"The latest Wired magazine (Nov. 2005) has a brief aside on 'evil technologies in J-Horror films' called 'The Wicked Web' that inadvertantly highlights the ongoing influence of Shinto animism in the collective imagination of modern Japanese culture. Though the article itself fails to acknowledge this undercurrent, the content is clearly illustrative of the Japanese fascination with the spirit world. Japan, it should be noted, has carried Shinto since it's early birth some 2500 years ago, juggling it easily alongside Buddhism and all of its variants. In the late 1800's Shinto became the state religion of Japan and continued as such to the end of WW2. It's deep influence continues to inform much of the cultural imagination.
...It's easy to suggest that these animistic tendencies are merely superstitious hold-overs from older times. Yet they reinforce the necessity to embrace and honor the material world - something that's sorely missing from the death-obsessed western cults of the ascended son. The industrial affliction of self-degradation and ecological suicide can in many ways be traced back to the debasement of the earthly kingdom and the relentless pursuit of afterlife so typical of the Judeo/Islamo/Christian triumvirate.
...The Japanese culture presents both a fascinating dichotomy and a possible ontological model for the western world. At once ultramodern and animistic, Japan has driven human technology perhaps further than any other culture while maintaining an abiding reverence for nature. The recognition of spirit and consciousness in all things transcends the shortsightedness and eschatological thinking of the West, offering a grounding balance to a frequently teetering society."
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Future Hi: Ghosts in the Machine
Future Hi: Ghosts in the Machine:
Posted by Rob Pugh at 10/27/2005 03:11:00 PM