Birthing Post-Modern Values, continued

We are discussing how a passage from Modern to Post-Modern consciousness is a movement from one value system to another. 

Student protestors at the Global Climate Strike in London on Friday 15th March 2019. Photo by Garry Knight on Flickr

To recognize this movement as one of values and the birthing of values can be especially useful at this time of solstice when we honor the birthing of light in both Christmas and Chanuka celebrations. 

This awareness might assist us in recognizing why there is so much anger and division in our world at this time.  And also in understanding better the mindset your children and grandchildren carry.

Earthrise,” taken December 24, 1968 by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders (photograph: NASA.gov)

Additional value differences between the Modern (M) and Post-modern (P) worlds follow.

M: Anthropocentric, Human Centered (at its worst expression Pope Francis calls it “narcissistic”). 
P: Ecological/ Cosmological.  Our place in the whole is emphasized.

M: The aesthetic is seen as subjective and unimportant. 
P:  The aesthetic and the political are basic to a common morality, a common good.

M: Innovation conquers tradition.  “Progress” is eternal and a goal. 
P: A tension exists between innovation and tradition.

The energy body. Image by Okan Caliskan from Pixabay

M: Truth is in the head; emphasizes “clear and distinct ideas” (Descartes). 
P: Truth is in the whole body and all the chakras.

M: Anti-mystical. 
P: Eager for mysticism, oneing, making connections.

M: Individualistic.
P: Community counts.

“Art at the Park” at the community-established and maintained guerilla gardening park in Welland, Ontario, 2015. Photo by JamesTakeo on Wikiwand.

M: Form is absolute. 
P: Form evolves and we need to birth appropriate forms.

M: Dismisses premodern wisdom. 
P: Eagerly accepts premodern wisdom.

M: Focuses on the part rather than the whole. 
P: Focuses on the whole (cosmos and ecosystems)

“Interfaith Outing, February 19, 2015” Photo by Maryamhasan on Wikimedia Commons.

M: Functions on a tribal model. 
P: Functions on a larger community model.

M: Operates religiously from a denominational identity. 
P: Operates from a deep ecumenism or interfaith identity and a search for common wisdom and joint action.

M: Perspective is Either/Or.  Dualistic.  Piscean (two fishes swimming in opposite directions). 

“DJ Tino, Isle of Wight Festival, 2018” Photo by @markheybo on Flickr

P: Perspective accepts “Double coding” and a belief that we are interdependent.  Aquarian (we are all swimming in the same waters).

M: Fosters separateness. 
P: Fosters mixing, which is an important word found in what dj’s do for example.  Honors diversity.  “Vive la difference!”

M: Social Change is primarily about external structures. 
P: Social Change involves both individual and psychic transformation as well as structural transformation happening concurrently.

M: Embraces religion. 
P: Embraces Spirituality. 

Nazi Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann on trial, justifying his actions in organizing the Holocaust concentration camps as “just following orders.” Photo uploaded to Flickr by The Huntington

M: Tends to be serious and somber in tone. 
P: Recognizes the value of Fun and Play.

M: Obedience is the prime virtue (fitting into a universe that is already done and is static). 
P: Creativity is the prime virtue (fitting into a universe that has been creative from the get-go and is still birthing and expanding)

M: Builds on objective rules. 
P: Recognizes the principle of relativity and how “relation lies at the essence of everything that exists”  (Meister Eckhart—and Einstein too?)

M: Institutes rigid and clear boundaries. 
P: Acknowledges that boundaries fade over time and boundaries melt.


See Matthew Fox, A New Reformation: Creation Spirituality and the Transformation of Christianity, pp. 112f.

Banner Image: Strength in unity. Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

Queries for Contemplation


Among the many value shifts named in this meditation, which ones do you feel are the most significant to you personally?  To our culture at large?  To our species at large?

Does stepping back and naming these shifts of consciousness and values as we have done the past two DM’s give you some added perspective to the struggles we are engaged in at this time in history?

Recommended Reading

A modern-day theologian’s call for the radical transformation of Christianity that will allow us to move once again from the hollow trappings of organized religion to genuine spirituality. A New Reformation echoes the Reformation initiated by Martin Luther in 1517 and offers a new vision of Christianity that values the Earth, honors the feminine, and respects science and deep ecumenism.

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake and theologian Matthew Fox show that not only is the synthesis of science and spirituality possible, it is to be celebrated when one considers the extraordinary insights they have come upon in their work. The chasm between science and religion has been a source of intellectual and spiritual tension for centuries, but in these ground breaking dialogues there is a remarkable resonance between these once opposing camps.


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4 thoughts on “Birthing Post-Modern Values, continued”

  1. Avatar

    Blessed Solstice to all and Happy 79th!! Birthday to you Matthew! Today I celebrate you and your brilliant shining light in our world!!
    I offer to you the Findhorn Birthday song:
    ‘To you we sing and happiness we bring to celebrate your birth, an Angel here on earth!!’
    In Love, light and Gratitude,
    Ellen Kennedy

    1. Gail Sofia Ransom

      Dear Ellen,
      Thank you for sharing your elegant birthday wish for Matthew with us! He, who is giving us so much wisdom and thus joy from these daily teachings. I think you speak for many.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team (Which includes you!

  2. Avatar

    Happy Birthday, Matthew. How fitting it was that you were born on the darkest day of the year so that from then on every day got brighter. I want to thank you for all you have done to make our lives brighter – your wonderful writing, daily mediations, workshops, lectures, creative initiatives, and most of all your own presence in our world. What an example you are to us all. I am forever grateful to you.

    Joan Doyle

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