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Document Type

Scholarship

Abstract

Contemporary experience has been radically altered by the technological and commercial influences that dominate our daily lives. Technology speeds up and broadens our access to vast amounts of facts and information. However, this modern landscape of information, facts and entertainment has slowly eroded the narrative fabric of our culture that helps us identify and differentiate the qualities and meaning of ourselves as unique individuals. Disillusionment arises as we witness the impersonal developments of science, technology and commercialism that expand far beyond our capacity to understand and value their utility. More and more, we find ourselves following their lead and defaulting to false desires and to a spectator consciousness. In this article, we will address the fact that our modern scientific materialism conceals within it an “agnostic reflex” which, in orienting us to the thinking head can foster a hardening of the heart. This same evolution has forgotten the necessity of experiencing the heart as an organ of perception. Knowing the heart as an organ of perception reacquaints us with the vital and sacred experiences of desire, feeling and imagination as the narrative building blocks for a way through the disillusionment of self-estrangement in an ever more mechanical universe. It is not truth that rules the world but illusions. Soren Kierkegaard Though we live much of our lives outside, in action and engagement with the world, the deeper impact of what happens is registered in the narrative of the heart. John O’Donohue

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