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Living in this world and viewing it

Living on this globe

How you want to turn it, you, when living in this world, shall always be confronted by this world “Willens of Nillens” = whether you want it or not.

In September – October since being retired, I take the time to see other parts of the world, and go on holiday in Southern Europe. After two years with some rain and snow in France at that  time, this year we went to Northern Italy, La Spezia, beautiful enchanting Cinque Terre, Lucca, Tellaro, Pisa, Monte Catini, San Gimignano, Genova, Varèse, a.o. in the hope to have some nice warm weather. After the powder snow on the Saint Gotthard Pass (Passo del San Gottardo) we entered a warm Italy.

File:Spezia.jpg
Vista da est – La Spezia

Politics

Though strangely enough there was not so much to see and hear about the Italian elections, except the blockage of more than 1 hour and a half in La Spezia, everything went calmly.

Though it is not because we did not notice much of the politics going on here in Italy and the rest of the world, that the politics had not those places in their grip. According to Jake Meador

Politics ought to be defined by fidelity to the common good of all the members of society.

Normally when at home and seeing how the world turns I cannot get rid of the fact that people, in general, have become victims of politics. Politicians know how to make skilful use of manipulating data and the audience they wish to appeal to the voters.

But our modern Western politics are defined by a determination to bend the natural world and human life to its own political and economic ends. This wholesale rejection of the natural order is behind the dominant revolutions in our history, and defines our experience in Western society today ― our racialized hierarchy, modern industry, and the sexual revolution. {What Are Christians For?: Life Together at the End of the World}

Golden Sixties and Boom Generation

After the Golden Sixties television had become the first national mass medium, but by the turn of the century was pushed in the corner by internet‘s social media. In the United States and other Western countries, the Sixties became noted for its counterculture. I admit, as a hippie, during the 1960s and 1970s, I also demonstrated against the Vietnam War (1955–75), the nuclear or atomic armament and joined some countercultural movements that rejected the mores of mainstream what we called the destructing ‘American way of life‘ and the destruction of or environment. We were one of the first fighters and first green (activist and political) parties, defending the planet and the green around us.

Living in communes

Many who did not understand our movement found it scandalous. Their idea of us living together in one house, sharing the kitchen and living rooms, us not minding running around naked, did them believe we went to bed with everybody, having free sex, like nothing. Many denounce the decade as one of irresponsible excess, flamboyance, the decay of social order, and the fall or relaxation of social taboos. True, many of us broke with a lot of taboos and dared to question lots of things. We just did not want to accept everything as granted or not to be so because it had been so for years.

Intrigued in human development

We wanted to know more about the human being and were intrigued by the works of Goethe, Sigmund Freud on psychoanalysis and Jung trying to go into the depths of “Behaviourism” and “Psychotherapy.”

We saw how people had become slave of the industry or work. We were convinced answers were not to find in our industrialist world, but should be looked for in our inner self and in the ‘spiritual world‘. We wanted to get to know the laws of the spiritual and come to see beyond our worldly world. We were conscious that spiritual growth was an existential part of our growing up. For us, man had become too bound to the surrounding material, and we thought there should be another way, to make life more useful and ‘richer’.

Steiner um 1905.jpg
Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner, Austrian occultist, social reformer, architect, esotericist, and claimed clairvoyant, who founded an esoteric spiritual movement, anthroposophy, with roots in German idealist philosophy and theosophy.

Rudolf Steiner, the Austrian-born spiritualist, lecturer, and founder of anthroposophy, had us under his spell and got us behind his teaching method. We also were aware we could not continue to poison our body by all sorts of chemicals, so wanted to get rid of all sorts of chemical fertilisers, insecticides but also chemical medication, aiming to bring the body and mind back in balance by the use of herbs, phytotherapy and homoeopathy.

Social feeling and communism

Lots of people had difficulty with our ‘social ideas’ that for the middle class and high society were too extreme and considered ‘communist’ and to be rejected and completely eliminated. We ourselves found ourselves between different Marxist, Leninist, Maoist and other leftish movements, often going into deep arguments, with the philosophic writings of the 19th and 20th century, hold against Mao‘s Red Carnet. He knew very well that

“political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,”

and some of those Maoist groups were much too aggressive and revolutionary, for our Western idea. Some were convinced to abandon Western liberalism for Marxism and Leninism as the answer to the capitalist movement that was introduced by the Americans after Wold War II. Many students believed they had to bring a change in society. We had lots of dreams of a society where everybody could live in peace and accept the other how the other wanted to be.

The 1960 generation of students, was divided in different groups pro- and contra certain communist parties. Neither the French Communist Party nor orthodox Marxism held many attractions. Instead, several of us had Che Guevara as our idol, whilst others Ho Chi Minh, and Mao Zedong, whose writings we all came to study. But for some, like me, those Maoists or Chines communists were too extreme and too aggressive for trying to reach their goals. But one one line we all seemed to agree:

Images of carpet bombing, napalm attacks, and massacres of civilians by U.S. forces in Vietnam

were things we had to react against and resist.

Church religion and faith

Being mostly brought up in very traditional Roman Catholic families, the Baby boomers also started questioning their church and faith. Me too, went looking for the truth and did some church shopping, before I found a non-trinitarian church, worshipping the Only One True God. In the 70’s lots of discussions about religion and beliefs got us very busy and exited. Several religious movements from the East also found their way into the West. Music groups like the British musical quartet the Beatles helped a lot in bringing the spirit of Asian religious movements. At the same time we in the theatre made social and critical pieces and often were referred to as avant-garde artists, intellectuals, and political theorists. Working as collaborative creative teams, we sought a synergy between word and image.

Questions of the present youngsters

Most of us now retired, notice similar questions coming up again by the youngsters of today. Like it happens all the time, the circle seems to be rounded and putting the ends together again.

Where am I? What is this place? What am I supposed to do now?

Folks who have been thrust into a new season of life are jolted with questions like these. Moving house, job changes, the wonders of marriage and children — they all have a way of alerting us to things that had gone unnoticed. When our surroundings are too familiar, we tune out what may be glaringly apparent. {Living in a World Charged with the Grandeur of God – ‘What Are Christians For?’ }

Dreams not realised

Having reached retirement age, we do wonder what all of our dreams have come true, but also have to admit that many who used to (in 1968) be on the bandwagon have abandoned, not to say betrayed, our ideas of that time. Many have become bourgeois figures over the years who have become all too comfortable with the growing industry. With a lot of idealism, we brought a student revolt. We thought we could change the world. But the reality was very different and much more painful. Many of our aspirations and hopes were nipped in the bud.

Today, we notice lots of people start feeling not at home in this world where they are pressed to do so many things they not really like so much. Again their lies the question on the tip of their tongue, where and why we are living this way and would it not better to do it another way?

Place for God

The big difference between our generation in the sixties and the present generation, is that now there is no place for God and there is not much looking for the spiritual element in life.

In What Are Christians For? Life at the End of the World, Jake Meador suggests Christians have fallen prey to this dullness of vision and he aims to reacquaint them to creation — the world and everything in it, made by our Creator God.

This place feels less and less like home to many believers who are struggling to make sense of our current cultural climate. But that may not be a bad thing. According to Meador — the editor in chief of Mere Orthodoxy — it may be a sign that our eyes are refocusing on things that previously fell into our collective blind spots. {Living in a World Charged with the Grandeur of God – ‘What Are Christians For?’ }

Aids to living in a fake world

A lot of young people are displeased with what the world has to offer them now. They have sought refuge in escaping into a ‘non-existent and unrealistic world using the modern technology of computers along with as many chemical drugs. Indeed, drug use has skyrocketed and has become a matter of course for many young people.

Grown up in their parent’s houses, who tried to provide everything for them they now want to make their own nest, but are confronted with the difficulties for hiring or buying a place to make their own family. It becomes more and more difficult to be able to support the new or young family. And the present economical crisis is not helping.

Standing at the centre

Meador begins by showing that Christians in the West have bought a house — our cultural and political milieu — sight unseen, and we’ve carried on trying to live and flourish in it without inspecting the frame or the foundation.

Meador treks through modernity and reveals the underbelly of Enlightenment thinking. In short, the Enlightenment turned the universe into something in which we stand at the center.

In a way after World War II we also thought everything came to turn around us. Our parents were so concerned about us and our future and tried to make the best for us whilst we found ourselves in that safe bubble created by our parents. Though in a certain way we thought the world turned around us, mankind being in the centre of it all.

Quest for autonomy

We had learned that we, as part of the creation had received everything around us because the Divine Creator provided it for us all. But the present generation does not believe such a thing.

We now view creation and culture not as gifts and as evidence of the beautiful diversity of a gracious God, but as objects for our valuation and callous extraction. Rather than being stewards who bear God’s image through virtuous dominion, we, in our quest for autonomy (which really began in Gen. 3), became tyrants who traded a good life with God in his world for an extension of mere existence. {Living in a World Charged with the Grandeur of God – ‘What Are Christians For?’ }

It has become clear that multiples now want to prove their independence not only from their parents but also from any religion. Many are convinced that they will do it themselves. For them, there does not need to be a god and if there is one, they do not need Him (they think).

Perhaps today in Europe it is a little bit like the colonizers of the New World.

Meador writes about the white colonialists who were

“so confident . . . in their own superiority to the people they encountered that they did not feel it was necessary to listen to them or to learn from their ways of living in what was, to the Europeans, a strange new place, and what was, to the Indigenous peoples, their home” (45).

Of course, colonizers should’ve confessed their lack of knowledge about life in a new land and, more importantly, recognized that these foreign peoples were and are image-bearers of God. But Meador’s position seems to collapse both the sociocultural and theological underpinnings to their movement in the first place, arguing their social pride was in fact “unbelief”—a decidedly theological claim. Meador suggests that cross-cultural contact provides opportunities to both give and receive, to teach and learn, but the theological frameworks among the two cultures are left unmentioned. {Living in a World Charged with the Grandeur of God – ‘What Are Christians For?’ }

Blinded by the god of this world

Already in ancient times the apostle Paul noticed that

“the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

With the hoopla of goods around them that make life easier, many have closed their eyes and ears to the One Who makes everything happen and provides for people. Several may have learned from their parents, like we did, Who is the Giver of Life, but they do not want to know. They

“suppress the truth” (Romans 1:18)

Their parents are considered not the ones to influence their life … they prefer to give their ears to the many influencers on the net. They have seen how their parents became victims of the politicians and bankers their actions and do not want to fall in the same trap of this greedy capitalist world, though still love all those capitalist goods and love the wealthy way of living.

The Book of books, the Bible, warns of coming times of unbelief, people stumbling over certain teachings of Jesus, people who do not truly believe that a New Order will ever come, people getting lofty ideas, and a period that children will protest or go in against the teachings and rules of their parents, followed by a time of more natural disasters (earthquakes, droughts, floods, etc.). As a Christadelphian and Jeshuaist, I believe we have come into that period growing towards the end of time.

We can clearly see that with unbelief a poisonous root of all kinds of evil has entered this world. Worse of all is that lots of people are not aware that it is a hideous cancer which gnaws at the spiritual health not only of churches but also of the society where mankind has to find a decent living.

The present generation is willing to put more faith in those influencers they can find on the net, in place of putting faith in their parents their experiences and in the many wise words written by so many living beings before them.

Idolising personal autonomy

The current generation that has come of age is convinced that they can handle it on their own. By banishing Jehovah God, society has gone wild.

Meador shows that the “unmakings” of a proper view of the land, vocation, the family, and more culminate in a threat to reality itself, which left Western civilization with no foundation for meaning and purpose apart from an idolizing of personal autonomy.

When the centrality of God in creation waned, humanity became disenchanted with what was left. Wonder was replaced with efficiency, test scores, and the race to die with the most things.

Meador concludes,

“Much of our recent history in the West is a protracted attempt to replace the weight and significance of love, rootedness, and neighborly affection with self-creation, self-realization, and self-actualization” (95).

In short, the house that the Enlightenment built has significant cracks. {Living in a World Charged with the Grandeur of God – ‘What Are Christians For?’ }

Finding purpose and meaning in life

What not has changed and keeps troubling the mind in every generation are the questions about meaning and purpose in life. Each generation becomes confronted with similar questions. As in all previous generations, there is hope in the future, though today that is very fragile, many doubting that there woudl be a good future for them and their kids. Like all times everyone keeps seeking the answer to the notorious question:

What is the meaning of life?

What is the best standard for making the best out of life?

Many wonder if we need standards for living, though they should know we need certain laws and regulations to avoid chaos. With it arises

How do we impose this moral standard on others — especially those who do not hold to the same standard?

The question is also

Who can decide which standards have to be folloed?

How do we convince others one action would cause more harm than another?

Or

How do we convince a theist to utilise a non-theistic standard?

Or

How does a theist convince a non-theist there is a theistic standard?

As soon as a certain law is presented others could question that law and could be saying

“why should your moral law be binding on me?”

People should be aware that we cannot impose our own meta-ethics on others. People should always be free to reject it for another meta-ethic, or for making a different determination even within one’s own meta-ethic. People have to learn to agree to disagree.

Distance from the natural order

Meador argues for individual evaluations of technological advancements and shows that technology often removes us from creation. The “distance” from the natural order, which the technical evolution has brought with it, seems to be problematic for both, the German Catholic priest, author, and academic Romano Guardini and Nebraskan historian Jake Meador.

It can rightly be said that the ease offered by 21st-century technological inventions has alienated young people from the more important things in and for life.

I am afraid for many the inner harmony to the world is gone. Growing up in an active Christian environment we received training in a way of living funded on the Scriptures. There was a sort of moral law to reality no less real than the law of gravity and that life is harmonious and pleasant when our choices, desires, and actions are aligned with that natural order. We had learned that humanity has a context, but for the present generation that context seems to be gone, and now many are like making their way through a vast immense swamp.

Because we have learned that reality is not as harmonious and beautiful as our parents wanted us to believe, our children saw how the world has treated us and how it is violent and without pardon for us and others.

According to Meador

To thrive, humanity doesn’t need to be drawn into the inner life and logic of the natural world, but instead needs to exert control over the world in order to make it a place hospitable to human flourishing. In the former imagining of reality, the world is primordially peaceable and orderly, in the latter it is primordially chaotic and violent. {The Self is a Problem}

The present twentiers came to feel as if both the world and society have become threats to their self,

for they are the sources of violence and chaos that so often assail the individual, inhibiting them in their attempt to articulate their authentic self in the world. For the magicians and scientists, the self is a problem because much of reality actively militates against the true expression of one’s self. {The Self is a Problem}

Though several want to hide their self, by presenting themselves better or differently than they really are. The many profiles on the internet, be it on Facebook or Instagram often are presenting “a ‘would like to be’ state” of themselves.

It looks like we have come into a world where people cling to a kind of brute materialism, creating enormous changes for how the human person is imagined and how the good life is imagined.

the natural law arguments would come to be seen as deeply unnatural for how they violate and vitiate the natural capacities of the human person, artificially constraining the freedom of the individual and imposing on them a variety of unchosen chains that can only have the effect of imprisoning the human soul. {The Self is a Problem}

Being oneself

Like we tried to break the chains of the pre-war generation, our children also want to cut the wire which ties them to us.

The American philosopher and Marxist humanist writer Marshall Berman writes,

Only when men retain their natural individuality — their authenticity — can they participate in nature as a whole, and enjoy the forms of happiness that nature has made available to man in the world.

The distinguished Professor of Political Science at The City College of New York and at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, teaching political philosophy and urbanism, like many of the Boomers discovered Karl Marx‘s Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844 proving it to be a revelation and inspiration, and as such became the foundation for all his future work.[ Christopher Hitchens (1999-11-16). “Marshall Berman’s Love Affair With Marx”. Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2011-06-04. Retrieved 2014-06-26.] Like we wanted to be ourselves our children want that too, because they believe the same as us

A man can be happy only if he can be — himself.

But

a society which deprives every man of the primary source of his happiness cannot hope to satisfy its members; hence it must inevitably disintegrate from within.

For many of the boomer generation, there is still the centrality of God in creation, but for our children that might be gone. Humanity became disenchanted with what was left. Wonder was replaced with efficiency, test scores, and the race to die with the most things. Meador concludes,

“Much of our recent history in the West is a protracted attempt to replace the weight and significance of love, rootedness, and neighborly affection with self-creation, self-realization, and self-actualization” (95). {What Are Christians For? Life at the End of the World}

In short, the house that the Enlightenment built has significant cracks. {What Are Christians For?: Life Together at the End of the World}

Finding oneself in this world

Several youngsters do not find themselves fitting in this world. In the Corona period the number of psychiatric difficulties, eating disorders and suicides have increased enormously and are now a true medical problem to meet them.

Meador finds it perhaps worth noting

the disturbing overlap between this defense of suicide and the particular ways that concern for suicide is used to justify certain approaches to transgender questions. If “affirmative care” for transgender individuals is a matter of life and death, as many on the left now argue, then this is implicitly to agree with Montesquieu, claiming that if trans individuals are denied such care then they have a right to withdraw their consent to participate in our society and, indeed, our world and to enact this choice through suicide. The logic of the contemporary sexual revolution, then, can be found many centuries ago in these Enlightenment era philosophes. {The Self is a Problem}

I believe the sexual revolution, also known as a time of sexual liberation, was the time we grew up with, making ourselves free from the Christian chains and conservativeness. we put the prude, prudence and embarrassment away and went for nudism. But today that social movement that challenged traditional codes of behaviour related to sexuality and interpersonal relationships throughout the United States and the developed world from the 1960s to the 1970s, has been put in the cupboard again by our children, who seem to be again very prudish and too shy to show their own nakedness.

Looking around

Coming to know oneself and finding a place in this world it is important to know what is going on and how to tackle the events around oneself.
That is one of the reasons of existence of this blog. I do hope to give some overview of what happens in the world and how we can place ourselves in these turbulent times, and finding a way to lead a pleasant life.

This site wants to show there is an other way in life than being stuck at work, in an office or factory. Too many people have grown into their work so their work determines their life. The world has become many, and they have become of the world. Back-stabbing, gossip, and even unnecessarily putting someone down, have for many become second nature.

Here at this site, we want to show there is a much better way to enjoy life and deal with all that is happening in the world around us. But for that, one has to really want to see what is going on and how others think they can deal with those events.

Hopefully, then, we may also find young people as readers of this page and encourage them to want to think about all these events and make them reflect on what has been written down in past writings. To this end, we want to open the doors with the necessary information and background so that every reader of these pages can draw his or her own conclusions.

Happy reading!

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Preceding

  1. Entering 2022 still Aiming for a society without exploitation or oppression
  2. Media Literacy
  3. Background of Faith
  4. Man has a purpose

++

Come to read more

  1. Less for more
  2. Subcutaneous power for humanity 1 1940-1960 Influenced by horrors of the century
  3. Subcutaneous power for humanity 2 1950-2010 Post war generations
  4. Subcutaneous power for humanity 3 Facing changing attitudes
  5. Subcutaneous power for humanity 5 Loneliness, Virtual and real friends
  6. Establishment of a European Pillar of Social Rights
  7. Lower and middle-class youth becoming tiny cogs in a larger whole that they cannot control
  8. 19th and 20th Century Shifts in bourgeoisie
  9. 2019 was #4 a Year of much deceit in Belgium and the rest of Europe
  10. Searching for fulfillment and meaning through own efforts, facing unsatisfaction and depression
  11. How to Find the Meaning of Life and Reach a State of Peace
  12. Where people find meaning in life
  13. The meaning of life – Finding purpose
  14. Hollowness of democracy
  15. Eyes on pages and messages on social media
  16. The Y generation in conflict with itself
  17. Looking at an Utopism which has not ended
  18. A new voice calling for peace
  19. Are people willing to take the responsibility for others
  20. Baby Boomers reaching retirement age, Demographic trends and New blood from abroad

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Additional reading

  1. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  2. Parenting in changing times
  3. A History Of The Culture Wars
  4. Looking at a conservative review of Shop Class As Soul Craft
  5. From Guestwriters 2015 in review
  6. Background of Faith
  7. Continued nostalgic Christmas memories
  8. 72 Synod Fathers on the topic “The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world”
  9. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  10. To whom do we want to be enslaved
  11. Man has a purpose
  12. My 2 Words
  13. Curious creature or Positivist man
  14. True happiness, love and perfection
  15. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

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Related

  1. Who or What Are You?Why are we born into this physical world?
  2. Wherever the sensory world is the spiritual world is present as well  
  3. Everything surrounding us is the external expression of the spiritual world
  4. The dawn of the sixth post-Atlantean cultural period
  5. The reality of the spiritual world was to me as certain as that of the physical
  6. A Medium of Conjunction of Heaven with Man
  7. The Irrationality of Relying on Science Alone: God and Science Are Not At War
  8. Living in the World
  9. In the world, but not of the world…
  10. Becoming Intimate With God
  11. The Proceeding Divine
  12. Beyond This WorldThe weird and wonderful strings of fate that bind us to one another; when things that happen are just meant to be.
  13. Guarding Your Stuff
  14. “Unbelief had shut -them out” -day of the Lord – September 25 2022
  15. The Danger of an Unbelieving Heart
  16. The danger of unbelief
  17. I didn’t ask to be born!
  18. Believing, While Getting Help for Our Unbelief
  19. Taking Care with Something That’s a Done Deal
  20. Ikigai Diagram and Your Life Purpose
  21. Espoir
  22. I have seen the beauty
  23. The Purpose We Seek
  24. A Boring Game?
  25. This Battle
  26. 1 March, Tuesday — the Rat Race
  27. Having the capacity to honour the noblest and best and to be honoured with the most essential
  28. Seemingly Impossible Cycle of Life
  29. Does your actual life reflect your purpose?

Published by Marcus Ampe

Retired dancer, choreographer, choreologist Founder of the Dance impresario office and archive: Danscontact-Dansarchief plus the Association for Bible scholars, the Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" and "From Guestwriters" and creator of the site "Messiah for all". - Gepensioneerd danser, choreograaf, choreoloog. Stichter van Danscontact-Dansarchief plus van de Vereniging voor Bijbelvorsers, de Lifestyle magazines "Stepping Toes" en "From Guestwriters" en maker van de site "Messiah for all".

6 thoughts on “Living in this world and viewing it

  1. I grew up in the same period in the United States and I find it interesting that those hippie liberals of the 1960s have turned into the MAGA hat wearing conservatives of today. Thankfully, I haven’t. Thanks for the post.

    Like

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