The first book published by Marie Cachet, Le Besoin d’Impossible, is a multiform work in its implications, but despite this it can be defined as a whole as a purely philosophical work. In this article I will not write a typical review, I plan instead to outline and expose the issues that have mostly caught my attention – to put it in the most modest way – during the study of the book (yes, it requires to be studied and not merely read…).
Let’s start from an assumption that, although discussed and deepened by the author in another context, is essential for a thorough understanding of the work that concerns us now: the modern European man – biologically speaking – is a slightly hybridized Neanderthal man (actually, every modern human being is a more or less hybridized creature, but since I am a European I will refer, when necessary, only to the European species). However, what does this have to do with questions of philosophical nature? According to Marie Cachet one of the consequences of this hybridization, even after its stabilization, was the birth of a metaphysical vertigo/despair, a disharmony of the mind (here is to be found, perhaps, the cause of the birth of consciousness?) that manifested itself simultaneously with the dramatic transition to a temporal (and thus finite) perception of the Universe. A real “fall” that took us far from the possibility of fathom and living the concepts of eternity (intended as the atemporal point that we call instant) and infinity (intended as spatial infinity).
At that point, however, our ancestors (as well as us today) tried instinctively, unconsciously and obsessively to compensate this metaphysical despair without being overwhelmed by the “terror of time”: an explosion of human dynamism, individual and collective, led progressively to the birth and development of civilizations, arts, sciences, spiritualities, religions and philosophies, all attempts to recreate the lost harmony of the mind and extend one’s personality beyond the boundaries of the biological duration of the existence, in an attempt to forge a sort of simulated eternity (the need for the impossible, as suggested by the title of the book).
Examples of materialization of the collective genetic memory of a people, in an attempt to be remembered in time:
Examples of materialization of the genetic memory of an individual, the sculptor, in an attempt to be remembered in time:
Therefore, according to Marie Cachet, every external creation as well as all forms of teaching are the manifestation of a deep necessity of the human beings, namely the selfish need to go beyond the yoke of time, beyond the finitude, so as to preserve themselves in time, through other people, symbolic containers of our self, potential reincarnations of our self. Artistic creations and teachings are therefore a means to conquer eternity and defeat the illusion of a finite time. We project our self in the future, through a real or imaginary reincarnation (I refer you to the prehistoric ritual of reincarnation described in detail by Madame Cachet in another context), which in turn will transmit in the future the essence of our self, in an eventual endless chain.
An essential distinction that emerges during the reading is that between the individuals conscious of their metaphysical despair (active and subjective individuals) and the vast majority of those who are not aware of it (passive and objective individuals), which unconsciously suffer the consequences of this disharmony. The religions (especially the organized religions) and the spiritualities that give us dogmatic and established metaphysical responses, the daily repetitiveness, the social conventions and all the entertainment we create in our societies are, although we do not realise it, tools that distract us and allow us to flee from the metaphysical anguish inherent in us, from the sacred terror that we experience in front of the mystery of the universe and of life. Only by getting rid of all this – especially of what provides us metaphysical answers – and through boredom, certain men will fall into the metaphysical despair and will find their authentic self (through the manifestation of the memories of our previous lives, memories engraved and latent in our blood), their true essence, undergoing a sort of “awakening”: achieved this superior spiritual and mental state, a deep impulse will force them to find their subjective responses to the fundamental dilemmas of the world and of life.
What about you? You dare to face the metaphysical abyss?
As I have previously explained, these are just some of the issues discussed in this book (a unique work of its kind), the ones that most involved me: ultimately, I urge you to read it and give shape to your personal opinion.