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Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

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Nick_A

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Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#1  PostDecember 14th, 2011, 2:25 pm

Time magazine's person of the Year is the protester. If there was still any proof needed that respect for individuality by the progressive media is no more, this is it.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovi ... d=rss_home

Time is idolizing the collective reactive growls of the Great Beast as described by Plato and illuminated on by the following insight from Simone Weil.

"The Great Beast is introduced in Book VI of The Republic. It represents the prejudices and passions of the masses. To please the Great Beast you call what it delights in Good, and what it dislikes Evil. In America this is called politics."

Is it any wonder that politics no longer respects individuality as "We the People" but instead views the Beast as the "Great Unwashed" incapable of freedom and needing government control to guide its protests.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace

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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#2  PostDecember 17th, 2011, 1:06 am

I hardly think a magazine cover is proof that "respect for individuality by the progressive media is no more," particularly since Time is--I think almost all would agree--part of the mainstream media not part of some marginal off-center subset of the media.

What is it exactly that you believe the new Time's new person of the year choice supposed to prove is different than in 2006 when Time chose "You" as person of the year?
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#3  PostDecember 17th, 2011, 2:13 am

Scott wrote:I hardly think a magazine cover is proof that "respect for individuality by the progressive media is no more," particularly since Time is--I think almost all would agree--part of the mainstream media not part of some marginal off-center subset of the media.

What is it exactly that you believe the new Time's new person of the year choice supposed to prove is different than in 2006 when Time chose "You" as person of the year?


As I see it, the progressive believes a person's purpose is to serve society. The person's individuality is secondary to how the pregressive envisions groups

In contrast a conservative like me believes that the primary purpose of society is to further the transcendent purpose of enabling the individual to become himself.

Where furthering and controlling the Beast is the primary concern for the progressive, freedom from the blindness of the Beast and becoming an individual is the goal of a conservative like me.

The secular progressive cannot understand what it means to be an individual in this sense and what is required to transcend from being a cog in a wheel into a "Man." It has become largely a lost concept kept alive by a minority. Yet see how someone like Emerson understood Man in relation to society.

http://itech.fgcu.edu/&/issues/vol1/issue2/emerson.htm

.............Ralph Waldo Emerson, a primary figure in the Transcendental movement, openly criticized the progression of democracy in America, promoting instead a philosophy that shifted the nation of many to a nation of one. With "The American Scholar," he aspired to intercept the current American democracy "in which the members have suffered amputation from the trunk, and strut about so many walking monsters, -- a good finger, a neck, a stomach, an elbow, but never a man" and substitute it with the Transcendental democratic ideal (1610). Just as a finger and an elbow cannot perform correctly without being members of one common trunk, a "planter" and a "tradesman" cannot succeed until they realize that they are also of a common body (1610). By emphasizing individuals' capability to, as Patell states, peel "away differences in order to reach a common denominator that will allow them to make claims about all individuals," Emerson attempted to unite Americans (443). Looking inside themselves and investigating the truths of their own beings, Americans would no longer wish to preserve their present status as a collection of separated citizens who struggle to exist as one country. They would instead create one nation, an unpolluted democracy that thrives because its individuals understand the universality of human design.

Emerson felt that the ideal democracy would blossom when Americans willfully united with the Over-Soul, the universal and perfect connection of nature's creations, and realized the communal power that organizes humans. This was possible only if Americans recognized the insignificance of material gain. In "The American Scholar," Ralph Waldo Emerson focuses on the role of the scholar in communicating the possible reorientation of America's disconnected democracy. Through the appropriate use of nature, books, and action, the American scholar, who has realized that humans are one body connected with a common purpose, will activate all Americans in their communion with the Over-Soul, thus bringing forth Emerson's ideal democracy................


Of course this will go over like a lead balloon in secular progressive circles since they cannot understand what Emerson did.

Time magazine is the same. Through its idolatry of groups and the collective, it denies the value of "Man of the Year" or the transcendent individuality.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#4  PostDecember 17th, 2011, 2:40 am

Are you saying Time's magazine's 2006 cover proved in 2006 that "respect for individuality by the progressive media is no more" as of 2006, or are you saying Time magazines new cover proves now that "respect for individuality by the progressive media is no more" now? If the latter is the case, then I ask why you think the 2006 cover did not prove this but the new cover does?

Either way, like I said, I do not think either cover comes anywhere close to proving what is alleged in the OP for the reasons mentioned in my last post. While I enjoyed your reply and thank you for it, particularly since I am an Emerson fan, I still do not think it does anything to defend the claim that the Time magazine cover in any way reflects the presence or lack of "respect for individuality by the progressive media."
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#5  PostDecember 17th, 2011, 3:11 am

Scott wrote:I hardly think a magazine cover is proof that "respect for individuality by the progressive media is no more," particularly since Time is--I think almost all would agree--part of the mainstream media not part of some marginal off-center subset of the media.

What is it exactly that you believe the new Time's new person of the year choice supposed to prove is different than in 2006 when Time chose "You" as person of the year?


Scott, the 2006 celebrates a group concept.

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/artic ... 10,00.html

But look at 2006 through a different lens and you'll see another story, one that isn't about conflict or great men. It's a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It's about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people's network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It's about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.
************************************************

The "YOU is a collective. the individual is irrelevant for the Man of the year. It is the same with the protester. It is a group concept.

I don't know about you but for me when the concept "Man of the year" is defined by a group, it can only mean that the potential for individuality outside of group definitions is not appreciated. It is the progressive way but not my way.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#6  PostDecember 17th, 2011, 3:58 am

I have to admit I am a bit confused now as to what your point is in this topic. You seem to be alleging a single mainstream magazine's choice of 'person of the year' is "proof[...] that respect for individuality by the progressive media is no more." But particularly your use of the phrase no more implied some sort recency to this alleged development.

As I said, I don't see how a mainstream magazine choice for person of the year reflects what an off-center subset of media respects anymore.

More to the content of your most recent post in the topic, I'm not sure how this reflects in time because not only are we talking about a cover from 5-6 years ago, but the general qualities of the cover are nothing new even for that specific magazine. Consider these previous Time persons of the year:

    1950 The American fighting-man
    1956 The Hungarian freedom fighter
    1960 American Scientists
    1966 Baby Boomers
    1969 The Middle Americans
    1975 American women
    1982 The Computer
    1983 Reagan and Andropov
    1988 The Endangered Earth
    1993 The Peacemakers
    2002 The Whistleblowers
    2003 The American soldier
    2005 The Good Samaritans

Finally, I care very little about this single magazine's person of the year tradition, considering Martin Luther King, Hussein, Reagan, Hitler, George Bush and Stalin all were named as one. It means little to me.

I'm sure you have interesting ideas regarding the ideas of "progressives" and individuality, but I do see how the Time magazine's choice to name groups as person of the year as early as 1950 has much to do with that to the point I worry I just don't understand what you mean.

I'm sure we can find things to criticize and commend about any sort of social movement or political group. Certainly the world is not black-and-white. Overall, I'd say the 'progressive' movement's positions since 1950 have been mostly agreeable and indeed progressive. I do consider women's suffrage, black people's suffrage, legalization of interracial marriage despite public opinion, outlawing marital rape, etc. to be progress and I do support such progress. I understand some conservatives think we need no more 'progress' in that direction (presumably thinking it would not be progress) and want the progressive movement to stop here at this time in the 21st century but again I do not see what that has to do with Time choosing a group as person of the year in 1950.
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#7  PostDecember 17th, 2011, 10:45 am

Scott, It does seem clear to me that rugged individuality and responsibility was respected in a way that no longer exists. This loss of respect has been gradual. I didn't mean to imply it happened overnight but rather it has been the change of emphasis from the pursuit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, into serving the collective.

When Time magazine defines the person of the year by complaining, it has no appreciation for the balance between obligations and rights necessary to sustain a free society.

A person of the year in a free society would have to be the person described in Plato's cave who after experiencing the light, returns to the Cave for the sake of introducing it to further transcendence and the human perspective that makes freedom possible. Who could recognize such a person now. The results of their lives would only become evident years after.

I contend that such understanding is impossible for the secular progressive that furthers the idolatry of the Great Beast or society itself.

Yet there is a minority aware of the human condition and the need for grace to avoid sinking into slavery dominated by force. For example, the 2012 Simone Weil Colloquy will be held in Notre Dame. I contend that there are no secular progressives that would understand the theme simply because if they did, they wouldn't be secular progressives

http://www.conferences.nd.edu/events/si ... ry-society

Description:
The title of the conference, “Simone Weil: The Drama of Grace in the Gravity of Contemporary Society,” sums up our goal of inspiring philosophers, theologians, historians, and literary scholars to reflect on Simone Weil's belief in the reality of grace in a world otherwise dominated by force. “Grace is a mystery as great as the Incarnation; it is eternity that descends to insert itself into time.” As a clarification, she offers us the analogy of chlorophyll, a synthesis of solar energy and water that produces a vital energy for plants: a vitality that can then become part of our being. Grace, she writes, allows us to be open to the good, the infinitely small thing that is infinitely more than everything. If one clearly conceives the full possibility of good, one accomplishes it: such is the grace accorded to humankind.
We invite scholars to explore Simone Weil’s concept of grace as more than a counterforce, but rather as a higher reality that works in a very different way than force.


For Simone, gravity as it refers to human "being" is the downward pull into materialism while the substance of grace provides the awakening influence for those who are open to it. The fact that a minority around the world is still aware of the human condition is encouraging.

The fact that Time Magazine would put the blind complainer on a pedestal only means it is oblivious of the relationship of grace to the gravity of the Beast and its potential to support a free society. I am suggesting that Time is indicative of an increasing dominance of secular progressive influences that deny grace and assure the loss of the balance between obligations and rights necessary to sustain freedom.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#8  PostDecember 17th, 2011, 4:31 pm

Hello Nick.

I am totally non-plussed how you have twisted the idea of recognizing the protest movements as a threat against the individual.
Is it progressive to want a better world to live in? If so, go ahead and call me a progressive.
On the other hand, if you want us to go back to the eighteen hundreds, when the "rugged individual" with the fasted gun was top dog, count me out.
You may have forgotten that the USA became a nation because of protest.
Your founding fathers were far from conservative, as a matter of fact they were blazing progressives.
The major financial problems in the USA were largely caused by greedy individuals and uninforced laws.

In Canada the rights of the individual is balanced with the welfare of the group which is clearly shown with two gold rushes.
The one in California had many who died a violent death, but the Klondike, which came right after, not one died that way.
I will let you decide which had a better outcome.

Regards, John.
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#9  PostDecember 17th, 2011, 8:04 pm

Wooden shoe wrote:Hello Nick.

I am totally non-plussed how you have twisted the idea of recognizing the protest movements as a threat against the individual.
Is it progressive to want a better world to live in? If so, go ahead and call me a progressive.
On the other hand, if you want us to go back to the eighteen hundreds, when the "rugged individual" with the fasted gun was top dog, count me out.
You may have forgotten that the USA became a nation because of protest.
Your founding fathers were far from conservative, as a matter of fact they were blazing progressives.
The major financial problems in the USA were largely caused by greedy individuals and uninforced laws.

In Canada the rights of the individual is balanced with the welfare of the group which is clearly shown with two gold rushes.
The one in California had many who died a violent death, but the Klondike, which came right after, not one died that way.
I will let you decide which had a better outcome.

Regards, John.


Hi John

I can appreciate your position but must disagree. Our disagreement will always begin with different conceptions of Man and society and their relationship to social force.

These are large questions and impossible to do justice to in a post. But superficially, it must be obvious that I view society as a whole as Plato did. The collective is the Beast. It is a creature of reaction like any beast and incapable of conscious will.

A person becomes a slave to the Beast and as a result sacrifices their potential for conscious evolution. They live and die as a fragment of their potential. This story illustrates the human condition:

A man found an eagle's egg and put it in a nest of a barnyard hen. The eaglet hatched with the brood of chicks and grew up with them. All his life the eagle did what the barnyard chicks did, thinking he was a barnyard chicken. He scratched the earth for worms and insects. He clucked and cackled. And he would thrash his wings and fly a few feet into the air.Years passed and the eagle grew very old. One day he saw a magnificent bird above him in the cloudless sky. It glided in graceful majesty among the powerful wind currents, with scarcely a beat on his strong golden wings. The old eagle looked up in awe. "Who's that?" he asked. "That's the eagle, the king of the birds," said his neighbor. "He belongs to the sky. We belong to the earth - we're chickens." So the eagle lived and died a chicken, for that's what he thought he was."Anthony de Mello(1931-1987) Jesuit Priest

The eagle represents potential man's conscious perspective. The chickens are us attached to earthly social considerations that deny acquiring this higher conscious perspective.

A protester is just blindly protesting. They do not understand the dynamics of social force. They can be considered individuals from a secular perspective. But from the point of view of Plato's cave, they are reacting creatures normal for external conditions of the time. How can reacting creatures have individuality? Human individuality can only be considered in the context of conscious human perspective.

I am not condemning the protest movement but merely asserting that it is an expression of conditioned reaction.

Curiously the good that the progressive seeks will only come through collectively opening to grace. The Beast struggles against grace since it threatens it dominance.

"Humanism was not wrong in thinking that truth, beauty, liberty, and equality are of infinite value, but in thinking that man can get them for himself without grace." Simone Weil

The progressive is often well intentioned in their belief in a greater quality of society. What they lack IMO is the appreciation of the means for developing it. They believe that it can be sustained by education and by defining right and wrong. The result is that it doesn't work and gradually more and more constraints are required to try and keep peace especially during hard times. The progressive doesn't realize that the world's problems aren't the result of a lack of knowledge. Instead it is the loss of a quality of heart knowledge that makes the goals of humanism possible. It is through grace that the heart and the emotions it is associated with can function as it should. This lack of understanding assures everything will repeat.

The secular progressive will believe as Marx did that religion is the opium of the masses. They cannot see why Simone Weil was right when she retorted that revolution is the opium of the masses. Having been a highly regarded Marxist she became increasingly aware that revolution will inevitably result in the same problems just in different forms.

It is ironic that IMO Time cannot celebrate human individuality since it defines it by societal standards and reactions lacking human individuality.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#10  PostDecember 17th, 2011, 11:52 pm

Hello Nick.

You are showing yourself as a part of that beast, just a different beast.

For true individuality you would find yourself literally back in a cove, without anything not made by you.
But I think you want your cake and eat it also, because you quote Weil, so you are not acting as an individual, but come off as a follower of Weil.
You and Weil talk about grace, which can mean many things, could you be more detailed on this word?

Regards, John.
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#11  PostDecember 18th, 2011, 12:46 am

Wooden shoe wrote:Hello Nick.

You are showing yourself as a part of that beast, just a different beast.

For true individuality you would find yourself literally back in a cove, without anything not made by you.
But I think you want your cake and eat it also, because you quote Weil, so you are not acting as an individual, but come off as a follower of Weil.
You and Weil talk about grace, which can mean many things, could you be more detailed on this word?

Regards, John.


Hi John

I've come to accept that the essence of a human being has both higher and lower parts. Our lower part serves unconscious functions that transform substances much like any other animal. We eat, drink, breath reproduce, receive sensory stimuli as do other forms of organic life one earth in its own way.

These are not conscious processes and by conscious I mean self aware and not just the capacity to react. Was there any reason for you to be self aware when you entered the room and sit at the computer? Didn't it just happen just as it just happens when a dog or cat changes its position?

This is the nature of the Beast. It is a creature serving its purpose of transforming substances through its life processes and reactions.

However it is believed that man is unique amongst organic life on earth because it has the capacity to evolve consciously: to become himself.

The atheists will believe that life and evolution emerges from nothing. Those who believe in conscious evolution believe that life is a manifestation of the devolution of consciousness. This means that instead of life evolving from nothing, it is the process of initially "involving" into creation from "no-thing" or pure conscious potential: consciousness without content.

Man's "being" is at the transition between mechanical and conscious evolution. The difficulty is in making this transition. The beast with which we are a part of doesn't want it and remains attached to the shadows on the wall in Plato's Cave. Yet there is the spiritual part within us that is attracted to it.

It is grace that makes us aware of it and of higher values rather than furthering egotism through the use of power and force.

Grace is the materiality of God's love initiating from beyond time and space and blending into it for the sake of evolution. It isn't the energy of animal love which is selective but rather the love for life itself from a perspective within which it is included. It is not something we are capable of as part of the Beast but we can receive its energy and materiality as nourishments for our higher parts. It helps Man to consciously "awaken" to a conscious perspective which is the goal of all the great traditions.

"The combination of these two facts – the longing in the depth of the heart for absolute good, and the power, though only latent, of directing attention and love to a reality beyond the world and of receiving good from it – constitutes a link which attaches every man without exception to that other reality. Whoever recognizes that reality recognizes that link. Because of it, he holds every human being without any exception as something sacred to which he is bound to show respect. This is the only possible motive for universal respect towards all human beings." Simone Weil “Draft for A Statement of Human Obligations” SIMONE WEIL, AN ANTHOLOGY ed. Sian Miles

It is obvious how far the Beast is from such recognition. But that isn't to deny a small minority that has evolved in their human perspective so as to connect the higher with the lower in this manner.

When these people who have consciously left the psychological confines of the cave return for the sake of helping, I regard them as true individuals rather than someone only capable of reactive conditioned complaining.

I am not one but do have the highest admiration for them.
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#12  PostDecember 18th, 2011, 2:42 am

Hello Nick.

And another new age "religion" shows its ugly head.
The whole Idea of "separate" parts of our mind are highly problematic as it is very hard to find justification for that idea.
Yes there is a function which deals with all the stuff we never think about, such as breathing, heartbeat and germfighting etc.
But sitting down or standing up is only done with intent, but because of long practice seems to be automatic.
To speak of a higher or lower brain activity is downright silly to me, just try to exist without a heartbeat for 5 minutes.
As soon as you bring a "God" into this discussion, all normal reason goes out the door and takes a vacation.
There are a host of these new age religions around but none have been able to stand up any better than the old ones.
You are really not speaking out for individualism, just enslavement to a different God.
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#13  PostDecember 18th, 2011, 11:31 am

Wooden shoe wrote:Hello Nick.

And another new age "religion" shows its ugly head.
The whole Idea of "separate" parts of our mind are highly problematic as it is very hard to find justification for that idea.
Yes there is a function which deals with all the stuff we never think about, such as breathing, heartbeat and germfighting etc.
But sitting down or standing up is only done with intent, but because of long practice seems to be automatic.
To speak of a higher or lower brain activity is downright silly to me, just try to exist without a heartbeat for 5 minutes.
As soon as you bring a "God" into this discussion, all normal reason goes out the door and takes a vacation.
There are a host of these new age religions around but none have been able to stand up any better than the old ones.
You are really not speaking out for individualism, just enslavement to a different God.



Hi John

Why is it you believe yourself smarter than those like Plato and Plotinus so you reject levels of reality automatically?

Maybe I'm missing it but it seems far more logical and probable that creation is a result of actualized potential, the world of forms manifesting on a lower plane of existence, rather than emerging from nothing which is without potential.

It is the same attitude that would consider collective blind protest similar to a dog barking as person of the year.

Thank goodness there is good scotch for partial compensation. :)
Man would like to be an egoist and cannot. This is the most striking characteristic of his wretchedness and the source of his greatness." Simone Weil....Gravity and Grace
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#14  PostDecember 18th, 2011, 1:29 pm

Hello Nick.

I believe your description of protesters to being badly flawed. Did everyone protesting have a clear idea of what they wanted changed? Most likely not, but every one did see problems with the status quo, no matter whether it was the tea party, uprisings in the middle east or the wall street ones.
One person protesting gets no attention but many do.

On the nothing you speak about regarding the BB, it is now excepted that there was pure energy and gravity.
You see intent in the forming of the universe and our world, but that implies some entity controlling events, and for this there is no evidence thus far.

Planes of reality? In our macro world there are different levels of awareness of our common reality, which may be or not in the micro world of QM, but we exist for all we can really know in the macro world.

When you see this post on you computer you are part of a collective, the internet collective, which would not exist if many had not gotten onboard.
The very computer is the result of a collective, starting with the first little spark of static electricity.

You speak about evolving. I am not sure just what you mean. Can we grow as humans? Yes I believe we can learn to become better than we are, but each generation will have to build on the work of the previous one.
It will not get passed on in our genes.
Evolution does not have a plan, it just works on an advantage and its ability to pass it on into the larger group.

On the beverage I am with you, and as 11 AM is the beginning of cocktail time here, I think I will indulge!

Regards, John.
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Re: Time Magazine celebrates Plato's Beast.

Post Number:#15  PostDecember 18th, 2011, 2:59 pm

Sorry to go back a few steps in this discussion but I still do not understand the basis of the discussion. Nick, my friend, do you contend that Time's 1950 choice for person of the year, 'The American fighting-man', which was a group, "celebrates Plato's Beast" or is representative of the so-called "progressives" or is "proof [...] that respect for individuality by the progressive media is no more [as of 1950]"?
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