Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Disenchantment of the Postmodern World

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

A series of posts from the 13.7 blog got me thinking about the state of our postmodern world. Our whole perspective changed during the Industrial Revolution. Humanity went from struggling to provide enough food to survive to having an abundance of it. We no longer (for the most part) needed to obsess about survival. Leisure was born giving society at large more time to think and aspire to greater things.

In the mean time, science seemingly chipped away at man’s belief in the spiritual and supernatural. Meaning began to disappear with it. It appeared that man was alone in a vast hostile universe that didn’t acknowledge his existence; that the human race, the earth and the universe were doomed to destruction.

This situation created a void in our hearts, we longed for meaning, purpose and love. Man filled this void with consumerism. Man sought out meaning in the quest for wealth. This pursuit urged people to amass wealth in order to impress their peers. The belief being that, through meritocracy, people could buy people’s love and esteem. This fa├žade was not substantive enough to withstand further scrutiny. The hollowness of it all became apparent. It left people asking if this is all there is.” It was like society got stuck on the esteem level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

The solution to the void in the human heart is where I and the 13.7 team differ. They believe that coming together to protect and stand in awe of the environment will fill the void in our hearts. I think that the world is pretty awesome and that conservation is important, but turning conservation into a modern pseudo religion is not the answer. Why worship something that is impermanent? We do need steward the earth, but there is nothing we can do to prevent its ultimate destruction.

Deep within the human heart is the urge to worship. The question is what do we worship? Is it wealth, reason, the world or God? I think that mankind will always be restless apart from God. The hope of God and eternity is capable of standing forever. All other ideas will ultimately be destroyed because, after all, our world is finite.

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