As Rilke observed, companionship is “the strengthening of two solitudes.”
Romanticism is an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in the late 18th century and stressed strong emotion, imagination, freedom from classical correctness in art forms, and rebellion against social conventions. In other words, romanticism was a reaction and like all reactions was and is a source of a great deal of human suffering.
Manifestations of reactions based on romanticism are too numerous to deal with in a single article, but we offer the following example. Dismayed by current false-self behaviors many of us seek comfort in imagining that indigenous cultures expressed a simpler, wiser, more wholesome relationship with nature and among themselves. Ken Wilber disabuses us of that wishful thinking.
“I am not in sympathy with the attempt to turn back the clock and elevate this structure to a privileged status of integrative power that it simply did not possess. Further, whether ‘closer to nature’ automatically translates into ‘ecologically sound’ is hotly debated. Lack of capacity to devastate the environment on a large scale does not automatically mean wisdom, let alone reverence for the environment. And, in fact, many tribes simply remained at one location until they had ecologically depleted the area, and then were forced to move on. Tribal awareness was in all cases close to nature, in the sense of indissociated; ecologically sound is another matter.”
“All over the globe and at all times in the past, men have pillaged nature and disturbed the ecological equilibrium, usually out of ignorance, but also because they have always been more concerned with immediate advantages than with long-range goals. Moreover, they could not foresee that they were preparing for ecological disasters, nor did they have a real choice of alternatives.”
References and notes are available for this article.
Also find a much more in-depth discussion of Simple Reality
on this blog and in published books by Roy Charles Henry.