Reply To: Poetic Imagination,” with futurist Kristina Dryža”
Thank you for your marvelous Mythblast essay. I am still reading and enjoying the many flavors of this essay, beginning with Campbell in Myths of Light; onto our longing for universality and how a poetic sensibility assists such endeavors and eternal truths are usually conveyed through myth metaphor and allegory. This ties me to Stephen’s second question, ” . . . all too often we’re trying to change the world through a linear mind, when in reality, it can only (ultimately) be transformed through the non-linear – metaphors, myths, dreams, symbols . . . ” Indeed this thought still baffles me. Can we? Have societies changed the world through mythic ideas, dreams and symbols, or did not the linear practical reality play a more emphatic role? Is not longing for universality also a longing for the physical and mental wellbeing of all or many?
Stephen’s question leads me to what James just brought about in his post on Synchronicity. In his deep and prolific post James outlined our societal issues, lack of genuine care and concern for the vulnerable population, homelessness, and the impact of Reaganomics on the needs and necessities of those suffering from hunger, disease or addiction.
One passage from James’ post is here,
“About a week or so ago I was watching the evening news covering a gathering commemorating the passing of the homeless who had died on the street. No one knew who they were; no family or friends to mourn them. And one woman being interviewed; with tears in her eyes defiantly said: “Everyone deserves to be remembered. And although I didn’t know them; I am here on their behalf to remember them.”
This city has a long history with cemeteries located all over town where family members are laid to rest that bear reverence to those who died. Military as well as civilians have special designated cemeteries that honor the memories of those who were either killed in battle or have passed on. We even hold special memorial services with parades commemorating public military events where their lives are celebrated. Yet the most vulnerable among us whose only crime was they were sick from a mental disorder are ignored and forgotten as though they never even existed. Every life has value; every life has meaning; and the way we treat those that are helpless as individuals is a reflection of who we are as a society.
Reading the history and development of Socialized Medicine in Europe, which began with State Socialism (German: Staatssozialismus) — “a set of social programmes implemented in the German Empire that were initiated by Otto von Bismarck in 1883 as remedial measures to appease the working class and detract support for socialism” And then the National Health System in the UK, and around the world, leading to universal care for all. To me and to many others, on the surface, it appears that the health care system evolved from the practical needs of the society, the economic necessities dictated by the aftermath of war, and also the aftermath of diseases. Thinking universally was more a pragmatic step, a more linear and well thought out process.
As recently as 2010, “The anti-austerity movement in the United Kingdom saw major demonstrations throughout 2010s in response to Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government’s austerity measures which saw significant reductions in local council budgets, increasing of university tuition fees and reduction of public spending on welfare, education, health and policing, among others. ” Similarly, Reaganomics of the 1980s,introduced austerity measures in the US, reduced public spending on health education and welfare — an economic process thought out through numbers and greater emphasis on reducing the size of public spending and increasing the private sector. These economic planners cite the need for higher profits so as to encourage production and investment (looking at the private sector of the society) while underplaying the realities of those who depend on their bread and butter on their fixed wages.
As a believer in myth and metaphor, the economics of social democratic states in Europe baffles me. A very negligible population in Europe is homeless, they think for the collective, they have fought for social justice and equal taxation for all (no privileges for the billionaires), they have protested and demanded rights to country’s land and resources like oil and gas, from their monarchs, and gone on to elect a government that oversees their well being.
Dear Kristina, I confess I have digressed a bit much, but would love to hear your thoughts on how a poetically rich society can help bring about social equality and justice for the many that have none. I love your concluding remarks, ” It’s crucial for us to engage our thinking, feeling and willing with all our senses to stimulate the head, hands and heart during this evolutionary moment for humanity. But will those who are driving economic and political policies around the world hear this? Jesus said many times throughout the Gospels, “He who has ears, let him hear.” So, how do we work towards a society that has sensitive ears, soft eyes, and a noble heart?
Shaahayda (with gratitude)