status shuffle

Society integrating shadow work is bringing our past along into our future

June 11, 2023 by nancy

Americans can be flippant about history and tradition, always conflating modernity with progress or innovation. We tend to think that holding onto the past is stagnant… but being in London and Oxford made me appreciate how much intention and investment it takes to retain the past, and there are ways to bring the past along rather than renounce it.

Our history can be our richest sources in imagination— Oxford has the oldest operating universities and museums and libraries, but also inspired the creation of Alice in Wonderland, Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark Materials, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings which have all inspired waves of creativity.

We steamroll towards the future because we think of all the things we gain, but we never think about the things we lose. There are present abilities that were unfathomable in the past, but there’s plenty of knowledge and processes we lost the to the past: languages, craftsmanship, species of animals and plants, and ways of living. When thinking about the future, we tend to think in terms of propulsion and progress, but not loss.

The rapid modernization has changed reality so quickly, most people can barely hold on to it, turning to unhealthy coping mechanisms like nihilism and dissociation. We get lost, easily distracted and fooled. In our aversion to missing out, we throw out what we have for what we could have.