Notes 1 on Postmodernism

Notes 1 on Postmodernism

From The System Of Antichrist;
Upton, Charles SAC35-39

Edited by Omar K Neusser

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Presented here are a few quotes on Postmodernism by Charles Upton in his book The System Of Antichrist from pages 35-39.

If there is anything good in postmodernism, then “it cautions against absolutist claims, which CAN tyrannize.” Or in other words, absolutist claims don't have to be tyrannizing per se.

Also postmodernism may - in the best of cases - “arise as defender of the many diverse views.”1

Postmodernism “should be able to work against doctrinal idolatry (i.e. to take one's view of reality for reality itself)2, or against the idolatry of world-views.” Instead postmodernism “is for the most part 'even more anti-metaphysical than modernism.'” It is a “nihilistic denial that (objective) truth is [even] desirable.”

“All a philosophy” (or a wisdom of the divine - also more accurately, a theosophy) “really needs is to be open, in the vertical dimension, to transcendent Truth, in the sense of the Absolute, and to conform its formulations, imperfect as they must be, to that sense.”

And as long as we realize that religion, unlike philosophy, is addressed to man's whole being, not simple his mind, the same can be said of any viable religious form. (Only God can be absolutely consistent and complete.)

All it needs is to have preserved, operatively intact, in its dogma, ritual, morality and contemplative practice, the living ray of God, by which it came into the world, and along which the human souls within it can return to the Source Who sent it.“

But then one needs to remember that according to Huston Smith: “It is impossible that any one system has all the truth. Other voices should be listened to.”

Also “all truth cannot be known by adding system to system. Information, quantitative truth, can be amassed; transcendent, spiritual Truth cannot.”

In postmodernism there is this “despair of objective truth.” This is the one word, which you are not allowed to utter, unless you want to be called names.

And this is therefore the greatest flaw of postmodernism: “Rather than positing a reality which transcends all our views, it denies that such a Reality could be; in the place of the Divine Emptiness beyond all conception, we are left with a literal hollowness, a dead lack.”

How to Overcome The Idolatry of Views?

Our views on God are not God!

We accept God's Self-revelations as gifts.

Those gifts may enable us to overcome postmodernismic nihilism, which is "a kind of counterfeit mysticism,” and if it will continue its course will bring near the end of the cycle.


Related texts:

- Modernism And Postmodern Thought, from S H Nasr
- Who was René Guénon - Shaykh `Abd Al Wahid Yahya?
- The Nature Of Sacred Knowledge, from S H Nasr
- On the common eternal principles, and that Islam reigns, OKN
- East & West, quoting René Guénon
- The Islamic Conception Of Man, Sh. S H Nasr
- Metaphysical Foundations, OKN
- What Is Metaphysics? OKN

2017-04-10 vs.1.1; from 2017-04-04
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Disclaimer: First of all it is Islam that reigns (see Sura 5:3).
Traditional Islam does not accept the notion that the world-religions (and even less so any man-made belief system) would be equally valid paths to God, these are perennialistic interpretations. Even so, they (their laws) still reflect some sacred truth, so they did not turn into falsehood by being abrogated. These are 2 (two) different points to be kept in mind.

• In the words of Muhyiddín Ibn `Arabi: ”The religious laws are all lights, and the law of Muhammad ﷺ among these lights is as the sun's light among the light of the stars…”

”So all paths return to look to the Prophet's path ﷺ : if the prophetic messengers had been alive in his time, they would have followed him just as their religious laws have followed his law.…” [further reading]

  1. But “without the vertical dimension, without the concrete sense of the Absolute, the celebration of diversity as opposed to unity can only be an ironic comment on the impossibility of arriving at objective truth, coupled with a nihilistic denial that such truth is even desirable.” p.38

  2. “(Our) denial of any objective truth (beyond the views of reality, which we already have) forces us to idolize those views (which are now the only ‘reality’ there is.)”