August 2007

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…in a world, in a time when change swirls about our being: war, globalization, big money, work, technologies (mechanical, electronic, transhuman, genetic engineering…), vast migrations, the rise of strong religions, we merely accept and buy many of the changes.

But what does this mean, what does it “do” to our thinking and our being? What is good or useful, productive, not-harmful? Which changes truly affect our thoughts, maybe twist our thinking into new/old searches for meaning, for new or old grounds which seem to hold steady? Who are we – you and I – in the millions and maelstroms of change? Inside such swirls, it is very hard to note where we are, in any given moment. The power of change, itself, makes it difficult to find our places within the history that we are living through. We tend to look outside ourselves, as if to state who and how we are. In times like these, it is hard to notice that ideas play a great part in our thinking about the world.

We little note that change is (always?) in some deep tensions with permanence – the implicit drive to stop change, moves many of us to become nervous, brittle, or feel that our very senses of meaning and identity are fragile. At such points, we seek solace, move toward ways of thought in which change (thence life), are more dream than reality: i.e., the rise of strong religions. Less about life and living, more about fixed destinies. Reality = life…or death?

“Responses to Change” explores these questions, outlines the ways and means that the search for being and meaning might direct us, and helps provide some groundings.