Amazement

The Realization of Ideas and Dreams for a Sleeping Society

In the midst of what may be the greatest technological revolution ever and political transitions that look to reshape the world forever, E. Robert Morse would claim that the theories and doctrines enumerated in his first book, Amazement: the Realization of Ideas and Dreams for a Sleeping Society, will serve as the foundation of thought for the next decade and well into the 21st century.

Morse does not examine America's technological or political challenges directly. These challenges, according to him, can only be addressed once a more fundamental challenge is met. This challenge—the loss of ideals—and its solution—attainment of ideals, or what the author calls Amazement—is the framework by which Morse illustrates his ideas.

In the first division—the State of Ideals—the author explains the problem. Not unlike an Alexis de Tocqueville, he breaks down the problems and symptoms of modern America such as school shootings and pop culture and their wider implications. Then, in a rhetorical prototype, he connects these modern dilemmas with classical, philosophical questions, namely, what is the meaning of life? With this distinctive accomplishment, Morse, reaches depth rarely achieved by social science texts and urgency rarely achieved by philosophical texts.

With the problem at hand, Morse then looks to uncover its source in the second division, The Roots of Modernity. It is in this section where the theorist dissects the composition of ideals and exactly what makes an idealist—it is here where Morse explains the Idealist Equilibrium, the notion that an equality between freedom and responsibility is the essential nature of any ideal entity. Upon employing this theory in the realm of society, he moves on to investigate how this equilibrium was disturbed during the major social events of the last 150 years from the American Industrialization to Disillusionment of the 1970s.

The audience of Amazement is cued to Morse's diverse perspective throughout the work. The author follows his first section of primarily social science with the second section of economic and historical compass. The third division of the volume—The Path Towards Amazement—exhibits this vast perspective again by delving into pure philosophical elocution stirring impressions the Greek classics.
With the chapter, the Realization of Ideas, Morse is able to harness questions forbidden by modern mass culture's shallow preoccupations and does so, unexpectedly, by referencing pop's own J.Lo and Shrek. Here, he concludes that ideas are more real than what we consider reality in the J.Los and Shreks; and that all ideas are one, vivid entity—the Amazement.

In Wonder, the theorist examines good and evil and explains that we have the ability to attain the ultimate goodness in the Amazement. Moreover, Morse actually asserts and logically proves that through this ideal reality, all evil can be avoided and we can actually live in an ideal world.

In Dreams for a Sleeping Society, after proving possible what most Americans would discard as impossible, Morse returns to the Idealist Equilibrium to explain how we get from our current state to this perfection. Tying it all together with this chapter, the audience is able to draw from the highly conceptual Amazement Theory in order to discover practical applications for any aspect of life.

Filled with dreams, the text offers hope in a faithless society. When the common understanding is that someone stopped keeping score in the world, E. Robert Morse is able to provide idealism for even the most skeptical realists. Most importantly, however, the audience is provided with ideas that will transcend these precarious times—the author leaves it up to his readers to do the same.

Amazement

312 pages
iUniverse
October 2002
ISBN 0-595-24403-3

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