WWSP's "The Alternate Boot!"

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Spengler's Giving

I'm reading Oswald Spengler's Decline of the West...just started, already it puts me in a worldly frame of mind. We are citizens of nature, and of history. Cultures are too. Spengler talks about how a man is born, lives, dies, there's young age, old age, a lifetime. The same can be said for a culture. History is the meaning we derive from these natural events. Do we live in a personal world that lives and dies with us? Or are we part of a larger historical reality that spans centuries? If it's the latter, we transcend our humble bodies via our consciousness of this greater reality, and we can derive meanings from this world narrative. This gives us a sense of connection to things larger than us. This also points to a symbolic understanding of the events of the world. We can see ourselves as one player, cut off from the rest, with no greater purpose, except our natural function, or we can see ourselves as a historical characters, informed by events past and present, which enrapts us in a symbolic or metaphorical suit of armour. We can derive meanings from this greater reality, we can invest our humble world with these grand understandings. We can read history, and the world, like we read a poem; the more you give to it, the more you receive from it.

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