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Modernity kills the imagination

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posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:04 AM
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I was debating whether or not to even post this thread here on ATS. The reason being how many people respond to this type of work… particularly by demagogic the issue, insulting the OP, and generally acting in a way that is uncharacteristic of civilized people. If you want to disagree, no one is stopping you from doing so. But should your post be intentionally rude, insulting, or repetitive of the same typical lines used by thousands of other internet trolls then I will skip right past your post. If you hate religion, believe it all fairytales, or want to talk about a ‘flying spaghetti monster’ please just leave.

**Also, for the Moderators this is not a 'copy and paste' of someone else's work. It is from my own blog. If you desire proof just send me a u2u**

After reading a wonderful piece at the Orthosphere by a regular commenter titled "“My Blushes, Watson!”: Of Blood, Blushing, Whistling, & Holding Hands" it led me to ponder one of the core problems of Modernity. We all basically know its fundamental flaws such as moral relativism, positivism, atomization, soulless mechanization, ethical depravity, and so on. But what of a rather overlooked problem by many, even on the Orthosophere Right-wing.

I of course speak of imagination. It is this beautiful way of thinking, of contemplating, which is reserved solely to human beings. I for one believe it to be intertwined with our souls. Nevertheless, my point is that imagination is definitely not being nurtured in our modern era. One of the major factors behind its decline is mechanization of society. We are taught to think in a way which is more fixed with materialism; depriving us of God's gift to think illogically, unreasonably and thus passionately.

Take for example a concept being explained in the post linked above. It explains that the heart used to be so organically observed as deeply metaphorical. Today we are inclined to see it as basically mechanical. The heart pumps blood and so on. Whereas the pre-modern could explain the heart as the kindness, love, gentleness (or lack thereof) in a person, today we would immediately explain it as a vital organ in the body. Thus society has stripped it of the immaterial meaning, its metaphorical basis which linked it to our soul and the divine. Lions have hearts, as do monkeys, zebras, bears, and so on... This is yet another leveling of man down to that of mere animals, which Modernists do so well.

Imagination imprints all animate and inanimate things with metaphors, or the ability to become metaphorical or personified. A tree can dance, mountains can sing, the moon can smile, a human tongue can be like a snake, a heart the source of a person's love, and the eyes gateway to our spirit. All of this requires true imagination. We do not simply assign to things any metaphor or personification, it is not a mere projection onto other things. It is the interconnectedness of God's creation which gives to us forms twofold; their physical and their essence which precedes their existence. Logic and reason can explain to us the natural world, which is a good thing to know. But even more important is to truly know the world through eyes originally intended for us. In so doing we can see that tree dancing because the essence of the tree conveys dance, a mountain sings because the essence of the mountain conveys song; this is God's intent for us to see if only we open our eyes.

The ability to observe the world in this light can be summed up as imagination, or perhaps there is a better word for it. Regardless my point is not obscure. All our ancestors truly lived in harmony with the world, although it was still a step down from Adam and Eve's view. An obsession with statistics and the material has shattered this side of man which has alienated us from the world. It had first made us strangers to our own land then as strangers to each other. Many fled into romanticizing about nature; they did so not because there existed in them a harmony with nature but rather a recognized break from, but an inability to reconnect with, nature. Once we had fallen from our connection to that which surrounds and thus connects us to each other, we became strangers to each other. For a group of people not to be strangers it requires a basic ground upon which mutual understanding is reached; shared language is necessary but so too is our shared perception of the world around us and thus what created and governs the world around us.

Great fiction requires imagination, so it should come as no surprise the fiction of our modern age is dull and lacking in passion. The entire essence of pre-modern works was overwhelming with metaphors and personifications, many even worked within a non-literal (figurative) format. These works truly captured the world around us. They did not even contemplate a thought of whistling a tune being 'nothing but air rushing through one's lips'. In whistling they heard a humble tune expressed by a happy gentleman/lady; there was no need to reduce it any further, nor could they imagine doing so without shedding a tear. In all things existed something deeper than what may be examined on an operating table or a science lab. Perhaps to them this is just fancy delusion for an inability to cope with the 'real world'; they are wrong though, their 'real world' is seriously lacking. They have stripped it of soul, of God, whereby it is now nothing more than infinite randomness where no thought, action, or being means anything more than what is projected onto it or assigned to itself (in the case of humans). Even then the projection and assignment are thoughts of uselessness thrown down the swirling toilet of the cosmos.

Only in God may we find imagination. Only in God may we find order in the world, an understanding of our relation to it, and the meaning of all that exists around us. Take God from the equation and all falls to randomness, where all things are constructs or projections. Any remaining bit of identity left to animate/inanimate things in this world are hollowed out versions of a time passed where man felt his interconnectedness with all of God's creation. It is now an abandoned building waiting to be randomly demolished by the Modernists in pursuit of leveling the world. Until all things are lying equally ugly, decayed, and colorless upon the ground in melancholic misery. At that point may we hoist up the red flag and declare ourselves liberated from God, from 'tyranny', and from 'social constructs'. Only then may we be truly an animal unworthy of even the slightest mercy from the creator.

"This is the great fall, the fall by which the fish forgets the sea, the ox forgets the meadow, the clerk forgets the city, every man forgets his environment and, in the fullest and most literal sense, forgets himself. This is the real fall of Adam, and it is a spiritual fall. It is a strange thing that many truly spiritual men, such as General Gordon, have actually spent some hours in speculating upon the precise location of the Garden of Eden. Most probably we are in Eden still. It is only our eyes that have changed." - G. K. Chesterton, 'The Defendant' (1901)




posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:38 AM
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My understanding of modernity goes something like this:

Modernity teaches us to embrace the physical at the ever-increasing detriment to the soul.
It teaches us that logic is the only tool, rather than an important tool amongst many.
It teaches us to forgo empathy, one of the core natural traits allowing social species and complex societies to exist at all.

To take a line from Christianity: "What profit it a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?" Oh, so very apt.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:44 AM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:46 AM
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The reason for this, is because the society we live in, is fundamentally fascist. Fascism doesn't want free association thinking, at all; it has an extremely narrow conception of reality, and earnestly believes that everyone else should as well.

To a large extent, this really goes back to industrialisation, or the factory process. When you want to create an automated production line, you tend to want two things. I'm something of a computer programmer, and also enjoy playing with industrial/manufacturing mods in the game Minecraft, so I have some at least theoretical experience with this topic.

a] Uniformity and standardisation.
b] To optimise around as few metrics as possible. (Preferably only one if you can get away with it)

The reason for this is that machines have no ability to cope with novelty and non-linearity; they absolutely must have uniform input, with as few deviations and asymmetrical elements as possible. That is also the fundamental reason why industrialisation is diametrically opposed to Nature. Nature is a non-uniform, non-linear, horrifically messy and novel thing, and machines can't cope with that.

So you see, we also end up with two diametrically opposed definitions of insanity. The conventional, establishment definition (held by people who have not consumed entheogenic or psychedelic substances) is the ability to see things like faces in inanimate objects which are not considered to have faces, like trees and rocks. The opinion of people who have been exposed to psychedelics, on the one hand, is that insanity is actually defined as the inability to see such faces; or more generally, the tendency to seek uniformity as a priority above all else.

OP, if you have not already, I would strongly recommend that you study the concept of McDonaldisation, as I believe it could provide much insight into explaining the scenario you have described.

To clarify, it is necessary to emphasise that McDonaldisation, in and of itself, is not an inherently bad thing. Attempting to optimise around as few metrics or characteristics as possible, is only a bad thing when it is assumed that said few metrics are the only ones which exist at all.

Although it is difficult to find the exact segments within the film, I would encourage a viewing of Max Igan's new film Trance-Formation, as it elaborates greatly on this issue, as part of its' discussion of transhumanism.


edit on 24-4-2012 by petrus4 because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:48 AM
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I can imagine a household anywhere where a mother might say, "Go outside child, and get some fresh air."

And in reply the child would state, "Don't need to. I've already googled it."

We're advancing in intelligence but running far behind in wisdom.

Cheers
S&F



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:58 AM
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Could not agree more Misior.

In the modern times we live in now, and the materialistic way we have become, we have forgotten we have an imagination.

We are a society of instant gratification, that just wants the next thing as quickly as possible. Gone are the days we actually thought about things, took our time to use our imagination and just feel free.

We have become trapt in the snare of greed and power, and this has killed our imaginations.

Luckily some people are not like that though. Thank you for pointing this out mate.

vvv



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 02:59 AM
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I am aware of the damage that floride causes and wonder if you are? What i mean is, floride attacks and destroys the penial gland in the brain, this is also know scientifically as the third eye. As i understand it this is the root area for ones imagination. So I wouod suggest also that foride is seriously damaging our abiloty to imagine


I think you are correct also with modernisation.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 03:36 AM
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Evidently I speak for more than just myself in saying that I am very happy that you decided to go for it and post this thread. It is beautifully written and the content is very powerful.

The only thing I can add, is that your OP (creativity being the heart of the matter, connectivity to nature, man and God) relates to that beautifully human capacity to feel. It is in feeling that we are guided and it is in the lack of feeling that we become lost. Feeling guides the soul.

As a classic ballet dancer many years ago, one of my peers asked me how it was that I always hit the big roles and always got honours in exams. She wanted a tool to use to improve her dancing. The only thing I could think of in reply was that "the true art of dancing is to BECOME the dance". That is how I danced. You do not perform the dance. You are the dance. Your every cell, eyes, from toes to fingertips, the entire body, down to your perception of the self changes in that moment. You become something that is not the person that stood waiting for the music to start. You change into the dance.
It is also the way I experience life. I have been told that this is the way I paint. My whole body paints. Sadly, I feel that my capacity to really feel/become, is to a lesser degree now than what it was when I was young, but I know that even now, my feeling experience, especially relating to the magic in nature, is not conventional.

However, with this ability to feel/ be one with, comes a deep level of pain. It is as if it is a massive challenge to funcion uneffected in today's world. Knowing that your experience differs from most others. As if being like this is almost inapropriate at this time; as if one does not belong; your experience of the world does not happily co-incide with the norm. You can feel colours in a leaf, shapes in the tiny transparent bubbles of juice within an orange that holds no experience to most.

(eg: at a meeting with my daughter's teachers recently, in which we discussed her problems with maths, I appealed to them, feeling deeply that we need their help. It was almost commic to see the surpirse in their eyes, the silence lingering into a heavy thick ball of fuzz for a couple of thick moments... In that moment, I realised that these teachers, dealing with very rich parents, me probably the exception, were not used to seeing a sincere appeal from the heart.)

From my perspective, it is indeed a strange world we are now living in. A world without a heart. It really hurts and it is very lonely.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 04:20 AM
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reply to post by UnlimitedSky
 


I genuinely enjoyed your post and am glad that not only you were able to collect from this post what I had intended but actually employ such viewing of the world in your own life. It definitely makes a tremendous difference. Perhaps it is the best way to understand the world for the genuinely ignorant (by which I mean the naturally unintelligent) and the artistic (which you and I are). I include the ignorant because being unintelligent in today's society is viewed as awful, and they may feel inferior, but through this understanding of the world they are able to feel more powerful and overall better about themselves.

Thank you to all the kind posters in this thread!



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 11:49 AM
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What is your definition of imagination?



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by AlchemicalBinoculars
 


Is this for the OP or can anyone join in.

For me imagination is what seperates us from our fellow animals. It is the ability to put abstract thoughts together. Things that shouldn't be possible are possible in the imagination. we can think of a talking duck or a dinosaur roaming the modern city streets.

It also allows us to imagine our future that we can individually strive for. Imagining the goals and the rewards to motivate yourself.


All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination, Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.
Napoleon Hill
Read more at www.brainyquote.com...



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by woodwardjnr
reply to post by AlchemicalBinoculars
 


For me imagination is what seperates us from our fellow animals. It is the ability to put abstract thoughts together. Things that shouldn't be possible are possible in the imagination. we can think of a talking duck or a dinosaur roaming the modern city streets.

It also allows us to imagine our future that we can individually strive for. Imagining the goals and the rewards to motivate yourself.


All the breaks you need in life wait within your imagination, Imagination is the workshop of your mind, capable of turning mind energy into accomplishment and wealth.
Napoleon Hill
Read more at www.brainyquote.com...




Thanks woodwardjnr, that is an excellent definition of imagination.



posted on Apr, 24 2012 @ 12:48 PM
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Originally posted by woodwardjnr

It is the ability to put abstract thoughts together.


So it is a human only trait? Then what of the evidence that the top carnivores which are the most successful are the carnivore that can think most like a weasel, or a groundhog, or a rabbit, because this ability to think like the prey gives you a leg up on the prey. Cows have very little to say about grass, but hunting cats have a great deal to say about their diet, because a top carnivore in order to be successful must in a certain sense think like its prey.

Slight digression. I assume we are posting about human imagination. Yes?



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