/* ken added for verification to get Google analytics */ Spiritual Material: If the only tool is a hammer, then history repeats itself

Thursday, July 27, 2006

If the only tool is a hammer, then history repeats itself

It's been said that "history repeats itself." It's understandable that people would say this and it might even be true in some sense. There's a modern proverb which says, "If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail." People's— and by extension, a culture's— thinking and experience can be limited, limited in such a way that in vastly different situations and contexts we perceive one and the same problem. Whether or not these are "objectively" the same problem is difficult to determine because, if everyone— everyone in the culture who has any voice and any credence— agrees that the problem is a nail, then, epistemologically, the problem is indeed a nail. And if the problem is a nail, the solution is "obviously" a hammer. So it's understandable that, if a culture's understanding is dominated by some particular way of seeing the world to the exclusion of other ways, then, yes, it could be that history would be seen to repeat itself. After a time, however, when some other way of understanding the world emerges in the culture and these same historical events are examined again, we might, hopefully, come to understand that it wasn't really history which has been repeated, but rather only that the culture's perceptions and understanding during that period were limited.

1 comment:

  1. Very good posts. Keep them coming. I'm interested on your own philosphy of the world and God and/or the universe's consciousness. You have people's attention, now lets see what great discussions we can make of it.