By Philip Wexler

In Mystical Society Philip Wexler, a widely known severe theorist with a history in social psychology and a distinct curiosity in spirituality, examines the revitalization of spirituality manifesting itself in society and in schooling. Describing what he calls "cultural adjustments towards the sacred," he records a cultural shift, caused by way of technological and societal alterations, towards a brand new mysticism. Wexler explores the that means for this new spirituality for our day-by-day lives, for social conception, and for schooling. From the pervasiveness of a religious vernacular to the combination of non secular practices into our hugely individualized and technologized lives, Wexler lays out the facts for a growing to be circulation, after which attracts parallels to sessions of mystical revitalization from the prior. during this dialogue, he attracts at the paintings of Marx, Weber, and Durkheim, in addition to from modern social idea.

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Nevertheless, the effect for Marx is to empirically identify religious action as alienating (1956, pp. 170, 172): The more the worker expends himself in work, the more powerful hecomes the world of objects which he creates in face of himself, and the poorer he himself becomes in his inner lite, the less he belongs to himself. It is just the same as in religion. The more of himself man attributes to God, the less he has left in himself. . All the qualities in- 42 The Mystical Society volved in the production of this activity, which really belongs to man, are attributed to the intermediary.

Melucci describes a quest for unity and holism that pervades the inner journey to experienced and mythical time. It is reflected by emphasis on the body, healing, and environment. For Melucci, this inwardness of the "playing self remains within a "disenchanted world," despite its recourse to mythic time. " Melucci's social phenomenology of informationalism in the "planetary society" stops at the threshold of mystery. I argue that there, increasingly, on the grounds of religion and mystery, an individual and societal revitalization occurs that is transformative and adaptive.

This perpetual symbolic regeneration of self occurs by displacing the modern phantasm of self-assertion and socialization. Instead, there is a recuperation of the ancient social technologies of a culturally induced self-immortality. In modernity, the religion that helps vitalize the petrification of the commodity economy is sex. The ideal of heterosexual, genital sex was the locus of vitality ("libido") and living sensibility. It served as a condensation and substitute for a much wider range of sensuality and embodied experience in an environmental field of secular and sacred energies (Classen 1998).

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