Klujev Aleksandr Sergeevich

The Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia

Doctor Habil. in Philosophy,

Full Professor of the Department of Music Upbringing and Education

Клюев Александр Сергеевич

Российский государственный педагогический университет

им. А.И. Герцена

доктор философских наук,

профессор кафедры музыкального воспитания и образования

E-mail: aklujev@mail.ru

УДК 1.78.304






Abstract: The article examines the situation that has developed in the modern era, referred to in different ways: postmodernism, post-postmodernism, digital modernism, metamodernism, etc. It is noted that, despite the differences between the names, they all testify to the global crisis of culture and man that has become established in our days. Three important signs of this crisis have been identified: 1) degradation of man – the predominance of the animal nature in him; 2) total technicism; 3) oblivion of national traditions, shrines. These signs are briefly described. It is concluded that they are based on the loss of spirituality by a person. It is stated that music has extraordinary possibilities for elevating the spiritual needs of a person. It is emphasized that these opportunities contributed to the strengthening of the impact of religious practices within the framework of various religions – Shamanism, Zoroastrianism, Sufism, etc., thereby ensuring the maintenance of the humanity of the world. It is believed that the use of the spiritual and creative possibilities of music will contribute to overcoming the existing global crisis and prepare for the formation of the era of culture and man, called the new humanism by M. Eliade.

Key words: philosophy of culture, crisis, culture, person, spirituality, humanism.






Аннотация: В статье рассматривается ситуация, сложившаяся в современную эпоху, именуемую по-разному: постмодернизмом, постпостмодернизмом, цифромодернизмом, метамодернизмом и др. Отмечается, что, несмотря на различия между наименованиями, все они свидетельствуют об утвердившемся в наши дни глобальном кризисе культуры, человека. Определены три важнейших признака этого кризиса: 1) деградация человека – возобладание в нём животного начала; 2) тотальный техницизм; 3) забвение национальных традиций, святынь. Кратко охарактеризованы указанные признаки. Сделан вывод о том, что в их основе лежит утрата человеком духовности. Заявлено, что необыкновенными возможностями возвышения духовных потребностей человека обладает музыка. Подчёркивается, что эти возможности способствовали усилению воздействия религиозных практик в рамках различных религий – шаманизма, зороастризма, суфизма и др., чем обеспечивали поддержание человечности мира. Высказывается убеждение в том, что использование духосозидательных возможностей музыки будет содействовать преодолению существующего глобального кризиса и подготовит становление эры культуры и человека, названной М. Элиаде новым гуманизмом.

Ключевые слова: философия культуры, кризис, культура, человек, духовность, гуманизм.


What about the modern era? How can you determine it? Today it is called differently: postmodernism, post-postmodernism, digital modernism, meta modernism, posthumanism, transhumanism, etc. All these names are different, but their essence is the same – an indication of the global crisis of culture and man that has established itself today. How does this crisis manifest itself?

We believe that we can talk about three main features of it, which are:

1) degradation of man – the hegemony of the animal in him;

2) technical totalitarianism;

3) oblivion of national shrines.

Let’s look at these signs in order.

  1. Degradation of man

As is known, man is a complex creature that organically combines biological (animal) and social principles. The idea of a person as a two-part – biosocial – formation arose in the primitive era. It manifested itself in the depiction of tribal totems. A typical example is the famous sculpture “Man Lion”, found on the territory of modern Germany, representing a figure with a human body and a lion’s head, whose age is 40 thousand years.

The image of man as a biosocial phenomenon was established in the subsequent era – the era of the Ancient States and was associated with the image of mythical creatures whose body was an animal and whose head was a human. There are many examples of such images, the most striking of which is the image of a sphinx, whose body was a lion and the head was a human (male or female). The oldest image of a sphinx is the so-called Great Sphinx, located on the western bank of the Nile, in Giza. The sphinx figure is carved from a monolithic limestone rock in the form of a lion, whose face, as has long been believed, is given a portrait resemblance to Pharaoh Khafre.

One gets the impression that there is a dynamic of a person’s ideas about himself. If, in the early stages of his development, a person believed that the main thing in himself was the animal (the head of an animal in a totem), in later times – a person (the head of a person in a mythical character). Thus, the head, or more precisely, the thinking of a person, was understood as an essential feature of a person.

But what is happening today? Today, again, man sees himself primarily as an animal. Moreover, a person strives to become an animal and passionately dreams about it [1].

  1. Technical totalitarianism

The technology development has always accompanied human development. And the primitive era already testifies to the extraordinary achievements of man in the technical field. Such achievements include complex structures: the Gobekli Tepe temple complex (9 thousand BC), located in Turkey, Stonehenge (3 thousand BC), and Avebury (3-2 thousand BC) – on the territory of Great Britain. Many complex buildings appeared in the era of ancient states – Pyramids (Egypt, Peru), and Ziggurats (Iraq, Iran). At the same time, human technical successes were enshrined in numerous myths.

Nowadays, special attention is paid to technology. Considering the achievements in the fields of medicine (in particular, related to human organ transplantation), robotics, programming, automation, mechanics, etc., there is a belief that in the future, technology will acquire such unprecedented capabilities that it will be able to save a person from all his diseases and the aging process and even ensure his immortality. But what is technology? M. Heidegger expresses deep thoughts on this matter.

Heidegger clarifies that the word “technology” comes from the word “techne” [2].

According to Heidegger, techne is the revelation of the hidden, carried out in two ways – through nature (observations, etc.) and man (art). The most important of these methods is the revelation of what is hidden through a person, art. He is one, who leads to the comprehension (“production”) of truth. As Heidegger writes, “We testify to the misery of the situation when in the face of bare technology… we do not see the essence of technology; when in the face of naked aesthetics… we cannot feel the essence of art. However, the deeper we think about the essence of technology, the more mysterious the essence of art becomes” [Heidegger 1993, p. 238].

  1. Oblivion of national shrines

Any people (nation) [3] has its shrines – enduring values that guarantee the existence of the people. Forgetting shrines leads to the death and destruction of the people. In ancient times, people knew that oblivion is the path to death: the dead is a man who has forgotten, i.e., lost their memory [Memory and oblivion 2000].

The theme of memory is widely represented in world art – literature, and cinema. The most striking image of a person deprived of memory is the image of a mankurt from Chingiz Aitmatov’s novel “Buranny Stop Station” (“And the Day Lasts Longer Than a Century”).

Having outlined the signs of the global crisis of culture and man existing today, we can say that these signs are the loss of a person’s connection with the Supreme Substance – with God.

Music has extraordinary possibilities to establish a connection between a person and God. D. Fraser wrote wonderfully about this. Since ancient times, Frazer noted, “the deep impact (of music. – A.K.) on the soul… was attributed to the direct influence of the Divine… Music… played a significant role in the formation and expression of religious emotions, thereby more or less profoundly modifying the structure of faith… Each faith is expressed through appropriate music…” [Frazer 2018, p. 430].

These possibilities of music were used when performing rituals within various religions – shamanism, Zoroastrianism, Sufism, Taoism, Shintoism, but, of course, primarily Hinduism, Buddhism, and Christianity. As religious rituals, music enhanced their impact on people, which contributed to maintaining the world’s humanity [4].

Considering the extraordinary potential of music in elevating a person, we can say with all confidence that its use, without a doubt, will contribute to overcoming the current crisis and the establishment of a culture and people era called New Humanism by M. Eliade [Eliade 1971] [5].



  1. Eliade, M. (1971). La nostalgie des origines. Paris. (In French)
  2. Frazer, J.G. (2018). Golden branch. Exploring magic and religion (Transl. from Engl.). Moscow. (In Russian)
  3. Heidegger, M. (1993). The question of technology. In: M. Heidegger, Time and Being: Articles and speeches (Transl. from Germ.). Moscow. (In Russian)
  4. Khan, Kh.I. (2002). The Mysticism of Sound. Ekstasis Editions.
  5. Klujev, A.S. (2020). Philosophy of Music in the Mirror of the Contemporary Age. In: Russian Journal of Philosophical Sciences. Vol. 63, N. 12, pp. 7-25. (In Russian)
  6. Memory and oblivion. (2000). The tree of the history of ideas. Collection of texts (Vol. 1). Kharkiv. (In Russian)


[1] Confirmation of this is the worship of people of various evil spirits (witches, sorcerers, demons, etc.), as a rule, appearing in animal form.

[2] Techne (from the Greek τέχνη) – skill, skill (craft), art.

[3] We use these concepts in a collective sense – as an indication of the ethnic community of people.

[4] According to many creative personalities, such activity of music is due to its Divine origin. So, according to the Indian musician, philosopher (Sufi) Kh.I. Khan, “among the various arts, the art of music is considered especially Divine, because it is in miniature an exact copy of the law that operates throughout the universe… Music is the language of beauty of the One (God. – A.K.), with whom every living soul is in love” [Khan 2002, p. 107].

[5] There is a more detailed version of the article: [Klujev 2020].

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