Posts Tagged progress of man

A Re-Visioning of “Civilization” in Light of Impending Apocalypse … Prometheus Made us “Civilized” … And Doomed: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 13

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Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life, Part Thirteen: On Defiance, Alienation from Nature, “Civilization,” Apocalypse, Marxism, OWS, and Ayn Rand

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Will “Progress of Man” Be Humanity’s Epitaph?

peasantsplantingpotatoes_thumb2early-village_thumb2All of the “achievements” of “civilization,” these increases of control over Nature, are traditionally seen as the “progress of man,” the advance and evolution of humans. On the brink of ecocide and fishkill_thumb6peoples-orb_rr_thumb4humanicide as we now are as a result of these developments, we have a unique vantage point for re-visioning these changes. Are these vaunted human “achievements” so great if they lead to species annihilation, species suicide, as is becoming increasingly likely?

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We now continue to look into these questions. And the very next thing we see is that even the myths from ancient times give us evaluations and prognoses on us that are surprising in light of our current rationalizations of ourselves as a species.

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Defiance, Alienation from Nature,
“Civilization” … Apocalypse

Defiance = Birth Pain = Separation From the Real

254_thumb[1]Other aspects of the Prometheus and Eden myths fit with the interpretation I am making of it: Stealing fire/ eating the apple/ eating meat is the great act-out of the primal birth pain we created for ourselves by standing upright. It was a defiant act against Nature and Universal harmony, but it set us on the human path of being distinct from all other species. Without real access/ connection to the Real, we created substitute realities—culture, structured societies, status, language and writing, power relations, and abstract creative products. [Footnote 1]

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Prometheus Makes Us “Civilized” … And Doomed

pandoras-badfaoxFitting with that, Prometheus is given the central role in making humans distinct from all species, creating humanity, in giving defining attributes to humans to set us apart from all species and these are said to be fire and all the civilizing skills.pt654_84-cropped Prometheus is credited with, not only securing meat, fire, and all ailments and troubles (with Pandora), but also with bringing civilization and all its components of science, agriculture, mathematics, medicine, art, and literature…fine things no doubt, but all being aspects of control of Nature, opposition to the natural, abstraction and alienation from the divine, and not harmony with it or balance in relation to it. imadgfhfjgjkl;'ges_thumb[1]And only now are we beginning to understand the price that comes with these, as indeed we are suffering the penalties allotted Adam and Eve, Icarus, and Prometheus for their over-reaching and hubris. We are nearing the end of the slide into apocalyptic oblivion that Prometheus, Adam and Eve, and Pandora set us on (poetically speaking).

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The Answers

pandora__s_jar_by_a2010l-d33mfhw_thumb[2]pandora__s_jar_by_xxdigipxx-d3100pj.png_thumb[1]But within these myths lie the answers to our dilemma as well. These products of the consciousness of billions of previous humans—added to and refined over the millennia—prophesize the pandora__s_jar_by_shadow_lust-d31v87l_thumb[3]apocalypse looming before us, but these Nine-Days-of-Creation_thumb[5]tensions cannot exist in myth except being inextricably entwined with the very means of their release and resolution. So they lay before us the way home for us as well; and they predict our redemption and how it will happen. It is to this we now turn.

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Before looking at the resolutions of the uniquely human apocalyptic dilemma we have created, let me address something that is no doubt on many readers’ minds.

How Promethean “Heroism” Set Off Our Slide Into Alienation and Apocalypse … His “Rebellion” Was an Abomination, Not a Blessing

leave_eden_thumb491px-Draper_Herbert_James_Mourning_for_IcarusI know you are not used to hearing the Prometheus myth interpreted as a defiant act not a heroic act. It is never compared with Pandoras_Box_copythe defiant acts portrayed in the Eden or Icarus myths as I am here doing. Icarus is rightly said to be a tragic example of hubris or failed ambition, high-flying ambition. In Eden, Adam and Eve defy the sole divine commandment. But they can all be seen as acts of over-reaching, certainly as acts of hubris. And in all of them punishment follows the selfish act; there is karmic retribution for upsetting the natural or divine order.

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Prometheus Is a Criminal Not Heroic Figure…On Over-Reaching and Hubris

Overlord_Prometheus_Geth_PrimeBut remember that hubris and over-reaching was actually the earliest understanding of the Promethean act. It appears that time, understandablyas it doesprovided a rationalization of the defiant act. [Footnote 2]

As with everything else—language, culture, hierarchical society, and the Castle_in_the_Skylike—humans turn their faults into achievements, their crimes into heroism, their cowering before truth into brave creations of castles in the sky. So it is that the Romantic poets Shelley and Byron saw this myth as a reflection of defiance against an oppressive authority, as in their time was the Church; 9781565117877French Revolutionaries saw it as a poke in the eye to the parasitic blue bloods of their age; and Marxists and other activists find inspiration in it for struggle against the suffocating prerogatives of capitalism and imperialism.

They are fine to find inspiration where they can. I submit, however, that a deeper and more currently relevant understanding is the one I am presenting here and which was the earliest understanding. icarusGlowAnd despite all the rationalizing that’s been done on it, this earlier understanding—the one making it analogous to the Eden and Icarus structures—does shine through at times. In my opinion, Mary Shelley understood its real meaning when in 1818 she subtitled her masterpiece novel, Frankenstein “The Modern Prometheus.” In it, she demonstrates a remarkably current,Clive, Colin (Frankenstein)_02 postmodern theme of the dangers of human hubris, ofMonsanto-hungrymanFrankensteinFoods taking us into arenas of knowledge that we are nowhere near capable of managing … doing again, as we did at the beginning in taking from the divine the determination of life and death over the flora, fauna,imstiloyiages and even other humans at times, mucking with the divine order by stirring mouse-earup the forces deep within the atom and the DNA, opening more and more of Pandora’s jars, which can no longer be closed, many of them. So, yes, Shelley’s understanding is closer to my interpretation of the meaning of bringing these “civilizing arts” … In other words, they are in their essence and therefore their ultimate fruits abominations!

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atlas_shrugged_cover6a0133f4251a61970b0168e988eaf3970c-500wiIf my interpretation of Prometheus is still not understood and one wishes to follow Marxist, revolutionary, romantic, and modern interpretations of Prometheus as a righteous defier of injustice and heroic bringer of boons—in a way as to make him a model for our real occupy wall street and Arab Spring heroes frankenstein2today—than consider why it is that the person on the extreme other side of this revolutionary ideology, Ayn Rand, uses Prometheus as a model for her ideology of rapacious fukushima-no-1-meltdown-confirmed-japan_thumbcats_0individuality, which she does in her novels Anthem and the fanatically worshipped, Atlas Shrugged. So, no. Ayn Rand’s rendering shows the myth to be, at its base, depicting the ultimate perversion of a natural benign order and a criminal defiance of Young-Frankenstein-bh01polls_air_pollution_systems_4044_980080_answer_1_xlargeNature—as the industrialists and polluters of today show us—and not the revolutionary overthrow of an oppressive rule, as Marxists, Romantic poets, and French Revolutionaries saw it. [Footnote 3]

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Continue with Enter the Centaur: Wherein Lies Real Hope – Sixties and Millennial Generations Are Shamans for Deluded Promethean “Fathers”: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 14

Return to Deep Thoughts on The Fall – On Sacrifice, Dominion Over Death, Meat, and Murder … Beginning Our Apocalypse: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 12

Footnotes

1. See The Great Reveal, Chapter Thirty-Five: The Twenty-Seventh Prasad. A-mazing Cultural Maze.

2. On “time, understandably, as it does, provided a rationalization of the defiant act,” see “A Blessing for You…To Choose or Refuse”—The Great Reveal from The Planetmates: The Complete Prasads, especially

3. Regarding the glow-in-the-dark cats shown in the photo, see “12 bizarre examples of genetic engineering” at http://www.mnn.com/green-tech/research-innovations/photos/12-bizarre-examples-of-genetic-engineering/glow-in-the-dark-c

Continue with Enter the Centaur: Wherein Lies Real Hope – Sixties and Millennial Generations Are Shamans for Deluded Promethean “Fathers”: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 14

Return to Deep Thoughts on The Fall – On Sacrifice, Dominion Over Death, Meat, and Murder … Beginning Our Apocalypse: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 12

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Deep Thoughts on The Fall – On Sacrifice, Dominion Over Death, Meat, and Murder … Beginning Our Apocalypse: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 12

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Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life, Part Twelve: Deep Thoughts on The Fall – On Sacrifice, Dominion Over Death , Meat, and Murder… How We Started Our Slide Into Savagery

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Deep Thought on the Falls – Meat, Sacrifice, and the Determination of Death

The Fall After Eden—Meat-Eating is the Issue with Cain And Abel’s Divine Offerings, Just as it Was with Prometheus’s

There are more parallels between the Eden and Prometheus myths and tie-ins to the issue of meat-eating.

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Cain Killed Abel, Sedentary Farmers Superseded Nomadic Gatherers

ilst185Some scholars see the Cain and Abel struggle as representing that between nomadic hunter-gatherers and the first settled farmers. Abel is the “righteous” man, a herder of sheep, and a nomadic type. He has an affinity with planetmates being a shepherd. GOOD SHEPHERD 2Later, Christ is compared with Abel as being a martyr but notice also that Christ is known as the Good Shepherd—that is, caring of peasantplowingbelowcastle (2)animals, too.

We need to think of the different ways herders and agriculturalists might view animals. The herder needs to raise and care for planetmates, regardless that they will eventually be killed. The farmer can view planetmates as a means only to an end—as slave labor or soul-less tools to be used in the raising of crops.

The Gods Want Meat = The Gods Want to Retain Determination of Life and Death

And in the Cain and Abel story, we have the same idea of an offering of a meat and a non-meat to a god, just as in the Prometheus myth. Again, meat is the accepted and more desired sacrifice by the divine.

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The Gods Want Humans to Offer Meat – to “Sacrifice” That Right of Determining Life/Death

01-anonymous-cain-and-abel-offer-sacrifice-unto-god-duomo-di-monreale-monreale-sicily-itIn the Prometheus myth, it all went awry because Prometheus did NOT offer the meat he should have to God. As I said, offering the meat as a sacrifice is the same as saying that it is left to God to determine the life and death of the planetmates (animals), not humans.schwartz1_thumb And in Abel’s giving up of a lamb to the Divine, the message is that the humans represented by Abel, the nomadic herder-gatherers will be willing to not eat meat, to forego it, to “sacrifice” it.

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Cain’s Story of Not Sacrificing Determination of Life/Death to the Divine = Humans’ Increasing Control Over Nature

2_cain-abel-sacrificesBut with Cain, the farmer, it is all about control. Cain does not offer an animal. Like Prometheus he gives the divine a lesser offering—not quite a tricking of the divine as Prometheus did but close to it; he is not willing to sacrifice as much. In giving up much more abundant grain and vegetables, the price he’s willing to pay is much less than Abel’s offering of a fellow planetmate, a lamb, raised and cared for from birth. Palaeolithic_bedsThe unspoken part in this myth is provided by way of the Prometheus myth. For in not offering meat to the Divine, the assumption is that Cain will be keeping the meat for his own consumption…and by inference that Cain is keeping for himself the determination of life or death of fellow planetmates instead of putting that responsibility where it belongs—in the hands of Nature/ the Divine.

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Deep Thought on the Falls – Murder

It’s No Wonder Cain’s Making of Life-Death Decisions of Animals Leads to His Doing That For a Human

GREEDFinally, the controlling, savage, and murderous qualities that come with increasing control over Nature—as I have described at length elsewhere—show up in that it is the sedentary, cain-abelmore controlling tiller of the soil, Cain, who has become capable of taking now, even, a human life. In The Great Reveal, I showed why that also follows: For once humans became capable of killing and eating planetmate flesh, it was not long before humans were able to kill each other.

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Will “Progress of Man” Be Humanity’s Epitaph?

peasantsplantingpotatoesearly-villageBut all of these developments, these increases of control over Nature, are traditionally seen as the “progress of man,” the advance and evolution of humans. On the brink of ecocide and fishkillhumanicide as we now are as a result of these developments, we have a nuclear_explosion_color_3_thumbunique vantage point for re-visioning these changes. Are these vaunted human “achievements” so great if they lead to species annihilation, species suicide, and ecocide as is becoming increasingly likely?

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We now continue to look into these questions. And the very next thing we see is that even the myths from ancient times give us evaluations and prognoses on us that are surprising in light of our current rationalizations of ourselves as a species.

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Continue with A Re-visioning of “Civilization” in Light of Impending Apocalypse…Prometheus Made us “Civilized”…And Doomed: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 13

Return to Why Humans Are the Sorriest of Species … Apocalyptic Foretellings Hidden in Myths of Eden, Prometheus, Pandora, Icarus, Cain and Abel: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 11

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friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

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