IMG_5250It seems that Fake News has become the new orange. Although tabloids and infotainment have been around for decades, the current manifestation as clickbait, like-magnets has the nattering network in a tizzy. This issue hits close to home. You see, I have been working with invented realities ever since I signed on with Mandala News Network in 2000. Its kind of our thing. Parody of the Fake News shows of the day, primarily The O’Reilly Factor, was the premise of The Okar Effect, my first TV show. Creating an alternative reality about the machinations of the Bush II regime was the main purpose of The Temple Tapes series. It was a way of making it appear as though we could control events beyond our control. Because the reality we invented was an absurdist live-action fantasy story, very few people have ever mistaken it for news, even though it was presented as such by yours truly. The target of our absurdity was larger. We wanted to normalize the idea that political realities were being influenced by events and organizations other than those paraded through the corporate media. The Chaos Magickians and Undercover Shamans depicted were fantastical alternative realities because the boundaries for cartoons are less restrictive than for live action. It was all in good fun.  Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. The story kept getting more and more complex as the narrative wove through 60 episodes and over 6 years. It remains relevant in 2016.

img_4121The absurd story line served three main purposes. It was was fun because it challenged our creativity. It was a rhetorical foil which which I could twist the analysis/opinion part of TOE until it was about the current news cycle. It also made the people in the Bush League look silly and/or malicious. All together, The Temple Tapes was an experiment designed to understand how to functionalize the Axiom of Maria toward influencing social networks and the political realm. Long story short, we failed. We were not able to project archetypes into the collective consciousness, so it was not possible to observe how they interacted and constellated. Basically, we weren’t popular enough to imprint our rituals into enough minds to have an effect on the scale necessary to test our hypotheses. Maybe next time.

The current rendition of Fake News was used in much the same way, but on a much larger scale than a few basement absurdists making up stories and mouthing off about politics and culture. A couple weeks ago I discussed the archetypal aspects of President Elect Trump (PET) and concluded that he is a Trickster projected into the fully automatic collective consciousness of a sizeable chunk of the human psyches in the US. That this malicious PET used viral Fake News stories to tip the electoral scales in his favor underscores that conclusion. Where The Temple Tapes failed, US Presidential Elections routinely succeed at projecting elements from our unconscious cultural shadow into a significant proportion of the collective political consciousness of our society, at least for the last 16 years. The US election cycles have done the social psychological experiment for us. The election of 2016 was important because through it a 3rd major archetype appears to have emerged. According to the axiom that is the focus of our efforts, this result highlights the significance of the next projection from our societal shadow. The Fourth is the catalytic element because it transforms the quaternity into a new 1.

The 4th archetype was the main concern of the Art Temple Mandala (ATM) precisely because of this transformational function. While I remain skeptical as to whether the world works the way the Carson and Okarma concluded, I must admit that the absurd narrative they wove through the last 16 years may be the most consistent and accurate story among all those vying for historical relevance. It sounds wrong, but it is right. When people ask me whether I actually believe that nonsense, alchemy, and fairy tales played out on a public access TV show truly influenced the larger political realms, I remind them that if something works, belief is irrelevant. I’ve come to refer to that reminder as the Axiom of Okarma. Truth continues to be true whether you believe it or not. Paper currency and other gods cease to exist if you stop believing. I’m not saying that one is right and the other is wrong. I’m pointing out that one is weak and the other is strong. Next time, we’ll dig a bit deeper into the Fourth and how it might be used to invent reality that is a bit more humane, thoughtful, and just. Meanwhile, let’s try to avoid Drinking an Ocean.