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A proposal for a discussion at The Fifth Annual "Search for Meaning Book Festival" A DISCUSSION OF THE SEARCH FOR

MEANING An existentialist - Heidegger, a paleontologist mystic - Teilhard de Chardin , a religious pragmatist - Niebuhr, and a philosopher of human behavior Davison; what do all of these authors have in common; a search for fundamentals that enable a beginning, a beginning that puts one on a path to salvation. And now, in the 21 st century, we must add that our understanding of ones salvation has grown to encompass all theaters of human endeavor: the intellectual, the emotional, the physical, and always the spiritual as a new understanding of the individual and the whole continues to emerge. * * * From the Dasien of Martin Heidegger, the Is that is, that moves, therefore cares, always a beforehand that in emanating announces a fundamental reciprocity: there is a relationship that has directionality, a knowable encompassing always becoming more than, to Pierre Teilhard de Chardins Alpha and Omega that portends a progressive and ascendant attached to and part of a radial that bounces back upon itself and in that imago dei, becomes aware of an all encompassing pushing and pulling that is bringing one to ones self in order to coincide with the gift of one to One, fuller being brings closer union, to Reinhold Niebuhr, a theologian who exudes the heart of an informed pragmatist, a believer who, in his personal journey, leaves messages for those who choose to follow, to know a way to greater truths, to reciprocities of connectedness that informs one of personal and social obligations and the need for a stalwart heart in the face of the truth - neither the sentimentalist nor the cynic contribute to a complementary involvement in the human epic, to Don Davison, who as an educator and poet has become a gamester, a seeking romantic, a lover of truth, one who is forever moving through the doors of a self perception of the human species that leads a soul to the edges of communion, a communion offering a choice: take and become one with ones brother, ones sister, the All of Alls, or refuse that integrity of one and live a life of another one, a life of a lie. These are some of the threads of human self perception that have folded into the tapestry of the past, from the ancients all the way up to and including the post, post moderns (I dont know what else to call us yet.) who live in a place and at a pace of human life that is in many ways anything but human for many who wallow in their victim hoods with a sanctioned pride, a pride that blinds them to the only productive path to self ownership and a maturing life experience that demands a reasoned participation in our current local, state, national, and international circumstance so that we can in some descriptive way point to another opening another path in the fulfillment of our purpose: the greater glory and honor of the One. At this juncture in human history too many of us are failing. Our current moment, to paraphrase Niebuhr, is too sentimental and too cynical; in other words, less than honest about our real and potential possibilities and responsibilities.