Mumford on ourselves and the world

I was reading Mumford back in 1974 while ostensibly engaged in running in the Democratic congressional primary. What a misfit between my inner and outer lives! Yet what I was reading did apply, it’s just that I couldn’t figure out how to apply it. I knew more than I could express, and I could express more than I could yet embody. My instincts for truth were good, but as yet I had no way to live what I was beginning to know.

From Lewis Mumford, Interpretations and Forecasts, p 444:

To be on friendly terms with every part of mankind, one must be on equally friendly terms with every part of oneself; and to do justice to the formative elements in world culture, which give it greater significance and promise than any earlier stage in man’s history, one must nourish the formative elements in the human self, with even fuller energies than axial men applied to this task. In brief, one cannot create a unified world with partial, fragmentary, arrested selves which by their very nature’ must either produce aggressive conflict or regressive isolation. Nothing less than a concept of the whole man — and of man achieving a consciousness of the cosmic and historical — is capable of doing justice to every type of personality, every mode of culture, every human potential. At this point a further human transformation, so far not approached by any recorded culture, may well take place.

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