Thursday, September 19, 2013

OUR COLLECTIVE CULTURAL FRAGMENTATION.

I am an inveterate reader of theory and find in it much that is exciting, informative and perception changing. Postmodern and post structuralist theories have been my bulwark, my scaffolding, sheathing my nebulous uncertainty in the integument of self containment. Yet the arabesques they proffer acknowledge incertitude but don't, except rarely, cohere into a collective vision of a future becoming. Theory comes across as polemical yet circumlocutory, capacious yet parochial. I have, off late, experienced discontent with theory because it fails to take into account lived experience though it promulgates experience and subjectivity as its inescapable coordinate. 

As an observer of society, culture and human beings i deem it expedient to make a statement that many of us are subdivided and fragmented. We are obsequious to the surface but inimical to the depths. The depth, after all, is also a modality of being, an essential component. Yet so profound is our immersion in the superficial that it is, more often than not, unplumbed. Even stipples of depth are rendered meretricious and partially consolatory. As the inner experience recedes from us our hunger for it is augmented. Institutions like psychotherapy, putative repositories of the internal yield only surface solutions. Psychotherapeutic experience is not dyadic or a colloquy but a monologue. The outer accoutrements of re entering society, the adjustments they involve, the abrogation of internality they entail are familiar to all of us. As a counterpoint to the chaos of a breakdown platitudes and anodyne solutions are offered, often making the experience of madness seem a detour, a deviation, an anomaly. 

Myriads of tactile, visual and written forms are overwhelming us. Pornography, reality tv are modes whose impact is registered viscerally but whose logos is not processed. Inundated with this cornucopia and profusion of contradictory forms of knowing the mind vacillates, runs hither and thither, perching on an aspect here, a paradigm there. But an engagement is renounced and abdicated. We are so obsessed with articulating ourselves that we seek analysts, pay through our nose, only to have our loneliness intensified. Gossamer slivers of the inner float around, conferring intimations, streaking with amorphous wisps that which has been willfully negated but whose indubitable presence insists on making itself felt.

A splitting of being is observable. Can there be a being, an essence? Our collective being yields archetypes whose ontology is unknowable but which, in their vast reservoirs of human consciousness contain an essence of what we were, what we made ourselves to be. The inner is a concatenation of interlinked multiplicities. Yet our immersion in singularity makes any convergence difficult. Such intersections as there are, touch the outer and provide slivers of the stereotype and we are consoled and mollified, become pliant and submissive. It is almost as it having peeped into the abyss our vertiginousness is so overpowering that we sink back into the sheathe of self sufficiency which is ironically sufficient only unto itself and that too fragmentarily.

Can there be a transcendent human consciousness? Can experience cut through the cliches and arrive at the naked truth. We began with nothingness. We created stories to buttress ourselves and affirm why and how we were. These stories crystallized over time dispersing into norms, incongruities , metonyms and unguessed at depths. However the fundamental human impulse that brought these stories into being , with temporal progression, attenuated, became diffuse and alternately soldering intermittently and then dissevering dissolved into inchoate crenellations. Non being brought being into being. And it is this non being, the wide precipitous emptiness that constitutes human existence that should become a space for becoming to be, for being to become. There is nothing between you and me except nothing. It is time to create something out of this and affirm, amidst incertitudes, the only certainty and that is our irrefragable humanity.

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