Archives for posts with tag: Image

Consciousness is a work in process.
Each of us becomes conscious in relation with those around them. In a medium created by those before them.
Becoming conscious means figuring out about things. Not merely acknowledging their presence – dogs also do it, they don’t bang into close doors but once. Becoming conscious means attaching meaning to things. Figuring out their relative importance, how they work, ‘what’s in it for us’, etc, etc., etc. …
How is this done?
I don’t remember how I did it and I never really understood how my son had done it.
What I know is that it was a gradual process. He was able to communicate with us, his parents, way before he had learned to speak. He may not have had the concept of hunger but he was able to tell us he wanted to eat. What toy he wished to play with. And so on.
I grew up in a communist country. Born into a secular family. My relatives went to church, very rarely, because other people did it. On very specific occasions. God wasn’t present in our house.
At some point during my early adolescence I came across a bible. I had already learned, at school, about religion being bad for the people. I had also learned, from my family, that some people do believe in God. I decided to learn for myself. By myself. And started to read the book. I stooped when I reached the Book of Numbers. Too boring. But Genesis had fascinated me. Not that different from the Greek myths I had already read by that time.
I few years later, for whatever reason, I started again. Reading the bible. This time I finished it. Somewhere in the middle, I was wondering. What if this book tells not the story about how the world had been made by somebody? But the story about us discovering the world around us. At first, we had learned to speak. To use words. Logos. To speak about the difference between light and dark. Water and dry land. Heaven and Earth. Man and Woman. And so on.
At some point, one of us -one of our ancestors more exactly – had had an intuition. Discussed it with their peers. Discarded it. Or not. Somebody else, or maybe the same person, had another intuition. Discussed it with their peers. And so on.
In time, those discussions had built a specific understanding of the world. Of their world. The world of those people. Their weltanschauung. The paradigm they were living in.
As life went on, generations and generations of people living in that paradigm had slowly changed the world they were living in. Some changes had been meant to happen, others just happened. In time, that world was no longer the same with that in which the ancestors, the ‘Founding Fathers’, had developed the ‘original Weltanschauung’.
Somebody had an intuition. Discussed it with their peers. Discarded it. Or not. Somebody else, or maybe the same person, had another intuition. Discussed it with their peers. And so on.
Another weltanschauung was born. The world was very much the same as that of ‘last year’ but for them, for our new ancestors, it had changed dramatically.
Jupiter Tonans had been replaced by God. Or Thor… But the lightning had remained the same!
Now, that I’m preparing to wrap up, I must explain – for those of you who do not speak German, the ‘Entwicklung’ thing.
I first came across this word while learning to develop B/W film. That was how we made pictures 50 years ago. We put film into cameras, shot it, developed it, enlarged the image, projected it on photographic paper and, again, developed the image. In Romania, we used East German film, paper, chemicals. And the German word for developing something – from image to a lot of other things, is … “Entwicklung”.
Same thing here. The world is here. Laid out in front of us. All that’s left for us to do is to make sense of it. With our limited consciousness.


For some of you, this is nothing new.
For most of you, this is not at all complicated. The image being different from the real thing is rather obvious. Specially when we’re not already invested in the subject…

What on Earth is he trying to say?
Abolish his own kind? There’s nobody whiter than he is…
Or abolish ‘Whiteness’ as a race? Along with all other ‘races’?

Do you see what I mean?
Had he paid more attention in class, he would have known that such an image cuts both ways.

Magrite’s painting worked because his message was ideologically neutral. Nobody – well, almost nobody, has feelings about ‘pipes’. Hence people find it easy to keep their cool about the whole thing. To probe deeper than ‘face value’.

‘Whiteness’, on the other hand, is ‘choke’ full of sentiment. I’m certain you know what I mean. It’s a lot harder to keep a level head when the subject is mentioned.

Back to the drawing board!
The idea is generous but it doesn’t get across.
Simply because the ‘window dressing’ isn’t appropriate.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Science teaches us many things.

In fact no, science teaches us nothing!
Science cannot teach, at all. Simply because science is not a teacher.

At individual level, science is an attitude. A mind open enough to accept its own fallibility. To accept the fact that, sooner rather than later, it will fail.
To accept the fact that the image it constantly generates during its interaction with the surrounding world is, at best, incomplete.
To accept the fact that the understanding it has reached during its existence is, and will remain forever, a work in progress.

At the social level, science is a way of conducting business.
Based on ‘trust but verify’. A scientifically minded community trusts its individual members to be honest in their efforts but verify their work because – as mentioned above, each of us will, sooner rather than later, fail.
Hence, by aggregating their efforts, a scientifically minded community will eventually paint a still imperfect image but one closer to the reality than any of those belonging to its individual members.

In order for the community to be able to continuously improve their ‘work in progress’ each, or at least, enough of its members need to preserve their scientific mental attitude. Their intellectual humility.
As soon as too many of the individuals reach the conclusion that their image of the world is the only correct one – and they start not only to bow towards it but also to convince others to join them, things start going south.

“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

Who among us is perfect? Perfect enough to be sure?

And why had been chosen an adulterous woman as the main character for this lesson?
Because adultery is a sin which cannot be committed in solitude? Only in cooperation with ‘the other’? As a relationship? Where each member contributes to the shared doom?

Do you see how similar science and sin are?

Both start ‘individually’ and are put in practice ‘together’.
Both are initiated as individual pulsions and put in practice as choices.

I’ve started this post by mentioning science.
The scientists among us have reached the conclusion that there was no need for a God to start the process of which we are the alleged pinnacle. That evolution was enough to drive the whole thing. I tend to agree.
On the other hand, history – yet another branch of science, has produced enough evidence to prove that God had a tremendous contribution to the present state of civilization.

Not God himself but the image of God we have created for ourselves. The Image we’ve been bowing to for some time now.

Go figure….

%d bloggers like this: