The Essence of Society

Certificate of “Truth”

When you smile at someone they smile back: Society is a house of mirrors. Our psyche has a mirror nature, which determines education, morality and culture. We copy when we learn, we copy what we like, we copy as we see – and, in order to save energy, our mind leaves it all behind the limit of our consciousness. Whoever we meet, all we can see in others are our own traits: exaggerated, fascinating and sometimes similar. Whatever we see we are only aware of the properties we have already saw: the reflections of previous experience. Whatever we do was already done by someone else in a similar way: the new is transcendental to human society. The mirror nature is our gift and our curse. Here is the source of society and  its boundary.

To a certain extent society saves us from necessity of matter with its cold, ignorance and darkness, but delivers instead the necessity of group, where individual is bounded by the net of  mutual reflections. When different reflection coincide we usually call it “truth”. The more reflections are similar the higher is the “truth’s” status. Culture is a net of reflections – as much as are science, religion and law. Being skeletons and integral parts of society, these nets transform an elementary collection of individuals into coordinated community, transform multitude into organism. As it stands in our previous article, we call such net mirror structures mythologies.

Mythologies are mental means of existence for communities. Within the groups mythologies possess a power to certificate “truth”, for “truth” is not an abstract category, but a social one. The main property of mythology is dynamism; being varied from member to member, it is constantly changing by occasionally capturing their individual drives. Everything, which is nourished by mythology, is also dynamic. These are truth, morality, religion, science, philosophy, way of life, customs, language, fashion, behavior, art and favourite kinds of sport. There is not a realm of society which would not be covered by mythology.

 I Am Thought, Therefore I Am

 With the help of society we become what we are. A personal ambition is a wish, but a collective one is a need. However, whatever we do we do not consciously consider it to be done for the sake of society. The real creation can only appear through ego, and the most beneficial property of society – its unconsciousness. Only keeping us in the illusion that we are independant, that we are “I”, can society maintain our creative power. Creation is transcendental towards society : this is a moment when a drop breaks out of the ocean.

But the tragedy of a drop is that it always belongs to the ocean. Society is a springboard, which allows for the ancient and egoistic self to fly away into space of creativity. Temporarily. The flight is most likely a leap. We consider the eastern societies to be more sociocentric, for their credo is  “I am the group”. The extreme libertarian individualism of westerners, represented by e. g. Ayn Rand, can only reach its extremum in “The group is I”.

These are social mythologies, which certificate the “truth” of individuals both subjectively and objectively. Our personal subjective image – is a reflection of the other selves, and we are only truly alive until we are reflected. I am thought, therefore I am. The only reason why we need our achievements to be acknowledged by others is that such acknowledgement is the only way for ourselves to be certain. Only in the mirror of mythology can we make ourselves out. Oh, cunning mirror, the instrument of deceit and of verity!


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