Which is a thread -- and threat -- that runs through The Common Mind. That is, just as on the biological level, there are forces of integration and dis-integration on the psychic and cultural planes (or what Wilber would call the interior-individual and interior-collective dimensions; each is more verb than noun).
In order for something to be alive, it must engage in a continuous process of catabolism and anabolism, i.e., building up and breaking down. It's why we chew our food preparatory to assimilating it, or why we digest ideas so as to integrate them into our existing world view.
You need to take this quite literally. There is a whole school of psychoanalysis -- the correct one -- that essentially analogizes the mind to the digestive tract.
Where they get it wrong, in my opinion, is in reducing the mind to this, whereas it's really other way around: the digestive tract is the way it is because the psyche is the way it is, and ultimately because God is the way he is/are.
That is, a trinitarian view maintains that God IS a continuous process of giving and of assimilation. There is nothing "beneath" or "above" or "behind" this process. Rather, it is the Ultimate Reality. Therefore, every created thing will be a more or less distant fractal of the same process -- so long as it is Alive.
You could say that Death is the failure or prevention of this living process. Which is why one can detect Grim Death at work on the psychological, spiritual, political, and cultural levels no less than the biological.
BTW, this also explains why it is a Fundamental Error to elevate physics to our paradigmatic science, since this represents the complete inversion of the cosmos. You can't actually get from physics to biology -- much less psychology and theology. But it works fine the other way around. Relativity always implies the Absolute.
As we look around, it isn't difficult to notice the forces of disintegration. Indeed, things are always falling apart. And as they are doing so -- at least at first -- this can feel quite liberating.
Imagine if the law of gravity were suddenly suspended. What a thrill to float above the landscape below! But wait a minute... It's getting a little cold up here... and can someone open a window? Can't catch my bre... The end.
So, dis-order is always a temptation and a seduction. Remember the French revolution? Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, / But to be young was very heaven!
No doubt. But you might want to wait a couple of weeks before you write that one down. You never know. Events may overtake that sentiment. Naive enthusiasm can be nice, but don't lose your head.
Remember the Obama revolution? Bliss was it in that dawn to be a LoFo journalist, / But to be tenured was very heaven!
Yes, you could say that conservatism represents the anabolic process, liberalism the catabolic. Thus, a "pathological conservatism" would overemphasize order to the exclusion of change, while a pathological liberalism would do the opposite.
Which is one reason why I prefer the term "classical liberal," since it balances and harmonizes both trends. Our founders were classical liberals, in that they wished to conserve the very principles that facilitate ordered liberty (order without liberty and liberty without order being the ineradicable pests of history).
The healthy society -- like the healthy mind and body -- is "stable yet possesses the the means of change in the light of experience and circumstances." A truism, right?
No, not for the postmodern idiot who has no stable psychic ground except maybe resentment, and who has convinced himself that all order is just a Mask of Power.
Except when it's inconvenient to believe such BS. For example, the IRS only screwed up because it's underfunded! It had nothing to do with the violent machinery of state power preemptively persecuting those who would limit it.
This whole question of metabolism presupposes something to eat. And not just anything. Here again, there is appropriate and inappropriate nutrition at every level, things we should eat and things we should avoid entirely, otherwise Genesis would be just a diet book.
Which it is. It's like the old schoolyard joke: wanna lose ten pound of ugly fat in hurry? Cut off your head!
I suppose it will take the rest of my life to lose all the ugly fat I acquired as a result of my postgraduate diet of junk metaphysics, fast foolishness, and comfort reading.
Which is what these morning verticalisthencis, gymgnostics, and O-robics are all about: not just building the muscle, but tearing down the flab.
Today's bottom line: "Christian humanism is in a radical tension with the spirit of" postmodernism, "which in deconstructing texts finds an abyss at the heart of them. In the sense in which the postmodernist does the work of the devil, it is at the farthest remove from the creative function of literature."
And of everything else.
Now drop and give me twenty!