This is a day when there is much talk about the real, the valid, the authentic, the basic. In the jargon of our times we are interminably buffeted by such terms as “relevance,” “telling it like it is,” and “doing your own thing.”

It is also a time when, perhaps, there is abroad, in all the noise and clamor, less authenticity, less reality, less awareness of ourselves as we truly-are (that is, as we spiritually are) than ever before in the history of our nation. Man, always susceptible to delusions, is in a veritable trough of emotionalism, romanticism, anti-intellectualism. The consequence is a chaotic welter of impressions of ourselves—who we are, what we are here for, how we got here, and where we are headed. One man sees the skies filled with marvelous airplanes and space with astronauts, and concludes that we are at the pinnacle of civilization because of our machines. Another sees technology as a snare and a delusion, evidence only of the dehumanization and mechanization of the human spirit. One sees bulging libraries, packed with the latest studies of sociological processes, urban structures, educational theories, and religious reform, and concludes that we must have the answers to all our age-old problems. Others see only intellectual obfuscation, proliferation of the irrelevant, and nonsense.

Totally lacking is any kind of national—much less any kind of planetary—creed, set of beliefs, pattern of values, established goals. And none will ever be found, until we discover again a fixed center, a motionless center, to give meaning to all our motion. Without a sense of direction, motion becomes meaningless, a mere waste of energy, leading to exhaustion and death, as ...

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