Mysticism or the Overstepping of Nature
This chapter extends the concept of self-overcoming to morality, social issues, and social progress by conceiving social life as a stoppage carrying the injunction to overcome the halt. The stoppage yields the closed society, which acts as a source of obligations supporting an internal hierarchical order and inducing hostility toward other groups. The creative continuity of life initiates the movement in the direction of open society, defined by democratic order and human fraternity, and spearheaded by the mystic love of humanity. The latter overflows the closed society, and so inspires rather than determine progress. In light of this relation, the chapter examines Bergson’s stand on modernity and its problems, such as social and gender inequalities, ecological degradation, the handling of human diversity, and the threat of war.