Exploring the Social Imagination

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Violence in the Social Imagination is a Reaction to the Fallen World...

This is a fallen world, it's in a state of decay or what is called in science 'entropy'. It is kind of word that most people don't like to hear because it means the universe or let's say the world as we know it is winding down ....  

All processes manifest a tendency toward decay and disintegration, with a net increase in what is called the entropy, or state of randomness or disorder, of the system. This is called the Second Law of Thermodynamics ~ Henry Morris.

Some have changed the word entropy to mean a measure of disorder and that there is no total decay. I can agree with that in that entropy of social reality is a disorder of information and that it could be re-organized. Well, that is what God has a plan to do. But, man... you can be sure cannot and will not ever be able to reorganize disorder in the universe. 

This world is passing away. We see death and destruction all around us yet no one really wants to talk about it as a real aspect of existence; no, rather we only discuss it as if it is avoidable. If you eat right, exercise, take vitamins, avoid too much caffeine and alcohol, have regular checkups, drive safely, hang out with the right people etc. If you do these things, you will live forever in this world. 

But, people do grow old, do get sick and die. Our reaction to this is denial, rejection and our way to cope is our own useless attempt of mastery over it as Max Weber recognized. We want to escape it, or master it and when we can't we want to blame someone else, and we even want revenge. We want to lash out in anger and hatred because we feel hopeless and end up isolating ourselves becoming lonely.

Alfred Schutz realized that this hopelessness and anger/hatred and tendency to isolate ourselves is rooted in the fear of death which he called the fundamental anxiety. This is what drives men and women to do the things they do sometimes out of such fear and isolation... to do bad things, ugly things or what we could call - evil. 

Because, we do experience entropy and in it evil...out of the same hopelessness and fear of death, we attempt to escape it, run away from it or master it. That is why we try to come up with ideas, politics, contracts, laws, and all kinds of schemes in order to try to escape entropy 'disorder' (which is decay of information) or to distance ourselves from it. When they don't seem to be working, we fall into a dark or 'darker' state of mind - darker social imagination.

Take a look around isn't it obvious. Don't we see and or hear about horrific violent crimes or conflicts at home, down the street, in our schools/towns/states and abroad. Whether it's on television or in the movies, on the internet, in games, on t-shirts, in music, sports, or in real life, violence is in our face on a daily basis. Why is that? Man is afraid that there is nothing else ...

Now, we do from time to time justify certain violence, and often abhor it too.  But, we never actually try to 'face up' to it and admit that we are much instigators and perpetrators of it as we are victims of it. Oh really you say. You never did anything to anyone! You never personally hurt anyone, right? Didn't you grow up with 2 parents in a nice home in a good neighborhood? Didn't you get exactly what you wanted for your birthday or Christmas, and didn't you get a blue/red ribbon while someone else did not. 

Didn't you have access to and eat healthy food and drink clean water or breathe clean air while someone else did not. Didn't your dad get a promotion while someone else did not. Didn't your mom stay home to raise/nurture you while someone else's had to work... leaving the key under the flowerpot near the back steps? 

Didn't your grandpa become a major in the military service while someone else died executing his orders? Didn't you go on vacation to Disney World, or go to the Olympics either as a competitor or spectator and someone else did not?  Didn't you get that great job, expensive car, pat on the back or nod from the boss, or find a loophole that enabled your upward mobility while someone else did not? Oh, sure maybe they weren't as competent as you or they just were to slow on the uptake, not in the right place at the right time.

You say that just because you had a better upbringing, or opportunities, or a better education, you are not responsible  for other people's problems, bad choices, illness/depression, crimes, or deaths. Really? Aren't we all part of the fallen world/the social imagination!

Take some time now... look up the word decadence, which means simply "decline" (fall into disorder) in an abstract sense. Now, in a social sense, we can observe decay in social standards, morals, dignity, religious faith, or skill at governing. By extension, it refers also to a decline in  ethics, and an increase thus in self-indulgent behavior as we claw to escape social entropy. 

Is there a way out of this decay/decadence for the social imagination? How can we escape or in the  very least somehow move forward into a future forgoing decay, forgoing or eliminating violence??? Pray to the Creator that His Kingdom Come!


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  2. Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our sins/debts/trespasses, as we also have forgiven our debtors/those who have sinned against us. And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one ~ Matthew 6:9-13.

  3. Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it ~ Proverbs 22:6. Where the fear of God is, there will be humility. And much is to be enjoyed by it; spiritual riches, and eternal life at last. The way of sin is vexatious and dangerous. But the way of duty is safe and easy. Train children, not in the way they would go, that of their corrupt hearts, but in the way they should go; in which, if you love them, you would have them go. As soon as possible every child should be led to the knowledge of the Savior! Matthew Henry

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