Dangerous World

How can we rescue ourselves and each other from the dangerous
world we have created?

Our advanced scientific knowledge has produced technologies of tremendous power. We move great objects at stupendous velocities. Our so-called “intelligent machines” perform trillions of calculations in fractions of a second. Everywhere around us our mastery of material processes has refashioned the world of our experience. We have changed the planet and ourselves in ways unimagined by previous generations.

But all this scientific and technological progress has also produced processes that threaten to bring us great harm – harm to ourselves and to our world. Our knowledge turns out to be limited. By focusing our minds on exclusively materialist conceptions of existence, we managed to produce a century of physical and psychological horror on a scale unprecedented in human history.

As we look upon the post-modern landscape, we must ask ourselves, what is it about the way we have conceived of the world and our place in it that has proven so destructive to both our environment and our collective psyche?

Our search for order within the apparent chaos of life has created systems of rigid cultural orthodoxy while maintaining chaos – in the form of unending war, political and economic strife. Even our entertainment media, which we have ostensibly created as havens from the incessant roughness of the real world, are replete with violence and images of brutal inhumanity.

Prodded by atavistic fears we are impelled to create fortresses of safety and security, yet we fail to notice until it is too late – we have enclosed the most dangerous thing within the fortress walls.

We are the most dangerous thing. We have the power to multiply the natural terrors of the world a thousand times over. When we desensitize our crucial neural connections of empathy and feelings of compassion for others, we lose sensitivity and compassion for ourselves as well.

We are learning from our historic failures that we must reformulate our fundamental assumptions about the world and our place within it. The end of the old sciences of separation, reductionism, inflexible logic and absolute certainty leads us ineluctably toward a new science of connectedness, relativity, complexity and possibility.

As we learn to listen more attentively to the beating of our hearts and feel more deeply the breath in our lungs, we come closer to our common humanity. As we begin to ask the right questions, we observe the answers are present within us.

Our minds move inevitably toward the conclusion that instead of what can be accomplished by competition, power and domination, the ultimate purpose and meaning of life can be cultivated by compassion, communication, collaboration and cooperation.

 

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“Dangerous World” by Tullio DeSantis

9 Comments

Filed under ARTology Now

9 responses to “Dangerous World

  1. Cierra

    Structured anarchy of our souls…. What reason is there to listen to the authority of our own voices while we are a society high on “materialist conceptions of existence”? Intoxicated by the garbage the media pours down our throats, yet we thirst for more. Poisoned by the excessive consumption, at what point does our brain signal us to purge the toxins or will we be lost forever. It only takes one hole to spring a leak. We need love to facilitate a chain reaction and flood the earth with compassion. It all starts with the person in the mirror. If we can find even the smallest form of empathy within ourselves, well maybe, just maybe we still stand a chance.

  2. Thanks for the thoughtful response, Cierra. Good words…That’s why I write.

  3. Daniel Graham

    Violence has always been part of our history dating back to the earliest man. It is true that we have a pre disposition for self-destruction through our acts of aggression towards our brothers and neighbors, but it is an over whelming nature that paints our history in blood and will not be easily achieved. Grudges today are still held between different races that halt our progression to a more civil and prosperous life. We still have religious disputes that pave the way for terrorism, then furthering the reason for war. To overcome such a basic instinct would require human instinct itself to be rewritten. The fantasy that “our minds move inevitably toward the conclusion that instead of what can be accomplished by competition, power and domination, the ultimate purpose and meaning of life can be cultivated by compassion, communication, collaboration and cooperation,” may not even be possible due to today’s upbringing.

    • Christa

      Daniel, I disagree with your concept of societal compassion, communication, and collaboration being potentially impossible. Humans are limited by our own concept of limitation. I have personally witnessed sects of people who are able to maintain this sort of mentality as their collective way of being. Within these sects, there is still occasional war, media influence, and plenty of dispute. But a more humanistic view predominates the structure of these subsects of society. Humans can certainly look to history for an explanation as to why we have such problems, but we can no more blame history for the perpetuation of these issues than an abusive man can blame his abusive father for the way he is. We are awake, aware, and educated people, and there is nothing to do but move forward and help others to awaken also.

  4. Travis Foster

    It’s crazy to think about where we have come as a society. How many stepping stones did we, especially here in America, have to hop down to end up in a world where our people cannot take one elevator trip or one subway ride without pulling out our phones to not have to feel the presence of anyone around us? It feels as if everyone is slowing striving more and more to simply feel nothing. If a day goes bye where someone simply does the tasks assigned to them and the tasks they choose to do, they are happy and content. Now add some unneeded human interaction in there and suddenly you have a problem. Even the latest trends in the music field in the past 14 years have drastically shifted from many songs with feelings and emotions behind them, to songs nowadays that try their hardest Not to bring up any feelings. Being a person who loves the latest music trends, I still have to acknowledge the fact that many more songs now are aiming only at partying or keeping the song as ice-cold as possible as long as it has a good beat. I feel that even taking a glimpse at that shows the direction our cultural is headed. Focused like you said on materialism and self-gratifying causes. Learning about the demise of the early Greeks and then Romans, about how their general attitudes and mentalities shifted from everyone working for the greater good to self-pleasing, materialism, I can’t help but completely notice that our society seems exactly level with that. Oh what a world would be like with a science of connectedness and relativity and a collective life model that’s based on compassion, communication, collaboration, and cooperation? A world based on relationships rather than self-gratification is a world I would like to live in.

  5. Katelyn Wallick

    I can understand and agree with this on many levels. We have created a dog-eat-dog world that has caused us to become disconnected as people. While we have realized this error and have become unsatisfied with our own creation, most hide in their own personal bubble and talk about change without actually taking the action to be that change. Technology has given us the opportunity to take major advances in the name of science, but it has also knocked us back a number of steps when it comes to the ability to connect as actual human beings.

  6. Andrew C

    Compassion and balance.

    It’s beyond refuting that humans have caused disastrous damage to the planet, but we’ve also done the same to one another.

    Balance.
    The population of mankind is growing, continuously. Instead of cutting down a forest and paving over grasslands, we need to find ways to expand but share the space, our planet, with the environment that sustains us.
    Alternative energy, the protection of natural land, recycling, and much more responsible, limited consumption. These are just some of the things mankind needs to adopt and grow in order for us to continue to live, healthily on this small, priceless rock floating in space.

    Compassion.
    Civic engagement in the United States has declined anywhere from 25-60% in the past 50 years. Our community ties have shrunk as our houses grew. We have more TVs in our homes but fewer neighbors that are close friends.
    We’re losing our ties to each other.
    It’s me against him. It’s I’ll get mine, you get yours.
    Until we begin to cooperate, to treat each other with love and compassion, societies ills will just fester and worsen.

    In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

  7. Expandera

    There is constant repetition in life that influences human behavior. That same repetitions creates problems that prevent long periods of stability. Forget these concepts and solutions since everyone is bias and capable of malice or being incorrect. There will always be perpetual war either minor or major. There needs to be discarding of what we think we know. Most of the way and reasons of modern existence is BS and illogical. We can’t keep achieving the zenith because there is no zenith. Things always end . Constant evolution isn’t possible because it gets cliche after awhile. Even if people got along and this and that it would get boring without any goals or problems. Problems are like goals. We created an arbitrary system of conventions and a philosophy of repression. Sooner or later these cracks manifest and our existential absurdity is evoked. We are animals disguised under civility. The basic human emotion is a neutral sadness. Happiness is a goal. People use each other for sole interest. There is no destiny , heaven, or love. I apologize for my haphazardness and lack of punctuation. However I laugh…

  8. Stephani Germann

    The world we have created is so focused on the bigger and better. Rather than being in the moment with others, those we care about. We stand behind a cell phone – photographing and documenting the moment that others are busy experiencing. There used to be values among society such as love and compassion. Now the focus is on hatred and destruction. As usual something created for “good” being used and abused in the most “evil” of ways. We have created a materialistic, money-hungry world that is getting worse with each generation. My step-daughter asked my husband and I what we think will come after humans, the way we came after the dinosaurs? I could not answer her question because the only thought I had was…
    Emptiness.

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