Societies through history to modern days
31 October 2011, 11:15
True historical analysis is not easy; it is not about thrilling or feeling good, it is not a fable of the bees. It is the presentation of facts as they are, not what you think they should be. In studying history at Central Western University in Arlington, Texas (USA) I chose not to specialise in that kind of history that talks about national movements, wars, political ideologies, revolutions, political statements and speeches, the upper class, queens, kings and princes: Official history.
I chose to specialise in the way ordinary people lived throughout history, humble and simple people, their food, their humble dwellings and their daily sorrows and grief, the heartbeat of the times, not just great philosophers and their works, but the less familiar; invisible people.
Often studying people who are considered great men of history – perusing their great mighty deeds I have come out deeply disappointed that many times what people regard as great men of history is just an illusion.
The great philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau in 1771 proposed to write Prince Eugene's biography; Eugene warned him that history is a much more dangerous enterprise than poetry. Rousseau understood what Eugene meant and wisely gave up the project, shaking his head saying: God has created man upright and holy, but society depraves him and makes him miserable. Oh what a corrupt and corrupting world!
Last time in this space I wrote an article about the Dark Ages: I went into the Dark Ages where everything was giving way to darkness and immorality, and then reconciling the Dark Ages with the modern days. Let me tell you it was a heavy burden for me to bear. Some people shrank back in horror in that comparison I made when I called the modern days the dark ages. I received considerable feedback concerning that article and now I want to examine, more definitely, some of the difficulties encountered and the objections that have been advanced.
Now, with all my heart, everything that I have ever said here in the form of articles, I have said it with the best intention and the best motives I know how. And everything that I have said I've said it from my heart.
In characterizing the modern times as the dark ages, consider the fact that no matter where we turn, it is the moral ugly, obscenities and vulgar that is promoted and preferred. Modesty has become a thing of the past.
The progress which has been so much lauded about our modern days is only technological - mechanical devices not spiritual and moral. What is being advanced as style and class is a thin veneer of delusions regulated by inferior principles. The push of the modern day is living life to the fullest - indulging, spoil yourself, to go on the worse - have fun.
Consider the ordinary modern day teenager. The ordinary modern day teenager has a daily dose of debasing music, cartoons, movies, etc that encourages unrestrained life of pleasuring and carousing - pushing the boundaries is the slogan of today.
We have indeed witnessed some remarkable revolutionary inventions, but how have they contributed to the spiritual good of mankind – not the tickling of the flesh but that invisible immortal part of us? In many cases such great part of us (spiritual essence) is being systematically hushed off and made dead.
These mechanical devices that are lauded and celebrated as progress and technological revolution have failed to produce contentment and mental serenity. What is the difference? We still die - Steve Jobs, one of the celebrated manufacturers of these modern day mechanical devices died young. There was no mechanical device or modern day medicine or modern day spirituality and psychological meditations to help him. We still die and we still are going to give account of our earthly lives beyond the death curtain. There is no philosophy or reasoning that you can advance to stop that.
What all these highly celebrated modern day mechanical devices and modern day spirituality have done is that they literally withered away the tranquility of daily inner peace replacing it with long night of nightmares of distresses, social dislocation and social instability, loneliness and anxiety feelings of disconnection.
Alvin and Heidi Toffler are known for their work that has influenced educators, psychologists and social scientists. They provide a long list of psychological distress and disintegration brought about the new technological revolution: It means the end of friendship, the end of love, the end of commitment, the end of community, the end of caring, and the end of character. What you have is psychological depression, people having nervous breakdowns confused, concerned about their future.
The Tofflers continues: Anti-social behavior, insanity, nakedness and vulgarity are promoted in the media. The need is instant intimacy or ecstasy. People are drowning in best seller psychology books of motivation to get into higher states of consciousness and new spirituality mediations. Human potential motivational books, articles, and blogs – indeed a kind of paranoia has settled - there is a sick bad smell in the air.
The world has changed - the world around - the physical, the outer world, but who we are essentially, our inner world still have the same divine qualities, the same aspirations, the same spiritual needs that the ancient people had - the needs for spiritual fulfillment, wholeness and connection. And those qualities cannot be satisfied by drawing the outer world (the world of pleasures and technology) inside.
It has been coming slowly but surely: now largely people are denied God: the world's activities has become a wrestling match, a wrestling match against God to deny people access to God, but now more and more people are not only denied God, but also the solid judgment and perception about their individual existence and essence.
- Chris Kanyane writes for the Global Centre For Research World Wide. Follow his blog here.
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