Crisis Of The Modern World; René Guénon / 'Abd al-Wâhid Yahya:


Questions And Answers

Crisis Of The Modern World, abbrev. CMW

•  What is the true nature of contemplation, which is superiour to action? (and even transcendant to action) ?

•  p.32+11 Traditional Eastern doctrines declare that contemplation is superior to action just as the Unchanging is superior to change.

•  define action:

•  p.32+12 a transitory and momentary modification of being

•  What can action not contain within itself?

•  p.32+14 its principle and sufficient cause

•  Where is the principle of action to be found?

•  p.32+18 It is found in contemplation ( or in knowledge )

•  define the principle of action:

•  it is the principle from which action derives

•  What derives action from its principle?

•  p.32+16 it derives from it all the reality of which it is capable, as well as its existence and its very possibility

•  To which realm does action belong entirely?

•  p.32-9 it belongs to the realm of change and becoming

•  What provides the means of escape from this realm of change and becoming and from its inherent limitations?

•  p.32-8 knowledge alone

•  Without what is change meaningless and contradictory (and even impossible)?

•  p.32-16 without a principle from which it derives and which cannot be subject to it and is necessarily unchanging

•  What is the true object of principal or metaphysical knowledge?

•  p.32-6 The Unchanging

•  What happens to knowledge when it attains to its object (the Unchanging)?

•  p.32-4 it becomes itself possessed of immutability

•  What is all true knowledge essentially?

•  p.32-3 identification with its object

•  Why is rational or discursive knowledge necessarily indirect and imperfect?

•  p.33+1 because it is 'reflected' knowledge, i.e. a lower type of knowledge

•  What happens to action which is divorced from a principle?

•  p.33+6 it degenerates into an equally as unprofitable as trivial agitation.

•  What are the most conspicuous features of modern times?

•  p.33+9 a craving for ceaseless agitation, for continuous change
for ever-increasing speed, dispersion in multiplicity ...

•  ... what kind of a multiplicity?

•  p.33+12 a multiplicity no longer unified by conciousness of any higher principle and analysis driven to extremes...

•  ... hence what?

•  p.33+17 hence the inaptitude for synthesis and the incapacity for any sort of concentration

•  what is matter essentially in this respect?

•  p.33-18 it is multiplicity and division.

•  Why can everything that derives from matter only beget strife and conflict between individuals and between peoples?

•  p.33-17 because matter is essentially multiplicity and division.

•  What follows in train of mechanical and industrial inventions ?

•  p.34-16 dangers of destruction, at worst leading to the ultimate catastrophe.

•  Which are the characteristics of modern science?

•  p.34+5 research for research sake [ even ] far more than for the partial and fragmentary results that it achieves

•  A rapid succession of what passes before us in science?

•  p.34+8 of unfounded theories and hypotheses. [ i.e. unfounded in principal knowledge ]

•  What is missing in the present state of things (of succession and change)?

•  p.34-10 What is missing is any kind of stability.

•  How do most of our contemporaries feel themselves in the present state of things (of succession and change)?

•  p.34-8 quite at ease amid this confusion [ for a limited period, at least ]

•  What do most of our contemporaries see in this confusion?

•  p.34-7 They see in it a kind of exteriorized image of their own mentality.

•  In a state of continuous change there is no place for what?

•  p.34-4 for the changeless and the permanent.

•  Such a state (of continuous change) corresponds to the state of mind of persons who look for what in this 'becoming '?

•  p.34-3 they look for the whole of reality in this 'becoming'

•  While most of our contemporaries look in this state of 'becoming' for the whole of reality they repudiate what?

•  p.34-2 they repudiate true knowledge by implication, as well as the object of knowledge, namely the transcendant and universal principles.

•  Why does looking for the whole of reality in this 'becoming 'amount to the negation of all real knowedge?

•  p.35+3 because the relative is meaningless and impossible without the absolute (see 32-16)

•  What is the relative without the absolute?

•  p.35+4 it is meaningless and impossible without the absolute.

•  What is change without the unchanging ?

•  p.35+5 it is meaningless and impossible.

•  What is multiplicity without unity?

•  p.35+6 it is meaningless and impossible.

•  Why is "relativism" self-contradictory?

•  p.35+7 because in seeking to reduce everything to change one ought logically arrive at a negation of the very existence of change (compare the Zeno of Elea's argument).

•  What ought one logically arrive at by 'relativism' or by seeking to reduce everything to change?

•  p.35+8 One ought arrive at a negation of the very existence of change.

•  Are these ideas exclusively of modern times?

•  p.35+13 No, see Greek philosophy, f.ex. Heraclitus' 'universal flux'.

•  What is new concerning their adoption in modern times?

•  p.35-16 New is the generalized adoption of these concepts, as in the West.

•  What is any conception called which admits of nothing besides 'becoming'?

•  p.35-6 a 'naturalistic' conception, which implies a formal denial of what lies beyond nature, i e the metaphysical realm, which is the realm of the immutable and external principles.

•  What is characteristic of 'intuition' as used by contemporary philosophers?

•  p.36+12 this kind of 'intuition' belongs to the sensible order and is in fact sub-rational.

•  Why were the doctrines of the Middle Ages incapable of (effectively) calling intellectual intuition into play?

•  p.36+18 Because they were only philosophical in character

•  Whose existence and supremacy over all the other faculties did the doctrines of the Middle Ages nevertheless recognize?

•  p.36+19 the existence and supremacy of the intellectual intuition (x)

•  Why was there no 'rationalism' before Descartes?

•  p.36+20 because it is something specifically modern and because it is closely allied with individualism.

•  What does rationalism amout to?

•  p.36-14 to nothing else but the negation of any faculty belonging to the supra-individual order

•  Why (and how long) can Westerners not possess any (true) tradition (x) or arrive at any understanding with the authentic representatives of the Eastern civilizations?

•  p.36-13 as long as they persist in ignoring or repudiating intellectual intuition (s. below)

•  What is characteristic of the Eastern civilizations concerning the intellectual intuition?(x)

•  p.36-9 (with them) - everything is 'suspended' from this intuition.

define intuition: It is immutable and infallible in itself and the only starting point for all development in conformity with the traditional norms.

•  What does in traditional societies occupy the position of "a principle to which everything else can be referred to" ?

•  p.37+2 the principle of intellectual intuition (x)

define physics (original and etymological sense):

the science of nature, without any qualification p.39+14

define nature (original and etymological sense):

(the) becoming p.39+16

•  What is a characteristic of modern science?

•  p.39-11 its specialization, bred of the analytical frame of mind = narrowness of outlook

•  Why do those who are aware of this specialization and narrowness of outlook fail to see "the impossibility of unifying the multiplicity of this detailed knowledge" ?

•  p.40+7 because they are reluctant to relate this detailed and specialized knowledge to a higher principle - they work from the bottom upwards and from the externals.

•  How [does modern science] always work ?
(concerning bottom-top; internals-externals)?

•  p.40+8 it works from the bottom upwards and from the externals.

•  What does the modern conception of science claims to be?

•  p.40-6 It claims to be independent by repudiating everything that transcends it, or at least by declaring it "unknowable".

•  What is the traditional conception concerning the sciences?

•  p.40-14 It links all sciences to the principles of which they become particular applications.

define agnosticism:

man glorying in his ignorance p.41+3

•  Why is it a peculiar delusion to suppose that a theory can be proved by facts?

•  p.42-16 The same facts can always be equally explained by a variety of different theories.

•  Why have the experimental sciences received a development in modern civilization such as never before?

•  p.42-5 Because they confine their attention to things of the senses and to the world of matter and also that they lend themselves readily to the most immediate practical applications.

•  Does the author maintain that any kind of knowledge, however inferior, is illegitimate in itself?

•  p.43+8 No, what is not legitimate is simply the abuse which occurs when subjects of this kind absorb the whole of human activity, as is the case today.

•  In what way is a science interesting according to the traditional conception?

•  p.46-11 It is interesting not so much for its own sake, but for its being as it were a prolongation or secondary branch of the doctrine ...

•  ... of which the essential part is constituted by what?

•  p.46-9 By pure metaphysic

•  What are the two complementary functions that properly belong to the "traditional sciences" ?

•  p.47+6
a) As applications of the doctrine they allow of linking up all the different orders of reality one to another and of integrating them in the unity of the total synthesis;
b) they constitute a preparation for a higher type of knowledge and a kind of pathway leading towards it and make it possible to raise oneself to the heights of pure intellectuality.

Traditional sciences, owing to their link with the metaphysical principles, are effectively incorporated in "sacred science" . p.47-18

•  What endows a science a superior or "analogical" meaning higher than that which it possesses in itself?

•  p.49+4 When the truth of a lower order can be taken as symbolical of those truths belonging to a higher order.

•  When the above is the case - then what character does science become?

•  p.49+9 the character of a genuine 'sacred science'

•  When is every religious art capable (as the sciences) of assuming a sacred character?

•  p.49-18 when an art is set up according to the traditional spirit; in as much as it possesses a genuinely symbolical value,

•  For what does art - when seen in its symbolical value - serve as a support?

•  p.49-16 for meditation ...

define the profane point of view:

It is the point of view of ignorance, because there is no such thing as a 'profane realm' p.49-11

•  Why has 'modern science' forfeited all intellectual value (x) and participates in the 'rationalist' error'?

•  p.50+18 Because it arbitrarily limits knowledge to the material or sensible reality, which belongs to the most inferior of all.

•  What is the "rationalist" error?

•  p.50+18 to reject intellectual intuition

•  What is the root of the entire deviation of science?

•  p.50-17 individualism, corresponding to the anti-traditional attitude itself

define individualism:

the denial of any principle superior to the individuality p.51+9;

•  What is the consequence of above?

•  p.51+10 the reduction of civilization to purely human elements

•  What are two synonyms for individualism?

•  p.51+13 humanism and the profane outlook i.e. the anti-traditional outlook

•  What endows the modern world its abnormal character?

•  p.51-11 the absence of principle

•  Why is individualism the determining cause of the present decadence of the West?

•  p.51-5 it 'provides' the driving force for the exclusive development of the most inferior possibilities of mankind ...

•  What does individualism deny first of all ?

•  p.52+4 intellectual intuition (x)

•  Why does individualism imply the denial of intellectual intuition?

•  p.52+4 because intellectual intuition is essentially a supra-individual faculty

•  What is important to the (average) modern philosopher's repudiation?

•  p.52-9 to him, it is often better to invent a new error than to repeat a truth already observed by others.

•  What is the traditional point of view concerning the claim to possess an idea?

•  p.53+1 it is inconceivable " to possess an idea"

•  To whom does a true idea belong?

•  p.53+5 if an idea is true it belongs equally to all those who are capable of understanding it.

•  Why cannot a true idea be "new" ?

•  p.53+7 because truth is not a product of the human mind

•  Is truth dependant of ourselves?

•  p.53+8 no, the truth exists independently of ourselves

•  To what does the contemporary pragmatist abusively apply the name of 'truth'?

•  p.53+15 to practical utility

•  What was the next step in philosophy following upon the denial of intellectual intuition (b)?

•  p.53-10 to set up reason above everything else (r)

•  What kind of faculty does reason(x) have?

•  p.53-9 it has a purely human and relative faculty

•  What happened very soon to the concept of 'reason (x)'?

•  p.53-3 it became degraded to the fulfilling of mainly practical functions

•  What led directly to the birth of the modern world?

•  p.56+15 the rupture with tradition (s. below)

•  How can the birth of the modern world be summed up?

•  p.56+18 as the opposition to the traditional outlook

•  What is the negation of tradition (x)?

•  p.56+19 individualism

•  What was the revolt against the traditional outlook called?

•  p.57+6 Protestantism

•  What is the raison d'être of Protestantism?

•  p.57+10 as the modern world in general, it rests upon nothing but a negation, ...

•  ... what negation?

•  p.57+11 the negation of principles

•  What does individualism imply concerning authority?

•  p.57+15 it refuses to admit any authority higher than the individual and any faculty of knowledge superior to individual reason (x)

•  What was the modern outlook as a consequence bound to reject?

•  p.57+18 all spiritual authority in the true sense of the word,

•  Which originates where?

•  p.57+20 in the supra-human order

•  How did the rejection of spiritual authority (and any traditional organisation) occur in Protestantism?

•  p.57-13 it set up the 'freedom of enquiry'

•  Protestantism claimed to set up an interpretation of the scriptures based solely on what?

•  p.58-10 on the exercise of human reason (b)

•  What became ever more impossible when the religious sphere dispersed (into sects)?

•  p.57-2 agreement upon doctrine

•  When no agreement upon doctrine was reached, what happened to it?

•  p.57-1 the role of doctrine passed into the background

•  What was to occupy henceforth 'the 1st place' in religion?

•  p.58+1 morals, which is the secondary aspect of religion,
hence that degeneration into "moralism"

•  Describe the line of decadence in religion!

•  p.58+5
1. doctrinal dissolution
2. disappearance of the intellectual elements of religion
3. decline into sentimentalism
4. no longer religion, but 'religiosity'
= vague sentimental aspirations, unsanctioned by any real knowledge (compare William James and the subconcious)

•  What followed when rationalism declined ?

•  p.58+8 it changed into sentimentalism

•  What are the important items of William James' theories of 'religious experience'?

•  p.58+15 the subconcious is seen as the means of entering into communion with the divine

•  Why is in the name of "pragmatism" a limited God stipulated?

•  p.58-17 This is said to be more 'advantageous', because it would be possible to feel sentiments for him.

•  How does Protestantism reduce revelation to nothing?

•  p.59+6 it exposes revelation to all the discussions which follow in the wake of purely human interpretations

•  What has Protestantism given birth to, which has become an offence against all religion?

•  p.59-18 it has given birth to that dissolving 'criticism', for Protestantism was animated by a spirit of negation

•  Formulate the contradiction in Protestantism concerning its scriptures and concerning God?

•  p.59o Protestantism tried its utmost to 'humanize' religion on the one hand, but it permitted the survival of a supra-human element, namely revelation, on the other hand

•  What does 'free criticism' open the door to?

•  p.59-3 every sort of individual fantasy

•  What presupposes (or requires) the conservation of the doctrine?

•  p.59-2 an organized traditional teaching

•  Why is contact with the fully alive traditional spirit needed?

•  p.61+12 It is needed to reawaken what has sunk into a kind of torpor (oblivion) and thus to restore the lost understanding

•  What has the West lost concerning its tradition?

•  p.61+16 a conciousness of its own tradition

•  What is the state of mind of the modern outlook?

•  p.62+4 'minimizing' religion, i.e. turning it to something to be kept on one side, something which is devoid of any real influence upon the rest of existence

•  the modern religious contemporary is essentially in what?

•  p.62-12 in total ignorance from the doctrinal point of view

•  What is religion for many (modern) people now-a-days?

•  p.62+15 a matter of performance, of custom, of routine

•  What does religion nowadays amount to?

•  p.62-7 little more than 'moralism'

•  Why is doctrine (when at all) discussed?

•  p.62-3 to debase it through discussing it with opponents on their own 'profane' ground

•  What can the discussion about doctrine lead to when discussed with opponents on their own 'profane' ground?

•  p.62-1 it can lead to making the most unjustifiable concessions

•  What introduces the spirit of debate in every quarter?

•  p.63+15 individualism

•  What does modern man attempt in relation to truth?

•  p.63+19 he claims to bring it down to his own level, instead of attempting to raise himself to the truth

•  What are the by-effects of debate in religious matters?

•  p.63-7 questions are merely shifted around, instead of clarifying them

•  What is often the real motive of participants on debate?

•  p.63-1 to be right at all costs, instead of wishing to attain to the knowledge of the truth

•  Why is an apologetic answer/text an unquestionable sign of a regression of the religious spirit?

•  p.64+20 it is merely defensive, as an 'excuse' and religion is placed on the same level as the most contingent and hypothetical theories

•  What are those who are qualified to speak in the name of a traditional doctrine required to do?

•  p.65+3 to avoid entering into discussion with the 'profane'

•  What should those who are qualified to speak in the name of a traditional doctrine do?

•  p.65+4; They should simply expound the doctrine such as it is and at the same time denounce error wherever it arises

•  What is the universal hierarchical order concerning knowledge and action?

•  p.65+14 knowledge enlightens action without participating in its vicissitudes

•  What is characteristic of the motionless mover ?

•  p.65+13 it produces and directs movement without being involved in it, i.e. the spiritual guides the temporal without intermingling with it

•  What kind of guide does one see everywhere nowadays?

•  p.65-8 blind leaders of the blind ...

•  From where has a recovery of the modern world to start ?

•  p.66+8 from the principles and from an understanding the essential truths

•  What is 'caste'?

•  p.66-6 individual nature, with aptitudes included therein

•  How is accession to a given function reached in modern societies?

•  p.66-2 not by any legitimate rule

define chance:

the interplay of all kind of circumstances p.67+5

•  What is the cause of all this confusion [of man's status in society]?

•  p.67+10 the negation of those natural differences, which exist between one man and another

• The modern 'pseudo-principle ' of equality is really a misunderstanding of peoples 'what ?

•  p.67+15 of peoples ' natures

•  Why cannot equality exist anywhere between two beings?

•  p.67+20 because there cannot be two distinct beings who are at the same time alike in every respect

•  Is equality of education feasable?

•  p.67-13 no, not everybody is equally fitted to understand the same things

•  What is the character of present day education?

•  p.67-10 book-learning has been substituted for 'understanding'; quality is sacrificed entirely to quantity and memory has been substituted for intelligence ( aql.html, x L 20120708 ) in the altogether verbal and bookish conception of present day education

•  What is the aim of present day education?

•  p.67-5 the accumulation of rudimentary and heterogenous notions

•  The 18th-century ideas (of f.ex. equality and progress) could not arise spontaneously but are what ?

•  p.68+14 They are indeed 'suggestions'

•  What are the matters which are never permissible to discuss concerning the general mentality?

•  p.68c that certain 'suggestions' are fostered by those who have an interest in maintaining the disorder

•  What is the role of these suggestions concerning the modern state of mind?

•  p.68+18 they have contributed substantially in maintaining the modern state of mind and developing it to an [accentuated] pitch

•  Who fosters these suggestions so assiduously?

•  p.68-16 all those who have an interest in maintaining the disorder

•  What would happen if those suggestions were to vanish completely?

•  p.68-18 the general mentality would indeed be near to change direction

•  What are these suggestions also called ?

•  p.69+6 'pseudo-ideas ' (compare p. 70+19)

•  What are they aimed at to provoke?

•  p.69+7 sentimental reactions, which is the simplest and most efficacious way of influencing the masses

•  What does the majority of the 'modern idols' really amount to?

•  p.69+10 to nothing more than words ...

•  ... why?

•  p.69+11 because it is 'verbalism' serving the illusion of thought

•  The process of suggestion (see above 69+11) is comparable to what?

•  p.69+18 to that resorted to by hypnotists

•  What flows from the negation of all true hierarchy?

•  p.69-17 a man fulfils his proper function in exceptional cases only and more or less by accident.

•  In what sphere is this especially paradoxical in the era of 'specialization'?

•  p.69-12 that the same man may be called upon to exercise quite different functions successively, as though he were capable of changing his aptitudes at will

•  Why does the 'democratic' conception consequently exclude all genuine competence?

•  p.70+2 because competence always implies at least a relative superiority

•  and therefore ......?

•  p.70+3 and therefore must necessarily belong to a minority

•  What is the most decisive argument against democracy / evolution?

•  p.70-11 the superior cannot emanate from the inferior, because the greater cannot be derived from the lesser.

•  Why cannot people confer (*) a power which they do not possess (concerning democracy) ?

•  p.70-1 because true power can only come from above ...

•  ... and how can true power only be legitimized?

•  p.71+1 through the sanction of something superior to the social order, i e by a spiritual authority,

•  What does one have otherwise?

•  p.71+3 a counterfeit (*) of power and nothing but disorder and confusion

(*) confer = give
(*) counterfeit = not genuine, but looks like it, in order to deceive people

•  When does this reversal of the hierarchical order occur?

•  p.71+7 as soon as the temporal order tries to render itself independent of the spiritual authority and then to subordinate the spiritual authority to itself ...

•  ... while professing what?

•  p.71+9 to make it (the spiritual authority ) serve political ends

•  What is 'manufacturing opinion'?

•  p.72+1 the fact that opinion is easily moulded and diverted and with the help of suggestions - to arouse currents in this or that predetermined direction

•  Why is the idea that it is the majority who determins the law essentially erroneous?

•  p.72-10 the opinion of the majority cannot be anything but an expression of incompetence, comparable with 'collective psychology'

•  What is really put forward in support of an opinion and as a 'criterion of truth' (concerning democracy) ?

•  p.73+12 the consent of the greater number and an enquiry restricted in both time and space

•  What hinders reflection and is one of the chief obstacles to the understanding of certain things?

•  p.73+17 the influence of sentiment, emotional impulses

•  What is this law of 'the greater number' which is invoked by modern governments?

•  p.73-11 it is the law of matter and brute force

•  Where only exists the supremacy of multiplicity?

•  p.73-2 in the material world

•  What does the downward and compressive tendency entail (concerning being and multiplicity)?

•  p.74+9 an ever narrowing limitation of the being, proceeding at the same time in the direction of multiplicity

•  What does matter denote according to the scholastic doctrine?

•  p.74+16 the principle of individuation, or the individualizing tendency

•  How else can this downward, compressive or individualizing tendency be called?

•  p.74-17 'the fall' of those who broke away from the original unity

•  When does a community amount to no more than the sum of its component individuals?

•  p.74-11 once it ceases to be referred to a principle superior to the individuals included in it

•  Is community opposed to individualism?

•  p.75+17 no, because social collectivity, is nothing but the sum of its component individuals

•  Does the encroachment of the state and the growing complexity of social institutions run counter to individualism?

•  p.75+5 no, these are various forms of individualism, and the modern state is a mere representation of the mass and reflecting no higher principle

define social collectivity:

it is nothing but the sum of its component individuals p.75+7

define the state nowadays:

a mere representation of the mass, reflecting no higher principle p.75+10

define individualism:

the negation of any supra-individual principle p.75+12

•  Why do conflicts arise between various tendencies in the social sphere ?

•  p.75-17 because of the absence of any principle capable of bringing about an effective unification of the multiplicity

•  individualism is a consequence of what kind of civilization?

•  p.75-15 a totally material civilization

matter: the source of division and multiplicity p.75-14

•  What is the direct consequence of the 'democratic' idea concerning the elite?

•  p.75-11 the repudiation of the elite

•  What does 'democracy' sacrifice?

•  p.75-2 quality to quantity and therefore the elite to the masses

•  Where only can 'democracy' install itself?

•  p.76+12 where intellectuality has ceased to exist

•  Is 'equality' possible?

•  p.76+14 no, since all the differences between men cannot be suppressed in practice in spite of every effort to reduce things to the same level

•  What is nowadays the most important social distinction ?

•  p.76-16 wealth

•  What are the two means of escape from the [present] chaos?

•  p.77+4 the restoration of intellectuality and consequently the constitution of an elite

•  What kind of reaction [to the modern mentality] does one see?

•  p.77+17 scattered efforts

•  What are the few isolated elements [of intellectuals in the West] in want of?

•  p.77+18 in want of principles and doctrinal direction

•  How does the modern world protect itself [ in its anti-traditional outlook]?

•  p.77+20 by means of its inherent dispersion

•  Why are the few isolated elements [of intellectuals in the West] still insisting on taking their stand on profane ground and go on expending their energies in some relative sphere, social or otherwise?

•  p.77-8 they are unable to see the necessity of starting from the principles

•  What kind of influence does the elite direct?

•  p.78+3 a genuine intellectual influence

'materialism' usually: any theory admitting the real existence of matter p.79-14

define 'materialism' as defined here: an entire mental outlook; more or less conciously giving preponderance to things belonging to the material order and to preoccupations relating thereto p.80+3

The attitude of the methods of 'profane' science have been proclaimed 'scientific' to the exclusion others, which amounts to repudiating the existence of any science not dealing with material things. p.80+18

•  How does the scientific outlook of s.o. with religious faith differ from that of an avowed materialist?

•  p.80+13 It does not differ much [nowadays]

•  Why has the question whether modern science is atheistic or materialistic been wrongly framed?

•  p.80-8 because modern science does not deliberately profess either (see below p.80-7).

•  But what is the more serious evil ?

•  p.80-1 that it penetrates deeper and is more widely diffused

•  Why is the evil of modern science all the more serious and penetrates deeper?

•  p.80-7 because it is content to ignore certain things as a result of its preoccupations, without formally denying them, (so it's a 'de facto' materialism)

•  Why is complete indifference [for sacred knowledge] a more dangerous attitude of certain mentalities than negation ?

•  p.81+5 since in order to deny something it is still necessary to think about it to some extent

•  What happens when an exclusively material science sets itself up as the only possible science?

•  p.81+16 it follows that man, too, will be materialistic, with all his preoccupations turned towards matter

•  What does materialistic man hasten to declare about the unknown?

•  p.81-17 that it is not merely unknown, but 'unknowable', which absolves him from having to give it further thought

•  What does the intrusion of imagination in spiritualism show?

•  p.82+1 it shows how incapable modern Westerners have become of raising themselves above the realm of the senses

•  How far do some philosophers go, as Kant, concerning everything that is not capable of representation?

•  p.82+5 they declare everything that is not capable of representation as 'inconceivable' and 'unthinkable'(r)

•  What has spiritualism to do with spirituality?

•  p.82+19 nothing

•  What is the most characteristic claim of modern science?

•  p.82-10 It is to reduce quality to quantity

•  It is supposed that there can be no science except where it is possible to do what?

•  p.82-6 where it is possible to introduce measurement

•  And that there can be no scientific laws except those which express what?

•  p.82-5 quantitative relations

•  What is the birth of this tendency?

•  p.82-4 Descartes' 'mechanism'

•  Yet, what only can be measured?

•  p.83+5 solely a property inherent in matter

•  What does the word 'reality' usually denote?

•  p.83-11 it is usally belonging to the sensible order

•  What follows from the above concerning the existence of everything that cannot be grasped by the senses?

•  p.83-8 that it (is) illusory and even totally non-existent

•  What do real religious people have to do with the notions they have learned by heart?

•  p.84+4 they have to assimilate those notions and give them serious consideration

•  Do modern sciences really possess the character of desinterested knowledge; and what is masked?

•  p.84-18 Their speculative (*) value does not amount to much more than a mask for purely practical considerations, so it is not desinterested (or neutral)

(*) speculative = [having intellectual value] p.84-17/6; [to know about] the true nature of things.

•  What is the diffused and unsystematic pragmatism outside of philosophy generally called?

•  p.84-2 common sense

•  What does common sense consist in (concerning mental horizon and practical interest) ?

•  p.85+2 not venturing beyond the terrestrial horizon, as well as not paying attention to anything devoid of an immediate political interest

•  How does 'common sense' regard the world of senses?

•  p.85+5 as alone being real and admits of no knowledge beyond what proceeds from the senses

•  Are sentimentalism and matter related?

•  p.85+11 yes, closely related

•  Why are sentimentalism and matter related?

•  p.85+12 because no room is left in all this for intelligence , except (for it being) put to the service of practical ends

•  What is the relation between pragmatism and truth?

•  p.85+17 pragmatism in all its forms amounts to a complete indifference to truth

•  What does industry become for science (nowadays) ?

•  p.85-18 the very object and justification of science

•  When seeking to dominate matter, what only have men succeeded in ?

•  p.85-11 in turning themselves into its slaves

•  What has happened to all intelligent work in the process of 'specialization'?

•  p.85-2 it has been rendered impossible

•  Why? What have the workers thereby become?

•  p.85-1 no more than servants of machines, forming as it were a single unit with them

•  What has come to decide almost everything that occurs in the social sphere?

•  p.86-3 economic factors

•  Can relations established in the field of trade draw people together?

• p.87+18 no

•  Why ?

•  p.87+20 the nature of matter is multiplicity and division, consequently it is a source of struggle and conflict

•  How would the Orientals see the role of (this) industry?

•  p.87-10 as a troublesome, though transitory necessity

•  Why a troublesome, though transitory necessity?

•  p.87-4 (They would like) to rid themselves of foreign domination based on brute force or on the material power

•  What are the two factors causing the appearance of nationhood?

•  p.88-5 the destruction of the feudal system and the simultaneous disruption of the higher unity of medieval Christendom

•  Of what is the repudiation of spiritual authority an example?

•  p.89+6 of practical materialism

•  In what sphere does the spiritual authority need to be a power and real influence?

•  p.89+8 in the social sphere

•  From what do the modern fence off (i.e. isolate) religion ?

•  p.89+10 from the concerns of their everyday life

•  What did we sacrifice for that material development?

•  p.89+19 many things of incomparably greater worth, the forgotten higher form of knowledge, the destroyed intellect and the spirituality that has disappeared

•  What is the only real object of this science / research?

•  p.89-4 industry, so science is far from being desinterested

•  Why are those inventions (from industry) all the more dangerous?

•  p.89-12 because they all call into play forces the real nature of which is completely unknown to the very people that make use of them

•  More criticism: what kind of 'welfare' (from material progress)?

•  p.90+17 it is (even if it were attained) not worth the effort

ST 'progress' (nowadays):

of a purely material kind p.90+14

•  In the name of what do the 'democratic' 'equalitarians' seek to impose their own civilization on the rest of the world?

•  p.91+1 in the name of their 'superiority'

•  What idea cannot be tolerated by modern West concerning work?

•  p.91+20 that men (man) should prefer to work less and be content to live on little

•  What is the ideal of the modern world concerning the human being?

•  p.91-4 It is the human animal, who has developed his muscular strength to the utmost (athletes = heroes)

•  Are men happier today because they command swifter means of transport or because of their more agitated and complicated mode of life?

• p.92+12 no

•  What does modern civilization aim at?

•  p.92+16 at creating ever greater artificial needs

•  What happens today when people have to do without things?

•  p.92-18 people are bound to suffer when deprived of (formerly unheard of) things

•  What do people strive for?

•  p.92-12 they struggle to acquire whatever can produce them material satisfaction

•  What do people become absorbed in?

•  p.92-9 in 'making money'

•  Why do people always desire more?

•  p.92-7 because they are continuously discovering fresh needs

•  Until this pursuit [of new things finally] becomes what?

•  p.92-6 their only aim in life

•  What happens to those who unleash the brute forces of nature?

•  p.93+14 they will perish, crushed by those same forces

•  In what sphere only have remnants of true spirituality been preserved?

•  p.94+14 in the religious sphere, if certain possibilities still remain, their present influence at present amounts to very little

•  What effective influence do those (religious) possibilities have today?

•  p.94-16 their present influence at present amounts to very little

•  What is the exact opposite of the modern outlook / attitude of mind?

•  p.94-10 the traditional outlook

•  Where in the West did everything of any value originally come from?

•  p.95+18 from Christianity

•  What kind of individuals from the Orient want to draw attention to themselves and agitate?

•  p.97+14 those who have [been] Westernized themselves

•  What is the character of Western encroachment?

•  p.100+12 (It is) the encroachment of materialism in all its forms

•  What is the propagandistic spirit entirely?

•  p.102+9 it is entirely Western

•  Why are the 'theosophists' (and all inventors of similar sects) more dangerous than mere philosophers?

•  p.102-14 because of their pretensions to an 'esoterism', which they do not possess, but simulate

•  What is the real aim of Westernized Orientals?

•  p.102-1 they wish to uproot [traditional] ideas from the East

•  How are authentic Oriental ideas to be expounded in the West?

•  p.103+20 without the slightest wish to propagand or popularize

•  For whom are the authentic Oriental ideas to be expounded?

•  p.103- 17 exclusively to the benefit of those who are able to understand the doctrines just as they stand

•  What must not happen to those authentic Oriental ideas ?

•  p.103-16 they must not be denatured to make them more readily acceptible

•  What do the Orientals have to do for the moment?

•  p.106+6 they have enough to do for the moment in defending themselves against European oppression, threatening to assail even their minds

ST the principles by which we are guided necessitate the setting forth of views that are essentially synthetic, not analytical

•  And in consequence ... • 

p.108-17 they carry one much further toward a genuine explanation than analysis could ever do, possessing just a descriptive value (see p109+15)

•  What made the degeneration into profane science possible?

•  p.109+15 disregard of the dependence of applications upon principles

•  From what does everything spring in science and is completely dependant upon ?

•  p.109+20 pure intellect

•  What is science otherwise (if separated from pure intellect)?

•  p.109-18 no more than illusion

•  What must the starting point for science always be ?

•  p.109-16 knowledge

•  Why is the issue of the modern world a purely negative one?

•  p.109-5 because its existence, like that of ignorance itself and of everything that implies [spiritual] limitation is a purely negative one

•  The modern world has solely come into existence through what?

•  p.109-4 through the denial of traditional and superhuman truth

•  What is necessary for a change of the modern world (while not everyone needs necessarily attain to this knowledge) ?

•  p.110+4 an elite has to form itself while there is still time and more important is to preserve those elements of the present world which are destined to survive and be used in building up the world that is to follow

•  What can be the function of those who follow an Eastern tradition (x) in the West?

•  p.112-18 they might one day become a connecting link between the Oriental elites and that of the West

•  As a result of what can the Western élite be established?

•  p.112-15 as a result of initiative on the part of the Westeners themselves

•  The restauration in the West in what two forms?

•  p.112-12 either the West will discover within itself the requisite means, by turning directly to its own tradition ( a reawakening is very improbable) or else various Western elements will complete the task of restauration with the aid of a certain knowledge of Eastern doctrines (= influence of second hand)

•  What has served for a support for the spirit in the West during the Middle Ages?

•  p.113-8 the traditional spirit

catholicism- (etymologically): universality p.113-18

•  to what extent are (even good-willing) people governed by the modern outlook?

•  p.114+1 to the extent of completely forgetting the meaning of tradition (r) of which they retain nothing but a shell

•  Cite one example of a variety of 'materialism' in religion:

•  p.114+4 the formalism of the 'letter' [i.e. fundamentalism]

•  What would it seem advisable to call for in the West concerning spirit, union, action?

•  p.114-14 to call for the union of all spiritual forces

•  From where does true understanding only come about?

•  p.115+3 only from above and only from within and it must arise in the intellectual or spiritual domain

•  What is one important obstacle for the West [once a principle has been enunciated]?

•  p.115+12 the Western love for proselytism

•  Which prevents recognition of what?

•  p.115+14 there is sometimes a positive advantage in having 'allies' who are not subjects

•  What is the warning for those of higher knowledge?

•  p.117-14 they have to stand firm against whatever difficulties may arise in their path and [exercise] utmost prudence, because the 'adversary' disguises itself

•  What is the modernistic spirit?

•  p.117+18 truly 'diabolical' in every sense of the word

•  What is the modernistic spirit striving at concerning those who have an aptitude for a higher understanding?

•  p.117+20 it strives to prevent these (isolated and scattered) elements from achieving the cohesion that is necessary if they are to exert any real influence on the general mentality

•  against what do those of higher knowledge stand firm?

•  p.117-15 the modernistic spirit, modern materialism

•  What is necessary for those of higher knowledge to achieve if they are to exercise any real influence on the general mentality?

•  p.117+20 cohesion [greater unity]

•  Against what should they especially be on their guard?

•  p.118+1 against movements, which seem to be opposed to materialism, but really belong to the same order of things and against their attraction, which f ex are resposible for all the errors of 'neo-spiritualism'

•  What are the dangers in the latter times?

•  p.118+10 false prophets, who show signs and wonders to seduce (see the Dajjâl - Anti-Christ); and many are called, but few are chosen.

•  in virtue of what are the elite (called) the 'chosen' ?

•  p.118cl in virtue of of their inner 'realization'

•  What is the consequence of the general confusion concerning those [should be] guides?

•  p.118-15 want of true knowledge,- those whose normal function is to guide others are nowadays all too often little better than 'blind guides'

•  What is the misunderstanding concerning the role of philosophy in this darkness?

•  p.118-2 philosophy will not suffice to prevent an unleashing of the 'infernal powers', a mere philosophical knowledge will not amount to much more than a mere shadow of true knowledge, it cannot be relied on

•  Why have many of those who want to react against the modern outlook been reduced to impotence?

•  p.119+5 instead of expending many efforts in vain, one has to discover the essential principles

•  And instead of following illusions, which illusion for example?

•  p.119+2 such as for example trying to find in modern science a means of raising themselves to the level of higher truths, whereas this science is in fact based upon a denial of those very truths

•  What was the motto in former initiatory organizations?

•  p.119u vincit omnia veritas

ST: nothing accomplished within this order [of true knowledge] can ever be lost - nothing can ultimately prevail against the power of truth: motto: vincit omia veritas p.119le

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1998-10-25