The Long Arc of the Human Spirit

Power Laws

Where are humanity and the human spirit going from here? How do we connect the ancient spirituality of human experience with this newfound technological ‘spirituality’ i.e. that humankind is on its way to becoming more and more immaterial, virtual and ‘spirit-like’? Is the newfound immateriality granted by technology and virtual worlds radically different from our ancient roots or does it come full circle with shamanism, the spirit over the flesh in Christianity, and other religions, and other mores of classic spiritual, philosophical (Plato, Descartes) and theological thought?

Is there a unity rather than a disharmony to ancient spiritual thought and where technology may be taking human beings? The two don’t have to be in conflict; ancient societies believed the spiritual was mostly or completely literal for practitioners (the dancer is the kangaroo in Huizinga’s Homo ludens or the shaman literally visits the world of the spirits of animals and ancestors). It is only later i.e. as early as the Greeks (besides Plato) and Christianity after Neo-Platonism does religion and spirituality become more figurative and metaphorical.

By the Industrial Revolution humanity is completely materialized, concretized by empiricism and science. Does the technology of the digital and the virtual offer a syncretism of the materialism of science and the spirituality humans believed literally and then metaphorically? Is it that there is unity of body and mind/spirit (Heidegger) or does body collapse into the mind (idealism, Berkeley, Plato, etc.) or does mind collapse into the body (materialism, some areas of phenomenology, Epicureans, Stoics, Sartre, Lucretius, etc.)?

the next world

Advertisements