Meaning and Making

Published Categorized as Insights

“Modern archaeology seeks for early evidence of human humanity in three areas of activity 1. artistic expression 2. religious practice and 3. tool making. These areas, it could be argued, take equal precedents in defining our humanity.

The pierced shell, pollen in the grave of Neaderthal man and the chipped Flint all testify to something uniquely human – the ability to shape, modify and effect surrounding world. 

Unlike animals, whose bodies are highly specialised, humans are born naked vulnerable and at the beginning of along the road of learning we exist as creative and destructive beings-in-potential and in order to survive and make a home on Earth we need to develop tools and technology.

A study of so-called primitive cultures has revealed that tools originally had an artistic, ritualistic and functional dimension. They separated humans from the great ‘other’, the cosmos and nature, but were also means of tapping into it. So powerful was this sense of the appropriate ritualistic function of a tool, that taboos were laid down to limit new invention and inappropriate use.”

“Our civilisation has lost touch with the potential synergies of the three great pillars of culture: Science, Art and Religion.

Already drifting apart in there in essence, these are further separated and fragmented in modern times. Has science, natural spawn of philosophy and whose watchword should perhaps be ‘truth’, become even more susceptible to commercial interests? Has arts, which should perhaps be experience into beauty, become self obsessed, lost in the hall of mirrors? And has religion, whose business should perhaps be to nurture Goodness become an ineffectual club or platform for prejudice?

There are elements in our society that tend toward the kind of reductive fundamentalism, which denigrates the human being into the status of a machine and consciousness to that of a computer.

There is no purpose and meaning to life except the egotistical striving for the three Ps – power, pleasure and plenty.

The only way out of this dangerous quagmires to search for meaning.

Meaning is intimately bound up with purpose and identity. Is it because we have forgotten who we are, that we cannot evolve into what we might become?”

From ‘Crafting’ – Johannes Steuk