People Who Are Up to their Knees in Soil

Alienation is the metaphor for the relation between body and soul: a repressive disappearance of the soul.
Franco “Bifo” Berardi, “The Soul at Work: From Alienation to Autonomy”

Imagine a person who is occupied only with one thing – making a living, either because he is too poor or because he is too rich (hooked on his money so much that he can think only about multiplying it). For both the “material” side of life is what life is all about. For the poor it is so because only “survival” separates him from death, for the rich because he is unconsciously fusing “survival” with multiplying money/property – he is multiplying his survival (his survival chances). He is by his identity a survival multiplier (SM) or a multiple survivor (MS).

It is these people, be they the poor (forced into “surviving”) or the rich (obsessed with money as a means for multiple surviving), whom I am calling the people who exist too heavily (who are drowned in their existence), who are in earth up to their knees (some to their waist, some even to their chin or even to their nostrils).

According to human nature it is not suppose to be like this – survival and succeeding in survival or even in multiple survival cannot be the ultimate horizon of human life. Our ancestors found (invented) spirits, heaven, angels, and gods. People learned about the past, dreamed about the future, tried to foresee it in their narrations and futuristic ideas. People invented mythology, religion, history, various arts, philosophy, and humanistic (liberal) science. Arts got rich histories of their own, and so did philosophy and theology. People discovered cultural perspectives – they learned how to settle in a larger world than the one of physical existence. They became spiritually curious, culturally awakened, and belonging not only to the time span of their own physical life but to the human species, life and the world in general.

But in certain epochs there is degradation in the scope of human life – when the human being becomes solely the size of its physical self, becomes identical with its daily routine of survival. In terms of individual psychology and countries’ orientation it means proclivity for predatory behavior, which we observe today in invented wars, the financial collapses and the disastrous oil-spills and oil-hemorrhages. But in cultural and historical terms it means despotic domination of the present tense over the historical past and future. People for whom “surplus-survival” (multiple survival) is an obsessive drive, a symptom of their psychological degradation, neglect the historical past (by taking their ancestors and their deeds idolatrously – outside history, like a kind of eternal present) and are prone to project into the future their physical survival as it is understood during their life span (examples are Nazi Germany aggrandizing itself into Third Reich, Soviet Union with its future Communist Paradise or American/Bushmerican global economic and military ambitions to dominate Planet Earth.

Instead of planning the future as existentially different from the present, instead of imagining it as an improved version of life in comparison with the present, people project their narrow (reduced into a survival) picture of living into the life of future generations. They colonize the future with their primitive and narrow minded image of what it means to survive “today”. So, the leading Nazi dreamed that their empire will continue to conquer the Earth for a thousand years, the Soviet Communist planners pictured a Communist planet under the Soviet leadership, and so the American/ Bushmerican conservative decision-makers plan remapping the Earth according to their economic agenda and political interests.

But what a miserable and anti-spiritual way to live a life – to be satisfied just with survival! It means to stop to be a human being, to be transformed into mutants. Rich multiple survivors are like a truck stalled on an icy or muddy road, or a body that only consists of a digestive tract, like you find in intestinal worms. Human beings are not created just to succeed in survival; they got some existential intelligence which they are free to train and to develop. But today in US the humanistic education is melting like the ice caps of Antarctica. Entertainment including violent video games triumphs over disinterested thinking about life. After being spent surviving or extra-surviving people dive into the boiling pool of consumption/entertainment. Rich grow money like obese grow fats. “Perhaps the answer is that it is necessary to slow down, finally giving up economic fanaticism and…rethink the true meaning of the word “wealth”. Wealthy does not mean a person who owns a lot, but refers to someone who has enough time to enjoy what nature and human collaboration put within everyone’s reach.” (Franco “Bifo” Berardi, “The Soul at Work [From Alienation to Autonomy]”, 2009, Semiotext[e], p.169.)

Reducing human life into survival/success fever is an irrational obsession. Obsessive drives are not capable to “slow down” and “to rethink” its actions. They will continue to blindly forge ahead to satisfy themselves even if the price is the destruction of life. It is like mice in experiment who will continuously press the lever to get the sweet syrup coming and they can’t stop until they fall sick and die. Psychotic obsessions including globalist artificial pathological hunger for profit and power need urgent spiritual healing.