Wednesday, May 8, 2013

THE WAY WE LIVE NOW- IMAGES AND REALITIES

We live in times where our certainties are dissolving. A profound disillusionment with structures, institutions has crept in. Today, an interiority constitutes the way we conduct ourselves, plan out our lives. Earlier this introspection yielded opportunities for self improvement, self understanding. Now the inwardness is irrefragably narcissistic.

An image is not a pre existent symbol we strive to match the blueprint of. An image is a retroactive attribution, predicated on timelessness. The symbolism we brought into being faithfully reflects the significations we impose on them. Yet buttressed by self righteousness we read our own agendas into what lies before us. Like narcissus we are in love with what we see, the image we created but dissociate ourselves from and reintegrate into our self conception. The image or the reflection betokens an aspect of reality we reconfigure. Our failure lies in a complete misapprehension of the fact that what we see is unequivocally our own self.

While postmodernists render univocal discourse apocryphal, a plurality of perspectives is theoretically promulgated, subterranean layers that lie latent, unperceived though not non existent. It is ironical that our self importance and self righteousness of authenticity grows in inverse proportion to the very multiplicity we uphold. Having postulated that everything is relative we sit smug in the integument of our singularity assuming ourselves to be incontestably correct and others not. We have institutions like psychotherapy where anodyne platitudes of self fashioning are expressed yet the therapeutic route to recovery lies in normalizing and fitting the individual to a collective whole. We seem to need these reminders of temporality, of the quotidian as a bulwark against chaos. Paradoxically the more indefatigable our hold on the concrete the more proliferative is our descent into inchoateness. The permeation of mental illnesses demonstrates this.

We seem to be swayed by rhetoric yet enclosed by our own needs. Mass psychosis, be it 9/11 or the current situation in Hungary proves how tenuous our grasp of that which scaffolds us is. The terror of obliteration is a propulsive force propelling people to join hands with a putative protector. Structures like patriarchy are unwilling to relinquish their stranglehold  and the recent delhi rape protests shows a tangible fear of overthrow, disguised as altruism yet reinforcing circumscriptional spaces. The impunity of self expression unleashes unconscionably unacceptable viewpoints ratified by constituents.

In the absence of an overarching order like religion a splintering, a fragmention becomes an inescapable component of contemporaneity. Individual aspects of reality are extricated and rendered wholesome. And bourgeoisie individualism validates such preponderant narcissisms. Social networking creates ostensibly dyadic spaces but inevitably lapse into a tower of babel scenario with multifarious selfhood's jostling for ascendancy, constituted by uncomprehending bewilderment. Change there is, like the fringe speaking up, voicing dissent, taking iconoclastic positions yet the contingent presents the ever present danger of subsuming the collective by eschewing the collective's variegation and incorporating the patina of self realization it proffers.

The contingent is inconceivable without the collective. When individual voices are respected a communality can be created. The postmodern condition offers possibilities of both self augmentation and communal soldering. The absence of ultimate realities is both precarious and ennobling. Intransigence, intractability, dissolution into solipsism can only provide momentary exculpation, chimerical absolution. We need to listen and listen with care.  

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