This article came to mind when I was telling a friend how I saw tantra operating through vajrayana practice:
"The point in vajrayana is to drop the ?what? puritanism and get to what moderns might call "the dark side". What motivates us is what motivates us; what we actually think and dream is what we actually think and dream; how we feel about things and people and events is what we really feel ... hard to operate on any other reality!
Do you know of Joanna Macy? The other day (I've somehow lost the article, sadly) I read an article by one of her cohort, talking about the great mystery of how to get through to people who've become armoured, who've tuned out from solidarity and compassion, and the fellow wrote about how he and she had come to believe that it had everything to do with denial at the deepest level. Now, see, it was that realization that broke my brain back in 1973, when I pondered the social implications of how we overthrew Allende in Chile ... the sort of wilful blindness that manifests spectacularly through movemements like National Socialist [sic].
If we can only deal with out depths through myth, well then fine ... but we need to access them somehow. When not at all, things go seriously sideways. I think we're on the cusp of that just now. The typical bourgeois yuppie (so typical of my cohort and family) can only fulminate self-righteously while the extremely militant fundamentalist can read the riot act with reference to something chillingly close to the historical record, as though reading off an indictment. Folk can hardly experience "profound brilliant glory" through the facile sophistry of denial ... too many dissonances, too many internal contradictions, too much tension. When folk be who they are (have you read The Story of O?), well, that's a very different scenario."
This is the bit I recalled from "The New Story as a Way Forward":
"Q: I wonder sometimes what it really takes for us to be able to see it on a deep level. You mentioned E. O. Wilson. He says that he wrote his book The Diversity of Life in epic form because he believes that it is absolutely essential to strike "the inner mystic chord of emotion" when telling the story of the epic, not to just present the story in a book of facts. What do you think he's getting at here?What Swimme sees as the effect of studying science (as a near spiritual practice) is how I see discourse ... in place of how so many waste so much time in forums and mail-lists and such.
A: That's such a deep question. My whole life is devoted to that question. How do you break through a form of consciousness that doesn't see that we are destroying everything? How do you break through that? Joanna Macy is convinced that because we refuse to grieve, we remain in denial. I think that's an important insight into the collective psyche. We refuse to grieve. And we're afraid that if we begin to grieve, we will become so overwhelmed, we'll become catatonic and useless. "
see also The Meaning and End of History by Sean Kelly, faculty at Philosophy, Cosmology and Consciousness and beliefnet: Author Richard Tarnas talks about the intersections of history and astrology, and the evolution of our 'uninitiated' culture. (Tarnas' Epilogue from The Passion of the Western Mind)