By Hugo Novotny – Punta de Vacas, November 13th 2008.
When speaking about Universalistic Humanism vision, we are making reference to both a special look supported by assumptions, beliefs and a cosmogonic conception; as well as to the particular way in which this vision understands the “reality”, the world around us, its history, its present and its future perspectives.
In his book “Humanize the Earth”, Silo asks “What reality are you speaking of to a fish or a reptile; to a gigantic animal, a tiny insect, or a bird; to a child or to an old person; to one who sleeps or one who keeps watching in cold calculation or feverish terror?”; and then he asserts: “I say that the echo of the real murmurs or resounds according to the ear that hears, and that for other ears what you call “reality” would play a different song”.
So then, we will talk about looks and landscapes.
In each and every look about the world and men, there are two basic concepts setting order and structure: “human being” and “human conscience”.
From Universalistic Humanism standpoint, human beings are neither rational nor social animals. From this viewpoint the difference between human beings and dolphins is not due to language complexity and multiplicity; neither humans differ from bees and ants due to their complex social organization. Universalistic Humanism claims that human beings are historical beings open to the world and able of accumulating experience both personally and socially, a being who is capable of transforming through social action not only the natural and human landscape he inhabits, but also his own nature. A being in development, still incomplete, which his only nature is the change.
As regards conscience, The Universalistic Humanism view is far from considering it neither a passive conscience, just reflecting external “reality”, nor a sort of sponge absorbing the knowledge given; let alone a submissive and obedient conscience doing blindly whatever is told that it have to be done namely orders, watchwords or seductive illusions promoted by opinion formers.
Human conscience is active, capable not only of reacting in compensatory way to the environment stimuli but of transforming this environment as well; this conscience is able to reflect and imagine, to choose and to create, to model possible futures thanks to its intention.
The Universalistic Humanism vision stresses the increasing role of human intention in the planet evolutionary process; a critical role in each and every point of historical junction. In the light of our vision, it is the intention of overcoming pain and suffering, of trespassing beyond the limits of time and space imposed by the own body, what gives impulse and direction to human action.
However, which is the landscape that we, humanists, can see in the actual world?
Unfortunately, it is such a big disaster… Excuse me, I would rather say, fortunately, it is such a deep crisis we are undergoing through that causes human beings to stop and think. To stop and reflect, and to wonder: Where do I go? Where do they want to lead me? Where do I want to go?…Sometimes, the reflection becomes even deeper and we wonder: Who am I? Who they want me to be? What do I want to be? What do I want to do with my life in Earth? Which is the sense of my life?
All the later in the existential field.
In the psychosocial field we notice a morphological fracture in the system of values leading human behavior till today and its evident replacement by a new one. The lack of coincidence between inner representation of “high” as a space where beings endowed with wisdom, strength and goodness live and act; and the social reality actually perceived, in which diffidence on “the powerful” grows day after day, a fast- fading confidence on their capacity and intention of solving the problems that the majority suffer; this non-coincidence has created an immense emptiness and confusion both in individuals and in large human communities. This emptiness drives some people to violence or to commit suicide, to self closing or madness; and in others begins to be filled with a new system of reference that stresses the meaning of the “deep”. This “deep” refers to what is felt, reflected, compromised and humanizing. It means the sacred in its widest sense. This new morphology of values resounds completely with concepts and phenomena such as nets, communities, interactivity, self-regulation, self-organization, values that are accelerating the transformation of psychosocial horizons.
The cause and effect mechanics, the Newtonian world linearity, even the predictability of Einstenian relativity, are clearly stepping aside to give room to the multidimensional universe- increasingly undetermined and paradoxical- of the quantum theory, the chaos, and the entropic systems of unstable equilibrium.
In the new paradigms, laws are now of concomitance, structure, cycles, the overcoming of the old by the new. In this new horizon, the great actor and vector of history is human intentionality walking forward on its spiral-shaped way of evolution.
Let’s see. Have you been thought about the consequences of the human conscience discarding time linearity? with causes and effects and all the other laws associated to that illusion… Sure, It will be then the people from some places the ones that will have to think what to do, for example the Swiss…They have rather dedicate to investigate about profound psychology, or to produce cheese and chocolates, and forget about clocks. And by the way, they should forget also about banks which are part of the same illusion.
In other words, human conscience is at this very moment thriving to get rid of the corset that means linear temporality and discovering simultaneity, resonance, synchrony, as new laws and phenomena of open systems which will modify radically the way of structuring reality.
Moreover, have you been thought about the consequences of the human conscience breaking free from the ties imposed by natural, spatial and temporal determinations, to freed from its physical prosthesis? And we are not talking here only about undeniable and subtle technological accomplishments such as virtual reality, augmented reality or tele-presence. We are talking also about the real possibility that, in a brave and intentional act, human conscience would decide to break up with its internal contradictions, to yield its heart to love and mercy towards all living kind and fly… so as to gain enough inner unity allowing to project itself beyond the body and time, without dissolving or loosing reversibility.
Regarding the social field, there are some problems to solve.
Nowadays, we are living in a complex world where the fast- growing social entropy and the old social-political and economic structures are blowing off. And in this situation of crescent indetermination, ancient grudges and fanaticisms still survive against a background of widespread irritation; all the last in a planet overcrowded by nuclear and meteorological weapons, and soon – if we do not take actions urgently – nano-technological weapons. Anyone of these weapons, or worst of it, all of them together, are capable of putting an end to the existence of this beautiful blue planet, with all it carries in its intersidereal journey and convert it in a new range of asteroids like the one that is already wandering around, inert between Jupiter and Mars, not far from here, in our very same Solar System.
In this wonderful process that began its gestation at the heart of a star, where the carbon chain evolved until it originated life, and this life, in its implacable advance, became human life. A process where, human beings, step by step, developed from a complete dependence on the environmental natural conditions to progressively master the fire, the energy, the physical, chemical and biological processes. This evolution has continued until the present times. Nowadays, humans have learnt not only to produce and control nuclear reactions – the same as the ones occurring in the nucleus of the stars- to control the climate, the processes of production and artificial reproduction of life, but also is in his way of achieving the manipulation of genetic codes, the profound transformation of human body and its psychical structure.
In this wonderful – almost miraculous- process of advances and retreats, but always in spiral ascent, we have arrived, once again, to a crossroads.
Would it be there a Flood this time? ¿Would it be there a Glacial Era, a volcanic eruption or nuclear bombs?
How it would be? What life would do – human life- in order to jump into a new stage in its evolution?
From Universalistic Humanism perspective, the imperative in these times is the active resistance to each and every kind of violence, inside and outside human beings.
As it occurs in every system of high complexity with unstable equilibrium, where the least variation in any of its parts might cause a total change in the state of the system, it is each human being’s intimate choice what will define the future course of human history.
We strongly believe that the intentional choice of the direction towards the point where our strength, our intelligence, the knowledge, our feelings and the capacity of action and transformation should be applied, may be the decisive factor in this precise historical moment.
Nobody could remain indifferent at the dilemma we are facing as specie: confrontation among the cultures, the people and individuals or convergence in diversity, to keep on refining domination and destruction methods or to adhere bravely to peace and non violence in every geographic place, every people of every culture, in every continent, and finally in the whole world.
Our dear friend Salvatore Puledda, one of the Humanist World Center founders, a friend (who is) still brightly alive in our hearts, proposed the ethical compromise ceremony, which we intend to perform before the symposium’s closure, and the World March launching that will take place immediately after the ceremony, should turn into the first determined steps towards the most constructive direction.
To say it with Silo’s own words, pronounced in this very place 39 years ago: “My brother, my sister, keep these simple commandments, as simple as these rocks, this snow, and this sun that bless us. Carry peace within you, and carry it to others”.
Nothing else, thank you.