Friday, February 2, 2007

The Last Man Project

Friedrich Nietzsche, the eccentrically-mustachioed 1800's philosopher, wrote of many things related to the human condition in the context of all things, including more famously the concept of the Übermensch and its antithesis the Last Man.

An Übermensch (Over-man) is essentially a "superhuman", or "trans-human"; one who has creatively overcome the dilemma of nihilism in order to achieve a state beyond mere man.

A Last Man, on the other hand, is a weak-willed individual who, tired of life and jaded by disappointment, has settled to accept comfort and security as the pillars of a normal existence.

Although I do not completely comply with the description of Nietzsche's Übermensch as my own idea of what a fully realized individual is, I can definitely relate to his idea of a "complete person" as well as his dilemma of the Last Man.

In modern 1st World societies, we are more or less all Last Men. Held against our truest standards, even the best of us fall short of our original capacities to love, feel, think, and act. We've all heard the statistic which claims that the average person uses less than 10% of their brain's full capacity. And what about our emotional and volitional capacities as well? I don't know about the rest of you, but I think it can be so much better than this--and by this I imply what has become the accepted standard of what it means to be a good person and to live a worthwhile life.

Despite my definite want to live the life of a greater purpose and experience the beautiful danger of a revolutionary existence, I find myself intricately ensnared by the tangled barbs of the common-place world. And I want out!

For the past few years, since the idea of a higher life first began to appeal to me, I've implemented many failed inventions to help hold myself accountable to my better intentions. And though there have been a few ephemeral occassions where I had actually managed to get some genuine momentum going, inevitably I was always pulled away from lasting progress by various self-created and socially-pressured temptations and distractions. And so, I am still a Last Man despite my extreme want for a truer life and my many attempts to make it so.

Perhaps soon approaching what will be the climax of my young adult life (being just on the verge of career, family, establishing my niche, etc.) I feel as though if I had any hope of breaking through, now would be the time to do so. Otherwise, I fear I might end up a forty-year-old groggy-faced never-has-been, wondering if he had ever even had a chance. Determined to not let this happen, I've decided to take a less "fleetingly inspirational" approach to transformation--one which in the past has entailed a short burst of enthusiasm followed by a torpid collapse back into old habits and ways--and to instead embark on my path to self-transcendence through a more professional method, by means of a thoroughly crafted "game plan".

So I am devising a program--one which will extend over thirty-year amd sixty-year courses, but that also divides into shorter five-year, one-year, and three-month periods. I will create the program from both a practical and spiritual stance, with neither position embraced at the expense of the other. I'm calling it "The Last Man Project". The program will entail specific regimens, goals, tasks, and standards that are gradually realized over the course of the endeavor-at-large. This will include aspects designed to develop my creative acumen, receptiveness to beauty, intellectual measure, and capacity for love. The ultimate end is to have achieved the existence of a "realized individual", one who fully embodies their interpretation of what is a life lived to its fullest potential.

My teachers will be various thinkers and doers who I have come to respect for their deeper awareness with regards to both the art and the science of life:

- Sun Myung Moon
- Friedrich Nietzsche
- Carl Jung
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
- Aldous Huxley
- Buddha
- Confucious
- Socrates
- Joseph Campbell
-Jean-Paul Sartre
-many others

I'm beginning first with a three-and-a-half-month preparation period which serves as a kind of "warm-up exercise" in order to get my body, mind, and soul prepared for the actual program which will launch officially May 17th.

I'll be creating a website soon which will have a more in-depth explanation of "The Last Man Project" as a whole, including its purpose and design. I will also be creating another blog in conjuction to the website that's purpose is to track my daily progress.

I know this may seem presumptuous to some of you. I mean, who am I to assume myself capabable to live a better existence, and to assume that such a better existence exists? I guess the bottomline is that I believe we are all cabaple of realizing our total potential as creative, loving, and accomplished beings. I hope that if I am succesful in this endeavor then it will serve as evidence that if even an average guy like me, with a million and one things against him, can do something like this, then perhaps such a feat is more manageable than we've realized.


Jen said...

can't wait to hear more about this project

grace gunawan said...

you, and only you alone, are the one capable of pushing your own self towards the boundary or limitations set by human kind. going against the odds, you have my full support.. hehehe :)

Chris said...

An excellent entry, that has spurred more questions than answers, for you and myself. I know I will be re-reading this. Excellent work, my friend.

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May Terry said...

I have a suggestion. Contract a terminal illness, but one that gives you some time to get some clarity on what you want and how you can become the best person you can be. It's working for me. But not painlessly, of course.

Good luck.