Modern meaninglessness: The modern world doesn’t tell you why

So I’m assuming that if you are listening to this, you are probably using a high-speed internet connection to get it, and if so, you are probably part of what could very broadly be described as the modern world, this world of high technology and everything we consider to be part of our modern way of life.
And this idea is contrasted to the idea of the traditional world, which is another broad term which could mean anything that is not part of this modern system.
And called traditional because this is, you could say, “old-fashioned”, although it not necessarily doesn’t mean it cannot continue now, but it could also be called “pre-modern”.
It’s the way the world would be without this modern system.
The traditional world: everything in tradition is steeped in religious and spiritual significance.
Everything is seen as being part of a world order, which can be described in any sort of religious or spiritual beliefs, but it all has this kind of total system of significance, so that everything that’s going on in the world has a built-in meaning, being part of this established story, often expressed through a mythology.
The mythology of a group of people expresses the significance, how they see everything that’s going on fitting together and fitting into a bigger picture.
And sometimes those mythologies, they can be expressed in the form of a religion, but that itself has a similar structure, this idea of connecting everything that’s going on to this big overall story of significance and meaning.
The modern world is concerned with achieving practical effects in the material world, using science to determine how things work and applying technology, engineering, design to make things function in the material world.
And it seems like to do that, you don’t actually need that full connection of spiritual significance, and the mythology, and everything, how it fits together, and how it all connects.
That is not required in order to make wheels turn and systems run.
So the modern world has moved away from that.
There is no need for these systems of meaning in the structures established in the modern world.
Like, in order to fly a plane, you do not have to have specific beliefs about God and the nature of the universe.
So in the modern world, these traditional religious, spiritual, mythological beliefs have in large part disappeared, and, in in many aspects, are on the way out, if not already subverted and essentially discarded, because they are simply not necessary within the modern frame of looking at the world.
You can live your whole life very functionally without any spiritual beliefs, any belief about anything of greater significance, or how things connect overall in a sense of greater significance.
All that’s simply not relevant to the way that the modern world operates.
So what? So what do we do about this? Well, one approach is to simply be completely fine with that, and just be a modern man, a modern person, and say well, we don’t need any of those primitive beliefs.
We can use science to achieve that sense of meaning.
And this can be expressed with just simply straight-out atheism and a sense of complete materialism, in the sense of I am only concerned with the operations of the material world, and there’s no need for anything that- even the term “spiritual” for many people is just like- it just puts a bad taste in your mouth just even thinking about it.
They don’t even want to go there.
Completely unnecessary.
And another alternative might be to run to tradition, to cling to tradition, and to try to keep tradition going on, fight against the modern way, and hold on to traditional beliefs.
And maybe a third way would be to find some way to combine them together.
Can we make them fit? So these are two major systems, using – in very broad terms, of course – two ways of looking at the world in a very broad sense.
And we have this kind of mix of them.
We all live in this modern world, but we also have a mix of some traditional beliefs, and there are historical traditions that are passed down, and we don’t live in 100% isolation from tradition, either.
So we’re in this mixed state.
And I think it’s useful to think about this, to think about this idea that the modern world does not provide any meaning.
There is no significance to anything in the modern world.
It’s simply its practical usefulness, its utility.
If something is useful, then it is good.
And if something doesn’t work, then it is irrelevant.
And this seems to be the ethos of the modern world.
It doesn’t tell you why.
There’s no why in the modern world.
There’s simply a what and a how.
The traditional world will tell you the why.
It’ll fill in the why behind every what and every how.
But in the traditional world, if you don’t fit in with that system of beliefs, then you’re already an outsider. […]

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