What would it be like to live a life of today openness and instant awareness? It is very likely in the years just ahead that we will find out.
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Sunday is Message Day on the blog. Monday through Friday we look at contemporary events and day-to-day occurrences at the intersection of Life and the New Spirituality…but on Sunday, we reserve this space for a specific teaching derived from the material in Conversations with God
This week’s offering: Instaparency
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That’s what I see for life in America by the middle of this century.
Total transformation of our political system, total transformation of our socio-economic structure, total transformation of our personal relationships, and total transformation of our relationship with the sublime and powerful energy of the Universe that some of us call God.
Now I know that this is easy to say, and perhaps even expected in a book such as this, but let me tell you why I believe that it is actually going to happen.
I don’t think there is any way we can stop it.
Not that we would want to, but if we did want to, I’m not sure we could.
The systems and the infrastructures have already been put into place to support such a transformation-and, indeed, to render it virtually inevitable. Chief among these is the marriage between cosmology and technology which I have observed over the last decade.
Cosmology (the way we look at things, the conceptual constructions of our society) and technology (the way we functionalize what we are looking at) have met at the crossroads of human experience, and become one. Our technology is our cosmology. Our cosmology is our technology.
This marriage has already given birth to a new state of being, which can now only grow in the years ahead, playing a larger and larger role in the way we experience life on our planet.
I call this new characteristic of our society “instaparency.”
That is the first word that come to my mind when I think about what life will be like in America 50 years from now. Life will be instant. Instant awareness. Instant communication. Instant decisions. Everything instant.
The second word I think of is “transparent.” Life will be transparent. Transparent social interchange, transparent financial and business dealings, transparent political processes. Everything transparent.
“Instaparency” is being produced by a technology which has reduced the time span between our exposure to new ideas to nano-seconds, and a cosmology which was moved hidden social agendas, under-the-table business dealings, and back-room politics outside the mainstream of contemporary thought regarding appropriate human interaction. Where once they were derigeur, now they are, at best, passé.
Everyone in the future will be able to instantly know everything. Just about anything we wish to know will be available to us at the push of a button. How much does the boss earn? What were my firm’s financials last month? Has my new boyfriend ever been married before? Is he married now? What is the military budget of the government of any country, and where are their military resources deployed? Anything. We’ll be able to find out just about anything.
And very little will happen in the world that will not be communicated to us. Immediately. We’ll know what’s happening in the four corners of the world, and in the farthest outposts of civilization, both here…and off the planet.
This quality of instaparency will bring us together as nothing has ever done in the history of the human race. It will cause us to be aware of the commonality of our experience, and it will give us the tools with which to respond in common to that experience with all the power that unified action involving millions can create.
No longer, for instance, will maniacal despots in the governments of tiny countries (or of large ones) be able to rob and steal, jail and kill, and call it “an internal matter.” The world community will — as it does today — know of every action, every decision, every repression, but, more importantly, it will be able to bring instant social, political and economic pressure to bear in that situation.
We will not have to wait for a deeply politicized world organization to do something. Citizens of the world could announced an immediate economic boycott, kill the tourist trade within seconds, dramatically lower stock prices within the country’s business sector in one trading day, boycott any and all products coming out of that country and, in short, cause its leaders to rapidly rethink their decisions.
Within our own country, elections will be held, and joint decisions made on important matters, within minutes, by instant electronic plebescite.
Our experience will be so unified because we will all come to know the same thing at the same thing. This will produce unified feelings and collective action. We will truly be the United States of America.
Awareness will jump sky high. Ignorance is the roadblock to awareness, and apathy its enemy. Both will be impossible at the level of critical mass precisely because our mass consciousness will continue to be so vitally and continually engaged.
Newness, and openness, will be other hallmarks of tomorrow.
During the 1800s, it was possible for a person to hold onto an idea, a concept, or a thought about things throughout an entire lifetime. Traditions ruled. Opinions held firm. The pace of information was so slow that evidence that might contradict a prevailing thought took forever to spread wide enough to make a difference.
In the 1900s the time between forming an opinion and possibly changing it was reduced dramatically as the century proceeded, with few people able to move through entire lifetime without facing evidence that could challenge their most firmly held beliefs.
In the beginning of this 21st Century, the average person is lucky to get through ten years without confronting new discoveries, new inventions or new developments which seriously challenge every assumption held in the mind.
By the middle of the century that time span could be reduced to ten months, ten days—or ten minutes. The time between forming an idea and possibly having to change it will be so shrunk that we will all have to be very light on our feet.
I see this as very good, not bad. The speed of life will invite us to “be here now,” as Ram Dass would say. It will challenge us to live In The Moment at every level. It will cause us to be more responsible in creating our own reality, and less dependent on what someone else has told us is “right” or “true.” The implications of this in the area of religion and spirituality alone are staggering.
Concepts of God and our philosophical constructions around life could be somewhat shaken by instant news of the discovery of life on yet another planet every 14 months—to use just one example (and to say nothing of the possible arrival on this planet of one of those life forms!).
And so, I see a spiritual renaissance of gargantuan proportions occurring on the Earth between now and the year 2050. I believe that we will be invited by events to rethink our every idea about who we are and how we relate to each other.
I believe our inter-dependence will become increasingly clear and obvious, and that this will create a New World. A world in which killing each other as a means of resolving our disputes will no longer be acceptable. A world in which doing virtually nothing while 400 children a day die of hunger will be wholly unsupportable. A world in which kindness and compassion and fair sharing of our most precious resources will be our natural and immediate response. A world in which we will, at last, stop our insane competitions for Bigger, Better, More, and redefine our ideas around success, and what it means to be alive, and to share membership in the human community.
“Success” in the future will have much less to do with the accumulation of money and material objects, and we will find a new way to grant “status” to members of our society. Status will be accorded to those who have been conspicuous in their service of humankind, by whatever means best reflects an individual’s talents and interests.
I believe that civilized societies-and I certainly believe that America’s will be one of them-will have put into place by the middle of the 21st Century a means by which the dignity of every individual, and every person will have minimal levels of food, clothing, and shelter. Basic survival needs will be guaranteed.
This will be accomplished without the imposition of a single tax or governmental levy. In fact, taxes will be totally abolished, replaced by voluntary tithing of 10% of everyone’s income to a central fund, used by the government to finance all of its social care programs.
The incentive for the voluntary tithe will be quite simple: instant transparency again. Each month there will be widely publicized-in all electronic newspapers and on television on a specific channel-a list of all people who have refused to tithe, or who have tithed significantly beneath the 10% level. Simple public awareness of who is contributing to the welfare of the whole, and who is not, will be sufficient.
Everything will be financed by this money, from traffic signals to road pavings to schools to assistance for those less fortunate. The entire social infrastructure will be financed voluntarily, as people see clearly-and differently-their role in the creation of humanity’s collective experience. No one will have to convince anyone to do this. Sharing for the common good will be natural. Not sharing will be what is uncommon.
The publicized list of under-contributors and non-contributors will be very small, since in the year 2050 it will be unthinkable for an individual not to willingly choose to provide from his or her blessings for the general good of the entire community.
This is be the result of a huge shift in collective consciousness. Instaparency will cause us to see ourselves and to experience ourselves as One, and our Oneness will become the central theme of a worldwide spiritual movement.
Individual religions, just as individual cultures, will still flourish, but we will have understood at last that these individualizations of life’s expression need not become competitions, nor fall into an imagined hierarchy of superiority.
We will decide that differences do not mean divisions, and we will celebrate our diversity, not denounce it.
With everyone’s basic needs met, and with our sense of competition with each other muted, there may be those who will worry that human beings will lose their motivation to succeed-or, for that matter, to even bother working at anything at all. But a new motivation will be found, replacing the drive for bigger, better, more. This new motivation will arise out of our change of mind about what to honor.
In 2050 we will no longer choose to honor bigger, better, more. What society will honor is that which more directly supports Life. We will understand, at that point in our cultural development, that stress-inducing activities required for us to gather bigger, better, and more “things” are not Life supporting. We will also understand that that which does not support Life for all, does not support Life for any. We will step away from the fiction that if “I” am doing well, how well “you” are doing doesn’t matter.
In the New World of Tomorrow, the highest honor will go to those who provide the highest service to humanity. The Human Family will be deeply aware of its single identity, the suffering of one will be experienced as the suffering of all, and the joy of all will be the objective of all. No one will be “on the outside, looking in,” no person or group will be excluded, nor will any segment of the population be marginalized or ignored.
I do not believe that this new world I envision will be a Utopia. It will not be a problem-free society, but I believe that we will have begun in earnest to face and to solve our problems together. Our ideas of “every man for himself” and “to the victor go the spoils” and “survival of the fittest” will have disappeared, after thousands of years as our Cultural Story.
We will agree that the fittest among us are not fit until all among us are fit. We will come to this out of our new awareness of our unified identity.
What it will take for this all to happen is very clear to me. We must begin now to end the divisiveness which has characterized our societal interactions through all the thousands of years that have brought us to this present day. We must preach a New Gospel-the gospel of Oneness, and the End to Better.
By an End to Better, I mean a discontinuation of the idea of superiority which have plagued humankind forever. Already instaparency is causing us to acknowledge that we are all rowing the same boat, that we are in this together, that our challenges as a species are far better faced collectively than individually. To put this knowledge to work (wisdom is knowledge applied) I believe we must abandon at last our thought that one of us-one group, one race, one gender, one faith, one political party, one economic system, one nation or culture-is somehow better than another.
A thing cannot be superior to Itself.
Our idea that there is someone else to whom we can feel superior is being shattered by our growing awareness that there is no one else “out there” but different expressions and other manifestations of Us.
Our job is to turn this awareness into social change. Then we will have turned the corner towards our Newer World. But we will not do this through legislation-one cannot legislate Morality-and we may not even find our finest tool to be social action. At least, not social action to create change. If we see new social action, it will hopefully be because change has already occurred.
That is, new social action should not be the instigator of change, but the result of it.
In the end, the only thing that will instigate a change in our behaviors is a change in the human heart. And that part of the process we can begin today. First, by changing what is in our hearts, and next, by causing others to change what is in theirs. The magical aspect of this process is that the second objective is achieved through achievement of the first. For when we change our hearts, the changes that produces in our own behavior models and sponsors changes in the hearts and behaviors of others.
We become walking messengers. Indeed, we are the message we seek to send to the world about itself. This is a new way of thinking about life, and our role in it. It is precisely this new way which will produce the New World I have here described.
In was the late Robert Kennedy who once urged all Americans “to seek a newer world.” I urge the same thing today. If we ever, as a nation, moved to the highest thought that we have about ourselves, we could recreate our collective reality in this country over night.
Kennedy also used to say, “Of those to whom much is given, much is asked.”
I agree. We have been given so much in this country. If the world truly is to change, I believe it is the most fortunate among us who must take responsibility for changing it.
Finally, it was Robert Kennedy who, paraphrasing George Bernard Shaw, said in his last political campaign, just before he was assassinated:
“There are those who see the world as it is, and ask why. And there are those who dream of things that never were, and ask why not.”
What it will take for us to bring about the Tomorrow of our highest dreams is to ask the question, why not?
I am encouraged to see that many people today are making just such an inquiry. Through their willingness to address the question, they are choosing to imagine the world as it could be. They are saying-as we all are saying in this book-just…