Is neurosis and alienation what the future holds in store for us?


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Tassos Tsakiroglou, June 18, 2017. Original article published on Jun. 16, 2017.

"To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour."

This verse from William Blake's poem "Auguries of Innocence" most aptly expresses the wonder of reality surrounding us, of human capacity to become a part of the world and attain the required humility, in order to feel and possibly perceive the uninterrupted unity of the part with the Whole.

According to certain evolutionary biologists, the human brain has the capacity to recognize unity. "This ability is not innately present. We attain it over time, in the same way we attain our linguistic abilities, while developing a structure of experiences, within which various elements interact and are 'embodied' until a new nervous system of recognition is created, a type of inner eye", writes biochemist Darryl Reanney in his fascinating book "The Death of Forever."

Of what use is this capacity? First of all, for self-awareness and for being able to perceive the relativity of our existence within a world inhabited by billions of other creatures, human and non-human. And thus, to become aware of the diversity of life on this planet and the value of each distinct form of life.

Simultaneously, it aids in understanding that although we live in a system that spawns conflict and competition, that "competitive behaviour is nearsighted and reactionary" (according to Reanney), since its objective is to propagate self-preservation in time and space.

Collective behaviour on the contrary, is broader and progressive, as it sets its sights on some future prospect, "since selfless acts in and of themselves, place others above the self."

"Partisan science", a disbeliever may retort. However, historical experience validates this approach, since the last ten thousand years of civilization are signified by the quest of man to transition from "me" to "we", to transcend the barbarism of "us against them", against those "foreign" to us.

The same of course holds true of the relationship of humans with nature and its beings, that complete the environmental palette; whose colours are an indispensable component of the canvass of our planetary and existential equilibrium.

Today's world of neuroses, alienation and individualism are the result of our inability to perceive unity in the world, and furthermore, to fight in order to preserve its integrity.

Each class and sociological interpretation must be incorporated into this philosophical framework and unify the struggles of today with the prospect of a collaborative society, harmoniously coexisting with the natural environment.

Utopia? Perhaps no more than the (metaphysical) belief that today's state of paranoia and destruction can carry on ad infinitum.

Alienation from others and nature can be lifted and the condition for this is to become aware of our lost self. As biologist Julian Huxley said, "Man is evolution that has become conscious of itself."