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Civilizational Pathology: Transcending Imperial Borders
Unformatted Document Text:  Civilizational Pathology 4 This implies that there is an underlying problem, hinted at above, and largely unexplicated in conventional wisdom and common sense. That is, we need to understand the pathologies and peculiarities of the Romano-Palestinian system—yet another psychoanalysis of Western civilization and its discontents. Such an study, one of communicational proportion, would not attempt to attack or defend one side or the other, but instead describe a topography of the various ways of understanding foregrounding those that have become pathological and thus lie at the feet of these all-too-real and bloody conflicts that riddle the world today. Thus, the task here is ultimately beyond good and evil, the high and the low, the alpha and the underdogs. There is, Bateson demonstrates, a traditional pathology in which we are caught, and in which we shall remain so long as we continue to struggle within the circularity of old premises and patterns. Fortunately, our heritage is not confined to the Romano-Palestinian but includes the Greek (with its ancient Egyptian ties, and the more contemporary West African culture brought, or rather bought, via the slave trade into the new world). Indeed, Greece got caught in the same trap as we are in today, and hence has little sway as a super power in the modern/postmodern world. But there was, and still is in Greek philosophy, a manner of clean, clear, and cool thinking of a different and surprising kind. The basic structure of Western religion was essentially Greek from St. Thomas Aquinas, to the 18 th century Catholic countries, to the Protestant reformation. And it is the reformation, more than philosophy, more than

Authors: Williams, Kevin.
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Civilizational Pathology
4
This implies that there is an underlying problem, hinted at above, and
largely unexplicated in conventional wisdom and common sense. That is, we
need to understand the pathologies and peculiarities of the Romano-Palestinian
system—yet another psychoanalysis of Western civilization and its discontents.
Such an study, one of communicational proportion, would not attempt to attack
or defend one side or the other, but instead describe a topography of the various
ways of understanding foregrounding those that have become pathological and
thus lie at the feet of these all-too-real and bloody conflicts that riddle the world
today. Thus, the task here is ultimately beyond good and evil, the high and the
low, the alpha and the underdogs. There is, Bateson demonstrates, a traditional
pathology in which we are caught, and in which we shall remain so long as we
continue to struggle within the circularity of old premises and patterns.
Fortunately, our heritage is not confined to the Romano-Palestinian but
includes the Greek (with its ancient Egyptian ties, and the more contemporary
West African culture brought, or rather bought, via the slave trade into the new
world). Indeed, Greece got caught in the same trap as we are in today, and hence
has little sway as a super power in the modern/postmodern world. But there
was, and still is in Greek philosophy, a manner of clean, clear, and cool thinking
of a different and surprising kind.
The basic structure of Western religion was essentially Greek from St.
Thomas Aquinas, to the 18
th
century Catholic countries, to the Protestant
reformation. And it is the reformation, more than philosophy, more than


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