header photo

Project Vision 21

Transforming lives, renewing minds, cocreating the future

Blog Search

Blog Archive


There are currently no blog comments.

It's time to leave behind our childhood, both personal and global

In the third paragraph of her story Transformation, Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein and The Last Man) aptly describes a personal and social situation that, almost two centuries after its original publication in 1831, continues to affect us in our time: immaturity, both at a personal level and at a global level.

Shelley puts the following thought into the mouth of the narrator of the story: "Happy time! when to the young heart the narrow-bounded universe enchains our physical energies." According to Shelley, this happiness is because, at that crucial moment in life, that is, in our childhood, “innocence and happiness are united”.

After that childhood stage, when as adults we must assume the responsibilities of adulthood and, therefore, we must face life in the best possible way, that small world expands and, with that expansion, fears, problems, setbacks, anxieties, and pain arrive. And, in our time, loneliness and depression too.

Perhaps for this reason, many people prefer a narrow universe or, rather, their own narrow universe, to which they chain all their physical and psychological forces, considering themselves the kings and rulers of that ghost world that only exists in their imagination, "protecting" that world with extreme individualism and narcissism.

They are people whom Father Richard Rohr aptly describes in his highly commendable book Falling Upwards as incapable, for whatever reason, of reaching the "second half" of life, that is, of beginning to live as who they really are. and can become, and no longer based on the teachings, beliefs, doctrines, customs, and traditions imposed in childhood.

From very different perspectives and in very different contexts, both Shelley and Rohr pose a situation already analyzed in antiquity (Ovid, Apuleius) and in modern times (Kafka): the moment of transformation, of metamorphosis, inevitably arrives. Life flows, time passes and there is not a single moment in which we have not changed.

But, although the transformation is inevitable, that does not mean that it is accepted. In fact, when the caterpillar begins its own metamorphosis, the caterpillar activates its antibodies as if it were fighting a disease. But the caterpillar is not sick, but only undergoing a normal and natural process of transformation into a butterfly.

We humans have our own way of rejecting transformation and refusing to accept metamorphosis. For example, we uncritically accept everything that we were taught in our childhood and consider it the only and definitive truth, thus excluding from our lives, minds, and hearts everything that agrees with that (supposed) “truth”.

In other words, we cling to a narrow universe, a small and dwarfed world, which is constantly getting smaller and smaller. That jacket that dressed us as a child has now become a straitjacket. That is why, as Shelley rightly points out, we unnecessarily live crazy and miserable lives.

In Ovid’s Metamorphosis, August becomes divine. In Apuleius’ book, the protagonist recovers his sanity. In Shelley’s book, he learns his lesson. In Kafka’s Metamorphosis (our time), he turns into an ugly insect. Please, draw your own conclusion. 

Go Back