101 The classification of the social atom

The classification of the social atom illustrates in a dramatic fashion that we live in an ambiguous world, half real and half fiction; that we do not live with persons with whom frequently we would like to live; that we work with persons who are not chosen by us; and that we make love to persons whom we do not love; that we isolate and reject persons whom we need most, and that we throw our lives away for people and principles which are not worthy. The atom concept gives us an opportunity to bring the immense complexity of forms within the social universe under one common denominator. It is as if a great theater director has evolved a succession of most colorful and most attractive settings and scenes, masks of heroes, and words of eternity to distract our mind from the facts beneath. That these heroic masks are actually a bunch of ordinary people who have all kinds of human relations to each other and that the settings and scenes sprang from the fantasy of a pair of lovers. Similarly, on the stage of the social universe, millions of kinds and varieties of collectives, families, schools, factories, churches, nations, are spread before our eye in most attractive patterns and we are ourselves actors on this stage, and as if by blind necessity, we ceaselessly and indeterminately continue to bring forth ever new collectives to reign as others are faded. Perhaps because we are enmeshed ourselves in this network, it has been so hard to break the door to the actual world beneath, to recognize the human universe in all its forms as a summation, interpenetration and dynamic multiplication of social atoms.