What Is The Modern World After All?
by David Eide .

What is the “modern world?” That is a question that you wrestle with for a time when young, forget, and then remember as your youth vanishes into the dust and mist of your former days.

I had assumed that the world, in the modern guise, was most essentially skeptical. That the basic attitude modern persons had adapted for themselves was one of not believing anything until they had experienced it in some real way. On the highest level it meant nothing was real until it was reproduced in the environment and paying off dividends.

The individual, caught up in this, had to play his part (his and her part) which consisted of pursuing those things which are reproduced in the environment and purchasing or surrounding oneself with them. Or, at least, attempting to do so.

The great limitation to skepticism is that, ultimately, it is not able to come up with new goals and plans and so, produces a noxious stagnation. The flip side of skepticism is superstition and that certainly seems to prevail from time to time. Superstition as the will to capture something easy that explains away the dull ache of a complex and foolish world.

Skepticism reduces risk because there is no need to believe in anything in particular only to assume that valuable resources exist beside the material ones.

There is always risk.

* * * * * * * *

It is an intelligent time, a brainy time since the requirement is to sustain a huge machine that everyone is dependent on. Is it any less horrible than being captured by the administrators of Rome or satrapies of Persia? I don’t think so and there is much good in it so it redeems itself. But, ultimately, you must ask yourself, “what for?” It is a playful question since experience tells you that it is impenetrable to all questions, to all assaults and so forth. That is, as a matter of fact, one of the reasons why it engenders opposition.

A brainy, functional, constipated time- perhaps the thing to fear is the day the nukes actually do off in some area and then watching everything rebuilt over a period of several years as if, “nothing happened- impervious even to doom!”

Freedom then and self-determination, as much as those are humanly possible. But then, since self-determination is reckoned by economy it stands to reason to call our wealthiest individuals our best and more representative type replacing the emperor, the priest and the revolutionary as dominant types. We hesitate to do that because we have seen the wealthy act in the world.

We have seen the general attack on the rational and it is not pretty. It is always done with a sense of desperation. The world reeks in the fluids of the irrational and needs to get clear-minded about some things.

The world, modern or ancient, has always seen men and women rushing around either under the pressure of chores or pleasure.

So, I am not at all sure what the “modern world” is. It no doubt sees itself as the cutting edge of the future and ready to plunge forward into the future but, even there, it is having second thoughts.

It is the mind, messaging into the atmosphere so that the sense of life can warn itself of impending catastrophe.

It is the ability to express the Earth a multitude of ways, including as a distant orb to one directly experiencing while standing anywhere on the surface.

The world is hammered down into its occupations, striking the mighty anvil every day.

It does not, perhaps rightly, like to be observed. It really doesn’t seek redemption either. It impresses on the people very quickly that they have a few duties and that they should not really worry much once the duties are completed. As a matter of fact, there is great pleasure that awaits!

There is something sacred about the daily order of things but something awful and smug about it as well. Something which should be blasted out of good conscience. Yet, it moves in a predictable fashion and rationalizes itself in a predicable way and is satisfied that life is good, that life need not progress, that life is actually imperfect but continues from past to future.

It is interrupted only briefly, it takes notes, it forgets and goes onward, oblivious to the disturbing past on which it is built. It does not want anything better than itself to arise.

* * * * * * * *

What, then, is the modern world a reflection of? Certainly its lost innocence, certainly its treachery, certainly its protests.

The world is overwhelming, it is all, it is the ultimate power, it constructs and destroys as it sees fit. All an individual has is the form of his expression and the ability to capture experience and tell the world what he thinks.

The world grows too much in our mind, it is out and away from us, a vast distance. It is filled in by the intricacies of the brain hot with its aspirations, its liquid ideas, and its silent, putrid desires.

And then the deer prances from the corner and nibbles the pear tree and is gone just as fast and takes the world with it.

* * * * * * * *

Five suns are burning this day,
I hear them on wheels
In the afternoon

1993


Back to Essay Page

Back to davideide.com


© 2014 David Eide. All rights reserved.