I come from a tradition of Western culture in which the ideal (my ideal) was the complex, dense and “cathedral-like” structure of the highly educated and articulate personality – a man or woman who carried inside themselves a personally constructed and unique version of the entire heritage of the West. And such multi-faceted evolved personalities did not hesitate – especially during the final period of “Romanticism-Modern” – to cut down, like lumberjacks, large forests of previous achievement in order to heroically stake new claim to the ancient inherited land – this was the ploy of the avant-garde.
But today, I see within us all (myself included) the replacement of complex inner density with a new kind of self – evolving under the pressure of information overload and the technology of the “instantly available.” A new self that needs to contain less and less of an inner repertory of dense cultural inheritance – as we all become “pancake people” – spread wide and thin as we connect with that vast network of information accessed by the mere touch of a button.
Will this produce a new kind of enlightenment of “super-consciousness”? Sometimes I am seduced by those proclaiming so – and sometimes I shrink back in horror at a world that seems to have lost the thick and multi-textured density of deeply evolved personality.
-- Richard Foreman