Cosmopolitanism and World Culture as the Psychological Expressions of Supra-National Identities

  • Abstract:

    Cosmopolitanism is a conception of world outlook that proclaims ideas of world citizenship and domination of interests of the whole world on interests of particular nation. Unlike conceptions of patriotism or nationalism, that appreciates self-actualization and self-development of certain nation as the highest value for society, cosmopolitanism means replacing these options with similar idea towards the whole Earth. The word ‘cosmopolitanism’ is coming from Greek and means kosmopolitês (‘citizen of the world’). But here comes another, more philosophical meaning of this word. Cosmos in Greek system of Logos is not just ‘the world’; it is rather ‘universal order’. So the ‘cosmopolitan’ will be not just a citizen of the world, but a citizen of such world that is ordered and regularized from above, with corresponding supra-national identity. The conception of cosmopolitanism can also be considered as a discursive practice which might be interpreted as a historical marker that provides us with an opportunity of observing the dynamics of a society. The feature of such societies is that they are continuously changing their frames and outlines, and as following – their self-perception in every destination or strategy, both expanding onto others or compressing and excluding these others. But the communities do not only change their borders as a result of consciousness self-identification. So it is properly to use the notion ‘marker’ in a such context, because the discourses on cosmopolitanism can be considered as a historical syndrome, a signal of some changes in the borders as well as prolonged changes in self-perception and society status. Since the ancient times the processes of uniting and consideration, followed by global experience sharing, have been creating a so-called ‘cultural sphere’ of our planet. This general category comes from a meaning of culture, so it includes everything that humans overbuild on the nature in a couple with all the intercultural bonds and opportunities for cultural sharing. Generally to the cultural sphere could be added only that cultures, that are known to the majority of others, and existing of the cross-cultural bonds between is also the compulsory thing. And the process of cultures’ connecting to the unified web is the process of forming the supra-national identities. One of the most prominent confirmations of the last thesis is the idea of collective unconsciousness and archetypes by Karl Jung, in which there are widely discussed all levels and branches of psychology, including the cosmopolitanism psychology. Jung identifies collective or transpersonal unconsciousness as a nucleus for all the psychological material that is not transferred through the personal experience. Components of this structure appear in the apportionment of people, who belong to different cultures and epochs. This basic structure does not depend on any time and culture, so that it is equal for children all over the world. In spite of we all have different ways of growth and became the unique individuals, collective unconsciousness is common for all the people, so that is a great unifying power, something that help people to identify themselves independently from nation or culture. The archetype as a notion can hardly be understandable and explained, but it expresses the idea of a cosmopolitan ‘cultural sphere’ even more than the collective unconsciousness idea does. The archetypes are inherited patterns of reaction to world in some specific ways. Archetypes are the basic images that resemble us the most important ideas and energies of the collective unconsciousness. According to Jung’s conception, the archetypes are structure-forming components inside the unconsciousness. The whole archetypical images are being made up from such ‘bricks’, and these images are dominating in existing of personal fantasies as well as in mythologies of different cultures. Existence of archetypes means ‘being ready for producing equal or similar mythological ideas more and more times’ (1917, p.69). Such ideas have a tendency to appear as the main patterns‘ repeating situations and images. Archetypical situations are the most interesting expressions of global ‘cultural sphere’, because they are equally important for the representatives of all of the worlds’ cultures. Situations like retrieval of something by a Hero, voyage through the night see or battle for emancipation from Mother are present worldwide in all the mythological and religious motives. In conclusion I would like to say that the conception of Karl Gustav Jung can be a psychological explanation of general existing of cosmopolitanism as a notion. The collective unconsciousness is universal for all the times, peoples and cultures, and so that is a source for uniting identity tendencies among the representatives of different nations. The collective unconsciousness is displayed mostly through the archetypes that are also common for all the cultures. Every personality consists from five main archetypes: self, person, ego, shadow, and anima or animus. But apart from these dominating archetypes hundreds of others are existing in our collective unconsciousness. Archetypical images can be seen in all the cultural and historical periods. The evidences of this are common topics, situations and stories in myths, legends and folklore in all the peoples, not depending of their geographical and ethnographical locations. So finally we can claim that cosmopolitan tendencies are determined by the structure of our psyche and throughout this are the congenital aspirations of people all over the world and the basis for supra-national identities to form.