Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

In Praise Of, uh, modern culture

One of the most elusive and complex aspects of the great machinery, is the role of the destructive flow in the happening and processing of levels of the great machinery, as Jan Cox called it. There can be no real criticism of, selfish rich people, political tyrannies, once the nature of how the world works is glimpsed. 

Along these lines is the role of imagination. If there is one thing that unites the variety of schools descendent of Gurdjieff it is that identification is a negative thing. Yet let us step back a moment. What may be a stumbling block for the earnest inquirer, could well be, on a larger scale, a critical component of progress. An example of this may be novels. Surely a sober perspective would scrutinize this wanton leap into total imagination, that leap that happens when you open a book of fiction, or tune in some dramatic series. In these circumstances there is no distance between one's attention and the washing machine jumble of externally controlled fantasy. 

And yet, looking at the history of the last few centuries, a characteristic would be just this loosening of imagination, these circumstances and intent which encourage man to live more in utter fantasy. It does not exhaust the subject to remind readers that Jan Cox pointed out how imagination was critical to scientific progress because such imagination allows a rearrangement of the external world, as a guide to what and how things can be changed.

My own assessment of this major characteristic of modernity was that the enormous increase in the flow of imagination was necessary to sop up the extra time now available on the local cerebral level. Now something else is clear.

So far my thoughts are just an elaboration of Jan's point. My point is, as the machinery becomes more complex, and the evolution of Humanity quickens, (another of Jan's points, though he always said these changes were invisible at the life span of an individual), that this evolution is requiring a greater cerebral percolation of imagination. 

My fresh enhancement of this intellectual perspective, is that this growth of imagination must be of major importance to our group survival. And -- that the blindness imagination encourages, is necessary, to actually bring about changes in the external world. Any real grasp of what is going on, might be so alarming as to be debilitating. The machinery as a whole needs this blindness to facilitate change.