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Sir William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence

  1. Jan 8, 2009 #1
    I just read Sir William Blake’s Auguries of Innocence. Reading it, I’ve been left in a quandary. It brings to light some of my own doubts about ourselves. We as a people, no, civilization, no not even that, something more than a civilization, more essential, the building blocks of civilization, as the representatives of our human nature have not defined our own nature morally.

    What is right? What is wrong? Do right and wrong even exist? If so, how? Less to the point, what is good and what is bad? Morally, ethically, where do we stand? The road we have adopted, individually and as a large group, where does it lead? Are we essentially all the same?

    On the surface of it, yes. The world over, we tend to have approximately agreeable opinions on law, order, justice, and a plethora of other issues. Society, even in its subdivisions is more or less the same, whether you are in a high powered gathering of the who’s who or whether you are in the underground society that is shunned by most and is itself rather exclusive to a particular social strata. You will find leaders, liars, followers, deceivers, murders, creators in all forms present in diametrically different social systems. There is no end to the similarities. It is as if someone defined a class society, and the different types of societies are just variables of that class with all the varieties of personalities present in each variable. It points to large similarities amongst us, but at the same time the differences are insane!

    Going back to the class analogy, the properties of the variable types are completely different. This translates to huge differences in perspectives of each type of “variable” and the differing perspectives are so dissonant that there is no common ground where they meet. This dissonance leads to a structure of society that is so warped, that is so perverted that it falls over itself when it encounters any issue that concerns more than one sect. As such, such a society cannot form or come to a general consensus where any abstract, spiritual (for the lack of a better word) issue, such as morality, ethics, etc. is concerned.

    Individually, society is the larger, more general, environment that we live in; so how can we hope to accomplish anything of significance if we are not in harmony with our environment? What’s more, as we are not in harmony with our environment, we are not aware of where we stand as individuals or as a whole. At the same time, our intellectual pursuits are far more advanced than our spiritual ones. As a result, we are not spiritually equipped to deal with the direction society, as a whole, is moving in. An example of this is our development of nuclear power. We now have unimaginable power at our fingertips, but are we equipped to wield it?

    There are innumerable other discoveries, developments not just in Science which lead us to situations we cannot spiritually deal with. Looking at the societal structure of any ‘developed’ nation (Western European countries such as Germany, France come to mind), where interpersonal relationships have deteriorated to such an extent that people seldom know their own neighbors well. Cases in point here are the best sellers ‘The Possibility of an Island’ and ‘Atomized’ by Michelle Houellebeck which talk about life in France.

    Similarly, Japanese society is also under immense strain from their work culture. Their devotion to the company is such that they drive themselves to almost the breaking point at work. I’ve read an anecdote in ‘The Toyota Way’ where one of the leading designers working on Prius stayed at the factory for two months because of the inhuman workload and time constraints he had. This is a specific example, but the sentiment behind may be generalized to cover the average Japanese man. This strains the relationship he has with his family, which is traditionally thought to be his source of strength.

    At the same time if you go to a rural area, where life is a lot simpler, the people are happier. They take time to talk to each other, to develop their interpersonal relationships, and life moves at a pace they can spiritually deal with.

    Currently, I live in India. I used to live in Europe (Bucharest, Budapest) up until about five years ago, and I’ve seen it change completely. The rate at which apparent economic development is progressing is astounding. I may not have a very accurate idea of the extent of development, as I’m not an expert, but I have seen things change drastically over here. At the same time, the interpersonal relationships are changing. They are leading to a society which more and more resembles, at least in the metropolises, the ones whose characteristics I have (partially) described.

    At the same time, when I go and visit my relatives living in small towns, where everyone knows everyone else, I see something completely different. There is almost no stress! Life is simple. Everyone is relaxed and unconcerned with tomorrow. Time is almost irrelevant. Almost everyone is genuinely happy. Their wants and needs are simple. Life moves at a pace they can spiritually deal with. They are content. Why is that contentment missing from our lives? Their spiritual boundaries are set. They meet at a common ground. The class is still the same. How are they able to establish that common ground, that spiritual coherence and harmony in their society? What are we doing wrong?

    I realize there may be inconsistencies in my point of view, and that I might not have been very clear in some areas. Please bring such irregularities to light and I shall try to elaborate and clarify wherever I can. I hope I have built up a reasonable case. Maybe we can come upon an answer, or maybe we'll just end up with more questions. In any case, all opinions and replies are appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 8, 2009 #2
  4. Aug 16, 2009 #3
    Re: Questions

    Sorry, long long dead post. Giving it a bump. Dont flame me .:redface:
     
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