July 4th, 2012

Hu design

Passage by Rudhyar on bourgeois society

Rudhyar was born in France in 1895, emigrated to the U.S. in 1916, and became a U.S. citizen in 1926. The following is from a book of his that was published in 1979, when he was 84 years old:

"A bourgeois society thus becomes a society of egos, ruled by egos especially adept at dealing with social processes and getting around various kinds of laws and regulations, and for the glorification of the one essential goal of ego-activity, success. Such a society is adequately characterized and symbolized by the 'American dream' of ever-increasing individual wealth and power, backed by a typical quasi-religious 'New Thought' glorifying health, wealth and happiness--and business. The keyword of this mercantile society is productivity. The Gross National Product must always rise; there must be more of everything, not only at the physical level, but at the emotional and mental levels as well. Trade operates not only in terms of exchange of products, raw and industrially manufactured, but also through the interpenetration of cultures and ideas. This leads to a Babel of tongues, a melting pot of concepts, symbols and vestigial traditions." (Beyond Individualism, pp. 113-14)

Besides being a composer of some historical importance, Rudhyar was known for adapting astrology to the social conditions of the 20th century. While I was taking the online astrology course with Kevin Burk, I felt drawn to read some of the work by Rudhyar that I had not yet made the time to read. As I became increasingly uncomfortable with the New Thought basis of Burk's adaptation of classical western astrology, I found myself seeking a metaphysical foundation that felt better suited to me. It was only yesterday that I happened upon this passage, which reflects my uneasiness with what I might term "utopian commercialism."

If there is a silver lining to this situation (according to Rudhyar), it is that some people feel a need to break away from the common obsessions of such a culture in order to dedicate themselves to receiving and embodying the "descent" of spiritual energies that point toward the beginning of the next phase of culture.

Om Kreem Kalyai Namaha,