Second page of six

Shifting values

Since the Fall of the Wall social tragedies have swept like epidemics through Kurdistan and Iraq, Bosnia, Chechnya, Israel-Palestine, Afghanistan, Rwanda, Somalia, Kosovo, Kashmir, Algeria, East Timor, Congo and Sierra Leone.

As each horror presented itself, the public's tolerance levels shifted an inch each time. Events prodded and scratched at the sensitivities of a busily indifferent world, seeking a response. Something in the collective psyche was saying this has to stop – it's gone far enough.

Though it has all carried on. Nevertheless, values have shifted, year by year, beyond and beneath all considered opinions, preferred ways of seeing things, or the customary earnest media debates.

Events were hitting sensitive spots. A tectonic stratum of deeper undercurrents and values has been shifting, surreptitiously.

This process is interesting. We're in it, right now. Two dissonant realities are playing themselves out within us.

Dissonant realities

One is the 'official line' – the statements, opinions, judgements and explanations we hear on the news, the explanations given us by People Who Know, and conventional ideas and beliefs we all variously subscribe to, even when they contradict our own experience.

The second is a distinctly personal, intuitive sense of reality which evaluates and responds to events with surprisingly little preconceived judgement. It sees things as they are. It bears witness, perceives symbolism, reads off background significances and threads together hidden connections implicit in today's world situations.

It sees through things too. Its observations might be illogical, counter-conventional and even treacherous, but they're very real, and they deeply inform our beliefs, judgements and decisions.

World War One - has it ended yet?

The Russians love their children too. These terrorists do have a point. Perhaps we ought to learn from what's happening. Perhaps there's another way.