In defense of fundamentalism

Mankind is going in circles.

When you look at the Greek histories you can see periods of democracy and liberty lead to corruption and oppression, until the next democracy emerges centuries later.

From the dark ages emerged the Renaissance whose sun is still shining on our times, if perhaps just our subconscience by twilight. For we are descending again into darkness, this time a secular dark age.

The common man’s adventures in self fulfillment are going off cycle.

Advances in medicine and science, our understanding of the natural world, make us think that humanity is progressing. But this is not progress. this is merely complication. Who’s to say that a scientist has any better grasp of the workings of the universe than does a shaman? Because you can read a book doesn’t mean you can throw it further.

In philosophy as well as science, there is a sense that through time, each successive thought builds upon our past. Yet you’d be hard pressed to find a scholar who could say that any philosopher or scientist has surpassed yet Aristotle. As Eisenstein was to be with film, so Aristotle was to rational man: medium fully explored.

From an Eastern perspective, Buddhism has for quite a long time been trying to raise the world’s consciousness. An admirable goal, but has it succeeded from one generation to the next?

Man’s personal development certainly goes in circles. Development leads to entropy and decay. Vitality flourishes then becomes decadence. By the time you have a culture preoccupied with its sex life, you’ve got a people with a spirituality going nowhere.

You can look around today and see signs of this decay everywhere. Look at the ultra-violent video games or at a mass media obsessed with sex: a sexuality absolutely removed from procreation.

While it’s hard to explain why any of these preoccupations are vices per se, they are traditional signs of end times. They accompany the death of culture, as the decline of the Roman Empire, as before them the Greeks. They signal biblical end times like Babel, Sodom and so on.

To champion personal freedoms may feel righteous. What feels more natural than the motivation to explore and indulge our personal proclivities? But perhaps this is only hastening the end of our cycle.

Why not instead try to transcend this downward curve?

Fundamentalist religions do this. They deny human nature because they want to transcend it. They see mankind’s weakness to succumb to idolatry and self destruction and they think maybe this time they can avert it.

That’s my guess as to what they think they are doing.

Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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