While the social world is stuck with this bizarre fascination of self-revelation amidst social devolution, let’s get the social reality straight.
A. There is no “higher power.” We may be rooted in place by gravity on a vast, unfathomable universe, with dark matter and dark energy and illusions and microbes and vast dimensions of spacetime yet to be fully understood, but none of that gets us out of here alive. There is nothing but unverifiable yearning in protestations of a hidden intellectual connection to some grander design, Big designer, sky father, earth mother, First Cause, Last Cause, last call, or whatever phantasm you have generated to govern,but only in your mind, this earthly life.
B. Lots of your fellow humans can persuade themselves of these phantasms, and are busy at work, wordpressian-style or MacArthur grantee-style, to fashion whole words of meaning and exegeses based on chicken-entrail reading. While there are signs that these self-delusionists are getting trounced in the realms of acceptable rational discourse, they flourish in the pockets of traditionalist-minded institutions like higher education, family picnics, mass-market politics, corporate entertainment, and the arcane world of belles lettres which support full-blown Christian entrail-readers like Marilynne Robinson and Barack Obama.
C. Muslim or Christian, Buddhist or anarchist, teacher or doctor, blogger or poet, militaritist or tattoo devotee, listener or lecternist, what’s the difference? It’s not like the social world is, all of a sudden, going to get an attack of rampant rationailism to blow away wall the features of stupidity, venality, and ill-engagement that have riven the arid plains of human dialogue and intellectual jousting. There is never going to be a clean path to any sweet, contemplative spot atop the world’s madnesses.