Vol. 45 No. 3 1978 - page 347

bodies, becomes the ultimate reality of attention, nurturance, and care,
hence the proliferation of institutes for body culture and cultist
attempts at gaining heightened consciousness through cultivation of
the body.
It is only consistent for man thus confined
his individual body
seek expansion of that narrow intellectual base and its legitimiza–
tion, not only in the present and for the future, but also in the past.
Consciousness, heretofore illuminating the nature of man and of his
world through understanding his past, is reduced
the search for
"roots, " that is, his individual ancestry. To know that his ancestors
lived, achieved, suffered, becomes a reassuring connection for an
individual who finds himself alone in a world of similarly discon–
nected individuals.
he cannot relate to them in a meaningful way, he
can at least relate genealogically to those who came before him in the
ancestral line and are biologically responsible for his being here.
Man is no longer able to create order out of his chaotic aspirations,
nor is he any longer capable of creating religious or metaphysical
substitutes for the order to which he aspires. He faces three alternatives:
chaos, an order imposed from without his alienated self, or an order
organically grown from new experiences, insights and needs. As long
as man experiences at least a measure of desire for meaningful order he
will try to escape chaos and find order and meaning in what is called
significantly a "new order. " In the short run, this is the order which the
modern age has experienced in totalitarianism-communist or fascist.
In the long run, however, there exists always the possibility of a
burst of creative order as it occurred in Elizabethan England or the
Golden Age of Spain or the classic age of European literature and
philosophy at the turn of the eighteenth century. It would be overly
see the signs of such a new organic western civilization.
For what we have seen in western civilization at present is an attempt,
be ephemeral, to preserve a modicum of order, trying
the enfeebled values of an order that has lost its plausibility. Many of
the intellectuals who thought they had found a new meaningful order
in Marxism have turned back as neoconservatives toward the decaying
order whose decay raised the issue of narcissism in the first place.
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