None of the Above — Embracing the Radical Frontier

Most of the time, I reject ideas in the realm of allowable opinion because I don’t find them radical enough. Our political process, dominant ideologies and even our conspiracy theories simply need to grow a spine and break out of pre-established molds.

For example, the Republican-Democratic duopoly  enshrines its own failures and applies Band-Aids to gushing wounds. It also reinforces what Roberto Unger, Obama’s former law professor, calls the tyranny of no alternatives. Even when outlier ideas appear on the Red-Blue spectrum, they remain hopelessly trapped in the vocabulary of the good-cop-bad-cop scam. Even when the scam produces extreme ideas — either extremely liberal or extremely conservative — even then, our dominant political process seems incapable of producing breakthrough ideas with any hope of healing our ailing world.

I also reject most conspiratorial thought not because I think it is too wacky, but because I don’t think it is wacky enough. As Terence McKenna observed, quoting Alfred North Whitehead, our reality isn’t just stranger than we suppose; it is stranger than we can suppose. Most conspiracy theories assume that someone is in charge. But it seems far more likely that no one is in charge…that the human race is a ship lost at sea, and no one has a map that would guide us back to the shore: not the Jews, nor The Illuminati, neither the State, nor our wisdom traditions. We are self-aware patterns trapped in a web of The Unknowable, and what unites us more powerfully than anything else is our shared ignorance about what matters the most. So, as McKenna suggests, anyone who finds himself hyperventilating about a UFO sighting supposedly suppressed by the government should consider the hypothesis that both the sighting and the apparent suppression of the evidence were orchestrated by the government to divert our attention from “what’s really going on.”

Finally, consider the question of God. The mainstream culture permits three primary answers to the question “Does God Exist?”: Yes (Belief), No (Atheism), and “I don’t/can’t know” (Agnosticism).  Of course, the correct answer — none of the above (not to be conflated with ignosticism) — only serves as a starting point for a radical rejections of all false deities, including God Almighty. You can’t pick “the right” answer to a meaningless question that attempts to exploit language to reify nothingness.