- Religion and Philosophy»
- The Role of Religion in History & Society
Somethings in life,
like a pretty smile, are universal, others, like funerals in the back woods of Senegal, are highly inflected and require initiation. A house on a lovely street in San Franciso is a house in San Francisco. But a chateau in Southern Italy manned by a staff of servants is a whole world (that includes etiquette, decorum, speech, gesture and gesticulation of a trained sort).
It's hard to know what freedom without context would mean. Or context without freedom. What would evolution mean without a body to evolve? Or what would a body mean without the freedom to learn and evolve? What would words mean if they didn't refer to anything in the world or in the mind? What would a world mean if it wasn't referencable?
Today, the demise of music and art
is clearly visible in videos that are devoid of any symbols, and songs that are devoid of any narrative. Modern communication, including journalism, is essentially about nothing. What is a work of scholarship in the humanities worth if nothing can be said, ex nuovo, but everything must be derivative from the word go? To turn the mind into a machine without even asking permission from the machine, is what replaced the creation of a God by his image. They are both contradictory on one side of the equation and circular on the other.
But our discussion here was meant to be about pretty smiles and near nakedness in San Francisco, a city renowned for its left leaning anti-imperial politics and mores. But nakedness is difficult both with clothes and morals. How does one strip away millennia of accretions that are invisible to the mechanical eye?
How does one rewind to the day the fig leaf was donned — shortly after the apple was bitten? And a hole appeared in the inner sanctum of the body whole, which then got divided by bone work to produce an opposite sex? How does one rewind 200,000 years back in the history of the psyche? To a time before the inner and outer worlds got scattered by the prism of the brain?
Back in this age
not only was a house in San Francisco a house in San Francisco (or whatever the settlement in Africa was called), but an impulse in the thymos was also an impulse in the thymos; Because there was no "cinema" to distract the viewer from the "projector" below his sternum.
And where will we learn this ante-diluvian bonework? In a SF Starbucks? At Stanford University? In a random music video about nothing? Or in a book written by somebody with a hole in his head?