Our Children’s Children Will Inherit An Exponential Rise In Pain And Suffering

Preface And Preliminary Remarks–Structuralism Paper
April 1994

Blight weighs heavy upon the land. Exactly when this blight started and what
will follow in its wake is uncertain. We do know, however, that this blight has
physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions. It cannot be seen in its
totality, but we know its negative forms. We know that it manifests
in environmental disasters, disproportionate wealth distribution
(poverty, mental illness, homelessness), disease, war, etc. We know that it has
impacted negatively and, in some cases, completely destroyed the human beings
capacity to feel compassion, solidarity, and love. We know that rampant
materialism is fueling today’s global marketplace, a marketplace that is itself
immune to any authority other than the one that applauds the dollar as an end in
itself. We also know that man-made catastrophes e.g., acid rain, burning
rainforests, polluted water, depleted ozone, endangered species (and now—global
warming) etc., are in the vanguard of the blight’s devastating effects. Unless
something is done to mitigate or reverse this blight, our children’s children
will inherit an exponential rise in pain, suffering, and death.

A contributing factor to this blight, though certainly not its cause, may be
found in the unstable ground upon which knowledge is based. This unstable
foundation becomes readily apparent when we ask the question, “Where is the
foundation of knowledge, the knowledge of the world that we inhabit? This
question cannot be answered without encountering incongruities, and these
incongruities, as they relate to our physical universe, spill over into what we
take to be our most reliable knowledge concerning psychological and sociological
realities. What we are left with, as a result of these incongruities, is at
least five different scientifically identifiable worldviews.


About bwinwnbwi

About me: Marvin Gaye’s song, "What’s Going On" was playing on the jukebox when I went up to the counter and bought another cup of coffee. When I got back, the painting on the wall next to where I was sitting jumped out at me, the same way it had done many times before. On it was written a diatribe on creativity. It was the quote at the bottom, though, that brought me back to this seat time after time. The quote had to do with infinity; it went something like this: Think of yourself as being in that place where infinity comes together in a point; where the infinite past and the infinite future meet, where you are at right now. The quote was attributed to Hermann Hesse, but I didn’t remember reading it in any of the books that I had read by him, so I went out and bought Hesse’s last novel, Magister Ludi. I haven’t found the quote yet, but I haven't tired of looking for it either.
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9 Responses to Our Children’s Children Will Inherit An Exponential Rise In Pain And Suffering

  1. Mèo Lười Việt says:

    To change the way we act we must change the way we think first! 🙂

  2. bwinwnbwi says:

    I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to the above (changing the way I act). There is no easy way to change behavior. Thanks for the comment. Take care.

  3. lara hentz says:

    Buddhism tradition talks about the 108 earthly desires in mortals, 108 lies humans tell and 108 human delusions, then in Tibet it is believed that there are 108 sins or 108 delusions of the mind – and somehow we need to transcend all this (108 incarnations) to be ONE HUMANITY… then we may see a new world… that is my thought… love your blog…Lara

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      I’ve always believed that the civility of civilization (reduction of world suffering) is alive and well in the aesthetic practices of Buddhism (I can think, I can wait, I can fast); unfortunately, though, the world is moving in the opposite direction, racing (like the lemming) to see how quick it can fall off the edge of the cliff. Thanks for the kind words. Take care.

  4. parentsfriend says:

    So scary, I try to place my hope in the march of history, but that doesn’t help much. Something will go on when we are gone, I can only hope it will move the world toward loving growth.

    • bwinwnbwi says:

      I don’t agree with the doggerel: Ignorance Is Bliss; but I do understand it. Perhaps we should place our hope in the doggerel: When the going gets tough, the tough get going; after-all, humans are an exceptionally resilient species. Forgive me for being overly pessimistic, but, you see, the God that I believe in does not escape suffering. Yes, I die, but bwinwnbwi does not die. God suffers future pain and suffering (especially needless pain and suffering). Today’s ignorance, greed, and arrogance portends devastating environmental consequences–and God suffers All–you and I are not separate from this ALL–our suffering will not end in death. Thanks for the comments. Sorry for being such a downer! Take care.

  5. is kefir bad Charles Lamb, Essays of Elia, 1823|One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

  6. bwinwnbwi says:

    I wrote the above introduction while working toward my MA degree in sociology. Structuralism is a legitimate area of Sociology, but my thesis committee said no to Structuralism as a thesis topic. After rereading the above introduction (2013) I still disagree with that decision. At the time, having a family to support (two small children) I did not quibble; my thesis topic became prejudice. But, in this blog I have stated my case for the need for a fresh/new understanding of self, events (physical), freedom, and divinity, an understanding based in Structuralism.

  7. bwinwnbwi says:

    There is five times as much oil, coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We’d have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground in order to avoid a meltdown. “Before we knew those numbers, our fate had been likely. Now, barring some massive intervention, it seems certain.”

    “Yes, this coal and gas and oil is still technically in the soil. But it’s already economically aboveground – it’s figured into share prices, companies are borrowing money against it, nations are basing their budgets on the presumed returns from their patrimony. It explains why the big fossil-fuel companies have fought so hard these past years to figure out how to unlock the oil in Canada’s tar sands, or how to drill miles beneath the sea, or how to frack the Appalachians.


    “If you told Exxon or Lukoil (Russian oil) that, in order to avoid wrecking the climate, they couldn’t pump out their reserves, the value of their companies would plummet. John Fullerton, a former managing director at JP Morgan who now runs the Capital Institute, calculates that at today’s market value, those 2,795 gigatons of carbon emissions are worth about $27 trillion. Which is to say, if you paid attention to the scientists and kept 80 percent of it underground, you’d be writing off $20 trillion in assets.”

    Bottom Line

    Within the span of one lifetime we will create a science fiction worst case scenario—a dead/dying planet (but those who can, will build a lifeboat–self-contained modules—prolonging select human life—the tortured souls who must bear the guilt of what they’ve (we’ve) done to our Mother Ship—Earth!

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