Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Life as a project?

One of the most striking features of modern life is its daily evanescence. Not only are ourselves aged, but everything around us fades away quickly.
Nothing is built to last. "In the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes," said Warhol, in an  evocation of Wilde, with certitude. Not that Warhol was a genius, but simply that he knew which way the wind blew, and let himself go.

Everything around us is ephemeral. Matter is ephemeral. Goods are ephemeral. The sense of timelessness of the human race seems to have been swept out of existence. We do not seek the eternal, beautiful in itself, the sublime, but the "up-to-date", what is "trendy" and all terms rationally empty that fill our cultural shelves nowadays.

The officially accepted explanation for this state is that the man, realized in the XIX Century, that he was no longer a reflection of God´s image, but simply the product of an "evolution" (or factory upgrade) of matter, just like rats, chimpanzees and armadillos. From this point the man stops to look at eternity as his arrival port and started to fight against the clock during his short reign life.

Modernity focuses on these two aspects: The concept of "evolution", concluding that what is newer is better because it is more advanced in evolutionary terms. This was the cultural consequence of the transportation of the concept of evolution from biologic to the culture field, with no half-stops. The bases of high culture were defeated.
The technique becomes the base "culture" of modernity. Science is the new Prometheus that stole the knowledge from God to men so we can build our own happiness, without divine intercession. Men is no longer interested in old concepts  such as "moral" or "justice". The newer the better. Endpoint.

Second phase: Younger generation takes control of the culture , by the mid '50s. In the United States appeared the prototype youth culture that will sweep the world. In the 60's it was radicalized into  "do not trust anyone over thirty" motto of the day.

Third phase: modernism "dies". After all science can not, itself, ensure "peace and security". The century that opened by the sign of modernity closes with a balance of two world wars. But man does not gave up. Rather than go back and recognize the error, invents the "post-modernity", which is simply the negation of rationality and existence itself.

The result is that Life is simple life now. Ephemeral and volatile, without much hope, chaotic, Darwinian struggle of the fittest, now transfigured by "most modern". Won by whoever has the I-Phone 5.

But I do not agree. The human being is not a giant Drosophila fly. Living just to feel what can be felt, "enjoining" what each season can gives us, should not be our only goal.
Our real goal is Eternity. Cause we are eternal, in the sense that anything or anyone that has existed can not become "nothing." Even though we are no longer here to witness it,  our history is.
It means that Life has to have a project. And it has. Our greatest mission is to learn about it.