Celestial vagabonds of the Internet
One of the stellar subjects in the ideas of the global village is the quest of a living that makes sense, even if life doesn’t make sense, just like the French writer André Malraux responded to general de Gaulle’s question.
People are tired of the traditional visions of the world. These visions have been uprooted from their mysterious origins that called for a personal plenitude in the unity with everything. Traditional logic, Cartesian thinking and schools of philosophy and economy are worn out outside of their usage as tools, from where they shouldn’t have left to become metaphysical.
Paradoxical logic, the principle of uncertainty, quantum physics, genetic engineering and the revolution in biology transform our imagination, which shocks with the communication revolutions.
Nicholas Negroponte, a well-known analyst, speaks of a counterculture that emerges from the digital landscape. “Digital technology can be a natural force that attracts people towards a greater global harmony.”
The famous sociologist, Philippe Breton, highlights the points that connect the worship of the Internet and the counter-cultural movement of the sixties that sparked the student revolts. The search for alternative proposals that the beat generation and the hippie movement sought emerges once again. Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Alan Warts, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary, Gary Snyder and Neal Cassady are not completely dead.
We can recognize a continuity between the underground movement and the Internet, Breton says, in the rupture with the world (dropout), spiritual trips in an appropriated Oriental style, life in communities, a profound desire for equality and the proximity to a culture of no-violence and solidarity.
But instead of following a specific revolutionary utopia that disappointed many people, they prefer a counter-cultural utopia of a libertarian tradition that did not completely break free from the best liberalism, assuming the great non-Marxist challenge, which had become a categorical imperative.
Kerouac’s celestial vagabonds navigate through the highways of communication of a world they dislike and of which they extract the technical advances, naturally.
“The discovery, through personal experience, that other states of perception exist is revolutionary; it changes life because it changes the vision of the world. The discovery of how relative reality is and of the existence of states that are different to being awake or dreaming is an intellectual revolution of this century; a mental revolution that can be compared to the one Copernicus led, only that this is even more important because it can change human life and the relationship between men and nature. Reality is no longer this state, imposed as the only valid one by rationalism and mechanic science; reality is relative: different realities that are qualitatively different from one another like dreaming and being awake exist,” said the famous writer Luis Racionero.
Maybe we need to reestablish Eleusis’s mysteries so that they accompany us into our inner trip because neither religion nor psychiatry understand anything and they don’t even have a language to speak properly.
Mircea Eliade, the most prominent historian in matters of religion said, “I am sure that the future forms of religious experience will be completely different from the ones we already know in Christianity, Judaism and Islam, which are fossilized, impaired and empty of meaning. There will be other expressions. The great surprise is always the freedom of spirit and its creativity.”
If religion is the attempt of an answer to the meaning of existence, it is possible to talk about the end of religions outside of popular levels where they sooth the bundle of existence. With Chuangtzu we will be able to remember that just like the night starts at noon, it will be possible to light the new world that it conceals in its bosom.
Carlos Gª Fajardo
Translated by Carlos Miguélez
This article was published in the Center of Collaborations for Solidarity (CCS) on 04/11/2005