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A Reply to Burl Hall's Nostalgic Article "Can a Verb Based Language Bring Peace to the Planet?"

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According to Ong, people in residual forms of primary oral cultures such as ancient and medieval cultures in Western culture continued to have a world-as-event sense of life.

In the book THE SPELL OF THE SENSUOUS: PERCEPTION AND LANGUAGE IN A MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLD (1996), David Abram offers a phenomenological account of the world-as-event sense of life that Ong describes.

For the most part, Ong regards the Bible as an anthology of thought and expression of the world-as-event sense of life. (But the Word in the prologue of the Gospel According to John appears to have come out of ancient Greek and Roman Stoic philosophic thought -- via Philo the Jew of Alexandria.)

According to Ong, the world-as-view sense of life entered Western culture with the historical emergence of ancient Greek philosophy as exemplified by Plato and Aristotle. Andrea Wilson Nightingale's book SPECTACLES OF TRUTH IN CLASSICAL GREEK PHILOSOPHY: THEORIA IN ITS CULTURAL CONTEXT (2004) supports and strengthens Ong's claim.

However, according to Ong, people in ancient and medieval residually oral cultures who had studied Western philosophy, including both Plato and Aristotle, remained close to the world-as-event sense of life, even though they had been initiated into and typically favored the world-as-view sense of life.

According to Ong, print culture emerged in Western culture after the Gutenberg printing press emerged in the 1450s. After the Gutenberg printing press emerged in the 1450s, the percentage of people in Western culture who received a formal education increased. People who received a formal education were usually initiated into Greek philosophic thought and the world-as-view sense of life.

To this day, formal education in Western culture involves cultural conditioning in the world-as-view sense of life.

In non-Western cultures, the Gutenberg printing press and Western formal education did not contribute as much to the cultural conditioning in the world-as-view sense of life.

To this day, many people in non-Western cultures around the world have experienced cultural conditioning in the world-as-event sense of life.

Now, among other things, Burt Hall says, "Fascist states reflect Dark Age mentalities."

Perhaps they do.

But all people conditioned culturally in the world-as-event sense of life tend to favor authoritarianism. For all practical purposes, authoritarianism represents the default position of the human condition.

In other words, the world-as-view sense of life can be considered to be a kind of veneer.

Put differently, the world-as-event sense of life is part of the collective unconscious of well-educated people in Western culture today. Their world-as-view sense of life is part of their ego-consciousness.

But let's move on.

According to Ong, communications media that accentuate sound reached a critical mass in Western culture by, say, 1960. At least by the 1960s, cultural change appeared to be in the air. For example, in the 1960 presidential election an Irish American Roman Catholic was elected president of the United States for the first time in the nation's history. In addition, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was leading the growing black civil rights movement. Tragically, both JFK and MLK were assassinated in the 1960s (in 1963 and 1968, respectively).

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