Just before the Dawn

I was struck by this observation by Steve Taylor in his February newsletter:

“The cultural conflict taking place now is between the old values and traits associated with the human race’s old state of ‘sleep’, and the new values and traits associated with a wakeful state. The old traits are threatened, and so are trying to assert themselves more strongly. It’s almost as if, within our collective psyche, the state of sleep senses that it is being superseded, and is trying to tighten its grip. So that’s why, in spite of all the madness in the world at the moment, I still remain optimistic.”

No doubt Steve is referring to the chaos of Brexit, the Trump presidency and the resurgence of values of discrimination against minorities, racism, misogyny, nationalism, separation, beggar-thy-neighbour…

It can seem disheartening that the progress made over the 70 years since the second world war is under threat and apparently in retreat.

I do feel that it helps in this situation to see the wider context, as Steve suggests. Humanity is undergoing a great developmental change, and it is inevitable that the ‘old’ values will from time to time reassert themselves with renewed vigour. It is our job to weather the storm and forge the path forward to the new world that we would wish to bequeath to our children and grandchildren.

As the saying goes, it is always darkest just before the dawn.

Featured image One Minute Before Sunrise by Jessie Eastland, via Wikimedia Commons

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One thought on “Just before the Dawn

  1. The old order, indeed, is being picked up by its heels and shaken; in one way it’s good now and then to be jolted out of that complacent comfort zone, before we get so complacent we end up out on the very streets we helped to pave–

    But (and this is important) we also have to remember that this is the end of the Christian era, in the same way that the end of the Roman era ended with the coming of a new religion, a cultural breakup of the old ways, the old culture and arts–each era lasts about 2,000 years, and it would appear that Will Durant was right; our arts have lost their patronage and effort, religion is no longer all-powerful and focused, and it would seem that we are coming unglued, both culturally and politically with each year that passes. What the new order will be, and what the new religion will be, I have no idea, and probably won’t live long enough to see it in place.

    It isn’t one man, although he may be part of the catastrophe, and if it isn’t one man it will be another. We have the first pope in remembered history who actually walked away from the job (and no one is entirely sure why), we have a president who seems clueless and dangerous and seemingly hellbent on ruining every good we’ve struggled for for nearly 100 years, and Europe is economically in shambles.

    The more we tug on the reins, the faster the horses run.

    It can only get more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

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