Nothing can save us from a perpetual headlong fall into a bottomless abyss but a solid footing of dogma; and we no sooner agree to that than we find that the only trustworthy dogma is that there is no dogma.
It is dangerous it seems to me for a civilization when there is a complete abyss betewen people in general and the artists. Or is it always so? The poets who are most ardently on the people's side write in such a way that the people cannot see rhyme nor reason to their work.
Every so often, we all gaze into the abyss. It's a depressing fact of life that eventually the clock expires; eventually the sand in the hourglass runs out. It's the leaving behind of everything that matters to us that hurts the most.
Thou O Spirit, that dost prefer Before all Temples th' upright heart and pure, Instruct me, for Thou know'st; Thou from the first Wast present, and with mighty wings outspread Dove-like satst brooding on the vast Abyss And mad'st it pregnant: What is in me dark Illumine, what is low raise and support; That to the heighth of this great Argument I may assert Eternal Providence, And justify the ways of God to men.
......the interesting thing was that the Roman Catholic monks and the Buddhist monks had no trouble understanding each other. Each of them was seeking the same experience and knew that the experience was incommunicable. The communication is only an effort to bring the hearer to the edge of the abyss; it is a signpost, not the thing itself. But the secular clergy reads the communication and gets stuck with the letter, and that's where you have the conflict.
In the past, the U.S. has shown its capacity to reinvent its gifts for leadership. During the 1970s, in the aftermath of the Nixon abdication and the Ford and Carter presidencies, the whole nation peered into the abyss, was horrified by what it saw and elected Ronald Reagan as president, which began a national resurgence.