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A Glance at Tomorrows History
Part 2

Dr. Ali Shariati


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سايت فارسى

Whereas in the Middle Ages, common people and educated classes had a commonality of belief, they spoke with one tongue and for one goal, today the educated are worshippers of science and the common people are religious.

This is a reality which in no way is able to be justified, interpreted or commented upon even if it oppose our temperament and our beliefs. It is because of this that in Europe, America, Africa, South America and in Iran and Asian countries, the more the new science and new educated class is extended like in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, the more religion is put aside from the top of the cone and only remains in the base of the cone.

Here religion is weakened to the point where it is destroyed and science, the worship of science and belief in the authenticity of science replace it.

If this cone is applied to the new and present era, just as I said, the common people are still of the Middle Ages.

They are religious all over the world. They have their former religion. To the extent which the new educated grow closer to the worship of science, which is the religion of this class, they become alienated from their traditional and their own national religion and they move away from it.

The statistics of people who studied the sociology of religions in any country in Europe and America, in the East and in the West reflects this.

But there is one other issue and that is that in addition to these two classes, we must seek out one more group. As we have seen, there are geniuses in each era and there are rare people in every age, people who we are obliged to place in the highest peak of this cone. From the point of view of education and type of thinking, words prevail in opposition to the current method of thought of the educated class. The number of this small group increases at the end of each era. Clearly recognized, they gain power and strength and they formulate the kind of thought of the intellectuals of the future like Kepler, Isaac Newton, Francis Bacon and Roger Bacon who formed the thoughts of the people of their era.

These individuals who are now at the peak will form the educated of the future according to that law of determinism which I mentioned.

Thus, according to this method, we can glance at tomorrow's history. How? If we recognize who these present geniuses who are at the peak of the cone, and how they think and if I can introduce those who exist at the peak of the cone in the present era to you, and show how the thoughts of these geniuses oppose the methods of thought of the worship of science of the last three centuries of the educated, then we can solve the problem which I mentioned. We can clearly foresee and predict how the educated class of the future will think in the era after the present and what inclinations, beliefs and feelings they will have.

We are obliged to place geniuses of humanity today above the educated because, on the one hand, the educated consider them to be supra-educated and, on the other hand, we are obliged not to place them among the educated of today because they think and speak differently from this group. One is Guenon. His book, Crises of the Modern World and his journal of religious studies have been published in Europe. He is a great, educated, French genius who suddenly revolted against science and the worship of science, went to the East and retreated to Egypt, not a retreatment in today's sense of the word but rather he withdrew from society and the way of thinking of today so that he could answer the great need and thirst of the people of Europe.

Another was Alexis Carrel. One of his most famous work is L'homme c'est inconnu, which has been translated into Persian along with some of his other works. He has written another book called My Meditation upon the Pilgrimage to Lourdes. Another is Le Count de Louis. He wrote The Fate of Mankind. It has been printed in Persian twice. The translation is bad but the text is worthy of study. Then there is Einstein, William James or Basalard, who is the greatest French scientific-philosopher-thinker and he is much greater than what the people of the world recognize in Jean-Paul Sartre and Bertrand Russel. There is also Max Plank, Georges Gurvitch, Patrick Donitz and Paster-nak, who wrote Dr. Zhivago. These people can never be put in the class of the new educated but only at the peak because generally they oppose the worship of science. They speak against it and the religion of the educated class of the last three centuries.

Of course it cannot be said that Guenon speaks exactly like Max Plank and Max Plank repeats the words of Alexis Carrel. Each has a new opinion. But something exists in common. That is, if we find a common principle, we can recognize, with the method I mentioned, that this common principle is a new tendency to be found in the world, the commonality to oppose the general tendency of the worship of science, which is the religion of the intellectual of today.

This tendency in the future era will be transformed into the religion of the intellectual of the type of the future and will replace the worship of science which is the religion of the educated of the world today. In all of these people, one idea prevails and that is the religious feelings and belief in spirituality which they hold in common without exception (unfortunately there is no time to quote from each of them).

We can say Einstein had great religious feelings. But we said that religion is the basis of belief of the common people! Can we say Einstein is among the common people and is among those who have a high school diploma or a college degree or is an engineer or Ph. D like myself and is in the new educated class!! Never. Yet he is religious. Thus it becomes clear that other than the worship of science, there is a new thought appearing in the world which is the greatest wave of thought in the world today. We can never say that the religion of Einstein or Carrel is of the same substance as that of the common people. It is a religion which is above the beliefs of intellectuals, above science.

Thus two religions exist. One is that of those who lack education and science and it is their religion which exists at the bottom of the cone. As we move up the level of religion, we reach a scientific atheism in our own era and if we move up higher, we attain a meta-religion. This can clearly be seen in today's world.

Look at the educated. One is educated and religious but his religion is taken from below and he pulls it along with him like a spare part. He has become an engineer, a doctor and he has retained his religion. He took it from the masses and pulled it up with him. This is abnormal and must be thrown away. If he lacks religion, in my opinion, he is closer to a religion of meta-science which is above and beyond science.

Again we have an educated person who is religious and we see how he follows a religion which is above science. It is clear in his writings. This religion can be seen in people, in universities, in thoughts.

The religion which is less than science is lower than the educated and the religion which is above science, which the heights of science have not yet reached, is a religion which today the great thinkers of the world, ones I mentioned, have and the world recognizes. They are above the educated. They are the new geniuses.

Many of the words which we have in the Quran or we have attained by closely following the Quran, we suddenly hear in a translation or a text from Max Plank or Einstein or Carrel.

Most of those people I mentioned passed through a time of crises, a time of atheism and then a time of re-finding, rediscovering a religion above and beyond science. All of them are among the most outstanding, well-educated people who opposed and revolted against the worship of science. Their commonlity is the return to spirituality, the return to religious feelings and sensitivities. In the last three centuries, they have been abused and condemned by the idea that religion is the belief of the common people and must be put aside.

Thus that which we must believe is that today, as in the 16th century, when geniuses came into being who brought the worship of science, geniuses have come who are not familiar to the present educated class. Their words have still not become official. They have not filtered into the university yet they speak above the level of the university. Surely the words and speeches of these people form the basis of the belief of the educated of the future who they will form in tomorrow's historical period.

Thus, without doubt, today's religion is a return to a religion which is above science or approaching a religion which is above science, that is, the truth of religion. Thus, with this study, it can be said that we believe that today the era of the worship of science of the educated class formed in the 17th century which led to the alienation from religion, is ending. Why? Because today geniuses have come into being who are above the science of today and who announce a belief in a great Spirit and Intellect in the universe and the need for mankind to worship or to have religious belief.

If he is a physicist like Max Plank, he speaks like this, "Kepler was a scholar who believed in a total intelligent system, carefully aware and conscious of all of creation." He also gives an example of another scholar and says, "He did not have such a belief in a total system of the universe as well as an all encompassing intellect which exists and because of this, he remained at the level of a small, experimental scholar. He remained at this level because he did not believe in a universal intellect but Kepler believed in this and because of this he became the creator of a new physics." He speaks like this.

Einstein, in the same field, says, "Religious feeling and belief in a great secret in Creation, is a key concept in great scientific research." A psychologist speaks in another way. He says, "In the fate of mankind, prayer is necessary, worship is necessary like the need for food and for air; it is a genuine need. If we blind the need for worship in ourselves, we will be destroyed."

A person like Carrel, who was never religious and is a man who received two Nobel Peace Prizes for research on the heart of sparrows and their transplantation, says, "Worship is like breathing, like eating and is a part of the most genuine physical, neurological, psychological and intellectual needs of ours." He says, "Because of a lack of strong belief in religion, Rome was destroyed."

These are words of Alexis Carrel, not a priest, not a religious person at the base of the cone. Alexis Carrel is the first human being who received two Nobel Peace Prizes and according to the Larouse dictionary, he is a great person whose thought has had a deep effect upon the 20th century. He says, "If worship, the prayer to the Beloved Creator, is taken away from society, we have signed the death certificate of that society."

Did the educated of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries speak like this? The educated of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries said, "If I cannot see God under the scalpel knife, I will not believe in Him." The worshippers of science spoke like this. But today, as Gurvitch says, "In the 19th century, sociology developed 198 laws which it believed in but sociology in the 20th century believes in no laws."

Schwartz, the greatest French mathematician says, Physics in the 19th century believed that it could justify all issues of life, even poetry and today physics believes that even it cannot come to know what material is."

Why has science in the 20th century become so humble according to Gurvitch and why has the pride of the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries been broken? Because a new era is beginning in the world. The school of thought of the educated of the future, as opposed to the educated of today, will be a religious school of thought a religion not lower than science, rather one higher than it.


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