Sunday, March 2, 2008

Society.

What are the consequences of one's perspective on life changing? Please, don't be to quick in interpreting what you think is meant by this question. Society, if one could generalize, shares particular perspectives, and it is the adherence to these perspectives that holds society together. Take the idea of patriotism. Yes, it is an idea, a word, but one must also be seeing the world through this patriotic spectrum in order for it to ring true and bind us together. By seeing it, one means you see others behaving patriotically, speaking patriotically, defending themselves as if they were patriotic, and you either do the same or do not. So it is our learned perspectives that help create and maintain the social structure...we learn to fit in by seeing what it means to fit in and we behave accordingly.
Even revolt follows the same song and dance, one may accept or reject any particular perspective but one does so through following another perspective. So, as we have suggested, society functions, more or less orderly, because of this group adherence to certain agreed upon perspectives. Now, what happens when one's perspective changes and no longer fits in with that of the particular society that surrounds you? On the one hand, the one who drifts away finds themselves momentarily outcast, misunderstood, or even disliked. But, in most cases, in time, others share this alternative perspective and create a sort of sub-culture. Of course others come to share this perspective through the same means as any other, they see one's behavior, listen to one's speech, and assimilate through interpreting your actions, inside and out.
Now all of this implies something else about a perspective. It has a fixed point, a center from which it perceives. Learn about the center and you learn about the perspective. Become like the center and the desired perspective will follow. And so most of us grow up operating in this fashion. We are taught to do 'this' and so 'this' is how we become what we become. Nothing, in this social world of ours, lies outside of this pattern, for anything momentarily outside would be considered anti-social and quickly re-assimilated. In many ways, society functions like a large organism and so it's very survival depends upon having no influences outside of itself. But we've arrived at something new. The real issue at hand is not any particular perspective, held by anyone, anywhere, at any time in human history, but the fixed point that each and every perspective is perceived from. It is that center that creates the true issue at hand and raises the question asked earlier about what the consequences are of one's perspective changing. For there is no changing the center, it always remains the same, added to or taken away from, but always essentially the same. It's most significant feature is that it is fixed, always fixed, no matter what it's perceiving.
So what about when there is no center, no fixed point from which any of a number of perspectives about the world around us, and those living among us, are perceived from? What is one's perspective without a center? If there is no center there is no assimilation, no learning to become similar through imitating another, no path and no way, for there is no destination point that would fix one's perspective. Therefore, no way for society to hold itself together, at least not through the pattern that guides and lends itself to society's very existence right now. Before you call this discovery by some name, and therefore assimilate it into your own acceptable social category, let's suggest that the one who perceives without a center would be functioning intelligently. And this intelligence would be the same intelligence present for anyone, anywhere, at any time in human history, perceiving without a center, for it has always been the center that has obstructed intelligence. And it is this intelligence that would ultimately hold our society together.