Alan Macfarlane: “A World without a World View”.

This is worthwhile. I came across this earlier this evening. It’s a half-hour talk given by one Alan Macfarlane on YouTube, and it’s entitled “A World Without A World View”.  It’s actually quite a fine description of what we’re calling “chaotic transition” here, although Macfarlane seems to think of it less as transitional and more like “the new normal”.  It is, nonetheless, a very good description of the fragmentation and disintegrative tendency of Late Modern consciousness, and once you listen to it, you will, I suspect, have a much better appreciation of what the phrase “chaotic transition” and what Gebser’s meaning of the “disintegration of a consciousness structure” really signifies.

There’s a certain irony in Macfarlane’s talk, though. For although he speaks of the dissolution into “mist” of all paradigms, he unwittingly acknowledges one that he probably doesn’t think of as a paradigm at all  — imagination.

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2 responses to “Alan Macfarlane: “A World without a World View”.”

  1. donsalmon says :

    http://www.alanmacfarlane.com/TEXTS/Maitland_final.pdf

    Here is an online book by Maitland. I just jumped ahead to page 92, the last chapter (the “Solution to the Problem”). Having only glanced at it, I may have misunderstood, but for what it’s worth, here’s what struck me: he traces the development of ‘intermediate’ organizations in England – intermediate between the rigidity of the State or Organized Religion or Corporation and the “amoral” kinship ties of the family. He focuses basically on civil society (much like David Korten has been doing the past several decades since “When Corporations Rule the World” was published), in groups like sports teams, clubs, and other small groups where a shared interest allows astonishingly diverse groups of people to set aside ethnic, racial, religious, political and other differences and work/play together united by a common interest or cause.

    The breakdown of these flexible, dynamic organizations exemplifying unity in diversity seems to be part of the nature of ‘the new normal”, and has led to the resulting xenophobia, racism, bigotry, etc.

    His solution falls far short of the integral consciousness, of course, but his analysis is fascinating. Thanks for the link!

    • Scott Preston says :

      The whole thing might be worth reading. But the last part you mention really brings to mind Rosenstock-Huessy’s tract on The Multiformity of Man where he openly discusses the four “ecodynamic laws” of society and the formation of “we” groups or associations.

      http://erhfund.org/wp-content/uploads/The-Multiformity-of-Man.pdf

      Rosenstock, likewise, was anxious to fortify the individual and “we” groups against reactionary political formations like corporatism and statism (or fascism) that he saw coming, too. I’m not sure he actually succeeds in doing that in this tract, but it’s worth considering.

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