…how the spin doctors and talking heads in the media are so wrapped up in the Now that they have no sense of history or causality. Americans in general are so consumed with the present that they blithely ignore how it is that we got into this mess in the first place…
This prompted a long comment from me which is posted here.
…One of the features of postmodern identity is contemporaneity which means “the collapse of the past and future into the present,”
The issue of causality at present is mooted and any attempt to plot future is seen as a useless exercise. I call this Stuck in the Now.
It is not surprising then in many Buddhist, particularly Zen circles, that the emphasis is increasingly on mindfulness of the moment and other concepts that range beyond that such as karma are becoming increasingly rejected. (A sort of %&^* all that Asian historical stuff-how often does that come up?!)
It’s a total morass to any kind of real spiritual development or realization. There is nothing beyond here and now in the American mentality (economic crisis anyone?). No wisdom, which accompanies an ability to view a broader picture and certainly little potential for sustained compassion.
So in Buddhist circles folks are spiraling down into increasingly chasing their own tails rather than “opening the space” that would allow for room for growth. I’ve almost given up on engaging with that kind of debate any more. The pointlessness of it has been adequately demonstrated.
And the only ones who will be able to leverage the situation will be those who can get their heads out of that muck and survey the larger landscape. While those on the right do forget the past and make hay with the present they are also looking at a longer range future which progressives can’t seem to get their heads around. I do hope for all our sakes those progressives with tendrils into the power centers stop this lame wallowing in disillusionment and get the hell back to work.
Here’s another little quip that relates. Those on the right seem to understand this better than many of the “lefty” philosopher-spouting pundits.
“Vivian Sobchack points out:
The postmodern and electronic “instant” … constitutes a form of absolute presence (one abstracted from the continuity that gives meaning to the system past/present/future) and changes the nature of the space it occupies. Without the temporal emphases of historical consciousness and personal history, space becomes abstract, ungrounded, flat—a site for play and display rather than an invested situation in which action “counts” rather than computes. Such a superficial space can no longer hold the spectator/ user’s interest, but has to stimulate it constantly in the same way a video game does. ( http://genesis.ee.auth.gr/dimakis/Gramma/7/02-kokonis.htm )
There is more to be said on this and related topics in the future.