Progress

Today we hear so much about progress. Headlines about our “progressive” society with “progressive” ideals and technology are constantly thrown in our faces. When I hear this word, I think of the Carousel of Progress in Disney World, which follows one family through the vast amounts of change in the 20th century. Progress implies futuristic advances and new moral codes, but it doesn’t have a specific meaning. Everyone is obsessed with this vague Progress. What exactly is it?

“Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic ‘progress’ leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil.”

-J. R. R. Tolkien

Tolkien says that what the world hails as “progress” is not truly so – it is materialistic, and it leads to evil.

We think that progress is the new model. The one that’s a little bit faster, a little bit bigger, a little bit shinier. The thing that makes humanity look more sophisticated.

True progress, however, is that which leads us to the truth. When we as individuals or as a society take one step closer to the Truth, then and only then have we actually progressed.

Personal progress is painful. We’re dark creatures who love the dark, but we must step into the light.

“Progress is not an illusion; it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.”

-George Orwell

We are only capable of shedding our hearts of darkness with the help of God. Without Him, progress does not exist.

In that case, has our society today actually advanced since the societies of the ancient Egyptians or the Medieval Europeans? Has humanity come any closer to the truth? We have skyscrapers and rocket ships, but it’s ridiculous for us to call ourselves “progressive” and “advanced.” We are as hopelessly fallen as they were; the only difference is we have shiny touchscreens to assist us.

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