A companion blog, The Metacognition Project, has been created to focus specifically on metacognition and related consciousness processes. Newest essay on TMP: Goals and Problems, part two

Thursday, October 6, 2011

We Are Entering the Zone

As I enter the zone – of absolute certainty that only a tiny few years remain for the existence of my conscious awareness – I see how my reflections on my own mortality, across the years, relate to the way in which societies understand their ‘mortality.’  In essence, societies do not and cannot comprehend their own end; they are always in the condition of the young, because they are continually replenished by new young.  But societies become decrepit in their institutions and forms when they either lose contact with the realities that inform them or are unable to respond with adaptive forces: the young drive on; the society’s systems strain and fail.

The fantasy of eternal life has almost always been built around the rejuvenation of the body – it is usually the body that fails, leaving the mind to flounder helplessly without the support needed for its exercises.  Individually we most often scale back our expectations, but with regret. 

In my own experience, I have refused to accept the aging of the body, which then must keep up with the desires and demands of a youthful mind, and am in that way like a society; the institutions, the public ideas, the social values have all gone stale and sclerotic and yet are still driven onward by each new youthful infusion who can know no better.  But, the most basic condition of the body or society is not improved by the youthful demand or wish; it may only appear so for a time: me on my motorcycle riding across the country and my nation spending its energies on wars of choice and the destruction of its own people.  It seems that neither one of us will stop until the end.

The present boiling over of frustration, anxiety and fear for the future is the bubbling up of the youthful mind without regard to age of the body.  Of course, it has no direction; and, of course, the powers-that-be desperately want ‘the movement’ to proclaim its demands, its policies, so it can head them of at the pass, so it can put its professional sophists to work distilling and diluting the messages in its Big Lie Brewery.

But the youthful minds have reached the end of their capacity to accept the twisted reasoning and actual twisting of their lives to fit into the failing world – so clearly failing as families begin to move from foreclosed homes into the public campgrounds, as middle aged, middle class and middle-valued men and women hold signs on street corners proclaiming, not a demand, but an entreaty for work.

I’ve been traveling again; watching and listening.  I heard and watched my camp neighbor get up and leave the free camping area at 6 am to drive the 2 hours to work.  The well-dressed gentleman holding the sign on a corner near an exclusive restaurant, it begged simply, “Work.”

The bubbling up and boiling over of America’s youthful mind is not yet frightening to the economic elite; they have us all by the _____(add our own diminishing sexual reference) don’t you know!  Once they fully realize that the incipient demand is that they cease and desist, that they join the rest of humanity, then you will see a reaction.  You will see the real reaction, not the foolish, lying condescension that passes for honest awareness in the media. 

But this body-politic will not be rejuvenated by a youthful mind, though it is pleasant for a time to try.  This is a struggle that will come to blows, and there must be a real death of the old body and the birth of a new one with all the primal reality that such changes entail.  


daddo said...

(hope this isn't a double post)

Hang in there, brother :)

James Keye said...

No, just the one.

Not to worry -- 'no worries', to speak in the language of the deep deep south. I am always fascinated by the role of metaphor and analogy, how both can inform and confuse the understanding.

Moved from the big R1100GS to a R80G/S as my travel bike and am good to go for another 100,000 miles.

Wandering Bear said...

Hello James

I just came across your site and have enjoyed what I've seen.

As to this issue...it's a weird form of denial, to say the least. You might compare it to a woman finding that she was pregnant but refusing to accept the reality of the situation until she had fallen down in the street and begun to go into labor.

We're about to discover whether we are yet another generation that makes the futile attempt at an ugly late-term abortion.

We of our generation (yours and mine) seldom gave the "establishment" much credit for the capacity to exercise any form of meaningful insight. Now we are them and find we never really learned anything from us.

James Keye said...

Wandering Bear,

I think of it like a game of 3-card monte in which we are playing with ourselves and don't notice when we slip the queen up our sleeve.

traveller said...

I stumbled across your site via M. Dawson's Consumer Trap. Really enjoying your words and insight. I hope you keep on and enjoy the journey.