to THE AUSTRALIAN
Maurice Newman asks a very pertinent question (‘Turnbull stood applauding as Liberal inheritance sank from view’, 22/5): ‘Who now will champion our freedoms?’ The answer is: those who care for and fight for truth. Ah yes, but what does this mean?
The nature of truth is a metaphysical mystery, which is why in the founding narrative of our culture Jesus does not try to reply to Pontius Pilate’s question ‘What is truth?’ In all traditional societies it has been the role of religion, of the guardians of the sacred, to maintain for communities access to truth and, at the same time, to ensure that truth is mediated into worldly human society. This fundamental reality is beautifully symbolised in the Old Testament by the account of Jacob’s ladder (Genesis 28:12).
Unfortunately Christian sacred tradition has become ossified and attenuated. It no longer serves as an adequate guide. Instead we observe the growth of literalist evangelicalism and fundamentalism, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, secular dreaming by those on the left whom Eric Voegelin, one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th century, stigmatised as ‘modern gnostics’. Neither, as Carl Jung warned, is commensurate to the challenges of our times.
Our new champions, then, will be young persons who have seen through this cultural confusion and reconnected with gateways to metaphysical reality.
NJ, Belgrave, Vic