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i remember in the 60's first coming across talk about the E-W duality (polarisation).

it was always in a philosophical context, referring to an intellectualisation of reality into a rational/materialist construct/frame, and this conceptualisation excelling in a vertical way but, just as from the top of a tall tower it's harder to see what's at your feet than when you're standing on the ground, our 'paradigm' (although that didn't become a buzzword till 20 years later) while admirable as an engineering feat perhaps, was paying a huge spiritual price for its specialised, fragmented, blinkered, tunnel vision of the world (as macromanaged everlasting resource pile).

.....because it had to excise huge chunks of ourselves that did not fit on the procrustian bed of newtonian/cartesian thought, and were unmeasurable by any consistently quantifiable yardstick.

....and these chunks (memory, intuition, emotion, dreams, trance, hypnotic states, premonition, autistic memory-bank access, to name the first obvious ones that spring to mind) were dismissed and swept under the rug as we oohed and aahed at moonshots and the soviet dog in space, roomfuls of computers and food that was a travesty of nature.

and disassociated....throwing away the key to the freezer our little inklings something might be seriously awry were casually tossed in

however a few jungians, and similarly aware types like gurdjieffians, theosophists and orientalists had already preceded and preseeded the collective 'western' unconscious with the ideas that were invited into the moral vacuum created by the decline of european church attendance, nihilisme, and the 'god is dead' memes that were the fruit and aftermath of the new depths of inhumanity the second world war had induced.

... along with ravi on the new-fangled stereo, the maharishi hamming it up with the beatles, pot replacing alcohol as drug-of-choice for many, and the rising growth of kebab and curry, the vedas, alan watts...

...we were awash with a 'mystic orient' wave that tsunami'd across the acid-bleached group consciousness of the biggest boom of educated (but terribly ignorant nonetheless) adolescents the newly wired-up planet had ever mediated, deconstructing many an ivory tower built on the shifting sands of 'absolute' anything.

of course einstein et al were busy mining the first floor too, an inside job.

 a lot of us omnisciently launched ouselves into taking on the void mano a mano, doubtless sacrificing swathes of brain cells in the process, but also starting to get a clue what all the fuss was about, under the blather and froth.

and it was about the schism that rational materialism had slashed in our souls, and how awakening the heart was the way to heal that split.

we learned what was wrong and condescending about pity, and right and noble about compassion, and we became aware of how the blind, greedy grabbing of more stuff had a sinister side, how it wasn't all about having fun and not giving a shit who paid, but about interdependance, give-and-take, taking joy in responsibility, connecting dots and learning to pay attention to consequences, looking for patterns, seeing the other sides...horizontal, multi-axial.

critical mass was attained when a guru headcount showed more indian swamis (including the notoriously smarmy swindleyamunya) were living between la jolla and escondido than in the whole of rajasthan, the mao john lennon was howling about was a mass murderer, and that no-one in china was allowed the i ching, though they were still allowed acupuncture, thank the most venerable ancestors, and on nixon's trip to primitive china we all saw on our tv's the chinese lady eating an apple while having brain surgery, with no other anesthesia.

a lot of cognitive wobble as folks took that image on board!

so back then it had meaning, this duality... it was a yang meeting yin, and is still happening, though the exotic novelty factor is diminishing, and we have regurgitated 'eastern' wisdom into global 'new age' belief systems...and now sybarite hedonism finds itself in the new 6-star hotels of dubai.

it's become so actual, that the duality has become a monity, (as in monity python!) oops i mean an unity, and now indeed only useful historically, even misleadingly distracting as a modern epithet.

as many of you know here by now, my beef is with the word 'neoliberal' which is triplespeak quadruple-minus ungood, and as far as i'm concerned as pure a trojan worm that's ever malwared its meaning-sucking way acrost our linguistic desktop-landscape, tunneling and trolling far and wide, deep into our hard drives in its efforts to etymologically demoralise neophyte puzzlers and de-re-coders of this truman show we all quantum leapt into.

even 'neocon' makes me splutter, but it's less subversive...

i guess 'landshark' or 'flesh-chomping destroyer of worlds' ain't pc enough for the noughties!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Nov 22nd, 2006 at 10:34:35 PM EST
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