What is Meditation

Meditation Techniques

Spiritual Inspirators


Western  Mystics



I. Consiousnes & Evolution

II. Defining Awareness & Consciousness
III. The Mystery of Awareness

IV. The Enigma of Consciousness
V. Consciousness in the East and the West
VI. What Can be Said About Consciousness
VII. The Ouroboros Consciousness
VIII.  Ouroboric Super-Awareness

IX. The Super-Awake Flow
X. Fields of Consciousness

XI. Group Meditation

The inner and the outer Person
Integral Suffering and Happiness
Modern Forms of Suffering


The liberation from or of the Self
The Glue of Love
God wants to be Human

Civilization and Consciousness 
Civilization and Consciousness Part II


Special thanks to
Cornelius Lingg
for valuable input



While it's true that suffering is inherently part of the human condition, recent decades have seen new and psychological more intense forms of suffering. From my extensive travels around the world, I've generally observed a trend of decreased happiness in younger people. Since this observation also seems to be backed by science, it has lead me to wonder if we are in the proces of losing our essence or "mojo."
Therefore this chapter primarily targets younger readers, yet it invites participation from individuals across all age groups. This inclusive approach is particularly relevant in our contemporary society, where there's a widespread aspiration to retain youthfulness indefinitely. While there's nothing inherently wrong with this mindset, it's important to be aware of potential pitfalls associated with such a pursuit.
Despite my advanced age, I feel compelled to offer you, glorious youngsters and wannabe youngs like myself, not teachings, not even advices, but some perspectives you might find valuable.

Although my observations may seem exaggerated – acknowledging the countless youths leading content lives – they serve to highlight emerging social patterns and shifts in outlook, offering a clearer perspective on our evolving societal behavior.

The Perfect Imperfection of Disruptive Velocity
We live in an era where one new technology skyrockets, while simultaneously, ten others emerge rapidly. The intervals between these disruptions have vanished, leaving no pause in the continuous flow of technological advancement. In his seminal 2005 work, The Singularity is Near, Ray Kurzweil forecasted a future where machine intelligence surpasses human intelligence by an infinite margin, pinpointing the year 2045 as the pivotal moment. Observing the current trajectory of technological advancement, it appears this watershed—the singularity—may well be reached significantly earlier than Kurzweil’s original prediction.
Echoing the timeless wisdom of Sophocles, "Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse," it becomes evident that rapid transformations carry with them inherent challenges. This adage resonates with profound truth in the context of swift, seismic shifts in our technological landscape, underscoring the paradox of progress and the double-edged sword it wields.


Reflect upon the millennia it required for the Yamnaya civilization to adapt their physiology to the consumption of cow milk—a dietary shift that, over generations, rendered them taller through the acquisition of additional nutrients. Today, the rewiring of our brains, bodies, and societal structures no longer spans ages but unfolds within mere years, with the pace of change hurtling ever closer to the precipice of verticality.
Everything is Perfectly Imperfect
In taking a broader view for a moment, I'm reminded, along with the reader, of a perspective often echoed in Zen philosophy: the notion that everything, in the grand scheme, is perfectly okay, or more precisely, perfectly imperfect. This approach to observing technological evolution through a historical lens sheds light on how past inventions, like the steam engine, initially caused societal upheaval but ultimately brought about significant benefits. The liberation of both humans and animals from laborious tasks through the advent of fossil fuel-powered engines is a testament to this phenomenon. Such historical insights lead me to a conclusion that the digital innovations of our era are not flawed in essence. Instead, it's the astonishing speed at which these technologies have been introduced and the subsequent disruptions they've caused in our lives that present the real challenge.

The Updated (Outdated) Teachings of the Buddha
The first four teachings of Buddha are essentially guidelines on navigating existential suffering. Yet, the disruptive anguish we confront today differs significantly from Buddha's era. As Slavoj Zizek suggests, we live in a time of cynicism, recognizing the world's absurdities and injustices, yet still fueling the machinery of destruction—be it through weapons or fossil fuels. This 'happy' nihilism is evident in our massive consumption of unhealthy industrial food, compensating medicines, alcohol, drugs, and media, enabling us to bear our hyper-aware existence. We throw our cigarette butts on the pavement while protesting against the use of fossil fuels. Our behavior mirrors that of the Middle Ages' party plague processions, where participants knew the end was near yet continued and even exessed their revelry.
However, it is actually a good thing that we know it.
For what one does not know, one cannot change.

The Rise of Story-told Feelings
A phrase I frequently hear among the youth is: "It feels like." Everything is perceived as feeling like this or that in a reality where we essentially talk ourselves into a narcissistic mindset. This trend, likely stemming from the New Age self-help culture, places one's own feelings and verbalized self-realization at the center of the universe. We base every action on what our feelings dictate, aligning our social media likes with fleeting emotional impulses.
This has justifiably been critizised from various old school world academians for being a narcissistic trend. Accordingly, the danish local bestseller psychologist, Sven Brinkmann, polemically formulates: 'don't feel your self' as an antidote to the narcissim of out time.
In this sense social media has reshaped the configuration of our subconscious, diverging from the by now outdated Freudian focus on sexual shame. In the current era, shame revolves around not being perceived as happy, beautiful, and successful. While contemporary "woke" culture concentrates on reinforcing traditional perceptions of racism as a primary societal ill, a new form of shadowy, less overt racism secretly divides us into groups, where race and gender only plays a secondary role. The criterion is rather: either you fit the mold of being forever young, attractive, consumer capeable and successful, qualifying you for representation in something like a United Colors of Benetton advertising campaign, or you are subtly excluded.  Those who don't fit this mold face exclusion, manifested in fewer social media 'likes' and engagements. In essence, both social acceptance and systemic oppression have become an integral part of the very fabric of social media. We have become quantifiable by the number of friends, likes and subscribers we get.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the authority of scientific truth has been increasingly contested by the influence of online sentiment. This shift has seen the emergence of figures such as Andrew Tate, who leverage the digital platform's mechanisms to equate truth with popularity. In this environment, the metric of 'truth' becomes closely tied to the number of views or 'likes' a piece of content receives. This phenomenon reflects a broader trend where the validation of information is determined more by its appeal to web audiences than by empirical evidence or scientific rigor.

Social media is an insanely disruptive event we never voted democratically for. As a tsunami it just came without us taking notice. A noticeable trend among youth and adults alike is their 'wilfully positive' and performative selfie-behavior on social media. This coping mechanism entails the constant portrayal of joy, leading to the creation of an idealized life through digital avatars. I have observed a tendency to avatarize even the most intimate feelings and experiences. At the altar of the avatar we upload our essence. However, this worship of a vampire leaves us bloodless and drained, as the pursuit of avataric happiness becomes as cyclically destructive as relying on substances to recover from previous indulgences. As a result, we are drawn into a world of simulated wellness where any discomfort or pain is deemed a personal failure.

Social platforms, by their very systemic nature, seduce us into sharing and comparing our 'happiness-capital,' inevitably leading to envy—a sin warned against since ancient times. This cycle of comparison and envy only serves to deepen our societal divide, reinforcing the illusion of happiness while obscuring genuine fulfillment. The avatar-happiness we share on social platforms does not grow by being shared. It causes misery by setting a systemic stage for comparisions, and when we share to compare we loose our mojo.
The social media performative ego is in a wierd quantum state where it exactly knows what it is doing and yet preferes blindness. This conscious blindness repeats itself in the fact that we know that our own avatars are professional liars, and yet we somehow tend to believe in other people's avataric screen projections. Here we find ourselves in a perpetual 'Zizekian' state of post-Edenic consciousness, reluctant to abandon our paradisical utopia even after realizing the shame of our true, unmasked selves hiding behind our glorious smiley-avatars. This unease leads us into a downward spiral where our avatar takes over our life.

The Prostechic Smartphone
The advent of social media, notably with Facebook's emergence in 2004, marked the beginning of a profound shift in human interaction. This digital transformation was further accelerated by the introduction of the iPhone in 2007, which rapidly became the primary conduit for our engagement with the World Wide Web. The smartphone's ubiquity, as our constant companion from dawn till dusk — often the first thing we reach for upon waking, even before visiting the bathroom — has, in less than a decade, evolved into what can be likened to a prosthetic limb. This device has reconfigured our brain's wiring more significantly than any other development in a comparable timeframe.
The prosthetic symbiosis between our body and the smartphone has made us an almost organic part of social media. We have transformed into cyborgs harboring split personalities, crafting simulacra avatars that attempt to escape our physical reality, constantly showcasing themselves in upscale restaurants and on splendid vacations. In this cyborgification-process we are slowly encircled by gadget-prosthetics tailored for all situations, serving as supports, aiding us in our escape from the metaphorical hospital corridors of our self created digitalized performative existence.
Jean Baudrillard and the Matrix
Prior to the dominance of mass media, people shaped their life through engagement with what Jean Baudrillard termed the 'real.' Baudrillard, who envisioned the concept of hyperreality in the 1980s, could not have foreseen the extent to which social media would intensify this phenomenon. The reality of today has transformed into a hyperreality, saturated with signs and symbols, rendering Baudrillard's theories more relevant than ever. We are now residents of a virtual world of simulacra. This notion is powerfully depicted in popular culture, particularly in the Wachowski brothers' film "The Matrix," which almost prophetically premiered nearly a decade before the arrival of the first iPhone.

Today the favorite and adictive junk food of the matrix-avatar is not suprising 'signs' in the form of likes. However, every time your avatar feasts in likings, your yourself is drinking saltwater to quench your thirst for the 'real'.

Seen in this light, the contemporary trend of letting the feelings take charge is not authentic. This new wave of "it feels like" - feelings are much more avatarized simulacra of performative storytold story-told feelings ready for being presented on a reel. Let me here give you an example. A young man, 20 years old, asked me for some advices concerning how to overcome his inner emotional difficulties. He really apreciated the advices and immiedeatly after made a reel, presenting the philosophy behind the advices he got. In fact, what he did was avatarizing his inner spiritual process and thereby making it 'un-reel'
In the newly formed hyperreal meta-dimension populated by signs, we have come to exist as matrix-avatars. Just as individuals with prosthetic limbs come to subjectively perceive these artificial extensions as natural parts of their bodies, our avatars in cyberspace begin to take ownership of our identities.
Our Aging Bardo-Culture
The hyper-real matrix-like extension of ourselves has induced a profound identity crisis bordering self-alienation: Who am I? Am I my avatar? As we lose our traditional grasp on identity, our obsession with it intensifies. This resembles individuals caught in the throes of a challenging psychedelic experience, where the panic of ego dissolution drives a desperate cling to any form of identity that promises relief from the existential dread of becoming nobody.
This predicament mirrors our aging culture’s existential crisis, reminiscent of the transitional state described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead, Bardo Thodol. Wise guides counsel us to relinquish all attachments to usher in rebirth. Yet, it's the paralyzing fear of letting go that ensnares us in the bardo—the liminal space between life and death. It’s akin to being a child trapped in the midst of a birth channel, unable to move forward or retreat.
From Individuality to Identity: The Shift to Digitilized Sameness
Individuality is inherently about internal dialogue—a process of discovering and maintaining a harmonious balance within oneself. It's a personal journey towards self-definition and uniqueness. On the other hand, identity has, due to the reasons mentioned above, come to over-focus on conformity and alignment with external expectations, marking a shift from being unique to being identical with others. This transition reflects a hijacking of our intrinsic need for belonging and tribe by digital facades.
The discomfort stemming from the gap between our real selves and our idealized online personas prompts us to modify our biology, aiming to mirror these digital projections. While individuality is deeply anchored in the tangible and real, identity now chases after story told illusions, propelling us into a cycle of self-simulacra.

The Avataric Proces of Botoxification
Practices such as botox injections serve as modern-day attempts to fit Cinderella's slipper, sacrificing our distinctiveness for a homogenized identity. This pursuit of standardized beauty erases the unique characteristics that define us, turning human expressions into a monotonous echo of digital avatars. Women who resort to cosmetic alterations lose a piece of their individuality, their capacity to fully embody, express, and communicate their true selves is diminished. We become trapped in a performative identity, crafted from the lexicon of emojis and smileys, where every smile mirrors the superficial grin of a simulacrum, deepening our isolation from our authentic selves. In this way, the more we attempt to align with these artificial standards, the more profound our individual suffering becomes, ensnared within the spectacle of simulated belonging.
Iron Men on the Run
While men typically are a bit behind in the botoxification process of their faces, they often use sports, career, and even performance-enhancing smartdrugs as a means of escape, running from internal discomfort through physically demanding activities. At the end of this performance or fitness journey, there isn't a light of fulfillment but merely another tunnel leading to the next adrenaline rush. The prevailing ethos in this sphere is 'no pain, no gain.' This sportified American take on success encourages a 'Yes! You can do it!' mentality – a relentless self-optimization process where pain is managed and controlled by the ego rather than deeply understood. Even meditation and yoga have become tools of self-optimizion instead of relaxation.
We are now in a situation where we in a reinforced loop seek to escape the accumulating unsettling sensations in our bodies created by the pain of not being 'liked' by our avatar.

Even before the times of the smartphone we were busy with external things:

"Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy
— to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work."

Søren Kierkegaard "Either/Or"

However, I wonder what Kierkegaard would have said to the vista of a train compartment full of reel-browsing passengers. Even the busy man on Kierkegaard's time were less visually oriented and more connected to a close, sensory awareness of his body. In my youth, while traveling by train, people would gaze out the windows in a kind of defocused manner. You can imagine what people did in the long winther months in the mideval period. They were staring into the fire while trying to stay warm or they were doing routine activities while immersed in themselves.

"A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare"
W. H. Davies

Even unknowingly, the state of staring nurtured our bodies through interoceptive awareness. Give it a try and experience for yourself: stare without focusing for a minute and observe how the interoceptive awareness of your body arrives like a whale coming up to the ocean surface for air.

An important factor giving rise to our newly configured pattern of pain is what I would term the awareness-starvation of our body. The greatest gift you can offer someone is your undivided, non-judgemental space-holding awareness. Experiment with this, and you'll notice its impact. Similarly, the best gift you can give your own body is to immerse it in your own simple tathata, or suchness-awareness. Nothing nourishes the body more than a bath in this close-sensual presence of your own awareness.

Today, the immense importance of that dreamy irrigation of our inner body landscape is ignored. With everyone's eyes glued to smartphone screens, our bodies are neglected, left by the wayside like forgotten orphans. For millions of years, our bodies have thrived on 'zone out' moments. Now, suddenly, a significant portion of our energy is channeled into new bundles of neurons dedicated to our long distance sense of vision.

Consequently, we are looking at ourselves from outside instead of feeling ourselves from the inside. We have become increasingly visual and mental, inhabiting alienated bodies we then love to watch in endless zombie serials. This shift towards a predominantly visual and mental engagement has rerouted a considerable amount of our energy towards nurturing a distant, external perception of ourselves, rather than fostering an internal awareness. As a result, we've evolved into beings who observe ourselves from an external viewpoint, increasingly alienated within our own bodies, captivated by the endless spectacle of digital content. This detachment, or scopophilian alienation, from our physical essence prompts a desperate yearning for attention, which we attempt to soothe with elaborate narratives about our identities. We are unconsciously hungering for the 'real' when we watch the 'reel'. Such a disconnect is akin to depriving bees of their natural sustenance, honey, and substituting it with sugar water—a superficial, inadequate replacement. Consequently, we've lost touch with the innate ability to genuinely feel and understand our bodies in their natural state, supplanted by a culture of narcissistic, performative avataric self-representation and the acceptance of deceptive narratives about who we are.
The phenomenon of transforming oneself into a digital smiley, an act of 'avatarizing,' finds its counterpart in a radical counter-trend. Amidst the luminous veneer and botox-infused portrayals of celebratory gatherings, there arises an 'avatar of darkness'—a direct antithesis. This shadow avatar, conceived within the muted allure of media's sheen, stands in sharp relief against its counterpart. Social media's realm of illusion splits us in two parts, magnifying both the radiant and the obscure, thereby exacerbating our collective malaise.

The Rise of the Trauma-Avatar
The connection between these contrasting narratives is found in their common foundation as constructs of the thinking mind. Their dichotomy evolves in an unexpected manner: the anguish derived from our constructed stories, previously essential for crafting avatars of succes and joy, is no longer concealed. Instead of succumbing to traditional Freudian repression, we now convert this paradox into a spectacle, comodifying and glorifying our recently unearthed turmoil. This pain is molded and repurposed into a celebrated state of victimhood, adeptly designed for the theatricality of social media engagement. In short we here wittness the upcoming of two distinct types of avatars:
The glorious botox-avatar and the equally glorious victim and trauma-avatar.
Let us now look at how the trauma avatar glorifies suffering as a means to gain followers or endorsements.

The Commodification of personal Pain and Struggle
The theme of personal pain and struggle has always been woven into the fabric of human storytelling, yet the early 2000s marked a pivotal moment in the visibility and accessibility of such narratives, propelled by the evolving media landscape. Much like our tendency to gravitate towards negative news, social media platforms have a knack for amplifying pain as clickbait.
One notable instance of the new glorification of suffering is seen in Simon Cowell's emotional "golden buzzer" moment for the cancer-stricken artist Nightbirde on "America's Got Talent." This phenomenon isn't limited to television; it extends to films, series, literature, and the realm of social influencers, where dramatized real-life adversities or fictional struggles with mental health, addiction, and other personal traumas are frequently depicted. While these portrayals can increase awareness and foster empathy, they also risk oversimplifying complex issues or exploiting them to lure viewers. This raises a question about the boundary between sharing to inspire and oversharing for personal or commercial gain. Such narratives point at a new trend: Media-shared suffering and victimhood has become a social capital.

The social media driven commodification of suffering has markedly influenced contemporary discourses on gender identity. Reflecting on the past, the gender diversity of the 1980s exuded a more vibrant, optimistic, and unguarded exploration of gender fluidity, in stark contrast to today's atmosphere. The earnest endeavors in advocating for transgender people's rights, while wholly legitimate, have also ushered in a narrative where certain demographics, particularly white men, are frequently labeled as inherently toxic.
This climate of polarization has also bleed into the fight for women's rights with repercussions for both genders, contributing to a palpable tension in social interactions between sexes. Anecdotes from young men in my locale suggest that forming relationships with women has become a more difficult task. In Copenhagen, the sight of couples openly expressing affection has become noticeably scarce, a stark difference from the warmth and openness observed in Eastern Europe, where public displays of affection among young couples remain a common and heartening sight. At the same time wedding and birth rates are going down in the Western world.

The Modern Criticism of Masculinity
What is increasingly evident in today's gender discourse is the dialectical shadow side of the masculine drive. Traditional masculine roles seem to be facing a crisis, rendering many men existential losers in the modern era. While conservative male commentators often link this phenomenon to the ascent of female empowerment, I perceive this phenomenon as indicative of a simultaneous systemic transformations taking place, where the retreat of male dominance is caused by both deeper societal imbalances in our late-stage capitalism and by overwhelming criticism of what is labeled as toxic masculinity. As Slavoj Zizek has pointed out, modern American psychology has labeled this phenomenon of toxic masculinity as something bordering illness.
I dare in this context to venture into a realm of high abstraction that reflects traditional stereotypes, where the essences of male and female are seen not merely as biological distinctions but as psychological archetypical structures, organized like layers of rings in an old tree. These archetypes, emerging from half a million years of human evolution on the East African savannah, serve as a backdrop for my exploration. 

Viewing gender through this lens, the masculine and feminine emerge as solid biological interfaces, meticulously sculpted through endless cycles of negotiation, all under the influence of society's rapidly evolving norms. From this standpoint, replete with the risk of oversimplification, I seek not to uncover fixed truths but to illuminate fresh perspectives that might offer insight.
In our discussion, we particularly delve into the dialectical shadow-sides of both masculine and feminine archetypes, mirroring the contrasting dots within the Taoist Yin and Yang symbol. This approach acknowledges the intricate balance and interplay between these forces, aiming to shed light on the subtleties and complexities that define our understanding of gender and identity through the ages.
Gender roles from the Stone-age and Today 
Let us go for a short walk back in time. The transition from hunter-gatherer societies to agricultural societies did impact gender roles, often leading to more defined and sometimes more polarized gender distinctions. In hunter-gatherer societies, the division of labor was relatively flexible and based more on age, ability, and preference than strictly on gender. Men and women both contributed to the shared food supply, with men typically focusing on hunting and women on gathering. However, this division was not absolute, and roles could overlap.
With the advent of agriculture, societies became more sedentary, and the accumulation of resources led to the development of more complex social structures. Agriculture introduced new forms of 'man'ual labor and resource distribution, which often resulted in more rigid and polarized gender roles. Men commonly took on the heavy labor of fieldwork, plowing, and managing livestock, while women were more often involved in domestic tasks, child-rearing, and helping with planting and harvesting.
This division was further intensified by industrial capitalism, at least when we look at the upper and middle class. Women's roles were increasingly associated with domesticity and motherhood, idealized in the concept of the "cult of domesticity" or "separate spheres," especially in the 19th century. Men's roles were predominantly associated with labor outside the home in factories, offices, and other environments within the burgeoning industrial economy. Concurrently, women were often relegated to the domestic sphere, a realm conceptualized as the heart of family intimacy and cultural development, primarily focused on nurturing children and managing household responsibilities.
Production Versus Consumption
The field of economics is recognized for its significant gender disparity in both participation and acknowledgment. Traditionally, economics has attracted far fewer women than men, marking it as a predominantly male-dominated discipline.
One might speculate that this discipline is deeply entrenched in qualities traditionally associated with masculinity, perhaps echoing the same genetic predispositions that drove ancient men to hunt for as much meat as possible.
Thomas Hobbes heralded early competitive capitalism with a revitalization of the Roman proverb: "Homo homini lupus est" - Man is a wolf to man. (Leviathan) The wolf, despite being a collective behavioral animal, has since antiquity served as an analogy for the predatory egoistic individual. Hence, the wolf that kills far more sheep than it can consume has served to highlight the unsustainability of this drive freed from its original setting in solidarity. This projected male wolf now resides on Wall Street, emblematic of a system that perpetuates excessive economic growth and exploitation.
On the other hand, it seems that women are taking the lead when it comes to consumption. The irony is that modern women fighting for empowerment often blame men for being the toxic root cause of our relentless capitalistic overproduction. However, women are taking the lead in consumption, especially of luxury goods. Even if we subtract the female household consumption, there are clear indications of a female lead.

At times, broad generalizations can illuminate complex subjects with a stroke of simplicity. In this vein, I suggest that the traditional roles of men as hunters and women as gatherers have evolved within the capitalist framework to men predominantly taking on the role of producers, while women are often seen as consumers.
The capitalistic system of individual untamed competition and consumption unleashed the masculine hunting and the feminine gathering drives to serve a societal dynamism and fluidity never seen before. However, it came at the cost of the overall collective sharing of resources that hunter-gatherers seemed to display.

While this perfectly imperfect system has served us well and better than any other system in history, the relentless male production and female consumption now appear to be at a civilizational sunset. This aging structure is increasingly marked by challenges that appear insurmountable, signaling a critical juncture for societal evolution.
A pivot towards a gentler, more motherly nurturing approach to our planet seems imperative. However, the rise of female influence in society has been overshadowed by the darker aspects of feminism leading the charge. Instead of adhering to the shaman-praised archetypical story of the Earth as an all-encompassing mother and humans as a unified, sharing tribe of her children, women have utilized the darker aspects of femininity to overcome male suppression. This is understandable as a way for women to manifest their influence, but it comes with a price to be paid. Instead of finding a balance, we now find ourselves at the mercy of extremes, where it seems that the cultural collective female spirit is in favor of payback time.

Competition between Adoration and Cancellation
Witnessing the dynamics around a friend who manages a high-end luxury brand for the wealthiest echelon illuminates a systemic issue far beyond individual character judgments. It's fascinating yet disheartening to see how many express disdain behind his back, mirroring a broader societal trend.

This phenomenon aligns with the discourse on "avatar-happiness" and the envy it breeds within the veiled arenas of social media. Such platforms, while ostensibly spaces for sharing and connection, often morph into battlefields of silent competition. The extravagant displays of wealth and status, meant for public adulation, paradoxically engender private resentment. It unfolds in a twilight realm where competition is fierce, yet acknowledgment of this rivalry remains taboo. This dichotomy underscores a deep-seated tension between the desire for recognition and the discontent it spawns among onlookers.

In this context, the backlash against my acquaintance and his enterprise isn't just personal—it's a microcosm of the larger, more insidious dynamic that pervades our lives as an existential trait, now largely amplified by social media interactions. It reveals how our digital engagements, far from being mere passive pastimes, actively shape and reflect the complex interplay of admiration and animosity that characterizes human social structures.
The Influencer on the Razor's edge
Integrating the view on the precarious nature of social media influence, it becomes evident that this hidden competition and the idolization of affluence on these platforms contribute significantly to the phenomenon of influencer cancellation. The celebration of perceived abundance can quickly turn into a crucible of scrutiny when influencers fail to navigate the delicate balance between authenticity and the exhibition of luxury. As influencers present a life of lavishness and strenght, they inadvertently stoke the flames of envy and dissatisfaction among their audience. This envy, born out of incessant comparison, can escalate into public outcry and backlash when the audience's threshold for inauthenticity is breached.
This underscores the paradoxical nature of social media: a realm where admiration and scrutiny coexist in a delicate balance, each influencer's tenure at the top vulnerable to the ever-changing tides of public opinion and the insidious undercurrent of envy that comparison breeds.
Thus, the very platform that celebrates the ostentatious display of wealth, status, and influence also harbors a silent tribunal, ready to pass judgment on those who stray too far from the community's unwritten codes of authenticity and ethical conduct. In this digital age, influencers and their audiences navigate a complex dance of admiration and accountability, where every post and portrayal can either cement one's place in the social hierarchy or herald the beginning of their downfall.
On a more profound level, the mentality of followers bears similarities to that of the woke culture, characterized by a paradoxical fixation on dominance and the exhibition of power, while simultaneously rejecting these very attributes. This duality reflects a complex relationship with authority and visibility, where both admiration and disdain coexist, underscoring the intricate dynamics at play within contemporary digital cultures.
In the context of influencer marketing, women significantly dominate the field, representing a substantial majority of content creators across various social media platforms. Furthermore, women are not only the majority within the influencer community but are also more inclined to follow influencers. Across different age brackets, a consistent trend shows women choosing to engage with influencers more than men, underscoring the significant role of female audiences in the influencer marketing ecosystem.

At the same time the minority of male influencers earn more money than their female counterparts, which again points back to economy as a typical male trade.
Female Shadow Competition versus open Male Competition
Examining the phenomenon of competition reveals a stark archetypical contrast in gendered approaches. Men's competition could in this light be seen as a lingering vestige of our hunter-gatherer past. They have historically engaged in open competition, celebrating the win-win situation of the victor who had the ability to throw a spear one inch farther than others. This ability could determine the success of a mammoth hunt, thereby securing essential resources for the whole tribe.
Women, perhaps also due to a lack of physical strength, often navigate their rivalries more covertly. Woman more often engage in a twilight zone competition in jealousy with each other on the parameters of beauty and status. From an evolutionary perspective, this strategy aims at securing the genetics of the alpha male while ensuring the optimal survival conditions for offspring. Thus, individual women are not inherently inclined to reveal their strategies for ascending to positions of power.

While internal female power strategies in nature may remain concealed, what is vividly displayed is the collective female energy when it comes to ostracizing individuals from the collective. Historically, this has been a natural and legitimate way for women to wield influence and power in negotiations with physically stronger males.

I recorded this video at a wedding in Punjab, India, in 2014. Even without understanding Punjabi, the body language in this clip speaks volumes. Women, armed with collectivity and laughter, defeat the challenging man in a ritual where the outcome was predetermined, and all parties enjoy it.

Nowadays, this originally healthy phenomenon has morphed into a darker version known as cancel culture. Seen from the brink of over-generalization, this new collective dynamic of the many can be perceived as a female shadow side phenomenon, born out of the disruptive systematics of social media.

Cancel Culture and the rise of Mater Saeva Cupidinum
The concept of "cancel culture," originally a healthy feminine way of gaining influence now amplified and distorted by social media dynamics, necessitates a bold examination of the darker sides of female nature. Both the disclosed competition taking place on social media avatars, influencers and the open collective rage-driven cancellation happening to people with diverging opinions and expressions show themselves in this light to be products of the dark side of the feminine archetype. This archetype is configured and massively amplified in the social media landscape in the form of virally growing tribal pools of emotionally driven opinions in the form of ostracization. In this shadowy realm female competition and cancellation encompass everything  in a much deeper and more painful way.

I am here reminded of the Jungian archetype "mater saeva cupidinum" that translates to "the savage mother of passions," highlighting a primal aspect of the feminine unconscious associated with overwhelming, often destructive passions and instincts. It embodies the darker, untamed side of maternal energy. In the contemporary social media world I would however, rephrase this Jungian archetype into "the savage mothers of passions," that underscores the collectivity of this wrath.
A Lacanian take of 'Being Percieved' versus being 'The Perciever'
Let us now tap into complex discussions around gender perceptions, roles, and attributes as conceptualized through a Lacanian lense.

Generally speaking, the idea that the masculine is the perceiver and the feminine is perceived can be related to traditional gender stereotypes and roles, which have been widely critiqued and reconsidered in contemporary gender studies.

Historically, many societies have attributed active, perceiving, or agentive roles to masculinity, while femininity has been associated with passivity, being perceived, or being the object of perception.

Contemporary thought, especially within fields like woke gender studies, sociology, and psychology, tends to challenge these binary views of gender. Instead, there's a growing emphasis on understanding gender as a complex, fluid spectrum that transcends traditional male/female binaries. This includes recognizing that attributes like agency, perception, and the capacity to be perceived are not inherently tied to one's gender.

On this particular point I partly agree with the woke discourse on gender. At least within the realm of psychology, gender roles and perceptions are far more nuanced and varied than such an ald school binary division between male-perciever and female-percieved suggests. This elaboration captures key aspects of Lacanian psychoanalytic theory, particularly with respect to the concepts of "the Big Other," scopophilia (the pleasure in looking), and the dynamics of perception and subjectivity. Jacques Lacan, a French psychoanalyst, focused on how the unconscious structures our experiences of self and others, drawing significantly on the complex interplay between seeing, being seen, and the structures of desire and identification.
I dare here to simplify with this statement: The one in power is the perciever. A slave can never be the perciever. He will always be the percieved.
The Big Other, in Lacan's theory, refers to the symbolic order, the social structures, laws, and conventions that govern how individuals see themselves and others. This order is not just a passive backdrop but actively shapes desires, thoughts, and identities. It represents a kind of external authority or reference point that individuals internalize and which influences their actions and perceptions.

The point about the person in power being the perceiver aligns with Lacanian thought in that those who align with or embody the expectations of the Big Other can occupy a position of power or authority, becoming the one who looks, judges, or defines norms. This position allows them to "perceive" or shape reality, including the identities of others, who become the perceived.
Again here I would like to rephrase Lacan's term into The Big Others in order be more useful as a tool of understanding the contemporary viral social media driven collective waves of pure amygdalian judgemental feeling.
Scopophilia, or the pleasure derived from looking, plays into this dynamic by emphasizing the act of observation as a source of satisfaction or control. For Lacan, the gaze (or look) is crucial in establishing the dynamics of subjectivity and objectification, where the subject becomes an object under the gaze of The Other. This process is not just about literal vision but about recognition, identification, and desire.

We must here not forget that this power of observation is exponentially magnified on the social media platform. The gaze of the Big Others makes individuals constantly aware of how they are seen and judged, thus influencing their behavior and self-perception to an extend maybe never seen before.
The insight that individuals can become both the perceiver and the perceived through self-reflection or self-surveillance reflects Lacan's notion of the mirror stage, a developmental phase where the child recognizes their own reflection. This recognition is fraught with tensions between identification (with the image) and alienation (from the image), suggesting an early internalization of the gaze and the dynamics of being seen. It implies a fundamental split or lack in the subject, where satisfaction is elusive because the desire is always mediated by the Other's desire.

This alienation is again heavily amplified through social media. In these days the Lacanian Big Others have become massively digitalized. We are in the contemporary social media-mediated mirror landscape being objectified by the collective social media perciever. This perciever is not any longer automatically an attribute of the male-archetype. We are now percieved by the overt eyes of a collective amygdalian abstraction I would dare to name as The Big (M)others. A geomagnetic reversal has taken place where the masculine is now percieved through the big wrathful mothers watching us.
Individuation versus Identity
According to C.G. Jung both the female and the male archetype possess a dialectic, contrasting shadow. He described these archetypes as 'anima' and 'animus.' According to him, every individual harbors both archetypes within their psyche, granting us all the possibility to identify across gender lines on a psychological level.
Jung's theory posits that the anima and animus are the unconscious feminine side in men and the unconscious masculine side in women, respectively. The anima and animus are not just about gender identity or roles but are more about the complementary and contrasting aspects of the opposite gender that exist within each individual. Jung believed these archetypes are universal and serve as a bridge to the unconscious mind. The anima and animus influence an individual's interactions and projections onto others, affecting relationships and personal growth.
Carl Jung posited that the path to psychological completeness involves a process he named individuation. This process demands the recognition and integration of the diverse facets of our personality, bridging the gap between the conscious and unconscious realms of the self. Central to this integration are the concepts of the anima and animus—the feminine and masculine aspects within us all—achieving a more unified and harmonious inner life.

In contemporary times, however, we observe a phenomenon reminiscent of a geomagnetic reversal in the dynamics of the anima and animus. This shift sees women engaging in feminist struggles through the adoption of traditionally masculine traits, while men, conversely, may embrace qualities traditionally seen as feminine. This paradox intensifies as women, in adopting a more masculinized persona, concurrently navigate a narrative that casts masculinity in a negative light. Through this inversion of roles, both internal and external, the classical male and female psychological archetypes begin to disintegrate and recombine in varied configurations.
The Tragedy of Identity
Such transformations in gender identity and expression, mirroring the complexity and fluidity of psychological gender itself, could in fact herald a form of liberation.

However, transitioning to the concept of individuation, it demands a flexibility that is compromised when individuality morphs into performative identity. Drawing from Meister Eckhart's wisdom, "The spot I am standing on is small, but it must disappear," and his caution against defining oneself too rigidly: "Beware lest ye take yourself as either this or that."

Embracing a specific identity too tightly ensnares us in the web of solidified identity construction. In my exploration of spirit, I propose that identity-identfication is directly linked to suffering. This highlights the importance of maintaining fluidity and openness in our understanding of self, avoiding the pitfalls of rigid identity categorization, and fostering a journey towards true individuation. The paradox is that there is no liquidity even in gender fluidity.
Let's now examine how the contemporary woke culture interprets the dynamics of this broader wave of clickbait victimhood. In the woke's take on Foucault's post-modern perspective, every interaction, no matter how significant or minor, is viewed as a power struggle between oppressors and victims. I find merit in this viewpoint, although I'm skeptical that everything can be boiled down to power struggles.
However, it's undeniable that we, to a much larger extent than we often realize, are immersed in power games. These range from microaggressions to overtly dominant behavior. The subtler forms of these behaviors are particularly challenging to address, as they frequently pass under the radar or mask themselves with irony or humor when identified. I recognize that being on the receiving end of these subtle power dynamics can be deeply hurtful. Power games, no matter how small, obstruct our ability to exist in a state of natural happiness.
The Woke Masking of Late Stage Capitalism 
The approach of woke culture in addressing historical injustices and the consequently in our behaviour embedded micro-agressions, encounters several challenges. Focusing primarily on race and gender, it overlooks other forms of systemic oppression, which might be equally, if not more, significant. An illustrative example is the dominance of large multinational corporations that prioritize shareholder profits over environmental and human well-being, impacting individuals across racial and gender lines. I would dare to go so far as to call that systemic oppression in the sense that these systems in their self interest harm other people. This includes the distribution of unhealthy chemicals in over-processed food, affecting the health of people regardless of race. Similarly, the systemic influence of social media on mental health remains underexplored within woke discourse. These examples highlight the necessity of a broader lens to fully understand and combat systemic oppression. This blindness has made woke a darling in the capitalistic advertizing industry where gender and color in fact has become new tools to continue our blind consumption of commodities.
Allow me to draw attention to a further contradiction arising from this lack of comprehensive perspective. While not definitively proven, the principle of Occam's razor intimates that the pervasive presence of over-processed, chemically enhanced foods might be a principal factor behind the obesity epidemic in the United States—a crisis that has been intensifying since the 1960s and currently represents a major public health concern. Despite the undeniable health risks linked to obesity, the current discourse influenced by woke culture complicates even medical professionals' ability to address this issue directly. Any reference to concerns over weight can be quickly labeled as reprehensible fat shaming, pushing the narrative towards an unyielding stance on fat positivity. This situation creates a paradox where the legitimate health advisories needed to combat obesity are stifled, overshadowed by the fear of contravening social norms around body positivity.
This stance effectively masks the impact of capitalist corporate greed, suggesting that despite its ostensibly socialist appearance, woke ideology may inadvertently obscure systemic failures of late-stage capitalism.
Woke and Laugther
I find personally find it challenging to take seriously those who are incapable of laughter. Meister Eckhart states:

"My Lord told me a joke. And seeing him laugh
has done more for me than any scripture I will ever read."

Rinpoche Tulko Lobsang is on the same page stating that true spirituality lies more in laughter than in the recitation of mantras, as it dissolves internal barriers, paving the way to what he calls the 'bliss-body.' (Youtube go to 40 min)

My recent viewing of a Netflix american stand-up comedy roundup from 2022 left me surprisingly unamused, sparking a single, tepid 'Ha.' This experience led me to question whether my sense of humor had diminished, but in fact it was the show itself that was to blame. The comedians seemed to tread carefully around 'safe zones,'  so the only little dry laugther I could muster was a joke about my demographic: older, 'toxic' white men perceived as relics of neo-colonial, hegemonic structures. Here the stand-upper had a bit more courage to stand straight. However, such humor, allowed by the woke ideology, lacked genuine wit and veered into toxicity, underlining a broader issue: the erosion of authentic spontaneous laughter. It is simply not possible to be spontanous and at the same time all the time check yourself for offensive language as dictated by woke identity politics.

Woke culture has in this way sidelined the lightness of laughter in favor of political corrct shaming, echoing my christian grandmother's belief that laughter was sinful. Woke has killed the healing power of laughter. The absence of laughter is suffering.
However, the most significant problem lurking in the shadows is that in the process of identifying and addressing hegemonic power and privileges, the woke movement has become the very thing it opposes. The power dynamics and privileges criticized have in a reversed form become tools for the movement to gain power. This new wave of power display has evolved out of the broader trend of the previous mentioned commodification of victimhood.
In this game, both the old neo-colonial white male power and the new woke power rule by dividing. However, the splitting and the power gained by the woke movement is far more unconscious than it was in the old hegemonic structures, exactly because the exertion of power on a conscious level is more hated and despised by the woke.
While the intellect magnifies itself through the complex syntax evolved in the ivory tower of the academia, the unconscious shadow side in woke grows stronger and stronger.
Seen in this light, power and power-display were more visible in the old days. In the current landscape, both traditional forms of hegemony and the contemporary woke ideology operate by division, yet the latter's methods are less overt, driven by an unconscious quest for power that starkly contrasts with the former's visible displays through language, uniforms, and architecture. This shift towards a less visible exertion of power does not diminish its presence but rather embeds it deeper within the subconscious, making it more insidious and harder to confront directly. It has gone underground and here it thrives in the demonic darkness of the unconscious human mind. 
The Religion of the Crowd
With inspiration from Kierkegaard I would say that the individual, when merging into the crowd, loses himself and, indeed, paradoxically becomes the very embodiment of what he seeks to oppose. In this mass, the individual's actions and ideologies, no matter how well-intentioned, risk becoming a mirror of the hegemonies they aim to dismantle. Woke is above all a crowd phenomenon. It has no leaders. It has no center - neither as individuality in the individual or in the crowd it orchestrates. It has become an expression identity politics to the degree where identity has sacrificed the essence of individuality on the altar of religious righteousness. It has evolved into a realm of moral absolutism, mirroring a school of piranhas in a frenzied hunt.
This scenario marks the tragedy of the woke collective: it obscures the individual's consciousness, leading to the exercise of power in ways that betray the original intent, thriving in the shadows of unexamined deeply split selves.
The phenomenon of Splitting and Meister Eckhart
The more we in a state of high tide emotions split the world in good and evil the more we are in danger of becoming what we fight. In this sense the thesis and the anto-thesis always define each other. Let me in this context quote my favorit quote from my favorite mystic:

"All creatures contain one reflection:
one, that is the denial of its being the other;
the highest of the angels denies he is the lowest.

God is the denial of denials."

The concept of splitting, a psychological mechanism where the world is dichotomized into absolute categories of good and evil, resonates deeply with the spiritual insights of Meister Eckhart, a mystic whose teachings transcend the simplicity of binary oppositions in the concept of the divine as a double negation.
Political Activism, Christianity and the Personification of Evil
Christianity, despite its significant social contributions, has a lengthy history of combating its conceptual antithesis, evil, personified in the figure of the devil. In my view, the modern political activist movement employs an updated version of this religious framework, attributing personal qualities to what are essentially systemic issues. When Greta Thunberg exclaims, "How dare you!" she is effectively personifying a systemic phenomenon, similar to a closed environment where bacteria multiply until they perish from oxygen depletion.
Woke is a wave in top of that larger wave reusing the same, basically christian software of identifying sin and then shaming the sinner.
Historically, no civilization has escaped decay due to its accumulating intrinsic systemic flaws, akin to the Roman saying, sic transit gloria mundi. This echoes the wisdom of Indian sages: Everything born must die. Imagine here the young and fresh leaves of an old dying tree, rottening from within crying:  "How dare you!"  In a way I understand the young Gretha. It sucks to live in the systemic endgame of a civilization. However, the use of the blame-game is like trying to fix a system within the dimensional confines of that very same system.
Albert Einstein is often quoted as saying, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." This quote suggests that innovative solutions require a shift in perspective or approach, implying that to overcome challenges, one must think outside the confines of the existing paradigm or system​.
Thus, confronting systemic challenges with guilt and shame can be seen as a contemporary and basically regressive echo of the darker aspects of Christian narrative. A brief look at history reveals the human tribal mind's archaic tendency to project personalized evil onto systemic processes, a tendency that has caused prolonged suffering by dividing and polarizing societies.
In this context, Christianity, ranging from the message of love to the medieval inquisition, has both contributed to the societal ailments of splitting and offered the anti-dote in the form of the ideology of forgiveness and a concept of God as the denial of denials. In short: Love is the only medicine that can end human suffering. No statements born from judgment or resentment, including those expressed as micro-aggressions, have ever fostered positive change.
A powerful insight by Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche's profound exploration of the human psyche delves deep into the intricacies of suffering and its glorification, highlighting the paradoxical nature of human beings to seek out and even revel in their own pain. This quote encapsulates Nietzsche's insight into the masochistic tendencies inherent in suffering individuals.

Suffering people all have a horrible willingness and capacity for inventing pretexts for painful emotional feelings. They enjoy even their suspicions, their brooding over bad actions and apparent damage. They ransack the entrails of their past and present, looking for dark, dubious stories, in which they are free to feast on an agonizing suspicion and to get intoxicated on the poison of their own anger — they rip open the oldest wounds, they bleed themselves to death from long-healed scars, they turn friends, wives, children, and anyone else who is closest to them into criminals. - Nietzsche

Suffering can become a potent and addictive drug. Nietzsche's observations remain as relevant today as when they were first penned, offering a stark warning against the dangers of glorifying suffering and the importance of striving towards a life-affirming mindset.
In British colonial India, there was a mutiny in 1857. Years later, living in North India, I encountered a newspaper article about a new wave of Indian historians who, after examining old records, discovered that following the suppression of the Sepoy Mutiny, the British initiated an ethnic cleansing campaign in the Northern Provinces, centering around Lucknow. Throughout the next decade, the British, now under the Crown's direct control after transitioning from the East India Company, discreetly but systematically targeted individuals of influence, including those who were tall and strong, in this densely populated area. These historians estimated that around 10 million people were executed from 1857 to 1867. Post-1867, recognizing the consequences of their actions, the British shifted policies to reincorporate Indians into administrative roles and opened educational opportunities in England. 
This account, possibly influenced by early 'woke' historical perspectives, underscores the harshness of British rule, although it might not be universally acknowledged. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919, in Amritsar, Punjab, stands out as a well-documented British atrocity. The Raj also orchestrated famines in order to force village people out of their homes in order to work with railroad construction. This raises the question: Why is there no lingering resentment towards Westerners, particularly the English, in India today?

During my travels in Sri Lanka, I observed a remarkable lack of collective remembrance similar to my experiences in India. The Uva Rebellion of 1815 saw the British forces significantly impact the Kandyan aristocracy, with the aftermath leading to widespread suffering among the survivors, many of whom were affected by diseases. This period marked a turbulent chapter in Sri Lanka's history, with profound social and demographic consequences. Despite the severity of these events and their impact on the population and society, there remains a notable absence of a unified narrative recounting these hardships. Today, Sri Lanka extends a warm welcome to Western visitors, reflecting a surprising way of dealing with its colonial past. This phenomenon suggests a unique approach to historical memory.

Why are we welcomed so warmly in these countries? It appears that both Indians and Sri Lankans have 'chosen' not to forge a collective narrative around these dark times, perhaps explaining the absence of enduring bitterness.
This observation has led me to a profound conclusion:
It is collective stories that perpetuate old pain.
We are story-and placebo driven animals.
Without a narrative, traumatic wounds tend to heal within a few generations - at least they seem to do soo in animals. It's crucial here to acknowledge that these surpressive incidents occurred within cultures where the prevailing survival strategy often involved perceiving the world as somewhat illusory. Even the last Mughal ruler in India, Bahadur Shah Zafar, adopted a 'Hinduized' outlook, becoming a tolerant poet.
The choice boils down to either forgetting or forgiving, both paths leading to similar outcomes in the sweep of history.

At the opposite end of the spectrum lies the enduring narrative of Jewish suffering. Jewish culture, with its embedded principle of 'an eye for an eye,' has maintained perhaps one of the world's oldest and most resilient collective trauma narratives through storied remembrance of persecution. This narrative of suffering seems endless, as retraumatization has woven itself into the fabric of collective identity. The recent tragic events involving Israel's actions in Gaza highlight a profound truth: the oppressor and the oppressed are intrinsically linked, with the roles of persecutor and persecuted easily interchangeable. This phenomenon, which I term 'reversed victimhood', underscores the complex dynamics of historical narratives and their impact on contemporary identities and conflicts. Seen in this light, woke culture in a way more closely resembles the Jewish mindset than the Christian one.

Reversed Victimhood as a Tool of Power
In the contemporary cultural landscape, the narrative of reversed victimhood has evolved into a potent instrument of influence, serving to imbue shame upon traditional figures of authority who have historically maintained societal structures. This fragmentation of self and societal coherence inadvertently perpetuates divisions by exacerbating historical grievances that might otherwise have found resolution.

Drawing from Hegelian dialectics, the emergence of a victim or trauma-avatar represents a novel form of dominance, echoing Nietzsche's observations of Christianity's use of ideology as a means for the subjugated to confront the dominators. This process sanctifies the oppressed, granting them a moral high ground from which to castigate their adversaries. The stigma now associated with conventional forms of authority underscores a paradigm shift where the previously powerless leverage their victim status as an arsenal of moral superiority. This redefined battleground, laden with accusations of shame and guilt, compels all within its radius to navigate a precarious landscape, fraught with the risk of inadvertently triggering offense.

This dynamic signifies a reversal where traditional power dynamics are upended, enabling those once marginalized to assert control through the strategic deployment of their victimhood. This tactic, while empowering the formerly powerless, also risks entrenching societal divisions by solidifying identities rooted in grievance and opposition rather than fostering reconciliation and mutual understanding.

The meak now concuer the world through weaponized victimhood, armed with bullets of shame, guilt and so called emotional safe zones that forces everybody around the avatarized victim to dance an impossible dance on a ground full of landmines.
The echoes of reopened wounds transform into a collective outcry, morphing perceived oppressors into the latest victims via the mechanism of social ostracization, commonly referred to as cancellation. This pattern mirrors the current situation in Israel, where a historically oppressed Jewish community now finds itself in the role of oppressor towards the Palestinians, now facing backlash and cancellation in various Western contexts.
The repercussions of such entrenched retaliatory behavior are profound. At this juncture, it's crucial to explore the psychological and spiritual ramifications of exercising this kind of influence: Identifying oneself as a victim, in any context, jeopardizes the invaluable opportunity to dwell in one's innate state of contentment. This critique underpins my examination of woke ideology. The very essence of wokeism, which thrives on the perpetuation of suffering to amass the very power it ostensibly critiques, is antithetical to achieving a state of inherent happiness. This continuous cycle of grievance, reminiscent of historical narratives of suffering, threatens to perpetuate indefinitely, fueled by an unrested amygdala, far removed from the serenity of our natural being.
The Interplay of 'Woke' Culture, Trigger Words, and Trauma Responses
Seen from this point of observation, there appear to be notable similarities between the reactive patterns observed in individuals with PTSD and behaviors seen in woke culture. Both can be quickly provoked into intense emotional states, often bypassing cognitive functions associated with the frontal lobe, which governs self-restraint.

Trigger words, originally linked to PTSD as stimuli that evoke traumatic memories, have found a new role within 'woke' discourse. They now identify terms that ignite potent reactions to perceived societal injustices, maintaining the same basic mechanism: rapid and often uncontrollable emotional responses. This resemblance extends to a shared ahistorical reaction, where the amygdala's dominance blurs the distinction between past traumas and current stimuli, leading to immediate and context-free reactions.

Such reactions, devoid of historical nuance, risk erasing the complexity of past events, interpreted through the lens of current sensibilities. This phenomenon is mirrored in the broader narrative of cancel culture within 'woke' culture, where there is a tendency to react to historical events with present-day urgency, prompted by specific trigger words.

The concept of 'safe spaces' intersects with these dynamics, aiming to protect individuals from triggering discussions. However, without careful navigation, this protective measure can foster identities centered on trauma, perpetuating cycles of reactive behavior and potentially leading to societal re-traumatization.

Addressing the core of PTSD therapy—and extending this to a societal imperative—necessitates moderating the amygdala's immediate, reactive responses to enable the higher brain functions, particularly those of the hippocampus, to contextualize and process experiences. This strategic approach fosters the development of more constructive dialogues, striking a balance between the need for protective 'safe spaces' and the imperative of engaging in meaningful discussions that honor the complexity of history.

A defining trait of the woke movement is its anachronistic perception of history, treating events separated by centuries as if occurring in the present. This timeless reactivity of the amygdala, treating every perceived threat with the same intensity regardless of its actual scale, overlooks the evolutionary role of the hippocampus in our cognitive processes. The hippocampus, our hub for long-term memory, has the capacity to reassure us that past fears are no longer relevant in our current reality, bridging our immediate responses with a broader understanding of time, allowing for a more nuanced reaction that distinguishes between past and present dangers. This cognitive balance is crucial for navigating the complex terrain of social interactions and historical injustices in a way that promotes healing and understanding, rather than perpetuating cycles of fear and reactivity.

The confluence of 'woke' and cancel culture exemplifies a perpetual societal story-told re-traumatization process, solidifying identities anchored in trauma through sustaining and even amplifying cycles of reactive behaviors.
One of the central concepts in woke is the idea of 'cultural' apropriation. This concept in 'woke' discourse refers to the adoption or use of elements from a surpressed culture by members of a dominant culture, often without permission or  understanding. This is viewed critically, especially when elements of a minority culture are used by members of a dominant culture in ways that are perceived as disrespectful, reductive, or commodifying. The concern is that such appropriation can strip cultural practices, symbols, or attire of their original meaning, contributing to the erasure or marginalization of the culture being appropriated. It often involves power dynamics, where the borrowing is unilateral and benefits the appropriator without acknowledging or compensating the source culture. 
The notion that 'cultural appropriation' is solely negative overlooks the rich tapestry of human history, where such exchanges, even those deemed adverse, have catalyzed the growth and enrichment of civilizations through cross-cultural fertilization. The Latin phrase from Horace's "Epistulae II. i. 156" serves as a poignant example, illustrating how Greece, despite its conquest, managed to captivate its Roman conquerors by imparting its art, culture, and wisdom, thereby enriching rustic Latium. This historical instance vividly demonstrates that cultural appropriation has been a driving force behind the advancement and diversification of societies.

"Graecia capta ferum victorem cepit et artes intulit agresti Latio."
(Conquered Greece conquered her savage conqueror
and brought the arts into rustic Latium.)

This scenario implies that if the Romans had adhered to a mindset akin to modern 'woke' sensibilities, resisting the integration of Greek culture, the flourishing of Roman civilization—a cornerstone upon which much of our current culture is built—might have been stifled. It brings to mind a Zen saying: "To win is to lose, and to lose is to win," highlighting the paradoxical nature of growth and success.
In the Battle of Thermopylae (480 BC) the Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, faced a massive Persian army. Despite the Greeks' defeat and Leonidas's death, their stand at Thermopylae became a symbol of courage and sacrifice, inspiring the Greek city-states to unite against Persia. The 'loss' at Thermopylae thus contributed to a 'win' in the broader Greco-Persian Wars, showcasing how sacrifice can lead to ultimate victory.
The fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks (1453) marked the end of the Byzantine Empire, a significant 'loss' for Christian Europe. However, this event led to the fleeing of Greek scholars to the West, carrying with them ancient knowledge that significantly contributed to the Renaissance. The 'loss' of Constantinople indirectly 'won' a cultural and intellectual revival in Western Europe.
In summary, cultural exchange, even when it involves elements of loss, defeat, and surpression, power-based apropriation and can lead to significant, unforeseen gains.

The evolution of jazz music and Mozart's Austrian 'hegemonic' appropriation of Balkan and Ottoman melodies serve as prime illustrations of beneficial cultural exchanges. Wienese copy culture targeted Turkish culture on all levels when the Austrian-Hungarian empire was at its zenith.

Pablo Picasso, who famously stated, "Good artists copy, great artists steal," drew heavily on African art to revolutionize Western painting, demonstrating the value of integrating diverse influences.
Moreover, even our biological existence can metaphorically be seen as an ongoing saga of cultural diffusion, wherein we are the composite result of previous life forms' adaptations. The mitochondria within our cells, for example, resemble ancient organisms that were co-opted billions of years ago to power our cellular processes. This analogy underscores the naturalness and ubiquity of appropriation across different realms of existence, challenging us to reconsider t

he boundaries of cultural exchange. What are the poor mitocondria other that slaves captured billions of years ago to serve in the energy factories in our cells?
Moreover, this discussion sheds light on an irony within the 'woke' perspective itself. The very criticism of cultural appropriation, when viewed through a historical and psychological lens, reveals that 'woke' ideology might unwittingly perpetuate a form of cultural dominance. By casting certain cultural exchanges as inherently exploitative or negative, it overlooks the complex, often reciprocal dynamics that have historically fueled cultural evolution and enrichment.
To articulate this more directly, the 'woke' movement, particularly within certain white segments, often unconsciously perpetuates a systemic appropriation of victim narratives. This strategy, which can be termed as the exploitation of reversed victimhood, involves adopting and repurposing the oppression narratives of other cultures or groups for their own ideological and psychological purposes.

In the 1960s, societal norms favored white identity, but by the 1970s, perceptions began slowly to shift, with some individuals expressing a desire to be associated with other racial identities. This reflects a broader trend where the allure of perceived victimhood becomes attractive. The phenomenon of 'pretendianism'—where people claim Native American heritage without genuine links, as highlighted by Buffy Sainte-Marie and exemplified by Senator Elizabeth Warren's claims—underscores this trend.
This intriguing phenomenon is particularly visible in Denmark, a country with historical ties to the slave trade yet without the immediate presence of those enslaved populations. Here's an illustrative anecdote from Denmark, where the discourse around 'woke' culture is reshaping the humanities. A friend of mine, who runs an online women's magazine for intellectuals, found herself at the center of a shit-storm for using the term 'coloured' in a discussion. She was swiftly engulfed by a deluge of criticism from an online crowd, insisting that 'colored' was a term laden with microaggressions and white hegemony, and that the correct term was 'brown'. This incident did not lead to her cancellation, possibly because 'woke' culture does not yet dominate the Danish landscape as it does elsewhere, and she issued a heartfelt apology for her linguistic choice. Notably, the chorus of rebuke came from predominantly white Danes with academic backgrounds. It appears they've co-opted narratives of oppression not their own, wielding them as instruments of power and using them to castigate others for perceived insensitivities. This episode underscores a peculiar dynamic: the appropriation of stories of suppression by those not directly affected, for personal or collective empowerment, while inadvertently perpetuating a cycle of accusation and penance.

Such historical nuances contribute to a complex landscape where the appropriation of victimhood narratives by some white individuals or groups in 'woke' circles does not stem from a direct lineage of oppression but rather from an abstracted misguided solidarity, often rooted in personal frustrations and narcissim. This ironic twist reveals a deeper layer of the 'woke' ideology, where the genuine aim for social justice can inadvertently morph into a form of cultural dominance and narrative theft, diluting the authentic voices and experiences of those who have directly suffered from historical and systemic injustices. 
Language has always mirrored the prevailing power dynamics of its time. Yet, as societal power structures evolve, expressions once laden with subversive undertones can become obsoete within the societal corpus, losing their former potency due to the healing balm of historical forgiveness and forgetfulness. An illustrative example comes from my own neighborhood, where a street was named after an 18th-century Danish slave trader. This figure had faded into obscurity, his legacy unremarked upon, until recent demands for renaming brought him back into a contentious spotlight.
Before the resurgence of sensitivity around language, sparked by the woke movement, such historical remnants had lost their sting, becoming as functionally obsolete as grandiose buildings from a bygone era. Post offices, libraries, police stations, and town halls, once symbols of authority and grandeur, now stand as quaint relics. In the digital age, their physical presence loses significance, leading them toward an aesthetic of graceful decline, mirroring the fate of English colonial ruins in India. These structures, devoid of their original context and power, invite contemplation rather than command authority, signifying a shift in how we engage with the remnants of past hegemonies.

Before the advent of the woke movement, who truly paid attention to 18th-century statues, their histories and implications was erased in public consciousness. Similarly, old extinct expressions experienced a reawakening under the scrutiny of woke perspectives. Phrases and sayings, steeped in tradition and with no meaning anymore, were suddenly imbued with new significance and vitality.

An Angy Young Man
I know a young white privileged danish man. In fact, I have known him since he was born. Despite his luxurious and safe upbringing, he developed great anxiety from an early age, being artistically gifted and very sensitive. He coped with feelings of unease and anxiety. That all changed when he met another privileged artist girl, but from a Romani background in the Middle East. She was woke, and soon, the young man became even more 'awoke' than her. In this transformation, his anxiety vanished as he joined the crusade for all suppressed people, from gender to race issues.
Visiting his brother, he upon entering the appartment immediately began searching for offensive material. In the kitchen, he found a coffee container with an advertising image of a black woman, pointed at it sternly, and declared, "This has to go!" He then went on to accuse his brother of harboring hegemonic race stereotypes. The non-awoken brother, who had just completed a book manuscript, offered a copy to his woke brother. The woke brother hesitantly accepted the book, voicing concerns over potential offensive gender stereotypes. He was not sure he would have the stamina to read it. Throughout this interaction, the woke brother never inquired about his brother's life and wellbeing. Attempting to change the topic, the sane brother mentioned a recent trip to Poland, referring to the wonderful individuals he met there as 'Polacks.' The woke brother immediately criticized the use of 'Polack,' suggesting 'Polish people' instead. The conversation spiraled into polarization and enmity. While 'Polack' is derogatory in North America, in Denmark, it has nuanced pronunciations indicating respect or disrespect. However, the real issue was the woke brother's inability to see beyond american terminology, overshadowing his brother's positive experiences with a divisive narrative.
This reaction exemplifies how the very power dynamics criticized by the 'woke' are adeptly utilized by them, effectively obliterating the empathy essential for any form of reconciliation.
The woke brother's self-righteous response to an earnest expression of goodwill and intercultural openness indeed served as a micro-aggressive display of power. Paradoxically, the 'woke' philosophy validates itself: from a pessimistic standpoint, all interactions can be distilled down to power dynamics, and those who champion 'woke' ideologies are particularly proficient in demonstrating particular adeptness in wielding the very power they themselves vehemently criticize.
This phenomenon could indeed be seen as narcissism masquerading as global empathy. It manifests in those who claim to be global empaths yet simultaneously lack the capacity to love their neighbor. The woke brother, who never possessed the mental surplus to show affection towards his own family, found a justification for his absence of love: he now labeled them as racists and bigots.
Zooming out offers a broader perspective on the situation. The woke brother's first significant interaction with non-white individuals, ranging from middle class to privileged, was his encounter with the Romani artist girl. Being raised in Jutland, Scandinavia, his exposure to other cultures was limited, with experiences not extending much beyond eating falafel in the local town. This context presents two possible explanations for his newfound empathy towards races and genders he has scarcely encountered. One possibility is that his awakening to woke ideologies transformed him into a super empath, genuinely concerned with the suffering of others. A more critical interpretation, however, suggests he might be appropriating the victim narratives of other cultures as a means to understand and address his own discomfort. This appropriation could be seen as a search for a narrative that offers solace or explanation for his personal struggles. His apparent narcissistic inability to empathize with his brother, even minimally, supports the latter view, indicating that his actions may be more about self-servitude than genuine empathy.
Now, the challenge we face is that he is not alone in this behavior. From my vantage point, I've noticed this becoming a widespread trend among the youth. They experience feelings of unease and anxiety, prompting a search for narratives that can contextualize these emotions. Upon finding such stories, they engage in a detrimental cycle, essentially reopening what could be described as Nietzschean wounds, leading to a spiral of retraumatization.
Viewed through this lens, it's less surprising to learn that Robin DiAngelo, known for her work on racial issues, is not black but white. This observation underscores the phenomenon of individuals seeking to address their own discomfort through the appropriation of others' struggles, highlighting a broader societal trend.

The Institutionalized Hegemony of Woke
In most universities and extending to American societal institutions, woke ideology has become the menace Foucault identified as characteristic of old-school hegemonic power. Alarmingly, woke ideology is now supported by institutional power, and very few dare to oppose it. Institutionalized cancellation goes beyond mere social ostracization from a coffee club—it can mean losing one's job and livelihood.
Woke as American Cultural Imperialism
Remember the incident where my friend was shamed and blamed for using the word 'coloured'. She is actually not the only one ending up in such a shitstorm. South African singer Tyla sparked a debate after identifying as "coloured," leading to confusion and anger among American wokish fans. In South Africa, "coloured" refers to mixed race individuals and doesn't carry the negative connotation it does in the USA. Tyla's ancestry includes Zulu, Indian, and Mauritian descent, fitting the South African definition of "coloured." This debate highlights a lack of understanding about the term's different meanings across cultures.

Reflecting on the young woke man's americanized critique of "polack" as derogatory, it becomes evident that woke culture acts as a form of American cultural imperialism. This perspective suggests that woke ideology exports its lexicon and interpretations globally, positing them as universal truths. Non-compliance with these standards risks social ostracization or cancellation, underscoring a dynamic where cultural nuances and differences are overshadowed by a singular narrative dominance. This is a clear cut colonial powergame.
When the woke ideology evolves into a dominant uniform narrative among Western youth, especially outside the US, it creates a complex and wierd amalgam. This blend consists of original and authentic grievances that are amplified and cross-pollinated with a youth culture that appropriates these very narratives to forge their own identities. Within this fusion, the initially legitimate and justified grievances are propelled into a perpetual cycle of psedo-retraumatization and a state of similacra-victimhood. This cycle blurs the lines between victims and oppressors to the extent that their roles become interchangeable, displaying a fluid ability to switch positions. As a result, the fundamental game of power not only persists but thrives in utter unconsciousness, perpetuating a cycle that, rather than finding resolution and healing in empathy and love, continues to propagate division and conflict. 

This social software fits the model of the Karpman victim triangle, consisting of the perpetrator, the victim and the saviour. In this context the saviour is the individual who have appropriated a story from the victim, and through this theft has elevated himself to a moral high ground from where he can shoot out justified arrows of anger and judgement.
This trend extends well beyond the realm of woke activism, epitomized by Greta Thunberg's iconic "How dare you" speech. The contemporary saviour is a political activist that has avatarized himself with a simulacra-victimhood, that like the phenomenon of gender fluidity can be composed of free floating signs in the matrix of social media to fit any need of expressing internal anger and discomfort. Recently, in Copenhagen, I witnessed a fervent protest outside a Louis Vuitton store. The protest leader, armed with a microphone and an amplifier on max distorted volume, unleashed a torrent of fire and pimpstone, captivating a growing congregation in a passionate call-and-response. Such displays of anger, while compelling, reveal more about the internal state of the speaker than the external target of their ire. From a meditative perspective, anger is a signal to look inward, recognizing that the source of our frustration often lies within ourselves. It's a simple truth: Observing without anger leads us toward genuine insight, while viewing the world through the lens of anger is akin to looking into a distorted mirror, reflecting only our inner turmoil.
I am reminded of an incident from my own childhood. My grandmother, an intense yet depressive individual, once saw me in a state of joy and rebuked me with the words: "Stop this nonsense! Are you not aware that children in Africa are suffering?!" This incident is etched in my memory. I ceased my happiness, but thankfully, only until she was out of sight. Aside from this instance, I never heard my grandmother speak about the third world. In truth, she did not care; she harbored many other narratives that could legitimize and rationalize her depression, and so she remained depressed. If she had been young today, she might very well have been woke or could have been an angry animal welfare activist. Insted she became a follower of the fanatic Christian Oxford movement.

I definitely acknowledge the validity and significance of narratives surrounding animal welfare, climate change, gender, and race issues. These concerns are indeed genuine and warrant attention. The issue arises when these narratives are commandeered by narcissistic individuals who position themselves as savior-like figures. It is in this context worth noting that a notable number of prominent contemporary spiritual leaders exhibit traits associated with the 'dark triad' of personality — narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. This convergence is not merely coincidental but underscores a problematic pattern where complex social issues are exploited for personal gain and/or misguided attempts of self-healing. One of the favorite tools of manipulation a pschopat has, is the ability to make his victims feel that are 'wrong'. To gain social power through making other people feel they cannot trust themselves is a speciality of the dark triad personality.

A short Time -and Zoom Out
Reflecting on my critique of the woke phenomenon, I realize the importance of introspection and invite you, the reader, to assess my motivations critically. Unlike the anger-driven judgment often seen in public discourse, my approach is inspired by the Bhagavad Gita's narrative of Arjuna, who fights not out of hatred but for righteousness. My critique aims to shed light on societal contradictions without malice, hoping to inspire even one reader to recognize our inherent greatness beyond our dramas, thereby finding a place of vast freedom where critical thinking coexists with deep awareness of what hinders our presence 'here'.
A Stone Age Brain on the Hunt for 'Explanations' 
Most of the operational systems in our brain do not comprehend language; feelings and instincts are rooted in much older, pre-verbal parts of the brain. When we experience internal discomfort, the small verbal entity within us struggles to discern the cause. This entity is fundamentally programmed to seek external solutions to survival challenges. Therefore, when questioning the source of our misery, it looks outward rather than inward. Far removed from the true emotional roots of our discomfort, we encounter various narratives that we can appropriate to (mis)understand our own chaotic, non-verbal existence as beings capable of feeling.
We begin to comb through our repository of information for stories to adopt as our own. In this process, we become traumatized, not primarily by our own experiences, but by the trauma narratives themselves.
Recent scientific research reveals the profound ways in which the mind can alter our biochemistry, a phenomenon known as the placebo effect. This effect underscores the power of storytelling, an intrinsic human capability. What is often referred to as placebo in medicine is actually a facet of our ability to craft and believe in narratives. Our storytelling can either empower or debilitate us. Our beliefs manifest as reality both internally and externally, ultimately leading us to perceive a specific Rorschach inkblot in only one particular way. It no longer serves as a canvas for our otherwise fluid capacity for fantasy and envisioning alternatives.
The relationship between our 'soul' and our stories can be likened to the traditional method of dyeing clothes in India. Initially, linen is dyed with a color, then laid out in the sun, causing the color to fade. This process of dyeing and exposure to sunlight is repeated multiple times until the color becomes resistant to the sun's rays.

Why do we engage in self-victimization? What allure does adopting a victim identity hold? Why not embrace empowerment, as Jim Morrison famously declared, "I am the lizard king. I can do anything"?

Nietzsche highlighted that sufferers become intoxicated with the poison of their own anger, a notion that seems incredibly accurate. This peculiar form of intoxication is akin to the satisfaction self-harmers derive from the pain they inflict upon themselves. There's a profound dichotomy between the helplessness inherent in victimhood and the control experienced by those who self-harm. In victimhood, one perceives a lack of control, yet paradoxically, there is control in shaping and owning one's victim narrative in the form of being a saviour. This dynamic fuels the modern discourse on victimhood; relinquishing this narrative, once deeply integrated into one's 'soul-software,' becomes exceedingly difficult.

This privileged appropriation of victim narratives is harmful to those with legitimate and justifiable experiences of victimhood needing to be addressed. The authentic life stories of individuals who have endured true oppression are undermined by narcissists who claim to advocate on their behalf.
I'd like to clarify that when I refer to narcissism, it's not as a clinical diagnosis. The trend of identifying narcissistic behaviors on social media has morphed into a form of blame-shifting, not unlike the dynamics seen in woke-culture shaming and canceling. It's essential to recognize that to some extent, we all might exhibit narcissistic traits as a means of coping. However, through self-reflection and empathy, we can understand that such behaviors detract from our inherent state of contentment and happiness.

Imagine in this context a monkey scrolling a smartphone.

The Story that ends all Stories
It seems we are bound by narratives; to claim a life devoid of stories merely spins another tale. Yet, among all narratives we weave, the most perilous is the claim of victimhood we adopt as our own—a toxic fiction that ensnares the soul.

Allow me to share a guiding narrative of my own, though its adoption is yours to decide.
In moments of clarity, a profound realization dawns upon me: I transcend the confines of any tale my mind conjures. This realization, a spontaneous awakening to my inherent completeness, echoes a truth about us all—we are already whole and perfect, beyond the limited stories we're told.
Papaji's exhortation, "Wake up and roar," becomes not just a call to action but a recognition of our innate freedom. To howl at the full moon is to embrace our boundless essence, free from the constraints of time and space.

In gratitude, the need for understanding dissolves, revealing a simple truth: we are the narrative and the narrator, infinitely more vast than any story we tell.

From that space alone, actions can take place, that indeed will change the world for the better.

With warm regards,
Gunnar Mühlmann