With the overwhelming presence of dystopian literature and movies these days it would seem that, if you believe art a precursor to real world happenstances, the human experiment is on its last legs. After all, there’s so much to prove art the forerunner to failures of social, political, religious, and scientific import.
Then there’s the wildly popular rationale of conspiracy theories that purport that the governments of the world are plying us with fear to keep us in line, even as information is instant and raw and never seeming to be in context. Or that we’re being manipulated by advanced beings from other planets or star systems who want whatever we have – whatever that might be.
We’ve been a world of tribal beings since the first cave dwellers discovered other cave dwellers with different rituals, different food, different…etc. What’s always set people’s teeth on edge is the strangeness of “the other,” always fearing that strangeness, seeing it as a threat to our tribal system of reality. This tribalism is durable in the human soul, hard to ferret out, hard for us to accept tribal differences, whether we call the tribes football teams or nation-states. There’s something in our makeup that wants to abolish all foreignness. But then – how do the many tribes of different types banish foreignness without being subject to banishment themselves? Rather than a conundrum, this question my very well give us a clue to resolving our fear of “the other.”
Thinker Buckminster Fuller posited that we are only able to directly perceive with our human senses 5 percent of what we know to exist between the infrared and ultraviolet ends of the spectrum, between the astronomical expanse and the atomic smallness. But what if we were to be able to gain direct perception of more, say, twenty percent of what we know as real? Would that place our sense of superficial strangeness in perspective?
Rather than the dystopian, then, being catastrophic to the outer world of society, what if our writers, moviemaker, poets, artists, photographers, and sculptors are sensing a change in themselves? In all of humanity? What if we haven’t really haven’t become the crown of creation; rather, what if we were to finally realize we are in a state of becoming, that we’re evolving creatures? That as we evolve we become less limited, freer in every way?
Isn’t this what we really see around us now? When we see changes in our social order, our political and economic states, aren’t we simply seeing the outer manifestations of evolutionary changes within each of us, changes that have barely begun? Isn’t this something to gladly embrace rather than fear?
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