Materialism and the likeness of God

As a philosopher/theologian and technology zealot, I have come to believe in a supreme being.  In the grand scheme of things whatever name you give the “significant other” is fine.  When I, as a Christian come to know God I am talking about the Universal Christ.  The Christ that has been here at least for the last 14.5 billion years of this universe.  As Christians we believe that Christ is in every ~ thing…we come to understand that we are made in the image of God…and we spend our lives on this planet figuring out how best to live the likeness of God. In all of history, we see the opposite of the likeness of God. We see the opposite of the likeness in people, government and culture. When we reflect on what drives us away from the likeness all through history and today I think we see how materialism is a catalyst for driving us away from the likeness of God in how we live our lives.
As I reflected on this waiting for the sun to come up it reminded me of something Thomas Merton wrote:
“Even where totalitarianism has not yet completely wiped out all liberty, men are still subject to the corrupting effect of materialism. The world has always been selfish, but the modern world has lost all ability to control its egoism. And yet, having acquired the power to satisfy its material needs and its desires for pleasures and comfort, it has discovered that these satisfactions are not enough. They do not bring peace, they do not bring happiness. They do not bring security either to the individual or to society.
We live at the precise moment when the exorbitant optimism of the materialist world has plunged into spiritual ruin. We find ourselves living in a society of men who have discovered their own nonentity where they least expected to – in the midst of power and technological achievement. The result is an agony of ambivalence in which each man is forced to project upon his neighbors a burden of self-hatred which is too great to be tolerated by his own soul.”  ~Thomas Merton, “The Living Bread” (1956)
Merton wrote that in 1956, an era of growing prosperity for many, especially in the US.  Here we are 63 years later and what Merton wrote then hold ever so true today.

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