Monday, January 30, 2012

Utopian by Nature

It’s very difficult for me to imagine a world without people who dream, who have a vision of what they would like to see. I can’t think of anyone who would say, “We’ve arrived at a perfect existence, so let’s retain it.” There are always things that are distressing and that we think could be bettered, so we imagine improvements. That impulse has not died out, and if it ever does, I don’t think we’ll have human beings on earth any longer. We’ll have some other form of life, which I can’t imagine. - Fritzie P. Manuel

By Jessica Roemischer

Human beings, by nature, are Utopian. We dream and we hope, and since the dawn of civilization, we have conjured notions of an ideal and perfect existence. From the bucolic realms of the Garden of Eden to Plato’s republic of philosopher-kings, from the island paradise of Thomas More’s Utopia to the libertarian collectives of nineteenth-century America to the counterculture communes of the 1960s, the ways in which utopia has been envisioned have changed dramatically over time. But whatever forms they have taken, Utopian ideals have helped drive forward an unfolding process of reinvention, a process whereby humankind has sought, through vision and experimentation, a new and better life. Indeed, Utopian visions, and the social experiments they inspired, are a product of our most freely creative faculty, the human imagination. They are an expression of the universal impulse to create the new - to reshape culture and even consciousness itself.

From an Enlighten Next editorial
Image source unknown but greatly appreciated