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We are disconnected from the future because we are disconnected from ourselves

About 2500 years ago, at the beginning of the so-called Western civilization, Heraclitus warned about the negative consequences for the entire society of those people unable to relate to others because they could not even relate to themselves. Two and a half millennia later, the situation has worsened.

Heraclitus spoke of what he saw in his native Ephesus and in the context of Greek culture. Today, however, the disconnection with oneself, with others, and with the universe (nature) is already global, undoubtedly exported to the whole world by the so-called Western “civilization” and its individualism and narcissism.

As Heraclitus already warned, many people in his time and even more in ours not only do not connect with others, but do not even know that this connection exists. Someone might object that we are always connected with other people, but we are not. We are connected with clients or bosses or employees. We connect with masks, but not with humans.

And then, as Heraclitus said, people think they know simply because they think they know, but in truth they don't know. And since there is no connection with others, much less with true sages, and since they don’t participate in an ecology of practices to get out of ignorance and reach wisdom, the ignorance of ignorance is perpetuated.

This situation affects everyone in society, from children to kings in the time of Heraclitus, and from children to presidents in our time. It is a situation of "living asleep", of never waking up to reality, of being so locked up within oneself that it is believed that this is the whole of reality. 

Or, as Father Richard Rohr says, these are people who never get out of the "first half" of their life, the one in which they depend on others (parents, teachers, priests), so they never get to the "second half" of their life, the one in which they depend on themselves both for their successes and for their mistakes.

That is why, regardless of their chronological age, they never really leave childhood and spend their entire lives trying to solve problems that they will never be able to solve because, as Jung said, you don’t solve your problems: you outgrow them. 

This existential closure and its consequent mental closure are exacerbated in our time when social networks, far from being instruments of connection, are mostly "echo chambers" where we only listen and see what reinforces what we already believe. And the same happens with the media, which no longer share news, but only stories that "sell".

How do you get out of that situation, out of that confinement? It has been said that there are only two ways to change our thinking: an open mind or a broken heart. Yet it appears that not even a global pandemic opens minds or breaks hearts. In fact, in many cases, minds are willingly closed, and hearts harden.

There is no future for closed minds, only a hellish, Sisyphean repetition of the present. 

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