Ancient cultures built pyramids, the Parthenon, civilizations, mapped the stars, understood human nature, gave us law, gave us the written word, laid the foundations for eons of humanity.
Today, let’s see…
We have yet to cure cancer, baldness, HIV, the common cold, simple ailments that have haunted humanity for years, so on and so forth. We’ve yet to come to terms with our humanity, our concepts of God and the afterlife. We’ve yet to come to terms with how to keep a civilization healthy for much longer than three or so hundred years, give or take.
But by God, we’ve got smartphones and enough entertainment to put us all into a trance whilst the West dies away. And goodness, if we haven’t become some of the most nagging busybodies the universe has ever known.
The enlightenment just burns, don’t it?
Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them
Just about everywhere you look now, some fool is tilting their jousting rod at some windmill. Some imaginary wrong, some imaginary offense, some imaginary thing that they will slay, and upon slaying they will add their name to the seemingly inexhaustible list of other people doing the same thing.
Never mind the real problems of our day. Someone’s feelings might get hurt.
Never mind having respect for the foundations of prosperity put down by those before us. Someone’s feelings might get hurt.
Forget our ridiculous spectacle of a presidential election here in America because, as you may have guessed by now, someone’s feelings might get hurt.
Welcome to Enlightenment. This grand phase of our human existence seems to exist mostly within the realm of the Butthurt, the Whiners, and the Liars.
It is an entirely imaginary thing, this ‘enlightened’ state we believe ourselves to have found. It is based upon lies and conceits, deceits and illusions. This state we prattle on so often about is virtual—nonexistent in any real, comprehensive, useful manner—and we are all the slaves of that virtual idea.
Who can admit (in public) that perhaps decades of whatever it is we’ve been trying to do with this modern culture have utterly failed? To admit this is to swallow our pride, and that just won’t do. Our Hubris created that Nemesis we cling to, this idea that we’re somehow above those who came before us, and we suckle at its fat teat because to do anything else robs us of the high of feeling like we are superior.
Such behavior is not that of free men. It is by no means the behavior of the enlightened man.
The rational, sane mind simply cannot take this idea of modern enlightenment with any seriousness any longer. Not if that mind wishes to remain sane. It is a laughable idea. I suggest more of us do just that: laugh it away. It cannot nor should not be taken seriously. Read history and this is made all the more true, for you see that there is, as Solomon once noted, nothing new under the sun.
We’re the same as we ever were. We just have shinier gadgets. Useless, but shiny.