Having acquired everything wealth, power, and ambition could give him, he finds it empty. Yet, as he predicted, three thousand years later we still find these pursuits to be the main goal of life for masses of folk all over the world. Granted, most people do not usually chase these goals on the same scale as Solomon (although the several hundred wealthiest people on Planet Earth today could probably directly relate to a great deal of what he said), but from the USA to China, India, and Kenya, people are still seeking “more and better” of whatever peculiar portion of Solomon’s universal lust for ever more has “turned their crank”. All modern economic theory is built on this covetousness.
the reality of our global human society and current path of social evolution is that most of our major ideas and governing practical paradigms have emerged from the West’s specific ethos rooted in Judeo-Christian-Greco-Roman soil. It may not be politically correct to admit it, and it may be debated and denied among the academic hoi-polloi, but the human ecology and landscape of the 21st century is as it is because Rome and Judeo-Christianity have made it that way.
nihilism and Nietzschean despair live on. Mockery of the Creator and even the idea of His/Her existence also lives on, declaring, like Sergeant Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes, in the face of the ever-increasing, quietly accumulating scientific (yes, scientific!) evidence to the contrary, “I see nothing; I hear nothing; I know nothing.” Schultz was choosing to see, hear, and know nothing, and so do our ultra-modern-postmodern nihilists. As an old friend used to say, “My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with the facts!”
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 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.
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”
My belief or disbelief in His reality has no more effect on Him than the ant believing I am here has on my being here. That is why Qohelet says “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth (KJV Translation).” After all, youth may be the only days you ever have.
Saying that this ‘meaning-seeking’ is a mere residual effect of evolution just won’t cut it. The instinct to survive is the strongest of all, we are told. Other species have survived by developing (or being endowed by God with) superior strength and speed, special cunning, or unusual adaptations. But none of them have ever sought to understand “WHY?” It is probable that no other species (at least on earth) is cerebrally equipped to undertake such a quest. That in itself raises the question why humanity is so uniquely endowed.