The Spiritual Problem of the modern individual

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SamBee
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The Spiritual Problem of the modern individual

Post by SamBee » 19 Sep 2017, 05:34

https://youtu.be/Vkoc0ltIBF4

(11 mins approx.)

Discusses the spiritual limbo modern humans have found themselves in from Carl Jung's ideas. He says that since the decline in Christianity and rise of modernism, a lot of people have not found their spiritual needs fulfilled or answered which has led to today's epidemic of mental illness.

The video also focuses on how the decline of traditional religion has led to state power and totalitarianism.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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dande48
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Re: The Spiritual Problem of the modern individual

Post by dande48 » 20 Sep 2017, 18:46

I enjoyed the video, Sam. Thanks for sharing.

I think it is very true, that we live in a world where many are suffering spiritually. With turning away from religion, many people end up "throwing out the baby and keeping the bathwater"; or, subconciously holding onto the negative, while rejecting the positive. For example, the Book of Mormon clearly states without God there is no Good or Evil, no point, no purpose (2nd Nephi 2). If their faith comes crumbling down, they carry on with the ruins, without ever making that effort to rebuild. If they stop believing in their religion, they reject all the stories, the morals and ethics, the music, the art and the architecture, the lessons they were taught... all tossed aside, and replaced with athiestic, depressive nihilism. It's no way to live.

Rule #1 of seduction: You can't secude someone who is content, who isn't wanting. The lack of religion has stirred up in many the need for spiritual fulfillment. By losing their God, many take to worshiping someone or something they deem higher than themselves. However, for much of human history, religion has often been used as a way for the elect few to control the masses; to bring them contentment in their unfortunate circumstances (talking Egyptian, Roman, and early Christianity). "You are meek and poor? Blessed are you! Build up my kingdom, and serve your God-appointed leaders! You will be rewarded in the next life." Early religion, in many instances, has caused just as much totaltarianism and dictatorships as irreligion causes today.

Many of the greatest totaltarian dictatorships still have religious inclination. Here are a few:
  • In Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov wrote a book called Book of the Soul. He made it manditory to learn in schools and was by law to be held in the same regard as the Quran. Its memorization was even made a requirement for getting your driver's license. He launched a copy into space, in 2006, for aliens to read.
  • In the Dominican Repulic, Rafael Trujillo created a law forcing all churches to display the slogan, "God in Heaven, Trujillo on Earth".
  • In Equatorial Guinea, Francisco Nguema shut down several hospitals in favor of his witch doctor ancestry. He banned the use of lubricants in power plants, claiming he had the supernatural power to keep them operating (he did not).
  • In North Korea, Kim Jong Il's birth was prophecied by a swallow, herald by a double rainbow, and marked by a new star in the heavens.
  • In North Korea, Kim Il Sung could reportedly turn sand into rice, and cross rivers on leaves.
  • In Burma, Ne Win consulted soothsayers on every major decision during his reign. He also reportedly bathed in dolphin blood every day to restore his vitality, and crossed bridges backwards to ward off evil.
  • Jean Bedel Bokassa, who declared himself the Emperor of the Central African Empire (which he made up one day), claimed to be the 13th apostle of Christ, and stated he regularly met with the Pope in secret.
"The struggle itself towards the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy. "
-Albert Campus

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

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Heber13
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Re: The Spiritual Problem of the modern individual

Post by Heber13 » 21 Sep 2017, 15:48

I'd say part of the problem is not in the individual.

The churches have spiritual problems. Boring meetings and rules and things that are not speaking to individuals' spiritual needs, leaving the individual without a vision or hope or mystical belief to elevate above real problems of this world, and not inspire creativity, determination, diligence, and fortitude.

It seems to be a vicious cycle.

But I thought the individuals were supposed to go to the institutions to help elevate them.

So, the problems seem to rest with institutions failing to do so. Right?
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Beefster
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Re: The Spiritual Problem of the modern individual

Post by Beefster » 21 Sep 2017, 18:02

I think Jung was addressing a problem that has always existed and blamed it on the recent trends. I would agree that the massification of society and the decline in spirituality have exacerbated the problem, but I wouldn't go much beyond that.

There's a vicious cycle:
You feel insignificant and powerless...
So you turn to a organization to obtain power... (strength in numbers)
The organization fails you...
So you feel insignificant and powerless...

Rinse and repeat.

Jesus is one way to break out of that cycle, (perhaps the only way, if indirect in most cases) but only if you use his atonement as a means to reclaim your individual worth. You have to let go of expectations of perfection before anything will get better. You have to accept reality without letting it define you. You have to go out and live your life as if it's right where you want it.

The thing is, through all this, you may turn to an organization to break the cycle, but it isn't the organization that gives you power. It's the tools it is leading you to. This is why organizations appear to be powerful.

People turn to all sorts of organizations: socialism, identity groups, churches, activist clubs, unions, etc... They think they will make a difference on society. That is simply a losing battle. The solution is to accept that society is essentially a garbage heap and that the only person who you can change is yourself. The path to happiness is to change the things you can, accept the things you cannot, and have the wisdom to know the difference.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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SamBee
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Re: The Spiritual Problem of the modern individual

Post by SamBee » 22 Sep 2017, 05:30

I'm glad that this video got some responses, I thought it had disappeared without trace! I have only skimmed the responses and will look at them more fully when I'm on the bus.

The common problem these days is that we get told all trad religion is rubbish, but nothing has really come up to replace it. Some try things as varied as political fanaticism, obsession with sports or heavy metal bands, or an aggressive hatred of ... (fill the gap), hiking or cycling but none of these truly satisfy. Nor do boring meetings as one of you mentioned...

I'll post again in a second.
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

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Heber13
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Re: The Spiritual Problem of the modern individual

Post by Heber13 » 22 Sep 2017, 12:22

SamBee wrote:
22 Sep 2017, 05:30
The common problem these days is that we get told all trad religion is rubbish, but nothing has really come up to replace it.
I am having many discussions with my catholic friends and protestant buddies...and the tone I'm hearing is that traditional religion is evolving to a more deep and spiritual meaning to things. How I view the temple symbolically is how my catholic friends view most things in their religion.

These things are not unique to mormonism, and there are many good thinkers and smart people that are seeing the value of Joseph Campbell type ideas that there is value to mysticism and mythical teachings because they are not limited by the physical world...and we are social and spiritual beings seeking meaning not merely proving facts which can be hollow meaning.
Joseph Campbell wrote:People say that what we're all seeking is a meaning for life. I don't think that's what we're really seeking. I think what we're seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonance within our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive. That's what it's all finally about.
I think because our life experiences on the physical plane is so vastly different than in 1830, or the 1600s when other religions were shaping, we are not finding current religion is speaking to us properly...and so it leaves us in a state that is similar to mental illness but for our spirits...a "spiritual mental illness" of sorts where we are not well-balanced and grounded in truths that apply to our world.

I think it is similar to my nephew who was diagnosed with many mental illnesses growing up. Despite being a great kid...he just acted out at times when triggered, and failed school unable to concentrate or follow rules or turn in any homework. What he found was he had an uncanny talent for painting, drawing, creating computer generated images, and a multi-media guru. He is now an adult working for Madison Square Garden on their presentations that show on jumbo trons. Is he mentally ill?

Maybe...maybe we all are.

But what he found was a complete frustration in trying to be pushed through a school system with one track...one style for study and taking tests and learning in one style along with masses. That didn't fit him, and he struggled through it.

Today, we are learning more about mental illnesses and more schools have alternate programs, programs that would have benefited my nephew who had a different way of doing things.

I think our religious institutions will have to find this out also. The mental illness in society is showing that something isn't being fulfilled or addressed in our current way of doing things...even if those things mostly worked for people before who had to farm for a living and pray to a god for more rain, or go to battle to protect the cattle and land they held. Things change. That doesn't mean religion is worthless, just that it also needs to change, and address the spiritual mental illness we are seeing in many people.

It needs to be relevant to our experience of being alive.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

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Beefster
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Re: The Spiritual Problem of the modern individual

Post by Beefster » 23 Sep 2017, 21:37

SamBee wrote:
22 Sep 2017, 05:30
The common problem these days is that we get told all trad religion is rubbish, but nothing has really come up to replace it. Some try things as varied as political fanaticism, obsession with sports or heavy metal bands, or an aggressive hatred of ... (fill the gap), hiking or cycling but none of these truly satisfy. Nor do boring meetings as one of you mentioned...
I've seen a lot of people disillusioned by organized religion. People are rejecting the values of religion.

I think it's the "throwing the baby out with the bathwater" syndrome. It's out with the old, in with the new to the extreme. The status quo is always rife with problems, but it almost always has at least a few things right. People need to recognize that there is a balance that needs to be present when you make changes. And people also need to remember that society changes one person at a time. Just as a missionary's first convert must be himself, an activist's first person to change must be herself. (swap the pronouns if you so desire. I don't like his/her constructs)

I think part of the problem is that many organizations try to change the world or fix people when what they really need to focus on helping people help themselves. And people forget that that is one of the great virtues of religion. Churches often have a lot of other garbage mixed in, sure, but they're fundamentally about self-improvement, the only thing you have power over.

On the other hand, some organizations teach others to accept themselves as they are (something good in and of itself), but then take it one step further to say they don't need to change and it's everyone else's problem that people don't like them. I think that is part of what makes up the toxicity of identity politics. Nobody gets anywhere playing the blame game. While nobody is 100% responsible for their current state in life, that is no excuse to expect the world to change around them to make things better.

Spirituality solves this problem by giving people the perspective to understand themselves, their own weaknesses and problems, and to turn within themselves and outward to some higher power for the strength they need to change for the better. My inner atheist says the power is all in your mind, but I personally recognize as a quasi-deist Mormon that this is one of the few places in life God regularly intervenes: inside yourself.
Boys are governed by rules. Men are governed by principles.

Often I hear doubt being presented as the opposite of faith but I think certainty does a better job of filling that role. Doubts can help faith grow, certainty almost always makes faith shrink. --nibbler

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