"Civilization is the interval between Ice Ages." - Will Durant.
Humankind evolved from pre-literary supermonkeys towards anarchy, matriarchy, patriarchy and what's now sensed as the technological peak of human evolution. Maybe those eons of evolution shall prove to be no more than a "fart in a bottle", a Dutch expression meaning of a value close to nil.
It seems to me the unsatifactory feeling permeating our society could show that we are only in a transitional period. Both pillars of our evolution, language and technology, could prove only temporary tools to deal with our existence, and for lack of better tools, incomplete. It seems by using only these two tools we created a worldview slightly off the hook. We even managed to make the word 'culture' rhyme with 'nature', as if the first had a similar value in existence to the latter. Maybe culture is no more than the temporary, clumsy way of the evolutioning ape to deal with its fears and hopes, and not a synonym to 'evolution' as it is often percieved.
Through the 8 Circuit Model of Leary, Wilson and AIli I have the habit of analyzing any situation (information) man has to deal with through the three components of reception, digestion and reflection.
The Reception seems garbled, influenced by our drugs (sugar, caffeine, red meat, nicotine), all meant to help us accept consensus (culture-driven) reality. Language and technology have become our sole ways of input: the words have become the world, and technology pushes us into faster and shorter attention spans making it almost impossible to assimilate, let alone to reflect on the percieved information.
Digestion of the information cannot happen in a serene fashion, our conditioning in the western culture gives only attention to third cicruit reasoning; the insights obtained by other brain activities, such as psychoactive-induced states, dreaming, zen meditation, trance or narcolepsy (a condition I meet almost every day) are considered at best funny, at worst worthless.
As for the Reflection, our emotional and social circuits urge us to adjust our belief systems to fit into one or more of the ruling paradigms. And here the same tools are used again (hence this blog), and often become means by themselves: literature and industry.
My guess is culture is only a temporary condition in our evolution. Some pretend the world will radically change in 2012… I have no idea if and when a shift will be percieved, but I have strong suspicions that a fundamental change will happen for us to have chance as a species to leave this temporary dead end and finally deal with ourselves and the world.
"Being monkeys, when we encounter a translinguistic object, a kind of cognitive dissonance is set up in our hindbrain. We try to pour language over it and it sheds it like water off a duck's back. We try again and fail again , and this cognitive dissonance, this "wow" or "flutter" that is building off this object causes wonder, astonishment, and awe at the brink of terror." Terence McKenna, "The Archaic Revival", HarperCollins 1991. Elsewhere in this book McKenna points at how Octopi communicate with each other in a way that might be closer to nature than man does, hence less garbled with noise: instead of a symbolic language they use coloured patterns on ther skin. As such the awareness of the the world of an octopus might be shown higher ranking than the human one in Korzybski's Anthropometer.