At one time, I thought of writing a book on the deviations of modernity but lost interest as the whole thing would just have been one long round of negativity. The more I thought about it, the more I realised I would have ended up including practically everything about the world today in my analysis of what was wrong with it. Its art, its politics, its science, its philosophy, its culture, its education and even its religion. For nowadays each one of these serves to sidetrack man from his true mission of self-knowledge. None of them really helps to align him with it. Each one is, to some degree, destructive of truth. Most of them are based on lies and reduce humanity to a spiritually shrunken version of itself. The prospect was too unpleasant to contemplate. I didn't want to appear, even to myself, a miserable moaner with nothing good to say about anything.
That having been said, the negativity is not in me but in the world as it is today and, though a book is too much for me to do, a post on this blog will make the point well enough. After all, there isn't that much to say when you get down to it. All these deviations tie up together and come from the same place. They are all a denial of the fullness of what a human being is. They restrict humanity to how it appears to be in this world. They don’t all do this in the same way and to the same degree, but each does it to some extent.
For instance, science has long mistaken the part for the whole and simply denied those aspects of being it cannot access by its frankly fairly limited methods. It hobbles itself by its obsession with what can be measured. The contemporary artist is too fixated on himself as the artist and his response to the world. He fails to see further than himself. And that’s not even mentioning the striving for originality. To be original really means to go back to the origin of things and that is clearly God. What artist of the last hundred years does that? Some, certainly, but very few and hardly any whose work is acclaimed.
When philosophy is severed from the intellect, meaning the intuitive faculty of the mind not the rational, it becomes sterile. It concerns itself with concepts that have no bearing on reality as it is but simply with things as they are thought. It is reduced to theory, mind games and empty abstractions. For if philosophy is not rooted in the good, the beautiful and the true, it is useless.
Politics now is what people resort to when they have no spiritual understanding. It is based on the denial of man as a spiritual being. It treats him as existing only in and for this world, and either attacks his individuality or over-asserts it. Consequently, it is practically always the vehicle for some form of oppression. In the modern world, politics has become a means of separating human beings from truth and is at the forefront of the attempt to reconstruct them in a new form that has no connection to what they really are or should be. In this it takes direction from the materialism of science, the spiritual aridity of philosophy and the misconceived misrepresentations of art.
Unfortunately religion and spirituality are also weakened forces. The former usually lacks an inner dimension that would give it spiritual power, and its adherents may be well-intentioned but do not sufficiently appreciate the reality of which they speak, tending, paradoxically enough, to emphasise the horizontal dimension of being over the vertical. The latter is too often vague and self-centred, either seeing reality as a pantheistic mush which aligns all too easily with contemporary atheistic attitudes, or else diminishing the spiritual quest to a search for the true self thereby denying proper transcendence. I generalise, of course, but, while there may be many individuals who do not fall into these categories, present day forms of religion and spirituality largely do, particularly in their more public aspects.
So where is one to turn? The fact that there is no outer support nowadays tells us that we have to go within. God now wants each person to find the truth inside themselves and to be their own spiritual support. This is both a test of their integrity and also a way for them to develop the insight required to become truly spiritual and not just passively so. This path is not without problems, never mind its difficulty. The possibility of illusion and self-deception is always there, but if we work to purify our minds of attachments and selfish desires and wrong thinking, and open our hearts to truth then we can make headway in modern times despite its anti-spiritual bias. In fact, it may be that by seeing through the modern deviations and benefitting from their plus points, because they do have them as anything must, we can make more headway than might otherwise have been the case if we lived in more spiritually understanding times. What are these plus points? Chiefly, I would say, the focus on the individual and the desire to understand not just follow. These have led to the many deviations referred to but they also have their positive side if they are harnessed to correct spiritual understanding. That is, if they are seen as servants rather than masters.
You cannot understand the contemporary world if you do not see it as the closing phase of a long cycle in which openness to spirit is gradually shut off and human beings become trapped in matter. At the same time, you will not understand it if you do not grasp how forces antithetic to God, supernatural forces taking advantage of the times, are trying to reframe human beings without reference to their higher nature. This is all presented as a good with resistance to it an evil, the reverse of the truth. It may be a pseudo-good when defined by its own terms, and unfortunately most people nowadays, without any basis in real metaphysics and lacking insight, are seduced by it and go along with it. Many even line up to promote it, thereby fighting for the devil while fondly believing they fight against him. Of course, those who do this do not have truth in them, or not enough real response to it, which is why they can be exploited, but they are convinced they serve the good. The devil uses much subtler tactics these days or perhaps it just seems so in the context of the times. But to present good as evil and evil as good is one of his favoured methods of corruption, and it deceives many especially when the full force of public discourse is behind it as is usually the case these days.
Let's end on a positive note. It seems to me that as the official line on what reality is becomes more absurd and more untenable, as it must because once something has started going downhill it will carry on until it reaches the bottom unless something powerful stops it, people will start to wake up. Maybe not a majority, but the truth that is within us all will surely reassert itself amongst many when they are faced with ever more flagrant challenges to goodness, truth and common sense. At any rate, the increasing divergences from truth will bring us all to the point at which real choices have to be made. Will we then meekly conform to the outer indoctrinations of society and the world or will we listen to the voice of our Creator within us? This will be both an opportunity and a test. Let us pray that we will be equal to it.