If we examine human development, it becomes clear that it stemmed entirely from our desire. Time after time, man desired more and more. Long ago we had small desires, like simple village folk: a few cows, a small piece of land to grow food to eat, a spouse and kids, and that was quite enough. The desire was small.
Then the desire began to grow. It pushed us to start selling our goods at the marketplace and in cities. And in return, we began to buy fine clothing and some special items that we didn’t have before. Man arrives in the city, sees some miracle machine for cultivating land, and begins to work even more diligently to acquire it. Or he borrows money from someone to first buy the machine and then returns the loan after he sells the harvest which is larger thanks to this machine. So we begin to develop and establish increasingly tighter bonds between us. Our ego grows and pushes us to develop.
This is the usual story of humanity based entirely on man’s developing desire: We want more and more, but why? Our desire grows. I don’t know why, but suddenly I feel that I want something more, and then more and more. I look at others and I see that everybody aspires to something. And I follow their lead because inside me there’s envy, lust, ambition, and the thirst to rule. I am interested in buying from them things that are useful to me, but I don’t want to be below them. After all, I have an ego of my own, and I don’t want to feel like I’m losing. I want to win!
If we consider human development in this vein, we’ll see that this is what drew us forward. We were always looking around us and learning from others. There were some among us with an active imagination capable of inventing and innovating technology, economics, medicine, and everything that could be used to benefit humanity and fulfill our desires. This is how we developed.
When the time came, we waged wars, conquered new territories and nations. Then the time came to discover new continents, develop technology and commerce. Then we went out into outer space and continued developing, until we found ourselves at a dead end. This is something humanity began to feel around 50-60 years ago.
Starting in the 1960s, intelligent people, engaged in the study of the environment, society, and the process mankind was undergoing, began to warn us that we have come to a dead end and were simply continuing to march in place. Something happened to us, and we could no longer see where to continue developing.
At the time, the space program allowed us to forget about it somewhat. But even the space program ended quickly. So what if we fly around the globe one more time, or fly to the moon again; we’ve done all that already, so what’s next? We’ve seen that it doesn’t help us much; all these things are on the still level, not even vegetative or animate. And we failed to locate any alien civilizations despite our hopes and dreams of finding intelligent life elsewhere.
And here is where we arrive at emptiness. We’ve developed to a point where we’ve got nowhere else to go; we don’t see any future prospects. Our inner nature, as well as the external nature, meaning the world that we feel around us, no longer opens itself for us. Whatever we’ve got, that’s it, and nothing more. And then the people that discovered this, such as sociologists and philosophers (Fukuyama and others) began to warn us and write many books about it, calling it the end of humanity. On the other hand, other scientists claimed that the world develops cyclically.
“Talks About a New Reality,” Talk 1, 12.27.2011