Modernity and Truth. What happened?
How is it possible that in such a short period of time things have changed so much?
Author: Ángel Gutiérrez Sanz | Source: Catholic.net
The course of history is relentless and in its path, everything is transformed.
Modernity and Truth. What happened?
How is it possible that in such a short period things have changed so much?
By: Ángel Gutiérrez Sanz | Source: Catholic.net
Historical transformations are a reality that have us trapped and which we cannot escape from. Everything changes, nothing stays. The course of history is relentless and in its path, everything is transformed. Those of us who count the years in decades do not let go our astonishment to compare yesterday with today as we ask ourselves how is it possible that in such a short time things have changed so much? And above all, how can we suffer such a profound metamorphosis in our way of being and acting in the framework of such a short existence? That expression "genius and figure to the grave" is very good concerning the genetic component – somatic, but as far as the ethos is concerned, it is something else. We are born men, but we are progressively humanizing or dehumanizing and this has much to do with the scenario where we move and the social atmosphere that we breathe. Rightly it has been said that each individual is the son of his time and the society in which he has lived. This means that the environment around us can be decisive when it comes to setting up our personality, no one doubts this.
It is not necessary to say that the humanistic model of Egypt, ancient Greece or Rome, was quite different from that of the Middle Ages or the one incarnated by the Renaissance men and even more by those of the Enlightenment. Even so, it was possible to continue talking about universal references, which could be validated at all times, while the rules of the game remained in place, without the need to break the deck. That is to say, the passage from one period to another was produced within certain continuity, but now the same cannot be said. Postmodernity has meant break with modernity in every rule, in a record time, which is much more if we refer to Spain, where overnight we could see how everything changed, to the point that the same person, I will not say old but “advanced age”, has the impression of having lived two very different lives, which resemble very few to each other and having met people that over time has changed their profiles to become unrecognizable.
After 30 or 40 years you meet again with those friends or people with whom you had an intense treatment and they turn out unidentifiable inside. Peter, the university fellow who studied Philosophy, rigorous in his reasoning, bent on the search for truth because he believed that it existed and was possible to find it, now has become skeptical and questions everything. Mary, that demure and modest girl, who was showing feminine even in the way she walked, has become shameless, talks like a carter, defends free love and has become a champion of the ideology of gender. Santiago, the regular assistant to the courses of Christendom, which said to have more faith that Saint Paul, has ended up creating a type of religion to his measure, syncretic and so crazy that not even him knows where to take it. Juanjo, the former comrade in the Camp of Youth, who felt the passion for Spain to make patriotism the reason for his life, now does not talk about committing and moving a finger for his country because everything happens. Goyo, with leader wood, who everyone respected for his moral rectitude and sense of responsibility, has become rudely pragmatic and does not stop repeating that "every man for himself" “safe yourself who can” and that the important thing in life is "to be in the right place in the right moment." Now the doubt that I have left is if others can say of me the same as I think of them.
The gale of postmodernism has brought a lot of dust and the dust of the road has been impregnating our being. One and a thousand times we'll have to keep asking ourselves, how did all this happen and why does it have to be this way? To begin, it must be said that there has been no violence or oppression, things have been happening spontaneously and naturally, in the context of a carefree environment that refers us to May 68, in which the students of the Soborna University were the protagonists of a contra cultural movement difficult to specify, like all movements, with a clear axiological subversive component, which without great political repercussion has become the symbolic myth of an epoch, which represents the last great romantic revolution of enormous openwork in the socio-cultural ambit.
In reality, the project of modernity was already playing bottom since the first half of the twentieth century and it gave signs of exhaustion. A generalized crisis in all orders made it clear. Suspicion had opened a large gap in rationality, morality, and religion, which were the great pillars in which the West was held. Today we can appreciate it with meridian clarity. The critique pointed to an excessive rationalization, nurse of disproportionate expectations, which then over time it was seen as it could not stand. Effectively, the rationalist optimism without limits had made believe that the whole field was oregano and everything could be expected from the reason, until the crude reality, especially after the experience of the second world war, woke the men and women of their Romantic dream and they could prove that neither all the rational is real, nor all the real is rational. It certainly did not cease to be a great success on the part of postmodern man to detect the danger of an exacerbated rationalism and to try to revindicate affection against pure rationality, but he committed the clumsiness of trying to correct the rationalist excesses with other excesses even worse, applying the pendulum law. This was precisely the big mistake, which resulted in turning the goddess right into an old liar, when in fact what was desirable would have been to leave things in a middle term.
Orphans already of reason, it only remained God as the last guarantor of the human aspirations, but also on Him weighed the suspicion of dehumanization, which made him a rival and dangerous enemy of man, whose single presence compromised his freedom and cravings of human happiness. The man of the post-modernity was always very clear that it was necessary to remove the foundations in which the truth and the good were supported, in order to have the hands free and to be able to think and act according to his whim.
He hurried to disconnect the powerful spotlights that were able to light up the last corners of reality and instead served and continues to serve, as a magic lantern, which is used to selectively light some sectors of reality leaving in gloom others. From the first moment, he was aware that he only one lives once, pouring in the present moment leaving out of screen the past and the future. No compromises, no fears that might disturb the enjoyment of the fleeting instant.
In the Whatsapp era in which we have installed, the news and information have a very short expiration date. Every day we have to empty the files of our mobile because everything happens very quickly and yesterday´s things no longer serve us. The impressions of a day are so many that we cannot process them all. We do not have time for quiet reflection and we are leaving for tomorrow the warm encounter with ourselves and with others. We have become accustomed to living in a virtual bubble and it is difficult to do without it.
It sounds like a joke, but the terms have been reversed. This artificial world, with a great component of virtual sensations, created and piloted by the man himself, who has been erected in the measure of all things, who decides on the truth and the good and on who depends the destiny of the humanity, is now the mute of the reality. Instead, the world with solid metaphysical bases, open to spirituality and transcendence, which was based on the founding, beginning, and end of everything created, is considered as a phantasmagoria. If our grandparents will raise their heads they may not understand it and surely they will not accept it; but who do understand are the grandchildren who have come to think that things are like each other seems and that’s it, being difficult to dissuade them because how are you going to convince those who think that there is no reason but only feelings?
Anyway, I am afraid that the man of postmodernity is bored by this kind of philosophical disquisitions because everything that does not allow us to live and enjoy the present moment, in the most primary sense, is wasting time and anyone who knows how to enjoy and profit life does not need anything else. This is how the nihilism of the post-truth believes to have reached the climax of the story, although I would not trust anything, because the cunning of reason, as warned Hegel, always, manages to expose the human nonsense and especially because the experience notes at every step that time ends up devouring the present moment that we idolize. I have for me that postmodernity will be remembered as the golden age of the technique championed by the Internet and its men as the creators of magnificent material development, unprecedented, but not knowing how to digest such success ended up losing the judgment and them going crazy.