THE SIX CONFUSIONS OF MODERN MAN
There is confusion when things do not occupy their due place in the order of the universe. The six considered here are not the only ones, but they are enough to give an idea of the intellectual and moral disorder that beset modernity.
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Imagination and Thinking
People are generally unaware of the existence of four internal senses beside the five external ones. Such senses, detected since antiquity, are ignored by today’s defective schooling.
Imagination is the most obvious. It means, as the word says, creating images of things known. But “knowledge” is an analogical term: animal “knowledge” and human knowledge are vastly different realities.
Thinking involves producing, classifying, comparing, contrasting etc. ideas, whether imaginable or not. Ideas are abstracted by the mind, which is a spiritual, not a material, power. Hence the power of reflection: man knows that he knows, and knows himself. Animals are bereft of this function, so that imagining is the limit to their knowledge at their level of being.
Human imagining and thinking always go together, but uni-directionally: all things imagined are also known; not vice versa. Ideas of non material things can be thought of, but not imagined. The idea of number, even of a particular number, say ‘two’, is unimaginable. The most that can be imagined is its symbol, which can be written 2, II, β’, 10 etc. They all read ‘two’, but in Arabic, Roman, Greek and binary notation respectively.
The most important consequence of this is that imagination helps thinking of things have size, shape and colour; it hinders thinking of ideas without these properties. The higher the abstraction, the more useless, not to say noxious, imagination becomes.
A less obvious, but very real, consequence is that thinking is hard work, shunning which easily leads to mental laziness. Few people are willing to think. Most are happy with thinking done for them by someone else. As George Bernard Shaw put it:
“Two percent of the people think; three percent of the people think they think; and ninety-five percent of the people would rather die than think.”
A last, but by no means innocuous consequence, is mistaking animal feats of internal sensing for thinking, concomitantly failing to distinguish one level of being from another. Animals are then falsely endowed with powers they lack, and granted non-existent “rights”, necessarily entailing burdening people with non-existent duties towards them.
Philosophical errors are not cheap. The price is paid in terms of personal freedom. Only truth guarantees freedom; lack of thinking prevents attaining truth. Freedom is inevitably lost.
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