Human commitment and technological development
In the last century, the energies of a large part of humanity have been oriented and committed to achieving an unprecedented technological development, which has produced and continues to produce ever more perfect, elaborate and efficient machines, systems and devices. All technologically advanced societies are today organized – both under an economical and political profile, by now inextricably linked – in order to use the huge human resources and the limited natural resources of the planet (which technology allows us to exploit more and more intensely) to increase this type of development based on the creation and production of tangible and intangible assets. Technological progress first of all makes the life of the organism less precarious, more comfortable and more satisfactory, by creating – through the easy availability of goods and services – the environmental conditions that make it possible for a longer duration of human life, in health conditions that are undoubtedly better than in the past. Furthermore, the development of technology now makes it possible to satisfy most of the psychic needs relating to social life, entertainment and leisure, facilitating remote interpersonal communications, traveling and virtual emotional experiences. Even in terms of creativity and the spreading of knowledge, tools such as computers and the digital transmission of data through interconnection networks offer us today unprecedented advantages compared to even a recent past. It cannot therefore be denied that technological progress constitutes an event of fundamental importance, which has opened a new era in the history of humankind.
The creative, organizational, technical and manufacturing activities which are the basis of the production of technological goods require complex and advanced cultural programs, able to determine a functioning of sufficiently integrated and collaborative individuals – within the organized system of which they are part – which allows to get the required results by making the most (and not infrequently the maximum) of the available human energies: today, the organized labor system represents the foundation on which the most technologically advanced societies are based. The placement of a person into the work system occurs with greater or lesser difficulty, depending on the demands and offers of the system, the level of preparation and resources available to the individual, and the psychic dynamics to which the person's Ego is subject as a reaction to what is required of it. In principle, the underlying motive that drives most people to look for a job, adapting as much as possible to the responsibility, commitment and possible stress that that job entails, is constituted by the need to earn a living for themselves and possibly for their children. Those who already have a sufficient income can avoid working, and if they want, they can devote themselves to activities that stimulate their interest without the results of these activities having to face the economic needs imposed by the work system. What can be empirically observed is that some people are passionate about their work and willingly devote their energies to it to get the results they desire or are required of them, while other people react to the energetic commitment and dedication that their role requires with a more or less pronounced sense of suffering, evidently determined by their psychic dynamics.
In the field of quality technological productions, it is necessary to have particularly qualified, motivated, attentive and interested human resources in the performance of their duties: the technological product must in fact pass a verification test of its validity, proving to function well for an adequate period of time, to be usable and suitable for the purposes for which it was made, and to present those requirements of aesthetic and functional quality that can make it more pleasant and attractive than other similar products. In this respect, those who carry out a purely intellectual activity, such as the artist, the scientist, the religious, the philosopher or the politician, while being subject to the verification of the effects of their own activities in relation to the objectives they set for themselves, do not have to face the same difficulties involved by the creation of advanced technological products such as an airplane or a computer. It is true that technological production is based on the functioning of complex organizations – made up of hundreds or thousands people – which transform and improve over time to adapt to the needs of the products to be made, but it is also true that often the foundations of these organizations have been built thanks to the resources, commitment and intuition of one or a few persons, who have been able to attract other people gifted with organizational qualities to form the initial nuclei of those companies that have then successfully developed. It can be concluded that every human functions on the basis of the resources at their disposal, and that what is difficult or impossible for a person – as a consequence of what the psychic attunements to which she is subject make her feel – is much easier. and, so to speak, natural for a person subject to different psychic attunements.
The commitment of those who devote themselves to this concrete activity of making, in particular in the field of the production of technological assets, must therefore be recognized the dignity and importance that derive from corresponding to collective needs deriving from the condition of human life. However, admiration for technological progress cannot be uncritically extended to all its aspects: a part of it is dedicated to the production of weapons, and on the whole the production processes consume resources and create waste, dross and scrap to be disposed of, to an ever more consistent extent and at a pace that is incompatible with the natural equilibrium of our planet. The fact that technological progress satisfies many needs deriving from the human condition, and therefore always of psychic origin, does not mean that it per se also involves a spiritual progress of humankind. If it is true that the current technological communication systems allow an easy, intense and immediate exchange of information and knowledge, it is also true that the bipolar character of the psyche is manifested in any case in the way in which these resources are used. Furthermore, the production system needs huge qualified human resources, that is, people whose skills and energies are devoted towards the achievement of concrete results: consequently it tends to discourage the pursuit of different objectives, especially if these objectives can slow down or hinder the results it needs. In fact, it should be remembered that technological production is also based on a largely competitive system, established on the achievement of optimal results in the shortest possible time, with an inevitable intensive use of human resources.
Technical progress seen from the Spirit dimension
As long as we examine the events of human life in terms of the needs produced by the plurality of our organisms and the ways in which they interact, we must recognize the dominance of the human psyche in determining the dynamics of the historical evolution of humankind. By living, the Ego experiences the psyche's dynamics in which it is involved and records the reactions with which its sensitivity responds to life events. Obviously, these reactions are largely determined by the functioning of the organism to which the Ego is linked, but the essence of human life is precisely this bond. If we then take into account the huge amount of human beings who live on our planet today, their diversity and the complexity of their interactions, we understand how the human psyche remains a mysterious phenomenon, unfathomable and difficult to control due to our limited intellectual resources. If we are satisfied in considering this life as a series of events that are self-justifying by the mere fact that they occur, without any meaningful interpretation of them being given, then we must recognize the absolute domination of the human psyche in determining our mental dynamics, and the behaviors, actions and interactions that follow. Since we can empirically ascertain the changes and transformations in collective psychic dynamics that occur with the passage of time, we rely – not without a certain dose of naivety – on the hope of an evolutionary process intrinsic to the human psyche itself, which determines a better future than the present for the plurality of living humans. It is commonly believed that technological progress, with the huge commitment of human resources and the amount of energy and materials it requires, plays a fundamental role in improving the living conditions of humankind.
It is not difficult to observe how even our technological progress – as a manifestation of the human psyche – shows contradictory aspects, which are becoming quite evident in our time: life becomes more and more complex, its rhythms more hectic and stressful, the production systems must be defended at all costs because it guarantees the survival of the millions of people who make it function, while products must be purchased, used, consumed and disposed of on a large scale, with inevitable repercussions on the environmental balance. Therefore social programs must condition people so that they uncritically adapt their behaviors, their desires and their very way of thinking to the needs of the production system: in fact, if the latter were to go into crisis, the very organic survival of many millions of individuals would be at risk, given that the dizzying growth of the human population that has occurred since 1900 has been made possible precisely by technological development. Above all, today we begin to perceive with greater clarity the limits of technological development and the risks it entails, and this perception confuses the very ruling classes of our social systems: once again, the energy of the human psyche shows its intrinsic bipolar character. Even from the point of view of the supposed greater happiness and interest in life that technological progress should offer, it can be seen how many people, even young, whose organism is easily given everything it needs to live, then find reasons of dissatisfaction, uncertainty and existential crisis due to what is perceived as a temporary, useless and meaningless organic existence.
Like all the changes that have occurred in the history of mankind, technological development too opens up new perspectives and entails new problems to be solved: however, one can already see right now how naive and illusory the hope was – nurtured especially in the last century – that progress of science and technology would led to a marked increase in human happiness. Psychic dynamics continue, as always, to influence the sensitivity of the Ego, who – in some respects – becomes even weaker and more vulnerable in its dependence on the psyche, in mass societies such as those in which we live, dominated by conditioning programs inevitably aimed at supporting and defending the production system. An alternative point of view on the human condition – in relation to the meaning and importance of our activities – can be empirically derived from the reports on NDEs: since these are actually lived experiences, which had a profound impact on the conscious Ego of the experiencers, they offer us the opportunity to take a look at our engagement in the activities of this world from the Spirit's separate dimension. It is evident that the separation between the spiritual dimension and that of organic life is so sharp that all the concerns and commitment with which we face human life and the problems deriving from the survival of our organism and its well-being automatically lose their importance and meaning in the Spirit dimension. However, the fact that the Ego becomes aware of its existence in the realm of human life, and above all the determination with which it is sent back into organic life – even against its will – after having experienced the spiritual dimension, seem to imply a form of interest and involvement on the part of the Spirit, at least in relation to how the Ego will react once subject to the dynamics of the human psyche.
In most NDEs, the Spirit is regarded as a form of energy, often referred to as infinite, absolute and unconditional love that pervades every aspect of the universe: NDErs, however, clarify that the term love is used by them for lack of a better word, given that the the energy they have had direct experience of is something ineffable, of which love – in the various aspects in which we experience it in our human dimension – represents only a pale reflection. In the Spirit dimension, the experiencer's Ego feels pervaded by a certain amount of that energy, which continues to show its effects even when the Ego is once again connected to its organism and is forced to live in the human dimension. This seems to be the main cause of the transformation of the Ego, whose orientation towards life is often changed, even in a remarkable way, as a consequence of the experience lived in the Spirit dimension. In most cases the Ego feels the need to support its own process of spiritual evolution, offering other human beings the genuine testimony of its own experience in the Spirit dimension, and showing a strong empathy and participation in the life experiences of others, especially when such experiences involve suffering or existential distress for the other's Ego. Sometimes the Ego also feels the inclination to commit itself in the path of knowledge, attributing to this term the philosophical purpose of searching for the meaning, correlation and importance of the various aspects of universal existence, without limiting it only to the fields – although very important – recognized and covered by mainstream science, made to all intents and purposes institutional.
In the Spirit dimension, technological progress – and the human commitment it requires – is never referred to as something fundamental for human evolution: indeed, it is as if this process that takes place over time, and to which we attach so much importance, were to lose its meaning in the face of the universal timelessness, pervaded by a feeling of eternity, that many NDErs have experienced in the spiritual dimension. As we have seen, it seems that the Spirit's energy manifests itself in terms of absolute love and knowledge, the latter meant as a sort of cosmic wisdom thanks to which every aspect of the universe is certainly clear and understandable. When the conscious Ego returns to the dimension of this organic life, while carrying with it the memory of what it was able to experience in the Spirit dimension and at least a small dose of the energy with which it was pervaded, it often finds it difficult to adapt again to the dynamics imposed by the human psyche: the difference between the two dimensions is too sharp, and the resources available to the Ego are too small to be able to face – let's say on an equal footing – the dominance of the psychic energy. Therefore, it does not seem very convincing the hypothesis that the Spirit wants to use the weak resources entrusted to the conscious Ego of a still small percentage of humans, to substantially modify the conditions of organic life in favor of an existence less conditioned by the psyche's bipolar energy. For this process to be successful, a much greater dose of spiritual energy would be required. Let's not forget that a process of this kind has already occurred in various forms in the history of humankind, also in our culture, for example with the spread and affirmation of the spiritual faith of a Christian matrix, with the consequent disinterest in a large part of the needs of organic life and the interpretation of this existence as a vehicle for the transfer of the conscious Ego (the soul) into the Spirit dimension.
When the human psyche assimilates experiences that belong to a dimension so different from that of organic life, the resulting interpretation produces poor or ambivalent results: in the past, when faith in what was interpreted as divine power was much more intense and widespread than what is today in our culture, in facing the various misfortunes that afflicted humanity people appealed to the intervention of spiritual entities with more or less elaborate rituals and with genuine fervor, with sometimes derisory, sometimes ambiguous and often overrated results. If it is true that the conscious Ego has a spiritual matrix, to which the demanding task of experiencing the dimension of organic life – by acting as an intermediary between two dimensions – is assigned, it is also true that the Spirit does not intervene to directly deal with the energy of the human psyche: even if, as we have seen, there are examples of direct intervention by spiritual entities and energies, these events remain limited to reduced and marginal areas, and can be interpreted more as an exception than a rule. Scientific knowledge and the consequent technological progress originated from the observation that humans could rely, at least in part, on their own intellectual, intuitive and rational resources, in order to better understand and control what happens in the dimension of our organic life, rather than relying on the direct intervention of divine and supernatural entities, as the psyche itself had previously suggested. And indeed the living conditions of the most advanced part of humankind have clearly improved, at least as regards the needs of the organism. If these conditions of life are able to leave enough free time and energy for the Ego to devote to its own spiritual evolution, it depends only on the Ego to decide if and how much it wants to commit itself to this process.
The fact is that in our days the demands of human energies by the productive system are often exorbitant, while the time and energy available to the conscious Ego for the purposes that interest it are increasingly reduced. Inevitably, then, the lack of resources prevents the Ego from embarking on a path of spiritual evolution, and consequently even the little free time and residual energies are almost always devoted to those recreational activities – presented by the human psyche and by the programs it promotes as opportunities for recreation and enjoyment – which prevent a greater commitment to the Ego's spiritual needs. Of course, there are always people who are an exception, because – despite everything – their Ego cannot escape an intense inner attraction coming from the call (or the confused memory) of the Spirit dimension. Anyway, it seems – again on the basis of what is revealed to us by many of those who have experienced the Spirit dimension – that every human life has an intrinsic meaning, independent of those evaluations in terms of good and evil that are to be attributed to the bipolar character of the human psyche, and which therefore vanish in the light of the Spirit's absolute energy. It remains to understand, at least for us who are still involved in the experience of organic life, what is the relationship between the level of evolution reached by the spiritual counterpart of our Ego and the way in which the Ego orients itself in facing the psychic dynamics in which it is involved in the course of human life: one gets the impression that the Spirit leaves the Ego with the task of seeking a satisfactory answer to this question in full autonomy, precisely because it is the Ego that must face the challenge of confronting the human psyche through the management of its organism.
The future of humankind
In the limited time of our human life, that is, in that relatively short period that goes from the birth to the death of our organism, the conscious Ego almost always feels an intense involvement in the complex events of the history of humankind, a phenomenon which must be recognized as having its own reality and evolution. Beyond the more or less precise information that each of us can obtain about what happens in the human world during our life, we can know the past of humankind, that is, the events that occurred before our birth, in the forms in which human psyche – through the cultural programs that it determines, more or less adequate to the research and ascertainment of the reality of events – allows us to do so. Currently, the methodological bases on which historical research in our culture is established give us sufficient reliability at least as regards the reality of the ascertained events, while many uncertainties remain about their interpretation (but this also applies to contemporary events). However, as regards the future of humankind we can only rely on our conjectures or our intuitive imagination, also in the light of our hopes in relation to a phenomenon with which we have been more or less intensely associated during the time of our life. When our organism definitively ceases to function, the conscious Ego separates itself from the reality of this world (at least according to what many NDErs report to us), yet we cannot reasonably think that this reality does not continue to exist in its own dimension: the idea that the reality of what exists depends exclusively on one's own consciousness is arbitrary and groundless, as it attributes to a single individual fragment of consciousness the power to know everything that exists. Already in this dimension, the consciousness of us humans does not have the slightest idea of what happens in other worlds, belonging to star systems other than ours.
Although humankind is made up of many individual lives, each with a limited duration that can reach at most a century (or a little more), the interactions and connections between these lives form a continuous flow, which develops and is oriented on the basis of the tensions created by the human psyche. The way in which the conscious Ego experiences this flow can show remarkable differences between one individual and another, determined not only by personal destiny, but also by the time and geographical location in which the individual life takes place. In our age, however, we have reached a level of development and transmission of information that allows us at least to imagine a future for humanity as a whole, also because the current significant migratory flows force different cultures to interact and transform themselves, with still very uncertain results, to be experienced and evaluated. Yet the conscious Ego, after having been more or less intensely involved in the history of humankind, and having felt an even passionate interest in its possible orientations and development opportunities (as is well known to anyone who has engaged in politics or a social activity driven by an ideal), separates from it, possibly returning to the Spirit dimension. It is understandable how in the spiritual dimension human events, characterized by the bipolarity of the psyche's energy, lose meaning and interest: if this were not the case, the Ego would continue to feel the concern and displeasure deriving from its empathic participation in the tribulations and sufferings caused to humans by the psyche's negative polarity. However, a residual interest in the affairs of mankind could be one of the reasons that drive the spiritual Ego to accept to directly experience a new human life, after having sufficiently rested and recovered its energies in the Spirit dimension.
The difference between two dimensions so different from each other, such as that of the Spirit and that of our organic life, can give rise to a naive interpretation, coming from our psyche, that leads us to consider the experiences of this life as a mere illusion: indeed their temporary and impermanent character can make them appear so once the conscious Ego has definitively moved into the Spirit dimension, but as long as we are connected to our organism's life – and consequently subject to the flow of time – it does not seem sensible to me to give up on drawing a meaning from the experiences of this life, unless they are so unpleasant and unbearable to the Ego, to make it prefer that they end as soon as possible. If human life did not have its own reality and its own meaning, even in relation to the evolution of our spiritual component, it is difficult to understand why the Ego should abandon the comfortable Spirit dimension, in which it feels at home, to deal with the human psyche (very often ending up identifying with it): perhaps out of a spirit of adventure, or of the desire to explore and know? In any case, I think it is more reasonable to recognize humankind its autonomous existence, and a continuation of its history in its own dimension, even when the conscious Ego leaves the flow of human life to return to the Spirit dimension, in which time has very different features from those we experience in this life. At the same time – precisely considering the condition of the Ego's submission to the human psyche – we cannot recognize as meaningful for the Ego the fact of functioning as an automaton for a limited period of time, at the service of an exclusively human process, on the project and the purpose of which the psyche offers only confused and contradictory information. Such a life can only make sense if we believe that the Spirit anyhow values it, as it seems can be inferred from the accounts of many NDE. This would mean that each Ego, by the mere fact of living, always tries to do its best, given the circumstances and according to its own resources.
In any case, humankind remains constituted by a plurality of conscious Egos, linked to individual organisms, which interact with each other in the context of organized groups in which the life of each organism is strongly dependent on that of the others: everyone function in such a way as to accomplish the task assigned to them, or try to advantage themselves by illegally using the energies and assets of others, or to survive as best as they can, relying on the benevolence of their fellowmen. However, there remains a fundamental separation between the life experiences of each conscious Ego, determined by the fact that the individual organisms are clearly separated from each other, without one being able to truly merge with the other. This separation is amplified by the bipolar character of the human psyche, and by the Ego's identification with the psychic dynamics deriving from the needs of its own organism, whose life depends on other organisms and at the same time tries to take some advantage of competing with them. Consequently, human affairs are still characterized by division, competition and conflict between large social groups, as well as by territoriality, meant as the possession of territories and exploitation of their resources by one or the other social group, and by the wide availability of human resources that can be easily conditioned and used by those who have the psychic requisites needed to conquer and manage power, in one form or another. It is therefore probable that, for many centuries to come, the future of humankind will continue to be characterized by the same contradictions, injustices, conflicts and other dramatic events, which we can find both in the recent past and in our current time, in which anyway we have enjoyed – at least we Westerners – an unusually long period of peace and economic growth.
As I have already said, there is always a moment in which the conscious Ego – after having used the intellectual resources at its disposal to the best of its abilities – must recognize the existence of a field of reality the knowledge of which, at least for now, it cannot further deepen. Both this world, with all the forms of life that have evolved in it, as well as the history of mankind, in all its complex sociocultural aspects, are part of this reality, that belongs to that dimension that the Ego experiences by living through its own body. However, we can assert with sufficient certainty that the conscious Ego can experience forms of existence belonging to different dimensions, in which it feels completely free from the constraints of its own organism, and on whose reality it does not harbor the slightest doubt, to the point of perceiving that alternative reality as more real than that of the dimension in which we normally live as humans. Of course, the splitting of consciousness into a wide plurality of individual and separate subjects, each associated with a different organism whose afffairs greatly influence personal destiny, causes the single conscious Ego – bound to its own organism – to rely only on the range of experiences it can have direct access to: however, this is a condition that can radically change, especially when the life of the organism is at risk. In fact, in the Spirit dimension, the Ego – while continuing to maintain its own conscious individuality – feels that it is part of a flow of cosmic consciousness that puts it in direct communication with other consciences, in the context of an essentially unitary phenomenon in which those barriers and obstacles that characterize and limit our experiences during organic life are no longer present. It is obviously a condition – difficult, and perhaps impossible, to explain in an understandable way if it has not been directly experienced – radically different from that, in which we find ourselves in the course of this life, on which the power of the human psyche is based.
In the dimension of human life every form of experience on the part of the conscious Ego manifests itself as an expression of the psyche – both in the positive and in the negative aspects of its bipolarity – and therefore the same Spirit is interpreted (and transformed) in the light of the needs that the psyche imposes on the Ego. Only once the conscious Ego has managed to return to the Spirit dimension will it be able to fully understand the implications and the meaning of this transit in the dimension of organic life: asking oneself such a question during this life means naively addressing the psyche – perhaps appealing to its positive polarity – to obtain an explanation that obviously goes far beyond the psyche itself. It is no coincidence that the clear, indubitable and comprehensive knowledge gained in the Spirit dimension by many NDErs is more or less completely forgotten once the Ego is again connected to its own organism, and is therefore forced to confront itself again with the psyche's activity. The most important effect determined by the NDEs on human life is precisely that of relativizing the importance that the Ego attributes to this life, therefore reducing the power exerted by the psyche on the conscious Ego. On the other hand, as a whole, humankind anyway remains subject to the human psyche, if only because it must take into account the needs of organic life through which it can continue its historical path. We do not have sufficient knowledge elements to know if this path will continue in the wake of the past, as it has happened up to now, or if at some point in the future – perceived in the human meaning related to the unidirectional flowing of time – a substantial change will occur.
The psyche's bipolar character, as it has manifested itself up to now in the course of human history, offers us no guarantee of an autonomous evolution that will be able to definitively overcome the tension between the two poles: our hope that all humans can agree to live harmoniously and in concord, just as the psyche's positive polarity leads us to imagine the future, is continually contradicted and hindered by the divisions between human groups, their competitions and the resulting conflict situations. Furthermore, the psyche's negative polarity always draws energy from the jeopardies deriving from the vulnerability of individual human organisms, complex and wonderful – but at the same time imperfect – instruments, whose functioning plays a fundamental role in determining the psychic dynamics that involve and ensnare the conscious Ego. Based on the reports of many NDEs, it seems that the spiritual Ego is assigned a task which – once the Ego has returned to the dimension of organic life – is interpreted, not without some difficulty, in psychic terms, almost always in the form of loving one's neighbor and orientation towards a lifestyle that takes into account the needs of the spirit. This new orientation is felt by the conscious Ego as being determined by a supporting energy source, which it did not have access to prior to its experience in the Spirit dimension. So it is as if, as a result of the NDEs, some drops of spiritual energy were introduced into the energy of the human psyche, diluting in it and exerting a strengthening effect on its positive polarity. Anyway, these drops of spiritual energy, however numerous, limit their effect to the personal sphere of those who have directly experienced the Spirit dimension and who, consequently, feel a very relative interest in human life, nay, often they look forward to its end, to be able to return to that dimension of which they feel an intense homesickness: there are cases of suicide attempts determined precisely by the desire of the conscious Ego to return as soon as possible to what it feels to be its true home.
If the Spirit has really assigned to the Ego the task of confronting the human psyche, in order to get the psyche to evolve in a spiritual sense, one gets the impression that it is a very difficult undertaking, which can only be endured with the certainty that this life has an end, and that death will free the Ego from the weight of the sacrifice that has been imposed on it. We must not forget, in fact, that the psyche's negative polarity reacts with the resources at its disposal – not to be underestimated – to the imbalance that may occur in the tension between the two poles. An example of the effects of this reaction is given precisely by the ease with which the idea has been spread and is still defended, that the conscious Ego will forever cease to exist with brain death and, consequently, any search for meaning (or lack of meaning) of human life must be limited to the context of the same. It is probable that the spread of information on the NDEs represents a reaction of the psyche's positive polarity to the sense of annihilation and worthlessness of the Ego, reduced to the role of a human automaton by the cultural programs determined by the negative polarity. However, we humans are not able to understand what is the relationship between two energies as different as the Spirt's unipolar one and the psyche's bipolar one: attributing to the Spirit a full control over the human psyche would mean, for the conscious Ego, to recognize and accept that the bipolarity of the psyche's energy is wanted precisely by the Spirit to allow the Ego to train and test itself in the gym of this life, which therefore would remain conformed to the needs of development of the Ego and would reflect the level of spiritual evolution achieved by the average of all living people.