Modernity can be defined as the 'beingness' that gets formed due to mediated learning rather than direct knowing, by using the mind rather than the whole being, by engaging with the description rather than the described.
This means the WORLD is replaced with the WORD, Experience is replaced with reading and thinking and the senses are replaced with the mind causing a fundamental rewiring of the cognitive tools, cognitive process and the cognitive source.
Modernity is the way of being formed by the fragmented mind. The dependence on the printed word for making sense of the world eliminated the need for the functioning of the senses because the mind learnt to make meaning without connecting with the real world.
Modernity has not only appropriated the meaning of words but also changed the very structure of language. In order to understand paradigm of the world, experience and senses have to be recovered. Senses connect with the world, as it is, without meanings and definitions. The mind then makes meaning. So the senses and the mind together, in unison makes the whole story.
The printed word has no use of the senses as it can provide meaning directly to the mind. Modernity is the result of this fragmented cognition in which the mind took over the total function of living. Mind, the meaning maker, if left un attended will create its own meanings as its function, otherwise, is to make meaning out of the data gathered by the senses.
The printed word awakens qualities in us needed to understand the printed word and naturally the mind; the meaning maker takes over the cognitive process from the senses. Meaning gets made without the real context. Mind learns to survive on its own and begins to appropriate, distort and create words at one level and at the same time the nature and structure of the printed word installs its characteristics on to the mind.
Modern man and traditional man belong to two entirely different paradigms. One gets used to ones belief system because it psychologically protects one and creates a veil to thwart any attempt in seeing things differently which might make one uncomfortable. This is so diabolical that even scientific proofs are brought in to fend oneself against reality! Even 'objectivity' could be used for this purpose.
Two things need to be explored in this context. One is to understand how one is made to believe in what one believes. This needs to be done quite brutally as this will break the self image of oneself and all that one thought were one's identity. Second is to explore the role of cognitive conditions in forming one's world view and self image. But this demands us to step out of the designer's role, to step out of the notion that one is developed or advanced, at least hypothetically and also to step outside the do gooder's role. Both make us feel superior. Can we at least temporarily hold these assumptions and explore how indigenous cognitive conditions created nature centric human beings and how modernity is creating anthropocentric human beings?
Modern man has forgotten his biological connection and in fact wants to distance himself from all other living beings. How much ever we want to distance ourselves at fundamental level of- all biological beings are cognitive beings, linked inextricably to the web of life. All living beings seem to be involved in the sustenance and continuation of life. May be the anthropocentrism of modern man has distanced himself from this process and is pursuing a journey centered on himself. This seems to be a self destructive one. In his preoccupation with 'knowledge' human being has become human knowing! And naturally the price he is paying for this knowing is the loss of Being.