“An individual’s price is measured by the value of what he values.”
—Marcus Aurelius, 121-180 CE
In Reign of Amount and the Indicators of the Occasions, the Twentieth-century French thinker Rene Guenon wrote that humanity is within the end-throws of an epoch of profound materialism. He described ours because the bleakest interval in an extended cycle—the ultimate stage of the Kali-Yuga within the Vedic custom—a darkish age wherein ignorance is king.
On this age, spirit is absorbed into matter, creating the phantasm that matter is all that’s actual. Although we reside in a sea of forces that can’t be measured by bodily devices—pervasive forces of life, sensitivity, consciousness, creativity—our societal worldview steadfastly denies the truth of the invisible. These phenomena, that are the very stuff of direct expertise, are thought of subjective and unreal byproducts of fabric processes.
Within the current epoch, Guenon suggests, we worth solely quantitative measurements as indications of actuality. This worldview cuts us off from the upper powers and neuters intrinsic harmonics of that means. The fact of correspondence expressed in metaphor and image are shunted to the unserious spheres of the liberal arts and poetry. Our training teaches that what we sense and expertise is unreliable and unreal. Solely the calculations of indoctrinated specialists are to be trusted, even when contradictory to direct expertise.
Cash is the lingua franca for measuring and assessing worth in life. We miss the irony that cash is a pure abstraction with no sensible worth. How fascinating that the greenback invoice reads “In God we belief” thus promoting that “God” has turn into “mammon” (materialism). On this sense, as St. Augustine wrote, the Satan is the nice counterfeiter, “the ape of God,” substituting the genuinely invaluable with nugatory abstraction.
Alienated from a direct reference to our personal nature, we measure the well being of an individual on the idea of algorithms counting invisible particles. Gender is untethered from biology. And lower off from the pure world, of which humanity itself is a component, we assess the well being of Nice Nature by counting elements per million of carbon dioxide within the air.
Within the epoch of amount, democracy is the mode of governance wherein the highly effective majority at all times overpowers the weaker minorities and will equally be known as “mob rule.” Guenon writes: “It is just within the reign of amount that the opinion of the bulk can declare to be considered in any respect.”
In distinction are philosophies transmitted by way of traditions of the largely forgotten previous when the pendulum tilted within the path of high quality. The present paradigm views the religions, gods, and mythology of historic cultures as superstitious and ignorant. And but a cautious research reveals that many myths replicate cosmic processes just like the motion of celestial our bodies conveying a harmonic that means past the merely mechanical. Within the historic pantheons, Gods are cosmic forces accessible to direct expertise—however solely by way of a cultivated angle of devotion.
We should admit that the materialistic Enlightenment has not led to happiness and concord in humanity. It’s extra a mind-virus of collective alienation from self and world. The appearance of materialism denuded of spirituality might extra precisely be known as “the endarkenment” and its affect is sort of exhausted.
Residing within the age of bean-counting beneath the despotic reign of amount is a desolate existence. It’s nihilistic and devoid of that means and leads human beings to ignorance, dependancy, destruction, and private and collective suicide, for why go on dwelling when one is so lower off from an inherent that means, function, and pure matrix for existence?
Inside this context a few of us have a shadowy reminiscence or premonition of humanity dwelling in a means that’s organized by subtler and better powers. For many who hear the decision, our process is to reside inwardly as outsiders within the present age; to have solitude within the crowd; to be guided so far as potential by one’s personal pole star of values.
The duty, as I see it, is to not reject something in regards to the present state of the world. Moderately it’s to protect one’s thoughts and a focus from the flawed premises of the present worldview. We’re invited to offer consideration to the true thriller, the energetic and relational inside ourselves and in our human group and in nature. Feed the thoughts and being with influences arising from a extra holistic and fewer partial view of the world. Discover technique of connecting to the upper powers and oneself, and work to germinate the seeds of a future humanity right here and now.