The Reality Overload

The Reality Overload

The Modern World's Assault on the Imaginal Realm

A powerful critique of the increasing mechanization and homogenization of modern life

• Shows how the constant force-feeding of too much information dispossesses us of our deepest connections

• Describes a link between the destruction of the environment with the assault on our individuality, creativity, and ability to think for ourselves

What underlies the many problems of the modern world--from accelerating rates of extinction and desertification to the increased alienation of the individual--is a reality overload, an increasingly invasive mechanization and homogenization of modern life that glorifies consumption and conformity. This overload has been created from the constant force-feeding of too much information, a phenomenon that dispossesses us of our deepest connections to time, our physical world, and each other.

Annie Le Brun explains that the degradation of the environment mirrors the devastation going on in our minds revealing a link between genetically modified foods and the transformation and decay of our language and communication. There is a direct relationship between the rupture of the great biological balances that govern the planet and the equally devastating rupture in our imaginal realm. The imaginal realm is the home of our dreams and the perceptions that feed our thoughts, individuality, and creativity. Without its influence we are forced to live a drab, alienated lifestyle based on consumption alone. If, as Shakespeare claims, “we are such stuff as dreams are made on,” this theft of our imagination by the reality overload threatens the very foundations of our existence.
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  • Inner Traditions | 
  • 240 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781594772443 | 
  • October 2008
List Price $16.95
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Read an Excerpt


CHAPTER 23

Concrete Dematerialization


The worldwide success of Disneyland shows that this takeover by force is well on the way to succeeding. For it is not only our personal relationship to time and space being manipulated here. It is our age-old power to deny either one in the name of the marvelous that finds itself literally petrified. Reducing the world of fairy tales to the most banal three-dimensional reality is a tragedy comparable to the devastation of the huge forests. For this reason, it is not enough to bemoan this paving over of the marvelous without taking stock of the consequences. If the world’s oxygen supply... see more

About the Author

Annie Le Brun

Annie Le Brun, a member of the French Surrealist group during its later years, is a poet and essayist who has written books on subjects as varied as the work of Raymond Roussell and the war in the former Yugoslavia. Her groundbreaking work on the Marquis de Sade has been translated into English as Sade: A Sudden Abyss. She lives in Paris.

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