They Don’t Want to Understand

This morning I started to write about something different – about what happened to my family’s church.

I left the church when I was at the University, and could see for myself how unimportant it was. I can remember the exact moment when this occurred to me – I was part way up the steps to the Engineering Library – when this idea hit me, and I had to stop and take it in.

I had this realization, but no one else in my extended family, of maybe fifty persons. They still believe in the church, even if they haven’t been inside a church building for years. They are church members – but more importantly, they are Americans – and think like Americans – that is, they do not think! Their little church is gone – but they cannot think about how this happened.

I must clarify this. Americans can think very well – but only on limited subjects. They know instinctively how wide their field of vision should be – and they never extend their thinking beyond these boundaries.

This is probably true of any culture – its people are culture-bound. But Enlightenment thinkers thought they could transcend these limitations. Only to be overwhelmed by Industrialization.

Industrialization set the stage for a hundred years, and changed the entire world. Some parts were changed more than others – Costa Rica, where I now live, still has a late-medieval society – but it knows it is a backwater of a more important world – that it cannot join – and doesn’t really want to.

This confusion is complete in much of the world, the undeveloped world – and the developed world is not helping them to cope with these problems. Since it cannot even cope with its own.

To cope with them, it would have to look at the entire world, and its problems. It would have to realize that its problems are the world’s problems – and they cannot be solved.

But it cannot do even this.


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