Saturday, February 25, 2012

Politics

I think that the social operating system we're running on doesn't really have a lot of space for deeper or longer-term contextual awareness. So much is here and now, with a bit of reference to the future, and less to the past. And I'm not talking about the immediate text-book past, Harper's 1812 or some superficial interpretation of national or cultural identity, who our grandparents were (although that's part of it) but the sense of past, but of prehistory and origins that gives us a sense who and what we are as a species. In a time-line, in a star system, in a universe, in a multiverse.

We are long origins. The atoms and elements that comprise our beings pre- and post-date us on timescales that defy imagination and measurement. Indigenous cultures, long-lived peoples in ancient places, are better than [con]temporary vernacular consumer society at recognizing some of these things. Countless generations, dating back to an ice-age, inhabiting the same, often perilous or austere landscape embody in some a sense of origins that is alien to modern thinking and environs. Imagine living pre-science, pre-flight, pre-paper, in stretch of forest, or desert, or tundra, knowing only this and knowing that those who came before you only knew this all the way back to your particular origin myth. Imagine the outlook, the sense of your world and your place in it that you would embody in these environs. Imagine Carl Sagan or others, spending a lifetime staring at the sky, and the sense of social and temporal locus that must instill in them.

If I consider these points, I then wonder how we might take our leaders, government,  and the like seriously. I think it was Noam Chomsky (although I can't find the reference) who once commented that he could not begin to debate a certain person without first needing considerable time to deconstruct that person's worldview.

Intractable describes the problem of two or more sides coming together to resolve, when one is beginning the conversation from an entirely different plane of existence.

Situate yourself beyond categories and ideologies. Stand in the forest, gaze at the complexity, close your eyes and smell and listen until you can differentiate the scents and sounds. Put your hands on smooth rocks, and in cool water, feel the textures and currents.  Begin your politics from there.


3 comments:

Way Way Up said...

Love the post. Spending time with Inuit elders really changed my perspective on time, the nature of knowledge and just how superficial and fragile our modern culture can be at times.

Unknown said...

Read David Abrams THE SPELL OF THE SENSOUS!

opit said...

Beautiful, Boris....unlike politics. There are other worthy thoughts coming up( I'm a sucker for Glenn Greenwald at Salon ) http://ggdrafts.blogspot.com/2012/01/jay-rosen-on-political-possibility.html - but I find the rouge on the old whore wearing thin when pushing the all purpose 'Denier' Strawman Argument. It mis-states and fabricates an artificial dichotomy all the better to vilify non 'politically correct' thought in a deliberate perversion of punditry.
Such is the custom of note in what I see now referred to as the 'Anglosphere' extending throughout the British Commonwealth and U.S.
It's all part of 'creating reality' via the media.