The human race lived its long first age of history in the illusion that it was the focus of a god-driven universe: Nothing happened but could be, must be traced back to man's being and put into subordination to him. How man used God! In this first age, man lived, fought, and loved over who were the especially chosen people that would derive the definite benefits of the limited and terminable world. Most people remain in this parochial age.
Then came an age of disillusion. The skies expanded. Man learned, in a heartfelt sense, of relativity in human affairs. The concept of infinity of space and time penetrated consciousness. For centuries now, to questioning and studious men and women,it has appeared that people are infinitesimally small and insignificant in the order of the universe. History scarcely matters. The far future is invisible. Man's subconscious feeling of negligibility was exposed when the divine presence that suppressed the truth was dissolved. An anarchic and desperate spirit found a home in the souls of the political classes.
Of what use to trouble ourselves over the problems of man kind? Let him rock his cradle of the earth frantically until some big force from here or there stills it. Leave it to the eons to come to take account in microscopic print of this generation. This might be more rational than shouldering the burden of eternity.
Two ages of man have carried him through endless years of self-destructive turmoil - the first by giving him false directives, the second by depriving him direction. It is a moot question who have been more destructive - the true believers or the unbelievers. With his enormous fears bearing him down, man has been only rarely clear-minded. Few persons have been capable of assessing their fate without panic. And among these few, the most common type has sought to amass power without virtue, while only the rarest of them has displayed an active, universal beneficence.
This rarest of men, however, has summated the precious scraps of history and philosophy that are used to give mankind the courage and morale to live, and to create for itself and the future. He has provided an existential and operational heritage. He is a species that has only today begun to propagate. He may try where others have failed.
The persistence of the religious spirit attests that a man without belief is a well of loneliness, a feather in the cold wind. So everyone is descended from a set of religious ideas, as inescapably as from a procession of wombs and a series of landscapes.
The various and numerous creeds have individual careers. Each person within them has also his own career of belief. When a new creed or revolutionary force strikes any religious setting, the consequent interaction produces one or more new ideologies, reflecting more or less of the old setting. The Kalotic Revolution wins or loses by the extent to which its existential and operational spirit penetrates each old distinctive setting and makes it distinctive of itself.
The pneumos of the Kalotic Revolution rolls over the creeds of industrialism, rationalism, and communism, and all that came before. It affirms that in every culture, as it stands, are the potential elements and instruments of Kalos and Kalocracy. Every Hindu, Javan, Buddhist, Moroccan Muslim, Shinto, Mexican Catholic, Dutch Protestant, and Ukrainian Communist may discover in his richly embroidered religious and cultural history threads that lead out of the past into the kalotic future. As wrote Englebert de Admont long ago, "The whole constitution of this world which is made up of things diverse, unlike, and contrary, cannot endure except through the concord of the diverse, the unlike and the contrary." 1
The searchers and the weavers in every culture can be Tutors. They are charged to find coherences and incipient causes, to draw them out by a rewriting of history, and to present them as integral parts of the world consensus. In so doing, the kalotic Tutors ally themselves with the indigenous tutors and carry the dense and immense masses, with their capacity of veto, into the projections of kalocracy. An infinitely diversified elite movement must transform the mass ideologies; else its conquests will have no more meaning to history than the string of Portuguese and Dutch forts of the sixteenth century that ran through the freshly discovered Afro-Asian world.
Politics must come to terms with religion. This statement is not to be understood in a cynical unconstructive sense. Nor does it connote the undesirability of religion. Nor is it a confession of the baselessness of religion. Nor is it a surrender to inevitable power considerations. On the contrary, the absence of religiousness is a moral and social tragedy More than this, religions of every name are as well-founded as any and all of the values that are fundamental to man. For values that are non-religious cannot be invented; any new combination of values, as soon as it breathes the air, crystallizes in practice and represents functionally the super-terrestrial. This is true whether we speak of Marx' dialectical materialism, Renan's humanistic atheism ("communion of man and religion of the future"), or Einstein's "human attitude of mind towards the grandeur of reason incarnate in existence, which, in its profoundest depths, is inaccessible to man." Religious may come and go, but religiousness is eternal and indestructible, "an aspect of the human spirit," as Tillich says.
How far does Kalos go in embracing God? Why should it empathize with the 43% of the Americans, 30% of the Swiss, 25% of the French, and 9% of the Swedes who go to a church each week? Or with the 98% of the Americans, 81% of the Germans, 77% of the British, and 73% of the Norwegians who say that they believe in God? Or for the lesser proportions who believe in an after-life, and even less in hell, and less yet in the devil (still 60% in the U.S.A.).2
Pneumos embraces God, not because it follows majorities or tradition, but because it prefers the unknown God to a known non-God. Never has one been able to foretell what a believer in God will be like as a man, but one knows more of and can dislike reliably the man who makes an occupation of denying God. The same type of man would usurp the dictionary and call the God or spirit of Kalos "Zrzy" or "Zero," since the Kalotic God is the measure of the unknown. "Zero" does not denote the history or nuances of the God-idea; it will be a long, long time before the world-searching and instrumental concept of kalotic God is equally by "Zero." It may well be, indeed, that God is totally unapproachable by the Cartesian notion of mathematical discovery of virtue.
Those who deny God fall into several classes: those who are without mercy; those who define him in an impossible way; and those who feel that they are themselves gods. To put the matter sharply, the denial of God is simply unscientific, or, worse, scientoid. It is an anti-kalotic political assertion.
Marx called religion the opiate of the masses, and supplied his own drug, a secular collectivism inevitably taking the shape of the institution he feared. Freud declared religion to be an illusion, to be shaken off one's cloak like dust or snow; the hard realist, clinging to the illusory rock of positivism, inexhaustibly demonstrated to patients their unreal worlds. But the more man separated himself from the world as observer, the more he disintegrated personally.
"We must recognize that the death of God is a historical event: God has died in our time, in our history, in our existence," writes T. J. J. Altizer, all true in one sense, but the past never dies; it is transformed and God is alive today, if he was alive then, and the search for Kalos is but the turning up of God everywhere in his futurist manifestation. "We begin to determine our theology by the situations from which it takes its rise; we do not determine a situation by imposing a priori theology upon it."3 The same neurones, synapses, ions, charges, and patterns reformulate the new order of things.
The humanists saw religious as they have been in the past, looking to the past. Religious were once, as some are today, rooted in tribalism, race heroes, myths of creation.4 Tribalism is impossible, except as psychosis; the world of neo-man today is unrecognizable in ancient myth; and to a peasant in his fields the languages and reenactments of the old religions often have less meaning than a westernized crooner on a transistor radio. But a new religious comes: `Religion is the state or being ultimately concerned," quoting Paul Tillich.5
The open spirit is a broad stream that can carry all the skiffs of hypothesis in science and poetry. Man needs the revelations and wonders that are only to be seen along its banks. He needs it to channel uncertainty and to wash away the otherwise obsessive affects of the cortical and limbic clashes of his mind.6
He is a pilgrim on the earth, advancing into the uncertain and going out to venture in brotherly union with all those who plan the future of the world, and he may legitimately feel proud of being that creature who plans himself and of being the place (called `spirit' and `freedom') where the great world-machine not only runs its course in exalted clarity but also begins to steer itself.7
The pneumic Kalotic Revolution does not crack dogmatic religions for the rationalistic pleasure of creating unbelief. Entzauberung (disenchantment) is painful and fearful. Universal unbelief is universal misery. Nor does it seek to make nonbelievers in order to substitute a new dogma, as does marxism. It seeks to connect the Judaic-Christian-Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu Animistic, and Secular Creeds with the Kalotic consensus. Each gives in its own way the same things. Each leans into the future blown by its own breeze. Within all religions can be found the Kalotic conception of truth. Within all religious and anti-religions can be found Kalotic religiousness.
There is no end to `down' or to `up'; the smallest is never small enough, nor the biggest big as it might be. Whatever is, could be something else. This was the truth of some of the ancients. But it is especially a modern truth, and a future truth. Being and non-being interchange.
With all of this, we cannot delimit truth. Truth speaks of the unlimited and eternal in nature, in man, or in both. If we will, that is God. What Descartes, Leibnitz, Kant, and Einstein among many others-have spoken of, a preformed nature in whose bosom man rests, may give security to some, but is contrary to the kalotic sense of God and nature, which are one with man's mind.
God is not dead. His symbols have changed. He is infinite in that he is the answer to the open-ended question "why?" He is what man is incapable of and, because man will never be omnipotent, is therefore his eternal shadow. Man's openings to nature and his possibilities of programming nature are limited, if still unexplored. He can only duplicate himself in various permutations and combinations.
The religion of the future is the religion of today, and of long ago. It is an infinite quest whose rewards are finite to each generation. Each generation's theology has to tally the score for itself. "The only absolute that is left to us appears to be the mystery of creation, the mystery of what we call the universe, a mystery which the progress of our sciences has been able to push farther out, but which they will never be able fully to penetrate" So writes Erich von Kahler.8
Those who believe in God belong to several groupings: those who believe that he is to be specifically characterized; those who believe that he is the principal embodiment of order and reason in the universe; and those who continue to search for him, meanwhile denying on principle and with feeling the beliefs of those who deny God. This third category, whose minds are open beyond material perceptions, come close to those religious leaders who stress that religious truth is limited by the weaknesses of religious truth-methods and organized religion.
A model statements is that of the Belgian Catholic hierarchy,in considering the layman's possible response to the Papal Encyclical banning artificial contraception:
If someone who is competent in the matter and is capable of forming a well-thought-out personal opinion... after serious examination before God, reaches other conclusions on certain points, he has the right to follow his convictions in this domain, provided he remains prepared to continue his examination honestly.
Questioning of the premises of society in all of its manifestations is required for the continuous revolution, and religion, especially if it partakes of much of John Dewey's description of religiousness9 and the spirit of the Belgian's statement, can provide it. The essence of religion and of creative social invention is the normal freedom of man to attempt to communicate with events of larger meaning. God is our means of forever keeping the doors of the mind open against a total closure. "Man is described as both divine and earthly. The most common Japanese word by which he is designated is hito... which is generally understood to mean `a place where the spirit is.10 Pneumos, in a word.
Man is afraid to plan when he feels that to plan his future is presumptuous behavior in the eyes of God. But he is just as fearful when he believes he knows everything, including that God does not exist and the world is inherently ungovernable.
It is difficult, indeed. to possess high morale concerning the future: The universal distress of past times is plain; the uncertainty of knowledge and controls is great; the immensity of the universe is overwhelming Part of man's self-destructiveness does indeed come from his great fear as he looks into the yawning abyss of the future; turning from the dismaying sight, he strike about him like a wounded and maddened animal.
I it not absurd and presumptuous to program a good and happy society, when man is not really in control of his destiny and the millions of years of the future weigh on him like the age of the universe? Many men cannot or will not have such thoughts, but it is impossible for the Tutors not to have them; once men come to grips with science and plans, time swings its awful myriads into line ahead of them.
All of these feelings must be confessed Else the novices will discover the dirty secret for themselves. It must be confessed too that no solution is presently available. That too cleanses the soul.
Here one might resign. He can take a statistical chance with his happiness; many who feel they are lucky, do so with confidence. To others is offered the same good or poor chance, knowing that on the average the chances for any randomly selected person are poor. History usually pays off badly.
Or here one can move into the activist frame, taking chances with planning (almost a contradiction in terms), steeling himself against the costs to come, offering others hope.
Each generation has its own unique existence, its own dikeos, emos, pneumos, its own kalos. "Sufficient unto each day is the evil thereof," but also sufficient is its good! Then one must ask whether it is not true also that if his generation may be made happier, he shall share it, and if perchance the next as well, then he shall be twice blessed, and so on to the end of time.
There is even the chance- some say it is inevitable, whether for good or evil - that man's nature will change. Man is not a question that can be solved. The future planned for him today will not suit his future nature. Nothing can therefore be done except to plan for present man and accept whatever probabilities - 5, 20, 60%, or 90% - exist for his change of nature. Though changed, he will be largely the same; man has not changed fundamentally his limits of character and organization since his beginnings; he has found them to be broader than he had originally believed.
Man as he is now is better equipped to handle himself and his environment than he once was, but this is equipment verily, not a basic change of being. The pushcart changes, but the same man pushes it. Can this pushcart man ever be happy at his work?
Probably Mankind has, despite all assertions to the contrary, been progressing. The number of Kalotic attitudes and behaviours has been increasing Generally throughout the world, balanced notions of emos, pneumos, and dikeos have developed. The indifferent and uncomprehending barbarism of even relatively civil olden times has been mitigated.
On a summer day of 1969, the largest crowd that has ever gathered came mysteriously to a place in the American Northeast called Woodstock, with a few guitars in hand, and love and fear for the world in their hearts. They communed in the dharma of India and dissolved into the awful interstices of America. A year later, a hard-boiled movie critic reviewed the spectacle and wrote:
One can't help but admire the naive, naked, loving ones; the self-congratulation, the ecstasy, the pathetic eagerness to believe they are a new race who are indeed changing the world become abruptly meaningful. After all, they've achieved much: in the midst of the most advanced, materialist and power-oriented society the world has ever known, they have created a viable counter-culture which puts man, not the system, at the center of the universe.11
What do the Tutors say to this grand Proof and Invitation? Yet many are discouraged; some are impelled to deny that mankind has ascended morally. They cannot see how far up he climbs; for they are hypnotised by the terrible precipice. always only a step away, that can drop man to his bottom beginnings. Man's spiral of moral and technical progress ascends, but the bottom loops of the spiral do not rise. Man can right now be as bad as he ever was. The Nazis showed that for the past generation. Every day, for the thirty five years since the suppression of Nazism, the newspapers have proven the same. Therefore we must conclude: the tasks of Kalotic politics are both to insure man against falls and to make him a superior climber.
|1.||De Orta et Fine Romani Imperii (ca. 1300 A.D.).|
|2.||These and other figures are from two reports of the American Institute of Public Opinion (Gallup Polll), carried in the New York Times, Dec. 22, 26, 1968. Bryan Wilson (Religion in Secular Society; Baltimore, Md.: Penguin, 1969) writes that "at the very highest estimate it would seem that fewer than twenty-five per cent of the adult population of England and Wales has any real claim to be in `membership' of any religious denomination." (p.25) In fact, the religious establishments of plutocratic countries probably average the same number of adherents.|
|3.||The Bishop of Durham, "Mystery and Humility of New Theology," London Times, August 30, 1968.|
|4.||Cf. G. S. Spinks, Psychology and Religion (Boston: Beacon, 1963); M. Eliade, Patterns in Comparative Religion (London: Sheed and Ward, 1958).|
|5.||Theology of Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 1964).|
|6.||Mukherjee's Destiny of Civilization, Ch. 8, reads well with these passages as he analyzes religion as "the discovery and affirmation of man's deep-felt rapport between himself and cosmos."|
|7.||Karl Rahner, "Christianity and the New Man," p. 213 in M. Ferro-Calvo et al., eds., The Christian and the World (New York: Kenedy, 1965), quoted by Harvey Cox, p. 199. of D. Callahan, ed., The Secular City Debate (New York: Macmillan, 1966).|
|8.||"The Rallying Idea," Jerusalem, Israel: Van Leer Foundation, 1965. Cf. A. N. Whitehead's Reliigon in the Making and Modes of Thought.|
|9.||John Dewey, The Quest for Certainty (New York: Putnam's Sons, 1929), pp. 30-9, et passim.|
|10.||Jean Herbert, Shinto (New York: Stein and Day, 1967), pp. 59161.|
|11.||Craig McGregor, in the New York Times, April 19, 1970, p. Dll. Half a million women and men were estimated to have assembled.|