On the road to humanism

We, Westerners, have been robbed of our access to and ability to get in touch with the Sacred. In all forms, not only in the religious or mystical sense but also in art, in communication with our fellow human beings, with nature, and with ourselves. The upward movement of reason and ego to the level of god, all-powerful and all-knowing, who does not want to see anything that differs from him. We were taught to believe only in reason, the human one, whose dream in Goya’s engravings produces monsters. That reason that has no access to anything that is not tangible matter, a reason that turned its own god into a rationalist explanation (let’s say it honestly, a bit far-fetched) and that wants to explain the human soul and its chores with words and theories. When I say the human soul I mean the set of emotions, feelings, thoughts, and other human functions and products that shape us as beings with values and instincts not only in the search for food and reproduction.

By Margarita Calderón

In art, we see it in the desacralisation that postmodernism continues to carry out: the rational explanation of an art object, because it is not a work that has immanent value, but it is through objective verbiage that the public must be convinced from reason that it is art. In religion we see this with the multiplication of churches into god-products “within reach”, lacking an initiation ritual that allows us to access the Sacred. With poorly played popular music, to spare everyone the effort of having to learn Latin, or to learn to sing in tune, or to bathe and dress well before mass, to learn prayers by heart, and so on. Because the issue here, in fact, is not god, but the values that all this entails. This is just one example, because it also happens in school, in education in general. It is the generalised tendency to laziness, to not wanting to do anything with commitment or dedication. The laziness of transforming oneself, of one’s own doing, because it costs too much time, and effort and it is better to change aesthetic and ethical concepts than to work for them.

Capitalism wants us all to be equal, yes, capitalism, not communism. Because it is he who wants to sell more and more and he will not disappoint or leave out of the market those without talent, tenacity or without values. Everyone must have their hour of stardom. The one who paints little flowers and cute kittens sells more than an artist who spent his whole life exploring himself as a creator; churches that offer you god in emergency help to heal, have money, house, car and so on sell. God here and now: in the form of Buddha, Vishnu, Allah, Krishna or whoever, what does it matter, if what counts is not the path, I take to myself but the one that “wisdom for dummies” in famous phrases slips through any crack in the internet or the world. And it is precisely rationalist thinking that has led us to this. Because it stripped us of the feeling that we ourselves are sacred beings who respect and love ourselves and view the world with respect and love.

Those who chose to turn away from the Judeo-Christian religion did so in the direction of science. The new goddess science has for many been seen and conceived above any historical or social relationship. The denial of spirituality through reason has only preserved primitive magical thinking, without giving the human being the value he deserves as a whole being and an integral part of nature and the universe. We have moved on from the inordinate worship of a god more similar to ourselves and our faults than any other of antiquity. A god that demands sacrifices of our very being at the cost of our happiness or tranquillity, disfigured to the point of grotesqueness that demands our pain and renunciation of life. A god who views our body (supposedly made in his image and likeness) with disgust and contempt, who demands that we repress our feelings and thoughts, and whose power is based on manipulating us by making us feel guilty for being what we are.

That is the god who should have died when Zarathustra came down from his mountain and informed us of his death. But this god, more sincerely similar to a demon who feeds on our pain and by promising us the illusion of a paradise makes us live in hell, is a chameleon god. Whoever leaves him and goes in search of other gods to find other absolute truths, is always likely to have the same thing under a different name. He who killed god for the sake of reason made it the new god. Whoever found science, upwardly elevated it as absolute truth, whoever found Buddha as justification for his contempt for the world in his desire to flee from it and not want to face his own inadequacies, whoever found a modern Krishna who with hysteria goes so far as to accuse others of the violence and hatred within him. The examples are endless. The pursuit of religions with their gods of whatever kind only leads to covering up our contempt for others and ourselves and do not demand a real transformation of ourselves.

So, it is not surprising that what was to be humanism par excellence has taken a turn with the death of god. To do away with morality, in short, to do away with double standards, with principles imposed hierarchically from outside, should have meant a return to the idea of knowledge, to wisdom, to the “guru” within its interior that is present in so many cultures. Just as Nietzsche spoke of the no-end transformation of the soul into a child, a child that grows and creates, after having been a camel that resignedly charges everything that does not belong to it, and then becomes a lion that destroys everything that has been given to it and no longer serves it. Our world has been left destroyed without understanding at what point it must begin to create. A destruction is also a creative act, as long as we do not destroy this contact with our creative force and power. It is not for nothing that Nietzsche chose Zarathustra, the first prophet who offered the idea of a creator god and giver of light and love, one of the many cosmogonies and religions destroyed by the Judeo-Christian tradition.

The true path of the human being lies in the encounter with what makes him part of everything, his animal being, universal being, and what he brings as an individual being. Freeing ourselves from social, religious, and cultural prejudices has imposed new prejudices on us again and again, now with greater force imposed from outside through the media that impart information but not knowledge. Throughout history, we have only changed idols, and we have not wanted to recognise in ourselves the sacredness that should make us love ourselves above all things (as the commandments say we should love God) and love our neighbour as ourselves. No, it is not a praise of selfishness, it is a praise of humanism.

“And the wisest of you is only a split being, a hybrid of plant and ghost. But do I command you to become ghosts or plants?

Look, I show you Superman!

Superman is the sense of the earth. Say your will: let Superman be the sense of the earth!

I adjure you, my brethren, to remain faithful to the earth and do not believe those who speak to you of super-earthly hopes! They are prisoners, whether they know it or not.

They are despisers of life, they are dying and they, too, are poisoned, the earth is weary of them: may they disappear!

Once the crime against God was the greatest crime, but God is dead, and with Him these criminals are also dead; now the most horrible thing is to commit a crime against the earth, and to cherish the bowels of the inscrutable more than the sense of it!”

Thus Spoke to Zarathustra. F. Nietzsche.

Redacción Rusia