I like confusion. Yes I know that it’s sometimes an unpleasant feeling not to know which way is up and which way is down any more. However, I have experienced often enough that moving through confusion I am likely to discover unexpected creative solutions that I wouldn’t have come to had I avoided disorientation. So, my confidence in the creative potential of confusion has grown over time.
The word “confusion” goes back to two Latin words: con which means together and fundere which means to pour, to cast. In this era of ending patriarchy we often have to pour or put together scattered fragments of the collapsed dichotomous symbolic order in a new way, drawing unexpected lines between words and experiences. The remnants of our past lie about everywhere: these more or less time-honored notions that were once firmly fixed in what I sometimes call conceptual couples: The fading symbolic order suggested that a male eternal free God (“The Lord”) had created and is still ruling an ephemeral dependent world, just as men were supposed to control women. Culture was supposed to dominate nature just as the public sphere dominated private lives. The fair dwelled in a higher sphere than the dark, the orient was supposed to be silent like a woman while white occidental men claimed to define them both, and so on.
This rigid hierarchy is past, but we haven’t yet built new livable symbolic and social orders. For fear of disorientation and chaos many want to recede, calling for traditional values or for strong leaders who will fix it all again. I don’t believe in this backward-looking mode of avoiding insecurity. History always advances, regardless. Wishing to restore past hierarchies today, we always carry with us the knowledge that they have already collapsed, not accidentally but because of their inherent shortfalls: injustice, oppression, degradation of human and extra-human nature.
So, I believe navigating our way through confusion towards new surprising symbolic patterns will help us understand and reshape our limited precious unique habitat world in a peaceful sustainable way. In this blog I will tell personal-political stories of confusion the end of which are sometimes solutions, sometimes new questions that seek answers, ideas, concepts from people who choose to seize the opportunity to jump into creative confusion with me.
Thank you for cooperation, Melissa!