See "Dear Friends," 12/15/03 for elaboration.

"A Pact With the Devil" copyright 2004 by J. Harmon Grahn. Copying and redistribution, in whole or in part, are permitted in any medium provided this notice is included.

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Civilization and Beyond