In a time which feels like so long ago, it was a well-known fact that man was a living and true substance. He was a person, with a body and soul, matter and form. His place in the hierarchy of creation was the highest of material bodies. He governed all that was placed under his dominion by the Lord, most especially the garden of his soul, watching patiently and carefully for the coming of Christ upon time’s demise. As a rational animal, man was made for truth; indeed, that he could see truth and recognize it as such is what distinguished him from the brutes he ruled. Because of this capacity for truth, our lives were filled with color and music, laughter and joy, goodness and beauty. We lived in a community as parts of a whole (for the whole is greater than the sum of the parts), all toiling together in the hope of the vision of the Divine Essence. Man was human in the fullest sense of the word.
Further, there used to be truth. What is now (and has been for many decades, or centuries, depending on your interpretation) a foreign concept was once the central tenet of society. Truth was what is, and what is was plainly sensible or reachable with the intellect, as the soul is in all things. Objectivity and the capacity to be known were fundamental to its character. And of the methods of inquiry, deduction in the abstract reigned supreme. Above all, God is, was, and always will be Truth; and while God may be forgotten by those who err, He never fades. “The light shineth in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”
We said before that man was distinguished from brutish animals on account of his faculty of reason, that is, his ordering towards truth. The human spirit is conjugally united to this attainment to what is true, and likewise, what is good and beautiful, since these properties are within all that is. In a way, truth and humanity are like one flesh. It is not for no reason that God is Truth and we are meant for Him as our last end, just as a bride is meant for her groom. Naturally, separating one from the other- truth and humanity- has a destructive effect not unlike divorce. The tearing apart of man from his object is arguably worse than the division between spouses, since man can go without marriage but cannot go without the truth. To have humanity without truth is to have a broken society, and to have truth without humanity is to have an order of creation lacking in goodness.
Remembering our image of man and truth as one, let us briefly consider how each has been assaulted over the centuries. First, truth. With the abandoning of Aristo-Thomistic metaphysics and traditional thought in general, there came the descent of man into agnosticism with respect to reality. The metaphysical science became a fruitless object of study, incapable of accurately or convincingly describing the world outside our minds. Following the ill-bred inquiry of Descartes and others who culminated in Kant, man was isolated from the outside world and removed from his active life, condemned to the role of an impotent observer. The perception of beautiful realities was miscategorized as hallucinations or, arguably worse, a passive experience of something accessible only indirectly. Schizophrenic dealings with the abstract do not bode well with man’s desire to have concrete knowledge, and so he turned to the natural sciences for truth, for man cannot be separated from his nature. Hence, scientism. Worst of all, with these vain and unfortunate philosophical problems came the slow rejection of God, thus sealing man’s dismal fate.
Now let us see how the human has been abused. Throwing off Aquinas’ philosophy allowed for other inferior worldviews to assume the world’s attention. First among these was the mechanistic theory of Democretian atoms composing everything. All is particular and natural, nothing more. This signified the destruction of true substances. The things we once thought were real- trees, the sun, rocks, animals, man- are simply aggregates of these fundamental particles, different in composition, equal in dignity. There are no essences or essential properties, only vague laws of nature somewhere in the sky which govern all behavior. The wonderful complexities and intricacies of humanity are the lifeless products of millions and millions of years of evolution, of atoms hitting atoms. God is not the determinant of what is and what is not: natural selection is. Ends are illusory, and therefore morality is false. What is “moral” becomes whatever allows for the propagation of DNA. Following this logic, the poor are poor because they are weak and should be cut off for the greater good of the species. Power, wealth, and success are the prizes of those who possess the conviction to take it for themselves, like Raskolnikov’s Napoleon. In summary, man is not actually a human, and all the good things from which life derives its value- God, family, friendship, beauty, charity, morality- are nothing more than subjective values.
So, the marriage between man and truth has been devastated on both ends. Truth being no longer objective or knowable leaves man wandering like a vagabond without any place to rest his head. Man being an accidental aggregate of particles and chemicals leaves truth undiscovered and the order of goodness disturbed. The union is now almost completely gone. Both spouses are dying, and we ourselves have nearly killed them.
The effects of this violent divorce have been catastrophic. It has always been of human nature to obey, and history tells us that societies submitted to truth, even if truth was sought through geometry or conquest, myths or cults. But with the destruction of objectivity and Christian morality, there was no longer any truth. There was no ethical theory with any credibility other than that which was directed towards the survival of the fittest; and when this biological ethical theory is combined with the philosophy of the day, we are left with a weird, mutant product of a Kantian-evolutionary trend. Under the dominant ethical theory, theoretically, eugenics, abortion, euthanasia, and many other horrible practices are not actually horrible. The shock people experience in light of these acts is just the remnant of an oppressive spirituality which the world must be liberated from. And where must this liberation occur? Education. In order to save the children from their own parents and grandparents, the elders must be cut off, the parents shoved out of the picture, and the kids exposed to a wholly new philosophy so they can dream of a new future, one where there is equality and freedom and tolerance. The children must be cut off from genuine exploration of the humanities: history must be limited to the dry facts, not the human experience, else they may discover there is such a thing as spirit; and, they must be taught that history is just the struggle for power between poor slaves and their rich masters. What’s more: the children must be taught not to think, else they begin to question the reality which is presented to them from above. They must therefore memorize and regurgitate, reasoning only within the bounds of the box set for them, and they must be convinced that this is “learning”.
People need leaders, and we need some framework around which to build our lives. Now in the absence of a Christian worldview, as was the later nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, a new existential-moral framework was needed. Hence, ideology. Such was (in part) the reason for the World Wars. Previously, the Christian framework provided the traditional values of marriage and family, of patriotism, and of religion. It also provided accountability for your own, personal actions according to the doctrine of Original Sin. But all these values and doctrines were founded upon the rock of objective truth. Per logic, if these values depend on there being real objectivity, they should be thrown off in the era of subjectivity and behavioral skepticism. They should be rejected in the name of the establishment of a new order, a new beginning, a utopia which embraces all free-thinking and no moral obligations. A new marriage is called for, so they say, a union between the free-thinker and liberality. This is, in effect, none other than a doomed affair between the heathen and nihilism. We should not be surprised at the increase in shocking developments like transgenderism/gender ideology, abortion, a Great Reset, drugs, promiscuity, changes in government, globalization, feminism, egalitarianism, restriction of speech, banning of figures from platforms, scandals in politics, and scandals in the Church hierarchy. These developments are natural consequences of a philosophy which has controlled the world for centuries: modern activists are simply taking the ground-level philosophical ideas to their logical conclusions.
I find it interesting that the political-economic strategy which feeds off of this relativistic thought is socialism. In socialist governments, the freedom of the people is greatly reduced. Man’s freedom is necessarily connected with the natural right to own private property. If, then, these new thinkers were concerned with true freedom, they would be completely opposed to the policies of dictatorial oligarchies. The liberals should defy the Great Reset being put into place all around the world, but they are not. Is it not ironic that in the name of tolerance and free-thinking, true liberty and the power for self-determination is destroyed? Without the power to own property, man cannot be fully human. Naturally, then, socialism is another enemy ideology which undermines humanity and dissolves the marriage between spirit and truth. Clearly it is the work of an enemy who specializes in deception and confusion and darkness of the intellect. Socialism, though, perfectly coincides with the Cartesian isolation of man from an active life in the world, since all a man must do in such a country is live a passive life of labor and docility. Further, that socialism has grown popular within the recent centuries makes great sense, for humanity has undergone the removal of truth from its mind; and when you understand that the truth is man’s most valuable property, it follows naturally that all his other possessions will fall away without protest.
No matter how deep and constant the indoctrination, nature can never be thrown off. Nature can only be suppressed; never forgotten, only redirected. Because he yet remains man, we still require salvation. We still need religion. Without mysticism and mystery, we will die. But these things have gone from the West. For the modern Enlightened man, the greatest mystical acts are drugs and sex. Aside from these, there is nothing: and this is the cause for the widespread depression, for we know deep down that these hellish anti-sacraments are a sham. What we have been told by the Culture (in which I also include government, media, and education) requires us to separate from ourselves. It demands a complete dissociation from our past. Look around: we see the adaptation of texts for cultural sensitivity, “cancelling”, the tearing down of statues, and more. Right now, there is a disparity between what we think and what we experience. The current worldview of metaphysical agnosticism and Kantian-evolutionary morality does not square with how things really are. Moreover, this philosophy (which rings of Marxism) is wholly incompatible with true Christianity. Given the truth of Christianity, then, our natures are in constant competition with our minds, resulting in confusion and insecurity. This disparity between mind and reality is not just limited to our phenomenological experiences: false philosophy reaches to physics, cosmology, biology, psychology, schools, politics, and many more places, but these are not within the scope of the present article.
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Since the beginning, man has been at war. The object of his conflict? Truth. Reality. Being, as such. Among these lies the human spirit, and so the war for truth is the war for humanity. The battles have been waged across the centuries of intellectuals and advancements, but judging by the signs of the times, the taking of these agnostic ground-level philosophical ideas to their logical conclusions in the modern era signifies the final battle between truth and falsehood, freedom and slavery, humanity and brutality. Now we come to the final battle in the saga of mankind where truth, goodness, and beauty make their last stand against the dominant agnostic-scientistic worldview, a Marxist-leaning dogmatic philosophy devoid of any color and music and laughter. Herein lies the contest between ideas and ideologies, and the battlefield is the hearts of men. Those who have woken up from this world-encompassing psycho-spiritual plague- a disease far deadlier than any physical ailment- are now burdened with the task of defending reality, in a sense. The corrupt modern philosophy that is devoid of true metaphysics, perverted by Kantian-evolutionary ethics, and tends toward absurdity is being pounded into the minds of every child across the West, mistakenly called education. But real education is of the kind which teaches the art of thought, the traditional kind which teaches truth and leads the soul to God, Who is the ultimate Truth. This educational endeavor must be recovered and defended. Such a cause is worth dying for, and perhaps we shall in the future. But right now, the man who embraces his humanity by embracing truth must stand and deliver, and do so with dignity before it is too late. Though the learned Thomist may stand firm (for nothing can move the man who knows who he is and where goes), it would be better to anchor his neighbors with him.
Any novel solution we try to procure will be an ad hoc band aid over too deep a wound. The true solution, the correct solution, is a return to the philosophy of the Angelic Doctor, Thomas Aquinas. With this will come a return to the Faith and a restoration of the union between the intellect and its object. Only by recognizing a human as human and truth as truth can we be saved from the ongoing war of the mind.