…And yet discontent makes itself heard, and the thinking mind cannont suppress its misgivings; for, however high one may value the material things, they do not fill out the round of our existence as men. Our personal life as men and citizens subsists not in the comforts that surround us, nor in the body, which serves us as a link with the outward world, but in the spirit that internally actuates us; and in this inner consciousness we are becoming more and more painfully aware how the hypertrophy of our external life results in a serious atrophy of the spiritual. Not as if the faculties of thought and reflection, the arts of poetry and letters, were in abeyance. On the contrary, empirical science is more brilliant in her attainments than ever, universal knowledge spreads in constantly widening circles, and civilization, in Japan, for instance, is almost dazzled by her too rapid conquests. But even the intellect does not constitute the mind. Personality is seated more deeply in the hidden receses of our inner being, where character is formed, whence the flame of enthusiasm is kindled, where the moral foundations are laid, where love’s blossoms bud, whence spring consecration and heroism, and where in the sense for the Infinite, our time-bound existence reaches out unto the very gates of eternity. It is in regard to this seat of personality that we hear on all sides the complaint of empoverishment, degeneracy, and petrifaction.
- Abraham Kuyper, from Lectures on Calvinism, given in 1898, in response to the advancements of technology, medicine, and life in general. It’s amazing how much has not changed in 116 years.