Despite the aha’s of some modern philosophers, metaphysical systems do not, generally speaking, break down, shattered by later, keener insight; they are simply abandoned — sometimes after endless tinkering and clumsy renovation — like drafty old castles. This is of course part of Kafka’s joke in The Castle and elsewhere; and Kafka is often cited as one of the artists who “show us” the failure of traditional thought, how the castle of metaphysics has proved a ghastly mistake though expanded, patched, and toggled, century on century, by people working in increasing depseration and despair. But Kafka’s art is more subtle, more come and ironic, than such a reading admits. Much of the power of Kafka’s work comes from our sense as we read that real secrets have been forgotten, real clues are being missed, a wholeness of vision that was once adequate has been lost and is now tragicomically unrecoverable.

— John Gardner, On Moral Fiction

This is our condition today, post-Christianity.

UPDATE: On second thought, I would say that this is the condition of modernity. This is where I would have something in common with perennialists.

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