So, America has laws and people, but perhaps not the kinds of democratic freedoms that disturb their overseers with night terrors. But, for the thinking American, working toward the kind of democracy that Cuba has must outweigh the consequences that come with making it a reality.
Perhaps all the American sovereign needs to do is accept that it is time for a little anarchy. Not to worry; the sovereign will define the consequences of it.
Then, America need not contend with Cuba for rankings, but it can work alongside it to foment democracy around the world in a way that arouses not terrorism, but inclusion and freedom. Mateo Pimentel lives on the Mexican-US border. August 29, Imagine: Cuba by Mateo Pimentel. Join the debate on Facebook. More articles by: Mateo Pimentel. In that structure, every person is of equal power and authority vis a vis everyone else. Obviously, there are many middle structures between pure totalitarianism and pure populism.
But this gives the flavor. It also seems to describe the nature of every other major crisis identified in the Fourth Turning:. True, the forces of history in between the crises exhibit the opposite dynamic at play. Laws are already in place in Australia that require people to show their full face when entering government buildings and on a driver's licence.
The same goes for balaclavas and motorcycle helmets. It is a no-brainer. National security demands facial recognition and, as such, it is enforced. As Malcolm Turnbull reiterated this week, "We don't tell people how to dress in Australia.
But, where it's important that people's identity be plain, their faces shouldn't be covered. This has got nothing to do with religion or any of that. It is a simple, practical matter. But, we don't see a lot of burqas in Australia, let's face it. Beyond those buildings are mountains and snowfields. Sylvia says John has talked to someone in town about another route to Bozeman, south through Yellowstone Park.
A memory comes to me of snowfields in June. We meet John again and it's settled. Soon, beyond a railroad underpass, we are on a twisting blacktop through fields toward the mountains up ahead. The high, dark Absaroka Range looms directly ahead. We are following a creek to its source. It contains water that was probably snow less than an hour ago. The stream and the road pass through green and stony fields each a little higher than before.
Everything is so intense in this sunlight. Dark shadows, bright light. Dark blue sky. The sun is bright and hot when we're in it, but when we pass under trees along the road, it's suddenly cold. We play tag with a little blue Porsche along the way, passing it with a beep and being passed by it with a beep and doing this several times through fields of dark aspen and bright greens of grass and mountain shrubs.
All this is remembered. He would use this route to get into the high country, then backpack in from the road for three or four or five days, then come back out for more food and head back in again, needing these mountains in an almost physio- logical way. The train of his abstractions became so long and so involved he had to have the surroundings of silence and space here to hold it straight.
It was as though hours of constructions would have been shattered by the least distraction of other thought or other duty. It wasn't like other people's thinking, even then, before his insanity. It was at a level at which everything shifts and changes, at which institutional values and verities are gone and there is nothing but one's own spirit to keep one going. His early failure had released him from any felt obligation to think along institutional lines and his thoughts were already independent to a degree few people are familiar with.
He felt that institutions such as schools, churches, governments and political organizations of every sort all tended to direct thought for ends other than truth, for the perpetuation of their own functions, and for the control of individuals in the service of these functions. He came to see his early failure as a lucky break, an accidental escape from a trap that had been set for him, and he was very trap-wary about institutional truths for the remainder of his time.
He didn't see these things and think this way at first, however, only later on. I'm getting way out of sequence here. This all came much later. In a laboratory situation, when your whole procedure goes haywire, when everything goes wrong or is indeterminate or is so screwed up by unexpected results you can't make head or tail out of anything, you start looking laterally. That's a word he later used to describe a growth of knowledge that doesn't move forward like an arrow in flight, but expands sideways, like an arrow enlarging in flight, or like the archer, discovering that although he has hit the bull's eye and won the prize, his head is on a pillow and the sun is coming in the window.
Lateral knowledge is knowledge that's from a wholly unexpected direction, from a direction that's not even understood as a direction until the knowledge forces itself upon one. Lateral truths point to the falseness of axioms and postulates underlying one's existing system of getting at truth. To all appearances he was just drifting.
In actuality he was just drifting. Drifting is what one does when looking at lateral truth. He couldn't follow any known method of procedure to uncover its cause because it was these methods and procedures that were all screwed up in the first place. So he drifted. That was all he could do. The drift took him into the Army, which sent him to Korea. From his memory there's a fragment, a picture of a wall, seen from a prow of a ship, shining radiantly, like a gate of heaven, across a misty harbor.
He must have valued the fragment greatly and thought about it many times because although it doesn't fit anything else it is intense, so intense I've returned to it myself many times. It seems to symbolize something very important, a turning point. His letters from Korea are radically different from his earlier writing, indicating this same turning point. They just explode with emotion. He writes page after page about tiny details of things he sees: marketplaces, shops with sliding glass doors, slate roofs, roads, thatched huts, everything.
Sometimes full of wild enthusiasm, sometimes depressed, sometimes angry, sometimes even humorous, he is like someone or some creature that has found an exit from a cage he did not even know was around him, and is wildly roaming over the countryside visually devouring everything in sight.
Later he made friends with Korean laborers who spoke some English but wanted to learn more so that they could qualify as translators. He spent time with them after working hours and in return they took him on long weekend hikes through the hills to see their homes and friends and translate for him the way of life and thought of another culture.
He is sitting by a footpath on a beautiful windswept hillside overlooking the Yellow Sea. The rice in the terrace below the footpath is full-grown and brown. His friends look down at the sea with him seeing islands far out from shore. They eat a picnic lunch and talk to one another and to him and the subject is ideographs and their relation to the world.
He comments on how amazing it is that everything in the universe can be described by the twenty-six written characters with which they have been working.
His friends nod and smile and eat the food they've taken from tins and say no pleasantly. He is confused by the nod yes and the answer no and so repeats the statement. Again comes the nod meaning yes and the answer no. That is the end of the fragment, but like the wall it's one he thinks about many times.
The final strong fragment from that part of the world is of a compartment of a troopship. He is on his way home. The compartment is empty and unused. He is alone on a bunk made of canvas laced to a steel frame, like a trampoline. There are five of these to a tier, tier after tier of them, completely filling the empty troop compartment.
This is the foremost compartment of the ship and. He contemplates these things and a deep booming on the steel plates all around him and realizes that except for these signs there is no indication whatsoever that this entire compartment is rising massively high up into the air and then plunging down, over and over again.
He wonders if it is that which is making it difficult to concentrate on the book before him, but realizes that no, the book is just hard. It's a text on Oriental philosophy and it's the most difficult book he's ever read.
He's glad to be alone and bored in this empty troop compartment, otherwise he'd never get through it. The difference is that the classic reality is primarily theoretic but has its own esthetics too. The romantic reality is primarily esthetic, but has its theory too. The theoretic and esthetic split is between components of a single world. The classic and romantic split is between two separate worlds.
Northrop, suggests that greater cognizance be made of the "undifferentiated aesthetic continuum'' from which the theoretic arises. His lateral drift was ended. He was actively in pursuit of something now. A sudden cross-gust of cold air comes heavy with the smell of pines, and soon another and another, and as we approach Red Lodge I'm shivering.
At Red Lodge the road's almost joined to the base of the mountain. The dark ominous mass beyond dominates even the roofs of the buildings on either side of the main street. We park the cycles and unpack them to remove warm clothing. We walk past ski shops into a restaurant where we see on the walls huge photographs of the route we will take up. And up and up, over one of the highest paved roads in the world.
I feel some anxiety about this, which I realize is irrational and try to get rid of by talking about the road to the others. There's no way to fall off. No danger to the motorcycle. Just a memory of places where you could throw a stone and it would drop thousands of feet before coming to rest and somehow associating that stone with the cycle and rider.
When coffee is finished we put on the heavy clothing, repack and have soon traveled to the first of many switchback turns across the face of the mountain.
The asphalt of the road is much wider and safer than it occurred in memory. On a cycle you have all sorts of extra room. John and Sylvia take the hairpin turns up ahead and then come back above us, facing us, and have smiles. Soon we take the turn and see their backs again. Then another turn for them and we meet them again, laughing. It's so hard when contemplated in advance, and so easy when you do it. He saw philosophy as the highest echelon of the entire hierarchy of knowledge.
Among philosophers this is so widely believed it's almost a platitude, but for him it's a revelation. He discovered that the science he'd once thought of as the whole world of knowledge is only a branch of philosophy, which is far broader and far more general.
The questions he had asked about infinite hypotheses hadn't been of interest to science because they weren't scientific questions. Science cannot study scientific method without getting into a bootstrap problem that destroys the validity of its answers.
The questions he'd asked were at a higher level than science goes. What's the purpose of all this? At a turnout on the road we stop, take some record photographs to show we have been here and then walk to a little path that takes us out to the edge of a cliff. A motorcycle on the road almost straight down beneath us could hardly be seen from up here. We bundle up more tightly against the cold and continue upward. The broad-leafed trees are all gone. Only small pines are left.
Many of these have twisted and stunted shapes. Soon stunted pines disappear entirely and we're in alpine meadows. There's not a tree anywhere, only grass everywhere filled with little pink and blue and white dots of intense color. Wildflowers, everywhere! These and grasses and mosses and lichens are all that can live here, now. We've reached the high country, above the timberline. I look over my shoulder for one last view of the gorge.
Like looking down at the bottom of the ocean. People spend their entire lives at those lower altitudes without any awareness that this high country exists. The road turns inward, away from the gorge and into snowfields. The engine backfires fiercely from lack of oxygen and threatens to stop but never does. Soon we are between banks of old snow, the way snow looks in early spring after a thaw.
Little streams of water run everywhere into mossy mud, and then below this into week-old grass and then small wildflowers, the tiny pink and blue and yellow and white ones which seem to pop out, sun-brilliant, from black shadows. Everywhere it's like this! Little pins of colored light shoot forth to me from a background of somber dark green and black. Dark sky now and cold. Except where the sun hits. On the sun side my arm and leg and jacket are hot, but the dark side, in deep shadows now, is very cold.
The snowfields become heavy and show steep banks where snowplows have been. The banks become four feet high, then six feet, then twelve feet high. We move through twin walls, almost a tunnel of snow. Then the tunnel opens onto dark sky again and when we emerge we see we're at the summit. Beyond is another country. Mountain lakes and pines and snowfields are below.
Above and beyond them as far as we can see are farther mountain ranges covered with snow. The high country. We stop and park at a turnoff where a number of tourists take pictures and look around at the view and at one other. At the back of his cycle John removes his camera from the saddlebag. From my own machine I remove the tool kit and spread it out on the seat, then take the screwdriver, start the engine and with the screwdriver adjust the carburetors until the idling sound changes from a really bad loping to just slightly bad.
I'm surprised at how all the way up it backfired and sputtered and kicked and gave every indication it was going to quit but never did. I didn't adjust them, out of curiosity to see what eleven thousand feet of altitude would do.
Now I'm leaving them rich and sounding just bad because we'll be going down some now toward Yellowstone Park and if they aren't slightly rich now they'll get too lean later on, which is dangerous because it overheats the engine. The backfiring is still fairly heavy on the way down from the summit with the engine dragging in second gear, but then the noise diminishes as we reach lower altitudes. The forests return. We move among rocks and lakes and trees now, taking beautiful turns and curves of the road.
I want to talk about another kind of high country now in the world of thought, which in some ways, for me at least, seems to parallel or produce feelings similar to this, and call it the high country of the mind. If all of human knowledge, everything that's known, is believed to be an enormous hierarchic structure, then the high country of the mind is found at the uppermost reaches of this structure in the most general, the most abstract considerations of all. Few people travel here.
There's no real profit to be made from wandering through it, yet like this high country of the material world all around us, it has its own austere beauty that to some people makes the hardships of traveling through it seem worthwhile.
In the high country of the mind one has to become adjusted to the thinner air of uncertainty, and to the enormous magnitude of questions asked, and to the answers proposed to these questions. The sweep goes on and on and on so obviously much further than the mind can grasp one hesitates even to go near for fear of getting lost in them and never finding one's way out.
What is the truth and how do you know it when you have it? Is there an "I,'' a "soul,'' which knows, or is this soul merely cells coordinating senses? Many trails through these high ranges have been made and forgotten since the beginning of time, and although the answers brought back from these trails have claimed permanence and universality for themselves, civilizations have varied in the trails they have chosen and we have many different answers to the same question, all of which can be thought of as true within their own context.
Even within a single civilization old trails are constantly closed and new ones opened up. It's sometimes argued that there's no real progress; that a civilization that kills multitudes in mass warfare, that pollutes the land and oceans with ever larger quantities of debris, that destroys the dignity of individuals by subjecting them to a forced mechanized existence can hardly be called an advance over the simpler hunting and gathering and agricultural existence of prehistoric times.
But this argument, though romantically appealing, doesn't hold up. The primitive tribes permitted far less individual freedom than does modern society. Ancient wars were committed with far less moral justification than modern ones.
A technology that produces debris can find, and is finding, ways of disposing of it without ecological upset. And the schoolbook pictures of primitive man sometimes omit some of the detractions of his primitive life From that agony of bare existence to modern life can be soberly described only as upward progress, and the sole agent for this progress is quite clearly reason itself.
One can see how both the informal and formal processes of hypothesis, experiment, conclusion, century after century, repeated with new material, have built up the hierarchies of thought which have eliminated most of the enemies of primitive man. To some extent the romantic condemnation of rationality stems from the very effectiveness of rationality in uplifting men from primitive conditions.
It's such a powerful, all-dominating agent of civilized man it's all but shut out everything else and now dominates man himself. That's the source of the complaint. Through the mountainous questions of reality and knowledge had passed great figures of civilization, some of whom, like Socrates and Aristotle and Newton and Einstein, were known to almost everyone, but most of whom were far more obscure.
Names he had never heard of before. And he became fascinated with their thought and their whole way of thinking. He followed their trails carefully until they seemed to grow cold, then dropped them. His work was just barely passing by academic standards at this time, but this wasn't because he wasn't working or thinking.
He was thinking too hard, and the harder you think in this high country of the mind the slower you go. What is most astonishing about them is that almost everything he said years later is contained in them. It's frustrating to see how completely unaware he is at the time of the significance of what he is saying. It's like seeing someone handling, one by one, all the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle whose solution you know, and you want to tell him, "Look, this fits here, and this fits here,'' but you can't tell him.
Remove it from your life. Get rid of it. You do not need to see content that upsets you no matter how indebted you feel to me or this blog. I cannot please all of you. You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account.
You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email.
John, who has never been married. What percentage of smokers dies due to smoking-related illnesses? Kristen vividly remembers her first day of high school. If you really dislike the current president, but later come to appreciate the good things that he accomplished, you may report that you felt more positive towards him while he was in office.
Which sin of memory does this scenario represent? Jon believes that he does things that make him feel good and avoids things that make him feel bad. His views are consistent with which of the following ideas? Your date smiles at you and you suddenly know that she probably would return your kiss.
Her smile is functioning as a:. Sleep helps to facilitate which type of learning? When Jasminda first moved into her apartment the buzzing noise coming from her refrigerator drove her nuts. While walking along with your best friend, you trip on a curb and almost fall before catching yourself.
You laugh and think your clumsiness is funny. The next day you trip in class and catch yourself on a desk. You are embarrassed because all the other students in class saw you.God’s plan is to make you holy, and that entails first of all a clean cut with sexual immorality. Every one of you should learn to control his body, keeping it pure and treating it with respect, and never regarding it as an instrument for self-gratification, as do pagans with no knowledge of God.