Trying to figure out where we stand as modern humanity has always been a large part of what this writing project’s about – digging down into the ideas behind how we live and where they seem likely to lead. Because, in a way, isn’t that what modern life asks of us? Everything laid bare, voiced from every angle, as part of this new conversation trying to get to the bottom of all that’s going on.
One of the many insightful challenges we’re facing must be how there’s nowhere to hide? Our lives being run through technology, every inclination finding some seemingly secret avenue for expression and exploration, sometimes seems like a strangely convoluted way of getting everything out in the open. Isn’t it all there? All the interests and consequences discernible, if we care to look. (Notes One)
Almost as if everything we’ve seen as acceptable has been captured by this new way of operating – a strange snapshot of where humanity had got to by all those moments in time. Situations that’ve since been dialled up in all these self-referential ways to become the complex systems our lives are now so closely woven into. As if society were engulfed by the limitations in its own way of thinking. (Notes Two)
Aren’t we surrounded by the outworkings of potentially quite mistaken ideas? Things that once made sense or sat harmoniously within their natural and social environment now becoming unwieldly as they’re conducted on the global scale. Things like diet; waste; greed; intolerance. All the things societies have “always” struggled with having been transposed into this new interweaving community.
Within it all, what are we to make of modern life’s insistent level of awareness? Of all that’s being brought to our attention, quite legitimately seeking our understanding and engagement, as “all that’s wrong in the world” is constantly exposed for the suffering it’s causing. Our roles in facilitating, tolerating or benefitting from situations being diligently pointed out in the hope we’ll realise what we’re taking part in (Notes Three).
Isn’t it that we’re always a link in the chain? Each person standing “under” the ramifications of the past and “under” the future we’re involved in creating by way of our every decision. As if each moment is an opportunity to either resolve problems or perpetuate them – our awareness, perhaps, being the resistance that prevents us from understanding how much our earlier ideas might’ve been mistaken. (Notes Four)
How’s that conversation to go? If patterns we inherited were reasonable on the scale they once happened, how are we to navigate them being dialled up to unmanageable levels – any imperfection now magnified onto the global scale? Almost as if every way of life is being asked to change, as it cannot be expanded to accommodate everyone. As if we’re all needing to negotiate new ways of being.
Finding deep understanding of our own way of life – all it means, why it matters, what’s truly essential – while allowing others the same freedom sometimes seems incredibly complicated.
Notes and References:
Note 1: The picture data paints of us
Note 1: Times of revelation
Note 1: Responsibility for the bigger picture
Note 2: Systems, their power, whose hands?
Note 2: Where’s the reset button & can we press it?
Note 3: Understanding what we’re all part of
Note 3: Does technology oversimplify things?
Note 3: Education as an understanding of life
Note 3: Can our thinking match realities?
Note 3: All we’re expected to understand
Note 4: Will things change if we don’t make them?
Note 4: Detaching ourselves from the past
Note 4: How fast can it all unravel?
Note 4: Desire to retreat, need to engage