If we are not after the essence, then what are we after?

20·25 august 2024 | 45st edition | Rimini Expo Centre

We are witnessing an acceleration of technological evolution like never before in the history of humanity. But what will be the real benefits and what will be the risks? Every day the mass of information and messages, not always reliable, grows out of all proportion. Will this almost infinite amount deepen our knowledge, or does it risk increasing distraction or confusion? There are many incisive questions that arise from the growing existential uncertainty of so many young and old, from the fragmentation of social life, from climate change, from the increase in conflict and violence, from increasingly atrocious wars.

It is “inside” this time that the provocation launched by the American author Cormac McCarthy resonates with the question we have chosen as the title of the 45th Rimini Meeting: If we are not after the essence, then what are we after? It is a question that engages our person in his totality, mobilizes our reason, moves our intelligence, encourages our relationships, a question that penetrates the arena of our life, opening a new perspective.

What is the consistency of the relationship I am living, of the pain that afflicts me, of the joy that haunts me, of the beauty that fascinates me, of the work I do, of the contradiction that disturbs me? The search for the essential is not something that reduces life to an indispensable minimum, but on the contrary, it makes us see every single thing in its horizon of meaning, it makes us know the moments of life in their openness towards an irreducible destiny, it exalts beauty even when it is hidden under the rubble of indifference, it values the good even when it seems annihilated by evil.

“To be in search” is a watchful and conscious waiting, a passionate and intelligent attention - in the certainty that there is an indestructible consistency in what happens, an infinite good in what happens. Otherwise, what would be the point of the impetus of this search which, especially in the most lucid and darkest moments of our lives, almost imposes itself? It is too evident that only the search for the essential can unleash an authentic strength and creativity that allows us, in all circumstances and situations, to evaluate, to judge, to distinguish, to value in order to be able to recognize and bring out what everything consists of, what I consist of.

And it is for this reason that the search for the essence is so decisive for constructively facing the great challenges of social and cultural, economic and political life, technological evolution and geopolitical impacts. Certainly, this search is not possible without a dialogue that matures one’s understanding, a confrontation that deepens one’s knowledge, a sharing that creates the possibility of building a piece of the road together, for a future that corresponds more to the truest expectations of every man.

Contributing precisely to this dialogue and sharing is the intent of the next edition of the Rimini Meeting, which will be all the richer and all the more incident the more everyone participates as a protagonist in a passionate search for the essence.

Bernhard Scholz