“There is a general feeling today that we are at the end of an age, an age which began three centuries ago with the discoveries of Galileo and Newton and gradually resulted in the gradual development of a materialist philosophy and a mechanistic model of the universe. This has in the course of time affected our whole society. The present industrial system and modern technology are the direct result of this mechanistic concept of the universe. The whole social, political and economic system of the West is governed by it, and even art, morality and religion are affected by it. So we live in a world which came into being in the last three centuries, and has come to a head only in the last century. Civilisation and the whole planet. All this is a result of three centuries of materialism building up to its height in the first part of this century [20th].
In the second part of this century we have begun to discover what has been taking place and in what we are involved, and a new movement has begun which is the opposite of all this. We re beginning now to be able to replace the mechanistic system and the mechanistic model of the universe with an organic model. This is the beginning of a return to the traditional wisdom, the wisdom by which human beings have lived over thousands and thousands of years, and with which the great societies of the past have been built up. In this ancient, traditional wisdom the order of the universe is seen always to be threefold, consisting not only of a physical dimension but also of a psychological and a spiritual world. The three worlds were always seen as interrelated and interdependent. This understanding of the three orders of being and of their interdependence is what is known as the perennial philosophy.”
– ESSENTIAL WRITINGS by Bede Griffiths (ISBN 9781570752001)
The basic principle of this world is its materialistic philosophy. This materialism is explicit in Marxism, but it is implicit practically everywhere, and it governs people’s attitudes of mind and behaviour. Its basic principle is reductionism: it is the reduction of everything to certain material principles and to its material base. To take a simple example, all music can be reduced to vibrations on strings or in a pipe, mere vibrations in the air, and those vibrations may then be treated as what music is, without concern for any other value which belongs to it…
This is a drastic system by which everything is reduced to the material level, and it has had extraordinary success. Scientifically it has led to great discoveries being made, and it has undoubtedly produced an impressive system of technology. On a social scale it has produced states with tremendous power building up influence all over the world. But at the same time it is gradually producing evil effects, rapidly exhausting material resources, polluting the environment, and leading to the build-up of armaments which threatens to lead to a nuclear war capable of destroying our entire ci