Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Post modern versus premodern

I recently saw a quote by the author of In God's Good Company, a book about the communion of saints.

The quote was something like. "Post-modern exists only in college. I've found that most people are pre-modern."

I love that quote. Cause it's so true.

Let's see: there was the experiment with kids where kindergarten kids were told that an invisible fairy was sitting in a chair watching them and they would have to be good. The kids who had been told about the invisible fairy were well-behaved while the ones who weren't aware of said invisible fairy  were badly-behaved.

Now, some folks might say that kids believe in fantasies but it turns out that humans also believe in the invisible.

Another bit of research:
When people are told that a certain item belonged to a rich or renowned person, the typical human wants to see it, to touch it. But in the same research, when people are told that a certain item -- in that case a cardigan supposedly belonging to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer-- they balked at touching it or wearing it. There is the idea of a kind of spiritual contagion or a spiritual blessing.

In fact the world also seems to be pre-modern in its subtle honoring of hierarchy as opposed to pure democracy. Consider how much interest is shown in the lives of so-called important people when it comes to gossip tabloids, autographed items on ebay and what-not. We seek to see the people who are winners, and above us. Even if they did nothing to really deserve their "ranking." Not only do humans have this tendency to honor the big guys or the important members of society but when primates such as chimps and monkeys are shown pictures of their community group, the primates generally pause to look and gaze and stare at the pictures of the alpha males etc in their groups.

No matter how much modern philosophy and rationalizing we modern humans hear about certain life situations, our hearts leap with joy when our dead mother comes to us in a dream because we feel that perhaps she has indeed visited us. And we all get a bit weirded out when passing a cemetery late at night. 

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