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PAX CULTURA PROJECT ARCHIVES.
The following consists on the Editorial from a 1980 issue of PAX CULTURA and another page from the same publication; a little leaflet that I produced at that time. Seeing that this material already belongs to the previous century, and it is already 20 years ago since these pieces were published, I thought it an interesting exercise to revisit what we [as in Royal] were saying during that period and see if it has any relevance to the situation today.
In "Time and Tide" (1940), George Orwell wrote:
"Reading Mr Malcome Muggeridge's brilliant and depressing book, The Thirties, I thought of a rather cruel trick I once played upon a wasp. He was sucking jam on my plate, and I cut him in half. He paid no attention, merely went on with his meal, while a tiny stream of jam trickled out of his severed esophagus. Only when he tried to fly away did he grasp the dreadful thing that had happened to him. It is the same with modern man. The thing that has been cut away is his soul."
Add to this harsh vision of Orwell, the title of an essay by C.G.Jung: "Modern Man in Search of his Soul" - and we could launch ourselves on a tidal wave of pessimism throughout 20th century art, literature and in general, the life of the mind. Both Alvin Toffler and Allen Ginsberg have suggested that the 1950's were the lowest point of this psychological curve into the dark night of the technological soul.
Dr Aurelio Peccei, Founder and Director of The Club of Rome writes:
"A thorough and dispassionate analysis of our global predicament would unequivocally trace its origin to human flaws and failures. Modern men and women are indeed caught in a vicious circle of their own making. To advance, they bring forth mutations all over the planet, but fail to adapt their outlook, institutions, behavior and policies, in consequence. Hence, the more they advance, the tighter the vicious circle becomes. They have a dire need to break out of this strangling process. However, as the problem is within them, they must also seek the solution within them. The key can only be a profound conceptual and behavioral renewal of the human protagonist himself."
"For the reasons I have expounded, this 'quality' jump is most urgent. It would be illusory, though, to expect any bold initiative for the human future to be taken by the world establishment, which is far too engrossed in short-term issues."
"Human development is the new frontier - a permanently expanding frontier which it is the exalted mission of the generations living at these hinges of history to recognize and to open. If we fail to play this trump card while it is still in our hands, the chances of a decent, full life will be very dim indeed for a long time to come."
The tiny stream of jam?
Pax Cultura is a project - an open invitation to co-operate and work with the example of cultural visionaries abroad and in Africa itself. To define the Project at this stage would be to limit its possibilities. We can revert to the trendy topic of alienation; the severed esophagus of our society.
The experimental city of Auroville, in the south of India was led by 'The Mother' - who makes a very simple request:
"The help of all those who find that the world is not as it ought to be, is welcome. Each one must know if he wants to associate with an old world, ready for death, or work for a new and better world preparing to be born."
Samten de Wet, 1st November, 1980. Cape Town.
"But to tear down a factory or revolt against a government or to avoid repair of a motorcycle because it is a system is to attack effects rather than causes; and as long as the attack is upon effects only, no change is possible. The true system, the real system, is our present construction of systematic thought itself, rationality itself, and if a factory itself is torn down but the rationality which produced it is left standing, then that rationality will simply produce another factory. If a revolution destroys a systematic government, but the systematic patterns that produced that government are left intact, then those patterns will repeat themselves in the succeeding government. There's so much talk about the systems and so little understanding."
Robert Pirzig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.'
"Any kid knows - or thinks to himself: "How vast is the universe, what's at the end, how can it end?" Everybody has that basic thought - how things are real and unreal, especially when somebody dies. From a Western point of view, the Einsteinian concept is that the measuring instrument determines the shape of the universe, or that the subject projects the nature of the universe. Blake's Gnostic representation of this is "The eye, altering, alters all." The theme is not Eastern or Western, but basic psychology."
Allen Ginsberg in an interview, 1978.
"Any theory that attempts to explain observed phenomena in terms of the situation and movement of objectively given particles or fields (actual and exactly measurable) rests on a delusion."
Prof. J.H. Whiteman, in 'The Theosophist.'
"…all official institutions of language are repeating machines: schools, sports, advertising, popular songs, news, all continually repeat the same structure, the same meaning, often the same words: the stereotype is a political fact, the major figure of ideology."
Ronald Coleman, 'Artaud and After' Oxford University Press.
"One keeps coming around and around this phenomena of the vast means of communication and its repetitive nature. Again, one man, Soren Kierkegaard, saw the perverse possibilities in this. In his extraordinary treatise ON REPETITION, he was the first to suggest that we are moving into a time, when falsehood, repeated over and over, would acquire a dynamic genius of its own, that the mere mechanics of repetition would create intellectual and emotional structures."
Prof. George Steiner, author of among other titles, the brilliant Extraterritorial: Papers of Literature and the Language Revolution, Peregrine Paperbacks.
"Their chief method of getting victims is through having ideas widely accepted that are untrue and which place people in their power. To get these ideas thus widely accepted, they have recourse to thought-dissemination, to the suggestive power of repetition, to insinuations, to platitudes, and to inversions.
Inversion is a method of presenting some idea in a manner that the lie is deeply imbedded and inconspicuously concealed amid much truth. The more real the facts, and the more widely they are recognized as facts, the better they afford cover for some cunning lie. The inversive twist, by which the whole matter is made to appear to have a meaning exactly the opposite of its true purport, is made to occupy so small a portion of the whole presentation, and is so cunningly concealed by sophisticated handling, that it escapes the notice of all but the most acute. And this inversive twist - the misinformation or misrepresentation - is so worded as to be subject to no direct and simple test of accuracy. It is left as full of loopholes as possible, so that when one presentation of the matter is proved to be a lie, it can be said that, after all, something else was meant."
C.C.Zain, writing on Arcanum 15 in 'The Sacred Tarot.'