America at the Crossroads
As I write these pages (during the fall of 1973),
we may have witnessed only the beginning of what may be a far-reaching transformation. The almost incredible way in which the shortages of oil and power were allowed to develop by an administration mainly concerned with big business and unwilling to extricate the country from a senseless and immensely wasteful war may, together with Watergate, prove to be the catalytic element forcing such a transformation. What actually will be transformed, and the exact role that President Nixon is to play in the transformation, are matters not at all easy to assess. That Nixon is playing a fate-ordained role seems nevertheless very clear when we consider the astrological data. Equally clear is the fact that an intense psychic and spiritual-mental process of fermentation is taking place in the most progressive layers of the collective mind of America. What cannot be foreseen at this time is what the forces acting through and beyond a fairly large group of individuals dedicated to the process of transformation will be able to accomplish, and under what conditions — social, political, economic, ecological and even international.
It is nevertheless obvious that two opposite types of forces, or (if one prefers) of sociopolitical and economic cultural trends, are at work at a fundamental level. We have seen — particularly in the second chapter of this book — that the very beginnings of our nation witnessed an ideological and social conflict between groups clinging to the traditional ideals of the mother country and a dynamic minority that saw in the formation of the United States the start of a new kind of society, committed to broad and revolutionary spiritual concepts. Today, two centuries later, this conflict has taken a much more complex and far-reaching form. It not only involves the whole of Mankind, but, most specifically it implies a basic challenge to the validity of our Western civilization and its products.
I spoke earlier in this book of the influence which Francis Bacon had upon the mentality of the men who pioneered the development of the scientific and democratic ideology of the eighteenth century. This Baconian s tress upon empiricism and the analytical processes of an intellect concerned almost exclusively
with the facts brought to man's consciousness by his senses may have been necessary at a time when Europe was trying to emerge from Medieval dogmatism and the collapse of the "Age of Faith." It nevertheless implied two probable developments: the control of energies released through the destruction of matter (coal, oil, atoms) and resulting in many waste products polluting the planet, and the growth of intellectually conditioned egos proud of their achievements and forever seeking to make the energies being released by the accelerated processes of transformation of physical materials and social conditions their own personal possessions.
We have seen these two probable developments actualized in an amazing manner. This has led to a dominant concern with problems of management
in every field of social activity. It has also led to the presidential
system of government — the character of which has been strongly demonstrated by the Nixon administration — in contrast the parliamentary
type more befitting a true democracy. The nearly inevitable result of this Nixonian approach to the management of power in our technological age is the depersonalization of human beings and the superficial well-being of a large middle class which is accustomed to a material comfort and abundance at the expense of spiritual factors on which a deeper sense of purpose and happiness can be based.
It has been Europe's destiny (her historical function in the evolution of human society) to provide the intellectual foundation for the emergence of new powers and new social ideals. It seems to be America's' destiny to be the main field within which the two basic possibilities of use and management of these powers have to fight for supremacy
. Today these two possibilities, are taking the form of technocracy and counter-culture — if we understand these terms in their deepest and often not obvious significance. It is high time for us all to realize that the fundamental issue in the present crisis reaches deeper than the political field and what will happen to the President, the Congress and the Supreme Court. It affects all social and cultural matters. What is called for is a third possibility, one that would deeply transform the concept of individualism and would be based on a new philosophy of life, a new sense of the relationship of man to the planet, and a deeper realization of what is implied in the ideal of service
I have presented such concepts in various books since the publication of Modern Man's Conflicts: The Creative Challenge of a Global Society
in 1948 (The Philosophical Library, New York) — long out of print. The interested reader is referred to The Planetarization of Consciousness
(Harper and Row paperback), Directives for New Life
(Seed Publications), The Rhythm of Human Fulfillment
(Seed Center), We Can Begin Again — Together
(Omen Press, 1974). Unfortunately, it is difficult for most people to think in terms of issues challenging the validity of their entire culture and way of life-issues created by the very ideas which this culture has so long taken for granted. Return
By permission of Leyla Rudhyar Hill
Copyright © 1974 by Dane Rudhyar
and Copyright © 2001 by Leyla Rudhyar Hill
All Rights Reserved.
Web design and all data, text and graphics appearing on this site are protected by US and International Copyright and are not to be reproduced, distributed, circulated, offered for sale, or given away, in any form, by any means, electronic or conventional.
for full copyright statement and conditions of use.
Web design copyright © 2000-2004 by Michael R. Meyer.
All Rights Reserved.