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The Dangerous Falsehood that Modern Man is Enlightened

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posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 12:39 PM
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I've come across this meme numerous times in the media, in conversation with others, and on this website. Rarely have I seen a fallacy so widely repeated and so little questioned and examined. The idea that modern man is in some way enlightened, or otherwise more intelligent and more canny than our predecessors. Man of the past is casually dismissed as ignorant, superstitious, cruel and bigoted, among other lazy and curt pejoratives. The reasoning, I assume, goes something like this: we now have access to unprecedented amounts of information, wide arrays of opinions and viewpoints, and we are under the auspices of science. Science, the infallible patron of modern man. Rather than merely a method of understanding the physical universe, science is often appealed to in the abstract- that is, an entity of its own, an authority so to speak. A leader, graciously illuminating the darkness and showing the path we ought to take. One can invoke the name "science", and is instantly afforded a measure of credibility. Regardless of whether the individual actually practices science, his argument invoking it is credible; or at least, more credible than the unfortunate opposition.

Dangerous, foolish reasoning if I've ever heard it. I will tell you the truth of things: modern man has a pretension to knowledge, nothing more.

Science and logic have aided man since the dawn of time. Modern humanity did not invent science, nor were they the first to use it. The only difference between past and present is the waning influence of religion and metaphysics, and yet their places are still neatly occupied by a congenial friend. As superstition is stymied in the modern world, something else takes it's place. Something nearly the same, in fact, something that is the same. Baseless belief, a close companion to us that shall always persist.

The Iranian herders 3,000 years ago who selectively bred small steppe ponies to produce a massive new breed of horse, the Nisean, were practicing the science of genetics. Through experimentation, trial and error, they discovered that breeding the largest horses together and isolating them from the rest would, over many generations, increase the frequency of alleles that led to larger offspring.

The makers of Mousterian spearpoints during the Middle Paleolithic, 70,000 years ago, were applying geology to practical ends. They discovered that certain types of stones made better spearpoints due to specific angles of cleavage, the density of the rock, and it's brittleness (or lack thereof). These cavemen managed to devise the deadliest and most effective stone tools then known to man. These same techniques are used by geologists today to identify rocks and determine how they were formed.

The 2500 year-old man, Thales, who could calculate the distance of a ship to the shoreline by using geometry, was practicing the height of logic, no different or worse than ours.

Ancient man has knowledge for us. He has advice and wisdom that we'd do best to heed, and that we discard at our own peril. I am a strong proponent of maintaining links to our past, and I place history, archeology, anthropology and historical philosophy at the apex of important disciplines, right alongside things like physics, biology, and mathematics. I place those disciplines above the hijacked and worthless pseudo-sciences like sociology, political science, and psychology.

Ignore the past at your own risk. Denigrate historical man, mock him, and haughtily declare yourself his superior. I can guarantee that this will parallel your own downfall and that of the rest of us. If there were elements in this world who desired a pliable mass, an untethered population of comfortable fools, one of their prime goals would be to twist past wisdom, to convince us that the past has nothing to tell. To convince us that history is the boring study of "dead, ignorant bigots", and that we are morally and intellectually superior. Of course, seeing as everyone loves to have their egos stroked and nurtured, they will eat up this insidious garbage like possums in a trash heap.

It's true- we now have access to so much knowledge, and yet most people refuse it. "It's boring", to most, and it's easier to listen than to surmise. It is pitiful and horrifying to realize that despite the knowledge at our fingertips, no one wants it. Our ignorant masses are no less ignorant than they've ever been. Anyone who cannot see that, I'll have to declare blind. I suppose, then, that enlightenment is not forthcoming.

So, I should end with this. "History repeats itself"- is there any more succinct and relevant truth? Perhaps I could just delete this whole post and replace it with that simple phrase. So you can do one of two things: you can heed the beckoning shadows lurking in your television, your IPhone, your school, and in popular untruths, or you can wise up. You can praise the modern world, exult in your enlightenment, and sit comfortably in ignorance. Or you can pay attention to the words of wise people, long dead, who want to tell you something.

Your choice.


edit on 25-9-2015 by Talorc because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 12:59 PM
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Nice post. Spot on.



posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 01:41 PM
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If you want enlightenment, then stare at the sun with eyes wide open. If you want practical wisdom, then cover'em for God's sake!



posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 01:42 PM
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*** deleted - double post ***
edit on 25-9-2015 by yosako because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 01:45 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Well done OP, S&F. I agree with you 100%. Modern man/woman is less in tune with the natural world and our selves than ever before. We never actually connect to the world we inhabit. We go camping in an attempt to reconnect. When in fact we are just outsiders in a strange land anymore. Nature fears us, and rightly so when the primary interaction is with the bumper of a car or down the barrel of a gun.

I can't bring myself to go to the zoo anymore. If you actually try and connect with an animal in the zoo it will just depress you.

The last few seconds will bring a tear to your eye.



posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 01:50 PM
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Science, the infallible patron of modern man. Rather than merely a method of understanding the physical universe, science is often appealed to in the abstract- that is, an entity of its own, an authority so to speak. A leader, graciously illuminating the darkness and showing the path we ought to take. One can invoke the name "science", and is instantly afforded a measure of credibility. Regardless of whether the individual actually practices science, his argument invoking it is credible; or at least, more credible than the unfortunate opposition.


do i sense sour grapes?



posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 02:01 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Well said and articulated.

I always thought it was rather odd how we can take years to figure out how our ancestors made or deduced something, and think we stand on some higher ground because of the technology used to come to that conclusion. All the while forgetting that if it weren't for our current technology, we probably wouldn't have been able to figure out what we were able to.

You want to be as smart as a people who made weapons from scratch, trial and error? Use your heads like they did and replicate them. Technology creates a shortcut to understanding things, and that's not another type of the wisdom that our ancestors had. Technology is useful, but people seem to have let the advances we have made, go their heads.

Ego. If there's a culprit that led people down that road towards the house of backwards thinking, that would be it.



posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 02:14 PM
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originally posted by: TzarChasm

Science, the infallible patron of modern man. Rather than merely a method of understanding the physical universe, science is often appealed to in the abstract- that is, an entity of its own, an authority so to speak. A leader, graciously illuminating the darkness and showing the path we ought to take. One can invoke the name "science", and is instantly afforded a measure of credibility. Regardless of whether the individual actually practices science, his argument invoking it is credible; or at least, more credible than the unfortunate opposition.


do i sense sour grapes?


No. Do I sense sour grapes?

If that's your argument against what I said, I won't hold my breath for more.



posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 02:15 PM
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Enlightenment has to do with spiritual awareness, technology has to do with carnality. For the most part, modern humans are not spiritually aware because they are so focused on the outer world and how to manipulate it to gain better technology that they forget that what truly matters is the inner world and making yourself better.

So I agree, technology does not make man smarter. S&F



posted on Sep, 25 2015 @ 04:22 PM
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a reply to: Talorc

Great read, friend. Quality is a rarity here.



posted on Sep, 26 2015 @ 12:16 AM
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a reply to: Talorc
I have great hopes, now that you have pinpointed and identified the greater problems; you will instantly correct this perceived imbalance of systems invented by others.
edit on 26-9-2015 by vethumanbeing because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2015 @ 12:42 AM
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originally posted by: TalorcThe Dangerous Falsehood that Modern Man is Enlightened

Please allow a few definitions from here;

The new, critically updated, all inclusive, Universal (any time, anywhere) definition of 'Knowledge';

"'Knowledge' is 'that which is perceived', Here! Now!!"
At this very moment!

All inclusive!

That which is perceived by the unique individual Perspective is 'knowledge'.
All we can 'know' is what we perceive, Now! and Now! and Now!!!

'Enlightenment' seems to have many, many, definitions.
The classical/original definition is the experience of Unity with the entire Universe, to become 'Universal!
One Omni- Self!
This is also the exact 'definition' of unconditional Love = Enlightenment!

Many talk the talk, but the evidence is;

True, unconditional Love is ALWAYS recognized by It's unconditional Virtues; Compassion, Empathy, Sympathy, Gratitude, Humility, Charity (charity is never taking more than your share of anything, ever!), Honesty, Happiness, Faith...
ALWAYS!

Perhaps that might grant some Perspective? *__-

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly." --Richard Bach



posted on Sep, 26 2015 @ 03:05 AM
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a reply to: Talorc


Ancient man has knowledge for us. He has advice and wisdom that we'd do best to heed, and that we discard at our own peril. I am a strong proponent of maintaining links to our past, and I place history, archeology, anthropology and historical philosophy at the apex of important disciplines, right alongside things like physics, biology, and mathematics. I place those disciplines above the hijacked and worthless pseudo-sciences like sociology, political science, and psychology.

Ignore the past at your own risk. Denigrate historical man, mock him, and haughtily declare yourself his superior. I can guarantee that this will parallel your own downfall and that of the rest of us. If there were elements in this world who desired a pliable mass, an untethered population of comfortable fools, one of their prime goals would be to twist past wisdom, to convince us that the past has nothing to tell. To convince us that history is the boring study of "dead, ignorant bigots", and that we are morally and intellectually superior. Of course, seeing as everyone loves to have their egos stroked and nurtured, they will eat up this insidious garbage like possums in a trash heap.

What does history have to tell? What can knowledge do? And what is it that is going to happen if the knowledge from the past is not heeded?



posted on Sep, 26 2015 @ 03:26 AM
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Intelligence is not of the past - intelligence is not knowledge.
Insight happens out of the blue.



posted on Sep, 26 2015 @ 03:37 AM
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a reply to: Talorc

Great OP


Your points are well-made and thoughtful. In general, we are no better, nor more able, than our predecessors and in many ways remarkably worse. Shorn of our modern luxuries, most of us would perish within weeks and be clueless about survival. A lot of our knowledge has been placed into proxy locations like the internet when it used to reside between our ears. There's also the fact that the silver generation frequently have a range of skills that my generation doesn't and neither do the younger ones.

Perhaps our collective decrease in subject knowledge is because most of us no longer have the whip of survival cracking at our feet? As societies have grown by their thousands, the idle and unambitious are able to rest on the laurels of others.

On the other hand, societies are arguably, metaphorically spear-shaped. It has always been the sharp-end thinkers and engineers who have led us forward. For all the wise men and women from the past, I wonder if they lived among the same proportion of 'great unwashed' and complacent herds as we do today. Our collective level of education (in the west) has risen for several decades (literacy, numeracy etc), but has that made us 'wiser?'

I'm not sure it has and generally take the view that our predecessors were as prone to the same fallibilities as us. It's so complex and nuanced that I find it hard to judge.



posted on Sep, 26 2015 @ 04:32 AM
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a reply to: Talorc
Isn't enlightenment reserved only for a few? It'll be great if we can all attain it if we can only know the path to take to lead us there.

It is said that history is written by the victors but can we also trust the alternative sources of it? So maybe all we can do is to speculate for the most part? How can we know something if we're not even aware of it? By knowing something we learn and when we learn, we change... hopefully for the better.

Yes. Science, the universal brand that we can all trust that is still based on materialism as Rupert Sheldrake pointed out for it's 10 dogmas. Even the late Ingo Swann in one of his lectures said that it was conceived by only a small group of scholars. If we cast doubt on science we are only left with cold logic, maybe with intuition and imagination... or The Book of Fudd?


edit on 09 11 2015 by MaxTamesSiva because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 26 2015 @ 04:40 AM
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originally posted by: MaxTamesSiva
a reply to: Talorc
Isn't enlightenment reserved only for a few? It'll be great if we can all attain it if we can only know the path to take to lead us there.


There is no path to enlightenment. Where you are now is the light but seeking in time denies the one light.
No one can attain 'enlightenment' - there is only the light which is here now. The one who seeks must be realized to be just seeking energy - the seeking energy must stop for the light to be realized.
When the seeking stops the seeker will be no more and all that is will be obvious.



posted on Sep, 26 2015 @ 04:41 AM
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originally posted by: MaxTamesSiva
a reply to: Talorc
Isn't enlightenment reserved only for a few? It'll be great if we can all attain it if we can only know the path to take to lead us there.


'There' is a story - a concept. 'Here' is what there IS - the non conceptual.



posted on Sep, 26 2015 @ 04:48 AM
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a reply to: Itisnowagain
Thank you for the perspective. I still have to wrap my head around it.



posted on Sep, 26 2015 @ 05:00 AM
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If you are full of the past then you will be full of what is not. Is the past here now?
Imagine that there are no words at all - where is the past?

What is there when there are no words telling stories about something other than what there IS?



Enlightenment is not found in time.


edit on 26-9-2015 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)



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