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You Say “Woke” Like It’s a Bad Thing - What if we’ve been living under an evil spell for 10,000 years?

The world has a problem, and it’s people. Our egos and greed have brought us to a precipice, and it’s evident that something major has to change, and quickly.

As a thought experiment, let’s imagine that magic exists, and we can use it to fix what’s wrong. But that begs the question: are we looking to enchant the world, to change its natural, brutish state to one of pure (but false) egalitarian bliss? Or are we looking to disenchant the world from an evil spell and bring it back to its natural aforementioned state of egalitarian bliss, away from the hatred, greed, and brutality we see now (which is the result of a spell)?

To Enchant, or to Disenchant?

Two thinkers who I admire greatly have written on this subject. They have slightly different takes, but reach the same conclusion — the world we’ve created is far from ideal.

One of them is Amanda Yates Garcia, known as the Oracle of LA. She writes in her glorious book “Initiated” (and elsewhere) that what the world needs is enchantment. To that end, her mission is to re-enchant the world with magic with love with beauty (and she’s doing a beautiful job).

The other thinker is Patrick Jasper Lee, a Rom-Gypsy Shaman who has written some of the best books I’ve ever read. From his point of view, the current way the world operates — civilization, patriarchy, capitalism, monotheism, and all that mess — is proof that we are living under an evil enchantment. He believes we need to get rid of the evil spell — to disenchant the world — in order to return to our true natural state.

Been a Long Time Since We Rock & Rolled

One of my favorite truths is that for 99% of humanity’s lifespan (so far) we lived as hunter-gatherers. The fossil record indicates that there were fully human people just like us living for hundreds of thousands of years in pretty much the same way, in several parts of the world.

And then something bizarre happened about 10,000 years ago. Really not that long ago — only about 1% of humanity’s lifespan. The bizarre thing that happened? People started farming and organizing into cities. They also began to “own property,” Including sections of the earth. Animals. Women. Children. Entities who had enjoyed autonomy and sovereignty before were suddenly chattel. Nothing was free anymore.

So yeah, humanity got tossed out of the Garden. What if that was because of a dark energy that got into the species somehow — like an infection?

The patriarchy wants to pin the whole fall on one woman, one reptile, and a piece of fruit. We know that that’s not what happened.

But I do believe that something happened. Something unnatural and unwholesome got into us and made us do this whole civilization trip. 10,000 years is a long time for a spell to last. 100 centuries is a good long run. Perhaps it’s time for that spell to end.

Amanda and Jasper approach the problem from different starting places and arrive at answers that seem diametrically opposed, but they’re really saying the same thing. What a fascinating dichotomy.

When I started thinking about this issue, Amanda’s way felt more true to me. Probably because I’ve been her fangirl for years, and because I’m all for enchantment. I deeply want to bring beauty and enchantment to the world, just as she does.

But then the deeper I got into considering, I began to resonate more with Jasper’s way of looking at the issue.

Why? Well, to me it just seems that the way the world is now — that’s the sinister enchantment. Monotheism, civilization, patriarchy — they’re all expressions of the bad spell that we’re operating under. The evil spell from which we need to disenchant ourselves and get back to the real, actual Garden. Our prehistoric, natural state.

Some of us are waking up from this spell. I see this particularly in the younger generations (I’m 51, so practically everyone’s younger than me now, but I’m talking about people in their 20s and younger). I’m excited by them. They’re waking up from the spell en masse — or perhaps they were never under its thrall. You could even say that the young people are woke.

I don’t understand why some people would choose to live under an evil spell. Perhaps simply because it’s what they’ve always known.

Regardless of the reason, some people prefer to stay under the spell, pushing snooze repeatedly for the foreseeable future. They stay asleep, and in their slumber, they denigrate those of us who have woken up from the evil spell. In spite of their actions, the spell is coming to an end. The future belongs to those who’ve woken from it.

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