In the opening chapter of his great work The Ever-Present Origin, Jean Gebser described what he perceived as the fundamental dynamic of late Modernity towards greater disintegration. It does, in some ways, resemble what Zygmunt Bauman also described in Liquid Modernity. It’s worth reviewing the relevant passage once again as a pertinent diagnosis of our malaise — of what ails us and of our sense of “lack” as described also by the Buddhist sociologist David Loy. Here are Gebser’s remarks once again,
As mentioned briefly in the last post “The Return of the Lizard People“, professional “public communicators” of all kinds have taken a great deal of interest in the reptilian brain, the oldest layer (in evolutionary terms) of the triune brain system in humans that also includes the limbic and the neo-cortex. I also provided a couple of links to marketing firms’ websites simply to emphasise the point. Those sites were selected completely at random from a lengthy list resulting from a Google search keying on the words “advertising” and “reptilian brain”. There are many more I could have added.
I mentioned in a few earlier posts related to speech and the human form, that as much as “sacred speech” has measurable biological effects, so does propaganda. Propaganda has biological effects, not just psychological effects.
You may be familiar with Rumi’s poem about the snake-catcher of Baghdad, and a few other of Rumi’s poems (such as “Jesus on a Lean Donkey”, from which Nietzsche “borrowed” for his Zarathustra). You might be puzzled by his reference to the dragon and Moses. Here’s the meaning of that.
“I’m not religious, but I am spiritual” is that kind of contemporary vague statement that requires telepathy to actually interpret. It doesn’t communicate a lot of meaning on the face of it. One must, as is said, “read between the lines” — exercise some intuition — to grasp its meaning.
When I use the term “areligious“, therefore, I am not using it in the sense of irreligious. “Areligious” is not a negation in the sense that irreligious is a negation. The statement “I’m not religious, but I am spiritual” is really an attempt to describe an attitude that one can call “areligious”.
I believe that what is called “religion” has carried human beings about as far as it can, and that it has become, by and large, a deteriorated and deficient institution quite inadequate for bearing us any further. In fact, it appears to be actually becoming quite toxic and even reactionary for us now.
In its origins, though, it was a progressive and necessary development for the human race with a mighty alchemical task — to transform apes and lizards into human beings, or, as Nietzsche once suggested, to compel apes to learn to keep promises. That’s more profound than most people realise, I think, given our own perfidious times.
My cat worships the human hand. As far as my cat is concerned, or so it seems, the rest of me is of no interest. I imagine that if cats were to possess more reason, they would probably make a religion and an idol of the Hand. “Paws not good. Only the Hand is good”.