“There are things one loses in giving up God, and they are not insignificant. Most importantly, you lose the guarantee of redemption. Suppose that you do something morally terrible, something for which you cannot make amends, something, perhaps, for which no human being could ever be expected to forgive you. I imagine that the promise made by many religions, that God will forgive you if you are truly sorry, is a thought would that bring enormous comfort and relief. You cannot have that if you are an atheist. In consequence, you must live your life, and make your choices with the knowledge that every choice you make contributes, in one way or another, to the only value your life can have.”—Good Minus God: The Moral Atheist - NYTimes.com (via morefunthanbeingsad)
I know it’s still Christmas, and we all should be thinking positive, being happy, and stuffing our faces and stomachs to the brim. But when ready, please read the article linked. And think how we each have made an impact on the world, and how we have been framing our minds around our personal and social environments. Then, begin to think how we can prepare ourselves for the coming year/s, and what changes we need to make in our own lives.
This is a crucial point in American, no - World, history. We can’t continue ignoring the problems as they surmount. And change always begins with the individual.
It is the cult of self that is killing the United States. This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation; a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt…
…And this is also the ethic promoted by corporations. It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, mistaken for individualism, are the same as democratic equality. It is the nationwide celebration of image over substance, of illusion over truth.
“Like children trying to describe nonsense objects, so in trying to understand a thing we are trying to find a metaphor for that thing. Not just any metaphor, but one with something more familiar and easy to our attention. Understanding a thing is to arrive at a metaphor for that thing by substituting something more familiar to us. And the feeling of familiarity is the feeling of understanding.
Generations ago we would understand thunderstorms perhaps as the roaring and rumbling about in battle of superhuman gods. We would have reduced the racket that follows the streak of lightning to familiar battle sounds, for example. Similarly today, we reduce the storm to various supposed experiences with friction, sparks, vacuums, and the imagination of bulgeous banks of burly air smashing together to make the noise. None of these really exist as we picture them. Our images of these events of physics are as far from the actuality as fighting gods. Yet they act as the metaphor and they feel familiar and so we say we understand the thunderstorm.”—
Julian Jaynes, The Origin of Consciousness, 52
A beautiful & succinct explanation. I truly enjoy Jaynes’ writing.
In terms of the Operating System: Perhaps it’s impossible to ever understand the world in a truly systemic, extra-human way, because we are bound by understanding through metaphor. However, as experience evolves, so do metaphors — our library of references is expanding, especially away from our own point of view, our bodies. Again, the opportunity to understand in terms of these new, non-, extra- or someday, post-human, experiences, should be taken advantage of, instead of relying on archaic, local explanations.
This is not just another political debate. This is the defining issue of our time. This is a make or break moment for the middle class, and for all those who are fighting to get into the middle class. Because what’s at stake is whether this will be a country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home, secure their retirement.
Now, in the midst of this debate, there are some who seem to be suffering from a kind of collective amnesia. After all that’s happened, after the worst economic crisis, the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, they want to return to the same practices that got us into this mess. In fact, they want to go back to the same policies that stacked the deck against middle-class Americans for way too many years. And their philosophy is simple: We are better off when everybody is left to fend for themselves and play by their own rules.
I am here to say they are wrong. I’m here in Kansas to reaffirm my deep conviction that we’re greater together than we are on our own. I believe that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, when everyone does their fair share, when everyone plays by the same rules. These aren’t Democratic values or Republican values. These aren’t 1 percent values or 99 percent values. They’re American values. And we have to reclaim them.
I aim to create work that investigates the concept of self and its manifestations and permutations when presented in personal, inter-relational, and larger social contexts. I approach this inquiry through careful use of materials in multiple media - ranging from photography, performance, video, and site-specific installation. Working in an interdisciplinary method allows the work to be accessible and engaging to audiences on multiple levels.
My art projects are inherently personal and revelatory. By sharing my own experiences and explorations of the self, I seek to serve as a catalyst for others in their own self-inquiry. Doing so, I share in their journeys, and in the human condition as a whole.
I need your help with an art project. Please give me ONE WORD that has personally offended you, something people called out that hurt you, or that makes you deeply uncomfortable. One word, in any language. Click the “submit” link at the top.