Halloween deals with two issues that need serious thought as we note the radical morphing of the world that goes on under our noses. Note that we cannot see beneath our noses. We need a mirror for that. Halloween has become, clearly, something that is more than meets the eye. It is what the late, sage Jacques Ellul saw coming — the secularization of ritual.

Halloween allows, of course, for rampant commercialization. Everything is commercial and that's OK.

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But the annual scare fest also is a sign of the inability of insular religion to fulfill the human thirst for a meaningful ritual.

Nietzsche understood

Nietzsche wrote his first book as a celebration of the Dionysian urge in all of us. This is the opposite of the reserved and reasonable face of Apollo. It is a binary that continues to dog the world. Dionysian evokes the uninhibited, noisy, rock concert, sports-centric vibes of contemporary society.

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The Apollonian in this understanding is practically out of the picture, lost in the mists of an increasingly commercialized venture called academia.

Binary silliness

An integral understanding that looks beyond two-sided thinking sees the need for the wedding of mind and heart. The visceral excitation that is Dionysian needs to be fused with the rational capacities of the Apollonian. The result corresponds to what is struggling now to be born.

The silliness of today's Halloween rituals hides the need for a revision of how we see ourselves economically and how we become spiritual in a secularizing world.

Loosening up the economy

Much of the world's economy is off the books. The part that is in the books is no more legal and above board than the economic ventures we improvise on the fly.

The need to regulate comes down to the universality of the need that harm and hurt be excluded from the menu of permissible actions. "Shameless" is a good window on the reality of the off-the-books world.

Religion's atrophy

We are becoming global. We already are global. Arnold Toynbee would call what is going on as a mass "volkerwanderung" — a wandering of the people. Our festivals are global as well.

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Religions grew up with the rest of the world but were and are hampered by insularity -- by the fact that regardless of their claims they are not Universal. They are more divisive than unifying. They are also incurably Apollonian.

Universal is triadic

Seeing beyond the box involves baby steps toward a truly universal mode of being. We are moving from a binary to a triadic world. Everything really is relative.

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The only things that are absolute are values themselves. They always have been.

Binary thinking has always served the powerful. There is a reason Trump is a master of the binary. He can make-believe better that way.

Haloween, underneath it all, is the world trying to find spiritual legs as binary institutions fade into memory.

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