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Wednesday, March 11th, 2009, 06:05 PM
In a traditional civilization, everything is ordered by an extension of metaphysical principles, and every act, custom, or art is the skillful performance of a sacred rite. At the antipode is modernism, which is a profanation or secularization of civilization under the pretext of progress, and stems from a loss of traditional knowledge or open revolt against traditional forms.

Insofar as the West is concerned, the modern age began in the 14th century when the French monarchy, dominating the papacy, had the Order of the Temple disbanded. Modernism became more proclaimed in the 17th century after the Thirty Years War when the Brothers of the Rose-Cross are said to have left Europe for the East. During this time we see rising trends in what may be called the “superstition of science” which replaced traditional knowledge. Also, the misunderstood residues of traditional sciences such as astrology and magic increased, just as they did at the time when paganism neared its end. The natural phenomena were soon rediscovered but at the expense of spirituality. Finally, we come full circle when not only the initiatic and religious orders but also the monarchies are undermined. Subsequent revolutions gave rise to democratism, secular nationalism, capitalism, and the dominant influence of the bourgeois and proletariat, until resulting in an egalitarianism.

It is important to remember that science became the rallying cry for the new age progressive, and it was science which was at the heart of progress. Such a progress was an infernal descent into a psychism or humanism whereby all vertical knowledge became closed off to one and horizontal possibilities were left to be developed more fully. This development was problematic for the reason that man lacked a center and therefore a purpose. What replaced the traditional center was human reason which, because of its fallibility, lacks a transcendent character. It is not by an accumulation of data that one may reach the summit; on the contrary, that which is indefinite holds all things from the past, present, and future; one can only arrive at the center by synthesis, and it is only through the pure Intellect that one may come to know those things which science ignores.

Modern science, in fact, is a sort of rationalism, as is philosophy a science, which takes reason or reflective knowledge as its supreme summit and denies direct knowledge its authority and very existence. The scientific method, which is empirical, relying on observation and experimentation, is thereby systematic and fragmented, cut off from any higher principles and therefore its reason for being.

The applied sciences, which still have some semblance of purpose, fall radically into dismay since the principles and laws that once governed such are no longer in use. Life is no longer for the good of man as such but for the good of production and profit, for the outward appearances and sensations of man; the superstition of science thus leads to the superstition of life. Man therefore loses his soul to mindless work and that which it produces: machines and dead-weight products, unintelligent art, and all tools of pleasure. Once life is quantified then virtues become nonexistent. Man now has no moral reservations against making more and more destructive weapons, more pollutants, more waste, more harmful and mind-numbing products.

We also see the arrival of the social sciences which comprise of things that no one thought to systematize before since they were either too obvious or unthinkable and did not exist. Anthropology, communication sciences (including all types of media), economics, human geography, history, political science, and psychology—all of this is as rubbish devoid of the spirit and made to be consumed by the secular democratist, which thereby has forced an incomparable stupidity on the masses.

The results mankind has reaped from scientism are an endless array of systematic frauds: rationalism, secularism, historicism, humanism, capitalism, democratism, egalitarianism, industrialism, psychologism, political ideologism, consumerism, socialism, globalism, and finally atheism, which is characteristic of nearly all of scientism. There is even a “scientific illuminism” which claims to apply the method of science to the aim of religion! All of the above generally approach spiritual matters as though God and metaphysics were inventions created by man to satisfy a creative instinct and to devise a system of authority with which to keep the people in check. Since science cannot accept a reality beyond the reach of the empirical senses the scientist assumes that none must exist. This leads him to reject all spiritual authority from which point rationalist philosophers and scientists become the high priests of modernism.

Now, seeing some of the extreme consequences of scientism, there is a growing countermovement that is on the one hand, conservative, capitalist, and neo-Christian, and on the other, atheist, secular democratic, and socialist. This form of atheism and neo-religion, which devises its own pseudo-principles, will not be able to counteract modernism because it fails to realize the roots from which modernity was born; it claims to be a front against modernism while at the same time holding dear some of the very tenets of modernity itself. This is a confusion that stems from a distorted view of history and a refusal to observe a tradition in its entirety, to accept its doctrine and commit oneself to an actual spiritual practice. It is not so much that one cannot do so, but that one chooses not to. As such, it is the same willful refusal which was the cause of the fall of man, and modernity, as characterized by its loss of the intellectual light, is man’s resulting punishment.