Pronoia: The Universal Conspiracy in Support of You
by Eric Cunningham, Professor of History ~ email@example.com
I first stumbled upon the word “pronoia” while reading the Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, noting that he characterized the term as the opposite of “paranoia,” the familiar psychological affliction of people thinking that people are out to hurt them in some way. For Dick, adopting a “pronoiac” attitude—the belief that people are out to help you—could be used to offset paranoia as a kind of antidote. As a man suffering from serious paranoia, Dick knew what he was talking about, and if he had the gumption to be pronoiac, then surely anybody could.
As I made inquiries into this term and all of its related associations, I found that that its origin is a Greek term for legal provisions, or land grants—its contemporary usage is a lot more interesting and uplifting, I think, although the government giving me a nice land grant would do much to raise my sense that the world is a benevolent place.
The most comprehensive take on this idea must surely be the book by Rob Brezsny, aptly titled Pronoia is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings. Brezsny’s encyclopedic collection of essays, exercises, workbook sheets, and aphorisms is wonderfully entertaining, and uplifting. Fueled by such hypotheses as “evil is boring, cynicism is idiotic, fear is a bad habit, despair is lazy, joy is fascinating, Love is an act of heroic genius, pleasure is our birthright, and receptivity is a superpower,” the reader is led through 275 pages of unrelenting positivity. There are passages that may rankle even the most willfully positive would-be pronoiac, but read in the spirit of the book, you have to take them as “positively rankling.”
In contemplating the idea of pronoia, one moves from thinking it’s a cute idea to realizing that we really do create our own realities, and we really have to do so. It is, as the great Tesla said, a question of energy and frequency. If we are not pronoiacally generating frequencies of love and contentment with things as they are, then we are falling into vibrational patterns pre-existing and pre-set by other people. The frequencies with the most participants (apparently those of fear, suspicion, greed, power-and-self-seeking, etc.,) do have an almost irresistible pull—from the force of gravity alone—but we truly can occupy our own world, or better, perhaps, join one filled with those people whose vibes resonate with our own highest aspirations. It is thus perfectly sensible to conclude that the “world” (i.e., the world we want to inhabit out of the many strange ones in the Matrix) is indeed conspiring to give us bliss, happiness, love, and satisfaction. We just have to propagate it.