The Age of Enlightenment

“We are all fascinated and overawed by statistical truths and large numbers and are daily apprised of the nullity and futility of individual personality, since it is not represented and personified by any mass organization.”

~ Carl Jung

The scientific revolution and subsequent technological advances over the last 500 or so years, but particularly in the last 150 years, has given the human race a historically unprecedented level of power and control over circumstances. The age of enlightenment, in succession to such a scientific revolution, gave birth to a new epoch of intellectual exploration, cultivation of ideas and political transformation. We have science to thank for our higher-than-ever life expectancies and infant survival rates, for our planes, our iPhones, and our medical institutions. But at what cost?

“Apart from agglomerations of huge masses of people, in which the individual disappears anyways, one of the chief factors responsible for psychological mass-mindedness is scientific rationalism, which robs the individual of his foundations and his dignity. As a social unit he has lost his individuality and become a mere abstract number in the bureau of statistics. He can only play the role of an interchangeable unit of infinitesimal importance.”

~ Carl Jung

Our modern first-world States, with their high standards of living and ideals intended for the greater good of society, have in a way replaced the role of religion in the old world. Instead of an individual responsibility towards God, we now have a social responsibility towards the State; to the modern individual, the State provides all, and as long as he is a loyal and subservient member of the existing system he has no need to fear for his life. However in exchange for such gifts, we trade our inner rationality, our uniqueness, and simply become No. so-and-so. This divorce from the individuality of the psyche, already unique by composition and therefore an exception to any statistical rule, hinders the full development of the self. More hesitation should be taken in the ingestion of these so-called scientific truths and socially accepted facts, for we know not who calculated them and how they work. We can already see the danger of such unquestioned acceptances of statistical truth in the realm of fake news. The State is a mere abstraction whilst the individual is a reality. The individual should stand first and foremost at the heart of any belief held to heart; no one’s opinion matters more than one’s own, and better to construct it with ideas and beliefs rooted in reality and individual experience.

“A million zeroes joined together do not, unfortunately, add up to one. Ultimately everything depends on the quality of the individual, but the fatally shortsighted habit of our age is to think only in terms of large numbers and mass organizations, though one would think that the world had seen more than enough of what a well-disciplined mob can do in the hands of a single madman.”

~ Carl Jung


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