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  Science and the Myth of Progress Back to the List of Slideshows
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Titus Burckhardt describes traditional cosmology and compares it with modern science:
Traditional cosmology always comprises an aspect of “art” in the primordial sense of this word: when science goes beyond the horizon of the corporeal world or when the traditional cosmologist gives his attention only to the manifestations, within this very world, of transcendent qualities, it becomes impossible to “record” the object of knowledge as one records the contours and details of a sensory phenomenon. We are not saying that the intellection of realities higher than the corporeal world is imperfect; we are referring only to its mental and verbal “fixation.” Whatever can be conveyed of these perceptions of reality is inevitably in the form of speculative keys, which are an aid to rediscovering the “synthetic” vision in question. The proper application of these “keys” to the endless multiplicity of the faces of the cosmos is dependent on what may indeed be called an art, in the sense that it presupposes a certain spiritual realization or at least a mastery of certain “conceptual dimensions."

As for modern science, not only is it restricted, in its study of nature, to only one of its planes of existence (whence its “horizontal” dispersion contrary to the contemplative spirit); it also dissects as far as possible the contents of nature, as if the more to emphasize the “autonomous materiality” of things; and this fragmentation —both theoretical and technological—of reality is radically opposed to the nature of art; for art is nothing without fullness in unity, without rhythm, without proportion.

In other words, modern science is ugly, with an ugliness that has finished by taking possession of the very notion of “reality” and by arrogating to itself the prestige of the “objective” judgement of things, whence the irony of modern men with regard to whatever, in the traditional sciences, may reveal an aspect of artless beauty.

The Perennialist commentator on modern and traditional sciences, Titus Burckhardt
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