Ontological Coherence

Alan Mann in his very provocative and often controversial book Atonement for a Sinless Society says, the typical postmodern experiences shame as a dominant part of their self understanding, and shame is “our failure to live to an ideal that we have held for ourselves, is an experience of self deficiency. What the postmodern craves, therefore is an ontological coherence– a wholeness of being that always seems to be out of reach.”

I have been pondering this for some time now. Do you think that is an accurate evaluation of the pomo condition? Is that the typical postmoderns self understanding?

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2 Responses to “Ontological Coherence”

  1. I think I’ve got a grip on the topic. I definetely believe the pomo struggle with the issue of shame when dealing with where they are verses where they think they should be…by the way I’m one…The phrase “where they think they should be” can translate a million different ways. There is a great deal of shame when dealing with self deficiency. That shame drives pomo’s to look for all kinds of things to numb the pain brought about by the shame…denial, alc., sex, things, etc…yet I’m not sure there is much shame over the things that we use to numb the pain with. Does that make sense?

  2. Ron, this discussion on “shame” has a counterpart with those of us who grew up with more Confucian shame-based cultures. I need to email Alan (whom I’m in touch with) to talk further.

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