The Patchwork Age

The following is a special preview of the Patchwork Manifesto.

We are quickly moving into an era of radical freedom, where we will gradually become free of constraints that mankind has adopted since agrarian civilization began.

I’m speaking of basic, fundamental constraints like money, contractual relationships, work and even Time itself. These constraints will continue to exist in some form, but they will be so hybridized, so ad hoc that they will lose the consistency and authority we associate with them. In that sense, they won’t be constraints but more like patches that we can combine in infinitely new ways.

The terror that this will inspire is equally matched by unparalleled opportunity. When the old structures and contexts are gone, so are the attendant rules. We will be free to live as men and women of our own making—and yet if we deign to be God, we will be harshly reminded of the chaos in which our freedom takes place.

Truly understanding the Old World that we are leaving behind is crucial for navigating this Brave New World. The millennia-old meta-codes once operating behind our society, but which became fully demolished in 2020, were essentially stories narrating how to organize an agrarian society

“But we had already shifted out of an agrarian model, well before 2020,” you say. “We moved through the Industrial Age, and from there into a post-industrial model.”

From a metaphysical perspective, however, Western society never left the agrarian model. Essential agrarian codes became embedded in modern institutions. The start of the school year became tied to the harvest season, for example. This is also around Labor Day, when we shake off the leisure vibes and knuckle down again; in the past, we’ve often seen stock market highs or “harvests” at this time.

But the biggest place you would see these agrarian codes show up is in male-female intersexual relations—perhaps the most important building block for our society.

We know men and women have completely different mating strategies and thus different psycho-social development within the human family. In a forthcoming manifesto I will attempt to show how cultural narratives dramatized that psycho-social feature, and then also show how world-historical events are breaking down these once-stable relations between sexes, leading to the mass social change we see before us.

As a result, we are moving into a multi-temporal era, where various tribes will be subscribing to myriad timelines, because they each have a different teleological endgame in mind.

There is no longer an overarching macro narrative that holds communities together across geographic and generational lines, via the enforcement of such codes. Today, an average family man is sometimes seen to be as radical as punk rock.

To me, the Fertile Crescent agrarians hammered out a stable societal narrative in its most useful form, when they began developing the astrological Zodiac. They viewed the individual as a distinct, sovereign being with a unique soul. And yet, this individual was always understood within the wider context of the collective human family. His story was narrated by cosmic or divine forces, and the story was always about fashioning a microcosm of that collective family through a local biological network.

Heuristics aside, I believe we should continue our investigation from this cosmic framework, because these civilizations were our forefathers. Despite flashy smartphones and whatnot, the meta-codes of our society up until this moment predominantly reflect those meta-codes established by ancient Babylonia and adjacent regions.

Furthermore, since these meta-codes intended to model a stable socio-sexual paradigm within the homeland, they were also, by extension, focused on maintaining cross-regional stabilization. The last thing you want is for your family unit to be constantly on edge.

Essentially, the human family—the backdrop against which the individual develops—is no longer supported by a cohesive integrated society and set of reliable meta-stories, as put forth by a trustworthy executive class (typically a small circle of male elders).

As world-historical events allowed corruption to seep into these circles, so too was society destabilized behind the scenes—and now that has been exposed. A corrupt executive class sought to bring our peaceful interconnected society to a kind of perverse apotheosis, in the form of a simulated global village or a modern Tower of Babel to rule over us—a synchronized matrix of 24/7 information deliveries.

But this modern Tower of Babel has fallen and the “supply chains of meaning” that it coordinated have also been disrupted. As a result, our “normal” social codes are in a state of utter desynchronization. In the absence of masters giving believable orders, many don’t know how to live. Others are high on the newfound freedom.

Exposed corruption has allowed the narratives around us to quite rapidly fragment and shatter. Dependable societal contexts have been displaced by a reckoning moment.

Even though the reckoning moment has occurred lightning-quick, the corruption has gradually infiltrated our executive class across successive eras, distorting our overarching societal context to the point that millennia-old hierarchical principles can no longer express themselves properly and produce family-first narratives for the human collective.

Patchwork Consciousness represents the new stories we can tell ourselves. We can combine bits of the enduring tatters in ways that put families and free will first, while dependence on large overarching institutions comes second, if at all.

But that doesn’t mean society as a whole can “return to tradition”; this will only occur in patches or pockets. As I’m emphasizing, all types of macro contexts are gone—completely and permanently displaced—and can’t be reinstated.

We only have patchy scraps of the monuments that arose out of such stable contexts—both ideational and material monuments—built according to the hierarchical principles encoded in our DNA.

The new context is characterized by keywords like temporary, local, decentralized, tribal, perma-fluid and fragmentary. 

The unthinkable has happened—we have lost a social context considered Eternal—and now what we have is a messy creative ferment promising great freedom, experimentation and changeability. At the same time, the hierarchical principles encoded in our DNA will have great difficulty expressing themselves in this environment, where symmetry and clear communication is elusive. 

Thus, we will all have great difficulty communicating with each other and even with ourselves, as all meaning and narratology takes place at constantly-fragmenting local levels, in both physical and psycho-spiritual senses.

Those who can be nimble “translators” and mercenary go-betweens will be highly prized. Asymmetry is on its way, and growing awareness of this will produce new calls for apolitical “unity.” Such unity will never fully arrive, but people will seek to acknowledge that a dominant Macro Narrative has been replaced by a creative ferment of various endgames. These endgames don’t have to be antagonistic to each other, but tribalism may portray them as a threat.

Our future state of affairs could easily devolve into a chaotic situation, again much like after the Tower of Babel fell, opening us up to great risk for tribal violence. This is how the desire for hierarchy can express itself in distorted form. The natural human impulse to coordinate meta-codes in a vertical fashion will no longer find traction in such a decentralized, horizontal landscape. Those who attempt to build up will strike out.

In fact, tribal violence will only lead to more of what it seeks to escape, as tit-for-tat creates splinters even within warring groups, due to some members deciding they want peace or, alternatively, a more “ideologically pure” form of the Holy Cause.

There will be a massive resurgence of cults, which naturally revolve around charismatic leaders/prophets but sometimes are just high on a “cause.” Also, since the Patchwork Age can fractionate us down to the solo level, you’ll see a return to saint-like experiences: extreme visions, encounters with angels, demons and even God.

Aesthetically, the movements that arise out of this chopped-up reality will not form a centralized Hive but exist more within an observable “frequency” that connects various nodes. “Being on a similar wavelength” will matter greatly, and that will organically arise from the micro-narratives. Artists might lead the way, as meaning and authenticity and vision become the age’s preeminent resources. Severe backlash is in store for prefabricated, centralized, commodified versions of togetherness.

More than anything, Patchwork Consciousness wants to maximize connective potential and ripple effects in the collective network, so every spat in essence ironically serves the purpose of combinatory growth. In the Patchwork Age, every node is also a vector, which is why it’s futile to think of yourself as a unit who can simply be grouped in tribes based on external signifiers like political affiliation.

A do-it-yourself ethos will ripple across the land, as individuals learn to manage their own supply chains of meaning. People will be stitching together their days. Each decision made in how to spend or value one’s time becomes a creative act. The passivity of the Consumerist Age is—poof—no longer dominant.

Our experience of Time will be utterly altered by this creative act, because fragments of various traditions will suddenly meet each other via new patched-together visions.

Of course, this larger context might only make sense to us and our tribe, much unlike recent decades, when citizens all had the same water cooler conversations about politicians and pensions and pastimes.

This is what healing is ultimately about when you’re sitting in the ruins of Western Civilization: accepting that your heart might be the only proof of your vision’s validity. You must lead by example. You must live your values, even when others push back. Embrace the chaos.

At any rate, back to our foundational pattern. The traditional agrarian narrative is a story that begins at birth within the homeland (usually a farmstead); it develops through childhood, then onto puberty; in teenhood there is brief outside travel and sexual initiations, followed by adulthood, marriage, children, family estate building, community building and death. It is a stacked, logical, progressive developmental story.

All individuals come into this life at a different stage of development, with different strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities. But, traditionally, each person always exists within this overarching context of the collective human family, covertly governed by myths and narratives generated by an arcane executive class that engages diplomatically with similar roundtables from other regions.

Everyone has a unique destiny and role. Some are humble servicemen. Some are rock stars. This destiny unfolds in Time. The prospect of war with a neighboring region was only considered when the cross-regional meta-codes, already coordinated, had been trespassed upon.

We have maximized those fundamental agrarian meta-codes like money, work and time in order to create a complex, interconnected global village that goes way beyond cross-regional cooperation into a totalized matrix. This is fundamentally a perversion of cosmic balance and growth, aided and abetted by greed and dominance.

The reckoning that arrived—and delivered its final blow in 2020—shattered this Tower, such that we cannot even go back to the sane foundation it sought to usurp. Karmic bills came due, ensuring we never do this again.  

Over the next 20 years, the way forward is to pick up enduring bits of rubble and combine them in radical ways. Old knowledge, new context.

A breakthrough via breakdown is coming.

Find Paul on Twitter.

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