I just nearly (just now, yes) created a new blog with this post’s title as the site name, but after 30 seconds of contemplation, I decided that there are far too many blogs in the world, and they are all too specialized to say anything meaningful. What an awfully dismissive statement that is. But is it true? It might be, but then again, maybe not.
Ian McGilchrist wrote a book titled The Master and His Emissary, which outlines his argument for why the western world has become far too “left-brained” in its way of thinking and should adopt a more holistic, Eastern approach to life. At least, that’s the gist of it that I gathered from the introduction. The book was far too dense for me to actually read for pleasure at the time, since I’ve been struggling to consume enough research for my in-progress book debunking alien abductions.
Left-brained. What in the world is that supposed to mean? Does the claim imply that we Westerners run around with half our brains tied behind our backs? Certainly sounds like it, but that can’t be the literal truth, since I can still do things with the left side of my body (controlled by the RIGHT brain hemisphere, so they say). What is really meant by “too left-brained” is that someone or someones have become too rationalistic, analytic, and segregationary in their way of thinking. An extreme case might be a person who knows facts about many subjects, denies the supernatural element of existence, and also fails to understand reletionships between all of the different elements of life. I think of modern people who go to school and learn only what is related to their degree, then go on with life oblivious to 90% of it. Highly specialized ignoramuses.
To some degree, I would concurr with McGilchrist on his assesment, but he could have just said that we have “good science, but bad philosophy”. Also, he needn’t drag neuroscience into it, as if we actually have the slightest clue how the brain works other than which area “lights up” when doing certain things. They say there are more neural connections in the brain than there are particles in the universe; that makes the human brain the most complex thing that we can empirically observe.
I’m starting to sound overly cynical. But what is all this getting at? So the West is too analytical, and not Buddhist enough? This may sound offensive, but why the cliche allure of Eastern philosophy? Where was this superior culture when Mao slaughtered 70 million people? Even the atheists in the USSR only murdered a meager 24 million, and some of those were in the War. Hitler, who seemed to have been some kind of Catholic, killed less than Mr. Stalin, which puts the enlightened Eastern ways dead last in efficacy at preventing bloodshed.
Currently, China cannot create anything on its own, even though their kids spend 36 hours a day studying for exams. Everything they manufacture on their own is a junk version of something designed by their foolish Western factory bosses in America (you know, fat old white men smoking cigars and counting money). I had an old high school friend that roamed China for several years after graduating. Later, after returning to the States, he lamented on a Facebook post that the Chinese had a problem where they’d ask you how much your stuff cost, but cared little about your personal well-being. Such was the neighborliness he witnessed in some places (I assume not ALL of China is this way). I try not to judge the people. Perhaps these criticisms are just natural manifestations of the Eastern ways.
I’ll keep the West. The West, when done right, is nothing other than Christianity, which politically recognizes the nobility of the individual and his divine potential. Eastern ways are derived from the ancient Mysteries, doctrines that teach that we are all one and lumped into a giant god-mind. The goal of the Mysteries was to elevate one’s self to godhood without any sort of help from God or Christ. Atheism becomes a sort of offshoot of the Mysteries, in that its religion — communism, or the State — seeks to create an Eden-like utopia where God is not needed because man rules as god.
While we may be too scientific, analytical, and generally lacking in our grasp of the world as a whole, who isnt? Yes, Elon Musk’s Cybertruck is a pile of rolling garbage, and the Trump impeachment is a charade, but at least we aren’t at Mao levels of evil yet.
Though I can’t deny there is a degradation going on. Here in America, we are losing touch with reality. People are less festive at the holidays. We spend way too much time craning over our cell phones. People act like total jerks on the internet. Everyone thinks they are an expert on everything, OR they defer to the experts on everything (i.e. “climate change”). The latter is more annoying to me, being intellectual laziness. Worst of all, we are trading faith for the Chinese knock-off religion of scientific materialism. The consequence of telling people that their lives and existence are products of meaningless happenstance is a renaissance in the pursuit of carnal pleasure to stave off the growling pangs of despair.
I don’t know what I’ll do other than write. What can you do? When an economy has bloated itself beyond its ability to sustain itself, there must be a correction. Politicians tell the money printing theiving bankers print more so they can spend more to stave off depression, but the reckoning will come. The longer you wait, the harder it hits. The reckoning for the West will come because we have abandoned our God. For us believers, maybe we just go along for the ride and try to keep clear of the line of fire. The hubristic science and technology worshiping cult of Darwin/Dawkins/Hawking/Musk will come crashing down like the Tower of Babel one day. It will because God always wins.