31/03/2014

Transgressive awareness

We humans say what distinguishes us from other species is awareness: we can realize, in the sense of shed light on something, wanting to watch and question what we see.

W_conscienciatransgresora

The image of the iceberg is interesting in that sense as metaphor: only a part emerges of the water, the conscious part that becomes visible, while the unconscious one, which has a greater mass, stays hidden and holds the visible. Although you do not see it with the naked eye, exists. This image is a suggestive metaphor to show how everything that we don’t see —and perhaps we don’t want to see— continues operating and directing us.

The movie ‘The Matrix’ is a good parable to illustrate what happens when one decides to take consciousness: at any given moment, Neo is confronted with the question of taking the red pill or the blue. Morpheus warns that once you decide on one or the other, there is no turning back. Chooses to take the red. In a later scene, Morpheus shows him the reality of the world of machines and says the famous phrase ‘Welcome to the desert of the real’. And Neo, in front of the desert of the real, would want go back and take the blue. Which by the way, is what happens in ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley, where we are shown a medicated society in order to escape.

Whether we like it or not, the human species have this ability to become aware —and remember— our way of being, doing and acting. Our use of that consciousness can lead us from a state of zombification —in which we just propose something about our lives and we see ourselves as victims of circumstances— to an active use of awareness in which we can question ourselves the life we are living, our real needs, desires and hopes, and that can lead us to make decisions. We went from a life that happens to us a life we lead, to use a buzzword.

It is in this sense that I speak of transgressive awareness. Transgredior from Latin, to go (gradior) beyond (trans), to cross, to exceed. We believe that revolutions are only external, when they can also be internal, and probably starting in this field. We can start our consciousness and begin to decide in our lives, but we also have the option not to run and settling into the ‘this is what you get’.