1999 DNC Discussion Board Post; College Student

"Dr. My Eyes" Song Interpretation

    "...I think the interpretation of the song can be extended historically to the period in European history known as the Enlightenment that spanned the 18th and 19th centuries. For the unfamiliar, this period was marked by gigantic gains in the pursuit of knowledge and scientific objectivity, coupled with a European society already in the throes of class/and religious dialectics. This period spawned such dignitaries as Locke, Rousseau, Marx, Engels, Weber, Kant, etc. It is through Locke especially that we owe the foundations of our government by the people, for the people, and of the people. This period sounds great right! Another flowering of the Renaissance! The problem was that many people saw the cold objectivity of science as pervading into their religious faith. People also began to wax nostalgic about the days when life was full of mystery and in many ways ached for a return to the past (their fears were soon quashed though, as science has not managed, nor will it ever, to explain all phenomena in the universe). This is how I interpret Browne's song. Browne observes the popular sentiment today as one of boredom with the universe basically. They wonder if they wouldn't be better off not knowing much of the knowledge humanity has accumulated.

    Think about it, we are at a unique point in our history. Some of the knowledge we possess allows us to contemplate the worldwide destruction of our own race! I for one, can see where Browne is coming from. I am sure everyone shares the same "collective consciousness" (thank you Carl Jung) about issues that universally affect humanity.

    So anyway, the notion of peoples' uncomfortableness with the Enlightenment is explored in Johann Goethe's book/epic called Faust: Part One. It is a great book and I recommend it highly. I kind of think we owe it to Goethe to read his book anyway, it took him 70+ years to write!

That is all."

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