by Kirby Congdon…….
When so much of the world has been overcome by a kind of fad that claims that any inheritance belongs to those who overlook civilization. They emphasize their own belief in eternal bliss instead. This satisfies the need for power by the powerful. In contrast, one can worry about the ineffectiveness of essayists who hammer away at the benefits of poetry.
This suggests a conundrum like giving blessings and love to the barbarian whose bomb already has a fuse burning and whose only purpose is the destruction of all meaning. Consciousness, however, operates in more than one dimension. Words like poetry, love or justice aren’t confined to the simplistic. The barbarian’s stance is indeed, however, simplistic because his mind only works in one dimension. It is intelligence, thought, education and experience that provides any depth that actions need. Almost any kind of conversation seeks to come to a reconciliation when ideas differ. It is when a lack of objective thinking controls an argument that chaos wins.
This writer has seen our serious problems in the headlines. The control of events seems to be by greedy egos, and in the enormous conflicts that go on throughout mankind. Poetry, love or justice are not confined to simplistic sayings but require attention on many levels of consciousness such as emotion, experience, reason, history and the news. The corrections that chaos needs to bring the world back to reality are not easy to find or to put into effect, but they come from public decisions at the White House all the way to the private meditation in a seminary. We need to ask, as John Donnelly asked, what is consciousness, whether it gives depth to a poem, to affection, to the authenticity of society, as Jerome Grapel encourages, or even, as now, to the survival of civilization.
These ideas are brought up here not as a guide to action or thought, but only as a survey and as a confirmation of what we already know.