Whence humanity?

We stand at a crossroads in the evolution of Western consciousness.  One fork retains all the assumptions of the Industrial Revolution and would lead us to salvation through science and technology; in short, it holds that the very paradigm that got us into trouble can also get us out.  The other fork leads to a future that is as yet somewhat obscure. Its advocates are an amorphous mass of Luddites, ecologists, regional separatists, steady-state economists, mystics, occultists and pastoral romantics.  Their goal is the preservation (or resuscitation) of the natural environment, regional culture, archaic modes of thought, organic community structures and decentralized political autonomy.

The first fork clearly leads to a blind alley, or Brave New World.  The second, on the other hand, often appears to be a naive attempt to return to the safety of a feudal age now gone by.

…But recapturing a reality is not the same as returning to it… As long as we dream and as long as we have bodies, the insights which the alchemists, Jung, and Reich obtained will remain indispensable, and will become a major part of our view of reality.

— Morris Berman, fr The Re-Enchantment of the World.

“All the errors and follies of magic, religion and mystical traditions are outweighed by the one great wisdom they contain: the awareness of humanity’s embeddedness in a complex and natural system.”
— Philip Slater, fr Earthwalk


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