Thursday, July 22, 2010

"Revolt against Rationality"

As I am getting ready to fly a late night trip, I watched HLN to get up to speed on what is happening in the US. I was taken aback by the small icon in the lower right corner listing the number of days Lindsey Lohan has been in jail. Then I see the continuing news on Mel Gibson’s troubled meltdown.

What is going on that I need to know the number of days Lindsey is in jail? What is going on that someone on top of the world from the financial to the professional ranks has lost control of themselves? What is the example that is being set for American’s to view?

Back in the 1970s Christopher Lasch wrote a bestseller titled The Culture of Narcissism – American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations. In his section on The Eclipse of Achievement, Lasch writes:

“Self-approval depends on public recognition and acclaim, and the quality of this approval has undergone important changes in its own right. The good opinion of friends of friends and neighbors, which formerly informed a man that he had lived a useful life, rested on appreciation of his accomplishments. Today men seek the kind of approval that applauds not their actions but their personal attributes. They wish to be not so much esteemed as admired. They crave not fame but the glamour and excitement of celebrity. They want to be envied rather than respected.” (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 1979, pg. 59)

This is the spiritual and moral condition of many in our American society. As James Allen wrote about in his famous treatise on “As A Man Thinketh”, thoughts crystallize into habits which solidify into circumstances. Noble thoughts cannot produce bad fruit.

Or better put: “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matt. 7:17 NASB).

Mel Gibson’s road must not to be traveled by us or by our children and our road of life can/must be guarded with noble thoughts. Lindsay Lahan’s road is not to be traveled by us or by our children and our road of life can/must be guarded with proper actions not personal popularity. Why? Actions speak loudly. Jesus Christ spoke of the proper actions (not a concept well received today with the new religion of “tolerance”) in John 13:17, “If you know these things [those from prior verses 5-16], you are blessed if you do them” (NASB).

These things: server others, bear good fruit, etc. are mandatory to maintain a civilized society. Lasch concludes with the indictment of, “More than anything else, it is this coexistence of hyper-rationality and a widespread revolt against rationality that justifies the characterization of our twentieth-century way of life as a culture of narcissism” (pg. 248).

The time is now to study and regain a rational lifestyle.


Eagle Driver

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