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I've never before seen any Orthodox quoting Hilaire Belloc...!

Good food for thought. Did you write this for Lent?
 

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...the god of the age is profit above almost all else.
I think this is the heart of the issue. Unless a skill can make a quantifiable contribution to a company's profit margin, there is little perceived value in said talent. Sad, really.

As a kid I had a fascination with video games, which I think at least some INFPs share. Unlike most INFPs, I took the next step and learned how to build gaming PCs, which launched a career in computers. While I'm certainly not pulling down a huge salary, it is enough for me to afford a small house and a decent car. Since I have a skill that the market values (at least somewhat), I can count on a living wage.

I'm not sure what the remedy for this is. But at least here in America, the incessant cycle of materialism, conspicuous consumption and debt slavery are producing a mental health crisis. Even if businesses can't get it through their thick skull that profit isn't the only thing worth living for, society needs to realize that humans have needs other than greed.
 

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I think this is the heart of the issue. Unless a skill can make a quantifiable contribution to a company's profit margin, there is little perceived value in said talent. Sad, really.

As a kid I had a fascination with video games, which I think at least some INFPs share. Unlike most INFPs, I took the next step and learned how to build gaming PCs, which launched a career in computers. While I'm certainly not pulling down a huge salary, it is enough for me to afford a small house and a decent car. Since I have a skill that the market values (at least somewhat), I can count on a living wage.

I'm not sure what the remedy for this is. But at least here in America, the incessant cycle of materialism, conspicuous consumption and debt slavery are producing a mental health crisis. Even if businesses can't get it through their thick skull that profit isn't the only thing worth living for, society needs to realize that humans have needs other than greed.
It is not going to be around for much longer as the old saying "life finds a way" and all these systems of control will come down be it willingly or otherwise. The root of it all has always been the programming at the heart of the human condition that makes slaves of all.
 

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I'm not quite sure I follow, but admittedly this is a dense topic; there's just so much to consider, and so many of these things coincide and factor into eachother that it becomes really difficult to pin down which is the cause and which is the effect. For example: I would consider it a bit of a stretch to propose that the disappearance of iconography post-reformation would cause INFPs to lose interest in religion — I'm not entirely sure what caused the gradual loss of interest by not just INFPs but the population at large, but I'd be more inclined to see the changes in religious expression, as well as the overall interest in those expressions, as effects of a common cause. I certainly haven't figured out what that might be, let alone do I know how to articulate it, but on an intuitive level I feel like it has something to do with an increasing tendency to rigorously seperate the literal from the figurative, and the increasing prevalence of "left brain" thinking that is primarily interested in systematizing the world. This has slowly caused symbolism to be considered irrelevant or at best as an aesthetic frivolity that should be eschewed in favor of rational discourse whenever we want to communicate something clearly, and IMO it's plausible that this mentality changed religion by first removing the overt (as in physically manifest) symbolism, after which the symbolism in its language slowly eroded away too and people started regarding religion as a whole as something that ought to be dismissed because it isn't "true". Then again, I might have cause and effect upside down here as well. I mean, did a seperation with spirituality cause a lack of religiosity, or was it the other way around?

That brainfart aside, my first thoughts when reading your essay (which arose in the form of a faulty expectation about where it was heading) are that in 21st century society, religious idols have all but been replaced by a new form of idolatry: the veneration of material wealth as the divine principle, and celebrity as the higher ranks of its clergy. It's a bit of a cliché perhaps, but you might consider brand logos and advertising as the new iconography... some high profile brands even use overt religious symbolism in their branding (car manufacturer Mazda even took their name from a deity ffs). I suppose that with this in mind, you could argue that INFPs would actually benefit from a metaphorical iconoclasm, because a hyper-consumerist society where superficial appearances matter so much and art is frequently reduced to a commodity more comparable to a pack of gum rather than an expression or honoration of the transcendent, makes for a rather unforgiving climate for creatives who value integrity in their work. It's very difficult to make commercially viable art without serious compromises, because even though there are plenty of jobs that offer some sort of creative outlet, most of the ones that will actually pay the bills require you to make what is essentially a form of corporate iconography. That's a price not everyone is willing to pay, because no one actually believes in Coca Cola; we all know that these icons ultimately stand for nothing but profit.
 
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