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Friday, October 20, 2017

The Symptom is Not The Dis-Ease

We are quick to focus on the latest alarm, to blame singular issues for our ills. And therein lies the problem.

Terrorism is a symptom. WMDs are a symptom. War is a symptom. Lying politicians are a symptom. Rap gangstas are a symptom. Criminals on Wall Street are a symptom. In fact, most of what is wrong in the world today are only symptoms. The real problem is, we seem pathologically unable to look for causes, preferring, it seems, to believe that symptoms themselves are causes. So it is little wonder we are all feeling like we are caught in a whirlwind, being dragged ever closer to the abyss.

So what do the above symptoms have in common? Along with other symptoms only implied, they all are a part of the central story of our world culture today. It is important to examine this diagnosis by focusing on that word: story. Because each symptom arises from a long string of stories that themselves were nurtured by earlier stories. We live inside an ever-expanding narrative, one that simultaneously informs us, and impels and constricts our actions. As that narrative expands, it is fed by increasingly disparate threads that make the true aspects of the narrative unrecognizable from those elements which are merely fable. And it is these fabulistic aspects of our shared story that only increases the sensation of a collective rush to the abyss.

There is often a tendency to dismiss the idea that story has a real impact on our lives, on the choices we make, on the happiness or despair we experience daily. We as a species seem decidedly of two minds on this issue. And yet, we never slow down in our rush to spin yet another thread to the over-arching narrative. And, thereby, make that over-arching narrative even more difficult to comprehend, to the point where, when someone tries to point out that such exists, we either pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, or laugh at the absurdity of such a premise.

Ultimately, either reaction will be to our collective decline.

12/2/2011



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Notumbus Bumbus is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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3 comments on The Symptom is Not The Dis-Ease

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By Uttam Gill on December 03, 2011 at 12:02 am

Very thoughtful article...history is replete with example and when we failed we always had to pay heavy price...Just ignoring or overlooking the genesis of problem aggravates the situation...Out fatalistic assumptions towards many critical issues of the world are not helping us in resolving those issues..

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By Notumbus Bumbus on December 03, 2011 at 11:31 am

Thanks, Uttam. I often wonder why this isn't more obvious to more people. If it doesn't become so, then the future looks quite bleak, especially in light of many recent global events.

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By TonyBerkman on December 04, 2011 at 01:38 am

Exactly! We are so focused as a culture and perhaps as humans in general on "the problem that isn't the problem." We too often do not find out what the "REAL PROBLEM" is. Perhaps because we are a drive through society or perhaps it is due to the fact that it takes critical analysis to dig under what the root problem is. No wonder, as you say, "are all feeling like we are caught in a whirlwind, being dragged ever closer to the abyss." OWS is a perfect example of an important movement that failed to identify the real problem and the problem then became that they had no clear message except for "we are disgruntled with our lives." I respect the movement and it's importance though it loses me when I start to hear them blaming the 1% when the 1% are not the problem. This country was built on innovation and those who innovate get rewarded. Now the message could have been that the 1% are responsible for most of the political contributions and that they need to STOP bribing congressman to help their businesses. That would have been a more powerful message and be closer to the real problem. I don't know the problem since I see that we have challenges though that's what we are here for. To face challenges and overcome the odds. No one said it was going to be easy however you're right on when you say "the Symptom is Not the Dis-Ease." The wealthier getting wealthier is a symptom, as are the great examples that you provide. There is no way to solve THE problem if it isn't the problem and most people in business and in politics and perhaps in our lives attempt to do just that. Perhaps it's just easier to lash out and blame someone else without figuring out the dis-ease.

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