2016-04-18

On the blindness of scientism

One famous Indian once said that it was not a measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
I would like to add that, in turn, it is not a sign of health in a society when it is unable to accept, and integrate itself into, the suchness of existence. If it has, at its basis, the idea of improving on nature it is well on its way to insanity.
For in that case it regards itself -- culture -- as external to, and separate from, nature, a category it introduces to name the thing it seeks to manipulate and control.
And the whole practice of substituting vitamin pills for fruits, plastic packaging for freshness, hydroponics for soil, legal bondage for empathic relationships, social insurance for compassion, money for trust, horsepower for horses, governance for personal responsibility, rational for reasonable, and all the rest of it, reeks of manipulation.


Science and technology, along with politics and religion, are fine as far as they go, but as solutions to our crisis they must fail, for they are expressions of the paradigm of separateness from, and control over, 'nature'. They can reveal aspects of reality, yet in no way can they claim to be the only way, or source, of knowledge that there is. For their understanding of reality is limited while existence is infinitely larger and deeper than their rational scope.

We have observed what came from giving way to pure rationality. Just look at the world of today. If we are engulfed in conflict and misery it is because, among others, rationalism lacks an ethical dimension, a social dimension, a spiritual dimension, and an emotional dimension, all of which are defining us as human beings. That which is 'irrational' is part of reality -- the totality of existence. The sense for it is not a glitch, a dysfunction, or a human disease, but exists for a reason. When we exclude it from our 'calculation' we are ignoring the deeper roots of the world's condition, and therefore the way forward, both of which literally lie outside science's view and technology's grasp.

Our society may be profoundly sick (or maybe it is just a passing adolescent phase), but as a species, we are neither dysfunctional mutations nor diseased miscreations (born sinners, as the Bible goes); we are wearing cultural glasses that impair our sight. Leaving culture aside, not negating it, but looking beyond it -- what do we see?

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