The Problem Resides in the Nature of our Thought Structure

October 13, 2009

Quantum physicist David Bohm has said that to become wholistic thinkers and feeling beings we must drop the mechanistic order that virtually all of us have been conditioned in for the past 400 years. Our thought structures, and therefore the manner in which we conceptualize and communicate, have been guided by mechanistic themes, rather than from a deep sense of the whole weave each of us is an intrinsic part of, that everything is richly interconnected with everything else. Such mechanistic order is expressed through what Bohm calls the Cartesian Grid, where virtually everything has been contained and conditioned by our notions of order, our thinking, our senses, our feelings, our intuitions, our physical movement, our relationships with other people and society, in fact, every phase of our lives. We have been in a terrible, claustrophobic box that cannot see life as it really is. We make it up.

So we have to look at thought itself as a major cause of our problems. We accept the political and economic structures that exist as if they are written in stone, and have been with us forever. It is helpful to remind ourselves that everything cultural is a creation of human beings, and can be changed at any time it is deemed important or necessary to enhance species survival and enjoyment. Modern Western man has become addicted to materialism which has contaminated our thinking process and values such that we have become individualistic rather than communitarian beings, acquisitive rather than inquisitive, and competitive rather than cooperative. We are working against our intrinsic, archetypal nature.

The wise Australian archaeologist, V. Gordon Childe, in his classic work, Man makes Himself (1936), concluded (now the language would substitute “human(s)” for “man/men”): “Just because tradition is created by societies of men and transmitted in distinctively human and rational ways, it is not fixed and immutable: it is constantly changing as society deals with ever new circumstances. Tradition makes the man, by circumscribing his behavior within certain bounds; but it is equally true that man makes the traditions. And so, we can repeat with deeper insight, Man makes himself.”

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