Eternity, a new age, and the globalization of ancient traditions
Handojin complains of the treatment of Traditionalism, with a consideration of the eternal, and the spiritual ’emptiness’ of modern man.
First the question of the ‘eternal’ is not a monopoly of those who lived in the past. In fact, it is strictly speaking the property of noone, since we have but the slenderest intuitions here. The sense of the ‘timeless’ is not an experience, which is a temporal phenomenon. So how do come to any knowledge of this? In any case, I would not reject all the classic metaphysics of the sufis, save to note that we have entered, not a post-religious age, so much as a post-Kantian age, in which we are rising to a new perspective that will one day bear fruit in a better knowledge of what in the past has been lost to the machinations of ambitious metaphysicians.
Upton is experiencing perhaps the thrill of sudden understanding of one strain of the sufi world, but these are cut flowers for us.
The general attack on modernity as spiritually empty is empty. Certainly modernity is seemingly anti-religious in its secularism. But that is the effect of moving to a new era in history, just as surely as the Axial Age shows a similar motion against its own past.
We telescope the past, and it seems full, while the fuller present seems barren. It is a misleading perception.
Modernity has shown an explosion in New Age and other spiritual endeavors unmatched in world history.
Look at Hinduism, or its various interior paths. The interaction with the modern world has been the best thing that ever happened to it: it has spread its core ideas globally for the first time, for better or worse.
In general, the caustic reductions of modernist ideology are a passage to another world of considering the spiritual potential of man, first by ‘banishing the archetype’, which has become rotten, and set to fall away.
As we have shown here modern culture has a latent potential for setting right many of the confusions that have haunted the religions of the past.
In any case, the ‘eternal’ is not found by looking to the temporal records of someone’s experience of that in the past. It springs in our own present if it is realizable at all
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