Our children are obese. We all want sugar, salt and animal fat. Our diets are structurally dictated by social norms and supermarket design. Our heart is big for our country and we hate anything or anyone that does not belong.
Our hearts are clogged with fat as we await our 4th of July picnics. Yet we want more. Our ability to love and our confidence in our progeny is growing small. As we have more and our children get more, somehow we all seem to have less. In a multiple choice test today, our children would choose “a condiment or a flavor” for the word lament. We lament and they do not understand. They have so much and they cannot appreciate what we no longer have to give them. We lost it along the way in our pursuit of other things.
Going to temple, church or mosque, has probably never been 100% popular in American communities. Never. Never 100%. Organized religion, or as philosophers say “religion as a public vs. a personal phenomenon” is now being used as a bully pulpit–mostly for social and ethnic networking purposes and increasingly for abortion, guns and even to pursue a mythical “moral majority.”
The collective and unity values that undergird any ethical and spiritual system of thought and code of behavior are increasingly absent from the American popular scene. Ad nauseam, thinking people clamor and, ad nauseam, they think and ponder about the increasingly apparent American fabric deficits demarcated by our dying brotherhood–a brotherhood that is being replaced by cliches like: Men are from Mars and women are from Venus. The cult of the vagina diaries is upon us. Perhaps it has been spawned by a Geist that finds the heterosexist world we live in increasingly misogynist, misandrist (The hatred of men by women) and ultimately misanthropist. With the common denominator of hating, we are doomed to a society in which each one hates one.
Religious identity is complicated, personal and often private.
However, today, these sort of things are measured by polls. We are now being told that belonging to a formal religion is waning in our society. That 1 in every 5 Americans today say that they do not identify with any religion.
It is interesting to see how the baby boomers, who tore down the proverbial establishment and replaced it with some form of conspicuous consumption, will manage the current crisis in our society. A malaise one may describe as lacking a rational and popular central value system we can say a significant majority of Americans practice. Organized religion seems to be eroding quickly. America’s self respect and view of itself seems somewhat jumbled today by an omnipresent media establishment that caricatures America and then entertains and educates her with the productive and lucrative apparition of an America that is a cacophony of stereotypes.
Spirituality seems to be dying in America and social purpose is quietly being suffocated as we ware-out our soles chasing sustenance for our souls.
If promotion, status and in-group membership drive our reason for connecting, where is there room or opportunity for giving or sharing? Where is the anima to do so?
Of course, this topic is as divisive as the moment of death, when our spirit leaves our body. Even if you are an atheist you know that a lifeless body has no anima–spiritual or not it looses its vibrant gestalt–at minimum consciousness.
In a similar way, a community or society without anima is not really alive–look at what mathematics, power and chauvinism did for the Nazis. Yet chauvinism is the driving force for political parties, political discourse and political groups today… Same sex, same social class, same club, same religion, same neighborhood, same party.
So, discussions of spirituality go well beyond intellectual elitism and snobbery and their disdain for the opiate of the masses.
“The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling.
In the last five years alone, the unaffiliated have increased from just over 15% to just under 20% of all U.S. adults. Their ranks now include more than 13 million self-described atheists and agnostics (nearly 6% of the U.S. public), as well as nearly 33 million people who say they have no particular religious affiliation (14%)…”