BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL

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Between good and evil there exists a certain rebelliousness or naughtiness rooted in our capacity for cynicism. A lot of bad or anti-social behaviour stems from an intelligent appreciation or common-sense intuition that what is going on around one is a great deception, an enormous waste of time based on hypocritical notions of what is right and good. Where there is moral inconsistency and hypocrisy there will be cynical rebellion. Every criminal begins as a cynic, either through a reasoned discovery of the hypocrisy or through cynical education from family and peers, artists and rebels.

The “general good”, when it is neither particularly good or general, can therefore perpetuate a general naughtiness. Values are soft and flexible, everything can be moulded to suit one’s needs. Survivors in the dog-eat-dog world turn life into a joke: something that needs to be twisted and played with in an intellectual way in order to be bearable — even if this intellectual way is hardly ever clever at all.  The more the joker suffers, the crueller and more unreasonable his or her pranks become. A society of cynics cries out for comprehension, until the permissiveness of society is interpreted as a free-rein for even crueller prodding into the ribs of anything trying to be authentically good and do the right thing.

In order for anyone to want to do anything, one has to feel capable of doing it. The criminal does the wrong thing because that is what he or she does best. For someone to think that he or she is better at doing bad things than good things, there has to be a learning that gives the criminal or pervert the notion that this judgement is right. The psychological schools, on the one hand, and the sociological methodologies, on the other, give us tools for appreciating what we do best even if our best behaviour is ethically wrong. Education, in the capitalist civilisation is a crutch, supporting excuses for doing what is humanistically wrong if that is what you do best. In this way society becomes plagued with geniuses of the craft of deception; masters of the arts of insults and rulers of manipulations that will get them exactly what they desire.

Opposed to these are the submissives who learn that the best they can do is follow orders and smile, or lower their heads when they are insulted.

The pleasure principle of psychology begins to poke its head in here. What we are good at; what we should be good at; and what we could be good at. The one good at receiving orders should also be good at giving orders – after all, one learns through submission the reasons and needs for orders to be handed out. The pleasure will come from one or the other, for those who are good at both.

One learns that radically shifting one’s own personality, and even identity features, can be a pleasurable game. Discovering a space to role play in – to delve into the naughty space between good and evil – brings pleasure, but it also undermines our capacity to do authentic good and recognise real evil.

When the answer to “what should I be good at?” amounts to “whatever gives me pleasure” society has a problem, because a society made up of ego-centric parts cannot function as a society. The prime question of society, and its members, has to be “what should we be good at?”.

But once we do ask what we should be good at, to then answer, “whatever gives us pleasure,” is immediately seen as problematical. Pleasure is never an objective, universal phenomena, even though all totalitarian regimes try to make it so. Pleasure must be a subjective phenomenon, and this makes it an inappropriate aim for society.

But what then is the answer to the question? What should we be good at?

Firstly, we should be good at being us, which means humanistically good; good in the sense of the universal community – and that goes beyond the humanistic restrictions of the nation-states or any kind of empire that is not universal. Only once that sense of universalism is established and the pillars of good and evil are clearly established, can we freely seek the pleasure that lies between those two columns.

For crass naughtiness to become purposeful rebelliousness, good must be clearly defined as a purposeful aim, and evil as the deliberate attempt to negate all authentic purposefulness.

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From Khaos to Being, via Sapiens

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The original Greek χάος comes from the verb to gape and is therefore the dark emptiness, the black abyss in the yawning mouth of the Universe.

In Greek cosmology this was the word used to describe the state of non-being prior to creation. Our modern cosmology could use the term to describe the state of non-being before the Big Bang, but it doesn’t – probably because the concept is hardly a very scientific assumption; the void of Khaos would imply that there was space before the Big Bang, rather than the more generally held notion of space and time being created by the Big Bang. What’s more, chaos, as it is usually spelt, has come to mean other things, which is why we write it as khaos.

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For us, our interest in Khaos lies in the idea of a moment when non-being became the process of becoming that leads to Being, and an affirmation that such a moment was not the Big Bang. In fact, it took place millions of years after the Big Bang. The shift from a state of non-being to the process of becoming Being was a very quiet development, more like an unheard oozing than any noisy leap or an explosion of light.

Being has always been a slow process of becoming, an evolutionary unfolding, rooted in perception. It began with the first bleeps of perception from the first perceiving micro-organisms, and has developed into those complex life-forms capable of understanding and communicating their awareness, self-consciousness etc., that we call Sapiens.

In the beginning was the word …” The process to Being started with the naming of things. Being is the product of an unveiling. The Creation is not a creation as such, but a discovery or reaffirmation of the existence that would otherwise be pointlessly trapped in the yawning mouth of Khaos.

From the original notion of Khaos came the cosmological notion of a primordial state in which our cosmos in potentia is waiting to be formed in the yawning mouth. From this notion came the erroneous assumption that such a formation could only be managed by a Demiurge, the Creator, while in fact that creator is Sapiens. The Creator is all of us. Creation occurred when the yawning mouth of humanity spat out the first word.

The creator is Sapiens, and humanity (homo sapiens) is a part of that Sapiens entanglement with Being itself. Each time we utter or think a word we are taking part in the divine process of becoming that is embedded in all Being. The difference between the Universe and the Void, flows through us.

This placing of Being in the language of Sapiens, means that being is not just what is observed, understood and perceived, it also exists in the language of potential and conditionals. Being is what is, what has been, and what it could and will be. Being rejoices in us: not just in itself reflected in our perception of it, but also in our vision of its own potentials.

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Let us not be mean with Being. Give it all our love – our appreciation, understanding and preservation – and all our desire for the unleashing of its most incredible potentials, guided by our own unlimited imaginations.

ON HAPPINESS

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HAPPINESS

Let us make it quite clear: Happiness is not our goal.

But how could happiness ever be a goal in the first place? It is illusionary to assume that happiness can be searched for and then found, and if this sometimes does happen it is always brought about by accident rather than via any law of cause and effect. Happiness is always only a possible emotional result of something else that has occurred or has been striven for.

That is not to say that happiness is impossible, and we do believe that a strong, enduring kind of happiness can be found through fulfilment. This is the happiness given through the satisfaction of getting important things done; or of being in the process of doing important things; the satisfaction from the feeling that one is on the right course.

There is nothing new in this idea, but the anti-human historical process of civilisation has pushed fulfilment away from any universal purposiveness toward subjective profit-making ideas of pursuing the right course. It is in the interests of our System of Accumulations that the fulfilment of one’s right course will trample over the rest and perpetuate the competitive elements of all societies that allow social injustice and economic tyranny to thrive in an almost uncritical environment. Thus, we find ourselves driven by the right course of the nation or the empire; or the family or the company we work for; or a placing of the right course in some god’s will. But really, the subjective decisions we make when deciding on our own course of action are hardly our own decisions at all, but products of constant, systemic propaganda.

Our proposal for finding happiness, is to abandon your own pseudo-subjective course in order to anchor it in humanity itself: redrawing our right courses from a cosmologically-centred, Sapiens’ point-of-view. In this way happiness is found through a universal purposiveness, which is possible for all, and because of that an authentic happiness that can be durable and life-fulfilling.

ON HUMAN HISTORY

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Human history: the study of that which has never been allowed to be. It would have to begin with a description or definition of what it could have been.

Human history is a fantasy tale: a story of constant distraction away from the human; the constant narration of other histories over the authentic human one, but often in the name of the human one.

An authentic human history would be one of displaying the constant undermining of the greatest potentials; the constant befuddling and confusing of the common human experience so that it always appears as something that needs competition and bloody conflict in order to achieve the tremendous meagre crumbs that we are told have been won.

It’s too late now to believe in a historical process for humanity. There needs to be an entirely original idea that goes beyond that of humanity itself as a species. It is time to begin a new, authentically historical process toward an evolved human species full of real human potential – it’s time to start writing the book of Sapiens History.

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“What can mankind do?”: the question comes from André Gide at the turn of the 20th century. It should have been phrased, what can humanity do as humanity?

Once we see how depressing the answer is to this fundamental question—for as soon as we indagate in the idea of human history we realise there has never been one – we see an immediate need to rectify the mistake. It’s time, long overdue, to do justice to humanity and infuse it with an authentic historical process.

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How much love for everything non-human: all these animals and plants; these rocks and landscapes, and yet … How much hatred we have for humanity itself. But of course we must hate it, because unlike nature and the non-human it has not been allowed to grow naturally. Humanity has forever been lacerating itself, uglifying itself, disdaining and hating itself.

THINKING

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That we all think: this is what unites us and separates us. We all think – we are the same. But, how we think and what we think about – that is what separates us. However, while we are thinking, we are human; and when we stop thinking and act on instinct or by muddled logic, we are not acting in a completely human way.

The quality of humanity depends on the quality of our thinking.

Can we imagine, therefore, a quality of life based on quality of thought? For example: this place is good because it is conducive to clear thinking; that job is bad, for it does not allow us time to think; this other activity is good because it clears the muddled mind and opens spaces to think deeply in again. In such a quality-of-thought world, we would look for, and create, climates that are conducive to thinking; design cities that help us think.

The leaders of such a society would be chosen according to their merits as capable and clear thinkers who develop other thinkers and create a thoughtful society via their own thoughts. If we as a species are the animals that know; the homo sapiens; because we think; then having a world leader who makes decisions without thinking them through, is an absurdity. That this occurs, is a perversion of humanity that demonstrates that our present human condition is an anti-sapiens one, and, therefore anti-human. Humanity can only be rediscovered and societies can only become human again by thinking clearly about what we are and where we are going.

Thinking is an active way out of the decadent cycle of the simulacra culture in which we are immersed.[1]

How many of our best thoughts do we ourselves strangle or, at best, keep tightly locked away. Now, it’s time to let our good thoughts breathe, driven by human purposiveness itself rooted in thinking. It’s time to make thinking synonymous with an affirmation of the human and a negation of the anti-human.

What do you think?

[1] See our previous article DECADENCE AND STAGNATION: https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2017/08/16/decadence-stagnation/

Decadence & Stagnation

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Decadence: when things are just too good and easy that no one bothers to push forward anymore, bringing about stagnation

But there is also another kind of stagnation: one which comes about because there just isn’t enough time to go forward; when all time is taken up with something that is essentially futile when considered from the point of view of the bigger picture. Like making money. Even the seemingly dynamic world of business, if it is dedicated only to business and not to authentically meaningful human progress (things associated with knowledge and discovery), it is essentially stagnating. Any society that is a simulacra society, hell-bent on reproducing copies rather than on developing its creativity, is a decadent, stagnating society. We are stagnant not because of what we are doing, our anthill society is always busy, but because what we are driven by, in all this anthill activity, is not creative. When production is synonymous with reproduction, then we know we have fallen into the stagnant pool of decadence.

Nietzsche talked about the residual nature of decadence[1]. That decadence is a cumulative thing. Certainly, it is nurtured both by dogma and nihilism. Only a sceptical meaningfulness can push forward in a creative way.

Sceptical meaningfulness? How can such a thing be? Surely it is a contradiction in terms.

To understand how this oxymoron combination can work, we need to see meaningfulness as a forward pushing phenomenon. Once it stops pushing forward, meaningfulness slips into dogma. Meaning is fuelled by truth, but it does not swim in truth as if truth were a lake. Truth, in order to be lasting, has to be a river.

The meanings we discover have to be like the discoveries of science. Science declares things as truths only as long as it takes for new realities to be revealed under the surface of those once-truthful things. Truth therefore is an accumulative thing, although it accumulates by stripping away at the surfaces of reality. This is the onion-nature of reality that science must always continually peel away at. Reality is just another thin surface layer that can, and must, be stripped off if we are to make headways with truth.

“Decadence has gained predominance in our value judgements,” said Nietzsche[2]. There is decadence in everything cyclical. In this way, Nietzsche’s own Eternal Return is essentially a decadent concept, for there is decadence in every complete simulacra and copy.

To get another perspective, let’s consider Nike’s famous advertising slogan “Just Do It”. This statement is also a propagation of decadence, because it incites a spirit of pure, thoughtless action. Of course Nike sells trainers, shoes for sportsmen and women, but what this statement proclaims reveals the price society must pay for the sporting culture. For sporting-culture concepts drill deep into the fabric of the civilisation that promotes them. Decadence through mechanics; through the repetition of all exercises and games. The match, and all its essential repetitiveness (in whatever sport — matches are always basically the same game) as the desired repetition; that which we are waiting for; longing to experience just once again; over and over again. Despite all its analyses, which are always trivial, empty statements and clichéd observations, to explain the binary sporting condition of win or lose; despite these attempts to enrich something which has no depth at all – sport remains the cyclical emblem of all decadent, simulacra, Sisyphus souls. The mechanical life needs a mechanical pleasure: how could we expect the brain-dead worker to stomach anything that could challenge him or her intellectually?

Whether the participation is passive or active, the result is the same: the mechanisation of society in a decadent, cyclical rhythm that goes nowhere; that is never thought out; that we just do it.

[1] Nietzsche, Will To Power, #39

[2] Ibid

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 Two (WHY THERE IS NO AUTHENTIC MEANING IN OUR LIVES)

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(If you haven’t read Part One yet, you can find it here: https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/what-is-the-meaning-of-life-part-one/ )

HUMAN IDENTITY AND NON-IDENTITY – WHERE SHOULD WE GO NEXT?

The species learns to love itself as the way it sees itself to be, which is the function power has given to cultures, nationalities and religions. Evolution beyond the human therefore becomes a terrifying concept; an evolution into monstrous non-human forms.

The formation of a Sapiens-species identity, an identity which would make us value the very part of our nature which makes us so unique – i.e. our intellect – would be an evolution in itself, paradoxically taking us away from our present concept of our humanity. And this idea makes the conservative part of our nature, so embedded in most of our identity factors, tremble. In this way, a fear of what our intellect can allow us to be makes us cut our most marvellous feature away from the idea of our humanity itself. Too much intellect makes us cold and in-human. But how can a sapiens intellect make a homo sapiens the opposite of what it is? How can human intellect, that which defines us as Sapiens, be anti-human if human beings are homo sapiens?

The idea of a cold-hearted species of beings with enormous brains and weak limbs makes us shudder. Weak limbs and a diminished sexual appetite: perhaps psychology will see here the unconscious fear of castration generated by our anti-intellectual Eros souls. Yet, in our massively over-populated world, Eros will also have to be tamed. Its lemming-instinct pride in unbridled propagation will need to be mitigated, if humanity, perhaps all life on Earth, is to survive.

Furthermore, if our essence lies (as we proposed in the first part of this essay) in the spiral relationship between knowing and technology, how is it that humanity is distrustful of the intellectual side of our natures?

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SAPIENS VERSUS WEALTH-AS-POWER

In order to understand this absurdity, we need to consider the relationship between Wealth-as-power and the essence of our Sapiens humanity.

Knowing and technology are caught up in a paradoxical relationship: knowing creates and enhances technology, but, at the same time technology creates and enhances knowing. Or in other words, we know enough to build things that help us to know more and build more things that help us build more and more things that … We’ve already tried to envisage this process, in the first part of this essay, and visualised it as a spiralling helix (like the DNA helix). Two pillars that are winding; parallel but interconnected. And the forward direction it is tunnelling through is what we called enhancement.

However, if this was all that was taking place, then human progress (its enhancement) would almost certainly have advanced far more rapidly and consistently on all levels. But this is not the case because enhancement is a double-pronged agent, pulled forward by two different forces. The social sapiens-animal, which we are, has two paths to follow: the Individual and the Universal path. This is the essential moral dilemma of all human beings.

 

It is within the area of this moral choice that Wealth-as-power steps in very heavy-handedly to take its own control of the Knowing/Technology helix.

The discourse of Wealth-as-power says that Universal enhancement is guaranteed by Wealth-as-power’s own enhancement. In fact, Wealth-as-power says, Universal enhancement can only come about if the enhancement of Wealth-as-power itself is guaranteed.

But, the effect of this intervention is to curve the helix around and away from forward-moving enhancement, into a circular, cyclical process.

Wealth-as-power needs its measure of man to ascertain its own enhanced position over and above humanity itself. The Universal makes Wealth-as-power essentially meaningless, because wealth and power only have purpose if they are always in a quantitively dominant position in which meaning is derived by the difference in distance from the rest. The question asked by Wealth-as-power is never “What can we do?” but “What can Wealth-as-power do that no-one else can do?”.

“If the Universe is to exist,” thinks Wealth-as-power: “Then it may only do so in the form of my own Universal Power.”

In order for Wealth-as-power to achieve this universality, it must divide, then conquer. But above all it must reduce the mass of humanity to the meagre realm of the people or the citizens; the flock or the followers. This flock is always subject to Wealth-as-power’s omnipotent systems and to the control of the Wealth-as-power-created reality.

Wealth-as-power appropriates enhancement for itself, and, in so doing, perverts the natural flow and unfolding of the meaningful essence of life. Within the singular truth/lie of the Wealth-as-power driven reality, Knowing is shackled and starved. Ignorance and forgetting are nurtured by Wealth-as-power to combat the essential nature of the Sapiens organism.

Wealth-as-power is a life-hindering force: an anti-life. Standing against the essence of life which is the enhancement gained through knowing and the technology that knowledge creates.

The essence, the meaning and the value of life is in the enhancement of knowing, but only when that enhancement is allowed to spring forward, unhindered, Universally.

This is not to deny or negate individual genius. Quite the contrary, rather it embraces the genius of all individuals and celebrates their discoveries in the collective process of the Universal-enhancement, which is an authentic, meaningful life-enhancement.

(If you haven’t read Part One yet, you can find it here: https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2017/04/26/what-is-the-meaning-of-life-part-one/ )

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.

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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF HUMANITY?

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.

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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF HOMO SAPIENS?

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.

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SAPIENS: THE TECHNOLOGICAL SPECIES

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]  

(TO BE CONTINUED)

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

[ii] Ibid

[iii] Ibid

GOAL-IMAGES & HUMAN SURVIVAL

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Macro-systems like cultures and civilisations are driven by a goal-image stimulus so powerful that it permeates the habitus[i] and doxa[ii] spheres and seeps into the formation of all our identities. This is seen clearly in monotheistic religions with their goals of reaching ‘Heaven’ or at least avoiding ‘Hell’. But even materialistic drives, like consumerism, have goal-image motors (the drive to attain as much money as possible, in order to buy anything and everything one wants).

the most radical rejection of the macro-system, would therefore be a decision to have no goals: become a cynic and live in a barrel like Diogenes, or become a nihilistic saint like E. M. Cioran. Yet, to stay adrift after such a reaction, one would also have to have faith in the veracity of your cynicism, which means that your rejection of goals itself becomes your goal.

So, the goal is the essence of all motivation, and is the basis of all political, religious, cultural and economic ideologies. Our world-life narrative is an exposition of goals, moulding our personal aims into a doxa: a popular, cultural movement that gives us a sense of habitus and normality.

In order to make the world a better place, therefore, we have to create better goal-images.

Human history has been an anti-human dividing process, yet the basis behind each of the greatest goal-image ideas, has been the desire to unite the whole of humanity under one great singular motivation. The attempt to find such a singularity has had the most tragic consequences and has been the reason for countless conflicts – and yet, the need to find the answer to a viable world-uniting goal-idea may now be tantamount to our survival as a species.

For that reason, it is imperative that we keep asking the question – the question that all religions have asked: What idea would be strong enough to bring us all together?

In its time, the monotheistic idea was a great one, and it could have been perfect if (a) there had been some scientific basis to it, or (b) no one had come up with the idea that there could be very different interpretations of what the One God’s will actually was.

The singular goal-image won’t be found until the best goal-image is found. And the best goal-image will only be found if we have the faith to keep looking for it.

The discovery of the best goal-image is almost certainly a long way away, and it may well be impossible, or may simply never be found. But by trying to find it, at least we start a process towards discovery, which is much better than the dangerously decadent and depleted state of macro-system induced passivism we currently waddle in.

The first step to beginning this process of goal improvements must come from an acceptance that what we have so far is not perfect, and because of that it can be improved. Nor is it the least worst of all bad scenarios: we also need to get beyond the cynical idea that all the alternatives are likewise imperfect and therefore futile. The acceptance of this cynicism breeds Sisyphus-like rock-pushers, happy with in their labour until the rock slips back and crushes them. There are better goal-images, and we must look for them – we need them.

The first thing that has to be dismissed to get the now better ball rolling, is to accept that nothing perfect exists and that perfection is a process of becoming. This gives us the dynamic stimulus to act creatively and purposefully, but that creativity needs to be anchored in a goal-image, something meaningful that should be for the whole of humanity. We presently have such a concept: Our survival as a species. Our survival in the world, leading into our permanence in an eternal Universe.

SURVIVAL

Survival has always been a real human concern, as it is an authentic concern for any biological entity. So, what we are proposing should not be essentially anything new – and yet it is.

Survival is something that has come to be taken for granted in the so-called developed world of western Civilisation. And yet, it is the technological complexity that ensures our comfort and protection from the hostilities of our natural environment that has led us to the looming collapse of the equilibrium allowing the biosphere to be the life-supporting atmosphere that defines it.

There is something necessarily nostalgic in almost all goal-images. Religions yearn for the world driven according to the will of the original creator and harken to ancient texts to support their arguments. Nationalisms are maintained by cultural traditions. Marxism hopes to correct the exploitive course of the history of civilisations. Only consumerisms have a generally non-nostalgic drive, which is what makes consumerism the most dangerous force against the human-in-the-world partnership.

Of all our goal-images, therefore, consumerism is the worst.

The first step to imagining a better goal-image must come from a deep revaluation of consumerism. Here lies the first step forward.

 

[i] For more on Habitus see Paul Adkin https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2015/02/28/habitus/

[ii] Doxa, see https://pauladkin.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/doxa-and-aletheia-truth-and-the-artist-part-one/