On the Home-Page to this Blog, I make the comment:
” Whatever the world needs – it is not any of the present solutions. The status quo has got to go! “
The thing about removing the status quo though – that opens the public space up
to any number of competing agendas…
Logos v Mythos, Jihad v McWorld, fundamentalism/extremism…
Even within a dominant social order there exists a constant struggle and tension regarding direction.
To simply remove the constraints of an established order would be to throw the field open for a contest of wills and strength.
And as with Anders Breivik, there will always be those of utter conviction who will determine that if you don’t agree with them, then it is ok to kill you. Win the contest by elimination the competition – the Final Solution. Fascism never lurks too far away.
Another interesting article in Al Jazeera.
Let America be America Again
The Senior Editor of Random Lengths News
(a bi-weekly, alternative community, newsletter)
As I wrote last week, there are a number of troubling facets of the New Apostolic Reformation [NAR] that cry out for media attention. The NAR is the significant, yet relatively little-known religious movement embraced by many prominent endorsers of Texas Governor Rick Perry’s upcoming prayer event, “The Response”. It represents a major break with the Religious Right of the past: it’s not about issues or even “values”. It’s about power, pure and simple. About taking over the world, a form of Christian dominionism, and as I described, they’ve even got a seven-point plan for doing so – the “Seven Mountains Mandate”.
1. Mythos and Logos
This week, I want to take a step back and write about the NAR in a much broader, historical context – the context of the past few centuries in which fundamentalism has emerged. To do so, I turn to Karen Armstrong’s remarkable 2000 book, The Battle For God, which provided profound insight into the nature of fundamentalism by deeply examining specific examples from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim worlds. It may seem like a less gripping, less titillating story at first, but I promise you, it’s well worth hearing, and could even save your civilisation – or your life.
In her introduction, Armstrong argued that the late-20th century resurgence of fundamentalism needed to be seen in an historical context. Fundamentalism was not, as its believers assumed, a return to older forms of faith, more true to the original. Rather, she said that fundamentalist movements “have a symbiotic relationship with modernity. They may reject the scientific rationalism of the West, but they cannot escape it. Western civilisation has changed the world. Nothing – including religion – can ever be the same again.”
Providing a sharper focus, Armstrong went on to discuss two ways of knowing that were traditionally regarded as entirely distinct: mythos and logos. The first was primary, dealing with “what was thought to be timeless and constant in our existence” – the origins and end purpose of life, culture and individual existence. “Myth was not concerned with practical matters, but with meaning,” she wrote. “Unless we find some significance in our lives, we mortal men and women fall very easily into despair.”
“The mythos of a society provided people with a context that made sense of their day-to-day lives; it directed their attention to the eternal and the universal,” writes Arsmtrong. No one can doubt why this form of knowing held such profound importance.
Logos, on the other hand, was “the rational, pragmatic, and scientific thought that enabled men and women to function well in the world”. It was equally vital for human existence, but in a more mundane, everyday way. We humans know practically nothing by instinct. Without the fruits of logos we should surely perish in short order… (more)
Let me be be really clear on this point at least – I am not enamored of religious fundamentalists….
They are dangerous in a Rabid Dog sort of way!
(do not negotiate with terrorists – or rabid dogs)