"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

The new man seeks to triumph over the exigencies of human existence, but kneels before the altar of a vague god which he calls "nature." Nature is the glue that binds the new man to his former self. Nature serves as a formidable substitute for his lack of a genuine human core. The new man wants us to believe that nature makes no demands on us. The new man craves sophomoric abstractions. These abstractions are tailored to the fulfillment and satisfaction of his many irrational desires. Happiness at all cost. This is his panacea. Flexibility defines the paradoxical nature of the new man's ever expanding embrace of anti-values. The new man is never spontaneous. Instead, he thinks of himself as an innovator – except that this, too, he attacks self-consciously. The new man is cooler, chicer than man has ever been. Modish values are always on his radarscope. It appears that this entity only lives to promote fashionable emotions. This anti-historical entity has made himself into a straw god. Yet like the spouse that is the last to know, the new man does not suspect that he has already attained the status of post-humanity. Of course, the new man does not view himself as such. On the contrary, he sees himself as being on the cutting-edge of "progressive" enlightenment, of belonging to the next great wave of the future. Sadly, the new man ignores the meaning and history of the word progressive. "If God ever existed," the new man consoles himself, "it certainly would resemble me."

[On the "new man" and CS Lewis. : Pedro Blas Gonzalez, "Some Aspects of the New Man", The Intellectual Conservative, 31 March 2009]

Posted by Alina Stefanescu Coryell on 06.13.2009

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