Person and Planet
“Be true to the Earth!” — Friedrich Nietzsche
Appreciating the Earth itself as being one political unit seems like a very difficult task for some people, if not most people. The term “environmentalism” isn’t really adequate to account for the fact that post-modernity really means that the entire planet has become a singular political unit in its own right. The reactionary mentality of our day — the ego-nature itself — is really overwhelmed by that development, which we call “globalism” or “the overview effect“, which for others is a profoundly transformative experience.
The task of constructing a global commonwealth — a planetary civilisation — which still preserves the integrity and dignity of different human experiences of the Earth, and one in which all kinds of different people can still feel at home in the Earth, is the Great Work of our time. It requires a different and more adequate consciousness structure — an integrating consciousness. That means, largely, a switch from an “either/or” type of logic to a “both/and” type of logic. This really isn’t a simple matter for those who have been schooled from birth in the former, and who everywhere think in terms of dualisms.
Today, “clash of civilisations” externally reflects “culture war” internally and mutually reinforce one another, and the “rational” solutions offered for both only recirculate and reinforce the essential dissonance and the centrifugal tendency of self-contradiction that is tearing the Earth apart — neo-imperialism externally, authoritarianism internally. They are linked and mirror one another because the Earth has become a single political unit which our received logics and “conventional wisdom” is not adequate to master.
The health and healing of the Earth as a whole has become a paramount and critical political issue, and we certainly can’t separate that problem from the problem of human consciousness. As within, so without. To ask people to become more than they are, while simultaneously less than they think they are, seems like an impossible task. It requires a large measure of mutual goodwill — empathy, in fact — which is almost entirely absent in the present era.
“Synchronisation of antagonistic distemporaries” is what Rosenstock-Huessy called it — the basis of his social philosophy and new quadrilateral logic, in fact. And he set out to employ that logic to begin the construction of a “universal history” of the full human experience of the Earth as the basis for the new planetary civilisation he saw being painfully born out of the wreckage of the world wars — the dissolution of an old era that he called “the Pauline” and the reconstitution of a new era he called “the Johannine”.
A large part of The Chrysalis has been a modest attempt to contribute to that “universal history” as a basis for a planetary civilisation, and that doesn’t endear me to nationalists or narcissists or those who are trapped in their narrow “point-of-view-line-of-thought” consciousness and who think being opinionated distinguishes them from others and constitutes their uniqueness and individuality.
It’s time to begin to think of the planet as a singular political unit in its own right, and the political principle implied in that is “health”, which is the meaning of the word “integrate” and “integrity” — the whole and the wholesome. And that involves accepting something of a paradox: everything is as it should be, but nothing is as it could be.