‘The great malady of the twentieth century, implicated in all of our troubles and affecting us individually and socially, is ‘loss of soul’. When soul is neglected, it doesn’t just go away, it appears symptomatically in obsessions, addictions, violence, and loss of meaning. Our temptation is to isolate these symptoms or try to eradicate them one by one; but the root problem is that we have lost our wisdom about the soul, even our interest in it….
— Thomas Moore, ‘Care of the Soul’
When I was young, I quickly learned the religion I had been given was a lamp with the flame burned out….
They were trying to live off of husks.
— Jim Rigby
The postmodern mind assumes that nothing is truly knowable, that everything is a social or intellectual construct that will soon be discounted by new information. We end up with a being who is both godlike (“I know”) and utterly cynical (“I have to create my own truth because there are no universal patterns”). No wonder depression and suicide now affect even children’s lives to such a degree….
Another aspect of the postmodern mind is what we call a “market” mentality. In a market driven culture like ours, things no longer have ‘inherent value,’ but only ‘exchange value.’ Once we lose a sense of inherent value, we have lost all hope of encountering true value, much less the holy. It is no longer about the great mystery, mystic union, and transformation, but merely social order and control. …
The final stage is a collapse into vulgarity and shock as the primary values….
— The Wisdom Pattern: Order Disorder Reorder, by Richard Rohr
If we don’t have beauty and meaning in front of us every day we lose our way, our reason for living. Religion used to do that for us. It used to infuse our lives with a connection to our depths, our reason for living, but it has lost its inspiring beauty and grandeur. It became a shadow of its former self, with its empty forms and lifeless routines, a crutch for people desperately seeking some semblance of meaning in their lives, who are willing to accept dead forms and simplistic beliefs. In some corners it even harbors beliefs systems of fear and…