|Blogs > rm_NeonShadows > Out of the Shadows|
There is a term used for the sleeping masses of people who continue through their lives unaware, uninformed and unconcerned with the big picture. Erich Fromm termed that particular style of coping as "automaton conformity". It is a process of fear, of not wanting to see what lies behind the curtain, of leaving well-enough alone. This mode of being effectively removes from the ideological battlefield the vast bulk of the population of any nation, they just follow along.
Fromm detailed several other ways of being in the world, the marketing personality, the hoarder and others that are either affiliated with an affinity for what can only be termed "Life", as opposed to those who seem to only value death and power. Before he died he began to develop surveys in an attempt at understanding the proportions of these characteristics within a population. His preliminary results indicated that the smallest group within a "western civilized" country were composed of those he termed "productive". The term is a bit misleading but it corresponds to those who are actively fulfilled in most areas of their life and seek to fulfill their own inhgerent potential in some positive manner, (see Maslow and Self-Actualizing Individuals).
That anyone can somehow shed their programming and begin to act as an individual within our society is something of a miracle, yet many thousands do. Today I am convinced that a sea change in consciousness is upon us, that many people are looking for a new world, a new way of life that is in accordnace with what their heart tells them is right. The emergence of the goddess in popular culture, the rise of neo-paganism and the wedding of eastern, native and pagan philosophies speads through the collective unconscious of our society like oil on the water.
Many of us are disgusted with the history of our race, (here I am specifically refering to "white" americans). In many ways the more you learn about the horrific atroicities that have brought us to this point in history the more uncomfortable you feel. Either you repress the natural tendency of outrage to protect your own ego-identity, or you feel it...and suffer.
For those who suffer, for those who can no longer support the so-called "values", "ethics" and self-serving "morals" of western culture I offer an alternative way of thinking about the future, of living in the now. But to the rest who may read this post and feel some anger or other negative emotion I can only accept that you have a right to continue living however you choose, I do not seek converts nor do I want to really prosletyze. I am seeking kindred here.
I am seeking out those who have already begun the process of rejecting this way of life and who are motivated to, with whatever time they have left on earth, build a community. A community structured more like a tetrahedron, a spider web perhaps, than like a pyramid. A Eudaimonic society, small enough to remain unmolested, but large enough to create it's own culture, its own "norms". A culture in which each individuals birthright is to experience all of the pleasures that life has to offer, chief among them being the pleasure of serving the community itself, the incalculable pleasure of giving pleasure.
Pleasure, perhaps a bit maligned and maybe misunderstood by philosophers such as Aristotle and Augustine. But then again they were both men obsessed with heirarchy, power and control. As such our civilizations have grown up around the base metaphor of power, of forced dominance and forced submission, of death and torture as the threat against expressing personal freedom. A society of equals, where everyone is a king or a queen, a god or a goddess, may lend itself to a unique economy, a pleasure economy. What would that be like?
9/10/2005 8:49 am
Lordy lordy, that was a little deep to read with only two cups of coffee in me.|
I stopped hating the white in me quite a few years ago. Now I just enjoy people, all people, and look forward, knowing the past but not consumed by it.
Here is my simple poorly educated take on the perfect society.
1. Get back to basics. Why oh why must we possess so much and need so many convienences.
2. The middle ground is usually the high ground. We can accomplish much more from there.
2. In life always live with the phylosophy of "Cause no unneccessary harm" (that one covers alot if you live by it properly)
2. Concepts well established must be eliminated
Inherent value is all that is neccessary in life. If we could all see only the concept of inherent value in each and every living thing on this earth, one would be no less or greater than the other.
I beleive if such a task could be accomplished we would have no war, no rich, no poor, no hungry, no homeless, no drug addicts, no alcoholics, no abusers or molesters, and no one person or thing better than the other.
Lots of laughter, taking care of your neighboor and sharing the joy of life and death is my way. One person at a time.
And there you have it, a simple mind with simple thoughts.
By the way...In case you didn't know but I am guessing you do, you are quite the cutie. Enjoy
9/10/2005 10:14 am
Now I have had my third cup of coffee and can make a correction. Intrinsic value is the value I am referring to. Though inherent and intrinsic are so close in meaning I prefer intrinsic. Ta Ta|
9/10/2005 12:01 pm
Wow, thanks for the post. I think you are spot on in your analysis, even without that third cup o' joe. My problem lies in figuring out a way in which we can actually do what it is that we feel, or know, should be done. I mean, how do you practically create a sooperative group of individuals who divorce themselves from the "real" world and work together to live in peace? There is so much that ties us into the "system" that even those of like mind tend to be very resistant to changing their way of life.|
9/10/2005 5:23 pm
Hey sweetie, you are thinking to hard. I have lived away, way away from society and it's influence a few times. We really don't need anything that society so eagerly offers and even insists me cannot live without. People who have lived their lives in a box, never having ventured out to see the other side are very resistant to change, scared shitless would be a more acurate term. |
We did it to ourselves. Well, mostly the white folks and a certain religious group but I am not even going there. It is water under the bridge.
The only way for any change to take place and even to just regress one must start with the foundation. It must be reformed.
Environmentalist spend alot of energy fighting the corporations.
Drug Task forces spend so much money and man power taking down the dealers
People constantly bitch about the president and our government.
But who is really in control here? Especially in the most powerful and influencial country in the world?
How do you take down the big corporations? Give the people better options, educate them on what toxins do to them, their children, the planet. Explain to people what will happen when the forests are depleted. And above anything else GIVE THEM A BETTER OPTION.
How do you take down drug dealers? Create a society where drugs aren't needed to feel alive or happy. Why do people need drugs? What can we do with our society to make it a better place to bear? Eliminate the drug addict and the drug dealer goes out of business. GIVE THE DRUG ADDICT A BETTER OPTION
As far as the last one goes, who is in charge here. WE ARE we vote them in and we vote them out and we have total control. We can bitch bitch bitch or we can do do do.
I think what I am getting to in such a long winded way is
Our foundation is the common person, Joe Blow and Mary Jane processing the fish and mopping the floors. They are our foundation to this society we live in.
Constantly focusing our attention on the roof when the foundation is where lasting sustainable positive change will take place is just plain silly.
So how do you create a group of individuals who divorce themselves from the "fake world" and live in peace?
One person at a time
9/12/2005 3:37 pm
Wow, thanks for the thoughtful comment. I think you are right on when you point out that changing society has to begin with the individual, and additionaly that it invilves a set of situational ethics. We all do what makes sense for us in any given situation, drug-dealers deal drugs because it makes economic sense to them, corporate executives turn a blind eye to the suffering caused by their operations because it makes sense to them to do so. One of the strange conundrums of human life is the curious incompatability of our need for cooperation and the profound sense of separtaion that we have from each other. The lack of an empathic sense is what allows us to kill each other, because it makes sense to do so in the situation. What I am getting at here is that there may be more than one angle to work on if we truly want to change the nature of human society in general (mind you this would be a looooong tyerm endeavor). The first is, of course, working to broaden the consciouness of those close to us. To help them to open their eyes, hearts and minds and to develop a sense of sympathy, if not empathy, for the children of the future. The second is based on this understanding that it is the individual, with all of their quirks, follies and limitations, in a situation who makes a choice that has detrimental effects. We can help to limit the times these situations arise within a persons life by holding accountable the individuals and institutions that create those situations. Beyond that we can hold accountable the systems that develop the institutions that create the situations that the individual must operate within. |
My ongoing monologue (at least the online one) is generally based in the understanding that the highest level of organization is the overall culture (or meta-system) that provides the mores, norms, values and rules for these organizing entities. By undermining the culture, replacing it in a way with an incompatable set of values, we can act as cultural viruses and thereby weaken the body politic. I will be more specific later in the week.