July 5, 2022•354 words
What’s left for us? There is a narrative vacuum for those who seek comfort, but I cannot imagine any future narrative that is anything similar to those of the past.
Past narratives have always concerned themselves with a supernatural being who if not orchestrates then at the very least overlooks. But scientism precludes the supernatural.
How does anyone cope with personal calamity these days? Seriously—what is the framework for suffering offered to earthlings today? What shall I pass on to my child? I have literally nothing in the way of soul comfort. And without a preternatural being, neither do you.
What does the future bring but more science? Certainly science can bring comfort. But strictly of the physical dimension.
In the past decade or two I have watched my holy trinity of narratives dissipate without replacement. The first to evaporate was the belief of our special place in the universe; special, by supernatural choosing. The second to wither away was my sense of nationalism—the folklore of our founding, forefathers, democracy, military exceptionalism. The last to leave me—and this one hurt—was the belief in scientism and progressivism; that our efforts are leading to evermore good.
All have been replaced by a hyperrealistic mindset pervaded largely by economics and capitalism. Unshakably to me all three narratives seem to be economically rooted with candy coated shells.
What does the future have to offer our progeny? What will they find comfort in when life grows difficult? I can’t imagine supernaturalism becoming fashionable again, as ridiculously effective as it is at greasing the angst of life. Nationalism can always have a place, and while it can help someone feel they belong, I can’t imagine it being useful for curing soul dis-ease. Scientism is the remaining option, and though its powers seemingly infinite, offers little emotional recourse save for the brute force chemical route.
The world—or maybe just me—is in need of an old fashioned prophet. But I can’t for the life of me figure out what the rallying cry would be. “Science!!” No, that doesn’t feel right. “God!!” Hmm no, not quite. “America!!” Yikes, no, maybe not.