Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Forgotten Map

The title speaks for itself. I think of a map or a route which was forgotten for some reason. The reason will be clearer as we proceed through the article and find out as to why the decisions taken in the past have led us to a place of global crisis.
It is time now to think over the forgotten path which we discarded in favour of the present path. The present path of reductionist science is an approach to understanding the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things, and also neo globalisation which can be described as a process by which the people of the world are unified into a new single society and function together.
Life is one big event full of uncertainties and always gives us bifurcations to see how we choose our path. Some decisive bifurcations thru 12th, 14th, 16th century by famous people like Giovanni Bernardone, Machiavelli, Giovanni Francesco Pico Della Mirandola, Giordano Bruno, Rene Descartes, Galileo and Newton, Goethe said “it is much safer to be feared than to be loved”, “What I see through my window are hats and coats covering automatic machines”, “Science path of spiritual development” and many more always showed us two worlds. And we accepted the one which we felt was easier to follow. Also some particular Universities have chosen the same route that we have chosen and the other people whose philosophies were not accepted have just become historical footnotes. The paths set by these great people have combination of reality and virtuality in their principles.
And hence all of a sudden we find ourselves always in a world of confusion. We are tempted by two worlds, reality and virtuality.The world in reality is great and really difficult to achieve and hence we desperately seek happiness in technology which gets us closer to the virtual world. We also have reached a point in human evolution where we know a lot but understand very little. We can achieve a lot of knowledge through our scientific means. Just consider for instance will knowing everything about love without actually falling in it help us? The answer lies in this simple statement “We can only attempt to understand that of which we become a part”. Hence understanding is more important and holistic while knowledge is fragmented. We are slowly realizing that Knowledge without understanding is hollow i.e. it has no solid evidence to stand for it, and that understanding without knowledge is incomplete. And hence we need to undertake this shift, but also have to undertake the great challenge of a language shift. Language Shift necessarily doesn’t target any specific language but in a broader sense it means that we have to undergo a huge shift or reformation in consideration to our present selves.Ortego said that “Every generation has its theme “and every generation or historical period is dominated by or falls under spell of a particular form of language. This language should be dominant and coherent with the challenges of that period. Language influences our perceptions and shapes our actions. Examples: During the first three centuries of the second millennium of Western civilization the human actions had to be justified in a way which was superior to the present way i.e. Importance lay in the deed and not in the time it might take. And hence we saw the construction of big cathedrals, monasteries which took their own time to get built as no one was in a hurry and all that mattered was the Deed. Even the language of the century that dominated was coherent with the historical challenge of the times.
In the 20th century the dominating language became economics. The Keynesian language was born and had the capacity to interpret and finally overcome the crisis. During the fifties and sixties emerged the Developmental language which was optimistic, utopian and happy. This language did not achieve the hoped for goals but was partially coherent with its historical challenges. The last three decades of the 20th century saw the emergence of the neo-liberal discourse. This language still dominated over a period in which there was lot of turmoil. And hence this language was absolutely incoherent with its historical challenges and had its own ill effects which left holders of power looking in opposite directions. We always think of ourselves as part of a successful culture though we are still incomplete beings, materially overdeveloped and poor spiritually which has resulted in our present being.
So now is the time to sit and analyse the present route with all its hazards and successes and seek whether the alternative route which we did not take has orientations to rescue us from this present situation. So perhaps all the previous principles which we left on the alternate path can be thought of. And as Goethe said “If we would seek comfort in the whole, we must learn to discover the whole in the smallest part”. We have passionately progressed towards knowledge leaving understanding behind. No understanding can live without a proper language shift. A new language will be needed which will have the power and dominance, and emerge from one’s own self discovery. If we are able to do so then we are looking forward to a century worth living.
In Relation to the class we had on last Wednesday we can relate this article as follows. We had discussed as to why some things that were designed for specific purpose have still retained their shape, form etc? What were the different reasons that triggered the invention of such things? What could have been the history behind a particular design? Why the particular form? And so on.
Even in this age where new things are developing at a fast pace we still prefer some things as they are. Why the pair of tongs used in the kitchen has not changed their design so far or for that matter the knife. And slowly we recognize that in process of fast paced design developments we forgot some old paths and accepted new paths. Some new accepted paths might not have had proper language shifts and hence are unable to coherent with the present environment. So it’s our duty to select proper paths and take important decisions. Have language shifts that will make us to think ,understand and pay more attention on Deeds so that we may discover our true selves and bring about a life close to reality and worth living for.


No comments: