“In relation to their systems most sytematisers are like a man who builds an enormous castle and lives in a shack close by; they do not live in their own enormous systematic buildings. But spiritually that is a decisive objection. Spiritually speaking a man’s thought must be the building in which he lives–otherwise everything is topsy-turvy.”
–Søren Kierkegaard (The Soul of Kierkegaard: Selections from His Journals, 98).
To be sure, who is the man who lives consistently in the worldview that he constructs? That is to say, who is the man who constructs a metaphysic that is consistent internally, and also, logically coherent and relevant to reality? If the aforementioned is constructed well; if it has a sturdy foundation; if it has a sound structure; if it has not been found wanting; does the creator actually live in his constructed world—can he, and still remain sane?
Indeed, the 20th century was the century if ideologies, and not only that, big extraordinary ideologies systematized my systematizers who dared not enter the very systems they created.
Karl Marx constructed his dialectal materialism, yet dare not to step one foot into such a world; forsooth!, did he live in an epicenter of the intellectual elite, away from the very system he propagated.
Georg Hegel constructed his absolute idealism dialectic, but to be sure, his system did not correspond to reality inasmuch as he allowed contradictions to riddle his logical dialectic. Did Hegel live practically accepting these contradictions? What a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in knowing that Hegel is the very one that influenced most of 20th century Western philosophy.
“If Hegel had written the whole of his logic and then said, in the preface, that it was merely an experiment in thought in which he had even begged the question in many places, then he would certainly have been the greatest thinker who had ever lived. As it is he is merely a comic.”
–Søren Kierkegaard (The Soul of Kierkegaard: Selections from His Journals, 91).
Nietzsche constructed his Dionysian/Apollonian dialectic, to be sure, and fancied himself a philosopher with an unprecedented will to power: a mute, miserable, sickly wretch did he become, slowly dying in a small shack outside of this grand mansion he constructed hoping one day new philosophers would rise up and inhabit this systematic metaphysic.
“A new species of philosopher is appearing: I venture to baptize these philosophers with a name not without danger in it. As I divine them, as they let themselves be divined — for it pertains to their nature to want to remain a riddle in some respects — these philosophers of the future might rightly, but perhaps also wrongly, be described as attempters. This name itself is in the end only an attempt and, if you will, a temptation.”
Friedrich Nietzsche (Beyond Good & Evil, 42).
Thereupon came Martin Heidegger, and on his heels the French existentialists, Sartre and Camus, constructing systematics founded on the absurd. So absurd, indeed, that only a fool would desire to take up such an abode, and to be sure, they were loth to. Between being and non-being, irony and the absurd, they forecast meaningless existences, but willed with all their might against their very metaphysic, thirsting for one drop of sanity, meaning, and substance.
“I felt myself in a solitude so frightful that I contemplated suicide. What held me back was the idea that no one, absolutely no one, would be moved by my death, that I would be even more alone in death than in life.”
—Jean-Paul Sartre (La Nausée, 116).
The West has hitherto been hoodwinked into bombastic systematics; illusory metaphysics; and futile-contradictory dialectics. We have, forsooth, swallowed the psychological poison and convinced ourselves that post-modernity is reality, and that we must accept the logical consequence therewith. Neither do people push ramifications to their logical conclusions, or self-evaluate our ethics; for if we did, we would realize that we are living in a self-constructed illusion. A giant pompous mansion, with magnificent splendor and grandiose architecture sits next to the Western world, while we find ourselves huddled in a tiny hut, awaiting our own demise.
Who is the wise man in post-modernity? It is the one who simply builds his house on a rock (Matt 7:24-27).