Our Emergent Civilization

Our Emergent Civilization

Our Emergent Civilization

Our Emergent Civilization

Excerpt

During his brief existence on this earth, man alone is free to know, to examine, to criticize, to choose, and to create. In this freedom lies his superiority over the resistless forces that pervade his outward life. But man is only man, and only free, when he is considered as a complete being, a totality concerning whom any form of segregation and isolation is artificial, mischievous and destructive; for to subdivide man is to execute him. Nevertheless, the persistent interrelationship of the processes of the human mind has been, for the most part, so ignored, or forgotten, as to create devouring distortions in the understanding of man to the extent that one begins to believe that if there is any faith left in our apparently moribund age it clings in sad perversion, in isolated responsibility and with implacable tenacity to that ancient tenet: "Blessed is he who shall not reveal what has been revealed unto him." For when he does attempt to communicate his knowledge he is for the most part either misinterpreted or misunderstood.

The mutual unintelligibility among most contemporary thinkers, their apparent inability to communicate the meaning and purpose of their ideas to those of differing opinions, the paucity of their knowledge pertaining to the subjects and researches of others, all this has grown to be as profound as it is ominous for the future of mankind. And the possibility of clarifying the confusion, which is more than a semantical issue, and of dissipating the distortions seems remote. The subdivision, specialization, nay, atomization increasingly characteristic of religious, philosophic and scientific ideas, of political and social movements during the past two centuries, in spite of the unification of science movements, the decline and defeat of reason, have proved to be an almost invincible impediment to an adequate correlation of these very ideas and movements which, in truth, are in perpetual interplay. The postulates, categories, dialectical promptings, fecund analogies or decisive doctrines which first appear in one eminent province of human thought may, and frequently do, penetrate, through their inevitable divagations, into a . . .

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