Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Introduction

In her book, The Battle For God, Karen Armstrong surveys prominent examples of fundamentalism in the Jewish, Christian and Moslem traditions. One of her most basic observations is that fundamentalists are largely indifferent to those outside their faith. (Why bother? Everyone knows they're going to hell.) What they are intensely focused on is doing battle against their co-religionists, whom they view as having betrayed the true faith.

One consequence of this simple fact is a pattern that dominates our world today: Fundamentalists of different faiths use each other to stir people up. They form a sort of tacit partnership, ostensibly railing against one another, while their real target is their own people--their own naive followers, and the moderate, liberal and/or secular leaders and individuals of their own communities who do not share their fearful view of the world, with its fearful God.

And thus we have the bizarre shadow-play of the past 4 1/2 years, with Bush and bin Laden in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, each one the other's biggest booster. Without each other, they would be laughingstocks, or worse in their own lands.

This is a simple example of how knowing about patterns--of human behavior, belief, cognition, etc.--produces a very different view of the world than one would have without thinking in terms of those patterns. Most of us spend most of our time looking at the world, not paying attention to the patterns right in front of us--or those around us, framing what we see. This is a blog about those patterns, the patterns that connect our world together, for good or for ill. The more clearly we come to know and understand those patterns, the more readily we can enhance the good and remedy the ill.

I'm not playing expert. I draw on other's expertise to stimulate a conversation through which all can share in raising our collective awareness of the patterns that connect us, our world, our past and our destinies. May that greater shared awareness give us tools to share in shaping better patterns still.

15 Comments:

At 1:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is relevant to my interests.

 
At 8:05 AM, Blogger SadButTrue said...

This is really good stuff. One thing that would make it better is if it was presented in order, rather than its current reverse order. Here I am at the first entry in your diary, unable to access any other entries, because they are not 'previous posts'. An inevitable consequence of the way the blogger software archives its entries.
This can be fixed by going into the post editor, and changing the date/time stamp of each piece to reverse their chronological order. The tool for this is below the edit window, marked post/comment options.
You would have to plan this out ahead of time of course, and it would take an hour or two of your time to implement this scheme on all your posts, but it would make it much more convenient for your readers, and yourself for that matter to view the material in the order in which it was written.

 
At 10:11 PM, Blogger SadButTrue said...

Never mind, on rethinking it that was a dumb idea, primarily because most people are used to the way things are already arranged. A better solution would be to put a link at the end of each article pointing to the succeeding article. Hey, I'm not a Republican, nor have I ever worked in government. I can admit when I'm wrong.

 
At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush goes ballistic about other countries being evil and dangerous, because they have weapons of mass destruction. But, he insists on building up even a more deadly supply of nuclear arms right here in the US. What do you think? What is he doing to us, and what is he doing to the world?
If ever there was ever a time in our nation's history that called for a change, this is it!
The more people that the government puts in jails, the safer we are told to think we are. The real terrorists are wherever they are, but they aren't living in a country with bars on the windows. We are.

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger ganapathi said...

what is the pattern which x\connect me and you

 
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