Re: Synchronicity and TS Eliot
posted 2007 by RonPrice
The seductiveness of other systems of ideas and fallacious philosophies which tried to explain the whole machina mundi, which had captivated the intellect and the emotions of many a previous generation still lingered into the twentieth century and the epochs that were the time frame of my life like dessicated carcasses. These systems formed a part of the backdrop of my life from the 1940s to the first years of the new millennium: the pseudo-scientific system of Marxism which was in its last years as I was beginning to write this memoir in the 1980s; the purely pragmatic systems of capitalism and humanistic liberal democracy were rapidly losing their hold on the minds and consciences of those who once worshipped, often unknowingly, at their alters; the quite pathological systems of Nazism and Fascism were coming to an end in the first two years of my life and the several traditional religions of history had spawned a host of strange bedfellows wholly inadequate to the slough of despond that was descending on humanity in my time, in the lifetime of my parents and, arguably, my grandparents.
Some poets were aware of this rupture, this massive and intense discontinuity. T.S. Eliot and W.H. Auden seemed to have been the only poets who pondered and lamented this significance, this tempest that was ripping the world to shreds; other poets sought substitutes, things that might suffice. Vague and embattled nostalgia for love and morality, the desperation to believe Âthat through some fortuitous conjunction of cirumstancesÂ it might be possible Âto bend the conditions of human life into conformity with prevailing human desiresÂ was still a hope in these epochs. Such a hope was not only illusory it failed to recognize the profound changes and the magnitude of the ruin of our time. The only solution to the predicament of the epochs I have lived through is the restoration of its centre around truths that are perennial but not archaic. It is toward this centre that humanity in its disasterous quest for meaning is impelled and that this memoir points toward again and again with an obviousness that I must restrain myself from proclaiming with a loud voice.
My approach to this work has many similarities to that taken by the historian and early biographer, Plutarch, who saw the events of his age in personal terms and the individual life in moral terms of progress or regress. PlutarchÂs boundless interest in the individual, his sense of the drama of men in great situations is mine. I hope I also possess PlutarchÂs wide tolerance, ripe experience and his ability for making greatness stand out in small actions. Alas it is difficult to assess oneself in terms of these qualities. However difficult it is and was to assess the quality of my work, especially from a readerÂs perspective, for me the present was gradually flooded with a light from the past and the past was flooded with a light from the present. It took some twenty years of writing(1984-2004) these memoris, though, before this delightful experience began to occur in my mental and sensory emporium.
Autobiographical writing has been redefining the meaning of narrative in recent decades, as the explosion of memoirs by writers such as Frank McCourt, Mary Karr, Dave Eggers and Kathryn Harrison, among others, suggests. Until the last 20 years, coincidentally since the time I began this narrative, few people without some degree of fame tried to write and fewer tried to publish a memoir. But with the critical and commercial success in the United States of the memoirs of the above authors more and more people have been encouraged to try their hand at this genre. This is but one.
The best specimen of an autobiography in Russian literature is often considered to be Alexander HerzenÂs My Past And Thoughts. Herzen, the father of Russian socialism, referred to his memoirs as Âreminiscences.Â He said in the preface to his work(1855), that anyone could write their story if (a) they had something to say and (b) the capacity to say it. The worst punishment for any author, he went on, was that their work should not be read. It may be that, inspite of my best intentions, inspite of my own perception of the quality of my work and the pleasure I take in reading it, my work may not engage the readers in the BahaÂi community as much as IÂd like to see happen. I think engagement entails defining a common enterprise that newcomers and community veterans can pursue as they try to develop their interpersonal relationships, their teaching opportunities and their own lives. I think I do this quite well, at least I have tried; such is my personal perception of how successful I have been. --I must stop for fear of prolixity.-Ron Price, Australia.
Today's hyper technology is a condition of the collective mentality where information is racing across the globe at an unprecedented rate.
What one thinks of in one continent is picked up in another. These "thoughts" are transmitted throughout the collective mind and spread like a "super computer".
There is a struggle between thoughts of life and death regarding the human race.