Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The modern 'double bind'

The double bind is that modern man needs to change two things at the same time to escape the nihilistic despair of modern culture - and this is difficult to manage.

Modern Man needs to become both Christian and Spiritual - but whichever comes first, seems to negate the other. The Christian seems to oppose the Spiritual, and the Spiritual to oppose the Christian - but unless both are embraced simultaneously, then neither alone will be satisfying or rewarding; and will tend to be abandoned as ineffectual, or treated expediently as merely part of 'lifestyle' rather than being transformative.

Another related double bind is experience and validity. Modern Man will not believe anything unless he knows it by experience, feels it with his emotions.

But Modern Man also believes that inner states of mind, emotions and feelings, are merely 'subjective' and have zero relationship to reality - and that only (what he imagines to be) objective 'Science' (including Reason and Mathematics) is able to generate valid knowledge.

But then modern Man does not believe objective Science/ Reason/ Maths; because he finds it so boring that it leaves him emotionally cold - he can barely get himself to pay attention to evidence or an argument for 30 seconds - and he insists on being moved and inspired by knowledge before he will believe it.

Another double bind is the individual and the group. Each modern Man believes himself to be an heroic individual standing against the crowd; but heroic individuals need recognition from the crowd if they are to be real. actual heroes. So modern Man can only be a hero in situations that are socially approved and require no heroism; and when he is a real hero he becomes a pariah and scapegoat under intense socal disapproval - so feels the opposite of a hero. 

(In the past, a Man might be a hero to his sub-group - e.g. his church - despite being more generally regarded as a social pariah. But modern Man lives in a world with no strong institutions outwith the integrated bureacracies of the state/ mass media ideological complex. Families, churches, trades, professions, and other autonomous groupings have been subject to decades of deliberate erosion - and are typically absent, tiny, or so weak as to be unable to sustain heroism.)

Wherever people are 'stuck' in an adverse situation, and fail to move to a better situation despite that nothing is stopping them; it is because at least two factors are keeping them there. They are doubly bound, and breaking one bond only - they are still held, indeed even more tightly - and the broken bond will soon re-form.

Things really do have to get worse before they can get better - otherwise they would already be better.

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