Now, aboard a global Titanic, we are full of our own “I, me, me, my” ideology, with all the rampant entitlementism possible to conceive. Even so, multitudes have a dawning sense that a great glacier drifts towards collision in the current. Heedlessly, the elite-class tycoons still control and manipulate everyone for their own profit and greed while they urge our “Captain Smiths” to push on at “full-speed ahead” in enabling the economy to achieve new levels of magnitude. The middle-tier passengers just want to be left in peace to enjoy life comfortably, while the steerage classwant a little recognition and a “fairer piece of the pie.”
The Creator’s love is on free offer 24/7 “as close as your jugular vein.” You don’t have to understand much anatomy to know that the jugular keeps you alive as long as it brings the blood back to your heart in a continuous flow. So too with our invitation to “kiss the Son while he may be found.” Some day those who wait too long or refuse too many times will no longer be able to find him or get close enough to “kiss him.”
The abundantly evident result of science’s procedural denial and dogmatically closed practice is that we have created a famine for real soul-food. Masses of people worldwide are attempting to fill the hunger with psychological, emotional, and spiritual junk-food—candy and fast-food for the mind, heart, and soul. After all, that is what the adulation and demi-godhood of sports and entertainment celebrities is. That is what the elevation of billionaire ‘success-gurus’ and political idols to super-hero status is. Yet at every step we see that, as persons and in their personal lives, many, if not most, of our Herculean demi-gods are really quite unworthy of the elevation and esteem they are given. That is why so many with empty lives seek reprieve in pleasure and the short-term pain-relief and long-term suicide of addictions of every kind, from substance abuse to pornography, to food and drink, to extreme thrill-seeking, to virtual-reality and fantasy.
The ‘old truths’ are under siege, and, if there is any new truth, it shifts and reforms so quickly that it is like trying to catch your shadow. The West is trapped in its Enlightenment paradigm of truth: reason-logic-science will lead us to it. The West’s technological and economic ascendancy (now under threat from the rising stars of the Orient in particular) have engendered enormous backlash, even while those reacting to it adopt its main characteristics.
The sticking point for we poor, ignorant, superstitious humans, who seem to long for spiritual connection with one another and all the rest of the creation (even as a product of the Big Bang it is a creation, just not one attributed to a ‘Being’), is that we exist as persons with a personality and personal identity. (I hesitate to use the term ‘individual’ with all its increasingly negative and self-absorbed connotations.) We may try to subdue and even strive with yogic might and main to erase this ‘illusory self’, but we are still locked into the locus of our particular point of reference within life and the river of time, place, and experience.
The Third Way means that a “Quiet Revolution” (to borrow a phrase from Quebec history) must take hold at the grass roots level, because, in ‘the way of the world as it is,’ those who hold the reins of power never (or as rarely as hen’s teeth) give it up willingly.
Points of no return abound in life. Every choice is made at the expense of some other possible choice. In the case of most everyday choices, the consequences of one choice over another are almost always trivial, but occasionally even a trivial, almost unconscious choice may have drastic, even life or death, consequences. Everyone who has lived for some time discovers this.
we should stop slandering the poor Neanderthals, who, anthropologists now tell us, had larger brains than we do and were just as intelligent, did not drag their knuckles, and did not talk in inarticulate grunts, having fully evolved vocal capacity.) To undo our Neanderthal slander, we should have our Parliaments and Congresses, and perhaps the UN, move official apologies to them and all their descendants, along with legislation for appropriate compensation.
Back to John Lennon and what he represents as an icon of our age. We know that ‘Sir John’ was murdered by a deranged man seeking his Andy Warhol moment of notoriety. He was much lamented and mourned by millions of fans and the cultural glitterati of the sixties and seventies. His death was also symbolic—the end of a sort of Don Quixote quest to idealistically set the world to rights by symbolic windmill tilting. Lennon did not, as the poet Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) put it, “Go gentle into that good night.”[i]
“I have ruled out … any possibility that the problem of evil can be solved in terms of developmental progress or evolution. If the world gradually gets better and better until it turns into a utopia—though we should in any case be appropriately cynical about such a possibility—that would still not solve the problem ofContinue reading “The Third Way, 10: Point of Departure”