In spite of the rejection of the explicit language of religion, the “sacred” continues to exist and operate in our modern society. Though “Christianity is no longer the religion of the masses”, humankind remains “just as religious as medieval man” (65), for the state is the new sacred, politics the new religion, and technology “the instrument of liberation… the god who saves.”
In a civilization which has lost the meaning of life, the most useful thing a Christian can do is to live—and life, understood from the point of view of faith, has an extraordinary explosive force. We are not aware of it, because we only believe in “efficiency,” and life is not efficient. But this life alone can break the illusions of the modern world by showing everyone the utter powerlessness of a mechanistic view.
New media offers real advantages, but always at a price, for “media aren’t just channels of information… they also shape the process of thought” (6). And what is the process of thought the internet rewards? The internet rewards swift skimming and undermines deep concentration and contemplation.
Understanding the narcissism epidemic is important because its long-term consequences are destructive to society. American culture’s focus on self-admiration has caused a flight from reality to the land of grandiose fantasy. We need a new cultural belief: if you love yourself too much, you won’t have enough love left for anyone else.