Hello to new friends from~ Brooklyn, Ranson, Oakland, LA, Chicago, St. Petersburg, Toronto, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Berkeley, Stockholm, Richmond, Berlin, Gloucester, Melbourne, Baltimore, Singapore, Amsterdam, Kerala, Sydney, Leicester, Santo Domingo, Maplewood, Naples, Atlanta, Santa Fe, Portland, Philadelphia, London, Port Angeles, Rotterdam, Joshua Tree, Omaha, Mexico City, Beirut, Sacramento, Habana, Vilnius, Kingston, Tulungagung, a special hello to the special creature who said they’re from The Ocean, and to the person who doesn’t know where they’re from…I feel you. I’m truly humbled to be joined by all of you across the world.
Linda from Norwood and Mala from Austin are the winners of my Akashic Reading giveaway, but I promise there will be more offerings in the future! I’ve added every name that entered my early-access to a gratitude list I meditate on every day. Now let’s dive in…
Binge Watching the Illusion...
“It is no measure of good health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” ~Jiddu Krishnamurti
My name is Hawa, and I’ll be your guide through Reality Streaming. I’m a cultural anthropologist, creative director, strategist, futurist and most recently an Akashic Records practitioner. Over the last 14 years, I’ve worked across various spaces — fashion, media, tech, journalism, government, the arts — gaining a systemic vantage point of how culture is produced and consumed. What has fascinated me the most throughout my time observing and experiencing “the matrix” is how these systems impact human behavior, and, the lesser talked about, consciousness.
I’ve been able to hold onto this rhizomatic and chaotic career ride with fervor because of a very particular north star. In January 2009, I stepped into an anthropology class at UC Berkeley that has guided me throughout my work — Dr. Laura Nader’s “Controlling Processes.”
The introduction to the class states, “This course deals with the means by which people’s behavior, actions, and at times, thoughts, are controlled by social and cultural mechanisms, and the means by which people avoid, resist, or invent counter-controls. These mechanisms are called controlling processes…increasingly social scientists are examining the important role of cultural forms like language, ritual, symbols and ideology in securing people’s consent to their own domination.”
By the end of the course, I found myself absolutely enraged by how coordinated the illusions around us are. From pop music to targeted ads, our affinities and choices are studied, documented, and sold back to us at a premium. The cost of that premium is the illusion of choice — the illusion that we are freely partaking in our own entertainment.
I lived through the many stages of grief since then: from denial that control on a mass scale could be so subtle yet so overt, deep depression about what my purpose is fighting an upstream battle to renovate these institutions from the inside, to an acceptance that these systems which reflect the worst of humanity, and in very rare cases, the best, are here to stay for the foreseeable future.
An X Factor UK contestant, Zoe Alexander, shared her story on televised stage about wanting to break out into her own identity after making a living as a Pink tribute singer. Recently, this Tik Tok video exposed the show’s production crew set-up for failure and ridicule, revealing to us the ugly impacts of reality television ratings ploys on mental health. In the first episode of docu-series Trial By Media on Netflix, we learn about a case in which a family sues the Jenny Jones show for provoking their son to the point of murder by embarrassing him on national television. The family won a suit against the show for wrongful death, which was later overturned. Although a contentious correlation, the episode reveals that the network airing both the Jenny Jones episode in question and sensational footage of the trial is Time Warner. Question of the year...who is really winning?
Scholar on consumerism and mass media, Stuart Ewen, talks about how the ad industrial complex has drained consciousness of it’s criticality of social problems, and embedded instead a self-consciousness for which the market has “solutions.” If the market had solutions for social problems, what role would it play in a healthy society? The market survives on an infinite supply of pain points that feed our insecurities and separate us from each other through the use of mechanics such as psychographics. That constant reminder of -self- as separate from everything conditions a need to fill perceived lack with products — that’s cultural gaslighting. Consumers are then in a cyclical amnesia reinforced by like buttons, easy pay options and paltry inclusion efforts.
Down below I’ve linked to a YouTube playlist called UNIVERSE-CITY that has some lectures with interstitial music video breaks that may shed some light on the media machine intellectually. But in a year that has brought so much awareness and attention on the physical body — on a viral, geographic, violent plane — I was compelled to look at and within my own body.
My whole career I’ve worked to change or transform systems without looking at my own system, my own programming. I needed to understand the evolution of human behavior and suffering within my lineage to understand what I’m working with, and what I must work without. I found my way to the Akashic Records while bugging my mother all summer about my great-grandmother, great-grandfather and my uncle Abdul Haq, who was killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan while plotting an uprising against them in the wake of the September 11th attacks. The records have a complete vibrational history of every thought, action, word, emotion and intent of my soul. By accessing my files, I can understand what tools I have available to me and what lessons in the illusory world must still be learned to find my purpose.
The Akashic Records are a library of truth that can fill in the gaps beyond human-made constructs. With the help of my guides, I am actively creating a map of my interior that I can use to look at the world with greater objectivity, for the game that it is, to reclaim my mind from controlling processes. The final stage of acceptance has been to observe my own illusions. Without judgement. Something the privilege of maintaining a remote job through this pandemic has afforded me. I’ve been able to turn the idea of the matrix, this external system of projections and simulations, into a mandala. A tool that might help find a way back to a well society instead of a sick one.
In a scene in the Matrix, Cypher says before he takes a bite of steak “You know, I know that steak doesn’t exist. I know that when I put it in my mouth, the Matrix is telling my brain that it’s juicy and delicious. After 9 years, you know what I realize? *takes bite* Ignorance is bliss.” The beauty here is that with this knowledge, Cypher exerts his free will, which is an important key in the plot (of the film, of life!). While his freedom can be bought and sold, he is allowed to make the decision, the truly informed choice, to go back into the world of illusions.
For me personally, I am not interested in getting swaddled by amnesia or rearranging furniture on a sinking ship. It’s just not in my blood. I want to understand the warning signs that continuously go unheeded in the fight for liberation, without judgement for the choice to unplug, because this shit is hard. The philosopher and theoretician Rosi Braidotti said in an interview, “Capitalism doesn’t break, it bends. It adapts and adopts.” We are coded into the system, adopting its tactics, frequencies, and insecurities out of survival. And when we resist, it can learn us and adapt out of survival as well. Capitalism was built on scarcity, and I don’t want that consciousness anymore. I don’t want the shame for never truly knowing how to “fit in.” I want abundance, I want to play, I want to feel ecstatic, and I want to feel all of that with my friends.
The biggest intention behind this space is to rebuild the playground of my dreams, the one that as a child I could escape to and engineer my own meaning of friendship, creativity, inquiry, comfort, love, well-being, transformation.
I’ll be joined by beloved co-creators on this journey, helping me look at the world with new eyes. To stream new realities, to binge watch illusions together, and perhaps build something beyond the transmission. Collective knowledge is powerful, and witnessing each other as we interrogate and investigate ourselves can build the confidence to exercise our free will safely, held in the net of others doing the same.
It’s hard to let go of the rope when you can’t see what’s underneath. But we don’t have to do it alone. Alone together is a myth, too. No more separation. There is only together together. That’s what I feel in service to.
~.~ A mantra until you feel it in your heart: “There is so much I’m excited to do in this life”
~.~ A hazy Saturday with snack breaks: UNIVERSE-CITY
I’d love to hear your questions, thoughts, dialogue in the comments below. This is your playground too, but a willingness to listen and engage with compassion is a must. I’ll be keeping this free for the first few months and then will assess a paid option.
In full faith and gratitude,