Saturday, June 7, 2014

Just a Bit of Berdyaev

Sometimes, please don't laugh, I get to read books. I'm especially enjoying Berdyaev's The End Of Our Time. He was writing after World War I:
European man strode into modern history full of confidence in himself and his creative powers, in this dawn all seemed to depend on his own power of making, to which he put neither frontiers nor limits; today he leaves it to pass into an unknown epoch, discouraged, his faith in shreds - that faith which he had in his own powers and the strength of his own skill - threatened with the loss for ever of the core of his personality. No, this man does not shine.
And again:
In the present century, the apex of the humanist era, European man stands amid a frightening emptiness. He no longer knows where the key-stone of his life may be found, beneath his feet he feels no depth of solidity. He gives himself up to a surface existence and lives in two dimensions as if he occupied exactly the surface of the earth, ignorant of what is above him and what below. 

Prescient words, unless you think everything's fine with the collapsing modern age. Interestingly, Belloc, and perhaps Berdyaev too, argue that the end of the secularist experiment leads inevitably and paradoxically to slavery.

I stand against that and for the Faith.



jenny said...

That's good stuff.

And regardless of where it leads-- I'd say the secularist experiment IS slavery. Who wants to live a 2D existence confined exactly to the surface of the earth? How bitterly horrid. "Frightening emptiness" indeed. We might ACT ignorant of the depth below us and heights above, but our souls know they're enslaved...

LSP said...

For sure, and I'd argue literal slavery to.

Just you wait and see.

Arimathean said...

Progressives live in flatland - they have convinced themselves that only two dimensions exist - that only two dimensions can exist. As a matter of consensus, they avert their eyes to any evidence of a third dimension. As a matter of dogma, they know that anytime they might perceive a third dimension they are hallucinating!

LSP said...

Ain't that the truth.