Will the future generations look at the modern era as a dark age of some sort? This question arises because art no longer inspires, science no longer enlightens, philosophy has become dead, and so many other sad conditions now define the modern world.
Quality and truth, or the concern for them, especially with regards to science and philosophy, are the key ingredients that are now missing from all of these, and this sad situation brings me to think that the world is in a dark age.
Historically, the word “dark age” is used to refer to the period between the fall of the Roman empire and the first renaissance. It was a time of intellectual and cultural decline in western Europe.
But light shined again during the first renaissance when western Europe came out of the dark age and once again made a cultural connection with the intellectual works of ancient Greece. Nevertheless, now I speak of another kind of dark age.
For the past 100 years, mankind has been experiencing an intellectual decline such that it has become blown up to the point that today there is nothing poetic about poems, inspiring about art, truthful about science and grand about philosophy.
I am aware that this decline cannot be the condition of every art, science and philosophy as I believe that there are individuals who are still making great things happen in the intellectual world.
But a general overview of today’s world shows that the quality of art, science and philosophy has declined over time. What we produce today cannot be compared to the classics and in science, modern science is a far cry from what science should be, especially when it is compared to classical science that Newton and other classical physicists help establish.
I have found that the deterioration of modern science which began about a 100 years ago applies also to modern art and to modern philosophy; it seems as though the whole field of human knowledge are experiencing a decline and at an equal rate in the modern era.
As the concerned physicist complains about the state of modern physics, so also the concerned artist complains about the state of modern art, and it goes also for the concerned philosopher and the state of modern philosophy. The modern dark age has thus presented us with the crisis of knowledge and not just of physics.
While I would not like to make any particular references, I have myself observed that the whole intellectual works of this modern age cannot be compared to those of the classical era that followed from the first renaissance.
Something is wrong with the modern world and it doesn’t know that; we are in a dark age and do not know it. This is majorly because we are being fooled by the seeming progress in knowledge we think we are experiencing today.
Many analysts see our time as a period of immense growth in knowledge such that even the experts cannot keep up with the research and findings that are emerging, but what if it is all a mirage? And this is actually the case.
We are at a point where we cannot distinguish between rising ignorance and silent falsehood. What do I mean by this? The dark age of this modern era is unlike that during the middle ages.
In the middle ages, it was obvious that there was an intellectual decline as not many great works of art, science and philosophy were produced. This is what I refer to as rising ignorance.
But in the modern age, it is not obvious that there is an intellectual decline as many supposedly great works of art, science and philosophy are reportedly produced. But these works are lacking in quality, and with regards to science and philosophy, considering their close connection, these works do not come close enough to the truth. This condition is what I refer to as silent falsehood.
A man who knows nothing and a man who only knows what are false are both in a dark age, but the latter is in a deeper situation as he cannot know that he is in dark age, since he is being fooled by what he thinks he knows, which are not true.
While the former condition characterized the dark age of the middle ages, the latter condition characterizes the current dark age of this modern age. The subtlety of the latter is why the world does not know that it is in a dark age.
Look around you, there are so many intellectual works being produced, so many arts being painted, so many poems and proses being written, so many scientific papers being published on the uncountable journals in the world and around the internet, but how far in quality and truth are these works?
This question arises because the world is currently in a dark age of falsehood and not that of pure ignorance, and we have to do everything possible to come out of it. I have listened to experts speak up about the current state of things and I am happy for their boldness.
Also, I think that the dark age we are currently in is as a result of the long and steady attack on individualism by the establishments of art, science and philosophy and also by the wide rush to produce something and rise in media propelled fame.
The world no longer sees quality works of art, science and philosophy because the world no longer cares about quality works in these fields. Anything now passes as a great work and the cultural and intellectual decline continues.
Also, the pure promotion of art, science and philosophy on the basis of truth and quality by the media is brought into question when one observes how the massive intellectual decline is fueled by it.
I believe that the media has contributed largely to this as it can easily make anybody an authority on any field even if the person is less deserving of it. And the media now so strongly controls public opinion and views of any work of art, science and philosophy than in any other time in human history.
The public now believes that whatsoever the media popularizes has got to be the truth and has got to also have quality, but this is most times not the case.
This blind, hypnotic belief by the general public of the media and whatever it promotes has further fueled the decline in art, science and philosophy. It is no wonder that these decline began at a time that coincided with the rise of the media.
And the media, being more than just a means of disseminating information, but of also controlling public opinion and views about the world, it cannot be said to have unbiased motives behind whatever it promotes.
Furthermore, the establishments of art, science and philosophy in combination with the media have done so much to control and narrow the scope of art, science and philosophy, all of which have become about what is trending.
It is no longer about quality or truth but about what is trending. This is a complete definition of a degenerating society.
The individual only has to follow what is in trend, whether it be in art, science or philosophy, and he dares not go against the trend is ‘if he hopes to make a mark in his field’. But whatever mark he makes, how long would it last? How satisfied will the individual be?
This sad situation brings us to the profound realization of the death of the modern individual, who can no longer choose his path according to his inner inclinations which are now formally shunned and most times ridiculed by the establishments and also the media.
The world is now in a dark age, whether anybody agrees or not. The situation now is just as it was in western Europe before the first renaissance. In the first dark age, the Church was the firm establishment opposing the individual and the rise of knowledge.
But in this second dark age, we surprisingly have the respective establishments of art, science and philosophy in collusion with the media opposing the individual and the rise of knowledge.
But we all must become aware of the state of the world and the need to wrest ourselves from an impending doom that long mental darkness can cause. We have to see the light and the need for it.
And right now, the light has risen from the East. The light of illumination has come forth upon the Earth, and I like to refer to this light as the light of the Mystical Sun.
Just as the decline of knowledge during the middle ages was the pre-condition necessary for the first renaissance, so now the decline of knowledge in the modern era is a pre-condition necessary that leads us to the second renaissance.
Only a second renaissance can take us out of this second dark age that has characterized the modern era, and this second renaissance has begun with the promising seeds of it now being sown in this great blog that rightly branches itself into science, art and philosophy.
This article ends with my strong belief in the second rebirth which now follows the post-modern era and which is bound to have a profound effect on art, science and philosophy in ways that mankind has never seen before, and probably, will never see again.
Until next time,
I will be here.
– M. V. Echa