Saturday, January 24, 2009

Nihilism as 'Being' in Nothingness - Are You Still Confused?

Tips all the way round. First to Athos' post Nihil who tips to Daniel Mitsui's post A Creature of the Depths

NIHILISM The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age by Eugene (Fr. Seraphim) Rose

Read it HERE

I have pulled out a few excerpts to hopefully wet your apetite to read this article.

Nihilism has error for its root, and error can be conquered only by Truth. Most of the criticism of Nihilism is not directed to this root at all, and the reason for this--as we shall see--is that Nihilism has become, in our time, so widespread and pervasive, has entered so thoroughly and so deeply into the minds and hearts of all men living today, that there is no longer any "front" on which it may be fought; and those who think they are fighting it are most often using its own weapons, which they in effect turn against themselves.

The whole food of Christian Truth, however, is accessible only to faith; and the chief obstacle to such faith is not logic, as the facile modern view has it, but another and opposed faith. We have seen indeed, that logic cannot deny absolute truth without denying itself, the logic that sets itself up against the Christian Revelation is merely the servant of another "revelation," of a false "absolute truth": namely Nihilism.

The first stage of Nihilism, which is Liberalism, is born of the errors of taking our diseased eye for a sound one, of mistaking its impaired vision for a view of the true world, and thus of discharging the physician of the soul, the Church, whose ministrations are not needed by a "healthy" man. In the second stage, Realism, the disease, no longer attended by the necessary physician, begins to grow; vision is narrowed; distant objects, already obscure enough in the "natural" state of impaired vision, become invisible; only the nearest objects are seen distinctly, and the patient becomes convinced no others exist. In the third stage, Vitalism, infection leads to inflammation; even the nearest objects become dim and distorted and there are hallucinations. In the fourth stage, the Nihilism of Destruction, blindness ensues and the disease spreads to the rest of the body, effecting agony, convulsions, and death.

The Nihilist rejection of Christian faith and institutions, then, is the result, not so much of a loss of faith in them and in their divine origin, as of rebellion against the authority they represent and the obedience they command.

But if "rebellion" is all the "natural man" may know today, why is it that the "natural man" of the Renaissance or the Enlightenment seemed to know much more, and thought himself to be a much nobler being. "They took too much for granted," is the usual answer, and lived on Christian capital without knowing it; today we are bankrupt, and know it." Contemporary man, in a word, is "disillusioned." But, strictly speaking, one must be "disillusioned" of an illusion: if men have fallen way, not from illusion, but from truth--and this is indeed the case--then profounder reasoning is required to explain their present "plight."

If you need a visual aid to help make sense out of this "nihilism" then check this out:

And here is an opinion which I think is more prevalent than what we would like to admit.
I'm a Christian and Nihilist and I say why must we be oppressed to accept what is unacceptable: and I have the answer for once just as Nihilism and Christianity does: We live in a world, where false beliefs become radical realities, and what is considered unsafe we make safe. Oppression is omission of freedom, we will not be dumbed down, fuck the political system now and then, they run our futures if we have any futures left due to their political incense.
Dismantling nihilism in our age where it is so rampant will take more than prayer - not to say that prayer is not a good place to start. I can't help but think that we need more help in maturing and understanding our faith through knowledge and reason supported by reasonable and responsible accountability in and through the Church as well as public life.

1 comment:

Athos said...

If, as Bailie says (and I'd love to know the citation for it), Schillebeeckx says it's existentially impossible to despair in the presence of Jesus, then present-day Lazaruses need to come into Our Lord's presence. This is exorcism of the demon 'nihilism', pure and simple.

Excellent expounding, Aramis. Thanks