Dangerous Philosophy

Western Desert, Kuwait

The hermit crab is a politician. When sensing danger from above, it looks straight ahead and runs away sideways. It’s interesting being alone, especially here in the desert. The word ‘hermit, in fact comes from ‘eremia’, Greek for ‘desert’. One has a chance to examine one’s soul to a greater extent than one might otherwise be inclined to do. By ‘soul’, I mean endlessly processed images,motives, aspirations, perhaps what Jung might have called ‘waking dreams’; big, empty skies and featureless landscapes with wind-blown ripples which can focus the mind. Trivia are absent – there’s nothing to be distracted by except oneself. Some find this unsettling. I don’t – perhaps there’s a trapped Buddhist somewhere. I wonder if such people generally see themselves as opinionated, gauche and lumpen in public. I rather felt that I was becoming so, even after only two days of solitude and it is perhaps the perceived certainties arrived at in one’s personal spaces that are the least reliable, requiring the gentle intervention of friends who have the temerity to disagree.
I’m finding myself revisiting what Jonathan Edwards called ‘experimental religion’ a hybrid of science, faith and reason that causes speculation about the mind of God – should he or she be sufficiently consonant with what serves the human race as intellect to be said to possess a ‘mind’, having no magnitude, or proportion, merely direction or will. It is a matter for dangerous philosophy to speculate how the affairs of mankind have been shaped by the intervention of the Divine and more significantly the timescales and personnel involved. We are adopters, adapters and improvers with prehensile thumbs, who first have to be convinced of the genetic advantage of a philosophy or procedure before we commit energy and time to it. Which is ironic, in the postmodern Internet-rich milieu of communication, which is mostly random noise. The real movers and shakers are subsurface, like ocean currents, their Machiavellian purposes hidden from the masses, their doings only known to a few. I wonder whether at the heart of us all there is a rebellion which flows from the inescapability of being ‘just another brick in the wall’ and wishing that we were intellectually tall enough to see over the squabblings of the masses to the architecture and grandeur which moves the ship forward, and in which direction. “When two or three…” Hitler, Goebbels and Himmler, perhaps. Power is not, it would seem, in the hands of those whose names are daily before us, but in the engine rooms and steerage units, with quiet, effortless transfers of vast sums, in discreet assignations, levering us where we may not wish to go.

One thought on “Dangerous Philosophy

  1. Thanks to the urging of the Divine Mind, we were moved to redeem you from the threat of lumpenness in the nick of time. I wonder if we were compelled? Or did we choose? 🙂

    (And where are those lovely sand dunes in Kuwait? Haven't seen anything even remotely like it.)


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