At the Pandemic Looking Glass

9 min readJul 20, 2021


Like everywhere, discussion ebbs and flows, erupts and dies. On a chat group, one member wrote. ‘Don’t take the death jab, you will die.’ Another replied ‘I get upset when I see this made into religious zealotry.’ Others posted widely circulated graphs of deaths in India, claiming a correlation between vaccine rollout and the surge in death rate. Others posted that they had taken the vaccine—Astra Zeneca in some cases, Pfizer in others—and felt fine.

As MSM pressure mounts against the unvaccinated (traitors, idiots, terrorists) and alt pressure mounts against the vaccinated (asleep, muggles, sheep), and as evidence mounts that CoVid vaccines are of a more subtle benefit than the outright disease prevention one might expect from something called a vaccine, where are we, exactly?

I have visited this topic before, in V or not to V, and more broadly in Towards the Looking Glass. I will continue here in very broad, somewhat evolutionary strokes, to offer a context.

A great amount has been written, some of it by me, on the topic of misinformation, weaponisation of information, and indeed the nature of fact. Let us summarise the whole situation in a oner with Paul Virilio’s famous line from the 80s:

The information bomb has been dropped.

We must look at information presented to us with a healthy suspicion. Call it history, civilisation, the Ascent of Humanity (Charles Eisenstein), as the Great Narrative behind culture, behind raison d’etre breaks down, we must entertain a seething, competing mass of stories in its place. Not all are great stories, which are in one way or another stories of redemption. Perhaps that is a useful litmus test going forwards. Does a candidate narrative have a sense of redemption?

Sars-CoV-2 Virus © Enzo Life Sciences

The public face of public health, e.g. the Centre for Disease Control, or the NHS, works hard to simplify, to make difficult topics like the workings of the Sars-CoV-2 virus as easy to understand as possible. In the context of a global pandemic, which entertains thoughts of general lockdowns, compulsory vaccination, ID cards and the consequent suspension of individual rights, the finer points of virology must be kept behind the scenes.

If you surf Academia.Edu or Springer for bleeding edge papers on mRNA protein spikes, you will immediately realise that you are on the outside looking in on a highly complex priesthood. It publishes its papers for all to see, but like old Bibles, they may as well be in Latin or Greek.

You may be able to discern different schools of thought when it comes to mRNA behaviours, what it means to isolate a virus, or even what exactly a virus is. If there are ontological ramifications to these differences, they are difficult to distinguish unless interpreted by a member of said priesthood, who of course must toe a certain line, less patent law or IP be infringed.

Like HIV before it, the Coronavirus family is something of a human nemesis. It cloaks itself in the protein garb of a human cell and infiltrates, commanding human cells to produce more garb, that it may further its infiltration.

One fascinating aspect of viruses—from the dictionary definition—is that they are not alive. They are, more or less, molecular machines, lacking the semi-permeable membrane of a cell, and therefore dependent on parasitising other cells for survival. Zooming out from the microbiology, we could say they are ghosts, or entities, attaching to organic lifeforms.

Zooming out even further—picture Google Earth—and we have viral technologies fingering our digital signatures. There is a deep parallel between big data-driven machine learning, and the micro-machine learning of viral proteins fitting themselves to the shapes of our cells.

Zooming out even further again, to a Sufi or Yogic level, we could say that, well, this is just the universe fitting itself to our energetic endeavours. The more we try to see the universe, to understand its innermost workings, the more it tries to see into us!

Again, this metaphysical arrangement is paralleled by the technosphere. The more we see the world through the lens of the internet, the more the internet sees us.

Something is coming, no?

It is reasonable to describe the current rollout of CoVid vaccines as a live trial. Normal regulation has been streamlined, if not sidestepped, arguably in response to a pandemic emergency.

For some, what is being trialled is not the vaccines’ ability to save lives but its power to take them away. Here we have a virus masquerading as human cell, and a vaccine masquerading as virus. Bill Gates has warned about The Big One (killler pandemic) since the good old days of H5N1 bird flu. Was he sounding the alarm, or shilling his own interests?

Here it all gets very murky. I suggest, like shamans or cybersecurity experts, we look to Nature.

There we find, to borrow legendary microbiologist Lynn Margulis’s term, symbiosis. Viruses machine-learn from human cells. The human immune system learns from viruses. Most of the time, it’s a happy symbiosis, an economy of traded molecular advantages. Now and then the balance shifts. There is a bull run on protein spikes and infiltrators flood the lumen, disguised as human cells. Or a tell-tale sign in the infiltrators’ garb is found and the immune system sends out an APB.

There are people working on the mathematics of adaptive security, the digital equivalent of all this. (Full disclosure, I built their website.)

Pick a few “pro-Pfizer” articles, and you find a story of bonafide scientists harking Gate’s warning and working to develop the great immunological leap forwards. Katalin Kariko, inventor of the Pfizer vaccine, talks of “redemption” after 40 years of research.

Yet for others, the real killer is not the virus, it’s the vaccine. They point to the fuckups and coverups of Pfizer and others, or of the endemic and systemic problem of yoking healthcare to capitalism, to ROI, or to the grotesquery of the UK Government as it rushes draconian bills through suspended parliaments. Looking at Kariko, above, she doesn’t exactly seem the James Bond or Dan Brown mad scientist we imagine tinkering away with a Frankenstein molecule to rid the world of the great masses.

But then, evil these days is always a hysteresis, a non-local field. Like the ego, it cannot be tracked down to an organ in the body, an office in the corporation. Perhaps we can follow the money to Blackrock or Saudi Swiss bank accounts. Our image of darkness has come on from Gustav Doré.

Lucifer. Engraving by Doré in Dante’s Inferno.

Just as our image of evil has evolved, so must our awareness of it as a projection. The more we look into the universe, the more it looks into us. Now that we have uprooted the Devil from his underground cavern and made him lurk hither and thither as a quantum field, have we made him more or less accessible, more or less transformable, integrable? Was it Martin Luther King who said, evil only exists where it is perceived?

Certainly it was Alan Watts who brought us the Taoist wisdom that we never really know of the provenance of a situation. Is Covid bad? Maybe. Is the Pfizer vaccine bad? Maybe. At any point in the universe we are like a twig floating upon an ocean. It rises and falls, and perhaps we think it does so just for us.

Charles Eisenstein approaches what I ultimately want to say about CoVid, in his famous essay The Coronation—that it is, in a nutshell, an initiation. Humans and viruses, life and non-life, learn from each other through the informatic medium of DNA. The protein spikes of the Coronavirus mimic the code of the human cell. The fake spikes of the mRNA vaccine mimic the code of the virus.

It is tempting to think this business of mimicry is a Frankenstein born of human meddling, but then, there is plenty of mimicry in Nature. Insects that look like twigs or leaves, spiders with false faces painted on their backs.

As many have pointed out, Coronavirus is here to stay. We are learning to live with it. Together we are co-evolving.

What about those with natural immunity? Or Ivermectin or vitamins C and D? Success stories in these areas suggest there must be a much simpler solution at the molecular level. Your immune system does not need to learn protein spike decoys. It’s as if these complex mechanisms are easily recognised, not by complex protein signatures, but by a simple trait. Like if they were bolted together with octagonal rather than the usual hexagonal nuts.

It may well be that Ivermectin is akin to the simple spanner that undoes Sars-CoV-2. It may well be that Big Pharma does not want us to have it, because it is dirt cheap. Even cheaper—entirely for free—are of course natural remedies growing out the ground. Many propose a return to natural remedies, and to the Earth they grow in, before it is too late.

But to do what? Survive? Carry on as before? We may cloak ourselves in the garb of ancestors but there is no going back. There is no coming back either! Whether we are strumming a guitar around a campfire in Devon or doing whatever one does in a penthouse in Neom, the story of who we are will soon be the history of who we were. The meaning of life will have changed.

From the opening sequence of Ghost in the Shell 1999.

At a Huni Kuin ceremony some years ago—it was freezing cold and the medicine played hard to get—after some hours of meditation, Ayahuasca showed me a single and singular vision. It was quite unexpected—a cyborg limb enthroned in a golden display case. Notable about the limb itself was its hybridisation of natural and technological. It wasn’t an arm with a PCB knitted into the skin. It was wholly…grown? It was indeed like something from the anime Ghost in the Shell. Why was I shown this? It was as if Ayahuasca was sharing a thought with me—in a literally golden light.

We must wonder who will get to bask in that golden light. Probably not us or our descendants. People who can afford it? From the point of view of medicinal plants that grow in the ground for free, such an evolutionary step seems abhorrent. But then it was a medicinal plant that showed me.

We must ask, then, at least philosophically, what might be wrong with that step? What is wrong with having money? We all want it! We can point to Saudi princes or the King of Thailand, or Soros, Gates, Bezos. Money is evil, or its massively uneven distribution is. The mysteries of fiat amount to brujeria on an industrial scale.

We must then wonder how we got into such a position—how the world as we know it came to be. It is our reflection, is it not? Now there is the chance—for some at least—to go through the looking glass.

How does the story go? The Lizard Kings blast off for their metaphysical home on blasted Mars, while the meek inherit the Earth? Which is better? Which is right? There are sober projections of Earth being almost uninhabitable by 2050.

One has only to load up Netflix to find a panoply of popular films and series exploring the advent of genetically modified humans. mRNA vaccines are—whether we perceive a benign or malign motive behind it—a step, perhaps a rushed one, a stumble, a fall—towards genetically modified immune systems. Is it a good or bad thing? Maybe.

We are at the beginning of a story of biohacking, life prolongation, designer babies—and on the other hand of course the viruses that will learn from all of that. A story of evolution—turning out—in other words. Is it a story of redemption? Maybe.




Essays on convergence, divergence and emergence.