Archive | February 2019

Are We Entering Into a New Revolutionary Period?

Last evening, I attended a lecture given by Canadian journalist and author Andrew Nikiforuk. He was delivering a talk of petroleum, pipelines and petro-politics at the University of Regina. Nikiforuk has won many awards for his articles and books on petro-politics, and he is apparently presently on a speaking tour.

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The Structure: “Cross of Reality”

I am going to repost, without too much by way of amendment, a comment I posted as a response to another comment in an earlier posting, since it touches on themes that are pretty central to The Chrysalis, — themes which I have also been gradually weaving into recent posts on “The Structure” and what Rosenstock-Huessy means by describing his quadrilateral logic or “metanomics” as “a matrix form of thinking”. What Jean Gebser calls “a consciousness structure” is just such a “matrix form of thinking” and is also implicated in what Rosenstock-Huessy calls “metanoia” or “New Mind”.

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Mutations and Migrations

Since Copernicus, Man has been rolling from the centre towards X — Nietzsche

While on this topic of the “New Normal”, let me add, as an addendum to the previous post, that we are all migrants now. In a very real sense, Gebser’s “mutations” are also migrations, and that is, literally, an “unsettling” experience, although in our case, the migration has shifted from the arena of space to the arena of time. The Old World and New World no longer correspond to the hemispheres, but to past and future. Thus, we remain migrants.

This is rather important to understand about the “New Normal”, too. The arena of our migration is no longer so much space as it is time. This, too, can be quite disorienting and unsettling.

The “New Normal:” Everything Acting Strangely

You’ve probably all encountered the phrase “the New Normal” at one time or another. It’s a belated recognition that we’ve entered into some strange, unfamiliar world age once only anticipated in science fiction. Human beings acting strangely. Climate and weather acting strangely. Some will even tell you that the plants and animals are also acting strangely. Perhaps even you sense that you are acting strangely, too.

And in connection with all this strangeness that some call “New Normal” you have probably also heard the phrase “tipping point”, or similar phrases like “Omega Point” or “Singularity” and so on. This was the thing earlier anticipated, too, by Marshall Berman: “everything is pregnant with its opposite”.

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Between Yes and No

I want to digress somewhat today from this subject of “structure” (or “form”) as the theme of the last couple of postings, even though it is a topic dear to my heart. Sometimes during the course of a day (or night) other “lessons” assert themselves, sometimes with uncanny synchronicities or agreements from the world-at-large that some call “kismet“. It’s as if the “world-at-large” were to say “this is for you. This deserves your attention.”

And so it was yesterday that an important “lesson” imposed upon me, which I’ll try to describe.

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The Structure: The Mental-Rational

“What is The Structure?” That is, of course, just a variant of “Neo’s” question in the movie The Matrix. And one of the interesting aspects of the Anthropocene or “Late Modernity” or “Post-Modernity” is also the fact of efforts now to give answer to this very question and precisely because many people now sense there is something dysfunctional about it; that it is under stress and in distress. Things like George Monbiot’s “13 impossible crises” are symptoms of that stress and distress of the Structure.

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The Structure

There is a certain formal structure to society that is distinct from society itself, and is usually quite invisible. Any good sociology — of which there is very little — attempts to investigate and make visible that structure to our consciousness. Too much of mainstream sociology is otherwise narrowly focussed on relations within the structure rather than the structure itself.

We might call that structure the “meta-structure” of society, but I’m going to use the (capitalised) term “the Structure” to mean this “meta-structure” which, in very many respects, corresponds to what Timothy Morton describes as a “hyper-object”.

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