Friday, August 26, 2016

The Crisis of the Modern World | René Guénon

"God cannot be known except by Himself, and this is
the supreme or 'total' degree of knowledge." (HERE)
René Guénon (1927) - So long as Western people imagine that there only exists a single type of humanity, that there is only one 'civilization', at different stages of development, no mutual understanding is possible [...] The truth is that there are many civilizations, developing along very different lines, and that, among these, that of the modern West is strangely exceptional, as some of its characteristics show. The civilization of the modern West appears in history a veritable anomaly: it is the only one which has developed along purely material lines, with a corresponding intellectual regress. This regress has reached such a point that the Westerners today no longer know what pure intellect is; in fact they do not even suspect that anything of the kind can exist. Hence their disdain, not only for Eastern civilization, but also for the Middle Ages of Europe, whose spirit escapes them scarcely less completely. 

[...] But most extraordinary of all is perhaps the claim to set up this abnormal civilization as the very type of all civilization, to regard it as Civilization with a capital letter, and even as the only one which deserves the name. Extraordinarily too, and also complimentary to this illusion, is the belief in 'progress', considered no less absolutely, and naturally identified, at heart, with this material development which absorbs the entire activity of the modern West [...] Moreover we cannot help noticing that, like all propagandists, the apostles of tolerance, truth to tell, are very often the most intolerant of men. Those who wished to overthrow all dogma have created for their own use, we will not say a new dogma, but a caricature of dogma, which they have succeeded in imposing on the Western world in general; in this way there have been established, under the pretext of "freedom of thought", the most chimerical beliefs that have ever been seen at any time, under the form of these different idols. 

In any case, what Westerners call civilization, the others would call barbarity, because it is precisely lacking in the essential, that is to say a principle of a higher order (see also HERE).