In meditation, I sometimes have an experience of an underlying consciousness characterized by a twin identity:  creation and perception.  It’s sort of a pitcher-catcher relationship, like a basketball player that plays superb offense and defense.  It is also called yin and yang.  There is the cosmic artist and the cosmic appreciator.  Each moment is filled with a seemingly infinite intelligence and vast humor engaged in deep play.

I’ve wondered if this dichotomy is a vagary of human split consciousness with our physicality deeply informed by estrogen and testosterone.  Probably so.  Regardless, with the body I have and the instrument of perception that I was granted, that is how the music sounds.

As we have observed the evolution of the web and the dissolution of our consumer economy, it seems as if that music is growing louder.  There is an emergence of creativity and appreciation in purer, less hindered forms as the Internet encourages the pairing up of performers with audience.  Without the barriers of money, geographic distances or even language, new venues have emerged, such as Youtube, that allow a profound proliferation of creative content while training visitors to see and listen with new eyes and ears.

The line between creation and appreciation is becoming blurred in a way not unlike a particularly satisfying meditation.  I’m observing young people creating/assembling music and video content while absorbing the productions of their peers.  The transition between perception and production seems to be growing smaller, the difference more difficult to define.  There is the old paradox where the act of giving provides more satisfaction to the giver than to the recipient, and this paradox is somehow manifesting in society’s new sharing, aesthetic economy.  The boundary between producer and consumer is disappearing.

In the consumer economy, ostensibly the consumer was being provided great gifts.  These bonuses were accompanied by a destruction of natural resources, the encouragement of a highly stratified society and a denial of the basic right to be free of want.  We’ve been living in a parody of the creator/appreciator paradigm as the creator is encouraged to victimize the receiver.  Some of the most creative people on the planet have been creating advertisements to tell a powerful story to compel a person to spend money with the creative person’s boss’s client.

We are shifting from a consumer economy to an aesthetic economy.  It may seem like this is happening very quickly, but the consumer economy itself has been a transitional phase that provided a bridge from the preceding economy, which was characterized by a basic exchange of goods and services.  That basic economy itself grew from an ancient, aesthetic economy characterized by craft.

In a sense, we’ve come full circle.  We’re returning to an appreciation for our own productions with an enhanced ability to produce and deliver whatever we might devise.  Accompanying this freedom to create/appreciate is a potential to again become familiar with our unique creator/appreciator human sensibility.  Society, the society of the web, is manifesting a spiritual frame of reference, one where reverence for creation is integrated into its operations.  This is a deeply secular orientation.  A religion or mythology is unnecessary.  The process itself manifests that which god is, creator and appreciator, pitcher and catcher, musician and dancer to the music.

Back when we were first painting bodies, weaving, carving and chipping tools, spirit was integrally tied to the productions of society.  There was no difference between the two.

Consider that with the Internet, god the creator and god the appreciator has returned.  Strip religion of everything but process, dump the mythology and words and what’s left is nothing but net.


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