Toward Gologonooza

Daniel Pinchbeck
10 min readMay 7, 2023

Liberating the human imagination through a Blakean revolution in the age of AI

“The Eternal Body of Man is the Imagination, that is, God himself… It manifests itself in his Works of Art (In Eternity All is Vision)…” - William Blake

To live by the imagination is Blake’s secret of life. The ‘gods’ of reason, feeling, inspiration and the physical senses are but aspects of that single life of Imagination, ‘the human existence itself’ which embraces all in unity. There is nothing outside the Imagination, which is immortal, eternal, and boundless…

He was a patriot of the inner worlds, of the England of the Imagination whose ‘golden builders’ he saw everywhere at work in the creation of Golgonooza, the city within the brain (golgos, skull), ‘the spiritual fourfold London eternal’.

— Kathleen Raine, Gologonooza, City of Imagination

A few days ago, I wrote about my anarchist vision for the future. Common Dreams journalist Tom Valovic, commenting on my utopian proposal for a no-ownership society, notes:

Unfortunately, there may be a considerable amount of “creative destruction” to be endured before we get to a point of having that sort of blank slate with which to have the luxury of envisioning alternatives. But I certainly don’t think that runaway global hyper-capitalism is sustainable in any way shape or form, especially with AI already starting to replace large numbers of employees at Dropbox, IBM, and many other companies. And I think AI will only hasten much of the financial and social instability already in progress.

I agree with Valovic that the current AI transformation will accelerate the “financial and social instability already in progress.” The likely deluge of fake news and “deep fakes” could also become a massive source of confusion, used for nefarious political and business purposes. This shift will be painful for many of us, in the short term.

On the other hand, as things stand now, without profound systemic change, we don’t have any long term. Here is one video that explores the current path leading to human extinction. I doubt that gradualism, reformism, or incrementalism will help us in this scenario.

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Daniel Pinchbeck

Author of Breaking Open the Head, 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, and When Plants Dream. I teach online seminars at www.theliminalinstitute.com