People watching a concert

Society

Today’s social science post comes from sociologist, Peter Berger, from “Invitation to Sociology.”

A beautiful white drum suspended. Quote: Society provides us with warm, reasonably comfortable caves, in which we can huddle with our fellows, beating on the drums that drown out the howling hyenas of the surrounding darkness. “ecstasy” is the actor stepping outside the caves alone, to face the night.
– Peter Berger (1963: 149-150)

Excerpt from Peter Berger:

With these observations we have come once more to the edge of ethical considerations that we want to postpone for another moment. We would stress at this point, however, that “ecstasy”, as we have defined it, has metaphysical as well as sociological significance. Only by stepping out of the taken for granted routines of society is it possible for us to confront the human condition without comforting mystifications. This does not mean that only the marginal man or the rebel can be authentic. It does mean that freedom presupposes a certain liberation of consciousness. Whatever possibilities of freedom we may have, they cannot be realised if we continue to assume that the “okay world” of society is the only world there is. Society provides us with warm, reasonably comfortable caves, in which we can huddle with our fellows, beating on the drums that drown out the howling hyenas of the surrounding darkness. “ecstasy” is the actor stepping outside the caves alone, to face the night.

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