We: a plural I
The objectification of Nature, seen as a totally measurable and disposable resource, and, on a more empirical level, the reduction of all human relations to that of property are postulates of the axiomatic reduction of human nature to the ‘thinking-I’, the egoistic mind. The ‘I’ thinks the other as an ‘non-I’ and thus as a limit standing in front of itself.
The first milestone in its journey towards ethical consciousness is
the moment when the ‘I’ encounters another body it recognizes as a subject, as another ‘I’, another world accessible not in terms of possession but of reciprocal openness.
Only then the individual becomes a person: Individuals form societies, persons form communities.
The inherent dialectic between individual and personality is one of the main topics of contemporary culture. But maybe we are at the thresholds of a deeper understanding of this dialectic.
The ‘We’ in a community isn’t just the result of the communion between people: it stands before. Not only it transcends the ‘I’ by raising it in the free play of interpersonal relations, it constitutes both its original cause (birth) and its final end (death) as a plural unity.
There is a ‘We’ immanent in every ‘I’.
There is an ethereal infrastructure within and all around my subjectivity, an infrastructure of communion from which ‘I’ emerge as a conscious medium of the ‘We’ that in me thinks, and wills, and hopes. The same etymology of the word ‘conscience’ *(from Latin con-scientia) opens a window on this communitarian structure of the ‘I’, in the moment of its ethical apocalypse: the conscience is a co-science, the science of living as a community, of transcending the particular perspectives into a universal convergence.
If, by engaging dialectically with another, ‘I’ sometimes get the distinctive impression of revealing a new part of myself, it’s because within me was already present the dormient potential of every single manifestation of Life ‘I’ could ever meet or imagine on the phenomenical plane of existence. Specifically, human nature is actively present at the core of every human, as genetic memory and as ethical conscience: to know myself is really to recognize the common self under the lens of my personal reflection. This inter-species solidarity reaches beyond the illusionary boundaries of organic death and bonds every generation of the past and the future around one, present responsibility.
The cultural fragmentation of the last decades was the reaction to the hegemonic fascism of Western Civilization, which had tried to impose its order through the violent suppression of every cultural and biological memory that wouldn’t fit in its schemes of world domination. And yet, while apparently the unity of the social body and spirit was falling apart, like a mono-culture field when is left free to regenerate,
humanity was quietly preparing the ground for a transition from the
imperialist world order imposed through violence…
..to a free World Community united by love.
Communion of body and spirit
One of the revelations of the World Ethos is the unsustainability of the consumerist lifestyle adopted by the developed nations after WW2, a cancerous paradigm infecting the body and spirit of the biosphere and of humanity. The statistics show how the wet dream of 90 percent of those humans still excluded from the consumerist orgy is to take part to the celebrations. Us, the participant guests, know far too well — as Malthus had foreseen — that there’s no place left for everybody. Those dreams are a threat to our comfort zone, and subconsciously we want them forbidden.
Our lifestyle is so unhealthy it affects dramatically our psycho-emotional well-being: a staggering 60% of the entire American population is currently under legal prescription of psychoactive drugs, and the illegal market is bigger than ever. Consuming drugs may be seen as the preferred ‘sacred ritual’ of the post-modern civilization, representing an unquestionable success story in controlling the masses while giving them synthetic illusions of freedom. The consumption of drugs assumed the sacrality of a ritual understood only by the participants, with their hierarchies, their meeting places, their own languages. The ‘drug’ is a merchandise, monopolized and delivered to the consumers by a globally distributed organization of ‘dealers’: the black market, an international consociation founded on the hidden desires of the customer, almost a tragic parody of the consumerist dream. By creating death, or better ‘addiction to the experience of death’, the drug is able to bring back to the surface of the psyche, without much of the mystical aura of the beginnings, the big old question:
Is Life worth living? Is suicide a crime or a liberation from endless evil?
Witnessing the silent suicide of so many between the young ones, us, the old, confused survivors of the post-war euphoria, have to face the abysmal emptiness that culture had managed to hide from our eyes, and yet was growing right on the side of our path.
A healthy life requires communion of body and spirit, and communion for humans is acted via language. In the beginning was the word. Things are what Adam calls them since Adam, before sinfully breaking the limits of god — blind in his delirium of power — was actually listening to them. If you ever had the chance to assist closely the downfall spyral of the drug-addicts towards death, you’ll remember that the first ‘death’ occurs to their ability of communication, in a total autism that pre-announces the extinction of life. They are the victims of a civilization where the ‘word’ passed from the intimate ritual of communication to the public ritual of exchange.
The hidden message they are sending us is a desperate cry for a convivial existence,
where the ‘word’ may be again the instrument of the world ethos,
voice of the world community where we all belong.
The only way to answer that call is to realize the transition to the World Community, whatever effort it takes. This passage, that inaugurates a new epoch in the story of our species, is one that moves forward and yet changes direction.
Humanity’s transcendence — beyond tribal segregation to world-conscious maturity — coincides synchronically with a U-turn in the long-cycle of the Ice Ages: the leap is two-fold, and the energy created by the accelerated gravitational spin enters a second tidal vortex caused by the axial shift of the planet.
Our former perspective is revealed to be upside down, and, as we raise our heads and adjust to the new horizon, we realize we’ve been riding on the crest of an immense time-wave.
“Again, is time for the gods to rise
from where they belong…
and tear down my house..
Again, the twilight becomes a new day,
and again We believe in the World,
and realize a new beginning
from the ashes of our shadows.”
Poetry can be a creative reminder of the human child in every one of us, who speaks the common, natural language of the World. And yet this should not be seen as a run from responsibilities: as a species, we’re not going to get back our youth. Life goes on, and — biologically — humanity is probably peaking its most dynamic years, before a gradual but steady down-trend: it’s called maturity, and the ancestors used to celebrate the young members of the tribe that proved worthy of the new responsibilities as adults. And — geologically — we are at the Fall Equinox, the end of the planetary summer (interglacial). Our ancestors would also rejoice to the occasion, in a warm September night, with dances and food and drinks, after the harvest season was completed.
This is where we are. We have the knowledge and the tools. We are ready to enter the World Community as living beings, as humans, as persons.
On the threshold, we look behind one last time and then we turn ahead and step forward onto the new day, without further hesitation.
As Pico della Mirandola’s mysterious quote reminds us,
“the greatness of humanity is of tragical nature since its real conquests stand after, not before its freedom”.