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The world has changed. What are we being transformed into?

There are almost no doubts the world has changed, and we are living in a world different from the one we used to live, and we considered as “normal” and “familiar”. We entered a new epoch and, therefore, we have more questions than certainties. One of those questions is: What are we being transformed into?

The question about the transformation (metamorphosis) of humankind into something different of what we are now is as old as humanity itself. Two millennia ago, Ovid wrote about that and a century ago Kafka wrote about the same topic. Yet, one of the most interesting analysis of human transformation, its causes and its consequences, is the one written by Lucius Apuleius.

Apuleius live 1800 years ago. He called his book Transformations. In his book, Apuleius (who studied philosophy, law, and religion) tells the story of a man (perhaps himself) who, due to his lack of morality, is transformed into a donkey, but without losing his awareness of being human.

The man in the story wanted to become an eagle to be near his lover, but a mistake in the spell turned him into a donkey. And he was treated as such: loaded beyond his strength, abused, persecuted. Even worst, he knew he was a human being. Yet, he was unable to let others know who he really was.

Eventually, he sent a silent prayer to the gods asking for help and a goddess decided to help the man. Thanks to the goddess, the man turned into a human again, but he was not the same as he was before. He was a transformed human and he had trouble readjusting to his new life and dealing with “normal” humans.

So, the book is about a man who turns into a donkey (because of a human mistake) and then the donkey turns back into a human (because of divine intervention). However, he is always fully aware of being human.

That was 1800 years ago, a time when people knew they could lose their humanity at any given moment (due to other humans) and they could regain their humanity with the help of the gods.

We live at a different time. If we lose our humanity, we also lose our consciousness of being human. We will not remember we were once human. And it seems unlikely we will call the divinity to transform us into transformed humans.

So, what are we turning into? Perhaps we are turning into donkeys, into brutes with no human consciousness used as tools for the benefit of the worst kinds of humans. We are not talking about a physical transformation, but about a psychological, mental, and spiritual transformation. We have become good for nothing monstrosities, to paraphrase Kafka.

Perhaps that’s irreversible. Perhaps the social field of negativity finally won and from now on will act without rivals or alternatives. Or perhaps there is still some forgotten divinity waiting to hear a silent prayer and willing to helping us to stop being too human.

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