By Dirk C. Fleck.
Like every time at the beginning of a new year, I have the feeling that the cloak of melancholy has been slipped over me by an invisible hand. In these moments I realize what the poet Max Jacob must have meant when he said:
“I weep before you, because I know to what depths you wander. And when you have passed, my tears will not stop flowing.”
I live in Hamburg, where hurricane-force winds, such as we have to register today, are nothing unusual. The battered street trees hold their branches tightly, scraps of plastic stick rattling in the hedges, a bottle trundles across the asphalt. The meadow by the pond elastically balances the heavenly lashes, while the arc lamps rattle their neon bits as if lamenting the end of all that is static. New are the white and blue scraps of cloth whirled into the air from the gutters. Concerned citizens had torn them from their faces to replace them with newer, fresher ones, following the advice of the health authorities. MASK UP AND THROUGH! is the slogan emblazoned on the opposite advertising pillars.
At the moment, there is no one out there. I see a city full of invisible heroes. Whoever stays at home is a hero, says the federal government. And he who denounces his neighbor is what? A superhero! It’s obvious. It is only a question of time when the fascist potential in our society will be so swollen again that we won’t be able to breathe. Not even without a mask. For those who, on the basis of some testimonies from the field of art, would have liked to see Homo sapiens as other than a collection of stupid, compliant creatures, it is time to face the truth.
But wait, there is HOPE! Here’s a story that will hopefully make us confident going into the new year. In the 1990s, the Filipino sociologist, environmental activist and winner of the Alternative Nobel Prize, Nicanor Perlas (70), when asked what he thought of the future of humanity, said: “I’m pessimistic about this century, but very optimistic about the coming one.”
The coming century the man was talking about is now! His optimism owes much to a biological transformation from the animal kingdom, a transformation process that Perlas believes has now taken hold of global civil society. He gave the example of a caterpillar body that pupates. Cells that science calls ‘imago cells’ form in the pupated body. Imago cells are butterfly cells that develop in the caterpillar body and implant the future there. Of course, they are attacked and destroyed by the caterpillar’s immune system as foreign bodies.
But since the caterpillar body is in increasing disintegration, the second generation of imago cells already has it easier. But even they are still attacked by the old system, but at least the invaders now know how to infect the caterpillar’s immune cells so that it produces imago cells itself.
At some point, the previously isolated imago cells join together in clusters and become ‘islands of the future’. Then they begin to network and connect through cellular roads. At the same time, the caterpillar body becomes more and more unstable. Eventually, there comes a moment when the network sends the message to the islands of the future that they are no longer a caterpillar’ From that moment on, things move furiously. It is only a matter of time before a wild cluster of cells grows into a butterfly that finds a completely different reality and has other levels of expression available to it.
Isn’t that beautiful, isn’t that imaginable? I wish us all an inspiring New Year, health, courage and confidence.
Let’s stay truthful!
Thanks to the author for the right to publish the article.
Picture source: su prasert / shutterstock
KenFM strives for a broad spectrum of opinions. Opinion articles and guest contributions do not have to reflect the views of the editorial staff.
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