“This is one aspect of the basic human predicament, that we are simultaneously worms and gods.” ~ Abraham Maslow
Mankind is a caterpillar, a latent Chaos Theory butterfly, torn between earth and sky, spirit and flesh, heaven and hell, wormhood and godhood.
We are, as Ernest Becker said, “Man is a worm and food for worms. This is the paradox: he is out of nature and hopelessly in it; he is dual, up in the stars and yet housed in a heart-pumping, breath-gasping body.”
But, by god! we are worms with implausible frontal lobes and improbable opposable thumbs, daring to imagine the cosmos as a sacred space for new creation. Like Diana Slatterly said, “We are ontological engineers: hacking reality and constructing worlds.”
Indeed, reality is our canvas and we are the artists who create the worlds, healthy or unhealthy, sustainable or unsustainable, that orbit and circumnavigate through it.
Yes, we are as gods, but we are gods who have thus far been irresponsible with our power. We have ignorantly separated ourselves from cosmos, selfishly placed ourselves above nature, and egotistically alienated ourselves from each other.
We have been so caught up in being independent individuals that we have forgotten the vital importance of being interdependent cosmic beings co-creating an interconnected cosmos.
On the other side of the coin, we have been so conditioned and brainwashed by cultural propaganda into believing that we are mediocre souls that we have become so.
But it is precisely in the tearing – between spirit and flesh, between caterpillar and butterfly, between wormhood and godhood, between mediocrity and excellence – that a transmigration of the soul can occur.
Like Jose Ortega y Gasset said, “The mediocre soul is incapable of transmigrations –the most supreme form of sport.” And the arena for just such a sport is within the mystery of the cocoon and in the emergence of the soul thereafter.
Between our creaturely-self and our cosmic-self is an impossible cocoon, an unbearably sacred annihilation, an absurd transition, indeed, an initiation into cosmic consciousness that is just as infinitely intractable as it is finitely unfathomable.
But track it down we must, and fathom it we ought to. Because the alternative is to be unaware victims of fate.
Like Carl Jung said, “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
It is only within the existential cocoon where we can make the “unconscious conscious” and transform shadow into ally, demon into daemon, and ignorance into immanence.
It is a breaching of the cocoon, a cracking open of the cosmic egg, a fissure in the Ego, the opening of the human mind (overthinking) into cosmic-mind (no-mind).
God-hacking is allowing the mystery, the burning question, the sacred journey, to truly be the thing. It’s juxtaposing worms with wormholes and then coming out the other side carrying the secrets of the universe. It’s revealing that the third eye was always open; it was just blindfolded by years of unhealthy enculturation and the illusion of separation.
Such entheogenic tools as Ayahuasca, cannabis, and mescaline are not the only techniques of ecstasy that we can use to facilitate us in tapping into the numinous. The creative process itself is a kind of technique of ecstasy, a method of artistic jouissance, a frenetic methodology, a rapturous modus operandi that connects worlds to worlds, thereby creating the cosmic union of opposites.
Like Erik Davis said, “Artists are uniquely placed to creatively participate in the larger cultural process of re-engineering subjectivity, of pushing the envelope of experience.”
It is precisely in pushing the envelope of experience, in stretching the comfort zone, in shattering the mental paradigm, and flattening the status-quo box, where the artistic scientist of our soul leaps through the hoop of itself, in an infinite feedback loop of self as cosmos and cosmos as self.
Like Carl Sagan said, “Science’s only sacred truth is that there are no sacred truths.” It is the job of the artist to shake people out of mundane, conditioned states of perception and to resuscitate dormant faculties.
The human condition is the ultimate canvas. Indeed, we are all euphoric mechanics of the quantum, rapturous engineers of the sacred, transcendent keepers of the exquisite, and ecstatic artists of the numinous.
Some of us are simply more aware of it than others. Our revolutionary art is a sacred medium between mundanity and mythos, a divine conduit between the profane and the mystical.
Hacking God is hacking the human condition, and realizing that we who created the gods are thereby becoming what we have created.
God-hacking is precisely this self-actualization of the human imagination, this sacred transformation of worms into gods. So we had better get good at it. We had better be responsible with our power, lest power corrupt and absolute power corrupt absolutely. Like Terence McKenna said, “The artist’s task is to save the soul of mankind. If artists cannot find the way, then the way cannot be found.”
So how do we get good at hacking God? How do we become more responsible with this awesome power? How do we hold ourselves accountable for our interdependent art and creative immanence? How do we become better artists? We need to dive deeper into the Great Mystery while simultaneously not attaching ourselves to a particular result.
In short, we need to be willing to lose our minds, to go insane, to use crazy wisdom as a tool in order to obtain no-mind and healthy non-attachment. Here are some other terms to describe it: benevolent chaos; strategic messiness; purposeful improvisation; playful experimentation. Like Ishmael said in Moby Dick, “There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness is the truer method.” So it is with God-hacking.
There’s no such thing as sanity anyway, there’s just pretense in hard makeup. There’s just fast death beneath slow moving masks. Those of us who are aware of this are profoundly in love with the moment for showing us that God is more than merely words spilling from speaking-in-tongue tongues. God is a giant fiery question mark burning infinitely above all things, and we are the fire-catchers.
We are the Promethean prototypes stealing fire from the Great Mystery and then returning to the everyday-world bearing such fiery gifts before mortality as make the immortals weep.
Like Oscar Levant famously said, “There is a fine line between genius and insanity, I have erased that line.”
Indeed, we ontological engineers, we godlings daring to hack God, must erase this fine line. We must be willing to, paraphrasing Vincent Van Gogh: “put our heart and our soul into our work, and lose our minds in the process.”
Like Seth Godin said, “If you determine that you will see better, make better, and most of all, dare to turn your tabula rasa into something frightening, that’s when you will begin to live the life of the artist.”
Not only is each of us capable of retrieving the mysterious, inexplicable, flowing phenomena of creativity at the heart of God– we are the phenomena. Each of us is an agent of transformation, wired to perceive, absorb, and transform knowledge into imagination, and imagination into creative energy, and creative energy into an actuality that can be shared by others. But first there must be upheaval. There must be self-insurgency.
There must be uncertainty and doubt and the absolute threshing of all thresholds. There must be the scary prospect of turning our worlds upside down, of flipping the tables on our too-precious worldviews, of questioning all the makeshift gods that fear-mongering men have attached to our souls, of tearing ourselves down from any high-horse, pedestal, false rank, or empty title that our aggrandized egos have us precariously clinging to.
Like Bruce Nussbaum said, “In an uncertain, complex world of constant change, playfully discovering new answers to puzzles that do not have one right answer is a better approach than solving existing problems that do.”
So let’s get nuts! Let’s dare to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, and then transform that devil into a devil-may-care attitude toward life. Let’s dare to hack God into a conceivable construct. Let’s pirouette into eternity with our heart on our sleeve and a question mark in our soul. Let’s declare to our oppressive cultures, “Stop trying to put our “round” sacred art into your “square” thankless job!”
Let’s dare ourselves to hold several seemingly contradictory views simultaneously, with compassion and love as our benchmark, and the courage to cultivate and explore the boldness and adaptability required to set a course that defies the status quo paradigm.
Let’s dare to make the ordinary extraordinary, the normal super-normal, and the regular meta-regular, by tapping into the divine, by milking the cosmos, by utilizing and cultivating the sacred, and ultimately by mining the deepest darkest depths of the mind of God and emerging bearing better-than-gold: ambrosia, the immortal nectar of the gods.