If you think this post is about psychedelics or other types or tripping, tough luck. It isn’t. It’s about more mundane, yet orders of magnitude more important ways to span multiple realities.
First one is on the temporal axis.
Second one is on the space axis.
In simpler words, you span multiple realities on your temporal axis as you grow old. And you span multiple realities on the space axis as you travel and experience different types of cultures.
Why Would I Want To “Span Multiple Realities”?
You see, the world is melting. It has always been, in a way, as it was always transforming, but we are one of the few generations in human history which experienced a relatively peaceful and predictable time for decades. For us, the world seemed to be a good, comfortable and enjoyable place.
Not anymore. The structures are crumbling. Far from me the intention of spreading doom and gloom, but you don’t have to dig deep to find the signs, you just have to look around. You are required to wear a mask, to inject yourself with a medicine to access public services, you are continuously scared and kept in a state a submission. The fear is real, its object, though, is not.
But I’m going a little bit ahead of myself. Let’s get back to the topic, which was the benefit I was talking about, now from a more personal perspective.
I lived in a communist country until I was 19. The country was Romania and living there during communism wasn’t nice. You couldn’t leave the country, couldn’t access news from outside (unless you were taking the risk to listen to clandestine, CIA-funded radios like Free Europe), there was a continuous state of fear, and, in the last years, food was also scarce. State-owned media was broadcasting only propaganda, two hours per day. No entertainment, books were censored.
But, as bad as it was, spanning that reality, in time, taught me something very valuable. I can now recognize totalitarianism even if it’s not built on an ideology. I can recognize how fear and polarization are built, and how entire populations can be transformed into obedient peons.
It’s by using fear. During communism, the enemy was a person, or, to be more precise, an archetype: “the class enemy”. In the beginning, this class enemy was the capitalist, the rich, the oppressor who was sucking the blood of the poor. But as the communist state structures evolved, this enemy became fuzzier. In the end, if you opposed the system in any way, you were the enemy, no matter if you were poor or rich.
Creating an enemy is not new and it’s not an apanage of communism. Nazi used the same narrative, by making jews the enemy of the Arian race.
And today the enemy is a virus. Even daring to talk about this virus in a different way than the accepted propaganda is considered a crime. Even questioning the official approach – something that used to be the basis of democracy, debating – is now considered blasphemy. People lost their complexity and they are reduced to only two archetypes: vaxxers and anti-vaxxers.
Entire continents, like Australia, became locked down. And some of the people there, because of fear, think this is the way to go, think this is a good thing to happen.
If you could span by space the reality of Australia, and, let’s say, Sweden, you would be very, very surprised. Although coexisting in time, these two realities are very different, just as Romania was different in the eighties, from, let’s say, United States. Alas, going from Australia to Sweden is not possible at the moment. Just as communist countries had very strict border control, so does now Australia (and many other countries, like Canada, United Kingdom or New Zealand).
First of all, let me tell you how sad I am. I am not angry anymore. Just sad.
I lived in the reality that is being built now at a planetary scale and it’s an ugly one. It’s ugly not because your freedoms are limited, because for a certain amount of time you can live like that. It’s ugly because these freedoms are taken away by the same people that used to be your friends a few days ago. I saw this transformation during communism. People that I was considering friends were threatened by Securitate and they became snitches. Or, by fear of losing their job, or their apartment, they were becoming members of the Communist Party. And they turned against their own friends (sometimes even family) because they were afraid.
Like I said above, fear is real. Its object, though, is more or less fabricated. Just as the “class enemy” in communism was an inexistent, caricatural concept, so is now the virus. It does exist and it’s ugly, some people are dying from it, I’m not denying that. But the overall impact is vastly exaggerated. The containing measures, from lockdowns to mandates, are beyond normal. The fear built with the help of mainstream media is incredibly powerful, and I have eery flashbacks when I look at the news these days, because they remind me so much of the state-owned news bulletins during communism, in which there were only two topics: how the mighty President is leading us all towards victory, and how some of the peons are deviating from the norms, and are punished.
The Real Benefit
So, the real benefit of spanning multiple realities is to know what to prepare for. Again, I’m not saying this in a pessimistic way. After all, communism ended in Romania, and ended abruptly, in a Revolution which included the execution of the President.
This, too, shall pass.
But, before getting better, it might get worse for a while.
Photo by Katherine McCormack on Unsplash
Initially published on my blog.