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Hmm. 'But look at the fruits of our actions'! do they not tell more about who we really are.

That's reasons enough to bring up thoughts about the  "fundamental absurdity of being".
And this applies to so many other contexts. From an eco view point, for instance - so much 'progress', and look what we've done to this world.
Being so careless for so long, and then suddenly waking up to the results of our deeds is doomed to lead to subliminal passive-nihilist feelings.

You're right about the onrush of input from eastern philosophies. I have a hard time calling it religion - at least here in the West it was perceived more like a way of life, with some esoterism to make it go down easier. This shows imo how people need spirituality in their lives, even in absence of established religions. I think in absence of any structure, parachuted on a desert island and left to their own devices, people would still devise a law system (that would limit the 'Positive Freedom' :) ) and a spiritual  one.

Your point about religions being about doing... this might be one of those differences between the western and eastern christianities. I'm no expert in the subject, but being educated in the eastern one, this is  how it feels.

My theory is that productionism and then consumerism are direct consequences of materialism. I don't even hold my friend Marx guilty for that (even though he did put in his brick): the progress of the physical science has been so overwhelming that we were bound to be taken away with the wave.
On the other hand, when we confound the destruction of a rigid, stratified, closed, society, with the dismantling of any moral and spiritual value system, I think we're running grave dangers.
This is why I've always made the connection between the 'positive freedom' dogma and the neoliberalism. Bankers are humans, the financial world is inside the human society, not the other way around, and we'll have to think and see if our society's ruling principles are not the root cause of the destruction we witness.

You mention the generation calling the shots, 40 to 70 yo I imagine; but they are those who were children or young adults in the  '60s and '70s, they were brought up during the sexual liberation, the flowerpower, the hippy and the wars for civic liberties. The old nationalists are long gone by now.
Erasmus and Interrail brought young people out and about in Europe, but most of my own workmates (in the 27-40 yo range) hardly ever travelled outside France.
This is why I wonder if nationalists will ever go away, just like I wondered about religions.
I don't know. I started to stop believing in 'trends'. The society seems to be much more complex than any mind could fathom.

Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last! (Martin Luther King)

by ValentinD (walentijn arobase free spot frança) on Sun Jun 14th, 2009 at 10:01:15 PM EST
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You're right about the onrush of input from eastern philosophies. I have a hard time calling it religion - at least here in the West it was perceived more like a way of life, with some esoterism to make it go down easier. This shows imo how people need spirituality in their lives, even in absence of established religions. I think in absence of any structure, parachuted on a desert island and left to their own devices, people would still devise a law system (that would limit the 'Positive Freedom' :) ) and a spiritual  one.

i can understand why you wouldn't call eastern philosophies' religion', but the matrix whence they came certainly was, and their age and durability predate what we laughingly call civilisation-as-we-know-it.

having boiled out what you term 'esoterism' from our own worship, eastern thought contained ancient truths that we perceived as novel, as they hadn't been chez nous for centuries.

i detect, possibly erroneously, a note of disparagement in your reference to 'going down easier'.

ValentinD:

My theory is that productionism and then consumerism are direct consequences of materialism.

quite possibly so, but here's another duality we should surely be a' wearying of by now. matter and spirit are not separate, notwithstanding western efforts to claim it so.

as for a way of life, yes, but not in the accoutrement sense, bells, patchouli etc, more in a series of cultural windows opening, whose scented air revealed in contrast the foetid spiritual fumes we were idiotically committed to breathing.

the orient has a different take on time than we do, maybe because they have more of it recorded, i don't know for sure.

in trying to annihilate emptiness of time(instead of vice-versa), we have merely succeeded in speeding it up, and we are paying the price, as the desert proverb says: 'to hurry is to die'.

when the receiver breaks down, it's natural to give in to thinking/believing the sender is dead.

ValentinD:

You mention the generation calling the shots, 40 to 70 yo I imagine; but they are those who were children or young adults in the  '60s and '70s, they were brought up during the sexual liberation, the flowerpower, the hippy and the wars for civic liberties. The old nationalists are long gone by now.

excuse me, 70 year olds were very rarely affected by the new wave of ideas we're discussing, besides, don't you think the young prancing puppets sent to entertain and distract us have strings pulled by 70 and 80 year-olds?

interestingly enough the numbers you quote fall quite neatly either side of the fault line, too old or too young to have had their adolescent hearts broken by their own culture, and to have had faith rekindled by other ways of devotion, condemned as 'colourful' by the p-t-b, and relegated to sunday supplement lifesyle pages, and soon commercialised into trivia.

how much damage have rumsfeld and cheney caused, and these are only two that are visible?

being 70 ain't what it used to be, look at berli, nation wrecker extrordinaire! monkey gland extracts and the best medicine money can buy have extended these old vampires' lifespans, while a generation or go they would have been sent off to drool at pasture, now they own vaccine firms, frolic with harems and shoot their friends.

funny old world...

(devil's avocado warning)

ValentinD:

On the other hand, when we confound the destruction of a rigid, stratified, closed, society, with the dismantling of any moral and spiritual value system, I think we're running grave dangers.

yes, and in not dismantling (more peaceful than destroying) 'rigid, stratified, closed,' religious tyrannies we run equally grave ones.

 let's add 'sexist', 'child-abusive', 'medieval-minded' to that list while we're at it.

ValentinD:

Erasmus and Interrail brought young people out and about in Europe, but most of my own workmates (in the 27-40 yo range) hardly ever travelled outside France.

that's why we're still a generation away...
ValentinD:

I don't know. I started to stop believing in 'trends'. The society seems to be much more complex than any mind could fathom.

trends are mostly visible in the rear view mirror. society's over-complexity is a giant overcompensation stemming from the amount of truthiness sold us as gospel.

be your own trend, lol!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Jun 16th, 2009 at 10:07:22 PM EST
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