6. Transition and Modernity

Toward A New Enlightenment


Section 6.2.3

World History 
And The Eonic Effect

Civilization, Darwinism, And Theories of Evolution
4th Edition
The Book
By  John Landon





6. Transition and Modernity 
     6.1 A New Age Begins  
        6.1.1 From Reformation to Revolution  
     6.2 An Age of Enlightenment  
        6.2.1 The Crisis of The Enlightenment  
        6.2.2 Theory and Ideology: Das Adam Smith Problem
        6.2.3 Toward a New Enlightenment 
     6.3 The Great Divide 
        6.3.1 Revolutions Per Second: The Rebirth of Democracy 
        6.3.2 Econostream != Eonic Sequence          
    6.4 System Shutdown: Between System Action and Free Action  
       6.4.1 The Curse of Mideonic Empire?      
     6.5 1848: End of Eonic Sequence?  
          6.5.1 Last and First Men
          6.5.2 Theory and Ideology: Out of Revolution
     6.6 New Ages
          6.6.1 The (Eonic) Evolution of Religion  
          6.6.2 The 'Axial' New Age
          6.6.3 The Great Freedom Sutra 
          6.6.4 Schopenhauer and The Caveman Buddhas
          6.6.5 Coda: Amlothi's Mill

 7. Conclusion


    World History And The Eonic Effect: Fourth Edition

     6.2.3 Toward A New Enlightenment


In Toward a New Enlightenment, introducing a neo-Humanist manifesto, Paul Kurtz  attempts to probe the puzzle of the strange chorus of challenges to the Enlightenment, to decipher the cause of sudden retrograde cultural movement, as if in shock that modernization could actually fail. It is fascinating to watch the birth of a new Humanist tradition looking back toward the Enlightenment, but somewhat alarming to see the full scope of the original phenomenon restricted by efforts to select this and reject that. Amputating the sixteenth century start phase, or Kant, Hegel and Left Hegelians, the ‘dialectic’, Romanticism, might seem appropriate or not, but the remainder would not constitute the ‘Enlightenment’ whose scale was something so vast, contradictory, and interconnected with the evolution of a larger system that to select and repeat becomes a new dilemma of traditionalism, requiring a ‘technology’ of culture, perhaps still short of the Freeman Dyson sphere, making alterations in the structure of the Solar System itself, but nonetheless an innocent invocation of coordinated energies, far beyond our current powers.

But this raises the question for our study: if free men created the modern world, can they not create, or move toward a new Enlightenment? In the opposite perspective, what force, effect, transformation, or cultural activity as an organized large-scale cause could initiate a ‘New Enlightenment’ and create a genuine passage over an identifiable divide into such a new era? Conservatives will be horrified. It could mean taking over the government.

The idea will be seen to resemble the basic question of our study: what is eonic transition? Thus we see not an ‘Enlightenment’, but a transitional period dealing with the intractability of large-scale social change with an Enlightenment event inside it, as it were. The very question has an ironic relation to that of continuity and discontinuity, social change in relation to social scale, and the forms of runway and approach clearly evident in the rise of modernism, as seen in the Reformation. We can also suggest the difference between the historical contingency of a period called the ‘Enlightenment’, and a ‘rational’ plan or procedure to compute a new one, starting with efforts to corner the supply of three-corned hats, and a ticklish decision about whether we should proceed it with another reformation, and let it all get out of hand with another revolution. As we can see ‘eonic determination’ and ‘free action’ are reversed, the catch we have seen in the failures of revolution.



   Web:  chap6_2_3.htm





Last modified: 09/28/2010