Modern man thinks of himself as secular, he believes to be beyond the superstition of religion. Enlightenment and science cleared his path from old and dusty concepts as salvation, holiness, damnation.
However, history has a reputation for repeating itself in different costumes, so let us have a closer look.
Modern man faces a trouble at the core of his existence. It is the looming fear of meaninglessness. He finds himself in a system of mass individualism which tells him that in order to live a meaningful life he has to realize himself and his potentialities.
To miss his potential, to not realize his core self, to not become happy, is his feared damnation. A compulsory need for never ending self-realization his salvation. His modern pilgrimage is to travel the world, and his reliques are the much esteemed lifestyle products and stars of our age. He mortifies himself in fitnessstudios and he closely obeys the preaching authorities of lifestyle gurus and self-help books. His crucifixes and icons are the popular brands of his time, and those with the most astonishing social media profiles and most polished happy-life facades replace the former holy.
Subject to an authoritative self-improvement culture, it is no surprise that modern man is almost paralyzed by a fear of making a wrong decision, miss a valuable opportunity or having a bad time. It’s daunting and terribly dangerous to be or feel imperfect, to make mistakes, to not be balanced or fit or happy or successful. But by trying so hard to become some better version, by giving so much to build a better life man doesn’t find his meaning. He simply can’t pull himself out with his own bootstraps, but even worse he now deeply believes that he has to. The result is that the more one tries to be happy, the more one tries to make the right choices, the more one will be frustrated and indecisive.
Or to put it in religious vocabulary:
The religion of modern man is opium for the masses. It numbs us. It does not help the individual to create meaning and fulfillment rather it prevents the courage to experience the depth of life with all the good and bad aspects it entails.
More than that one could even argue that in his search to make something out if himself, man creates his own dilemma. He puts himself under the pressure to save himself from his own situation, to become holy by his own deeds. As a result, man gets lost while trying to find himself, he destroys himself by trying to build himself into something, he condemns himself in his attempt to find salvation.
That’s why we need a modern reformation. A realization that man is accepted and meaningful by the nature of being itself. To see and accept that one is already realized and accomplished. That man does not has to become but already is. Its a surrender into being itself, in which we share in and which realizes itself through us.