Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Great Turning

ยท Could it be that we are in the initial phases of collective recognition sensing that a certain dimension of history is coming to its reckoning wheel very rapidly and despite all the advantages of post Enlightenment thought we just are not prepared for the horrific crossing ground just ahead of us- and that this historic turning point will involve immense human suffring? The following political structures once assured group survival as we moved from our ancestral hunting and gathering nomadic lives to sedentary agricultural states a mere 8,00 years ago: the walled city state, the tribal identity,the religious sect, the kingdom,the nation state- the empire, the civilization. These are all the various applications of Hamlet's "Elsinore Castle" in a way ie., something separate, some walled in and safe entity- it does not matter whether or not it is a physical wall or boundary, an ideological, linguistic, racial, tribal, religious- it's all the same. The esential concept is one that draws a sharp distinction between groups, between local identity and the "other." This grouping mechansnism has developed into various schemes of citizen virtue where belonging codes of behavior all bound up in creative written and spoken and art directed codes that work to set one group from another and establish the belonging alegiance- holy books and cultural narrative epoch poetry began to seal the great traditions along mythical lines and "chosen people" exceptionalism began to develop. Thisa all led more or less to exponential population growth which is the underlying evolutionary imperative for all biological populations. We are a biological population and we have been fantastically successful after nearly going extinct some 100,000 years ago.More of the species would now survive and more food could be secured through specialization and labor division. By the sheer identity to all these belonging posts human populations soared. These distinctions once may have been necessary groupings protecting our local interests and food supply. Now things are beginning to change as all the great advances in efficiency, especiallty since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution begin to work against species survival. This is the Great Turning I refer to. All these city /state entities no longer can claim such evolutionary necessity in the greater struggle of nature and nature's limits we now face . We are beginning to hit a wall and we are arguing as if its this or that ideology that will deliver us safely over this wall. It is an irreducible predicament at this point whose consequences will be dictated by its own harsh terms. We are beginning to turn into a horrific storm. Just in the early stages of this great turning where none of these entities provide safety and security anymore; in fact the edicts of state and the established orthodoxies now work against the survival imperative. This is why the new geography will not be a mountain range, a river, an ocean or a boundary won by some venturing marauder hailing from this fatherland or that, or some exploitative vestige of colonial resource management, but the entire enveloping placenta of the atmosphere that is a veiled penumbra of the very stuff of life itself. When this seeming evanescence is seen as our collective boundary, our alchemy of life, our small green Elsinore in the infinitude of the abyss, then this will be the ultimate belonging to strive for. Note on the passing of Neil Armstrong: If we could all see the world as Armstrong and Aldrin did and learn that salvation can come in just 1 single earthrise, we might then hasten this horrific turning so that fewer will suffer the crossing to the far shore.