The Internet Was for Porn

Kellen Evan Person

2018/05/23

Categories: Culture

I am a child of the Internet. The allure of its borderless edges, never-ending stories, unrelenting novelty, and limitless supply of companions seduced me. The Internet is heralded as the greatest collaborative engineering effort in human history. But it is much more than that. It is the mirror within which we see our raw, carnal reality. It is the final platform for our conflicts and outrage. And it is rocketing us towards our spiritual evolution.

Growing up, I saw “reality” work to establish itself. There was a plan. By going to school, being quiet, and confining my perspectives into a curriculum, I was taught that I could succeed within it. This is science, this is history, this is how you write, this is how you behave. The plan told me one thing. The Internet told me another.

The Internet of today is tidy. Monolithic structures have risen as beacons of order. Your friends live in these Social Networks, your games are through these windows, these are the videos we recommend for you. All of your content is tidied and aggregated based on your interests. We travel together through networked seas aboard great vessels. The beacons guide us through channels that, according to them, are safe. The plan again.

Before, there were no beacons. There was no plan. You were alone in a dark and wild forest. You would see flickers of light in the distance. Unsure, you would crawl closer to see but a small flame illuminating strange derelict structures. What was in them, one could never be sure. As often as you would find light, so too would you find darkness. If you were searching for games, you would find out how to cheat. If you were looking for friends, you would find combatants. If you were looking for horror, sexuality, gore, and depravity, you would find it. If you were not looking for horror, sexuality, gore, and depravity, you would find it.

In days, more emotions, more feelings, and more experiences than are fit for a lifetime. What happens to the soul of a child when they are exposed to the blackest shades of human truth? How can they reconcile what they have seen into the ”real” world? They cannot. They split in twain. A piece of them goes to school and has conversations at the dinner table. A piece of them hardens and continues to explore. An innocent young thing, clad in fleece jammies, eating a bowl of cereal. An explorer of the most dire, black, and wretched truths known to a species.

Over time, the forests were cleared. The shady haunts were vacated for more padded and comfortable accommodations. You could find the same black things with intention. But the package, the presentation, became clean and indexed. After chasing away the nameless ghosts, people were invited. Pseudonyms and anonymity gave way to curated self-representation. This is our present. The Internet, ever the mirror, has become our most rapid and effective platform for vanity and global conflict. We revel in it.

We are angry. Cause, after cause, we claw at each other and spit vitriol. The destination is equilibrium. All of our stories, every possible human narrative, each and every one will have their champions. Every personality - as long as it does not harm others - will be tried.

We do not need to be educated on the relativity of truth, to remind us that the world is many shades, that there are always more questions. We can now sit back, flick through a glowing screen, and witness it all. The red, the blue, the black, the white, all culminating in an endless flow of brilliant mud. Our thoughts - it seems - are no longer valuable.

Our social reality is in tatters. The next reality to topple will be the un-reality of our limitations.

We are experiencing the sunset of intellect. With the aid of dazzling machines we will soon master our tangible experience. There is great work to do. But mastery is within our grasp. We can meet the needs of every person on the planet. The sun can provide us with power. Our ingenuity can continue to produce efficiencies and artworks that celebrate and inspire the imagination. We can return to natural balance with our Earth. We can realize our dream of dancing into the cosmos. But what will we be when we get there?

Ancient and brilliant spiritual philosophies and modern psychologies share a common thread. They define a construct: our thoughts, the mind, the ego, the self; the thing with many names. Beyond the thing is the watcher: the observer, our spirit, the truth; God.

We are not our thoughts. We are what is behind them. We are what is watching the self unfold. And together, in that entity, we are the collective. We can see this when one focuses inward. We can break the illusion. We are not what we think we are. We are not what other people think we are. We are behind these narratives.

Identifying the ego, the self-construct, was once a challenge. It took a therapist to help you peer into your subconscious and unearth your patterns. It took deep spiritual practice. It took decades of diligent self-documentation and cultural revolution. But to see it now, to learn its tricks, to see the folly of its desires and passions, we need only look at the profiles we craft for ourselves.

We have uploaded the ego into the magical machine that rests in our hands. And when we gaze into our profiles, what is it that is staring at them through the glowing pane of glass? Who is it that crafted your facsimile of your self? The creation is not you. You are what brought it into being. That is what we are.

“Don’t you know that if you choose one hundred of the most intelligent people in the world and get them all together, they are a stupid mob? Ten thousand of them together would have the collective intelligence of an alligator. Haven’t you noticed that at a dinner party the more people you invite the more stupid the conversation? In a crowd, the qualities which everybody possesses multiply, pile up, and become the dominant characteristics of the whole crowd. Not everybody has virtues, but everybody has the low animal instincts, the basic primitive caveman suggestibility, the suspicions and vicious traits of the savage. The result is that when you get a nation of many millions of people, it is not even human. It is a lizard or a crocodile or a wolf. “ - Carl Jung

The Internet made us all one. First it showed us who we thought we were: the primal beast. Our common denominator of primitive instinct. Now it shows us who the “other” people think we are and so we separate and compare and judge and compete. But when the dust settles and the last cries of these warring constructs fades into a whisper, we will meet what is left: the truth as it has always been; we are together. We are the collective, The Truth, that has been watching.