Logos and Spirit
The long march of reason and science to its present supremacy has not been without its casualties. Starting with Socrates and Plato, who insisted on using their reason to approach the problems of life, the discipline of philosophy was born. Although it was overshadowed by religion in the middle ages, reason again surfaced in the Renaissance with the rebirth of humanism, or the idea that man can use his reason to evaluate things, and not just accept religious dogma. This led to the 18th century Enlightenment, where reason was crowned as the monarch, and philosophy and science flourished. This climaxed in the past century with the breathtaking discoveries of science, and the mesmerizing magic of the engineers.
It seems now that modern humanism not only asserts that man can use his reason to evaluate things, but in a hubric fashion asserts that reason and science are the only way of evaluating things, and all will be intelligible to the intellect. Indeed, as its proper field of study is the objective world, or matter, science has determined the hard mathematical constraints of the outer world, and has discredited superstitions and magical thinking. After Darwin it has been believed that the material world is all there is, with its hard rules and bleak final outcomes. Lost is a sense of mystery, and a humility, in front of life’s deepest questions. The thorough debunking of religous dogma by science has left people without a spiritual anchor, and Logos in its long march to dominance has claimed Spirit as it’s casualty in the 20th century.
I believe it is in the subjective world that Spirit is found, which lies beyond reason and science, and is by its nature surreal and ultimately unintelligible. Just as Galileo asseted the findings of science when the pendulum had swung too much in the favour of irrational, religous dogma, so now it has swung too much to the realm of rational, scientific materialism at the expense of Spirit. Perhaps our task in the 21st century is to accept the miracles of science and engineering, but also to reassert the transcendence of the spiritual, that so many hunger for, with a faith that can accommodate the scientific facts.
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in Song and in Spirit,