Wednesday, January 4, 2017
The Rise of the Zombies
While I am very excited by the advances humanity is making, * I am very concerned that our species in this anthropocene age is gaining the world, but losing our soul.
A grand transformation is taking place in our culture which radically affects our economy and politics. Because we use economic standards for success (those things that preserve, extend, and aggrandize our organic life), winning the human race means strengthening the body and growing property and wealth. And we neglect the strengthening of mind and the growing of soul.
Men without souls. Zombies are rising who, focusing on preserving and expanding life without character, consciousness, and compassion, are considered the winners of the human race. We are becoming numb to greed, violence, and lying. This is evident in many of the leaders we choose to follow (I discern this above all in the election of Donald Trump), the how-to-succeed books we buy, the TV series we watch that extols winning through physical strength and deception, and how we are spending our time on things rather than people.
The crisis we face is primarily religious or spiritual. In premodern times religion was identified with culture, politics, and economy. Its stories and rituals gave meaning to the tribes and societies and to the persons within. In modern times, religion was privatized, routinized, and separated from politics, art, and science. And the earth became disenchanted and ready for exploitation. Now in these postmodern times in which reality is understood as socially constructed through media and science is demonstrating uncertainty and indeterminacy in the very fabric of reality, we are said to be in a post-truth world without religion. There are two responses: return to earlier times of absolutes and true belief, a reaction that usually ends in oppression and violence. Or settle into a nihilistic, individualistic relativity where all things are permitted (if you can get away with it).
But I argue that it is by celebrating our postmodern world, including its science, philosophy, and art, and by rediscovering and growing our soul that will transform our culture with its economy and politics in a way that will ensure our future. We have many exercises to develop our muscles, our bones, our brains, and our management of weight and wealth. In this little book, to complement those physical exercises, I am reflecting on exercises for the soul. And I try to advance a political economy that is thoughtful and soulful.
This book consists of memoirs and meditations that I hope you find helpful in developing your own style and regime of soul-growing. If you would be willing to look at it and offer me some advice on how to make it more helpful, I would appreciate it. Send me your email and I will send you an e-copy.
*Some examples of advances in the past few years: 1) We are solving the problem of energy with solar/renewables now cheaper than coal and oil. 2) We can project the end of cancer and disease, and have made great progress on extending human life. 3) Autonomous vehicles, drones and flying cars are being designed and manufactured. 4) Artificial intelligence is expanding exponentially. 5) Tremendous strides are being made in physics and the exploration of space. 6) The connecting of humans will expand by 2025 to include every human on earth (approaching 8 billion). 7) Before long we will be able to share the same space virtually at light speed everywhere on the planet and in space. This is not science fiction. The virtual is becoming the real and vice versa.