“The Age of Man is over / A Darkness comes at Dawn / These lessons that we’ve learned here / Have only just begun” ~”Kings and Queens,” 30 Seconds to Mars
Modern culture clearly believes humanity to be a creature on the rise. I can’t say I buy this theory anymore. What I see is a creature on the demise, forcibly wiping himself away from what he once was into dust, unable to cope with all that he has done wrong, thus now idly watching as the world around him crumbles, while he entertains himself as he is wont to do.
It’s a bummer, ain’t it? Really, the whole idea above is a gut-puncher without much redemption to it at all. I know, believe me. I almost hate the fact that I arrived where I have concerning Man. Yet, there it is.
But the thing that keeps me from teetering off the edge into the oblivion of a complete hatred of Man is that I do not hate Man at all. In fact, I am enamored of this thing that we are. So capable, so able and yet so unwilling to admit either. We are a paradox of the most high kind; able to do what we set out to do but unable to set out to do anything worthwhile for very long at all, reducing ourselves to the base and mediocre, every time we attempt to rise up. I find it amazing at times that we love to worship the smallest elements of what we are because these smaller demands spawn fewer required behavior modifications (“Everyone is beautiful just the way they are!” is our mantra) while ignoring the nobility and success we can achieve as cultures by demanding of ourselves that we at least attempt to live up to what we are, what we were created as and for, and what we once were.
In our culture, however, this is all but impossible because we have convinced ourselves at the deepest level that we have evolved; that we are better than we once were. The basic answers I have received all of my life as to why this is amount to mostly rationalizations. Indeed, we can fly across the world in planes, can drive anywhere we want, can talk to one another across the world on our little mirrors we call smartphones, can do just about anything we want to do on a movie screen, and have supposedly eliminated so many of our biases and weaknesses so that we have achieved a Utopia of a kind; unfortunately, a Utopia that demands no one look at The Wizard, because he’s behind a curtain and fragile, just like us.
Meanwhile, I look into the past and find men and women who mapped the stars, foretold secrets eons ago, understood alchemy on a level that astounds me, more or less cemented and formalized math, the true sciences, provided for their peoples using brilliant and clever ways to manipulate the Earth’s resources, kept their own history through rigorous oral customs, quantified and cemented languages, kept tedious records of the world around them, read books that most of us could not comprehend today, built highways that were useful and efficient, understood both human nature and the nature of God Himself, built temples and buildings that we still gawk at today (because the damnable things are still around!), and on and on the list goes.
Now, TSA can look at your ass and cojones and we consider this progress. Now, our governments can spy on us, quite literally, at every moment because we have devices we deem too convenient and ‘important’ to shut off—and they use our devices against us. We’re told this, via our internet, every day. Yet we are silly enough to rationalize it away.
Yet we believe we are smarter and more evolved than our ancestors and I find this to be hogwash. Nowadays, when I look to Man for any kind of wisdom at all, I look to Man in the past. When humanity was, in fact, ‘more evolved.’ One of the biggest reasons I can’t buy Darwinism, most especially on the part of Man, is that it makes no sense when applied to the creature called Man. No sense at all. For all I know, Darwinism might be applicable to the animal kingdom, to much of how the world and universe work, but, when I apply it to the creature called Man, the whole thing falls apart. Man was created for a specific reason. If Man will ever be mindful enough to look this in the eye honestly, I think humanity might actually find that he can become better than he is now.
Until then, I suspect we are on a self-begun slide into oblivion. And it’s a damn shame, too.