An epidemic of demoralization and a human Earthrise, for the survivors

Xinjiang Uygur dunes,china
Xinjiang Uygur dunes, China –


I hope this is a turning point for me.

In any case it’s two steps in the right direction.

This is one of those background things I would really like to talk about but have no particular timeline for doing it.

It’s an article titled “The Demoralized Mind.” John F Schumaker says very well part of what I have been thinking for years: “Industrial Civilization is in a spiritual crisis.”

It is not a short read & I understand not everyone will find time to read it. So I include here a few brief quotes. (Emphasis is mine.)

…[D]emoralization is a type of existential disorder associated with the breakdown of a person’s ‘cognitive map’. It is an overarching psycho-spiritual crisis in which victims feel generally disoriented and unable to locate meaning, purpose or sources of need fulfilment. The world loses its credibility, and former beliefs and convictions dissolve into doubt, uncertainty and loss of direction. Frustration, anger and bitterness are usual accompaniments, as well as an underlying sense of being part of a lost cause or losing battle. The label ‘existential depression’ is not appropriate since, unlike most forms of depression, demoralization is a realistic response to the circumstances impinging on the person’s life.

… We are living under conditions of ‘cultural insanity’, a term referring to a pathological mismatch between the inculturation strategies of a culture and the intrapsychic needs of its followers. Being normal is no longer a healthy ambition. 

[People who recognize this]… are moving away from naïve behavioural models and returning to the obvious fact that the human being has a fundamental nature, as well as a distinct set of human needs, that must be addressed by a cultural blueprint.

My Friends, we all know this. Each of us has learned on our journey to our present spiritual state  that our understanding of ‘right  living in the world’ is significantly different from almost all of what we see around us in the larger society.

… Since nothing lives up to the hype, the world of the consumer is actually an ongoing exercise in disappointment. While most disappointments are minor and easy to dissociate, they accumulate into an emotional background of frustration as deeper human needs get neglected. Continued starvation of these needs fuels disillusion about one’s whole approach to life. Over time, people’s core assumptions can become unstable.

… We are long overdue a cultural revolution that would force a radical revamp of the political process, economics, work, family and environmental policy. It is true that a society of demoralized people is unlikely to revolt even though it sits on a massive powder keg of pent-up frustration. But credibility counteracts demoralization, and this frustration can be released with immense energy when a credible cause, or credible leadership, is added to the equation.

I, Richard, would say  “…this frustration can be released with immense energy… even when the cause is hardly credible,” and I fear many in our consumer culture will do this.

Still, I must do what I can. And I will do it with you, friends who are predisposed to hear my message.

A credible vision is out there, and it is getting closer and closer so that it is easier for more and more people to see. 

My word for it has been “Gaia.” The 20-minute film OVERVIEW (from the folks who made the film PLANETARY) talks about that biospheric unity in a way that is pitched to a science & technology audience.

I hope this is a turning point for me.

I hope that over the next half-year I can prepare to share my sense of urgency in new, more engaging ways.
And my passion for this vision that I believe can unite us all.

Please, my friends, I hope you will help me be more of the person I want to be.


About Richard O Fuller

Quaker, living in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.
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