has been lost … or is at risk now (as always). People feel it, but have
the cause or nature of the problem. I sometimes think of this as
kind of anemia. “We are undernourished, even starved.” But for, or of,
WoK’s main question, and it’s not an easy one to answer, because the
elusiveness of the problem itself derives from our anemic condition.
are too depleted to even notice this condition … or to recognize “food.”
possible diagnosis is that we are starved for direct experience of
and life, of any real connection to things. And this is very roughly
of answer WoK would like to offer. So although it’s hard to determine in
what we are deficient, we could tentatively say we suffer from an
“existential anemia.” But this diagnosis, like any other we could
our available set of categories and concepts, only captures part of the
problem, and offers some clarity at the price of also misdirecting us
perhaps just feeding our complacency.
subject that is really at issue does not have adequate name in any
not studied by any science or in any college curriculum, and yet it
many topics that are. Of course, everyone will accept that our
ourselves and of reality are not complete, and probably never will be.
lack of clarity with respect to this “anemia” is both the cause and the
of many difficulties we encounter, on both personal and theoretical
really can and should be addressed now, and on an on-going basis.
would it even mean to address this? Part of the answer is to start by
respecting the problem more—to acknowledge and stay with it for a
no rush to a “labeling” (and one-sided) type of judgment. Sensitization
anemic state provides a good start towards recovering sensibilities
needed to see it more clearly. This marshals a rich mix of human
intuitions and types of understanding, and fosters more explicit
new capacities to see.
awareness can help us recognize a wide and apparently diverse range of
and problems, some personal, some theoretical (even bearing on the most
fundamental of intellectual, ethical, aesthetic and scientific
perspectives), as being related to the vague malaise with which we
Such awareness can also help us assess traditional “remedies”—methods
cultivating awareness—and guide in the shaping of our society’s own
contemporary approaches to being more awake. Perhaps it will even yield
glimpses of the future (both of humanity or humaneness, and of
matters, taken together as an inseparable whole, constitute the subject