Friday, October 1, 2010

finding the unreal city

What is the Waste Land? Where and what is the Unreal City?

I think I may have an answer within my own experience. Perhaps my greatest alienations occur when, against all odds, I discover some truth which rocks the foundations of my preconceptions on its corresponding object or event. Something which has always been, seems new to me; and it now appears so obvious, so native to the intellect, that one remains awestruck that he had never seen it before.

But then come the Men of Experience. The Men of Experience explain how this does not fit in with The Model, what they've always known, always been told, and always told everyone else. Don't think I'm discussing anything political here (though this does happen in political philosophy as well, abundantly so); I am merely talking about truths related to activities of everyday life.

To emerge from the shadows and return to the world of light -- or, more likely, vice versa -- is to find the Unreal City. Everyone is doing it all wrong. There are a few kindred souls like us, "We Few," but by and large one finds oneself in a land which engorges itself on pleasures wholly illusory. One realizes, "I, too, was once one of Them." In a zeal for the propagation of this transcendental nugget, one tells everyone he can think of. But ultimately no one really listens. Never mind that your new insight is based on rather inescapable laws of chemistry or biology, ontology or calology. No, you're just... in your own little world.

To you Few to whom I'm making sense, I bid thee well, and welcome. For you, too, live here, in Unreal City. We natives, though, in our affectionate way, we call it the Waste Land.

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