On the Metamodern “Return” to a Metaphysics of Eros
What is the world?
What is my mind?
Can I really know love?
Can I really know what is out there, what reality actually is?
How do we move humanity forward at this time of great existential crisis?
These are questions Zachary Stein asks in his paper Love in a Time Between Worlds: On the Metamodern “Return” to a Metaphysics of Eros as he turns the reader’s attention towards a metamodern metaphysics, or a new way at looking at reality.
Metamodern being the era of time we are now in where we are aware of the scope of the crises we face together and we are aware of the lack of a powerful cultural narrative.
“The term metamodern is used simply to describe the structure of what is emerging “after postmodernism;” it points out the new personalities, cultures, and theories that are able to critique and integrate the insights of both the modern and the postmodern.”
Metaphysics being the stories we tell about ourselves and about the universe.
“Believe it or not, there are metaphysical systems that survived postmodernism and popped out of the far end of the 1990’s with “truth” and “reality” still intact. These include object-oriented ontology and dialectical critical realism, among others. Metaphysics can be practiced after Kant and Darwin only by theorizing beyond what is thought of as acceptable in postmodernism and late-stage capitalism, as I discuss in the first section below.”
Cosmo-Erotic Humanism, as is expertly detailed in A Return to Eros, by Kristina Kincaid and Marc Gafni, is a species of metamodern metaphysics, or, simply put, we need to embrace telling the most ultimate stories about ourselves, and about the universe. If we don’t do that, we will stay stuck in hyperobject problems, problems that are huge objects, extended over mass space and time, and effecting us all the time, like global climate change, racism and ineffectual politics.
From respecting science as an indispensable form of knowing, to seeing that science is always contextual and truth always tentative; that reality always holds deeper truths, to a systems view of life, to panpsychism, that consciousness is everywhere in the universe and “as real” as matter and space, Stein opens the door for us to personally more deeply enter into these big questions in our own lives and communities.