November 8, 2006

BE-LONGING

Posted in culture, family, literature, politics, psychology, songs at 3:00 pm by Jerry

A curious word, don’t you think? “Belonging.” There are so many thoughts and feelings, mostly feelings, when I think of the word “longing.” And I get all philosophical in my head when I think of the word “Be.” And to put all this together bewilders me.

Belonging. What does it mean to belong? Just how much of you is possessed by another, if any, to belong? Or should I be asking – ‘How much are you possessing another to belong to him/her’?

The reason I’ve stumbled onto this topic is because Tim and I decided to read The Castle, by Franz Kafka. And this theme saturated my thoughts by the end of three chapters. Kafka’s protagonist, a foreigner in a strange land, uses whatever resources he can muster to achieve official acceptance in a society. He soon finds out, in order to receive this acceptance, he needs to win the approval of those in a “castle” up on a hill, next to the village he first entered.

The “castle” in my understanding (so far), represents any institution that breathes bureaucracy. Kafka seems to put so much more of a human face on the political nature of our society. And this draws me in. I’ve wondered for a long time – “What are the psychological motivations behind every human being’s political nature?”

One of my theories is put best by the last two stanzas in a favorite song of mine (of which the music itself has yet to be appreciated by my wife)…

Now watch what you say or they’ll be calling you a radical,
liberal, fanatical, criminal.
Won’t you sign up your name, we’d like to feel you’re
acceptable, respectable, presentable, a vegetable!

At night, when all the world’s asleep,
The questions run so deep for such a simple man
Won’t you please, please tell me what we’ve learned
I know it sounds absurd but please tell me who I am

– Supertramp (Logical Song)

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2 Comments »

  1. Tim said,

    Two things:
    First,since you put a link to my blog, now I have to actually start posting again! Second, can’t everything filter down into a song by Supertramp?

  2. Eric said,

    What?! Becky not into Supertramp? Tragic. Oh well, you can lead a horse to yadda yadda.
    See you guys on the week-end Jerry!


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