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‘Overcoming Humanity’ for Sustaining Our Presence on Earth


The over[hu]man is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: The over[hu]man shall be the meaning of the earth! […]
Once sin against God was the greatest sin; but God died, and with him these sinners. To sin against the earth is now the most terrible sin, and to revere the entrails of the unknowable higher than the meaning of the earth! […]
I love those who do not first seek a reason beyond the stars for going down and being sacrifices, but sacrifice themselves to the earth, that the earth of the over[hu]man may someday arrive. […]
I love him who works and invents, that he may build a house for the over[hu]man, and prepare for him earth, animal, and plant: for thus he seeks his own down-going. […]
I love him who justifies those people of the future, and redeems those of the past: for he is willing to perish by those of the present.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche (Prologue 3, 4)

As it’s well know, the Übermensch, or the Overhuman allegory is both a keen and, in many ways, misunderstood philosophical treatise conceived by Nietzsche. It is not my intention to dive into further details on this complex, thorough and controversial elucidation (being specially carefully with the misconceptions it entails). However, I do want to point out I personally have been touched by a meaningful realization on this matter throughout the sum of the entire Gaia Education’s program, as well as my involvement with The Systems View of Life. Therefore, as I see it, approaching a sustainable human presence on Earth has to do with conceiving an Overhuman state.

From my big picture perspective, the philosopher claims the great-human shall be a possibility inasmuch as humankind being able to overcome the old paradigms and accept life as it essentially is, in other words, in defeating the fictions posed by those ideological mechanisms that control societies, arguably one of the main purposes of Gaia Education. Furthermore, the Overhuman’s conception is also abundant in ecological allusions that endorse the necessity of shifting the crux towards ecology. Indeed, I link these specific Nietzsche’s notions to the Harari’s neat idea (again) on the Ecological Armageddon (Read both Sapiens and Homo Deus) which is by no means a fiction but an overwhelming reality. It’s other of the most important goals here in this program, if not the most. Thus, I can maintain this depicted Overhuman is the genuine condition we’re looking for, the chance of transcending far from the alienation of traditional values imposed by the prevailing western global culture. In this way, such great-human criterion bears the need of a ‘counterculture’ fostered by a new educational approach sustained by ecoliteracy, the pursuing of Gaia Education and the reason why I’m enrolled in.

With respect to some of the specific contents, which certainly overcome the mere concept of Right Livelihood, I Interestingly realized that both many of the text lines and thoughts from the guest thinkers are related, to some extent, not only to this Overhuman’s conception but to my own conceptions on the Homo Sapiens Reciprocans (see graphic…outline in progress) as well as the Ecobiopsychosocial Capital & -now- Ethics. These are respectively my interpretations both on this great-human and the alternative non-dualistic indicator for mapping that transition and presence on Planet (I strongly suggest to dig into The Earth Charter Initiative). I was thrilled by Paul Hawken’s speech in introducing his book Blessed Unrest. In the opening he expresses that we are part of a social and environmental “movement that is greater and deeper and broader than we ourselves know or can know” that is, of something that overcomes us. Something collective that implies, among other things, a reinvention of the current socioeconomic system. I also found worthy, according to Daniel C. Wahl, how “we can in fact live more rewarding lives as we shift from struggling and competing against others to gain ‘competitive advantage’ to sharing and cooperating with others to leverage ‘collaborative advantage’”. Moreover, it’s compelling to reaffirm, in line with both Aldo Leopold and Wahl, that ethics “is not only a philosophical and social but also an ecological ‘process’” that “concerns the relationship between the individual and the collective” which includes “the community of life as a whole” (Gaia Education, 2018).

Thereby I want to conclude by asserting that Right Life on Earth, Right Livelihood, and so on, are also about facilitating a cultural evolution towards the Overhuman/Homo sapiens reciprocans implied here, and thus the building of the Ecobiopsychosocial Capital & Ethics as an alternative indicator for heading such transformation.

Author: Juan Sebastián Cárdenas Salas (April 24, 2018)

From the serie: Reflections Around Gaia Education

By Juan Sebastián Cárdenas Salas (2017)

Watch Paul Hawken, Blessed Unrest presentation

Watch Daniel Christian Wahl on Human and Planetary Health: Ecosystem Restoration at the Dawn of the Century of Regeneration

Enroll in Gaia Education

Read Thus Spoke Zarathustra

Dive into The Earth Charter

Read Designing Regenerative Cultures by Daniel Christian Wahl

About Aldo Leopold’s Book: A Sand County Almanac

Resources of support

Economic Dimension – Module’s 3 Handbook general contents and references (Gaia Education, 2018)

Cover Image taken from


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