MAKING OUT IN CHAPEL PERILOUS
Every Culture Has Its Proving Grounds
By Iona Miller, September, 2008
“Chapel Perilous is an initiatory phase marking the transition between the first neurocircuit
…[and] permanent body rapture.” ~Timothy Leary, The Game of Life
“Chapel Perilous, that vortex where cosmological speculations, coincidences, and paranoia seem to multiply and then collapse, compelling belief or lunacy, wisdom or agnosticism.” ~Robert Anton Wilson
Be my pillow
Take my head
And let me sleep
In the coolness of your shadow
In the silence of your deep
Hide my yearning
For the things I cannot be
Keep my mind from constant turning
Toward the things I cannot see now
Things I cannot see now
Things I cannot see.
Robert Plant Version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ompUMUwt2Jk&feature=related
Black Hole of Hyperstition
Over the last eight years, the national psyche veered dangerously toward the deserted ruin of a soul-searing Chapel Perilous Bar & Grill, a collective Dark Night of the Soul, where the Utopian collides and maybe even colludes with the Draconian. Paranoia is the only sane response to the current sociopolitical situation — full spectrum dominance, surveillance and erosion of Constitutional rights.
Chapel Perilous balances on the edge of disaster. We don’t just think harm is occurring; we know it. The hubris of America is heading for a pratfall of collective ego death. Today’s paranoia is neither irrational nor delusional. Political paranoia is not phobic but the only congruent response to the post-Postmodern environment with its shadow side of social irresponsibility and [im]plausible denial.
All that is paranoid is not delusional, just as all that is delusional is not paranoid. We aren’t talking about incorrigible delusions as much as a phenomenological field of relative points of view (POV). The tyranny of the One is that of the official, spin-doctored version of past and current events, and future potentials–the fabricated consensus. Society expects the church to bring soul back into everyday life but that is something it should rightly do for itself.
Collectively, the dynamic field of paranoia is the unconscious shadow condition of mass institutions. Cognitive dissonance dwells somewhere between the ideal and the actual. Paranoia has become the background of our experience – the experiential ground. Is there any greater monomania than globalization at any human cost?
Our government is paranoid. It’s tinfoil hat, HAARP, sits in Alaska on its crown. Trapped in its own greedy delusions, leadership is caught in the first trick of the collective unconscious: acting out its Shadow as The Shadow Government, the cryptocracy. The light and the dark meet in the Twilight Zone of liminality, which has its own Uncertainty Principle. Truth always hides just around the corner. Nothing is real in the imaginal world, or everything real is illusory. Things are not what they seem.
The idea of an unconscious brings opponents to see the other’s unconscious as a screen for their own concealed intentions. We project our machinations onto others. Statements about the other become self-reflexive.
As a paranoiac you don’t trust; you watch. Our nation has extended its obsessive surveillance to its own citizenry. We have institutionalized Watchers, watchers of watchers, and watchers of watchers of watchers. And watchdogs to keep them all in check. Inexplicably, they call it intelligence but isn’t it paid paranoia?
Suspiciousness based in experience is not paranoia. Paranoia is only unfounded or exaggerated distrust. In today’s volatile world, hell-bent on globalization, paranoia may simply be prudence – care, caution and good judgment. It is foresight, sagacity, insight, and informs us what appropriate actions are in any time and place. It is a survival mechanism – sound judgment in practical affairs. Prudence also implies caution (risk-mitigation), an understanding of first-principles and open-mindedness.
This is the paradox of our time – those accused of being paranoid are the only ones who are fit to judge certain issues, having bothered to acquaint themselves with all sides of each issue (circumspection). The problem with burdensome knowledge is, what are you going to do about it? That answer determines how radical you are, from depression to militancy.
Whether or not “they” are out to get YOU is only one of those issues. The sense of betrayal is real enough, unfortunately. From many perspectives, you have already been “gotten” – from the cradle to the grave through vaccination, dumbed-down education and social conditioning, media manipulation, poor nutrition and contaminated water, spectacular distractions, drugs and electronic dope, disinformation and spiritual programming. (Miller)
The Way of Paranoia
There is no “real history.” The politics of fear ratchets up everyone’s paranoia meter, unless they simply turn a blind eye. Waves of holographic projection radiate from the hyperdimensional Chapel Perilous throughout all aspects of culture. In The Republic, Plato declared a relationship between the soul of the state and the state of the soul.
According to Jung, poisonous collective ideas are always compensated for in the unconscious of the individual psyche. Since paranoia is a disorder of meaning, the remedy for the paranoia of the state may be similar to that of individuals – a trip to Chapel Perilous.
We are left holding our breath in suspended animation at the paradox, the moment of despair when we are engulfed in unsolvable Mystery — riddles wrapped in enigmas, half-truths disguising lies, faulty theories explaining nothing. At first glance, the Chapel seems empty, blown through by dusty winds. It’s all smoke and mirrors. But something is at the dark heart of things. You should know what you’re getting into, but then, how can you?
Chapel Perilous is found on the detour to moral obligation. “Pablo” has brought you to the Magic Theatre (Hesse), a phantasmagoria where conservative notions about the soul as self-made construct disintegrate. Pablo encourages relinquishing personality for the duration of the magical journey, whereas, in the past, “growth” has equaled secular salvation.
The Quest is always based on a question. To relieve spiritual dryness, the Grail knight must penetrate the heart of the wasteland and fight the shapeshifting Black Hand to solve the riddles posed. Chapel Perilous is the mythic home of the Holy Grail, but it is also a state of mind — bunkered siege mentality — in the midst of an “Astral” test of character. Here in this dangerous place, you can make out with vampires, hungry ghosts and wrathful hosts. You can get intimate, even dirty and bruised in their sadistic embrace.
A ‘dark night of the soul’ is not a psychological syndrome, but a quest for meaning during life’s darkest hours. These days, make no mistake, the future of humanity is at stake. Sadly, if we have learned anything it is “Trust no one,” particularly our leaders.
Can we even trust ourselves? We don’t know who we are fighting for or who we are fighting against in the dark shadows. We may not really know which side we are on and our best efforts may boomerang. Our feel-good remedies may be machinations of hidden agendas, like the New Age distractions, eugenics and techno-utopian dreams metaprogrammed by Tavistock Institute.
All the spiritually eclectic fantasies in the world can’t hide the dry rot in the infrastructure of our society. The power of distraction competes with the Law of Attraction. How many dreamers of perpetual pipe dreams actually weave magick webs? What happens if they wake up from their collective submersion? Myth directs the mind and heart with its profound imagery. The ultimate Mystery surrounds all existence.
Psychological life has a metaphoric character. Our perceptual life draws us into the world and our imagination engages us with it. Metaphors are dangerous, but not as dangerous as restricting their use in our most penetrating inquiries, haunting the margins of our thoughts.
Soul is a perspective not a substance. Differentiating this middle ground, we find ourselves in Chapel Perilous, a way of being in the world between thinking and perceiving, a conspiracy (seeing with) of Eros and its laws of attraction that reason alone cannot nourish. We dream into the world while we are awake – coincidence theories, perceptual theories, conspiracy theories. We struggle to connect the dots.
Both Utopia and Draconia share a neighborhood with Chapel Perilous, so much so that some people have confused them utterly in endless speculation without evidence or certainty. In relentless speculation multiple mind-blowing streams of thought completely shatter preconceived notions of perception, time and space. It is as true in physics as cultural engineering. It is difficult to grasp without solipsism that everything we experience is a virtuality.
The Chapel Perilous meme is like the “Hotel California”: you can check in but it’s hell getting out because “we are all just prisoners of our own device.” The last thing you can do is leave the way you came in. You can never go back to where you were. “Last thing I remember, I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before. “Relax,” said the night man, We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
Maybe you wonder how you wandered so deeply into this clandestine labyrinth of spooks and kooks. There are Watchers, Watchers of Watchers, and Watchers of Watchers of Watchers. You have to penetrate to the very center of the desolate land and ask the right ritual questions to move beyond the irony of this absurd world. It is a quest to find for oneself and for humanity a way out of the wasteland of illusion. The quest may fail but remains worthy of pursuing.
Be sure to bring your spell of invisibility because nothing is what it seems. Confusion arises when your rational view is irreparably broken. Paradoxically, as “the poison is the cure.” It might lead to breakthrough, insight or spiritual healing. We all live at the center of the wasteland but draw our sustenance from the Grail, the fertile Earth.
You can only change by transforming the way you view history and yourself. Once you are no longer your old self, perhaps you can get out of The Matrix. You have to discover that freedom comes only when you believe in it. We’re all as free as we want to be, but it may require some hardcore DIY mind control countermeasures.
The path through Chapel Perilous is radical deprogramming, RIGHT NOW, a continuous process in each and every instant that eventually becomes automatic. It means annihilating each thought against its opposite until it becomes second nature. In this ordeal, you risk your sanity to visit there but you can’t possibly be sane without having done it, perhaps more than once. You reach the crossroads at that crucial point in the Quest where you have to take full responsibility for your mental and emotional state.
We might believe we’re somewhere else, but all the time we’re trapped in Interzone, unable to discern what is really going on but spinning endless exploratory narratives. What you know is that more than you know is going on and you can’t know what it is no matter how hard you try. The harder you observe it, the fuzzier it gets. We do not go gently into that darkest night. It’s more like we crash our alien saucer near some woebegone desert town, wandering around with a concussion.
We make the unconscious together, so everyone’s contribution counts equally in historical creation. Chapel Perilous is found in the gap, the space between the phenomenological world and the imagination (humanity’s mutable psychological life), from cognitive understanding to aesthetic sensitivity. What matters is the intentional arc between consciousness and the world with its historically discontinuous epiphanies. Moments of transition become frozen by enslaving ideologies.
Like Elliot’s Waste Land, it is a Theatre of Madness where all the occult morphogenetic fields interpenetrate one another, the suspension of choice. All the conspiracies coalesce into one overarching paranoid scheme, where white meets black in the probability cloud of the shadowlands — innumerable shades of grey.
Freeing ourselves from that mental prison, we find we are in another. The vast ocean of ideas and beliefs is all questions with no answers, even if you gather a huge quantity of data. You are awash in the endless sea of the Collective Unconscious, the transcendent imagination.
Our post-postmodern concept of Chapel Perilous needs to divorce itself utterly from the metaphors of Christian Saviors and even the Utopian dreams of psychedelic subculture, Cyberia or Star Trek and the dystopia of postmodernism.
Chapel Perilous needs to get real and only we can make it so. We make soul by pro-actively living life not by retreating into spiritual discipline. Emphasizing the inner soul at the expense of the outer soul fosters the decline of the actual world. We can be that hyperdimensional crossroads, that strange attractor, that archetypal probability cloud.
“What do these things mean and whom do they serve.” was the question of the medieval Grail Quest. It purges us by destroying our assumptions. We veer off our regular orbit with burned wings toward the attractor basin of some cryptic Strange Attractor, some abyssal Black Hole, some newly imagined scenario. We’re in a rite of passage with an affinity for the dead and stinking necrotic flesh and decaying bones of nature – a psychic charnel ground.
Lack of acceptance of the unhealing wounds of our individual and national psyches has left many in limbo. Unrealized suffering includes self-delusion, addiction, chronic depression, compulsivity, failed relationships and some physical illness present opportunities throughout life to reconcile and resolve what we couldn’t heal earlier.
The word ‘resolve’ echoes the alchemical maxim of “Solve et Coagula,” the liquification and reintegration of essentially frozen psychic energy. Weakness and impatience are deadly in Chapel Perilous. Each of us is limited by our own situation or what Leary and Robert Anton Wilson called “reality tunnels.”
Classical metaphors of transformation include: 1) dream sleep to awakening; 2) illusion to realization; 3) darkness (or blindness) to enlightenment; 4) imprisonment to liberation; 5) fragmentation to wholeness (unifying); 6) separation to oneness (unifying); 7) journey to destination (arriving); 8) being in exile to coming home (returning); 9) from seed to flowering or fruiting plant or tree (unfolding); 10) from death to rebirth (renewal, resurrection).
The High Priestess (Anima Mundi) sits in the background at Chapel Perilous. She muses to herself, knowing one thing is missing but says nothing. The High Priestess arcanum is a path through the ego death of Crossing the Abyss, that is the Dark Night of the Soul. You can’t go back, so you must go forward, seeking Universal Meta-Syn. How you will accomplish that is questionable. Not all make it out of the “No Exit” pitstop that is utterly beyond conscious understanding alone.
When old defenses no longer work, you must develop new coping skills for developmental challenges. But this initiatory way includes many “deaths” and rebirths. Nigredo, the blackening, isn’t always the first stage, but may be one of relapse, eclipse or another incubation stage.
Nigredo is a recurrent cycle of desire and frustration with no real beginning. Your energies are sucked from the outer world and turned in on themselves. Normal life is radically disrupted. When you are paralyzed by life there is nothing to do but let go of your control fantasies. An eclipse of the ego offers a way into the deeper energies of the unconscious.
“The curative or salvational vision of archetypal psychology focuses upon the soul in the world which is also the soul of the world (anima mundi) […] The artificial tension between soul and world, private and public, interior and exterior thus disappears when the soul as anima mundi, and its making, is located in the world.” (Hillman)
After involuntary or voluntary symbolic death, reborn spirit eventually emerges from the rotting corpse of the old self with its limiting worldview. This death is equivalent to the conception of the legendary Philosopher’s Stone. Death becomes your ally and advisor. Meditators are advised to “die daily” in their practice. The ego is eclipsed but the Stone is born. These trials nourish the Self. Vision expands, wisdom deepens, self matures.
Dog Days in Chapel Perilous
The Chapel Perilous…cannot be located in the space-time continuum; it is weightless, odorless, tasteless and undetectable by ordinary instruments. Indeed like the Ego, it is even possible to deny that it is there. And yet, even more like the Ego, once you are inside it, there doesn’t seem to be anyway to get out again, until you suddenly discover that it has been brought into existence by thought and does not exist outside thought. Everything you fear is waiting with slavering jaws in the Chapel Perilous, but if you are armed with the wand of intuition, the cup of sympathy, the sword of reason and the pentacle of valor, you will find there (the legends say) the Medicine of Metals, the Elixir of Like, the Philosophers Stone, true Wisdom and Perfect Happiness. ~Robert Anton Wilson, Cosmic Trigger, Volume 1
If you investigate conspiracy theories and the paranormal, there comes a point in which you must enter Chapel Perilous, the Cosmic Shredder, a place where all of your worst nightmares come true. There are only two ways out: complete paranoia or generalized agnosticism. Wilson claimed he came out the later.
“Shock often produces a sense of limbo, floating feelings and an overall disconnectedness. Depending on how traumatic the shock is, we’ll enter into anything from ‘spaciness’ to the permanent vocation of psychosis. Shock temporarily disconnects the soul from the body and sends it to Chapel Perilous to learn the lesson of the sermon.”
Dead or Alive in the Schroedinger’s Box of Chapel Perilous
The legends always say if you go into that realm without the sword of reason, you will lose your mind, but at the same time, if you take only the sword of reason without the cup of sympathy, you will lose your heart. You walk the razor’s edge of unpleasant realizations which makes your humanity that much more important.
If you approach without the wand of intuition, you can stand at the door for decades never realizing you have arrived. You might think you are just waiting for call, wandering from room to room looking for something you misplaced, watching a TV show, surfing the net, or reading a cryptic book. Then, the penny drops.
Chapel Perilous is tricky that way. It catches you unaware, sneaking into each fiber of your being, synchronistically connecting dots you didn’t realize were there. The question is, what are you going to do about it, in fact, what can you possibly do about it? Probably nothing but adjust yet another time to more unpleasant revelations.
A Cramp in My Cosmic Trigger Finger
Chapel Perilous is an initiatory phase marking the transition between to ‘out-of-body’ states. It is full of lost souls, those who never escaped the vortex of conspiratorial gravity. Weird communications seem to find you no matter how deep your cover, or how deep you weak attempts at denial.
This ‘Dark Night of the Soul’ can be viewed as a negative activation of the ‘neurosomatic circuit,’ which is endured for as long as it takes the neophyte to effect a positive activation, or Leary’s permanent body rapture. At least that is the litany.
Who knows what that means or if Leary himself made the cut? He staked his future on the psychedelic aspects of Cyberlife which have become so commonplace they are now just part of the everyday ground of our being. Now that we are addicted to constantly networked lifestyles many fear the threat it will be taken away, regulated out of existence. On the other hand, who would dare cut off the broadband to Chapel Perilous?
Fear & Loathing in Chapel Perilous
Long and lonesome,
Ease the day that brings me pain.
I have felt the edge of sadness,
I have known the depth of fear.
Darkness, darkness, be my blanket,
Cover me with the endless night,
Take away, take away the pain of knowing,
Fill the emptiness of right now,
Emptiness of right now, now, now
Emptiness of right now.
It is difficult for any of us to free ourselves from our enculturated, a priori beliefs about existence. When we firmly believe what we say, we sell others a confabulation of our own truths and lies. It is hard to view anything from outside of our own fundamental philosophical, spiritual, and psychological perspectives but it is possible to persuade others and many speakers have staked their careers on it. These theories, dogmas, and experiences condition how we perceive reality. Their influence may be so subtle we fail to notice where our position originated, when the shift occurred. Our viewpoint is relative to our position.
One position is the traditional initiation in the presence of the Grail; another is the mystical initiation into spiritual knowledge. The first, if successful, initiates rebirth through love and sex; the second, self-initiation and rebirth without either. If both fail, the quest fails, or another way must be invented. But a maze of self-doubt, fear and revelation accompanies the dissolution. The problem inflates at the collective level of remaking the world via evolution, repatterning, regenerating society and breaking horizontal and vertical boundaries. Mankind has seized these reins from Nature, morphing reality at a dizzying rate.
The prime expression of beliefs is through spontaneous imagery. We never experience directly, but interpret our experience of our perceptions through imagery. All our input comes through multi-sensory channels. We never directly perceive ourselves, soul, or “God.” We don’t perceive our bodies directly, only our sensory impressions. But, Jung points out we do have first-hand experience of our body image, soul-image, and God images. That is all we know directly. The rest is pure speculation.
We need a new cultural proving ground, a new paradigm for the potential of the bodymind and the culture for which it is the ground. In our culture, the body and our fantasies about it, have come to represent the lost Feminine element. We have lost touch with our primal femininity, the animating principle (nature, body, instinct). We have become estranged from the body through the Cartesian mind/body split, which is also non-relativistic. We talk a good game about ‘wholeness’ but don’t really connect as much as nostalgically yearn for it.
There is a way that joins spirit and body through the spontaneous imagery of soul. It seeks neither to solve our troubles (pathologies) nor “save” our souls. It suggests direct engagement with images for soul-making or deepening through personal experience. We can see through the nature of apparent reality for ourselves, if we but try. Then we develop our own philosophy, apart from consensus. When it comes to questions of speculation on the unknown, we can either accept what others have said, or look for ourselves.
We seek the lost soul primarily because of the intense degree of wounding in our modern consciousness. This wounding has “opened” us to transformation. We can embody soul by seeing-through appearances to an acute awareness of the archetypal, subjective perception of our experience.
Pillow of Paranoia
A proving ground is a reservation for testing new prototypes and technologies. The purpose of a proving ground is to provide quality scenarios for all players of the mission, the Great Game. What is in peril in Chapel Perilous is your soul, in a mental place in which you learn so much that all your thoughts and belief structures are challenged. As Jung says, “we are not concerned here with a philosophical, much less a religious, concept of the soul, but with the psychological recognition of the existence of a semiconscious psychic complex, having partial autonomy of function, [anima].
That Anima is embodied as The High Priestess arcanum, the Bene Gesserit Reverend Mother from the archetypal “usual suspects” of Tarot. She is the embodiment of psyche, the animating force behind all events, images, and material forms.
We can shift our focus from saving the soul of the individual to saving the soul of the world, resurrection of the world, rather than man–a raising of consciousness of created things, the world’s psychic reality. The difference between soul and external things no longer matters. Inner and Outer worlds are real. They are One World beyond the deepest layers of the Flux, as in the alchemical Unus Mundus.
The high priestess is the muse lurking behind the pews at chapel perilous. It’s not a real place but a virtual outpost, the empty gaps in consciousness between our breaths, deeply informed by the unconscious. It’s like the jumptime in your computer when you do a search, the nanosecond between the question and manifold of possible answers. Jumptime is a quantum leap in consciousness into the Uncertainty Principle, a quantum cloud of mutually-penetrating potentialities that describes reality better than any single theory.
The soul in depth psychology is an empirical manifestation of imagination, fantasy, and creativity which is always in the process of becoming–images forming, and dissolving, and forming anew. Even paranoia can be consoling. It is an attempt to self sooth. Imagination is the essence of the life forces, both physical and psychic. These fantasies always permeate our beliefs, ideas, emotions, and physical nature. When the fantasies turn obsessively negative, paranoid or seemingly inescapable, we are in Chapel Perilous.
Dancing Barefoot through Serpents in the Valley of the Shadow of Death
Chapel Perilous is the transfer station for your sanity on the road to wholeness, or not. In Daath (mysterious 11th shadowy sphere of the Tree of Life) we enter into unity. Although there is still a sense of duality between “I” and the Divine, this unity is a felt sense of merging with everything that exists. This is a profound transformation, an integration of the energy body, the Diamond Body, that is realization of one’s “true essence.”
The Abyss has the same meaning as the veil behind the High Priestess in the Tarot. Crossing the Abyss means a superluminal leap into another realm. This Abyss is a real experience, a void, a profound emptiness of the mind where each thought is annihilated with its opposite.
It’s difficult to even imagine going beyond the Illusion. Meaning only comes from deepening the process, as if you could escape the gravity well of Chapel Perilous by reversing your steps. Faith is the key to crossing the abyss between Kether and Tiphareth. But how do you do that when this crossing is exemplified by loss of faith in virtually everything, including the existence of any grounded Reality? The way leads through a gruesome whirlpool of blood.
Chapel Perilous exists in an Otherworld, the dreamworld, or hall of mirrors. We can ask ourselves Parcival’s question, “Who do these things serve?” Or we can follow the modern investigative imperative to “Follow the Money. The answer is the same, “the Lord of the land.”
The Priestess knows but she remains silent. She keeps dealing Tarot in the back corner of the Chapel, knowing it isn’t her Time. Parcival, Jung, Leary and RAW raise a toast with their own holy grails to the Chapel Perilous meme and its new owner – YOU. Being there means you become the person you must be, but don’t yet know how to be. The vision of the Grail is often accompanied by a view of the bleeding spear. If the hero asks the critical qestions, the never-healing wound Lord of the land IS healed. In the initiatory process you identify with the healed King.
But in the Chapel events appear to be completely out of our control, nothing is ever what it seems, and the only ways out are to escape, return to your old world, or lose your mind (i.e. drop into a randomly bad reality model). Worse still, you often think you’ve escaped, only to discover that escape itself was simply another illusion.
The problem is that the reality model we’ve each built up, around which we base our entire lives, has turned out to be incorrect and we have to find a new, personal model to replace it. The quest is to carve ot an individual identity beyond the cultural myth imposed on us. We are effectively returned to our childhood state, except that now we do not even have many ‘adults’ to help us. There are two ways out: either allow another person to reprogram you or learn to reprogram yourself.
One traditional method of finding another model is to join an established religion or mystic group through which you can be ‘reborn’ into another ready-made reality (e.g. ‘born-again’). Another is to fixate on another individual and let them tell you what to do, adopting their reality model and effectively creating a substitute parent. Finding your own way out is much harder. No one can advise you but your self.
Paranoia is invasive – it intrudes and worms its way through the psyche like a computer virus. Alienation in extreme cases disturbs relationships and ability to function in daily life. Authority feeds on fear. Yet, paranoia could be the basis of our collective shadow, including our unlived potential for the good.
There is no final correct reading of Reality – a final, definitive, unequivocal one. Tyrannical unification certainly isn’t the solution. Reality is too wiggly, too mercurial for that. The tyranny of the one, that single-minded thought, demands struggle on behalf of the ethical imperative to find ways to love together in our differences.
The highlight of any great drama is “the reveal.” When we speak poetically, we hint gently at the proposed nature of reality, neither hidden nor revealed. Freedom from desire’s materialism and denial’s formalism is found in the middle earth of the poetic, the fantastic, the numinous, where things are not “one way or the other.” Things are not meant to be taken literally. Facts have nothing to do with it.
Paranoia is a defense through mobilization, against suppressed anger and depression, the malaise of our age. Giving in to external domination and giving in to internal pressure are equaling threatening. More than delusions of persecution, who doesn’t fear being tricked into surrendering some element of self-determination?
Can we out-trick the Trickster? Can we use our imaginations to cure the imagination? Can we elude our own delusions? Maybe the veils themselves are delusional. Maybe the whole framed consruct is faulty. Does meaning hinge on our individual view? It may depend on our worldview, our reality filter: do we serve the gods (religion), or become one (New Age), or eschew that in the name of science? Is there a clear distinction between delusion and revelation?
The fervor of “conspiracy freaks” can take on quasi-religious dimensions: revelatory, salvific. Spreading the word takes on a missionary quality. And at the core is the eternal mythic “quest for the Holy Grail,” for the meaning that anchors the soul to life. When life is perceived in the context of tyranny, meaning and freedom are lost, and rebellion is aroused. We may feel we are personally targeted, but aren’t we all the target in the psychophysical (psyops) war that is 21st Century life? Or is all that just a head trip?