Imagine if you will two separate planets which, through an encoding error in the spacetime continuum, end up overlapping, or sharing the same space at the same time.
To someone on one of these planets, experience would instantly become surreal. Depending on the angle or their own expectation, they might be viewing objects or people from either one of the worlds.
Worst, it seems that humanity is predictable and therefore people serve similar roles and occupy similar places on both planets. Your boss from one planet may turn into her counterpart from the other as you blink.
We might call the first planet The Humanist Planet. On it, people see the world as threatening and bad, but human intentions as good, therefore have clustered to enjoy the warmth of human companionship, sealed away from the infinite nothing.
The second planet however might be dubbed The Realist Planet. Here people see the world as good but with risk although it is consistent, so the risk can be anticipated. They want a unitive experience with the world.
Schizophrenically we switch between elements of these two worlds every minute. One person wants humanism, the other wants realism, a philosophy which is completely at odds with humanism.
For this reason, the worlds never quite combine. Like matter and antimatter, they are incompatible, and destroy each other upon conflict, so we dither between the two, creating an image from the overlay of the two that is both vague and blurry.
Humanism, for example, rests in the animal desires of the individual and the wishful thinking of the average person. Everyone wants to be important, which requires believing that his status — social, political, economic — is not just important, but the best that could be had under the circumstances.
Realists recognize that nothing is important except the motion of the whole. Civilization, that is valuable; our individual lives we try to live well, but they are at the end calculus just cells in a much bigger body, and they pass by without much note unless we do something significant.
These two philosophies are incompatible because one is entirely centered in the self, where the other looks past the self to some kind of transcendental order that blends natural order with a desire to do good.
We are going to have to decide, and we have run out of time. We can no longer keep living in two places at once. Which way, Western People?