Between the Superhuman and the Inhuman Four
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It may be doubtful whether a call of the superhuman is perceptible among present-day humanity, so preoccupied with its ‘standard of living’, its security and its comfort. If in this respect one must have recourse to Nietzsche, is not the figure of the Last Man essential? ‘The earth has become small, and upon it hops the Last Man, who makes everything small [. . .]. “We have invented happiness”, say the last Men with a wink.’ 1

It will also be argued, on another level, that it is not the divine but the superhuman that solicits man. Can man find the dimension of Transcendence in himself? We cannot provide an answer to this question of principle within the framework of this limited work, which explores neither the metaphysical dimension nor that of faith. Remaining at the level of a critical reflection on the evolution of the present-day world, we must state – if only to lament it – that we live (as Malraux said) in the first ‘atheistic civilization’, understood as a technician civilization that, as such, no longer knows anything sacred and does not ascribe a supreme value to itself other than its own efficiency. What a contrast between this absence of a universally shared Transcendence and the constant communication of so-called primitive humanity with the divine powers that succour or threaten it! On the other hand, what is radically

missing from our modernity is ‘the absolute space of the myth that is identical to the irreducible essence of the gods’.2