The New Human 4
Earth’s Twilight — Chapter 02.4
The future is now
The time of the new human is the future,
and precisely the absolute future, that moment in the cosmic time when every possibility still excluded by history will realize itself. The evolutionary wave hasn’t stopped, and simply found in mankind as it is today a necessary step in the process of crafting the human of the future.
The future hidden inside us is not a time to come whose signs are already available at present – the future of futurologists – it’s actually Time coming towards us and bringing with it, as feasible alternatives, new ways of expressing our inner potential while adapting to the environmental cycles.
We are lacking,
– and here’s the real issue –
a map of the human possibilities,
because we have trapped ourselves inside the univocal (hence fake!) picture of what ‘human’ would mean,
as imposed by the mainstream culture when we were born.
Lately that idolized picture is shattering into pieces, and as a result the inner dialectic between tradition and novelty is re-emerging in each of us. Inspired by this dialectic, we can grasp the significance of this decisive occurrence we are witnessing at the present moment of the human story:
the co-existence and combination of many different humanities, each with its share of truth to teach the others about human nature.
And more: Humanity knows today, as clearly as never before, that we are one thing with the Cosmos, first in our origin, being both created within the same evolutionary wave, second in our destiny, because any force we’ll impose on the eco-system will retroact on ourselves, third since humanity really has the potential of becoming a coalescent center for the web of cosmic processes. That’s why there’s no truth for humanity in a rejection of the material world;
The human truth lies in its transcendence, or even better,
in the acceptance of the burden of the groan that’s coming to us from creation, the groan
– in the strong image of St. Paul –
of a mother giving birth to a child.
There is a kind of love for the world that is perdition, flattening of the potential to what is already given, losing oneself in the picture of mankind worshiped by the mainstream culture in order to defend itself from all those ‘extras’ that threaten to push it aside. In that picture the future is portrayed as a mere extension of the present, and that kind of future the new human rejects. At the same time it rejects the escape routes into the eternal, into the deep Self or subconscious, all ways of turning one’s back to the world.
The new human faces the world since he is conscious of the latent intentionality that drives humanity through the ages, transcending itself. Even when it rejects this world, the new human is deeply in love with it, and accepts the achievements of his species when they bring forward a fulfillment of human potential or they are its condition (so many technological breakthroughs have truly enhanced the dialogue between cultures, the transparency between populations and have shed a light of freedom on the obscure physical determinisms of the past!), and yet condemns every human condescension with the old, every slavery masked as freedom, every archaic tribalism simulated by the propaganda.
Our double nature is not as simple as to identify all traditions with evil and all novelty with good.
Evil is rather to assume the tradition as a measure to what is becoming, and good is to assume as measure the full potential of life that transcends the present forms
and recalls that inner spark the New Testament calls ‘infancy’, to describe which there are no words available (‘infant’ is in fact who cannot speak).
Good is transcendent since its disclosure is the secret of the future that’s coming.
“The way that can be named is not the true way”,
wrote the legendary Lao Tse.
Also the new human uses the words given from the mother language, but in his mouth they break loose from their flat mono-dimensional definitions, and raise themselves to the level where what is speakable becomes a symbol of the unspeakable.
The true language of the new human is, in fact, symbolic, in the etymological sense: symbol comes from symballein, that means to put together, unite two different things, that whom you can speak of and that whom you cannot, so that many can hear and cannot hear, can see and cannot see. To hear and see one must situate itself in such a perspective as to see the world by sharing the same line of sight with the other.
Each word was born a symbol before becoming, fatally, a sign inscribed inside a conventional grammar, from where it can still transmit information but it loses the ability to communicate, since it fails to satisfy a meaningful exchange between two living beings. What we call communications age would better be named transmission age. Only poetry, when is present, is able to interrupt for a little while the constant flux of words and images conceived and mass-distributed ready for a passive consumption. The tense words of the poet become the language of the new human, when they charge themselves of that indefinite sense that lights up the hope for a different world waiting for us at the end of the tunnel. Marx would say that all immortal poetry, Homer for example, even when its expressive instruments have become obsolete, conveys a message that reveals fragments of the world as it should be, voices from Utopia.
The natural language of the new human is that of prophecy,
a language that typically refers to the future as the land where everything rejoices together. The prophetic language isn’t the one betting on improbable predictions calculated from some exotic calendar, it’s rather
the one that denounces the unacceptable conditions of the present city and describes the city of the coming future in which the coincidence between possible and real will have come true once again.
Each culture built and defended its stability by discriminating the acceptable options from the unacceptable ones. The means of discrimination is called reason. All that is rational is real, and all that is real is rational, that’s the tautology that surrounds our culture as an iron wall. Rational is the horizon of expectations for the future developments and every expectation beyond that horizon is considered irrational.
It follows, for example, that an expectation such as to have a city without violence, private or public, is irrational and as such had to be repressed. Similarly irrational was considered a city shared without class distinctions between males and females, masters and servants, civilized and brutes. Every temporary power, when elected to govern the city, installed itself claiming to be forever, and over the centuries this same dynasties developed an entire pantheon of gods to legitimize their aspiration to tell other people what was right or wrong.
But if a prophet enters inside the city and proclaims that of those walls (also those of the temple) there won’t remain two bricks standing,
and praised are the ones who believe the impossible, the world that every child inside us dreams in silence,
he will be sentenced to death, as prescribed by the law.
But the law, whilst killing the body of the prophet, exalts his words that become an heritage for those waiting for the future city. Thanks to him the new human wakes up from the darkness were it had been confined and was waiting with resignation, and walks free steps towards the time that is really his. The prophetic truth, not having an adequate proof in the present reality, is fragile, exposed to every risk, even those of homologizing with the dominant mass culture; but if it always reappears anew, in a thousand shapes and places, it is because its original source is the heart of the new human pulsing in every place and communicating everywhere.
Its function isn’t only to disclose the horizons of a promised land to those living as slaves to the present, it’s also to preserve the knowledge and the moral resources needed when the city hears the thunder of change that gets closer, and loses its confidence. At that point the separation wall between possible and impossible begins to crack, and through those cracks the prophetic truth makes it back to the main square. The prophecy inaugurates a new cycle of history, while never losing sight of the eschaton, the next final event where it really belongs.
We are living, in fact, this new constituent phase that could give birth to a new humanity fit for the present situation, able to transform the current catastrophic tendencies into novel chances of development for everyone.