A Civilisation Goes Home to Die…

Or…?

It’s a peculiar thing. What do Greece and Iraq share in common… besides almost complete dissolution?

Both Iraq and Greece were the fountainheads of contemporary civilisation. The civilisation of the Tigris and Euphrates, Mesopotomia, was the headwater of the Jewish, Arab and Western tributaries of civilisation, later supplemented by the Greek influence. And it’s a peculiar thing that both, today, are in a state of radical dissolution.

Is it a case of civilisation, as we know it, devouring its own roots? I don’t know. It’s a very odd thing. But I can’t help but note the present deplorable condition of the Arab, Jewish and Western civilisations — the sons and daughters of Abraham, as it were, following his own emigration from Ur of the Chaldees — and see also that they all are devouring their own roots, becoming, as it were, castles (or dungeons) in the air.

The irony of the so-called “Coalition of the Willing” and ISIL is that they share that destruction and that nihilism in common, and when Mr. Bush and his neo-cons launched the Iraq War, I wrote even then that “this civilisation is going home to die” and that “Shock and Awe” would be a devouring of its own roots, and of the 5,000 year continuous narrative of its present origins written literally in stone.

“End of the Grand Narrative” indeed, and in a quite physical and literal way. What the “Coalition of the Willing” began, ISIL is completing.

One might say the same of Greece — birthplace of logic and philosophy, of reason and democracy, and many other things besides (for both good and ill). The present state of Greece should put to rest any delusional notions that history is the record of a continuous “ascent”, or that history is progress and that progress is cumulative.

As the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East once seeded and spawned many tributaries and fruits (including the Greek), the stream of Greek civilisation also seeded and fertilised, both Eastwards and Westwards. And it seems significant to me today, that both these headwaters and roots of our contemporary civilisation are in a condition of utter dissolution, aided and abetted by ourselves — whether Hebrew, Arab or European.

So, the question naturally occurs to me: Is contemporary civilisation devouring its own roots?

 

Advertisements

5 responses to “A Civilisation Goes Home to Die…”

  1. abdulmonem says :

    Throughout time and over space god speaks through the human in the five basic modes of speech, namely to warn, to herald, to testify ,to call for the oneness,the truth and to set an example according to the third Abrahimic religion. The middle religion ,alas, instead of being a mediator between the first and the last ,takes the side of the first against the last and becomes a tail to the first thus our problem perpetuates. Thank you Scott for being a platform for these intuitional flashes that help to see in this darkness. This remind me of the non-negotiational attitude Paker the American foreign minister took against Tarik Aziz the Iraki foreign minister, the same attitude the money lenders are taking against Greece, do as you told attitude with no regard to anything. It is a waking time, that is why the five modes mentioned are amok. Nothing stay put, everything perishes but his face and to Him we return.We should not forget the other players who are playing major role in rebalancing of the world.

  2. LittleBigMan says :

    “The present state of Greece should put to rest any delusional notions that history is the record of a continuous “ascent”, or that history is progress and that progress is cumulative.”

    Excellent. The insightful individual, the observant individual, and the thoughtful would see the truth in that. Oh, boy, but, how rare that mode of thinking is.

    “What the “Coalition of the Willing” began, ISIL is completing.”

    Precisely. Those two armies have been psychic allies. They both are pushing man toward the same fate.

    • Scott Preston says :

      You could call it “the destruction of heritage”. That was even in the news today: “Isis militants destroy 2,000 year old statue of lion at Palmyra”

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/02/isis-militants-destroy-palmyra-stone-lion-al-lat

      The problem: it’s an old one summarised in the saying “you can’t know where you are going, if you don’t know where you’ve been”. The destruction of heritage is like a plant devouring its own roots.

      The irony of ISIL — they destroy icons and artefacts in the belief that these things have numinous power. But the belief that such icons and artefacts have numinous power is itself idolatry. One only smashes idols because one believes in the numinous power of the idol. What a bizarre logic! Very duplicitous.

      The bigot and the fanatic are siamese twins — the bigot, a secular fanatic; and the fanatic, a religious bigot. It would almost be comedic if it wasn’t so tragic. Oh, well… let’s call it the “tragi-comedy” of the all-too-human.

      • LittleBigMan says :

        “The bigot and the fanatic are siamese twins — the bigot, a secular fanatic; and the fanatic, a religious bigot. It would almost be comedic if it wasn’t so tragic.”

        🙂 There’s the game that “ego-nature” knows how to play so well that if it cannot get its way through one of many doors of misperception, it will try to play its trick through another door that leads Man to hell. Our personality is always under assault. I have found that being aware of this is very helpful and has a calming effect no matter what the disappointment.

        By the way, that was a beautiful statue IS people destroyed. Glory of the Middle-East’s ancient past is often a source of pride for the people of the region. This destruction of heritage directly aims at destroying that source of pride.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: