My first short answer: of course not.
Once, we here in America thought it was God's will that we burn women to death as witches, and that it was our "manifest destiny" to slaughter the native people that lived here before us, and then forcibly pen them in on patches of barren land. We thought human beings of a different color were not truly human beings at all, and so it was blessed for us to enslave them for our financial gain. And so on.
My second short answer: read the news. Maybe we are not just still crazy after all these years, but even crazier! I mean, we still kill, steal, rape, maim, lie and otherwise violate each other and our environment as we always have. But now, we cause much more extensive damage to life on Earth, and massive damage to the earth itself, than we ever have. As our technological advances have allowed, our methods for destruction have become more ubiquitous and monumentally more apocalyptic, and as our intellects have grown, while our emotional intelligence apparently has not, the rationalizations we make have become more and more elaborate, albeit still just as inane. (Are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, gun-toting, tea bagging, "birthers" more or less idiotic than the witch-burning flat-earthers once were? Is Reaganomics any more or less preposterous and self-serving of the greedy than Manifest Destiny was?)
Yet... yes, there is a yet... maybe there's a perception issue here, and perhaps one's individual growth process can be instructive.
When one of my patients breaks out of the shell of their character structure (see my blog post called: "ARE YOU READY TO HATCH? FEAR NOT!"), one of the common early reactions is typically expressed something like this: "Oh my God! Everybody looks different to me now. Everybody looks crazy! And I fear that everyone is going to look at me like I'm crazy! How am I going to live in the world seeing all this?" And indeed, some people who become enlightened give in to the urge to remove themselves from life among the masses and retreat to a monastery or a mountain top somewhere.
But in my approach to self-work, I see this retreat as not completing the task of an older soul, which is to learn to live not apart from the sea of young soul madness, but to live with it, albeit without participating in the madness.
The final phase of every soul's incarnational cycle is to become a teacher. And you can't teach if you are hiding. The first challenge, however, is to accept what you are a witness to, attempt to understand it rather than feel battered by it, and then offer whatever wisdom you've acquired to those who seek it ("PREACHING TO THE CHOIR," as I've called it.)
So, back to my original question as to whether America has gotten crazier or not, one must consider that the one asking the question, in this case -me! - but also those who've broken out of their cocoon, may simply be seeing craziness more clearly than they used to, so it may only appear that the country has devolved. As regular readers of my blog know, I believe that evolution is inevitable, that we are all in that same river taking us "up" to our higher selves and "back" to a connection with our oneness with All That Is. And perhaps, as well, while the insane rabble has gotten louder in its death throws, the choir has also gotten bigger.
It is in this regard that reading the material on Soul Ages is so useful. A 3-year old child can't be expected to master the tasks of a 40-year old adult. Likewise, a baby soul can't be expected to understand the deeper Truth and depths of reality that an old soul can. If we mistakenly assume that we are all of the same soul age, it will be not only disorienting, but potentially just as disastrous as giving your toddler the keys to the car.
Plato once said: "Only the intelligence that comes from the deepest understanding of reality should preside over human affairs, while all the other criteria of legitimacy applied by human societies must yield to it."
The fact that we are not yet living thusly, because we are still a young soul planet, there are indeed many 3-year olds driving around our cars. So, we are having many tragic and deadly incidents, mishaps and disasters to contend with, and like the emotional state of a 3-year old, we are still faced with many primitive, superstitious and violent impulses running rampant amongst our populations. We are in a kind of Lord of the Flies moment right now, in other words.
So, if you are an older soul, you will hear what I am saying. Read the Soul Age material. Don't retreat into hiding and fear not that you will end up alone. Surrender to the river's current taking you downstream and you will discover that it is a beautiful ride. And read this as a reminder:
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.