Idle Musings of the Hypothetical Citizen
A great day occurred for the hypothetical citizen when it dawned on him the limitation and, even, dangers of politics.
Politics had always involved the battle between static identities and classes that, ultimately, benefited only the tiny class of people who organized the fight. If it took a good political system from killing each other so much the better. Hurrah for the political system! And boo to those who would weaken it to usher in a monstrous fight.
"Politics of youth, you bastard!" He spat out in the middle of an empty parking lot at the edge of a reservoir.
To be free meant one thing; the end of alienation. Therefore, to be fully oneself because nothing occurs without some form of knowledge that you have won through experience or knowledge. The citizen was astounded how a world so filled with new, startling knowledge had fallen back into the profoundest alienation's. Addictions, fascinations with sex and violence, irrational belief systems that demanded to be the center and core, demoralization, amputation of potential with the kind of loony gladness people were known for.
The people are never told that for every advance on their desires there is a loss somewhere that leaps out at them when they least expect it.
"It's science," his old pal was telling him. "Come here," and the old pal showed the citizen his wonderful, appointed book nook; volume after volume crisply indexed like some venerable bookstore owned by a cranky bibliophile.
"You see, anywhere you start it lands in the domain of a science somewhere. And what can be known of any one domain? Here," and he moved to one section of the bookcase. "Here are the books I've read on the formation of the planet Venus. Dozens and dozens of books. But, it doesn't tell me one thing about the formation of Pluto. I can only speculate given a certain amount of knowledge I have about the planet Venus."
"Ah well, that's why we have professionals!" The citizen said with surprising joy.
Perhaps the old pal had been correct. The purely human experience of joy, sadness, feeling, thought, imagination, creativity, personality and so on had been taken from the body and spirit early on. Then it must be purchased back from the great thief and it is returned in the image of the thief. If the sprit is rationalized too quickly it moves from the person and toward the institution. At a certain moment, the equation is broken and weight put on one side or the other; then came the hell state of alienation and all ones efforts were used to overcome it.
And that existed regardless who was in power or what laws were in the docket.
Science, he mused, is the most successful form of knowledge yet. However, it is troubled by the same limitations that fouled all successful forms of knowledge. It became a dogma and a huge enterprise dependent on great sums of money to do anything. "That will be the great death to science. But, I will not tell the old pal just yet. It may survive deep into the next several centuries but it will, too, have its death."
The only question a free man or woman can ask is this, "what is the relation between wisdom and science? Does wisdom or some form of it arise out of the activity called science and its paradigms?"
Now, technology was something else! One moment it is loved as the great liberator, the next it is rejected as a plot against all that is good in life. With technology we have to grin and bear it as it becomes etherealized and its obvious mistakes corrected. The last thing the old man told him was, "Praise the ingenuity of the human brain but don't get hypnotized by it."
Technology, the eternal toy, created a gash wherever it went.
And after technology becomes second nature as farming once became, what will human beings do to keep from killing themselves or willy nilly destroying everything? Technology introduces ease. How then, can the human being find the challenges necessary to keep the spirit supple and alert?
What do they invent in themselves?
© 2004 David Eide. All rights reserved.
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