Man is a rope, tied between beast and overman–a rope over an abyss… – Friedrich Nietzsche
It seems that people fear the end of human evolution and indeed the impact of our current globalised culture seems to be a dictatorial factor in this. If the physical material nature of the world now no longer finds the conditions favourable for the great occurrence of evolution to continue to occur then, indeed, what is the fate of the human species? Some see it proper that natural evolution come to its own apparently ‘natural’ end and the modification of genes and the organism begins by the human hand and brain – essentially Transhumanism.
Yet, are the very ideas of Transhumanism not themselves open the highest of mockery? For millennia human beings toiled in utter nothingness, with regards to the use of their intelligence, and then, as if instantaneously, we reached a point where our intelligence flowered. Now, we have never been defined by our tools but we have reached a point, as a species, where we are happy for technology to define who we are rather than be simply as it is: a tool. The next evolution must come as a result of human effort – mentally and physically.
The ancient Athenian gymnasia were places of extreme learning and places of physical perfection. The mind and body were held in common and each given the respect they deserved – healthy body, healthy mind. These places are from where sprang the well of great civilisation and in our modern age we have turned away from them. Gyms in the modern sense now only represent pale, artificial spaces in which we selectively exercise and the mind is left to stagnate except in that which is it given by technology.
National Service, or at least military training by itself, would give much potentially of evolution to the individual. Prince Harry has suggested a reintroduction of National Service and it is noble that he has. By taking the principle and practices of military training and coupling them with the wish to build more physically and mentally able citizens we can instil in them discipline, respect and community.
We should also instil in people the will to work and benefit both themselves and their communities to form the foundation blocks of society. Work has been rendered a non-concept and pointless not necessarily by corporations but by individuals who have an expectant and demanding attitude regarding what they should be ‘entitled’ to. Work should be held up as the highest way in which our communities can be benefited and improved. Automation of menial work has to be reversed completely because some of the most beneficial work to community has been lost by that fact is that we now have robots doing the jobs that could employ many more men.
Beyond the physical and the mental we must also cater for our own spiritual requirements to aid our impending evolution. The Church has gone as a central institution in our society and as such the separation of Church and State, although somewhat beneficial, has deteriorated a national sense of morality and spirituality. The Church has lost any authority it once had because it could not prevent its own slip into degeneracy and perversion but without a central institution of spiritual authority then nihilism eventually creeps into society.
The growth and preservation of our society must be what we hold as a demonstration of our evolution but we now no longer have a great and prosperous society. Individuals aware of the heights of their own evolution are aware of the need to create a great civilisation which produces a great and prosperous culture – currently; our culture faces degradation and mockery. The great Liberal culture has stifled any attempt to create a great civilisation and the political culture which has grown up around is merely the façade of this.
This new step of the great evolution must grow from within the people themselves who must have the will to craft new and greater people from within themselves. From the individuals the whole is formed. A new order of men will not fall from the clouds but instead must come from us who must demand it so much. We complain about the spiritual and physical state of our politicians; the morality of our business people and workers; and the mental capacity of the population yet we do not realise that we have removed ourselves from any possibility of evolution. Evolution is a retrospective term – we must become part of our present.
We must progress ourselves by means only of ourselves or we run the risk of losing all that makes us human and all that makes us great. Evolution is not at an end.
Image credit: flickr.com/10068173@N08