Bildung

Not only does the decision by the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) to overturn Roe v. Wade lack a scientific basis, but it also lacks an institutional basis, in the sense that one of the unwritten rules and norms of SCOTUS is to respect precedents and to uphold decisions made by previous courts. Moreover, the so-called Christian morality that SCOTUS is seeking to uphold by overturning Roe v. Wade and by acting as a partisan political body rather than a neutral legal body rings hollow in a nihilistic age. As Nietzsche said: “It is a prejudice to think that morality is more favorable to the development of reason than immorality.”

Furthermore, the failure of American leaders to thwart the “Red Tsunami” which is looming over the American political landscape is perhaps interchangeable with the closing of the American mind, despite globalization and technology. Ironically, the more the world has broadened and opened up as a result of globalization and technology, the more the American mind has closed in reaction to such phenomena. It is important to note that the closing of the American mind transcends party lines, and is not limited to just one party.

However, closing oneself out and narrowing one’s mind in the face of non-anthropomorphic phenomena such as globalization is a form of self-deceit that is unsustainable in the long run. Nevertheless, self-deceit seems to be the conventional approach towards everything these days, whether it comes to the Ukraine issue or anything else for that matter. But in the long run, continuous education (Bildung) as well as open-mindedness and inclusion are far superior and have the upper hand over ignorance, narrow-mindedness, and exclusion. Yet, ignorance, narrow-mindedness, and exclusion have become the new normal in American civil society rather than the exception, thus the manifestation of social phenomena such as the “Red Tsunami” and so forth.

Because “ignorance is bliss,” it follows that the closing of the mind is far more convenient for most people rather than evolution and growth. Also, Bildung is a life-long process that does not end at a certain point in time. Those who wish to settle at a certain point and call it a day end up stagnating in the face of economic and social processes and phenomena that are non-anthropomorphic in nature. Nevertheless, the economic, political, and social implications stemming from a “Red Tsunami” are aimed at freezing America in time and resisting processes and phenomena that are largely beyond anyone’s control. Only time will tell as to whether the attempt to halt what are largely non-anthropomorphic processes and phenomena can actually succeed.

As Carl Jung said: “If a man knows more than others, he becomes lonely.” Kierkegaard also had a similar idea in mind, when he said: “If you don’t have many friends, that means you have a lot of life experience.” In a sense, Bildung means replacing one cage and one prison for another one. But even if it is limited to an abstract or conceptual sense, Bildung is nevertheless an attempt at freedom and liberation. As Oscar Wilde said: “With freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy?”

One particular Japanese proverb which is quite catchy and may resonate with certain men is: “Between a wife and a mistress, a man chooses freedom.” And as Rumi wrote in poem titled “In Prison”:

Do not despair in prison.

The king who freed Joseph is on his way to let you out.

Joseph himself is coming too,

who tore Zuleikha’s veil and let her see.

You cry Lord all night.

Now that lord is here.

You have grown so used to the old pain.

Now there is a cure.

A key enters your stiff lock.

You have stayed away from the companions

you most wanted to be with. No longer.

This is a feast day,

but keep quiet in the resonance

that brings this wondering silence

that is growing larger than all speaking.

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