Well, I just finished a dissertation on the connections among Logotherapy, Buddhism, existential philosophy, and spirituality (religion without creeds, dogmas, or puppet masters in the sky), and I hit the wrong key and lost the whole thing. How absolutely apt to the subject, of which impermanence is a fundamental aspect!
I may attempt to partly reconstruct it later, but the main idea was that I think I see a new awakening only distantly related to any of the four recognized in the current version of the Wikipedia article on “Great Awakening.” The difference from those earlier awakenings is that it rejects the Protestant Fundamentalism that is the entire substance of them, and at its best leads a person to take responsibility for her/his thoughts and actions, which process creates meaning in one’s life. There are specific discussions of this process in Frankl’s book but clearly you already understand the concept.
But Ms. Burton recognizes a different and ominous response to the changes driving that awakening. Her third paragraph begins:
“Now more than ever, the promises religion has traditionally made — a meaningful world, a viable place within it, a community to share it with, rituals to render ordinary life sacred — are absent from the public sphere. More and more Americans are joining the ranks of the religiously unaffiliated.”
“But what nearly all of these perpetrators shared was a cosmic-level worldview that fetishizes violence as a kind of purifying fire: a destruction necessary to “reset” the world from its current broken state. This atavistic worldview idealizes an imagined past, one that predates the afflictions of, say, feminism and multiculturalism.”
We have seen that response to a chaotic milieu before, and it has never come to a good end. Her parting shot is:
“When we ignore the religious aspect of extremist groups, we allow them to claim the monopoly on meaning. That’s not ground I, at least, am willing to cede.”
I think she is stating a truth that most people are avoiding, but perhaps missing the concomitant truth underlying it, that the God of Abraham, Jesus, and Mohammad no longer has the ability to satisfy the spiritual needs of today’s world.
I agree completely with your comments on that article, especially the last line. I had addressed that in some detail in the essay that disappeared, and if I can get to a partial reconstruction that will be a part of it.
I agree with your second paragraph as well, but go easy with modifying your language to make it easier for me to understand, as part of this stage of my life involves becoming more fluent in that sort of language. I went through college and 30 years of work hardly ever consulting a dictionary, but as soon as I stepped in front of a classroom my reference shelf expanded. It has gotten increasingly greater use ever since.
But thanks for the clarification about seeing into the future. My reflex would be to call what you are saying as “planning” for the future, but that would not be correct either. It is much more about recognizing that there IS a future, and that we are responsible for it, which is indeed almost a lost art. Yes, the Mainstream Media are essentially chroniclers and advocates for the status quo, trying to stop time so also always far behind.
Skipping over some of the complicated stuff (which isn’t really so complicated), I remember the SF Zen Center, though I never went there myself. I don’t even have to imagine how simple the concepts seem (even under the eyes of a seasoned teacher which I have never had), but how difficult they are to master on one’s own. I have an anecdote about that too.
We split a pair of Scrabble games, both with unusual board positions and alternating between spells in which letters fell into place as if by magic with strings of a half-dozen or more words worth ten points or less–very peculiar. Next week we’re going to re-learn Canasta.