The New Human 3
Earth’s Twilight — Chapter 02.3
Hence this new dialectic is set directly on the evolutionary axis, in terms of what has been and what is yet to become. The picture we make of ourselves, even removing all the empirical data of experience, is still a derivation of our relative culture, which in turn isn’t but a reflection of the prism of human possibilities.
There aren’t ‘developed’ or ‘primitive’ cultures,
since the only significant criteria to judge a culture is its capacity to face life’s challenges in the interest of the collective. Contrary to what stated by Durkheim, the so-called primitive cultures do have an inherent rationality, and they have been transmitting it successfully for hundreds of generations through their mythologies. Logic, in the Greek sense of rational discourse, is able to shed a light only on the superficial fraction of a culture, whose roots extend to the inner ‘generative grammar’ upon which every single specific element is interconnected. Otherwise, if taken outside the system, every element would appear rough, inhuman, and meaningless.
The evolutionary tension of the species is usually curbed by the conservative influence of a status quo that effectively inhibits all the possibilities whose time hasn’t yet come. But the tension remains active just below the surface, and inspires each individual with the urge of transcending itself.
Transcendence of self and transition of society,
this is the stage of the new human.
If it appears impossible, it’s because it requires a rupture in the continuity of the present. As Jaspers would explain, transcendence is to us as meaningless as a void imaginary space, since we are used to distinguish the real from the fantasy on the basis of the traditional culture we are born into. And yet it is to us as meaningful as the totality of existence, since everything already given is in fact a living branch on the transcendent tree of life and of the species.
This immanent transcendence, as in Bloch words, prevents any culture from claiming any definitiveness of sorts, since each of them is only the temporary shape of an editable model. Conveniently, Bloch quotes the Scriptures:
“it has not yet appeared what we shall be, but we’ll know, when it will reveal itself, that we shall be alike, since we’ll see it as It is” (1Gv. 3,1–3).
To presume a rational definition to the human ontological nucleus makes little or no sense at all since the same tool of reason is, for the new human, something to put in epochè, suspended aside along with all the traditional cultural heritage we grew used to.
But if it came the time – and that the time has come is the assumption of this pages – in which the traditional shell of humanity would be shattered from within by the same vital forces that had generated it in first place?
What if the instinct of survival would re-emerge and put radically in question the raison de vie actually enforced?
What if the resources of the new human would be called to occupy the public stages once reserved to the history of civilization?
To understand better the possibilities and procedures of this transition upon which relies the last hope of a new beginning for humanity, I will try to explain the dialectic between new and conventional humanity in relation to that fundamental measure unit we use to call time.
Isn’t the distinctive trait of the West that dimension of collective existence named history? History, the simplification of the human becoming in a common representation that teaches to every child what is considered meaningful (anything that reinforces and confirms that particular version) and forgets everything that isn’t, is only the global outlook of the ideology of domination. By focusing on its own unilateral rationalistic viewpoint, it discriminates between the cultures whose contribution was conform to the common representation (historical cultures) and all the others, presumed to carry no relevant message at all (natural cultures).
Well, the time of the new human is not historical.
The eastern wisdom would distinguish between the Ego and the Self. History was seen as the horizon of the Ego, while the Self would inhabit the depths where time never changes.
But this new human I’m talking about doesn’t identify with the Self, doesn’t reject the historical dimension as illusionary since it really is an expression, even if partial, of its inner potential.
To deny material existence in the name of an eternal being, to discard the intricate plot of live impulses as evil temptations, is the recurring risk to whom the new human is constantly exposed, it’s the choice of monasticism to escape the frivolousness of everyday.
That’s how ‘the care for the world’, the concern for the future health of the planet, turns into a resentful resignation against the impious homo faber, guilty of all the charges. In a thousand different shades, today again is emerging here and there this meta-psychological structure whose ethical effect is nihilism, the fascinating reiteration of the ‘nothing ever changes’ at the feet of those babel towers once built aiming to conquer the sky, and today dangerously on the verge of collapse, threatening to carry humanity along.
But that’s not how the new human will find the key to escape its cage made of ancestral traditions,
because the horizon of the new human is not the eternal, it’s instead Time, seen as a measure to realize the possibilities that were previously inhibited;
it isn’t the refusal of life on earth, it is on the contrary its synchronization into the rhythm of love and freedom.
The whole dialectic between historicism and nihilism is inscribed within our present culture, and the new human doesn’t need to reject it, but has rather to transcend it.
The time of the new human isn’t even the past.
I’m talking now about that past that survives as an accumulation of repressed instincts, of those impulses that didn’t survive the self-censorship of the conscious mind and thus remained floating in the subconscious. Inside every human is a dark night populated by larvae that aren’t the prospects for tomorrow, but rather the aborted possibilities of yesterday that today have a chance of emerging only along the hidden trail of dreams. The hypothesis of the psychoanalysis was that, following those trails backwards, it would have been possible to reconnect to the collective subconscious where stand all the archetypes that inherently drive our psyche, the manifold facet of anthropos, of the human inside each one of us, whose language is a plurality of mythological stories that still inspire to date every fantasy of ours. The mass fascination for this archeology of the subconscious, in fact, only fostered a backward get-away tendency from the responsibilities of the present, establishing retroactive covenants between the human cultures right when the times urge them to confront each other facing forward, the only perspective able to change together the fate we all share.
I’m not denying by any means the contribution in terms of knowledge and wisdom that comes from a thorough and reciprocal anthropological and psychological research. From recent neurological case studies there came evidence it’s during the sleep that we, after gradually losing consciousness, get back to the psychic and physical source preserved by our programming code, aged millions of years, that contains the basic features of who we are. To discover that there is in us a reason that stands before rationality, an intelligence that designed us and modeled us before the light of our own empirical conscience would even appear, when we were still deeply integrated in the fabric of the biosphere, is an event that helps us understand our totality and frees us from the tyranny of the present, from that obsessive perception of time that identifies the modern way of life.
Conventional humanity, in particular the western one, used to set its horizon along that present time intended as the world of effective reality, of all-things manipulable and measurable because molded by the consciousness of our empirical egos.
The hidden motive behind this reduction of reality to rational discourse was the domination upon the world of nature and of mankind.
The domination plan wouldn’t have been complete without the induced dissolution of past and future into a contemporary ever-present, so that the stability of the status quo could not be endangered anymore, neither by blinded and nostalgic longings for the past nor by compulsively repressed urges for the new things to come. The ‘modern’ conventional human would accept in his self what of still valid had been produced by the past traditions (‘history is always contemporary’, that’s an historicist slogan) and would then hold the premises upon which to build its own little part of the future, safe from hazards. What in the past wouldn’t be found conforming to the present rules would be discarded under the label of non-reason-able, and all those scenarios not committed to the project would be carefully avoided and kept out of sight when visualizing the future forecasts. Supposedly, at that point of the plan, the tension to transcendence would have definitively been tamed, with the irrational humanities segregated to dream-time or to seeking collateral compensations.