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Civilizational Pathology: Transcending Imperial Borders
Unformatted Document Text:  Civilizational Pathology 17 The “error,” that is, the underlying pathology, in purposive thinking is what is called in psychology “projection” (Bateson, 442). One acts on what is considered as common sense, acts to preserve their immediate interests, and later finds that they are in a mess. Not knowing how the mess came to be (i.e., being ignorant of the communicational nexus underlying agency and action), the situation appears to be “unfair.” This happens when the people see themselves as outside of the mythology or are not aware of the mythology in which they live. We can, here, draw on the wisdom of the East. If one lives a mythos of karma, for example, one would be hard-pressed to consider anything unfair. After all, karma is not so much a situation in which you are punished for acts committed in a previous life—that is popular superstition. Karma means doing. So if you get on an airplane, and the airplane crashes, that is your karma; you got on the airplane. There is no fault, nothing unfair. It was your doing. But this doing is not the causal, rationalistic “doing” of Western thinking (although the words “cause” and “effect,” “action” and “reaction” are used, even if poorly, in many translations of Eastern philosophy). In the alienating Western world, which as was noted in the introduction is inherently alienating since it is imperialistic (i.e., one looks down upon the lesser beings; the “I-thou” relationship is lived as an “us and them” relationship) and dualistic (if you are purusing anti-greed legislation (as if a moral and psycho-socio-cultural dilemma could be legislated).

Authors: Williams, Kevin.
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Civilizational Pathology
17
The “error,” that is, the underlying pathology, in purposive thinking is
what is called in psychology “projection” (Bateson, 442). One acts on what is
considered as common sense, acts to preserve their immediate interests, and later
finds that they are in a mess. Not knowing how the mess came to be (i.e., being
ignorant of the communicational nexus underlying agency and action), the
situation appears to be “unfair.” This happens when the people see themselves
as outside of the mythology or are not aware of the mythology in which they
live.
We can, here, draw on the wisdom of the East. If one lives a mythos of
karma, for example, one would be hard-pressed to consider anything unfair.
After all, karma is not so much a situation in which you are punished for acts
committed in a previous life—that is popular superstition. Karma means doing.
So if you get on an airplane, and the airplane crashes, that is your karma; you got
on the airplane. There is no fault, nothing unfair. It was your doing. But this
doing is not the causal, rationalistic “doing” of Western thinking (although the
words “cause” and “effect,” “action” and “reaction” are used, even if poorly, in
many translations of Eastern philosophy). In the alienating Western world,
which as was noted in the introduction is inherently alienating since it is
imperialistic (i.e., one looks down upon the lesser beings; the “I-thou”
relationship is lived as an “us and them” relationship) and dualistic (if you are
purusing anti-greed legislation (as if a moral and psycho-socio-cultural dilemma could be
legislated).


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