Diminishment as Progress

This should be a short post, just following out an important corollary of the last post. What is true of the spiritual fate and destiny of individuals also holds for the fate and destiny of collectives. There is a way to re-engage with them in the face of changing times by moving away from their concrete manifestations and toward an abstract potency that lies within them. That abstract potency can be reinvigorated and take on a new form, a new trajectory.

Especially in the case of collectives, this requires a lot of shedding. The materials that compose the present and failing manifestation of a collective destiny are often bound up in all manner of objects and actions. To save the spirit of such collectives, we often have to sacrifice much of what we identify as part of the collective.

Such times are (and should be) frightening. Even if the process of shedding can be initiated, it can be a fine line between careful simplification and mutilation. Done with too much enthusiasm, the process of simplification can foreclose avenues of reinvigoration and introduce obstacles to the collective’s spirit finding new material foundation. Or, it can lead to an overly partial reinvigoration, where one or more aspects of the collective’s spirit is unable to find manifestation.

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