Are we currently living in a ‘post-institution’ society (i.e. post-religion)?
Are we, for example, post-religion (or post-marriage, etc.)?
I ask this question because of: –
– rising cases of anomie
– rising cases of divorce
– rising cases of deviant/self-destructive/maladaptive behaviour esp. among the youth
Taking religion for example – it is a man-made creation meant to explain the unknown. In truth no one knows everything (or what most religions claim to explain), in fact, compared to what there is to know we know nothing. Religion negates this and presupposes ‘pseudo-knowledge’ carefully crafted by intertwining history with myth to appeal to the emotions and psychology of a public mass who (in most cases) are in desperate need of self-actualisation and identity. In a post-religious society (which should not be confused with and atheistic one) the individual is at the centre, as should be, of his/her spiritual journey. Matters metaphysical (of the soul, will, spirit, etc.) can only be explored from within. This is where we depart from traditional religion.
On matters marriage. It is becoming increasingly apparent that under normal circumstances 1 human being can not stay with another human being indefinitely under a socially crafted institution – marriage. So, most relationships are either ending in divorce or dysfunction where those involved are barely tolerating each other to uphold a man-made institution. The interesting thing here is that without the institutionalisation of a relationship (which = marriage) the 2 people could actually live together happily for an indefinite period. Think of the relationship you have with say, your mother or brother – you were born into it. There was no ceremony or certificate stating that “From now on you will be so and so’s daughter/son/sister” …
Such relationships unfold, as they were meant to naturally, and that’s why, even in the face of troubling times which is normal in any relationship, they do survive and are overall ‘functional’ and ‘happy’ relationships. The institutionalisation of the relationship between 2 people in the name of a marriage has led to the decay of what is natural often boxing the 2 to unrealistic socially constructed expectations that eventually lead to a collapse.
In a post-religious society we have knowledge, lived experience, and the essential (call it intuition, ‘faith’, gut-feeling, Holy Spirit, daemon, or whatever you want) taking the place of churches, mosques, temples, pastors and priests. Think of it this way, a man/woman who is at the post-institutional level is like a 4-dimensional being; a 2 or 3-dimensional being can not fathom/affect a 4-dimensional one.
I apologise for the overly philosophical post but I hope it does get though to you.