Imagine a place we’ll call “Paragonia” because it represents the paragon of human societies, a model of excellence and a peerless example. And, since paragon literally means a whetstone, along which you sharpen a dull blade, think of Paragonia as a tool by which we can sharpen our own dull social systems.
But distinguish Paragonia from Utopia, since utopia (another word with roots in Greek) means not a good (eu-) place, but no (u-) place, a Never-Never land of mere imagination (specifically the imagination of Renaissance humanist Sir Thomas More in 1516).
Rather, our imagined Paragonia is a proto-reality, a vision of how things might and ought to be—like the blueprint of a unique building not yet constructed, or a new spacecraft, not yet flown.
While the potential repertoire of human behavior is very wide, culture serves to limit and govern which behaviors will actually be expressed in any society. Therefore, if we aim to alter certain harmful behaviors in groups of people, then we must design and institute apt adjustments in culture—in customs and mores.
The point of imagining Paragonia, therefore, is to conceive of human behaviors more salutary than those now prevailing and then to reprogram our attitudes and actions accordingly, altering outmoded and obnoxious lifeways.
Although to imagine Paragonia is a speculative and visionary project, it aims to be not merely fanciful but practical: to serve as an inspiration and a guide to the development on Earth of “advanced” societal systems, cultures, customs and practices—our ways of being human.
IN PARAGONIA . . .
Descartes’ ruling delusion has finally dissipated from the minds of many scientists, who now recognize the limited applicability of the materialist premise for describing the operations of the universe.
Granted that immense credit goes to the theorizing of Descartes, Newton and other reductive scientists who have limited their attention to the mechanistic dimensions of matter and energy, mass and force, thereby establishing properties and laws of physics—to the exclusion of metaphysics, discarded as superstitious and unreal.
But now the “ghost in the machine” has returned, not to haunt us but to liberate us from the Flatland of two-dimensional consciousness, devoid of spirit/mind. The Cosmos has been re-enchanted and now not only says but sings.