Vision, Policy & Practice Adviser, M.P.Aff.
ProSocial Democracy, Engaged Education and Quality of Work Life
Our Epochal Age
Our Epochal Age is an Emerging and Unfolding Singularity:
The Anthropocene totalizing modern world is in metamorphosis
We are the unified epic grandeur of two distinctive germinal worlds,
Each liberating, supporting, enriching and advancing the other,
Both together bringing the whole world alive in ever greater flourishing
Our brief moment in time among all living generations—past, present and future
Is the most remarkable singularity in the entire sweep of our evolutionary origins,
Growing and richly proliferating out of our shared sacred mystery, “creatio ex nihilo”
And biological anthropological forming in intimate, close interaction with living creation.
My thesis is that our self-understanding as individual dynamic peoples
Our Genesis beginning the same: creation stories of one great spirit, star, cosmic mind, God
And then every first native modern homo sapiens humane being, social banded community
Inspired of this same “life-giving” spirit or breath of God, a metaphor for now,
Meaning every finite human rightly has a liminal sense of being part of an infinite whole.
This leads to the first spiritual fruits (faiths, cosmologies, eucharistic communion) that
Resonate, affirm and privilege individual dialectical, existential and messianic “I Am” momentums
And relationships with God and one another of a certain self-limiting kind and spirit.
I argue this reflects the “tragic fact” not of the qualitative gap or “krisis threshold” that exists
Between finite humans and infinite God: this is actually the “triumphal fact,”
The paradoxical necessary premise and palpable joy of every faith and ideology,
The impossible “grand miracle,” mystery, truth and sheer goodness
That is the life, light, substance and heart of every divinehumane people
Whether ecclesial, secular, spiritual, natural, realist, idealist, and so on.
No, I argue this tragic fact of self-limiting is born of the ascendancy
And “totalizing hegemonic world” of a second kind of modern humanity,
A distinctive inflection point and change in our evolutionary trajectory.
Our “first” modern humanity—the birth of consciousness—began about 300,000 bce,
And back millions of years more in our sacred kinship and tutelage in all living creation.
But all things changed with the development of a new mind about 40 thousand years ago,
An advent unique in the cosmos heralding the capacity to master destiny, as many say.
This relatively recent neocortical and prefrontal cortex is a Systems II mind,
Executive, organizing, logical, hierarchical, integrating, rational, moral;
And is integrated with the far deeper and longer evolved Systems I mind,
Oceanic creativity, associative, free, instinctive, intuitive, open sensibility and empathy.
This is also the emergence of “behavioral modernity,” e.g., the living “body interwoven publics”
Of social, political, cultural, linguistic and economic life that are this “mind”
And all multiply determining and influencing inner humane being and exterior “body.”
This “mind” is, in effect, at the center of the cosmos and mutually influencing and making
The cosmos, environment, people—reality as it really is—that is making and mirroring it.
In brief, I will show that it is a more robust, relevant and promising interpretive framework
To locate all origin and creation stories in this “second” birth of modern humanity,
And my key thesis, that corresponds with all the other Key Ideas and Images,
Is that they reflect the world as made by this new evolutionary path,
As if all that came before and still present, deeply vitally interwoven was extinct.
This Systems II mind was profoundly increasingly dominant and, in effect, totalizing
And all public life, reality, language, cosmology was a projection and making of this mind.
This is the seminal period and first “post-modern” world beginning 40 thousand years ago That can be understood as the forming of the single fountainhead of all modern disorders:
A vital center and optimal growth imperative that favors dynamic “dialectical” development,
A utilitarian ethos and rationalizing morality that justifies “civilization by dehumanization.”
This affirming but destructive paradoxical nature is a sacred allure of just hierarchy,
Ethics and aesthetics, sciences and faiths that resonate with literary tropes
Of synecdoche or dialectic, the transcendent sense of being part of an eternal whole
Or objective reality, and the immanent taste of this whole within every part of you
And all parts of the identity or ideology one cherishes.
They radiate a sense of joyous whole humane well-being all through the harmonizing
And rhythms of our physiological autonomic living systems.
It is at once emancipatory and liberating but due to a particular confinement and oppression,
And thus, a self-referential, infinite self-learning engagement in liberation that is polarizing and
Threatening to others seeking the same liberation but their one right path, way, life and truth.
Who are closest to if not anointed by God and those at the bottom who are furthest and “subhuman” The ignorant, desperate, suffering and chaotic masses driven by mere survival,
animal appetites and unbridled passions: this imagery conveys what I argue is far more
Than an implicit presumption or unconscious worldview, it is our world, the air we breathe,
It is the “totalizing modern world” tiger we have by the tail and dare not let go
For we have no alternative but can scarcely hold on if we desire to act and commit
And unite to save our world from self-annihilation.
Actually, we do have an alternative: in fact, our epochal age
Is a doubling of all possibilities for flourishing!
My strong faith conviction, with support of a wide panoply of faiths, sciences, humanities and arts, and an expanding body of knowledge and new research frontiers, creative insights and emerging findings, as you can see in the other key ideas and images:
We must and can get outside this totalizing modern world, its recurring problems and crises.
And when we do, there are two worlds already waiting for us,
For our origin story is completely new!
Our epochal age is to embrace this imagery of a binary star system
As the fundamental and ultimate creatio ex nihilo, our shared sacred mystery
Is not of one creator, one star, but two, our eternal God and illimitable Humanity,
Who are so close to one another, that their gravitational interaction, grace and love, and sheer goodness, vitality and creativity causes them to orbit about a common centre of mass, our living creation, our life together!
We are, God and Humanity, You and I,
We are doubling, dialogic, twofold pattern of our interwoven humane being, reality, history and cosmos.
We are individual and social: we rightly embrace our own individual dialectic or messianic,
Dogmatic, systematic, faiths, theologies, sciences and ideologies, and the right of others
To do the same in their own, whether unitive, binary or linguistic;
And we now have the interpretive framework, the capacities, tools, historiography,
Twofold ontology, and the divine and humane expansively inclusive imperatives and welcomes
To embrace our social humane potential and flourishing, our life together
As democratic solidarities, world citizenries, the Spirit of the Internationale, as mobilizing, unifying, engaging and changing our essential ways of being
In and of this world, this beautiful humanity, this good earth, not the one we know separately, Thus, We are already unified and bring the whole world alive,
We just need to know our beatifying and sanctifying, dynamic and evolving anthropology!
Our Epochal Age begins with understanding this far longer evolutionary history,
Where modern disorders i.e., barbaric ideologies of hubris, “just hierarchy” and poverty
That underlie and “optimize” the evils and harm “good and highly developed people” do:
Alienation, exploitation, oppression, exclusion, eugenicide, patriarchy, racism, and
Far too many that are riven in all histories and peoples, bred in our bone, marrow, tissue,
This totalizing modern world crowds out, disappears and vanishes even our imagination,
Our capacity to completely draw upon the oceanic creativity we need to be “outside this total world.” This is the twofold everlasting gospel and good news of our
And this is the purpose of the long evolutionary story I will tell here:
Our moment is metamorphosis for regaining our unified dialogical promise,
And corresponding values like empathy, intimacy, mutuality, spontaneity, playfulness,
A deep joy in being socially connected with others, our humane social being and flourishing,
By liberating and enchanting both these humane minds in concert as equal and extraordinary wholes each participating partners in composing the world together, and realizing the epic grandeur of humanity, creation, history, democratic solidarity and world citizenry.
and its actual “hot presence” and realized utopian principles of charity, hope
And engaged history, courageous
Witness to the Beast, and then:
Everything! All dreams, promises and calls, our minds, imaginations, hearts and souls on fire!
Each and every one of us is a participatory partner, a liminal two-way threshold,
Pouring all that is good, true and living, needed, desired into one another
We are living in our personal and social lives, this whole new way of life and humane being
For this microcosmic concrete social life, our inner being and outer reality, is the very substance
The evidence, the stuff that all larger macro worlds are made of.
For ours is a double synecdoche or dialectic now, we are a dialogic of two:
Our microcosmic world affirms and nourishes our loves, communities, social relational, empathy,
And thus, every micro part is our whole world and this whole world within every part in the same way.
Our macrocosmic whole reality affirms what is individual, sovereign, unitive, our diversity
And thus, this macro individuality is within every part of us in our micro personal worlds too.
In the Spirit of Utopia: “I am! We are! That’s Enough! Now let’s begin again! All is here, and more to come: My Twofold Metamorphosis Writer’s Notebook (still in metamorphosis!) with full details and support for this thesis of our evolutionary anthropological original momentum and promise for this revelatory evolving and emerging coming together of all we need for a new epochal age that is the very opposite of this Anthropocene one: all that we do has an enriching, fulfilling and surpassing germinal impact on not just the earth and climate, but all humanity, every polity, extraordinary individual and beloved community. Let’s call this new epoch “Panocene” where pan simply means everything! We can go everywhere in every direction, every history, every discipline, every encounter, every community, every person, every creature, great and small, and everywhere we go we can privilege both our eternal God and our illimitable humanity, their overflowing grace and love, and discover they are already privileging us too. More to come!