Possession by Evil Spirits
This morning, when I decided to write about this, I worried that it was not a respectable subject. Then I realized that respectability was the primary obsession of my miserable parents. I was walking in my parent’s footsteps again!
The next question was clearly “What were they ashamed of?” The answer was clear enough “They were ashamed of what they were!” And what was that? Here words fail me, as if my mind was embarrassed by my ignorance of something so obvious.
I will have to switch into a more abstract language that will not be nearly as satisfying – or even as understandable. We are ashamed because we are no longer human – but something else we cannot explain. We are ashamed – and afraid.
Let me try to explain what I think went on. This seemed to begin with the Industrial Revolution, where machines became more powerful and more important – relative to the people they displaced. A whole way of life was displaced (or replaced). People-oriented activities – based on growing food, the economy of thousands of years – was replaced by manufacturing and by markets. People now served machines (including markets) – instead of machines serving them.
And we became ashamed of ourselves – without realizing it. Because we identified with our machines (the Railroads and the Battleship in particular) and felt we more powerful than ever. We were two things at once (our disowned human selves and our triumphant machines) – with no center between them . We lost our minds, the worst shame imaginable.
Here is where possession by evil spirits comes in. Our machines have spirits (souls) of their own – this is hardly a new idea, but has not been taken seriously enough. This has to be linked with another idea – we are our selves, as individuals and groups – but we are also our situations. We are heavily influenced by our surroundings – and indeed, are part of them. We cannot exist in a pure world of our own (one of our favorite fantasies).
This is where it really gets interesting. How did these spirits (the combination of our spirits and our machine’s spirits) become evil? I have no answer, but can only point to the result – which is clearly evil. There must have been a long chain of events, that will perhaps be deciphered someday by minds smarter than my own.
But one thing is clear enough – our machines (culminating in the Computer) have become more and more powerful.
I can only think of the saying “Fools rush in -”. And we have been fools.
Is the situation hopeless? No, all we have to do is realize where we are – and put ourselves back in control again. But this means facing some powerful forces that strictly forbid us to do this.
All we have to do is realize these forces are not real, but imaginary – and only exist in our minds.