Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Living Beyond the 20th Century

The specialization and compartmentalization of thought and life in the 20th century, fragmented reality into the many parts and created many bureaucracies and hierarchies in these matters -- which are not a natural and normal feature of reality, but shatters the wholeness of that experience into the many unconnected and seemingly disparate (contradictory) parts -- often at eternal war and argument with one another.

The previous century gave rise to such divisions in the thoughts of Hegel, Freud and Marx, who saw the whole of history and civilization as a perpetual war between the opposites -- as the essential "duality" of reality -- as represented by good versus bad, left and right, high and low, inner and outer, workers against owners, men against women, white against the colored, fiction and non-fiction, etc.

Then in the latter half of the 20th century, the foremost thinkers realized that life was becoming hopelessly and meaninglessly fragmented into the prevailing personality of that generation as a hopelessly conflicted and tormented individual -- always battling within themselves just to maintain their sanity and integrity. And that word "integrity" means to be whole and undivided -- but the work of man of that era, was to produce the many divisions and specializations of one's own neuroses as the high achievement of well-educated and civilized people of that time -- celebrated in the mass media by the self-parodies of Woody Allen, etc., creating the division between the observer and the observed, the analyzer and analysis.

So in the later 20th century, there was a call for a New Age -- that would heal the divisions and restore the wholeness (holism) of life in all our activities and in our essential outlook -- not by simply regluing the pieces, but not shattering them in the first place. Many of those steeped in the thought and conditioning (education/socialization) of the 20th century, still insist that the purpose and meaning of life, is to create these divisions and arguments -- before they can "cure" or solve them by putting them back together again -- or better yet, further subdivide them into further subdivisions of specialties -- of which they can then be that department's chair.

Which means of course then, that life becomes even more divisive as the value of "diversity" in its own right -- which implies that universal and unifying laws are not possible or valid, and therefore, anything goes, or at least anything one can get away with. The cure seems to be the Information Age -- where there is virtual knowledge of what (every)one is doing, and the elimination of the division between the public life and the personal one -- which restores and reveals the integrity and wholeness of the individual -- even if that is not the image they would like others to believe.


Post a Comment

<< Home