Another factor which makes modern life disconcerting aside from all its other factors is the speed with which life has assumed. The speed by which life is now moving is emblematic of life’s “distance from the principle from which it proceeds,” as argued by René Guénon. Thus, the farther life is removed from its natural principles, it follows that “the speed of its motion increases continuously until finally it reaches a point at which it is stopped.” As a result, the most viable antidote to such speed which most people cannot keep up with is the “motionless repose” as well as the “obscurity” and “detachment from the world” of the Buddhists and Sufis.
“Moore’s Law” – which demonstrates the speed by which technological advances are taking shape in this day and age – is another emblem or symbol of the unbearable speed by which life is moving in this day and age. Thus, the imbalance between the speed which is required to keep up with change and the ability to keep up with such speed is the primary source of the anger and frustration which then manifests economically, politically, and socially in many societies.
As René Guénon wrote:
“In the first place, the fact should be taken into account that not all men have the same tastes or the same needs, and that there are still some who would wish to avoid modern commotion and the craving for speed, but who can no longer do so. Could anyone presume to maintain that it is a ‘benefit’ to these people to have thrust on them what is most contrary to their nature?”
But in the overall scheme of things, this commotion and speed is something being imposed on the majority of the world by a minority situated in Western society, according to Guénon. Although the majority of the world’s population are being led into conforming to such commotion and speed, the ones who are actually espousing and imposing such commotion and speed on the world are in the minority. As Guénon wrote:
“But if the whole of mankind be taken into consideration, instead of merely the Western world, the question bears a different aspect; the majority we have just spoken of then becomes a minority.”
And in the overall scheme of things, the truth is that “disequilibrium cannot be a condition of real happiness.” The demands and wants fostered by the commotion and unbearable speed of change simply cannot be satisfied. As Guénon wrote:
“Moreover, the more needs a man has, the greater the likelihood that he will lack something, and thereby be unhappy; modern civilization aims at creating more and more artificial needs, and as we have already said, it will always create more needs than it can satisfy, for once one has started on this path, it is very hard to stop, and indeed, there is no reason for stopping at any particular point.”
Given the scope of material civilization in this day and age, it follows that the whole world is succumbing to the commotion, unbearable speed, and thus the disequilibrium. In turn, political and social outcomes of such commotion, speed, and disequilibrium are obviously dire and tragic, and the question becomes one of how society can enable itself to avoid or at least mitigate the outcomes of such conditions.