Thinking back some, and reflecting upon these essays; I have noticed something. Rarely (if ever), do they discuss the cultural "gee-whiz factor". I think you know what I mean.
Back in the 60s, we were regularly treated to a "march of progress" type of material. One venue for it was "documentaries", and there were also plenty of books published to boost the concept. It was a premise that "this generation" is seeing changes in science, technology, earning power and education which are unlike any previous. Progress (whatever that is) was "marching" indeed, and the wonders of our age yadda yadda yadda were in some special sense forming a kind of distinctiveness to the "modern age" which shamed all of our ancestors' doings.
I was never really that impressed by such talk, but when you listen to old people talking about farming using teams of horses, and how exciting it was when electricity came to the county, we begin to realize something. Techno-change, machines, then electricity; followed by aircraft and orbital space craft all sequencing in a three generational period; is pretty odd historically speaking.
When gee-whizism actually began I wouldn't know. The use of steam power began in earnest about two centuries ago. Internal combustion engines are a century-plus old. I am old enough to have been "wowed" by jet aircraft. But all of these combined cannot begin to compete "change-wise" with the digital revolution, nor with the sciences as they plot out genomes for instance. Some people speculate that we may see genuine "artificial intelligence" and physical immortality manifesting in under 50 years?
The; "Gosh, what are they going to think of next?" type of thought appears to be getting swamped lately by simply a glut, a regular torrent of innovation tech-wise. The rate of change is changing dramatically!
Reading these C.P.E.s, one might (correctly) guess that I frankly just don't much care about such stuff. Instead, what interests me is that across the culture there appears to be an "inevitable" aspect. There is an unquestioning acceptance and a blind embrace of "progress, and of all things modern". It is an oddity worth investigating to me; that folks endorse "progress", and never once think to inquire "where" it is heading!
Hey, I'm just a lowly blue collar working stiff, a mere construction worker. I am just another termite in the nest, but even I take a look occasionally at the blueprints to find out what it is, that we are so very busy building. With all the digital doo-dads employed, with all of the new materials to build with, with all of the excitement over the project as it "goes up", how come nobody seems to know what the structure is, or its' purpose? And I have found that if you are silly enough to ask what all the "new platforms are for", you get a sneer, a dose of derision, or worse; no answer at all . . . dialtone time.
Oddly indeed, not only does the question remained unanswered, the asking is treated as if some "Roberts Rules of Order" moderator has already deemed such to be "obviously out of order". Now, my interest is really peaked, this "not-saying" makes things so much more interesting! Clearly then, we are dealing with a "blind spot", and those are always tons of fun.
Offhand, I would guess that the classic blind spot of modernism . . . would be (ahem) "modern"! The premises of such may be many, but the central axel is that we; "the mods" have (amazingly enough!) dispensed with "myth".
In order to grasp mod thinking; just listen to what is said about myth. In usage, it is a synonym for "a lie". But way beyond being simply an untruth, myth is unfit for mature adults. So then, only congenital idiots, children or "primitives" buy into myth from this perspective. Far contrary to the pathetic numbskullery of myth; we "the sophisticated" have done away with the dependancy and immaturity in ourselves. In brief, we have "evolved".
Even a child could see that what is meant by such talk, is that the myths which our ancestors lived by, simply are not the same as ours. But in "living-by" axioms, those become (defacto) the current mythos. Furthermore, the arrogant folly of assuming that our (currrent) myth is not classsifiable as myth means something quite obvious.
Obviously, the myth of "progress from primitive to (us)" has been swallowed hook, line and sinker! Witness the emotional outrage, the shunning and loss of position for a tenured professor who offers even the mildest of challenges to the "orthodoxy" of Darwinism. The modern myth speaks volumes just here.
Said dogma proposes a "slope up" as the very bedrock of knowledge and truth. Now, never mind for the nonce that such a slope would be an entirely meaningless one if chance plus time equals reality. We shall allow the mods the luxury of their thieving of the concept of "high versus low" for now.
Using it, we get a cosmology and an anthropology which is "uppish" generally speaking. Gases "tend" to form solids, and such solids "usually" spontaneously combust into stable fusion reactions. Dust "migrates" into orbit about these, and "often forms" planets. Water (from who knows where?) "attracts" amino acids which "occasionally" rearrange into life. Said primitive goo "struggles" up the "chain of being" into life; first as amoebas, then guppies, trout, dinosaurs and lemmings. Well, what with one thing and another, these uppity organisms just don't know when to quit, and "naturally" become gorillas and then you and me. The "modern" mind buys this type of moonshine by the metric ton! And if "all is from chaos to order" then (of course!) what the termite builder wants a look-see at, is the blueprint for the "next step up".
Now, this man to super-man theory is obviously a religious doctrine, and cannot possibly be denied as part of the modern myth. Yet, modernism is dead set against religion. I think that this is due to the historical connections made with its' application in the Third Reich. As such, it is not a topic for polite audiences. But supposing for a moment that it even makes a little sense to think that a chance plus time randomness produced us, then our sense of "right and proper" and thus of "progress" itself; are clearly products of chance. An egg fell on the floor. So what? And if by mere happenstance, we have come to fancy one thing over another, how so the; "Poof, it becomes universally valid" gig? Okay, let us play along in this game for a few minutes.
Let us pretend that if you orbit a C-5A long enough over the plains of India, and continue to randomly toss bricks out the tail end (for long enough), that you will eventually build the Taj Mahal. How is it that such a structure could ever be deemed (importantly!) "better" than the rest of the debris of the experiment? Debris in stacks is still debris, and what can be made of that?
And I'd say that the "what" in question, is that "mod-new-man" is destined for the stars, and that stack of bricks down there is none other than a superluminal craft! The object being built is an ark to flee our world before the earth dies! People believe this, it is their religion.
So, the next obviousness to the modern myth is thereby "clock pressure". Moderns are nothing at all, if not hurried. Most of the current behavior of human-kind is impossible to decode minus a clock function. We are on a deadline down here, and the project we build "must go up soon"! This feature is part of why we find it so dreadfully interesting that the rate of change is changing, and why the speeding up of innovation is so very intoxicating for us. The logo involved here is the "countdown", and surely very modern; that! Likewise, the doom and gloom of "warming globes" urges us onward, away and off planet before "it is too late!".
In this religion, we require no Savior for we are are own saviors, and the deliverance we promise is a flight from a doomed world. Uhm, why would it be "important" for hairless apes which arose by chance in the first place to continue to exist? Why would that be a "good thing" to have happen, especially considering that we were the ones (supposedly) responsible for the demise of our home, and also the ones who invented the notion of "good" randomly ourselves? Why spread this cancer called "man" to other worlds? A meaningless and malignant growth, nothing but a tumor, but you gotta admit; it's BIG!
So, we are thus deriving an upwardly mobile organism which is a world burner. This aggregation of randomness is on a deadline to escape the rewards of its' own doings, and how shall that be done? Why "narually", with panache, swagger and verve it goes! Pointless it is, but to be carried out with style and flair.
That is, the third aspect of the mod man is a love of wealth, of fame and notoreity. Power and money and sex appeal all with a "fan-base", there we see modernity. Thereby, our "mission to the stars" features our own homegrown stars. Ophrah, the Beiber and Kanye West become astronauts (so to speak) in this system, We "propel them upward", and so character and loyalty and courage mean zip in this mode. Instead, being flamboyant, loud and obnoxious (provided the "risee" is rich!) is in this case an "asset".
When I was a kid, being a millionaire was pretty hot stuff. Nowadays, we yawn at mere billionaires eagerly awaiting the worlds' first trillionaire! And if that person turns out to be just another vulgar rap-star, or crooked politician, all the better! So the mod-myth is proposing a fame at any cost. In this system, the soul is definitely for sale, and such power as this is thought to be unassailable. It is the best kind of "safe and secure" in that it is pre-disastered! It is already condemned, and so nothing worse "could" happen! This is the shape of the mod brainwave as I see it.
So then, those outmoded and "primitive" ideas of sin or of indecency are the new taboo. We the evolved, are way too "sophisticated" for such as that! Sin is the norm in the mod myth, and so there is no shame in being found out as a liar, there is no sanction against corruption, for the "big-new-man" is "far above" such petty concerns . . .
So, let us step back for a moment and fit the key into the lock. We will open this door, and see if any of this mod-myth ties back into the "outmoded and primitive" myth of the past.
Our spontaneously combusting organism which "tends upward" wishes to flee to the stars does he? And furthermore, this is on a clock-based fear of a coming crash of the system eh? This evolved-one thinks he cannot be condemned because he spurns all standards of kindness and humble friendship does he? Hmm, have we heard something of this sort before somewhere?
How very interesting! The ancient way also spoke of this very thing. A Warrior Champion coming with "armies of bright ones" to shatter the world, this; the dire threat of those days. And to escape this calamity, the (lookee!) lowly and simple are lifted to the heavens. How's about them apples? The ancient way spoke of man purposely forgetting his origin, and inventing foolish stories to substitute for it, so that they would not be bound by conscience to his Mighty Maker. How flukey is that anyhow, all these parallels?
That path taught that wicked man beside being a liar, is a thief and he tries to hijack the excellencies above as if he had invented them all. It was as if he were the one to determine all on his own; high from low, good from evil; and true from false. Isn't that a remarkable coincidence? The tycoon sheltering in his palace from the storm, the "stars" (high ones) fleeing from the wrath coming. It certainly appears that all of this material has been "borrowed without permission" to this termite.
I see it thisaway as one termite speaking to another. The true gee-whizmo isn't really the race using all of its' wits to build "safety" in that coming day. The actual and authentic Gee(sus) Whizmo is the one shelter which He has built with His blood and body. The "true Ark" far more certain than Noahs' boat, the "true Blood" above the doorposts to ward off the angel of destruction, this the actual gee-whizmo. See the True Son and Inheritor of all; freely sharing of His riches with beggars, this is the stunner! This is the "remarkable development" of history, for it happened one day on a miserable hill.
And in that day, lifted up with Him we shall be, we the lowly, we the nobodies, and in that day; sprinting to other worlds bearing glad tidings indeed.
"The Mighty Maker . . . is become a (The) Creature! He, sitting upon His emerald throne, dwells bodily upon our re-made home-world, come and see!" The true New-Man, forged in union with a mighty host of the glad (and friendly!). They (we, I mean) shall then move worlds, and dance upon the air shouting the fury of love in the brilliance of His fierce welcome.
And they shall shout; "Thank You Sir!".
That glad throng clad in immortality, light and joy will only "have eyes for" the One who loved them, and gave Himself for them.
So now, who is "the primitive"?