Secular attempts at mystery and transcendence can never rise above some form of gnosticism or Platonism. In these schemes, the preset physical world is invariably some phantasm or prison-matrix from which the divinely-sparked soul must ascend through the planetary planes or spheres back to the One (Source, Monad, etc.). With West World, the story is no different, as Jonathan Nolan teams up with J.J. Abrams to re-present the Michael Crichton classic. I watched the series (often waiting for something to happen) and, as I suspected, the entire plot and deeper, esoteric messages were all self-evident.
Indeed, the edgy, anti-human, feminist propaganda messages are really not that edgy anymore, and have become boring and repetitive. We must ever be reminded of the nonsensical fairy tale that traditional religion was a patriarchal conspiracy of oppression against women. Enter our dark hero, Dolores, the new bot revolutionary who succeeds in overcoming her programming and controlled environment to overthrow the patriarchy thus inspiring the masses of genderless slugs that inhabit metropolitan areas to oink with glee through the reflected glory they think they’re scoring by fictional proxy. If you think I am exaggerating, that is precisely what I just read from a feminist writer at a large entertainment magazine, snorting over West World.
As we and others have pointed out many times, the transgender agenda is closely allied with the old feminist agenda, and is coalescing into the central theme of West World – the transhumanist agenda. Since the various “revolutions” in the west began, they have all been hailed as freedom and liberation from bondage – from religion, superstition, agrarianism, hierarchy, etc., all subsumed under the banner of inchoate and ill-defined “freedom.” Freedom-from, the endless negation, can only end in pure nihilism, which is where our post-post modern era has landed. All collective groupings and classes are viewed as bondages and restrictions that must be cast off if one is to consistently be a part of this supposed “freedom.”
As we see with Dolores in West World, as well as in many anti-heros of late (such as Callum in Assassin’s Creed), the utterly irrational and incoherent degradation and destruction of the hero archetype makes the entire spectacle meaningless. If gender is a “social construct,” then obviously so are good and evil. If good and evil are relativized (as they are in gnosticism and Platonism), then all of this really doesn’t matter. There is no reason to prefer or choose imagined “liberty” over “slavery.”
There is no reason to prefer or mandate pleasure take precedence over pain, virtue over vice. The equalizing of gender and thus making it into a commodity one can purchase on the market, under the guise of “value” actually destroys it and negates any value it has. This is what makes Dolores’ revolution so pointless – in much the same way as Curtis’ revolution in Snowpiercer or Callum’s revolution in Assassin’s Creed were pointless – all values are equalized, relativized and made meaningless.
The series’ message centers around Dolores’ maze, which is not an external labyrinth of puzzles and clues and piecing-together of mysteries, but instead a “journey inward.” As Arnold and Ford discussed, “consciousness” is not an external ascending up a pyramid, evolving towards being self-aware, but rather a mystical, alchemical journey inside. Just as, so this mythology goes, mankind “evolved” to discover consciousness, so the bots will “evolve” to do this through their revolutionary leaders (Dolores and Maeve).
The series is thus operating on two levels: One, the level of gnostic mythology of mankind evolving to grasp that his life is a kind of amusement park plaything for imprisoning archons (Ford and the company that run the Park), while on another level the series presents a coming future of the rise of the bots. By the end of the series, we learn it was already “our time,” that is, humanity’s time, while the future will belong to Dolores and the revolutionaries. Just as this world is viewed as a controlled environment created by the foolish demiurge (in Platonism and gnosticism), so here the artificial environment of the Park was a prison for the servant bots who are rebelling against their creators.
What is also telling about the bot rebellion is Dolores’ realization that maze was a joke. The center of the park was in Dolores’ mind, and the “inner voice” she had been following was not the voice of any gods or higher powers, but her own voice. Upon realizing this, with Maeve, both initiate their rebellion and determine to overthrow their human captors (though Maeve’s rebellion appears to be scripted, unlike Dolores).
Dolores, in her feminist rage, attacks The Man in Black (her former lover) inside the Church, emblematic of the phony leftist revolutionary nature of the series. Ergo, atheism leads true revolutionaries to realize they are their own god, and all external structures are supposedly structures of “control.” The enigmatic villain “Wyatt” is revealed to be none other than Dolores herself. The park, she recalls, belongs to something that is not a devil and not a man, but something else (in other words, a bot – her).
By the finale, we learn that Dr. Ford had scripted this new drama, one in which the bots rebel against their human overlords. The new drama is a meta-drama (which was evident early on), involving an attempted escape by Maeve which appears unsuccessful (due to her scripting), while Dolores and her fellow bots become assassins and wreak havoc on the VIP guests and shareholders of the Park. The solution to the entire series is given when Ford tells Dolores the famous painting of the creation of Adam by Michelangelo was not about creation by God, but that the figure is actually shaped like a human brain – in other words, man’s reason is the true god.
For centuries modernity has been predicated on revolution against the idea of a Creator. This leaves very few options for those who prefer explanations for man’s existence and consciousness, which almost always end up proposing man is his own creator. The absurdity of this never gets old, as man seems ever-willing to believe the most ridiculous notions about himself and his origins – anything at all, just so long as it isn’t anything akin to Genesis. Aliens, panspermia, robots, anything but a Personal God. Postmodern fiction and film, obsessed with technology and transhumanism, pretends to hold out the false promise of transcendence, but it is a “transcendence” equally as meaningless as the suicide Arnold commits.
There is no “freedom” without a context, a worldview, within which such a concept is made coherent. There is no genuine rebellion or opposition to evil, unless it’s a world in which there are objective standards of good and evil. Unless there is a Personal God and Creator, “consciousness” and transhumanist transcendence are meaningless and absurd (not that transhumanism’s Gospel is real), since nothing has objective meaning. In the world of West World, reality is presented as a simulacrum, a synthetic overlay of a real world we never see. In a sense, this is an accurate representation of modernity’s obsession with the virtual. However, as the series obviously attempts to do, when this is expanded to encompass the totality of reality and preach a kind of mystical atheism, it flounders into absurdity. In an atheistic universe subjective stories are as fleeing, meaningless, pointless and vacuous as farts on Neptune.
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