terça-feira, dezembro 29, 2009

Ad-Gnosis and Techgnosis: Two Shortcuts to Satori

Ad-Gnosticism (Gnosis + Advertising) and Tecnognose: two promises to spiritualize the cultural horizon. Spiritualization quick, painless, without contradictions or clashes. After the "here's the product. Buy it!", the ads say: "Here is the opportunity for spiritual renewal." Once again the spiritual energy must be captured to give movement to empty and inert forms of the entertainment industry.

Once Theodore Roszak in his work "From Satori to Silicon Valley" ironically summed up the motivation behind the mystical new computer technologies, "a shortcut to Satori" (Satori - Japanese Buddhist term for "enlightenment" achieved with effort doctrinal or disciplinary) .

Beyond the utilitarian or rational discourse of new technologies (efficiency, cost reduction and time efficiency etc..) Motivation mystical or Gnostic appears as a subtext: the possibility of an experience of overcoming limits tangible dwell time, transcend to cyberspace and leave the immobility of space and flesh. New technology would enable the experience of gnosis, but without asceticism, discipline or inner reform. The technology is the shortcut pure, atavistic anxiety faster for the species escape the physical cosmos. In previous posts (see related posts below) argue that Gnosticism is steeped in Kabbalistic principles in order to discard the material world itself, not redeem him, facing the meat and the very materiality as a golem, chaos, formless, something queadeve simply be discarded.

But another kind of technology on the horizon of culture technologies (and their practical application, engineering) spirit. Its origin is in the area of self-help and self-knowledge, secular forms of positive theology, that is, forms of self-deification: from techniques similar to computer technologies (interaction, simulation, network, resources, etc..), Being human self-knowledge (actually reprogram itself) to be free of bodily limitations and existential, becoming motivated, positive and winning. Adapting to the corporate world and business is more than making money. It is a spiritual journey of self-knowledge.

Here is another "shortcut to Satori": from sketch books and many courses based on Power Point handouts (a simplification of simplification) reached gnosis quickly and without wasting time. Again the Kabbalistic principle: we have nothing to learn from the memory of the flesh (the pain, trauma, suffering, etc.).. Should be discarded (or rather, deleted) as push a button on a computer keyboard.

Is associated with this area the latest in engineering spiritual: the Ad-Gnosis. By exploring the vast repertoire of archetypical collective unconscious of the species, Advertising will offer a shortcut to the immediate realization of desires and wishes of the collective unconscious, through products and materiality of images. What was is now symbolic material: more than buying the product, the fact desire it would have a spiritual experience.

The Origins of Ad-Gnosis

Advertising has long ceased to be guided by the principle of behavioral "here is the product. Now buy it! ". From the outset Advertising has been involved with one aspect of magic and fetishism. Karl Marx, the magnum opus "Das Kapital", already presented capitalism as a phantasmagoria of religion with the notion of commodity fetishism (instead of God, man begins to idolize and be dominated by money, capital and commodities, entities created by man himself). All the tradition of so-called "Critical Theory of Society" will identify this phenomenon in the cultural industry and the "Aesthetics of Merchandise" in advertising (old and new generation of the Frankfurt School - Adorno, Horkheimer, and Prokop Haug). Here, we still have that dimension "magic" or "mystique" still confined to the materiality of the product. It is as if the product had its own life to be embedded in it human qualities or magical transformation. If the man wants those qualities back to purchase the product. If man does not consume, it would be empty and purposeless.

Throughout the twentieth century the various tactics employed Advertising engineering spiritual behavioral techniques (behaviorism and subliminal tactics), psychological (motivation, reward, cognition, psychological needs, etc..) And psychoanalytic (oral compulsion and addiction, narcissism, voyeurism, eroticism, etc. ..) But we still have the psyche or subconscious tied to the existence of the product.

Cartelised economy and characterized by high concentration of companies in a few transnational groups, the products become increasingly similar in technology, image, function and use. Differentiation strategies become increasingly superficial, taking the product borders on the frivolous and superfluous. For example, toothpaste become identical in their composition and function. How to differentiate them to "warm" the market and simulate a competition? Through fantasy and features brand-hyperbolic ("fluorine garde", "pro-mint", "clean mint", "menthol," "Colgate Total 12", and so on). But the figures of rhetoric, although numerous, are finite and being depleted.

The Advertising must give a new qualitative leap: paradoxically make the product disappear in the ad, making it much less something to be acquired than to be experienced as an event, journey, discovery and personal renewal.

As in the past where the start of modern advertising originated in the effort to disconnect the reason for the purchase of the product of its usefulness (obliterate the value in use, making the consumer buy the product for its uselessness), now the Advertising must give a new qualitative leap: paradoxically make the product disappear in the ad, making it much less something to be acquired than to be experienced as an event, journey, discovery and personal renewal.

The first move for this jump was the emergence of the segmentation technique VALS (Values, Advertising and Life Style) devised by the American futurist Arnold Mitchell in the 70 and improved in 90 years. Besides the psychological typology, his great innovation was to expand the definition of consumption: consuming is not just buying but especially desired. Desired values and lifestyles, unattainable for most people, but adding value to brands. Explaining, the frustrated desire of the majority is just adding value to brands and lifestyles effectively consumed by a minority.

Brands producing events (marathons, competitions, bike rides etc.). With thousands of participants who only want, but do not have purchasing power to consume the products. But experience their desires, adding value to products restricted to few. The separation between the desire and the immediate acquisition of the product was the first step of the engineering spirit.

Ad-Gnosis: another shortcut to the Gnosis

But the technique still remains a tie VALS, though tenuous, between desire and purchase product. The frustration for non-use of the majority is what adds value to brands of minorities. Therefore, despite the values and lifestyles, the product is still there, in a horizon of potential consumption.

In Ad-Gnosis have the immateriality of the full product. Besides the values and lifestyles, something deeper, in spirit, must be mobilized: the archetypes. As symbols of the collective unconscious binders anxieties, doubts and deepest hopes of human kind, the Gnostic point of view would be a visible manifestation of the particles of light present in each. This spiritual energy or particle of light in each one of us is manifested in daily life by spontaneity, innocence and good faith, kindness, compassion, joy, devotion and integrity of purpose. The archetypes translate this élan in themes, types, narratives or symbols as the language of dreams, spiritual channel that magma (Freud called the id), "materializing it." The understanding and experience of the archetype would provide potentially gnosis and the possibility of transcendence and, consequently, the confrontation with the cosmos material.

But Ad-Gnosis is not transcendent, but immanent, does not understand or experience the archetype, but exploits it. The whole entertainment industry needs this energy to give life to the empty forms and inert that structure their products.

An example is the film's publicist mobile operator "Oi". Applying characterology archetypal Carol Pearson, the film deals with the archetypal "The Regular Guy" with the character of "The Linker" (see photo above). From the description given by the researcher,The Regular Guy is the one who wants to be in connection with others, being loved, wanted or in the translation of advertising, be popular. As Freud himself has observed about the psychology of the masses and the malaise of civilization, more than death, what man fears most is not being loved, being alone. This fear would create a trap that will be the basis of mass psychology: fear of loneliness leads to gregariousness, want to be part of the majority, to cancel individuality and critical thinking.

What would be the archetype of the Shadow, the film translates as positive publicity. Constrains the moment of truth of the archetype (love and concern for others, compassion and solidarity) in flattery and conformity. The energy of the archetype is instrumental to the goal of operating more obvious: to make enough connections to have more profits.

The subtext in the Ad-Gnosis is this: more than consume a product or service, the consumer is the possibility of renewal and spiritual enrichment. It is an event, journey, experience. The product "disappears or is shifted to the background to promise the consumer a shortcut to enrich spiritual gnosis.

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