“Oh, What’ll You Do Now?”

no war statue

On Action in the Face of Destruction

“I’m a-goin’ back out ’fore the rain starts a-fallin’” -Bob Dylan, A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall (1963)

Is it comforting or worrisome to know that, sixty years ago, Bob Dylan sang about many if not all of our current problems in his early 1960s songs? Perhaps both.

Poster 1965
A poster from 1965

You’ll recognize much our predicament in the lyrics of It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding). His song A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall points out the world’s destructive forces and then dares to ask the question: In the face of all that, what are you going to do now? Followed by a single poetic answer.

Poetic answers to our very real problems may not be satisfactory to some of us. Practical advice may be more valued given the circumstances, but these current times can not and will not always provide those. That is because the answer to ‘What’ll you do now?’ is always a personal one.

In between the poetic and the practical lies the philosophical. Here, there is plenty of work to be done. Today, a brand new European law came into effect that makes it unclear what may be written without legal punishment. Dylan’s Masters of War are now also the Masters of Money as well as the Masters of Information. Restriction of expression is bad, undefined restriction of expression is worse.

In the face of this lies a single philosophical task. Thought and expression are the main ingredients to the development of our imagination, a powerful force which in turn creates our reality.

That is why, whatever it is that you’ll decide to do now, it is essential to protect your imagination and in doing so, to philosophically keep a well-defined world view and view of human nature. These two fundamental ideas are shaped predominantly by our life experiences and our personality. They are the “meta-data” of our thought processes that direct our values, which in turn direct our behaviors, which, of course, in turn, create our whole world.

Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow

~ T.S. Eliot

Post Scriptum to subscribers: I accidentally sent out an older blog post yesterday as I activated this new, self-managed website. My apologies. Thank you so much for connecting here on my own website with me.

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