A Tower of Babble

An influx of knowledge at the end of the 20th century sheds new light on the situation of human beings in the universe. Parallel progress in cosmology, earth sciences, ecology, biology and prehistory in the 1960s and 1970s have modified our ideas about the universe, the earth, life and humanity itself. But these contributions remain disjointed. That which is human is cut up into pieces of a puzzle that cannot form an image. . . The new knowledge, for lack of being connected, is neither assimilated nor integrated. There is progress in knowledge of the parts and paradoxical ignorance of the whole. – Edgar Morin

What has contributed to our human ability to see in pieces can cause us to become stuck in abstraction and fragmentation. Tom Cheetham writes “The world is distant from the Divine to the extent that we are trapped in the dogmatic, the fixed and the literal, to the extent that we can only see the the apparent, the letter.” (A reference to the origin of language being symbol.We have lost that) John O’Donohue also suggests that In the Western tradition, that line, that threshold between light and darkness, between soul and body, God and human, between ourselves and nature has often been atrophied. When the threshold freezes, the two sides get cut off from each other and the result is dualism.

In his search for something more whole, the Physicist David Bohm writes about the the limitations on knowing and the human process of perceiving and that what we take for reality are often “surface phenomena, explicate forms that have temporarily unfolded out of an underlying implicate order”. The “implicate order” is the ground from which reality emerges. In our fragmented seeing what arises here, that is no less relevant, is often missed.

As humans we do have a capacity to expand our perceptions, to see in a more whole way and to realize the ultimate interconnection of all. This is essential if we are to address problems that have arisen as a consequence of actions created from our history of being in which we confound the esoteric with the subjective (the subjective experience is not measurable and therefore is unreal) and the exoteric with the objective ( objectivity is associated with the exoteric and is measurable, material and that is what is real).

2 thoughts on “A Tower of Babble

  1. Hi Gord. let’s grab a coffee some day. BTW I think there was a typo in the last sentence? Or I didn’t understand it.


    1. Sure Herb. I’m in Germany right now. Headed to Jordan for a bit and I will back in Peterborough for the spring and summer in May. A bit of a typo but it was a hard sentence to understand anyway.


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