Even before everything else, was it true that the modern world was heading for some form of breakdown? That things were getting so out of balance they were almost destined to fall apart. So many different, important problems jutting up against each other – incompatible, contradictory “solutions” overlapping to cause additional difficulties – that something had to give.
Sometimes it seems we’re all just trying to muddle through. Picking up whatever threads were handed to us, whatever assets or ideas happened to fall in our hands, and seeking to make the best of them. Each person, perhaps, labouring under a slightly different sense of what it all means and where paths will lead. Everyone, perhaps, convinced that theirs is the best way forward.
As if it all might be a sequence of workarounds – distorted, contorted, well-meaning attempts to create or impose order on the chaos. So many people pulling in so many directions, all insisting that they have the answer and understand the nature of the problem. It seems unlikely to be that simple: who truly understands everything that’s going on from every conceivable perspective? (Notes One)
At this point, isn’t it all a jumbled collection of various peoples’ intentions? All these theories, interpretations or beliefs about life, how to organise it and what’s most important that run into one another, leading either to conflict or to compromise. This scattered ground of half-baked or potentially ill-conceived notions trying to make their presence felt then convince others to take them on board.
Where’s the cohesion? Between all the varied ways people might choose to live in this world, what’s emerging here beyond confusion, aggression or despair? How much are everyday people needing to juggle to make ends meet, and how much that’s thrown at us each day is truly necessary or even helpful? Sometimes it just seems we’re engulfed in constant tides of opinion, anger and attempts to control, persuade or direct. (Notes Two)
What are we to make of it all? Especially when “modern life” actively – perhaps, intentionally – seems to undermine trust in ourselves or others, creating perfect conditions for uncertainty and anxiety. What if, in pursuit of profit, we’ve damaged essential human foundations? Not only in nature, but also the psychological foundation of our mind, self-esteem and healthy relationship to reality.
Within it all, aren’t we still humans seeking to make sense of life and chart reasonable paths forward for ourselves and those who follow? How are we to hold our nerve and not get overwhelmed by all that’s trying to overwhelm us? And, if “how we’ve been going about things” doesn’t quite make sense or stand a chance of coming together as a coherent whole, what does it mean for us if we strive to adapt to it? (Notes Three)
Taking it that, as humans, we “need” to stand within reality, have things make sense and feel the worth of our existence reflected in how the world meets us, what are we to make of how this world currently operates?
Notes and References:
Note 1: Connecting truthfully with life
Note 1: Understanding what we’re all part of
Note 1: Knowing the value of what you have
Note 1: Desire to retreat, need to engage
Note 1: Do we live in different worlds?
Note 2: Anger, and where we direct it
Note 2: Tuning out the static
Note 2: How much is in the hands of the market
Note 2: What’s the right mindset for news?
Note 2: Solving all the problems we’re creating
Note 3: Value and meaning in our lives
Note 3: Systems, their power, whose hands?
Note 3: Green as an idea
Note 3: Everything culture used to be
Note 3: Situations which ask us to trust
Along similar lines, things going wrong and how we might fix them was part of Where’s the reset button & can we press it?