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Do You Suffer from PERS?!?!?
In a recent talk – Home Schooling to Rock the World – I mentioned some symptoms that a person may be suffering from ‘post-Enlightenment reduction syndrome,’ (PERS) or ‘flattening’. This is the atrophy of one’s analogic sense – a reduction in the metaphoric dimension of human being. The problem is a disconnect in the person’s capacity to relate concrete and abstract reality. Its source is the cultural vacuum caused by man’s attempt to believe there is no God. Man without a context for being (In Him I live and move and have being) is like an astronaut untethered from the space ship – dying for lack of a life-supporting atmosphere.
Of course this is a great over-simplification of an enormously complex problem. My hope was to point out to Christians that they, too, may (and probably do) have PERS to some degree. Here are a few ‘flatitudes’ – indicators of a flattened metaphoric dimension, or analogic sense. Each one has an opposite ‘floatitude’ – another way people avoid the tension and turbulence of the territory of freedom.
Sadly, people with far-advance PERS won’t be easily able to recognize these symptoms in themselves. But if we can all get honest about the ways we are compromised by and “conformed to the pattern of this world,” we can grow better able to rescue the perishing together, imho. That’s the world-rocking I’m talking about!!
Since I placed the Flatitudes and Floatitudes in juxtaposition, I can’t seem to recreate that formatting here. Read the PDF and then….
The last paragraph:
I imagine you get the idea: we Catholics have access to and support to move freely in the vast territory of human freedom. ‘We’ can usually see when ‘they’ move from freedom to ‘license,’ but are less aware when we ourselves have moved from ‘free’ toward ‘tame’ under the pressure of PERS. I believe that, if ever we become fully, abundantly free, the enormity of our joy, the magnanimity of our giving, the certainty of our faith, and the expressivity of our love would communicate Christ to the world!
Naturally, I’d love your thoughts on this. Sadly, one of the huge losses due to PERS is the lack of responsivity to ideas…sigh…