SCIENTIFIC ENLIGHTENMENT PROPER

Being Part Two of
The Path Toward Scientific Enlightenment

1999, 2003 - 2007

---- THIS WORK HAS NEVER BEEN FINISHED ----
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- Division One -

Introduction: Orientation in World Religions and Philosophies, and Degeneration in Contemporary Religion and Philosophy

Book 1: A Thermodynamic Genealogy of Primitive Religions

Book 2: Human Enlightenment of the First Axial

A. The First Mode of Salvation

B. The Second Mode of Salvation

C. Contemporary Revival of the First Axial (and the examination of the "parallels between philosophy and physics")

D. Cosmic Numerology in the Functional Perspective and the Principle of Conservation

Book 3: The Differentiation of Consciousness and the Constitution of Modern Western Philosophy and Religion

- Division Two -

Introduction II: The structural perspective as the de-animization of the cosmos

A. The Constitution of the Structural Perspective

B. Scientific Enlightenment

Back to Part One: A Thermodynamic Interpretation of History



A New Preface
(Added: September 2014)

Freud begins his Das Unbehagen in der Kultur (Civilization and Its Discontents) with a comment from his friend Romain Rolland in regard to his psychoanalytic theory of the origin of religions:

Einer dieser ausgezeichneten Männer nennt sich in Briefen meinen Freund. Ich hatte ihm meine kleine Schrift zugeschickt, welche die Religion als Illusion behandelt, und er antwortete, er wäre mit meinem Urteil über die Religion ganz einverstanden, bedauerte aber, dass ich die eigentliche Quelle der Religiosität nicht gewürdigt hätte. Diese sei ein besonderes Gefühl, das ihn selbst nie zu verlassen pflege, das er von vielen anderen bestätigt gefunden und bei Millionen Menschen voraussetzen dürfe. Ein Gefühl, das er die Empfindung der "Ewigkeit" nennen möchte, ein Gefühl wie von etwas Unbegrenztem, Schrankenlosem, gleichsam "Ozeanischem". Dies Gefühl sei eine rein subjektive Tatsache, kein Glaubenssatz; keine Zusicherung persönlicher Fortdauer knüpfe sich daran, aber es sei die Quelle der religiösen Energie, die von den verschiedenen Kirchen und Religionssystemen gefasst, in bestimmte Kanäle geleitet und gewiss auch aufgezehrt werde. Nur auf Grund dieses ozeanischen Gefühls dürfe man sich religiös heissen, auch wenn man jeden Glauben und jede Illusion ablehne.

Diese Ausserung meines verehrten Freundes, der selbst einmal den Zauber der Illusion poetisch gewürdigt hat, brachte mir nicht geringe Schwierigkeiten. Ich selbst kann dies "ozeanische" Gefühl nicht in mir entdecken.

Freud then proceeds to conduct a psychoanalytic investigation of these "feelings", leading him to something entirely different, the drive toward the creation of the trappings of civilizations and the irremediable antagonism between the demands of instincts and the restrictions of civilization . He is, of course, not the only one who has tried to explain the underpinnings of human religiosity. So, so many have tried to answer this most fundamental question and have, without knowing, failed, like Freud here; so, so many have tried, such as Freud is here doing, to seek the answer in some intellectual construct which the mind has artificially created on the basis of the language originally conceived to describe, or represent, an external reality -- an artificial intellectual construct which is self-consistent and self-referential but which doesn't in fact describe, or represent, anything outside it. This is why they, just as Freud here, have failed. Many of them, like Freud, have failed to discover the "oceanic feeling" in themselves, not because of its actual absence, but because they can't describe it. We are here to set right the discourse at long last, by appealing to a proper description of that "feeling" and finding out of what, outside ourselves, the feeling is a representation. This is the phenomenological approach, and we discover that that of which the feeling is a representation is a most fundamental law of nature, the principle of conservation, such as has been codified in the First Law of Thermodynamics. This is the content of the following "Scientific Enlightenment".


Copyright © 1999 - 2007 by Lawrence. C. Chin
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