The stream of human knowledge is impartially heading towards a non-mechanical reality. The universe begins to look more like a great thought than a great machine.
— Sir James Jeans, The Mysterious Universe (1930)
Modernity (the state of being modern) is really a battle against everything possibly spiritual; a protracted war against the non-mechanical and, thus, everything living and immaterial. But this battle cannot succeed for the simple reason that the principles used in establishing the validity of the mechanical are non-mechanical.
Those who are deeply lost in the spell of materialism (the belief that the universe is product of the unalterable laws of mechanics) cannot go beyond the prison they inhabit which they call ‘reality’. They are doomed to endless suffering because they cannot stop reifying the reality which is essentially a fiction, if not completely a dream devoid of substance (svabhâva) and truth (satya).
When confronted with the Buddha’s teaching they cannot see any further than he taught a moral teaching. ‘Behave this way’ is all they know—not how to awaken from the deadly dream into which they’ve been born, will die, and be reborn countless times again.
The stranglehold of materialism has only delayed the inevitable truth of spirit. Even Buddhism cannot remain chained down to a limitation of its truth, namely, that all beings live eternally, and can realize this when they cease gloaming onto a limited fictitious world, reifying it into something it can never be.
Strangely, even the greatest of mechanistic minds still cannot say what space is made of. But the Buddha could. He directly entered into its very substance which was completely spiritual. He saw what the fools of his time could not see. He awakened where they wanted only more sleep. Today we have even more fools who crave even more sleep who are at war with the very substance of the universe.