The Empire Of The First World
Last night I started reading one of three books I’ve started reading this week. This book is Original Wisdom by Robert Wolff. I actually can’t recall the exact date I acquired this book, its one that has been on my shelf for at least a year. Its purpose is to provide stories of the wisdom of “pre-industrial, pre-agricultural world without cars or cell phones, clocks or schedules, in a lush, green place where worry and hurry, competition and suspicion are not known.”
This is a description of the book I have not read until now, or perhaps did, and lost its words in the forgetability of less familiar themes. After all, as I’ve been talking lately about being a cheering section, rarely does one’s mind stay focused on topics that discuss ideas either contradictory or just not high on the priority list of your own. Our minds have a way of either dismissing them or accepting them through a filter that sort of transforms them into something less contradictory or at least more ambiguous.
The opening line of this book states
Most of us were raised in the Empire of the First World
I need not mention the capturing of my attention with the book’s first 12 words because I hope the themes my mind dwells on lately have been evident through my writings here. But I suppose I cannot help but mention it simply by pointing that out, and I suppose it to be a decent summary for those who have just now stumbled upon my blog.
I cannot help but recall an article I wrote sometime over the summer summarizing my automatic questioning of conventional wisdom. It is the very nature of the first world, or those in power (either authoritative, environmental, or cultural) to not understand the perspectives of lesser beings on that same spectrum. Hence, it is collectively as a culture, hard for Americans (or perhaps I should say, Americanism, since we are discussing culture here, not individuals) to understand the true feelings, opinions, and plight of the second world, third world, fourth world, and so on. Is this not yet another reason to reconsider what we believe to be right, culturally speaking?
For any mind willing to (sometimes desperate to) objectively understand the fiber that holds this world together, the chains that bind us to it, and the true definition of Love as Christ exemplified, I believe that road leads through these corridors. These halls are lonely, traversed by few. My curious mind would ask what type of person is most suited to enter them and whether it were a journey I could bear personally but I rarely feel unoccupied enough to allow my mind to wander into triviality. Journeys lead where they lead.
I did not intend, when writing the first draft a few days ago, to enter into anything as personal as where writing this blog has taken me, but I know not how to avoid it, and delete keys I often cannot justify. I’ve lately noticed themes recurring in my reading, themes that add further solidity to previous notions. The word “uncanny” often comes to mind, as in the case with the finding the quote above in a book I bought long ago, but perhaps we find extraordinary circumstances where our hearts wish to find them. Be they something beyond coincidence I do not know, and would not say if I did.
I’ve also started reading a book called The Story Of B by Daniel Quinn. Its a sequel to his more famous novel, Ishmael, which I read last year, and would highly recommend to anyone interested in the questioning (and therefore solidifying) of their worldview. While on the topic of books and quotes about dominant cultures, here’s another, one from The Story Of B:
Evidently it isn’t just the history of the world that the victors get to write, its the theology of the world as well.
Thats an idea to allow to soak in and to consider. Let me know what you think, and don’t just comment with your immediate reaction. Seriously, let it set in for a day and then get back to me. I would love to hear what you have to say.