“In Search of the Miraculous”

“In Search of the Miraculous”

General Insights
“The lack of a balance of intellect and vision in our lives leads to the pursuit of doubtful cults of the supra-rational.” “Beyond such formal, religious affiliations, the hunger for wonders expresses itself in countless forms of pop psychiatry and lumpen occultism which thinly disguise the same impetuous quest for personal salvation.” – Theodore Roszak, “In Search of the Miraculous” In his essay “In Search of the Miraculous”, historian Theodore Roszak looked at what he called the “hunger for wonders”.  This is an insecurity that comes from the human spiritual impulse that he claims is starved in our time. This probably comes about when one feels that their life fails to realize their potential. We are told that everyone is unique and has something to offer while we sit in…
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A dangerous kind of thinking in modern life

A dangerous kind of thinking in modern life

General Insights
Large decisions that people make in life often have no connection to any moral ideal or any principle that is personally valued.  We take this for granted nowadays, even though it’s quite a remarkable thing that may have dangerous consequences for human well-being, fulfillment, and ultimately the growth and productivity of society.  Charles Taylor points this out in his book, The Ethics of Authenticity, and suggests that this non-morality to our lives is a pervasive characteristic of our modern world. People in modern society are expected to make all kinds of decisions based on purely mechanistic, rational calculations. In other words, the starting point contains no awareness of the importance of adherence to one’s own moral vision, principles, belief system, or originality. For example, I choose a city in which to…
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Rediscovering Discovery

Rediscovering Discovery

General Insights
Most of us have some familiarity with a sense of being engaged in the act of discovery.  We may not consciously think of it using this word but it might happen when we have a unique idea about a situation or are applying a new solution to a problem.  Different people’s attitudes vary in the extent to which they value this “discovery”. On one end, some think of the world as having nearly endless opportunities for the discovery of all kinds, given their own initiative and intent.  It is this that gets children genuinely excited about school, for instance. On the other end, some see the world as a place where one lives inside of a fixed system. In this view, the only role you play is one where you just…
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A Divided America: the Role of Intellectual Conformity

A Divided America: the Role of Intellectual Conformity

General Insights, Politics
One of the world’s most stable, advanced, and forward-thinking societies is more divided than ever.  When people around the world think of the United States today, one of the first things that comes to mind is how divided the population is. In American society, people with different political views are more distrusting of one another than in even the oldest of people’s lifetimes.  Pundits often speak of an inability for people to engage in basic dialogue. What’s really going on here?  The discussion of this issue usually doesn’t go too far beyond “it’s the triumph of tribalism”. While a complex issue, it seems to me that one of the biggest factors in creating these divisions is widespread intellectual conformity.   By intellectual conformity, I simply mean adopting the views of others…
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