America’s Need for Self-Transcendence.

This is a comment I made on Facebook to a liberal friend of mine who was marveling at the crowd size of the protest marches.  I’m posting it here because I think it helps to explain the mission of this website, and the transcendentalist nature of that mission.  Here it is:

The crowds are truly impressive, I agree. But the March for Life crowds have been just as impressive–for decades. Which goes to show that this country is dangerously divided: both sides are angry and aggrieved and reluctant to compromise. But compromise and cooperation are the oxygen of democracy . . . .  I want to recommend Eric Metaxas’s book IF YOU CAN KEEP IT. In it Metaxas is asking what are the necessary conditions that make cooperation—and thus democracy—possible. He finds his answer in the writings of the founding fathers—self-denial is necessary. We must be able to TRANSCEND our naturally selfish inclinations in order to make democracy, or any political/communal arrangement, viable. Thus SELF-TRANSCENDENCE is an essential value to democracy. IT IS ALSO THE CENTRAL VALUE COMMON TO BOTH THE EASTERN AND WESTERN SPIRITUAL TRADITIONS. Our American crisis is, therefore, a spiritual one. Our country is in desperate need of a spiritual makeover, if you will. As secular writers like neuroscientist Peter Whybrow have pointed out, our American consumer culture is as hostile and antithetical to self-transcendence as you can get. (See his book AMERICAN MANIA. See also THE HIGH PRICE OF MATERIALISM by Tim Kasser.) The deepest problems facing this country are not political. They are cultural and spiritual. And the violence and unrest we’ve seen during this campaign only hint at the dark consequences that face us if we continue to neglect our spiritual health.

Here is more about the transcendentalist mission of this website:

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