We are engaged in a struggle over the meaning, the narrative, the very definition of reality itself — and not just the reality of the world outside of us, but the reality of the individual, of what it means to be human.
On the one hand, it is an ideological struggle over the reality narrative; over the individual and collective psychological and mental structures we can call the world. On the other hand, it is a physical struggle over the actual levers of the socio-cultural, political, and economic institutions — but most significantly, over the informational and technological apparatus, and the emerging bio-technologies that have the power to construct and reshape human identity, the human experience, and the human being itself.
Of course, this construction process and the attending struggle have been long running. But it is different now. Since the birth of civilization, language, socialization, and education have been shaping and reshaping the word and the individual. Without society, man is but a feral child. — That is not to say that we are simply a construction; rather, what we tend to call our self is a dynamic and ongoing co-creation taking place between the world and a more fundamental self. This fundamental or transcendental witness is much more than its social avatar; it is what is fundamentally real, and to which society is simply a collective appendage.
But while the world is necessary for the emergence of the human being, it also has the power to eclipse man — either through the totalitarian subjugation of the self, or through the much more ominous prospect of an abominable conversion of the self into something it did not want to be (and deprived of any recollection of not wanting it). To escape the totalizing potential of the world, one must transcend it. To become man, one must first be birthed into society, and then birthed again unto himself. Yet this is becoming increasingly difficult, for such a world with the power to centralize, override, and replace the effects and processes of evolution, socialization, and cognition is being made all the more possible through our technological advances informed by our neuro-psychological insights and managed by our informational systems.
But it is not the totalizing conversion of the self that is necessarily to be avoided. Our self of today differs greatly from our forest ancestors, even from the self of 100 years ago. In fact, we seem to be driven along by an evolutionary impulse towards an Omega point. It is transformation we want, but a transformation that reveals us, not that alters us.
This struggle over the physical and conceptual processes of world construction looms over us all the more dauntingly as our reality becomes more and more unstable under the weight of parallel physical and psycho-spiritual emergencies — a crisis that could easily erupt into chaos. Principally, this crisis has an emergent quality — driven by the spirit of the age — but mixed in as well with a manufactured neurosis driven by misguided and nefarious intentions.
It is not that all intentional crises are misguided at best — just as not all emergent crises lead to a spiritual emergence — but whereas the hero seeks out crisis and instigates this struggle within himself (even though he may not survive the confrontation), the power-hungry, would-be demiurge imposes crisis on others for the purpose of self-aggrandisement and control. Be the hero.
This war of the worlds is not something to be avoided at all costs. To get to a new world, we must go through the dying of the old; and death is often attended by chaos and confusion. But in all this, our transcendental self is on a journey to the truest expression of itself. From the mineral, to the plant, to the animal, spirit has roamed; but in man, spirit has found its temple, its home. The struggle culminates in the marriage of the mortal and immortality.