The End of Science: The Next Stage of Humanity’s Worldview Beyond Materialism

Matthew McKenna
3 min readJan 22, 2022


The final conclusion and ultimate takeaway of Descartes is not that you must exist, but that we cannot build a scientific framework from this premise. It’s Impossible to make the jump from you existing to the proof that other material things must also exist.

The world around us might not exist, although it’s useful to think it exists and act like it does.

Given this conclusion, the experiential reality is the most true reality in terms of our verification of its existence. From the starting point of our own conscious experience, the religious, mythological, and symbolic perception of reality is the most true. We exist, and we recognize our existence through stories and symbols that represent what our experience of existence is like.

Humanity ultimately took a step backwards (not as a value judgement, but symbolically) when we began viewing our conscious experience of the world through a scientific lens. Perhaps backwards is not the best word to describe this transition. Rather, we sunk into the material world and began understanding it as if that were it was. Before this scientific perspective was even thought of, how could we have seen and understood the world? Only through stories and religious explanations/metaphors.

What makes thunder go bang? Thor does. What created the world? Well, God did. Thor being the patterns and laws of nature that produce thunder. God being the underlying reality itself that upholds the world I’m perceiving.

These are legitimate and symbolic answers of what science is asking. These answers aren’t particularly technical, but they are coherent. Why does it matter how thunder actually works or how the cosmos actually came to be when we already know there’s an underlying pattern to it? The question we should be asking is what is this underlying pattern?

So moving forward from this conclusion of Descartes that the only thing that can be known for sure is that we exist, we return back to Plato’s Thesis from several thousand years before. The world we see is just shadows on the wall. How do we turn our attention from the shadows and see what reality really is?

The materialist position merely explains why the shadows are on the wall, not what’s casting the shadows to begin with. It explains how the laws of physics work without explaining why there is physics in the first place.

And then what really matters, how does the materialist perspective ultimately address us and our relationship to reality? Science can’t bridge the gap of proving if the world actually exists. All I know is that I exist. How am I to perceive the world? What am I to value? Where am I to aim? How am I to act? What even am I?

Explaining the material world around us does not explain how we should interact with it nor does it address what consciousness is, which is the most fundamental piece to your existence.

What we need is to supplement our scientific view of reality with a symbolic representation of what the world is, what you are, and what you should be doing. In my experience, mythology does the best job at addressing these questions.



Matthew McKenna

When facing hardship and burned by flame / We look to myth for where to aim / As stories of old were understood / Extract the gold and make it good.