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One Dimensional Man in the Three Dimensional World, de la
“The birth of Western civilization, which is founded upon one dimensional thinking, occurred in ancient Greece, when Plato took the abstraction of language one step farther. Plato declared that our abstractions referred to some “higher” world of ideals, in which “courage” and “honor” and “justice” exist in their pure form; in doing so, he turned everything backwards, placing our broad generalizations before the experiences they are drawn from, and claiming that it is those vague generalizations that have truth. Thus he took the reference point of our concepts out of the world altogether, suggesting that our real experiences in it are unimportant, irrelevant. Paul, the founder of Christianity, extended this philosophy into the world of religion: the “ideal” existed in heaven, and the earth was the flawed, evil imitation of it.”
“Soon, everything was measured and calibrated: women’s clothing sizes, for example. Until the end of the nineteenth century, women’s clothing was made by hand, for individual women. A woman was seen as possessing distinct personal qualities, not as a “size 6” or “plus size.” It’s very telling that over the last few decades, the perfect ideal of the woman has been described numerically—”36-24-36″—and anything that varies from that perfect Platonic form is less than beautiful. Women now occupy a scale of value according to their measured weight. Some struggle with scales every morning, hoping the number will be lower so their value will be greater.”
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