At the Egyptian city
of Naucratis, there was a famous old god, whose name was Theuth; the
bird which is called the Ibis is sacred to him, and he was the
inventor of many arts, such as arithmetic and calculation and
geometry and astronomy and draughts and dice, but his great
discovery was the use of letters. Now in those days the god Thamus
was the king of the whole country of Egypt; and he dwelt in that
great city of Upper Egypt which the Hellenes call Egyptian Thebes,
and the god himself is called by them Ammon. To him came Theuth and
showed his inventions, desiring that the other Egyptians might be
allowed to have the benefit of them; he enumerated them, and Thamus
enquired about their several uses, and praised some of them and
censured others, as he approved or disapproved of them. It would
take a long time to repeat all that Thamus said to Theuth in praise
or blame of the various arts. But when they came to letters, This,
said Theuth, will make the Egyptians wiser and give them better
memories; it is a specific both for the memory and for the wit.
Thamus replied: O most ingenious Theuth, the parent or inventor of
an art is not always the best judge of the utility or inutility of
his own inventions to the users of them. And in this instance, you
who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own
children have been led to attribute to them a quality which they
cannot have; for this discovery of yours will create forgetfulness
in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories;
they will trust to the external written characters and not remember
of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not
to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not
truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many
things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be
omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome
company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.
Knowledge/experience/world view in the textual paradigm underwent
several changes and knowledge got restructured in the process.
knowledge altered the notion of what constitute knowledge.
When knowledge got textualised the feelings and emotions were
intuition was out of use for many years and it came back few years
ago when textual cultures started addressing its fragmentation,
alienation and rootless ness .The over use of reason and logic and
the neglect of intuition is due to textualisation of
knowledge and by extension to the corresponding experiential mode it
created. The textual experience is linear and fragmented which is
way text can mediate.Imagination is a word overused by textual
cultures as text demands
imagination. where as in experiential cultures the reality is always
present.At several levels one can see the fragmentation in textual
The internal fragmentation has made us to fragment our perception
compartmentalize and reorder the world to suit our textual notions
life. Textual experience being personal and independent of others
self from community. The individual and the ego must have began at
point. Textual cognition must have caused fragmentation, alienation,
The self is fragmented as male and female ,as body and mind and as
childhood, youth and old age. Spontaneous activities were broken up
planning and doing thus thought and action got fragmented so are
beauty and ethics. Entertainment and boredom has become the new
Boredom is also another of those qualities typical of modern mindset
The internal fragmentation has made us fragment the outer world.
Thus beauty and knowledge which is an integral act is divided in to
art,science and language, and into artists and scientists.
religion were also separated.
Education has been the most powerful tool to condition and colonize
people as it has completely overturned the worldview of the
educated people of the world all over. It just replaced religious
superstition to scientific superstition. It turned us into believers
different kind. It turned us from active creators and inventers of
to passive believers of text and experts. We no longer use our
feelings and experience to know the world. We are taught about
Beauty is the most fundamental of human existence. Beauty is what
makes one authentic. Beauty is what binds us to the external world.
is what creates culture- the food, the architecture, the music, the
dance forms and agriculture (knowledge).
Even the spiritual state of being here and now also became
the textual culture. A total act of being in the present encompasses
past and the future. Our relationship with the text is itself an
the present. Textualisation removes the present and creates only the
Another word that got popularized is abstraction. Textual experience
abstract experience. As far as Authenticity is concerned experience
authentic and original. It cannot become second hand. Text by its
very nature is
Our relationship to the unknown, which was of awe and wonder
with textualisation as the knowledge is acquired with in the
comforts of the
non-threatening text. The same must be the case with "controlling"
Even beauty which is an exclusive domain of the senses and
textualised and it became a matter for intellectual activities.
written down as text which can be ‘read’.
Children because of their natural tenacity remained out side the
world so also some women. I would further claim even the true
scientist who have time and again disapproved the conventional
educational systems also belong to the experiential paradigm.
The crises in
modern schooling is precisely due the conflict in these two
paradigms. The adults who belong to the textual culture is
attempting to textualise children as early as possible. This can
also be seen as a conflict in intuition and reason or of two ways
of knowing. The one which wants to recreate, reinvent and relive and
the other which wants to impose.(Democracy?)
The left brain/
right brain division is actually the result of fragmentation caused
by the textual schooling process.
Even at the
activity level mechanization brought in mechanical and repetitive
act further alienating the person from the present. Both at the
level of activity and
mind being here and now became unnecessary.
With the removal
of unknown from our experience predictability / planning
and reasoning became the dominant relationship to the outside.
Many people belonging to the textual culture is realizing the crisis
also coming out with several solutions but are unable to break free
these solutions are textual.
holistic approach, their engagement with spirituality etc are
attempts in overcoming these crisis.
The solutions to make the learning holistic is by adding more
'sensitive' subjects like ecology, gender, study of other cultures
Whole is not a result of adding fragments.
The infinite is not the addition of finites.
This is the quality of the mind which is holistic, spiritual ,in
with beauty all the time.De-textualisation is essentially recovering
the autonomy of senses and
experience. A reconnection to the life sustaining knowledge
to the selfless minds.
It will be interesting to look at the world that belongs to the