The Big Picture

The pessimistic and optimistic ways of looking at trends

A diagram of cultural trends from a conventional perspective
A diagram of cultural trends from an Aquarium perspective

Deconstruction precedes reconstruction

To paraphrase the Chinese curse: May we live in interesting times! Surely our times qualify.

The authorities witness the disintegration of their modern secular system, and are sore afraid. They quickly place the blame everywhere except on the system itself. For instance, we do not accept the teachings of science because we are too stupid or lazy to understand them.

For many people the scientific outlook is no longer the inspiration it once was. There is nothing big enough to contain the human spirit for long, not even a universe that is 15 billion light-years across.

The human mind is capable of expanding much faster than any universe ever could.

The modern world order bases its authority upon the inviolability of the physical order. The bottom line is the material reality, and there is no other reality.

Most of us are still addicted to our daily material fix, and I am not just talking about our daily bread. If we want more than a material fix, we are on our own. Many of us have dropped out and turned on to other ways of existing and thinking. This has the appearance of disintegration and alienation.

All of us are searching for something of meaning beyond the brute materiality of our existence. But few of us can admit that, because that is to admit that we are lost souls. Many find some relief in the pre-modern traditions, others in charismatic cults. These all have one quality in common. You are not required to think. It is even better if you do not bother to think.

Oh, there is a lot of new thinking, but it is fragmented. It is revisionary and not visionary.

If there is to be a new vision it must be breathtaking. It must thereby be apocalyptic and even eschatological. It must proclaim the end of the world as we can know or even imagine it to be.

This is the Aquarium vision. Physical reality is an illusion that challenges us to its transformation and transcendence. This historical commencement has been in preparation from the beginning of our historical time frame.

Amidst all of the discontinuities, the Aquarium points to the broad path of continuity along which our existence will be transformed most effectively.

This path starts with the realization of the material illusion of the World. This world is not unreal or unimportant, but it points to existences and realities that are more real and more meaningful. It is time for us to be moving on.

As this vision and new understanding begins to take root in our minds, the social disintegration will be transformed into a new integration. It is just a matter of timing. We have all the time in the World.