According to a commonly held idea, ancient cultures saw a unified creation, while we moderns look on a fragmented and divided world. The decline in faith has been blamed for this, as has the absence of myth, traditions, and social bonding.
But I believe the opposite is true: The ancient way of understanding could barely explain a sliver of all the phenomena in nature, while physics today is on the verge of a “theory of everything.”
The eminent physicist John Wheeler makes a crucial point when he says that before Einstein, human beings thought that they were looking at Nature “out there,” as if through a plate glass window, trying to figure out what external reality was doing.
Thanks to Einstein, we realize that we are embedded in Nature; the observer changes reality by the very act of observation. Therefore, despite a widespread feeling of psychological alienation (the result of technology’s outstripping our ability to keep meaning alive), the duality of man and nature is shrinking with each successive generation.