Guest commentary by Mitch MacKay of East Jordan
HUMANITY AT LARGE HAS A RUDIMENTARY INTELLECT, a pragmatic commonsense approach to life, or survival in its basic resolution, independence coupled with compromise, the undertaker and the taxman being the major catalysts of lifestyle decisions.
The philosopher Robert M. Pirsig, author of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and the follow up Lila, defines mankind as Static or dynamic Quality insofar as intellect and social interactions, values, morals, religion, lifestyle, anthropology, education, all aspects of man’s relation to worldly and esoteric reaction to being alive.
Lila, pron. Leela in India btw, means “Divine play” or “play of God,” “play” in all senses of the word as derived from Brahmin lore.
In so delving Rob went catatonic urinating on himself in a lotus position on the floor which led, after an institutional stay, to the book Zen and his recap Lila.
Most people react viscerally, palpably, with variegated intellect relative to genetics, id, location, environment, development around them as to education, country of origin, emigration if any – which in the US is almost everybody – crowdsourcing input, all that we are born into and grow to adapt ways of coexisting.
In so doing we take on much of the greater perception of our places in the cavalcade of man traipsing across the city grids or the sand dunes as the case may be.
A country life upbringing is plausibly the best for childhood development but training of the academic and spiritual dimensions is of value too in enhancing the natural mentality of the child set adrift in societies he may or may not feel fealty toward.
A blending, a leveling out of sense of place in culture is inevitable to varying extents. In this we derive social order guided and controlled of course by the mores and laws that have developed according to want and need of interactive herding.
For herding is natural in a tribal sense, the family extended or insular, the clannishness which often takes hold as mainstay of life development and evolution.
Devolution also occurs relative to earthly changes and man’s traits of conquest, hedonism, imperialism, egoist propensities of gaining leverage over his earthly contemporaries, the birth of civilization as we have known it for 10 ½ million years.
The academic and evangelical notions of man’s origin have expanded considerably since the advent of scientific discovery of our past.
Once, man was content to count his origin at 6000 years of age through biblical records alone for nothing else was available until THE TESTIMONY OF THE SPADE by Geoffrey Bibby who incorporated archaeology into the study of man’s advent.
Religion, existentialism, sensationalism, secularism, communal clan tribalism all suffice for the means to get through life for the majority simply due to lack of anything else to pave the way to satiety if even that, for many do not achieve rest either physical or emotional.
But people are not stupid regardless the praeteritio-based fun-quip of “you can’t fix stupid”, instead it’s just primal plebeian egocentric pettiness conflating with caste clannishness in our fixed environments and social mores.
Some few seek the personal ineffable whereas the most seek an effable, fungible, inflatable bank account.
From this has developed the Capitalistic social order, spawning in turn the Socialistic ideology through Marx’s Communist Manifesto inversion.
Some actually seek institutionalization or primal alienation whether deliberately or inadvertently.
The few who seek balance of juggling the extremes find wayward solace as semi-self-sufficient vagabond beatniks.
Homogenization has been the directive for all cultural organizing.
Democracy itself seeks nothing other though allows for individual osmosis.
This America though sorely tried and challenged in these young millennial times now wards off encroaching Communism via false flag tirades and outrageous onslaughts on America’s Constitutional premise.
Trumpistan is that sought by the current administration in league with the primary source of Russia, some hand-reaching toward China and North Korea to bolster that Unamerican Tragedy script.
Paradoxically and without much justification, the educated and privileged youth that had rebelled against middleclass mores utilized that privilege, that money, to seek the higher grounds of intellect and the arts.
These are not so much the Rebel Without a Cause social renegades, but more the thin stratifications above that breakout, higher education allowing for some of this, and personal freedom to search providing the bulk of the pastures in which to roam while seeking.
It is the pinnacle of achievement for man but is often derided as a wastrel existence unless coupled to celebrity fame and fortune, the perquisites of materialistic Capitalism.
Some allowance for this oxymoron exists though is encapsulated within academia which diametrically also causes pressure to bear upon the very energy exerted toward fulfillment of search for wisdom.
Therein lies the great struggle of mankind, to seek and find transcendent thought within the integument of social herding.
“The high country of the mind” as Pirsig phrased it discovers this crux as did he the “Quality” factor which in its turn divides into “static quality and “dynamic quality.”
He then likens the words of Lao Tzu to this search, the inability to name this high country but for “The Way.”
There are words to tell of this but few want to hear them, this being the grand divide between man’s transcendence, which is his return to sender, and man’s inhabitance, which is his ticket to ride indefinitely.
There is little or no compromise or conflation between the passenger trains passing through stations in the night in the optical illusion of movement while known to be standing still.
Plato and contemporaries discussed near-analogies to this in mostly secular terms which gave us the linguistics to work with still viable for the miniscule mental thread that care to indulge.
Religion as such offers little or no insight beyond history or blind faith, worthy though these be.
Higher education itself stifles and even insults intellectual courage which one may breakaway from as did Robert Pirsig in his dual ZEN treatise which as said drove him mad in cultural terms.
It is truly paradoxical that in searching for what all are searching one meets such resistance and onslaught as evidenced by labeled heretics of old who died for such basic and yet metamorphic addenda to Man’s Origin & Destiny.
As the ancient Stonehenge-affiliated Druids said, “Do not all paths lead to the great center?”
This is all coming together now, religion, fact, physics, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, geology, archaeology, spirituality, politics, press, Hebrew Bible, New Testament, global awareness. The US Constitution whether wittingly or unwittingly set in motion some moral equivalents to be resolved.
In delving so deeply into the current affairs so poignant the uncovering of much of Man’s Origin comes to the fore as Destiny.