Surviving this Upheaval

I wrote this to a comrade of mine:

What you said is important:

“I realized at that moment that the kind of finesse and [indistinct] I normally have been known for was just not going to work anymore.”

They say that when the culture is undergoing a paradigm shift, mysticism becomes popular in the church as it transitions from the old paradigm to the new.

Some have called this the Dark Night of the Soul, where all previous anchors are removed and we must move forward in darkness and unknowing.

Bonhoeffer had his Religionless Christianity, when logic and orthodoxy and values were useless to provide a rational, familiar framework for one’s life.

You and I are both in a transition. Pope Francis just ok’d same-sex civil unions. American Catholicism is reeling from sexual scandal.

American Evangelicalism is facing the reality of its own Will to Power.

Historically, Christendom has weathered paradigm shifts before. But our particular cohort has never experienced this before. The sheep are alarmed and confused. The shepherds are alarmed and confused.

Primate intelligence evolved and thrived because individuals in the species were able to solve real-life problems, problems of making better tools, working out more efficient social structures, etc.

Disciplines like theology and philosophy had a valuable role, but our species did not evolve because of language analyzing language, but intelligence analyzing actual threats to survival.

You and I and others must reacquaint ourselves with trusting the still small voice, aka intuition, aka tacit knowledge.

We must reacquaint ourselves with real threats to our thriving as a species, with the various things that motivate our fellow primates, and learn as individuals where we fit and what we do best.

Instead of saying “People need to be more kind and loving” we need to ask “How can we reduce excess conflict, and what is keeping me from being more effective in my tribe?”

As an intellectual fundamentalist I was used to enduring my own embarrassment at the historical (the Inquisition, the Klan, etc ) and contemporary actions (Moral Majority, etc ) of other Christians.

As a non-theist, I am learning to accept the unchangeable thought life (embedded instincts and ideology) of other tribes in my herd, embrace the awfulness of the Yin Yang, my essential One-ness with the Other, which Other is in our day the protest of the “Trump Mass”.

I am driven by my own intelligence-moderated instinct package, just as Steve Bannon is driven by his, just as you are driven by yours.

You said, “I realized at that moment that kind of finesse and [indistinct] I normally have been known for was just not going to work anymore.”

If we are going to survive this upheaval and thrive as a population, you and I must trust the intuition and tacit knowledge and mysterious problem-solving abilities given us by Providence.

About Ron Goetz

Husband, Father, Author
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