Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year - 2012


Happy new year and wishes for the restless parts of the world to settle into peace.

Ruminating last night, as I tend to do on New Year's eves, I considered how many things we all take for granted are only constructions of civilization. Perhaps, even, civilizations means having convinced large numbers of people, sometimes almost everyone in the world, that certain abstractions are realities. Time, for instance. Time exists, of course, the days go from morning to night and back to morning. In all but the equatorial parts of the world seasons also go through a predictable cycle. But that this is 2012 is a construction, such a powerful one that it overshadow the much older calculations of the Chinese and the Jewish and other calendars -- and they too are constructions. Likewise the division of days into hours. Hours exist only because we agree they do. These time divisions help us tie our lives and the past history into packages, give us tools for thinking and for getting along with one another.

And then there's money. Oh Boy! When simple barter ended and tokens began to be given value Pandora's dump truck spread a sticky mess of tar that stuck on all our shoes. Smple relationships between the haves and have-nots became more and more complex to the point where individuals are overshadowed by institutions which are over shadowed by countries and world organizations. I wonder what would happen if everyone in the world truly understood that money isn't real.

That's two biggies for a start. And just a little thing besides those: what about success, your persona success? Does that word mean anything? Then there's happiness and peace and love ...

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- your post captures the rigidity of our civilization. This is a great piece of writing to read today as it gets my head thinking about all that you spoke about. I don't know if you have read "Original Wisdom, Stories of an Ancient Way of Knowing" by Robert Wolff? He lived with aboriginals of Malaysia who lived without all the accouterments of modern living. They were pre-agricultural and pre-industrial. It is a wonderful compare and contrast to our civilization. Thanks for waking up my mind on this beautiful windy morning in Kentucky. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks for our comment Barbara, I think I'll write a post inspired both it and a chance meeting today.