Philosophy for elegant thinking
With his clear and direct language, José Carlos Ruiz’s new essay upholds the use of elegant thinking as a new drug to fight the symptoms of hypermodernity.
Etymologically speaking, Elegance is related to Election (eligĕre). Therefore, an elegant person is a person who knows how to choose —amongst many other things. Elegant thinking shapes the individual that won’t fight to look different among the crowd, but instead, would elevate herself towards a distinguished existence.
Against this elegant individual stands a hypermodern one who has blown apart the value of discretion and sense of modesty (if only to privilege a mushy globalisation). The hypermodern favours the plausible rather than the truth, embraces emotional language rather than critical thinking, and practises otherphagia; that is, turning the other into a consumer item.
Thus, we are witnessing the vulgarisation of the individual who lacks the referents that provide him with the intellectual tools to face a reality both complex and hyper stimulating. The feeling of incompleteness increases, leading the hypermodern individual to proclaim that he is a mentally destitute, since for the hypermodern, those times where the pursuit of happiness was a secondary pursuit, the consequence of a virtuous life or a fortunate encounter, seem to have come to an end. The idea of happiness of the hypermodern has undergone a mutation into post-happiness.
“To live and to think with elegance is far from easy. To choose well requires performing a comprehensive task. It is not just an aesthetic issue, but encompasses ethics, politics, and social interaction. To be elegant implies to hold a holistic profile. It does not need luxury as a distinctive element, it won’t need you to brag or pretend that you are a champion of morality or integrity. Elegant life is not embraced to show off, it rather needs to be contemplated from a certain distance, a distance that, at times, prevents the hypermodern individual from regaining the global perspective that configures it. The inclination of this individual towards closeness, and his need of proximity, suppresses the open mindedness required to capture the essence of elegance, and to think with a holistic attitude.”
José Carlos Ruiz