Adam Blatner

Words and Images from the Mind of Adam Blatner

Futurological Perspectives: “Framming the Zhork.”

Originally posted on August 1, 2010

The more I study history the more I’m convinced that humanity is less than a quarter of the way on its journey to wisdom. I imagine a compliant child, an earnest child, and the parent says, “Now, be responsible.” The child nods, sincerely desires to achieve that state, yet we know that young children cannot grasp many of the elements of what adults realize is included in the skill set of responsibility. (I am not even addressing another reality in which many humans have by no means become compliant to the call to maturity, and operate more like three- or four-year-olds who want to preserve their sense of protection and entitlement and resent any call to more responsibility.) Indeed, I think that wise adults a thousand years ago didn’t have the mental and cultural tools we have today that make it possible to be responsible in new and more effective ways, and that in a thousand years in the future people will be able to look back to our time and realize that our best minds were in a sense handicapped by our collective ignorance.

I suspect that there are a few of us who have come up with ideas or techniques that may be talked about in the future textbooks (or whatever they have then) as being a precursor to some more widely recognized insight: Ah, yes, Adam Blatner in the early 21st century had a vague glimpse of this, but he had no words, or his words were slightly misleading. There was no way he could understand fully what we now know to be true.

The phrase, “framming the zhork” uses a bit of double-talk as a playful gesture, indicating that we may not be able to anticipate at all what words will be used or what aspect of life we’ll be addressing as a key dynamic that in the future is imagined as being an everyday practice.  I imagine that parents “fram the zhork” for their young children, and people will accept that doing this is a social norm, an expected thing to do. Further more, teachers and friends may do something like framming the zhork in a thousand variations as a kind of basic activity for health and social communion. I think it might be sort of like aligning what South Asian Yogis call the “chakras” of the subtle body. The specifics are not important—I know that I’m way off base in even trying to imagine this accurately, because if it is like many other technologies that have emerged in the last several centuries, each one involves a host of accessory concepts and sub-technologies that enable us to appreciate the nature of the cosmos a bit more. (I’ve recently read David Bodanis’ book on the history of electricity, of finding new “dimensions” for that physico-chemical process, and how that offers an example of the emergence of insight about our world.)

The point, then, is to cultivate our intellectual humility, acknowledge the probability of major paradigm shifts, whole new perspectives opening up in our lives.  It’s an antidote to tendencies towards arrogance or complacency.

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