Tracing the Roots of the Loss of Western Dignity
by B Wook
AS An amateur historian of some salience, I have been now for ten years or so interested in the phenomenon of the loss in the Old Atlantic West with any concern with personal dignity as a core component of the public being of adult men and women; this appears to be a seldom occurrence in the unfolding of our history, at least from Late Antiquity and the beginnings of the Christian Aeon that is now ending.
The prevailing ‘discourse’ to-day appears altogether not aware of this as an issue, and when reminded of it, seems only able to make somewhat rebarbative de-constructive analyses that ‘reveal’ the ‘hidden’ motive of ‘power’. Making personal power for oneself, however, was long held to be a central artifact of adult success; beyond a point, then, I expect that this latter-day sort of criticism is the manifestation, amid an exhausted and more-and-more creditless professorate at least, of the ageing revenants of a ‘youth culture’ now rather long in the tooth and, hence, all the more thrown down amid the general cultural denial of Death.
For as James Hillman noted, what is suppressed to-day is certainly not sex, it is Death. He was commenting as a psychologist from the perspective of the babble of greedy and optimistic therapeutic ‘models’, all mainly oriented to ‘self-actualisation’, more of the money and stuff of this Life. This sort of somewhat ‘genderised’ drool is a fair specimen of a lopsided metier; and, in any actually open poesis of the Soul, it is no end useless to any actual adults among the readers:
IT CAN not be otherwise than without any depth of value whatsoever, all of the misplaced Apollonian & terrible Promethean self-deception notwithstanding; fear and Worry and findings (!) of Despair, all are simply Nature’s way of telling us that in the end Life IS unworkable.
Whereas accepting this this in turn also may help some to redeem actual friendship with Death from the domain of the ‘impossible’.
After all, it is Death and the conversation with Death that can guide us far more to the point at Life’s ending, certainly in the imaginal work of rescuing the hideous Past, sedating the terrible Present AND preventing the horror of any number of atrocious ‘Futures’. So it is that when people endlessly exhort one another to ‘rally’ and ‘keep on’ in a certain kind of falsely optimistic theraspeak, this in itself, as well as being semi-deliberately incomprehending, is and in spite of all consciously held intent to announce the otherwise, namely a creed of the completely Hopeless:
COUNSELS Of denial & evasion after all are wholly NOT ‘appropriate’ to the moral as well as literal age of many, and in the end, Dignity necessarily is linked to Death and not Life.
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[8 August 2013]