Dozing content on mid-may morning
Cool pillow against my cheek
Iced coffee just enough to keep me from going back into dreamland
Birds squawking at the humid heat
Sun bright, day brilliant
Writing thinking planning
My futon is tight up in the eastern corner of my room. I lay back, leaning on the wall, elbow propped up on pile of pillows. Playing Descartes, contemplating while abed.
Faithfulness in humanity means believing that at some point, we will recognize (think-again) that we do not need dominating power structures–authorities–to have a healthy working order. We are as a kind (natura/physis) already social beings. We have evolved to work with each other. While some must lead from time to time, no person, party, nor institution deserves to lord-over others in perpetuity.
Even Plato could see that we are those entitites who are at our best when we remember to hit the harmony of being-together-justly (dikaiosyne). This is what Socrates discloses when he shows Glaucon the descriptive notion of the City of Necessity which the younger man promptly calls a city for pigs.
Plato’s Just Gathering (Politeia/Res Publica) only has need of authority when the healthy symphonic assembly (accompaniment) is eschewed for an unhealthy cacophonic routine (company). Even then, keeping a tense arrangement of constant vigilance (intensive care), his authority figures bear a striking resemblance to physicians charged with finding ways to bring the physique of society back into balance with its physis (psyche/soul).
Laozi has a similar recommendation throughout the second part of Daodejing (Book of DE: poems 38-81). Great or magnificent DE (virtue or excellence) flows through a kind of harmony with nature. There is no need for dominating force in a healthy community. Like Plato, Laozi and his great disciple Zhuangzi often demonstrate the degeneration of virtue as folks give themselves over to dominating authorities who themselves are symptomatic of a profound dis-ease.
Thus in poem 38, Laozi speaks of going from DE to benevolence to justice to ritual. And having reached a place where all is done through sheer formula, very quickly the “fear of freedom” (as Fromm might diagnose the societal condition) brings about a great deal of rage for the smallest ceremonial slight. (Laozi even describes someone slighted by unceremonious rudeness as rolling up his sleeves and jumping into the fight.)
Faithfulness in humankind means trusting that we can think-again how we are that kind of being who gathers justly.
And in our gathering justly, know that we need never resort to the immoderate desires that will generate unnecessary authoritarian structures.
“…there can be freedom in what animates our existence…”
- Boon of Dandelions 7 (keithwaynebrown.com)
- Boon of Dandelions 8 (keithwaynebrown.com)
- Daodejing 27 (keithwaynebrown.com)
- ‘Yet Here I am in My Wretchedness’ (andrewjtaggart.com)
- “Anti-Fracking but Pro-Development” (dentondrilling.blogspot.com)
- Reciprocity (grahamwood7.wordpress.com)