Thursday, 15 March 2012

Fragmented world

Forget global warming

We must heal our fragmented world.  This is a world of disjointed meanings.
We move...
      from the office
          to the art gallery
              to the shopping centre,
                  the car,
                      the mobile phone,
                           Surfing and Tweeting
                               the concert on the radio,
                                   the poetry book. 

But however poetic this may sound, it can only gloss over what is fundamentally broken with a cloud of incense. But we don't need hazy incense - we need clarity.

What does it all MEAN?

What we live through is the sense-data of experience.
                                                                     The information on the screen,
                                                                the advertising billboard,
                                                         the free Metro newspaper,
                                                   the voice on the radio,
                                              the buttons on the phone,
                                         the icons on the screen
                                  and the buzzer on the door.
But each of these carries an imprint of something it must have meant to someone at some time. Each of them register with each of us some kind of meaning. But mostly the meanings don't match. The meaning of my daughter's piano playing and my wife's kiss and my brother's birthday seem at one level, which is different from the meaning of the advertising billboard, the voice on the radio and the icons on the screen. In fact, they conflict. The icons on the screen and the buttons on the phone mean nothing compared my dad's death or the love of my family.

People will say "yes .. but on another level, it's all meaningful". I disagree. I don't think there's a level where it's all meaningful any more. There's a hazy cloud of 'benumbed conceiving' (see where we give up thinking clearly: that to me is why there are so many crack-pot 'spiritual movements' out there. What happened to good old solid theology?!

But that's precisely the question. It's the theology we've lost, and we don't know how to replace it. And with it gone, the scope for a rational coherent existence goes with it.

I like old-fashioned theology. I also like cybernetics. I find the two highly compatible. If I feel slightly less fragmented with my own meaningful existences it is because of both theology and cybernetics. But fundamentally the journey towards healing the fractures is educational. That's because the search for an answer is just another symptom of the meaning problem. It's not the answer that we need. We need to get our processes working better!

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