Ernst Bloch and the perspectival shift

“A rabbi, a real cabalist, once said that in order to establish the Kingdom of Peace it is not enough to destroy everything nor to begin a completely new world. It is only sufficient to move this cup or that stone just a little, and thus everything will change. But this small displacement is so difficult to achieve and its measure is so difficult to find that, with regard to the world, humans are incapable of it and it is thus necessary that the Messiah come.” (1)

[Ernst Bloch]

This quote, for me, sums up perhaps better than anything I have ever read what is really at stake today.

On one hand it lays out the fact that was is truly needed on Planet Earth right now is a perspectival shift, “a transformation in consciousness,” an altering of our collective psychic topology so we can see the world anew. This is what the wise old rabbi means when he says the slightest movement of “a cup or a stone” can change the entire world — the material insignificance points towards a psychic-spiritual transformation.

The second point is the necessity of a “Messiah,” or in the terms of Alain Badiou, “an Event” to open up the possibility in which this perspectival shift can become a material reality. Human beings are spiritually weak and the dire state of the world today confirms that insight one hundred times over. What is needed is the help of a “Messiah” or “an Event” to push us over the edge into a new state of collective being.

  1. Han, Byung-Chul. The Transparency Society (p. 16–17). Stanford University Press. Kindle Edition.

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