One of my favorite sociology professors used to speak of reification as a major problem in modern life. That is, means become ends and vica versa - such as the end goal of going to school is to get education and the means/way to know how you are doing would be grades. Reification would that the grades now become the end goal so buying papers, cheating on tests, etc would be acceptable.
So this morning I was re-reading Eric Fromm's "The Art of Loving," and I read this: ... conviction of the uniqueness of the individual is expressed for instance in the Talmudic statement:"Whosoever saves a single life is as if he had saved the whole world; whosoever destroys a single life is as if he had destroyed the whole world." Equality as a condition for the development of individuality was also the meaning of the concept in the philosophy of the Western Enlightenment. It meant (most clearly formulated by Kant) that no man [woman] must be the means for ends of another man [woman]. That all men [women] are equal inasmuch as they are ends, and never means to each other.
It dawned on me that the valley we have personally been navigating was created and maintained by those who wanted to use us as means to their ends, with no regard to the anguish that this creates in our lives. And then, my mind went to the wider problem of the disintegration of Western civilization and culture. Not only do we see daily attacks and brutality on all things Western and Christian, but we also see the culture around us falling apart. The culture in which I was raised is light years from the current culture as seen in print, music, television, movies, values of the young, etc. So much is crude, disrespectful, ugly, blatantly sexual and far from the spiritual journey.
Maybe an equal threat to our civilization is from others. For example, on Sunday "60 Minutes" had a section on what is happening to Christianity in the Middle East. I cried as a Bishop, maybe he was an Archbishop, said he had to leave behind in Mosul many 1st century Christian documents as he was only given 5 minutes to leave! I cried as I saw churches and all things related destroyed by wild, ignorant, brain washed fighters.Only a couple of Westerners were there helping train those who defend, and they paid their own way to get there to help.
Do enough of us have the courage, desire and will to stand up and save our civilization?
I weep at the descent of decency. I weep at the descent of compassion. I weep at the descent of spirituality. I weep at the descent of our very way of life. I weep at the rise of the barbaric.
Is this the way of the post-spiritual world?
I hope we all think on these things.
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