Tagged: Modernity

Our Freedom

We have cast off all the gods and their tyrannical ways, and hence all need of submission. Thus we define our freedom. And thus, having rejected the notion that there are gods, which is to say aspirations and ideals beyond our present limits, we happily submit to our own chains, rejecting all thought of anything beyond ourselves, which is to say beyond our...

Reflections on Being Modern

On being “absolutely modern.”— We naturally get excited about new ideas, new explanations. In such excitement, all past ideas seem paltry and passé. Such is the nature of enthusiasm. The whole world reflects our excitement back at us, reinforcing the illusion of absolute certainty attending the compelling new thoughts and their accompanying feelings. Hence, all previous modes of thought appear to us as...

An Energy Crisis

The world’s current fidgeting over rising energy prices amid the Russian war of attrition in Ukraine, as though our daily convenience is reason enough to let a rabid tyrant go ahead and blow out the doors of his cage, got me to thinking what a wonderful metaphor this impending “energy crisis” has become for so much of what has gone miserably wrong with...

Death, Immortality, and Courage

Late modernity, having adopted naïve materialism as its religion, has dismissed the belief in the immortality of the soul, not merely as a logical consequence of rejecting the soul itself, but rather morally, objecting to the belief in an immortal soul as a kind of cowardice, specifically a refusal to accept the “hard truth” of life’s brevity and the absolute finality of death...

Convenience vs. Life

A map must be read, which is to say it must be deciphered, thought through, examined and understood. Digital navigation is not a replacement for the map; it is a replacement for the map reader, i.e., for the mind’s processes of absorbing and contextualizing information. Calculation is a difficult skill which must be studied as a child, and then practiced regularly for years...

Reflections on Knowledge

Failed rhetoric.— “Everyone knows that” is merely a rhetorically aggressive way of saying “Everyone believes that” — for there is literally nothing that everyone knows. And nothing could be more certain than this: Anything that “everyone believes” is likely false, since most people are completely ignorant of all but the most quotidian facts. Hence, when a person insists on a point of argument...

Overcoming vs. Hiding

To overcome something, you must face it, live with it, struggle through it, understand it deeply, and work out a way to surmount its debilitating or harmfully limiting effects. Merely avoiding the thing from the outset, by contrast, is not an alternative means of overcoming it, but rather a method of ensuring that you will never overcome it.  Failure, spiritual pain, loneliness, the...

Surface and Depth

The great modern error, resulting from the spiritual dialectic of modernity: desire as depth. Thesis: Reason is a calculative response to the imperatives of passion; hence the passions comprise the original “state of nature.” Antithesis: If passion is our original nature, then reason, which dilutes or repurposes passion, is a corruption of nature. Synthesis: Desire is reality; reason is merely the deforming mask...

Too Embarrassed to Live

We do not know why we are here. Hence, every expression of disinterest — and worse, every dismissive certainty – about this question bespeaks a detachment from life itself. There is no life without definition. There is no definition without essence. There is no essence without purpose. “Why are we here?” To the extent that this question has become a laughingstock, a joke...

Where We Are Headed (As If You Didn’t Know)

The likelihood that the current pandemic was manufactured in a laboratory, by researchers working under totalitarian rulers but funded by tax dollars from the supposed vanguard of the free world, is a neat little reminder of what should be glaringly obvious to every thinking person in the modern world at all times: We are going to annihilate ourselves with progress. This is not...