With the devolutionary success of the Homo economicus, the herd virtues have also devolved into obsessions with what has been bought, or, what could be bought, or should be bought. Our herd virtues are stamped by brand names. Pride in the brands I wear and carry. Quality depends more on the label than the thing itself. Identity through association. The tribe of the club. Patriotism, the act of carrying the flag.

But while our civilisation is now that of the Homo economicus, we need to remind ourselves that this reality is just a fabrication. We don’t have to be here. In fact, the alternative to the Homo economicus could well be a return to our authentic nature, the Homo sapiens. An identity with Sapiens would actually be a revolution toward an authentic individualisation of culture and society and a liberation from our current herd mentalities. But a Sapiens individuality would not be the source of competition and rivalry that we see in the pseudo-individualism of the capitalist herd. rather it would be a rejoicing in human creativity and invention generated through the acquisition and utility of Sapiens’ knowledge gained and shared.

Under the herd instinct of the Homo economicus, the individual is reduced to, or exalted as, a model, a figure to follow and acclaim, but, above all, to model oneself upon. These models are often presented as examples of the herd’s own fantasies of freedom. As archetypes of success, the models are waved about like a carrot on a stick before the donkey’s mouth. Implicit is the idea that ‘one day, you could be like this too,’ and yet, at the same time, there is the notion that these models are the supremely privileged exceptions. As superstars, they are allowed to express their individuality freely, although this is also a great fallacy for the models are under continual scrutiny from the lenses of Paparazzi cameras.

For a Sapiens society, on the other hand, individualism would be seen as a creative gift that the society itself will benefit from. Sapiens society would have no fear of the individual and even the logical antithesis of the Sapiens’ rational-animal culture, irrationality, would not be feared but channelled into the much-admired field of creativity.


However, individualism does carry moral values and, in a society that truly values individualism, the negative aspects will have to be controlled or rejected. Selfishness or haughtiness would be immoral in an authentically Sapiens culture. Sapiens is a natural trait of our species: knowledge is information and information implies sharing. Sharing, learning – building from contemplation. Not the contemplative life of the monastery-society, but a contemplation towards progress. Authentic history is an evolution of the entire universe – being is becoming and the mind of the Homo sapiens is an important part of that becoming, whereas the Homo economicus is an aberration, a step backward, a devolution of that process. To step forward again we need to re-establish authenticity … the authenticity of the Homo sapiens sapiens.


The Anti-Human

Black-figured Tyrrhenian amphora (wine-jar) attributed to the Timiades Painter

There are no non-human humans, but there are anti-human thinkers and thoughts, created by anti-human cultures. Separation through ideas is a sapiens separation, which can only be remedied by reminding ourselves that the fact that we are able to have these ideas in the first place is the very thing that unites us all. It doesn’t matter that we think differently, what really matters is that we think. This revelation is the first step toward a Sapiens Positivism.

What is the Meaning of Life? (Part One)

Meaning of Life

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF LIFE? Is there a bigger question than this? Some will answer that there is none; or, that only God can know the answer; or that it’s whatever you make of it. A philosopher might argue that the word-level in the question is wrong; that we need go deeper to answer the question “What is the meaning of meaning?” before we can say what the meaning of life is. A philosopher like Nietzsche would rephrase it as “What is the value of life?” because all meaning is subject to value judgements. But in order to determine this, as Heidegger knew, we need to get down to the most basic level of questioning and ask, as the pre-Socratic Greeks did, “What is the essence of life?”[i]

Of course, we are talking about Life, with a capital L, although by answering that question one should also be a huge step closer to understanding the meaning of their own individual life; defining the generic does help us understand the specific. The generic form of it makes it, in part, a question for science, and, in another part, a question for logic. Nevertheless, the resolution of the query has been severely soiled and butchered by being taken as a theological one.

“Whatever essential characteristics value has as condition of life depends on the essence of life, on what is distinctive about this essence.”[ii]

What is the distinctiveness of life from non-life? Isn’t it life’s distinctive ability to reproduce itself; its capacity for evolving into forms that are better suited for survival; in its desire for survival itself, which could be seen as a will for an abstract concept of permanence through reproduction.



Yet, if the purpose of life is survival, then the evolution of the potentially life-threatening organism that humanity has become, seems like an ultimately failed process rather than a great triumph of world-will.

The reason for this resides in the fact that evolution is blind. It seems to have a purpose (survival) and a creative process capable of learning and relearning things in order to ensure the final success of that purpose (evolution), but there is no hand manipulating that process other than the achievements of the process itself.

Does this then make us a mere accidental product of a random evolution designed to survive certain inhospitable conditions arising at any given moment? If we answer in the affirmative, then we accept that there is no meaning to humanity, a nihilistic view that renders everything to the coincidental, with no footing in any certainty at all.

However, the sceptic must eventually become sceptical of his/her own scepticism. So, sceptical of scepticism we return to the question at hand: Why would life evolve into a life-threatening form like humanity? What can Life gain from humanity?

If we can find a positive answer to that question, then perhaps we can answer the query into the meaning underlying our human existences as well.



A word carries a lot of semantic baggage and ‘humanity’ has a lot of negative connotations for a lot of people that are embedded within our pessimistic notions of ‘human-nature’. In order to imbue our humanity with a less prejudiced vision, we will use the scientific term for our species homo sapiens sapiens. By doing this we also clearly leap beyond the reductionisms of race, religion and nationalities and treat ourselves as members of a species, which is what we ultimately are. So, what does Life gain from our species? What does Life gain from Sapiens that it doesn’t get from other non-sapiens organisms?

Immediately we have an answer: knowledge of Itself.

Through Sapiens organisms, life knows itself. Existence becomes something more than just a thing that flows over one, or that which we float in and react to. Through a Sapiens consciousness existence is grasped as something which has come from somewhere and is moving forward into something different. Knowing gives existence a sense of permanence, and a conscious creative vision that comes from the realisation that all things can change.

Here, a circle of logic closes in on itself: knowing tells us that the essence is permanence through creative evolution. But this conclusion also immediately throws us out of its apparent circle. A circle is a non-evolving cycle – evolution, however, is always a leap beyond the apparent enclosure of the self-reproducing cycle.

Nature creates evolutionary leaps genetically, in a way that is even superior to the species’ own will to survive through carbon-copy reproduction; and also technologically, via the use of tools manipulated by organisms.



Homo sapiens is the technological species par excellence. Sapiens is the knowing, technological animal.

Technology and knowing evolve in a spiral way, and we could probably map their relationship in a form that would very much resemble a DNA helix.

The spiral is a dynamic form of the circle. It winds itself, but in a way that moves forward as well as around. Because it has an elongated form it can advance and change. It can progress through self-change and adapt to changing environments.

Perhaps we could call this creative process ‘enhancement’, as Heidegger did: “Enhancement implies something like a looking ahead and through to the scope of something higher.”[iii]  


[i] Heidegger, Martin, NIETZSCHE, vol. III + IV, Harper One, p. 16

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

Human Destiny – do we care?

To what extent can human beings concern ourselves with the abstract question of human destiny? – assuming firstly that the beings we are concerned with know, or think they know, what human destiny is. To what extent can any eschatological stand point be directly admitted to?

This is the basic question behind all religions. If the ultimate truth is known to be this, how must we accordingly act? Our duty as Sapiens is to perceive, learn, investigate, discover, LIVE, etc., but what will happen to those who prefer to be lazy?

The old system of separations creeps back in once more. Once we say: “We know what to do,” there will be those who will contest us with: “Fine, and I choose not to do it,” or: “But that is too hard. Please don’t make me exert so much effort; let me go about my life my own way.

This is our human failing: a failing which has no other finality than endless squabbling and, ultimately, internecine destruction. All separations emanate from the freedom-driven will to choose to differ, and any absolute truth will immediately run up against its absolute opposition.

Nevertheless, this has never stopped belief and inspired behaviour before. Ultimately it must boil down to convictions. Al action must stand on the knife-edge between success and failure; or rather success itself is the mere act of standing on the rope over the abyss of failure.

But from the Ideal-reality perspective, everything humans do contributes to the framing of reality, and in this way the framing is never finished until humanity is finished – which is the only truly undesirable outcome. Here is a deeply existential idea – anything is permitted as long as it does not incite extinction, and also, everything is welcomed, and should be encouraged, that encourages learning and framing. And by framing we mean the representing of reality and the communication of knowledge about that reality, as well as the unfolding that takes place from such communication and representation.

History needs the science of history to exist. An existence, the finality of which can never be reached until the science itself is no longer understood or practised. It is the framing of history that makes it historical, and that framing is forever being developed or disfigured by the continuous nature of that same framing. While humans are Sapiens the process is constant, and past and future unfold in a constant framing in the present continuous.



Once a destiny is accepted, nihilism is vanquished but dogma threatens. Dogma as a killer of creativity can only be thwarted by elevating creativity against it. If the ultimate purpose of humanity as Sapiens (that the new dogma is derived on) is to create as well as know – to be original and inventive and as critical as an inventive wit must always be – then the negative effects of dogma will always be mitigated. Freedom is intrinsic to creativity and so, if the purpose is to be creative, the ethical results of that dogma of creativity will be an anti-authoritarian one.

To be able to frame, one needs to know. To be able to know, one needs to have an agile mind. To have an agile mind, one needs to have freedom, time, and the resources to develop that agility. A Sapiens ethics would have to encourage the creation of an environment in which the human mind is freed, allowed and encouraged to fulfil its potential. The real great revolutionary step for humanity will have to be one of unleashing Sapiens’ potential in order to liberate humanity from the stress and tyranny of our current, economic-singularity framing, and its tremendous anti-Sapiens structures. Only when productivity is measured not in terms of dollars earned and spent but in terms of our accumulated capital of ideas and know-how, will humanity start to rightfully perceive itself as the Homo sapiens sapiens.

Ideology/Identity and Nihilism


Ideology/Identity tries to contain thought within an enclosed space that is the reality-that-is for those within it. It may be dynamically charged with the concept that it is also the reality-that-should-be or the best reality for everyone. In the latter case the Ideology/Identity runs the risk of exploding into a surge of imperialism (e.g.: the West, on one hand, and the Islamic Nation on the other). In the case of the West, despite its grand ideology of “freedom” the spaces enclosed by Ideology/Identity are consciousness-restricted spaces that are determined by dogmas and xenophobias as opposed to any authentic lust for liberating awareness and opportunities. The borders of the USA, for example, enclose an enormous conglomeration of Identity ideologies and the idea of the nation-state system working in harmony and bringing all these ideologies together within the same enclosed space is promoted as a magnificent example of what the Global-economy Ideology of Freedom can do. But, in truth, Ideology/identity can only be obtained by promoting the opposite of freedom. It requires false consciousness or even unconsciousness.

As for the Islamic Nation it has no borders and its Ideology/Identity is firmly rooted in the idea of Islam, which means submission to Allah, or, in practical terms, to those who profess to know how to interpret Allah correctly.

Seen as freedom versus submission the West and the Islamic Nation are antithetical forces which offer very little to each other in terms of creating any Yin Yang type harmonious separation. Nevertheless, both systems do have a common ground based on their shared anti-human nihilism created by a dualism of believers or non-believers. The nihilism of the non-believers versus the nihilism of the faithful; the nihilism in the belief in the paradise beyond the earthly versus the nihilistic faith in the fact that nothing we do in our lives makes any sense other than that we make the most of our limited time here on earth.

This nihilism is a direct result of the process of Ideology/Identity formation. As if the last thing we should consider is that we are human beings and that humanity has an authentic purpose in itself. It is a process of separation and segregation through the creation of enclosures. Separation breeds ignorance and ignorance is a kind of slavery for Sapiens. A fetter holding humanity back from uncovering its real destiny as a species.



The idea of a World Will as a Will-to-be-Known has become a pivot around which our positive philosophy of real necessity is concerned. Through it we hope to find the human-motivator, inspiring a positive impulse for a development of intelligence as a creative movement away from our system of vulgar competitiveness and its anti-human economy of alienation and differentiation.

Let’s sum up our main point of departure: a thorough revaluation is necessary. This needs to be anchored in necessity in order to redirect progress away from the current juggernaut, all-consuming destruction of the biosphere and ecosystem. Now, up to now we have assumed that this revaluation could only come about through a humanity made up of intellectually and morally advanced Sapiens societies, and because of this our philosophy is a new positivism, or positive humanism. Nevertheless, this same positive end may very well be achieved via less human-positive means. The acquisition and perpetuation of knowledge may well be far better ensured not by our Sapiens’ carbon-based minds, but by silicon-brain intelligences created by us. It may well be that the evolution of the homo sapiens will be into this silicon form, fixed in more durable and resilient bodies that can survive in even the most adverse climatic conditions allowing for space exploration and even the survival of intelligence in a post–apocalyptic lifeless-earth scenario.

If real Being in the universe is to come about by the universe itself being known absolutely and perpetually, then humanity, as we now understand it, falls short of guaranteeing such a portentous destiny. However, even if we are too fail as survivors in the universe, perhaps we might be capable of creating the real Sapiens and intelligence and knowing will find its ultimate realisation not through a final evolutionary leap, but rather through a development of our present technological know-how and the creation of an intelligence far superior to our own.

The idea of humanity being superseded by intelligent, self-reproducing machines of its own creation is a common nightmare of science-fiction narratives. From the internecine struggles between machines and humans in the Terminator or Matrix sagas to the madness of HAL in the Space Odyssey or the complex android psychologies in Ridley Scott’s creations, the idea of a collaboration with a robot that has superior intelligence is a deeply disturbing one. And yet, in all futurology it seems that the presence of the super-intelligent robot is essential. We cannot imagine progress, even if that progress is a suicidal one, without it. In fact, the dawning of the nightmare is already upon us and anthropomimetic robots that can think more or less like a human child have already been created.

Yet twenty years ago scientists like Roger Penrose were proclaiming Artifical Intelligence to be an impossibility.[i] Twenty years ago researchers were stumbling through an erroneous association between intelligence and logic, believing that decision making was a logical process. In reality cybernetics tells us quite the opposite. The binary algorithmic brain, whilst being very good at making calculations and winning chess games, can only go so far in answering meaningful questions. Human reason is more poetical than logical and the anthropomimetic work taking place in robotology demonstrates a link between the human corporal reality and our intelligence, or our form of intelligence. In order to construct a silicon brain that can communicate effectively with humans that brain will have to be inserted into a humanoid-type body, with human-type sensors. In other words, if a manufacturing leap into a more than human body is to take place, it will have to to be created out of our own image. We might be able to build robot octopi or robot insects, but we will not be able to communicate with them on any deep meaningful level for even an octopus machine fitted with a cyber-capacity for self-learning would need to teach itself a language appropriate to its own unique perception of the world. A perception that would be incommunicable to humans, or at least at first.

Perhaps the most profound discovery being uncovered by research into Artificial Intelligence will be a mechanism allowing us to interpret the languages of different kinds of animals. Research is being carried out to find ways of communicating with apes and dolphins, but no great in-roads will be made until we decipher how the corporal experience of different species and their very non-human sensory perceptions create their own knowledge of the world around them. A knowledge which we should not underestimate. A true Sapiens will not only benefit from communication on a complete human level, but from an even greater communication with diversity itself. True wisdom may only start once we can talk to the animals.

In this sense the creation of insect-like or octopus-like robots may have an interesting Sapiens purpose. Perhaps such robots could be designed to act as translators, allowing us to have conversations with ants and birds and elephants and dogs. But for we will ever be able to ever do that we have to firstly learn how to communicate properly with our neighbours.

[i] See Roger Penrose, THE EMPEROR’S NEW CLOTHES


iron mask

Althusser revealed the meaningful link between ideology and identity[i]. Not only meaningful but also a potentially liberating discovery if we first accept identity as a mask, more precisely an iron mask. But even the iron mask can be removed, and so can all ideologies. Once we recognise our identity for what it is we can submit it to necessity: a process which will firstly require a stripping away of masks and make up in order to establish the true essence of what one is, and recreate our masks, more honestly, according to that essence.

If the essence of our species is sapiens, then our identity will have to be anchored in our ability to think and know things. This is a continual process. Our first honest mask is therefore a fluid thing, a painting on, a face make-up rather than the fixed appendage that is the iron mask that so many of us wear now.

If the nature of Sapiens is the flowing continuity implied by knowing things then ideological identities are dangerously anti-sapiens, and anti-human. Societies and cultures give us masks that inhibit the progressive nature of the sapiens’ thought-unto-knowing flow. The socio-cultural mask says: “This is it,” and allows for no further reflection. An identity made up of these elements on its own, or the identity of the tribe, the team or the club, is a perversion for Sapiens, who needs the capacity for continuity of thought. Society traps the sapiens nature in a rigid mask forged in the metals of ideologies.

The only healthy ideology for Sapiens therefore is the ephemeral face that is painted on us and can be easily rubbed off. In the same way that we can paint our face to be a clown tomorrow, a beautiful woman the next day or an absolute ghoul if need be – the identity of the continually thinking Sapiens must be a morphing one.

At first the idea must seem repulsive for it is anti-natural to our iron-mask ideologies and it could be accused of being an apology for superficiality. In the ideology-identity society there is a blind faith in the values of one’s identity that gives each one of us our own character. In this way we confuse strength with an anti-sapiens quality of firm, unbreakable convictions. In the system’s fiction the mainstream narrative can make a hero even out of an ethical cripple as long as he or she remains faithful to his or her convictions. And yet this is the most dangerous fiction of all and has led to all of humanity’s most tragic debacles. The debacle of fascism and Nazism, the human debacle of the communist state and the religious empires with their Inquisitors and fundamentalists.

Of course it is true that humanity has always been a mask-inspired species, and identity probably arose with consciousness itself. This is why we make the distinction between the mask as make-up that can be wiped away, on the one hand, and the solid iron mask that we are imprisoned in, like the king’s unfortunate twin brother in Dumas’ novel, on the other. A dual potential arises in humanity: the one allowing us to paint our own identity or, the submission to the mask that we are locked into. But only the former has the flexibility to allow Sapiens to properly evolve.

[i] Althusser’s Ideology Interpellates Individuals as Subjects – in Slavoj Zizek, MAPPING IDEOLOGIES, p. 82)



It is obvious that the triumph of Western liberal democracy[i] and its subsequent process of Globalisation has done very little toward bringing humanity more closely together. Quite the opposite is true: we all seem to be drifting further and further apart. But, if it has failed with humanity, what has two centuries of liberal democracy achieved with the individual? How successful has it been in its attempts to forge a society of strong-selves? If we have failed with the whole, then surely we must have succeeded with the individuals who are the antithesis of the whole?

But again it is obvious that we haven’t? In Nietzsche’s terms, we have achieved neither the Human nor the Superman, just the Last Man. The pathetic Last Man, bumbling through a cheating-game world of relativity and conspiracy theories. Conspiracy theories because, whether we accept them or not, they point an accusing finger at the basic fabric of the system, undermining all responsibilities and moralities with scepticism. How can one be morally responsible in a system which is inherently corrupt? The individual, rather than standing strong and finding a good position in the competitive world, finds him or herself immersed in a society of cheats. The system has now become a cheating-game and the strong-self has to be identified in such an environment as a morally irresponsible subject.

One can only be a strong, successful player in the cheating-game by being a good cheat. This of course makes all success seem suspicious. Eventually decisions need to be made in which “honesty” is needed, but… who can we trust anymore? A strong leader is obviously a good liar and a very good cheat. This kind of leader is useful at convincing us that we are happy in a world that in reality offers us very little… Useful that is until we start to understand the truth. And the simple truth is that we are being cheated.

The first great lie is freedom as individuality and its idea of the unfettered individual along with the creation of a passion for strong individuals. Freedom is now a term used to propagate the unfettering of power: freedom to dominate; freedom to manipulate. The second great lie is democracy itself. The lie of free choice. The lie of majority rule. The lie of the individual’s capacity for achievement in the system.

The only way to combat the lie is by establishing positive, human objectives. We must look beyond the individual and the tyranny of egos in order to establish goals that are out of the cheating game. Goals without any other reward except progress towards human fulfilment. Goals that would pull us out of the cheating-game into another game with real rules that we know will really protect us and protect the world we depend on for our survival. All the rest is petty bickering, which is inevitable when you’re playing the cheating-game.

[i] See Francis Fukuyama’s thesis THE END OF HISTORY AND THE LAST MAN



Bad-conscience, Superego, Freedom: how much are these three things intertwined? Our Superego gives us a bad conscience, a sense of what should be done that we are not doing – it inspires an action. Freedom is to be moved to act – either because we want to or because we need to – and in the choice of either consummating or not that act. Only if we are inspired to act can we be free, and we will only ever be inspired to act if we have a sense of an action that needs to be carried out, of something that has not yet been started or finished. And this sense of duty is mainly generated by our bad conscience or our Superego.

When will humanity start to see itself as humanity? When will we start to judge the value of our lives according to what humanity has done? Not as a race, or nation; not as a competing thing – and all nations, classes, religions are competing things – but as Humanity.

                When humanity does do this, if it ever can, it will have to fall into a depression caused by the guilt of a terrible conscience. That guilt which will be the realisation of how much has been wasted; how much history of non-progress, of movement away from the humanity that has never ever been realised. Humanity is that which we are but have never been. Humanity: our great family that we have always been avoiding; that we have never been able to embrace.

If we look at history, the creation of the polis and its politics, the creation of the Nation State, and the empires of trade and religions, we must see a steady process of division rather than any unification. This should weigh on our consciences. What kind of guilt gnaws at us for that loss, not of innocence, but of unity and the potential civilisation that could have been born out of that unity? What kind of guilt for all our crimes against those of our own species? What kind of perverse diversion from reality made human beings the objects of fear and hate and the exploitation of one another?


But is this guilt, this bad-conscience for doing so badly at fulfilling our true human potential a bad thing? Doesn’t the guilt not remind us of a duty? Does it not evoke a direction for all of us? Knowing what one’s duty is liberates one from having to search for it. Duty anchors and liberates at the same time. Anchored we become free to float without fear of being carried away into waters we cannot possibly get back from.

                Has there ever been a more depressing age than our own nihilistic one? What is worse, nihilism has submerged guilt to far deeper subconscious levels than the religions ever did. Guilt and duty can only be positive forces if they are conscious ones. In Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment Marmeladov is healthier than Raskolnikov, but only because he is aware of a duty, albeit a phantasmagorical one. Both Raskolnikov and Marmeladov are disillusioned by the duties they think they must follow, because both of them ignore their most real duty, which is the duty towards humanity. Both become afflicted by the fantasy of sin, and become incapable of comprehending the real humanity they are told they should love. They are incapable of finding love for humanity because it is overshadowed by a love of the fantasy figure of the monotheistic God. Raskolnikov’s guilt is tripled by turning his back on Christianity to embrace nihilism, which unsatisfactorily maintains him and he finds himself struggling for the anchor of guilt. A guilt which is of such a nature that punishment cannot absolve him from it. The nature of guilt is in the non-fulfilment or in the losing of one’s way. It seems it can only be remedied by putting one on the tracks toward a real purpose and aim.

                And the only real aim for humanity can be the aim to be human and to recognise all other humans as human beings the same as we are. The only real aim can be the non-competitive aims of creativity and invention, not for personal gain, but for the satisfaction for having contributed in the furthering of human fulfilment as a knowing creature, as Sapiens.


thinker-300x224Nietzsche called consciousness our most fallible organ[i], yet despite its inaccuracies it is really the defining element in what it is to be human, and in its constant dialogue with the unconscious and its struggle to be conscious of the non-perceivable, consciousness embodies the amazing complexity of the condition of being human. Despite Nietzsche’s remark, we have no more prized possession and once it has been taught to work well and learned how to maintain itself in proper working order, there should be nothing more dear to us. It is the defining feature of the Homo Sapiens – I am because I know and I know because I’m consciousness – and yet, perhaps Nietzsche was right, as far as humanity as a whole goes, it is in a sad state of neglect, misused, often quite blatantly abused and fragrantly uncared for by most people.


For humanity to be honest with itself it must protect this human-defining power. Humanity needs to see itself more clearly for what it is – and we are essentially “Sapiens” the animal that knows. Sapiens needs to impose itself, above the term “humanity” itself, not as a new species but as a fulfilment of the potential it has always had, or, better said, as a commitment – perhaps for the first time really – toward fulfilling that potential of being truly conscious of the Universe.

[i] Friedrich Nietzsche, GENEALOGY OF MORALS, 2nd Essay, XVI)