Monday, January 5, 2009

The Work

"If I know your sect I anticipate your argument"
Ralph Waldo Emerson

The work, the creative work, before us all is to stop having the same argument over and over again and see if there is a way to realign and reimagine the topic. Science and Spiritual Endeavor are each the locus of enormous human effort. Much of our best and most imaginative creations have come from these two activities. It is for that reason that we owe it to ourselves to try and rise above a reliance on habitual understandings of what each means on its own and in relation to the other. We owe it to ourselves, given the big fat mess we are in a'la climate change and resource ceilings, to go beyond anticipating the argument and actually listen, actually imagine that their might be something that has not been heard before.

Re-examining history gives us this opportunity as does the exploration of pre-history. What was the impulse which become religion before it became codified into the major forms we see today? What forces shaped the development of science before it became an institutional power in its own right? Expanding our understanding of other cultural perspectives can also free us from anticipating the argument. The western intellectual and spiritual traditions have grown around certain poles which have not been the focus of other societies. What can be learned from those very different evolutions.

In all cases we standard of the past need to be transcended because the no longer serve our needs. We need to stop jumping to a conclusion which deadens our creative response and limits our options.

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