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02/25/2024

Space Odyssey of Humanity – Introduction

Space Odyssey of Humanity – Introduction

By Ljubodrag Simonovic, Belgrade, Serbia *

The work before the reader is an attempt to shape the self-awareness of modern man as a cosmic being endeavoring to create a humane world and thus a humane cosmos. The only genuine happening in the universe is the happening of man. Man, being a creative and historical being, represents a cosmic novum, and as such, a unique and unrepeatable cosmic being. With the emergence of human society, a new cosmic quality arose: the humane world. Love, freedom, creativity, faith, beauty, imagination… emerged in the universe. The conquest of space is only seemingly a technical process. Man’s growing as a human being is the true way in which man “conquers” the universe. Earth is a cosmic beacon radiating with libertarian and life-creating light. The creation of a humane world and, consequently, the creation of a humane universe, is the highest expression of human freedom and it gives true meaning to man’s cosmic existence.

                   The self-awareness of man as an emancipated cosmic being should be based on the truth that each man is a self-sovereign individual and, as such, a unique and unrepeatable cosmic  being. Since man is a social being, he can exist as a cosmic being only as an organic part of humanity. A man without humanity is a futile being. Just as there can be no humanity without people, there can be no people without humanity. Humans are cosmic brothers.

                    Gods and cosmic forces are not the ones who created man. Theories based on religious mysticism and mechanistic materialism negate man as a unique and unrepeatable cosmic being. What constitutes the uniqueness and unrepeatability of man at a cosmic scale is that man is a historical being. Man is not what he is, but rather what, as a libertarian and creative being, he can be. The ability of man to grow as a human being is his most crucial cosmic quality. Historicity is the characteristic of human civilization that makes it specific and unique at a cosmic scale. In its historical development, human society has undergone qualitative leaps. Just as man is not what he is but what he can be, so human society is not what it is but what it can be. The essence of the “fourth dimension” lies in the fact that humanity is capable of creating a new world. This is the source of true progress.

                    The time in which humanity lives out its existence has a historical nature. This is what constitutes its specific quality. It is a life-creating time, not only in an existential sense but also in an essential sense. The quality of man as a unique cosmic being lies in the fact that he is not only capable of actualizing the life-creating potentials of matter and cosmic processes, but also of actualizing the life-creating potentials of the world in which he lives. Creating new life by creating a new world, which signifies the historical nature of man as a life-creating being and thus the historicity of life-creativeness, makes man a unique cosmic being. The essence of immortality is not in the “revival of the dead” but in the actualizing of the life-creating potentials of humanity and nature. The essence of immortality is life-creativeness.

                   The quality of historical time is measured by the world’s becoming a humane world, which means man’s growing as a human being. A good illustration is the child. The quality of the time of a child’s life is measured by its becoming a man – whether it has developed those abilities that make it human: whether it can move, speak and sing, think and form its own judgments; whether it is a self-aware creative individual; whether it experiences other people as human beings; whether it is capable of taking responsibility for its actions and its life…

                   Humanity needs to once again return to the historical path, which means that man must once again become a self-aware and emancipated historical being. This should be the basis for our relationship towards the past, as well as towards the emancipatory legacy of civil society. History did not unfold based on mechanistic or naturalistic determinism, but on the confrontation of possible alternatives for development. Man not only chooses between possible alternatives for development but also creates new alternatives. These are evident today in view of the new and fatal “alternative” created by capitalism: the destruction of life on Earth.

                    Capitalism is the greatest and most real threat to humanity. It has transformed the creative powers of man into destructive forces that can annihilate humanity in the blink of an eye. At the same time, in the hands of the ruling order, science and technology have become a means to instill fear of a “cosmic catastrophe,” concealing the growing existential danger created by capitalism as a totalitarian order of destruction. In this context, increasingly dramatic climate changes are emerging, foreshadowing the demise of life on Earth. The fundamental condition for the preservation of life on Earth is not the advancement of technology but the creation of a humane world. Essence has become the fundamental condition for existence. Humanity must dismantle capitalism, while the creative powers of man should become life-creating powers. Naturalization of nature and humanization of man as a natural being have become the most crucial existential challenges.

                  The relationship of man towards the cosmos is an indicator of his relationship towards himself and other people, as well as towards the world and the future. Humanism is the only true cosmic ideal and should, as such, be the foundation of man’s relationship towards the universe. A humane relationship towards other people and the Earth is a fundamental prerequisite for establishing a humane relationship towards the universe. Man’s relationship towards the universe should validate the truth that man is a humane being. In this context, man should strive to enrich nature as his living environment and cosmic habitat. Instead of serving the capitalist destruction of life, natural laws, in the form of technology, should serve man’s goal of humanizing the world and nature. By creating a humane world on Earth, man creates a humane cosmos.

                   The idea of the genuine is the foundation upon which the man’s growing as a human being is based, and on this basis, the world’s growing into a humane world. Wisdom grounded in the idea of the genuine and in the dialectical mind has become not only the fundamental libertarian but also the existential principle. This involves a critical relation towards mechanistic materialism and logical empiricism, cosmological esotericism, science fiction that makes no distinction between utopian and utopistic, cosmological romanticism with a mythological character, religious mysticism, and more. It is no longer about creating theories and, in this context, “great philosophies,” but about a thought that enables humanity to create a humane world and thus prevent the destruction of life on Earth.

                   The only genuine time is the time in which man loves and is loved. Everything else is an illusion. Love among people is the creator of true time and thereby the true history of humanity. If man ever loses the ability to love, which means if he ever loses the need for other people, he will cease to be human. Without the need for others, man will lose the need that characterizes all living beings — the need to live. Life will not only become meaningless but impossible. Only together with other people can man survive as man and prevent the destruction of life on Earth. Today, militant sociability has become the authentic sociability. It implies not only the fight to preserve life on Earth but also the fight to create a humane world.

                   Time and space are not a given. The most crucial quality of space and time lies in their liberating and life-creating potentials. The space where man lives has a historical nature, and thus a symbolic and visionary character. The universe by itself has a mechanical rather than a historical nature. There is no freedom in it; everything is based on mechanistic determinism. In the universe there is no future. The future is only possible as a product of the creative practice of humans who have acquired libertarian and historical self-awareness. The future is created by realizing the life-creating potentials of nature and society – through the life-creating practice of humans as creative and visionary beings.  This is what distinguishes historical from mechanical time. Capitalism destroys the very possibility of a humane future. The capitalist “future” boils down to transforming the Earth into a technically perfected concentration camp. This is the purpose of the “conquest of space.”

                    Man cannot reach his true cosmic essence as an abstract cosmic being but as a concrete earthly being. Earth is the cosmic habitat of man, providing him the opportunity to soar into the future. It is not a flight through time but a flight measured by historical criteria. Humanity is at the very beginning of its cosmic odyssey. The idea of eternity needs to be brought back from the cosmic expanse to Earth. The planet Earth is the only possible cosmic home for man. Earth has existed for five billion years in the same cosmic conditions it experiences today. Humanity has survived cosmic and earthly cataclysms when it had no means to counteract them. With the development of science and technology, humanity has gained new insights into the universe and an ability of having an active relationship with it, which can help ensure its survival. Ahead of humanity lie millions of years of life on Earth.

                   Man must be born anew. He needs to soar, like a contemporary Phoenix, from the ashes of capitalist nothingness into the future. Vision of the future should be based on life-creating optimism, meaning on the creative powers of man and his faith in fellow human beings. Creative power is something that cannot be taken away from man, but if devoid of humanity, it inevitably turns into destructive power. It is not the development of technology but the creation of a humane world that is the fundamental condition for preserving life on Earth. To liberate humanity from the ecocidal and genocidal capitalist barbarism and to create a world of free people living in unity with nature – that is a fateful task that lies before humanity.

Translated from Serbian by Igor Barjaktarevic, Translation supervisor Vanja Zakanji

* Lubodrag Simonovic (72) was a member of the Yugoslav national basketball team, which won the world championship in 1970. Several times he played for the national team along with Sergei and Alexander Belov. He was a participant in the Olympic Games in Munich. In protest against the cover-up of a doping scam with Puerto Rico, he left the Games, after which he was expelled from the national team. The author is a Master of Laws and a Doctor of Philosophy. He has published ten books in the fields of philosophy, sociology and historiography. His texts have been translated into English, Russian, Italian, Spanish, Turkish. He taught at domestic and foreign universities. He is married and has three children and six grandchildren. Simonovic lives in Belgrade. 

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