Irresistible fascination … endless bewilderment

The availability, through a rapidly expanding range of media, of information about the lives of people who inhabit contemporaneous yet discrete worlds itself creates a world: disparate cultures — emerging, developing, coexisting, interacting, declining — create a complex reality that is at once richly diverse and aggressively challenging, a source of irresistible fascination and endless bewilderment.

Looking back on those words — which I penned nearly a decade ago — I recognised (yet again) the extent, not only of my fascination, but also of my bewilderment. And as I pondered on those things, a little door popped open in the back of my head and a voice began to say … (apologies to Paul Stookey)

What actually happened?

We’re all, these days, open-minded and liberal, we’ve learned our secular catechism: tolerance, live and let live, liberalism, multiculturalism, pluralism, cultural diversity … yes, but deep down we know we’re right! What we believe is the truth. We live in the best country. Democracy is the way …   

If only I could throw away the urge to trace my patterns in your heart, I could really see you. (David Brandon, in Zen in the Art of Helping)


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