The Creative versus the Fundamentalist: I ya ya

I have been thumbing through the War of Art (yeah you read that correctly not the Sun Tzu tome on destroying your enemy) by Steven Pressfield.
For those who have read this book, or thumbed through it, hang with me and for those that have not let me summarize the chapter Resistance and Fundamentalism: creatives rock and fundamentalists suck. There you go. Now moving forward.
Pressfield honors the artist (who is basically anyone who is creative) by asserting that they are the progress makers of the world. They make things happen and their power is self-derived. Yes yes well said. He does not treat the fundamentalist with the same regard “fundamentalism is the philosophy of the powerless.” He cites the rise of Nazism, the south in Reconstruction, and those dudes who fly planes into buildings as some examples of fundamentalism gone awry when it is embraced as opposed to going forward in new ways and realizing the world is changing constantly and putting the brakes in favor of some fundamentally derived theocracy never works.

He asserts we are clan oriented, no pun intended, or tribe folk who in more savage and barbaric times had a determined place in society, the village and our role in it left us little time other than to survive, not a whole lot of introspection necessary. Though seemingly romantic I prefer the luxuries that technology brings me, I have watched Survivor and lived in the woods for a spell. Not fun all the time.

The Fundamentalist clings, or better yet reverts to the past and then clings to it. A time, imagined usually, when “his side” was running things the right way. And this inevitably leads to destruction which interestingly enough is not just exclusive to the enemies he creates but engulfs himself in the end. Not a great battle plan.
The Creative is more bent as a humanist and “believes that humankind, as individuals, is called upon to co-create the world with God. This is why he values human life so highly. In his view , things do progress, life does evolve, each individual has value, at least potentially, in advancing this cause.”
The fundamentalist abhors this and cannot tolerate this notion.
If the fundamentalist wins the world enters a dark age. History has borne this to be true hence the term THE DARK AGES.
What I find affirming by this chapter is that Mr. Pressfield takes no qualm in being honest with himself and stating were the roles different for him (being born in America, privilege, etc.) his own world view might be different. Thanks for your honesty.
Perhaps we as a world are not yet prepared for the freedoms that are in our grasp?
But they sure are coming.
He leans on Socrates at the end, never a bad move, by echoing his sentiment “that the free individual is free only to the extent of his own self-mastery. While those who will not govern themselves are condemned to find masters to govern over them.” I buy all that!
Where I would like to expand further on this is my own ideal that the village is still a workable scenario in our world. It is done in a more figurative sense via the internet. My village contains people from all over the world, albeit a looser form of the village, but remember we are not foraging for food we are helping construct society for the future. Hear Hear with all that! More to come on this.
Elam McKnight

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s