Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Modernism & Postmodernism: Higher Levels of Reality Became Eliminated

Omar KN

Because of the process of isolation of reason and rationality from their transcendant and immutable principles, a tendency which became ever more dominant since the French revolution of 1789 in Western, European thought and imagination, it happened that the higher levels of reality were eliminated from intellectual research and attention.

From now on man himself became the centrepoint of being and there was nothing higher than human reason and no object of science more dignified to receive scientific attention than what was possible to perceive empirically through the human senses.

It meant that from now on man was "not able to go further than outward appearances".  Seeing that every science centered around man, however, made his research and therefore his civilization restricted to only one level of being, the materialistic viewpoint.

In postmodernism human rationality and what was left of human intelligence became relativized, relying on the sub-human and the irrational. In this restricted scientific field sense-experience has become the only source of knowledge. But man thinks according to what he is; or as Aristotle knew for sure, 'knowledge depends upon the mode of the knower.'" 

A study of the modern concept of man as being 'free' of Heaven, complete master of his own destiny, earth-bound but also master of the earth, oblivious to all eschatological realities which he has replaced with some future state of perfection in profane historical time [utopia], indifferent if not totally opposed to the world of the Spirit and its demands, and lacking the sense of the sacred, will reveal how futile have been and are the efforts" ... 

... of wishing to modernise an integrated tradition such as Islam, or even 'harmonizing' Islam and modernism.

In the traditional sciences however, where everything is related to and dependent on the higher levels of reality, there is in consequence always a vast field of scientific investigation above those practical applications which are the result of what modern man usually depicts as science. 

 This was shown for example by Imam Al-Ghazali, who in his Ihya 900 years ago, described the "only intellectually rigorous escape from the trap of postmodernity." 

He and his his school taught that "no universal statements about the world or the human condition can be reached by purely ratiocinative or inductive methods, because these cannot transcend the material context of the world in which they are framed." 

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