An excellent controlled exposition or perhaps explosion!
To me as an ardent arguer for the serpent’s endowments of both legacy and individuality there is only choosing what’s been chosen- the inequality- the loaded dice.
Then art, and what individuality implies, the junction of present, past and future written in a malleable script. No utopias, no remedies for all intentions distort and deny the supremacy of the unique.
I enjoyed reading this piece.
I suppose a key positive addendum I would add to the piece is to say that individual striving toward the good is still absolutely the purpose of existence, to strive bit by bit toward the overcoming of natural cruelty and into a situation of grace. The main argument of the piece, and one I find hard to refute, is that this will not happen on a mass scale. Many individuals will produce a better world by pursuing the good in the details of their lives, but a societal upheaval tending toward the good is extremely and profoundly unlikely to happen.
Everywhere, since “God is dead”, we see the demise of meta-narrative, the end of the big unifying idea, and the beginning of fragmentation under the stable theme of impersonal capital. Unless impersonal capital can be overthrown, no big idea will be bigger than it.
I am not sure I believe in big ideas. They have not done much in the recent past centuries! Or rather they have far too much!
Ideas ( like Chardin’s like Ghandi’s) find ways in which to fit the individual within a pattern he/she recognises although they might leave us lonely. Lonely and responsible for ourselves.
Could it be that your pessimism about the unlikelihood of the mass scale requires an acceptance of the innate and great scale of the distinctions between mental abilities and of appetites? Fr so long the ‘oughtness’ of acceptable socialism has condemned the recognition that the Soul’s code is hardly written or perhaps hardly legible for many? Very non PC but he PC has served no one, merely fogged the arguments.
I attempt an idea by redefining God, but also a suspicion that the fragmentation reflects not evidence for nihilism but the birth of dissolution towards a unification that is not an idea but a collective destiny? The anguish I believe is the opposition and fear of just that swallowing cataract so that the insistence on materialism, on Jihad, on supremacy, on success is the clutching at the grass handholds to stay the inevitable.
Against which other ideas are pretty powerless. The state of grace has always been an individual gift or ascent, and such do tend to repay it with creative gifts and guidance.
The curmudgeon in me says, “yep … no massive flip on any event horizon I can see”, but a bit farther in (or deeper down?) or, say, a bit more intensely I sense there’s something afoot. Like you, I have more than a soft spot for esoterica, like Christian Hermeticism (the Meditations on the Tarot is a treasure trove of lore and unexpected food for thought and contemplation) and my travels in those realms have made it utterly clear to me that the only person you have any hope of ever changing is yourself. Amusingly, some people work on it almost obsessively their entire adult life and you’d never know they were working at all, and others metamorphorize practically before our eyes without any warning at all. And here is one, and there is one, and there is another, and there are countless others I’ll never ever see, and one day, “things” simply tip. Would we know? Who would notice? Could we be sure?
Of course, everyone hopes then that things will be better, but I think the only thing we can be sure of is that they’ll be different. At first it will most likely not even be noticed, but many will suspect, and it take a painfully long time to confirm that a mutation has occurred, but it will become increasingly clear that there will be no going back either.
You know, you might enjoy reading Gebser’s The Ever-present Origin. It’s dense, to be sure, but if if you enjoyed Tomberg, that shouldn’t be a issue.
" A map without Utopia on it is not worth looking at."-Oscar Wilde.