The Message of Rainsnow
THE MESSAGE OF RAINSNOW, as it was originally created, was an extension of THE JOURNEY OF RAINSNOW: a full-scale cultural and social analysis of our civilization which was impelled by the spiritual and historical dynamics depicted in THE JOURNEY. At the same time, this material was fused together with elements of a previous, unpublished Manifesto meant to provide my views on the state of the world. With THE MESSAGE OF RAINSNOW, an attempt was made to combine elements of utopian envisioning with sobering, but ultimately redeeming, elements of realpolitik, psychology, biology and historical analysis, in the hopes of creating a workable and out-of-the-box concept of grappling with the human future.
Ten years later, this work needs to be reassessed just as much as the JOURNEY.
As I look back on it today, I must start by saying that I am impressed by its many pages of interesting analyses and creative ideas, which come as a synthesis of the work of others abetted by my own imagination. Some of the thinkers and artists whose ideas in some form or fashion have ended up in the mix include: Sigmund Freud, C.G. Jung, Lewis Mumford, JFC Fuller, Konrad Lorenz, Edward O. Wilson, Herbert Marcuse, Federico Garcia Lorca, Alan Ginsburg, Jelaluddin Rumi, Joseph Campbell, HG Wells, Black Elk, Lame Deer, Diego Rivera, Robert Heilbroner, Noam Chomsky, Ruth Benedict, Carlos Fuentes, Eduardo Galeano, Bob Dylan and Jack Kerouac…
I must also say, as I look back on THE MESSAGE today, that I am impressed by some of its very well written and (I think) moving passages, and by some of the eloquently-argued points with which it is studded.
There is a lot of interesting stuff here. (Well, this is my assessment!!!)
On the other hand, if I were to once more find myself at the starting point, I would not write this book! Or better put, I would not write it this way! Instead, I would wholly separate it from its connection with THE JOURNEY OF RAINSNOW. This is because THE JOURNEY is too controversial and ‘fringe’ a work to serve as an appropriate context for the development of social, political and cultural ideas meant to interest and connect with a wider audience. The MESSAGE’S association with THE JOURNEY is damning, due to the prevalent perspectives of our times; its relationship with an unusual spiritual POV serves to barricade it from the society it is meant to enrich, and acts as a serious impediment to its usefulness. Besides this, the work is hampered by an underlying prophetic tone, which unfolded naturally from the processes of spiritual revelation in whose midst I was at the time; but after I awoke from the days of trance in which I had been gripped, Sibyl-like, I found myself quite out-of-sync with the tone of the material which had come from me: it belonged to something that was not me, or to something in me that was transitory, and I had no wish to force myself into perpetual service to it. Not only did my withdrawal from its service estrange me from the book; the authoritative tone was just as likely to turn off the intelligent and progressive reader who the material was meant to reach. In this way, a lot of good material tripped over itself. I felt unable to push it, and those I most wanted to connect with were sure to be deterred.
Besides this, there are other significant presentation problems, issues of development, technique and explication which could surely be improved. There are also ideas which I would reconsider and refine, or in cases, ditch, as a result of the evolution of my own perspective and the impact of my own experience over the years.
As I look back on THE MESSAGE OF RAINSNOW ten years after its (self) publication, I find it useful as a source of interesting points and perspectives on our society. I think it is worth going into, for some of the different ideas and alternative emphases it gives to many of the social, political, cultural, ecological and existential issues of our times; it does not offer a shallow nor conventional take on the state of the world, and that is surely something in its favor! But you will not find a polished work here, nor one that I am 100% (or even 90%) satisfied with. You will find gold in the mine, but just as much rock!
In the future, if life unfolds in a favorable way, I dream of one day rescuing some of THE MESSAGE’S ideas and recombining them in a more compact and socially connectible way – for the basic motive of the writing of the book – the desire to contribute in a positive way to a world that seems endangered – remains as strong as ever. Hopefully that is a motive which we all share.
- J Rainsnow, 2012
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