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Between Animus and Chaos: Lust, Longing, and Losing Our Way


I suppose this could be titled many things of a similar nature: the title chosen, Between Appetite and Unravelling, Between Ego and Diabolos.... All would pretty much go in the same direction. We live in times of radical individualism, of politics that undergird the freedom of the individual to express himself or herself (maybe itself, given all the options put forward) in whatever way supposedly best represents who they are on the inside, at their emotional/psychological center. Highly subjective times. No absolutes, just opinions and feelings. Nothing that can with certitude be said to be Good or True or Beautiful. No god except the self-enshrined Self – demanding all, judging all, consuming all.


Walker Percy likened post-modern humanity to ciphers, empty things, vacuoles sucking meaning from anything and everything to fill the void and to prop up our meaninglessness with... um... well... with something. Once we drain the whatever-it-is from what we thought it could give us, we discard it and move on to the next thing. Doesn't matter if it is a fad of fashion, a piece of furniture, a job or a relationship. It's all disposable once it has ceased to put something into the yawning abyss within us.


CS Lewis got at the dangers of subjectivism in his dense little work, The Abolition of Man. To jettison Truth and the moral absolutes that flow from it is to cut out our hearts, it is to slip from what makes us unique as humans back to the life of animals – being driven chaotically by impulse and appetite. And if there is a devil, it is to fall into his hands as he doles out one bone at a time, leading us further and further from God, and driving us relentlessly to our undoing and the end of humanity.


Even if you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, you feel it in your bones. In your guts. The restlessness. The anxiety. The uncertainty. The confusion. It's the disorienting soup of nonsense in which our culture continuously dunks us. It's the mad and insubstantial mish-mash of mess the news and politicians and academia feed us as they tell us we can be anything except narrow-minded, bigoted, and intolerant religious folks who think that there is such a thing as Right and Wrong, that nothing is off the table in terms of self-actualization except attempting to chart our course through life by looking to the character of a timeless God who refuses to change to keep up with the times. And if you happen to sense some illogic in the LGBTQ+ thinking, then that just proves that you've been brainwashed by an antiquated religious system that is dangerous and needs to be relegated to the dustbin of history. You are a threat to your neighbors' freedom. You are a threat to their ability to express who they really are without being persecuted or thought strange or abnormal. If you disagree with them they will feel bad, and that is the big no-no. Affirm, affirm, affirm.


Meanwhile, your neighbors are cutting this off, and sewing that on, and re-plumbing their entire houses, using different pronouns and taking on new names, attempting to change the reality which they didn't choose, but which is nonetheless stamped on every cell of their bodies. Oh, and I mean your six year-old neighbors who were able to get their schools to help them pull this off without mommy and daddy knowing until it was too late.


Okay, so I exaggerate. But only a teensie weensie bit.


But this is not a harangue against the transgendered of the world. It is not contempt poured out on something I find distasteful. Rather, it is meant to observe and note that this is but the inevitable (and there will be more such inevitables) outworking of creatures who have planted both feet firmly in mid-air by cutting themselves off from their Creator. It is the inevitable loss of direction that comes from allowing our appetites and impulses to govern us. It is but the being blown about here there and yon by the current cultural winds without any anchor to hold us steady. Are we anything more than highly-evolved animals? Is there anything more than cultural convention to the concepts or morality and ethics? Are we really gods making ourselves and our world according to our liking?


Methinks I hear laughter. But it sounds like the diabolical laughter of the damned....

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