Becoming Human

Whenever we talk about Human Beings, we make a linguistic mistake about the nature of human existence. We like to pretend that humans are these static entities without  change. Even Freud thought that once we hit 30 our ability for self-maturation and self-actualization ceased to be. We now implicitly accept our faults as being out of control, because they’ve been destined by  our parents, our schools etc. We live in this psychological-deterministic framework. This is the problem. I’m going to introduce the concept of “Humans Becoming” as opposed to humans being. We are not static entities paralyzed by cultural determinism, in as much that we are bound by culture, but can change its knots. No one just “be’s” we become new things as our world changes and the social forces around us change.

 

I recently had the pleasure of reading Notes From the Underground  By Dostoevsky. The book has a series of characters who either acquiesce to life, or try to revolt against it by just doing the opposite of what the common person would do. If we want free-will, we can never choose option A because everyone else is doing it, or B because everyone else is doing the anti-thesis. When in doubt you should pick the option that fits you own self-created schema, the web of ideas that have come to shape your youness. Human’s becoming is within that act. It’s the idea that the thoughts you have and the acts you take are always in flux, changing. 

 

We are not passive beings following a full-blown determinist narrative. Maybe on a grand scale it is true, but we have the choice to always put our culture over our biology, and our habitus in relation to either. Habitus is extremely briefly, a concept that demonstrates the interplay between Structure (whether cultural or biologic) and Agency, our ability to act is a reflection of that. You have the choice to acquiesce or you can rise above it, and create a new worldview, a paradigm shift in your own consciousness.

 

Humans Becoming recognizes our ability to change. I will say though that this ability to change is prefaced on 1 thing: awareness. You have to be aware of your world, aware of the interplay in every conversation you have. You can only change the game if you know you are playing one. You have the power to change your world, just as much as it does to change you. 

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