Monday, August 03, 2009


The term, new maturity, was first coined at his farewell roast, when James “Big Boy” Medlin characterized his departure from the Hole in the Wall and the Austin scene for the bright lights and big city barely visible through the dim air of Lala land lo these many seasons gone by. I have applied it to many instances in my own life and my friends’ when the accumulation of bad experiences begins to suggest a major overhaul of attitude toward those affected by it. Sandy, over at Kulture Critic, just posted A Stricken Empire expanding the meaning of this term for me to new dimensions.

Such a change may be characterized by two primary approaches. One way is to retain ones basic plan and ultimate objective while adjusting one’s act in order to reach the goal without any consideration of the way things are, like a robot truck ramming a wall, backing up and ramming the wall again an inch further along the wall with the unflinching dream of driving through the hole it's convinced exists somewhere. Another approach is to back further from the wall than that one track minded truck so the structure of which the wall is a part may be viewed as to where possible doors might be spotted or that the water ewer on the wall shelf has been shaken to its edge and will spill its contents onto the wiring system of the robot if it persists in banging its head on the wall — or that the wall is endless and invulnerable and a whole new, more realistic outlook must be taken.

The mythtake of human exceptionality underlying the creation of civilization first manifested in the killing, not merely to eat, but to eliminate competitors for their food; from trees and weeds that took up space they were learning to plant to local varmints and fellow humans who wanted a share of the new bounty. The abuse such a belief system wreaks on the symbiotic relationship any entity must achieve to maintain the flexibility an enduring survival requires, fuses joints with irretrievable actions, atrophies muscles with automated responses and locks minds with indisputable conclusions. Such exceptionality has lead western civilization to require filtering systems for vital supplies like air, water and food in order to feel comfortable on the planet from which it has declared itself alien owner by inheritance from the maker Himself.

The new maturity of which I speak is the chance for the being we might call the collective human consciousness to recalibrate the myth to better represent a broader vision of the reality, objective or subjective, we have spent sixteen thousand years beating our heads against trying to change what we don’t like about the way it is. Like children throwing tantrums by locking themselves behind their toy filled bedroom doors to protest being made to go to nature camp instead of computer or band camp, western civilization must grow beyond the protective walls of the prison without bars, take responsibility for all the dirty diapers thrown out the window and rejoin the natural evolution with a clear memory of the fallacies of childhood before the paradigm shift took the mere skip step needed to resync with the fascinating chaos that is nature.

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