Who is society? (A Subjective Coalescence with the Living Object of Society)
While contemplating the concept of society, I often forget to consider myself a member. Society is a living, breathing, and constantly changing aggregate of economies and entities. Forgetting this, I envision myself as an observer, somewhere high above the petri dish of humanity. In doing so, I sterilize all learning with the immature habit of disconnected reflection. I avoid the dust of the world so as not to get my hands dirty.
I don’t want to take responsibility for the ill effects of industrialization & globalization. Dirt is inevitable. I’ll effortlessly purchase throwaway cell phones, receive goods in plastic containers, burn fossil fuels for travel, & spend US Dollars.
In avoiding major sources of societal expansion, my sense of pride tells me I am making a difference. Through this feeling of pride, there arises an idea: I’m not like them. I am not better or worse but I am certainly different from them. This type of thinking brings separation with it. Embracing separation from our environment denies a fundamental law: nothing exists separately.
This very idea of the rugged individual, I believe, is responsible for a dangerous disconnect. The individualist diverges their identity with the organized human form, creating a dualistic separation of organism and environment. This dualism leads to avoidance of the tough issues of life, mainly ethical & philosophical.
“I love man not the less, but nature more.” Lord Byron
Industrialized humanity has abandoned wild nature in favor of human nature. Human nature is a part of nature. I consider it to be inhibited, suppressed, in denial. Extending this to myself, I realize that I too, am those things. In me grows a resistance to accept the ultimate nature of society as it is, here & now. Living in a world of potentials and ideals, I sometimes miss the pragmatic counterweight of realism.
I feel a restless spite toward civilized humanity; at odds with some greater human entity. Denying benefits in favor of losses, focusing on ugliness rather than beauty, giving in to self-loathing before recognizing self-approval. If I am to take responsibility for my membership within “this”, how am I to feel? Rejecting society, living on the fringes is only an avoidance of the real problem: how do we cope with ourselves?
Through quiet acceptance, a door beyond intellect opens. Emotional states become unreliable. Just as thoughts, feelings are mere relative responses, not to be confused with ultimate nature. Soon the thought might arise: I am society.
All these things I am, in an ever-expanding fashion as all forms consistently dissolve into space. I am ultimately inexpressible. I feel myself filled with life, I feel myself decay. I see it everywhere, inside and out.
All mammals arising from the womb of a beautiful female, we share these experiences. I am not separate from life function & the cessation of life function and neither are you. We share this and we are this.
None of these ideas belong to anyone, as much as character doesn’t belong to anyone. They are collective reflections of influences, both inward & outward. They are gifts from society, just as much as our biological makeup is a gift from nature.
As a member of humanity & its greater idea of society, we are inseparable from the discoveries & failings of our members. We are able to share (or deny) these discoveries just as we contribute to the overall catalogue of evolution & decay.
We are these ideas. We are this ignorance. We are these inventions. We are this destruction. We are society.
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” R. Buckminster Fuller