[MD] a flimsy canopy of patterns

MarshaV valkyr at att.net
Tue Dec 18 22:33:00 PST 2012

An interesting quote by Ernest Becker from 'The Great Awakening: A Buddhist Social Theory'  by David Loy:

   "The world of human aspiration is largely fictitious, and if we do not understand this we understand nothing about man.  It is a largely symbolic creation by an ego-controlled animal that permits actions in a psychological world, a symbolic-behavioral world removed from the boundaries of the present moment, from the immediate stimuli which enslave all lower organisms.  Man's freedom is a fabricated freedom, and he pays a price for it.  He must at all times _defend the utter fragility of his delicately constituted fiction, deny its artificiality._ That's why we can speak of 'joint theatrical staging,' 'ritual formulas for social ceremonial,' and 'enhancing of cultural meaning,' with utmost seriousness.... 

   "The most astonishing thing of all, about man's fictions, is not that they have from prehistoric times hung like a flimsy canopy over his social world, but that he should have come to discover them at all.  It is one of the most remarkable achievements of thought, of self-scritiny, that the most anxiety-prone animal of all could come to _see through himself_ and discover the fictional nature of his action world.  Future historians will probably record it as one of the great, liberating breakthroughs of all time, and it happened in ours."



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