From Cancel Culture to Healing Humanity: An Ode to Jordan River by A. Rose Mapstone

After a year of observing the media-maya[1] of modern society, I’ve become familiar with the emotional connection between online content creators and their audiences. We have a habit of placing our fellow human beings on pedestals, just to shove them off and watch them fall - in high definition, nonetheless. This unconscious process has led to the birth of “cancel culture” - “the removing of support for public figures in response to their objectionable behavior or opinions.”[2]

From my holistic and mystical perspective, I’ve developed what the kids might call an “unpopular opinion” – perhaps cancel culture is inherently flawed, not because someone shouldn’t take responsibility for their actions, but because there can be no detoxification process without at first exploring why and how that entity has “toxified” in the first place. Navigating the core issues, and then finding solutions. Even when experiencing a physical detox or cleanse, the body goes through a whole process (sometimes many) to release toxins. After these toxins are expelled, there is a great deal of healing (inner and outer) that takes place, and requires consistency to maintain, or else bad habits return, and toxins flow back into the body. This is not a one-and-done situation. Likewise, society’s problems won’t just disappear because some bad eggs were thrown away. They, like pain or dis-ease, signify a deeper sickness within society that we are being asked to examine, transmute, and heal.

[1] “Media-maya” is my own turn-of-phrase, inspired by the Hindu term “maya,” meaning the illusion of the physical world which the gods made. If “maya” is a mere fabrication, then “media-maya,” which we have created, is a fractured matrix of life on Earth. It is not the whole picture of Life, although we often treat it as such.

[2] “What It Means to ‘Get Canceled’” (Merriam-Webster, 2021)   

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2020 taught me how to have an alchemical attitude. Instead of saying, “get rid of this!” I am asking, “how can we change this?” or “how can we heal this?” As individuals, we may not be able to force someone else to change for the better, but we can choose to change and heal ourselves. This is where the transformation begins. As within, so without. (For example, I personally believe that the wounded patriarchy heals more and more every time a man chooses crying over violence.)

Since media-maya is a piece of a piece of Peace, those who use it are expressed as pieces of pieces of pieces. Taking these fragments as gospel-truth perpetuates the illusion that we are separate from one another, and that our different experiences cannot be reconciled. However, mysticism teaches us that it is our variation that allow us to grow and expand as a Collective. We are many cells operating as One Body of Consciousness. Each person, no matter how “good” or “bad,” conscious or unconscious, is another “I” to be healed and revealed - this is the nature of shadow work.

When we create an attachment to “content creators,” online or in person, it can go one of two ways - we unconsciously create an attachment to their image through idolization, or we consciously create a bond with their essence and learn from this connection – exercising our own innate creative power. We are either seeking connection with creators, or Seeing Connection of the Creator within us.

When creators are knocked off pedestals, it’s because their audience (afraid of their own shadows) is strongly attached to the persona, and when this persona is proven imperfect (and the shadow is revealed), the attachment becomes strained. This is the nature of conditional love. By all means, it’s important for people to take responsibility for their mistakes and apologize. But it is very difficult for a creator to authentically apologize if they were not being authentic to begin with. Whether or not a content creator is genuine, it’s nearly impossible for anyone to authentically express themselves to the fullest on a media-maya platform. You’ll only pick up fractals.

However, even these fractals are reflective. When someone fashions a conscious, healthy bond with the energy of a person, they are open to resonation and reflection instead of projection and obsession. There’s no need for hard feelings, even when the idol-in-question shows their shadow, because there is conscious, loving awareness that the “other” is also the “self.” Spirit in human clothes. Temporarily embedded in an ego. Furthermore, the energy of a person is ever-changing, and so when you honor the energy you resonate with (even in shadow), you are able to learn more and more about your own personal triggers, traumas, and transformation.

A year ago, I praised Jeffree Star to the nines. I thought he was “goals,” and resonated with his bougie, no-BS attitude. But I quickly found myself drawing away from his image, because whether he was no-BS or all-BS, he had his own desires, mistakes, and ego-driven agenda that I no longer wanted to celebrate. And yet…a part of me still resonated. I found myself exploring a shadow I thought I had already processed, a piece of my ego that enjoyed drama – even the “negative” kind. This continually put strain on all my relationships, which then spurred even deeper dives into my unconscious mind. I still don’t know “the real tea” on his story, but I don’t need to. For, in reflecting on the discomfort I felt regarding his drama, I learned so much more about my own story – and healed through it.

This process didn’t stop there, though…I waltzed through the energetic bonds of Shane Dawson, Dodie, Jenna Marbles, Ethan Nestor, and even J.K. Rowling (still navigating this one). Not all these creators were canceled, but they all helped me see parts of myself that I had been neglecting – whether they were being authentic or not. It was so refreshing to take these people off the pedestals lovingly, to softly say, “Oh, look at that, you’re very human too” and then let them be free. In doing so, I freed myself (and my personal relationships) too. Talk about a release!

Currently, I am experiencing my most synchronistic reflection with a public figure yet. One that has crept into my dreams, meditations, and heart. Most of my coworkers and friends know that I’ve become quite fond of Jordan River of Spirit Science, and I’m very open about it. (Especially now that I’ve met him and participate actively in his community.) A year ago, this would have been a problem – the affection would have become an infection. I would have glorified him, tossed his image high up on the ladder of “goals,” effectively placing myself lower. When his image would inevitably fall (upon my discovering his shadow), I would've fallen with it, misunderstanding the true nature of Oneness.

It's no coincidence that Jordan is also well-aware of this social-spiritual phenomenon, for despite the heckling, he shared his experience of divine reflection through the image of Emma Watson. He recognized that it wasn't so much about her image or even physical manifestation, but the feelings and energy she inspired in him. Just as I do now, he learned from the essence of this bond, deepening his Spiritual Connection and ultimately surrendering. Ego speaks in attachments, but Spirit simply Speaks, and so many times, Spirit will draw our attention to an attachment as if to say, “Here. Let’s see what you make of this.” Tugging the ego closer to our Spirit, through what seem like many trials and test-runs. Healing and revealing, by reflecting with “another.”

I won’t dive too deep into the river (pun intended) of synchronicities and lessons, because I’m still experiencing them, but I will say this: if my awakened heart is infected now, then it is with a Love so deep and expansive, it cannot be confined to (or defined by) only one bond. It will not falter even when my attachments do because it is always present. I Am that which I Seek. And so, there isn’t a need to obsess over an image of Jordan, or to be disappointed by his mistakes, because this connection – like all the others – is simply a reflective exploration that connects me to what Whitney Houston might call a “Higher Love.” That which I am made of. It’s not the attachment itself or even the person that is the focus, but the energy of it, and the lessons unfolding through it.

As we heal individually, so does the world around us. As we nurture our nature and connection to Spirit, we contribute greatly to the Collective and to our personal relationship with all of life. Therefore, we cannot continue to treat humanity like a large computer, deleting corrupt files for temporary peace of mind, and expect long-lasting benefits. We cannot keep sweeping deeper psychological, social, and global issues under the rug for the sake of cultural comfort. Humans are shapeshifters, alchemists, and natural creators (made in the image of the Creator). Cancel culture ends - no, transforms - here and now. With each of us, as individuals and as One.


Dear Jordan, Thank You for existing and sharing both your Light and Shadow with the world. I hope we can continue to be conscious soul-mirrors to promote our healing and the healing of All~


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