Recognize Lessons Ahead

2035 – 2050 Will Reveal the Transition to a Positive Meta-Paradigm

In the decades ahead, we can count on incred­i­ble highs and dev­as­tat­ing lows. Suf­fer­ing occurs on the path to any inno­va­tion or pos­i­tive out­come. An alter­na­tive meta-par­a­digm will come about by deal­ing with its cor­re­spond­ing stress—it’s nat­ur­al, and vital, for the next wave of inno­va­tion to improve upon.

We need to let go of many of the trap­pings of suc­cess that we have come to think would pro­vide improved liv­ing con­di­tions every­where. Our cur­rent era of expo­nen­tial indicators—like Moore’s Law, the the­o­ry that the num­ber of tran­sis­tors on a microchip dou­ble almost every two years—are lead­ing to expo­nen­tial eco­nom­ic suc­cess for those at the top, yet this kind of expo­nen­tial­ly ground­break­ing phe­nom­e­na is not what will cre­ate bet­ter con­di­tions for all peo­ple and the entire planet.

Macropho­tog­ra­phy of elec­tri­cal component

On indi­vid­ual and col­lec­tive lev­els, we can learn to let go of what no longer serves us. A blind faith that tech­nol­o­gy will be our sal­va­tion is one such belief we need to imme­di­ate­ly aban­don. Let­ting go of false assump­tions and reestab­lish­ing the neces­si­ty of human val­ues like respect, sol­i­dar­i­ty, and coop­er­a­tion will allow human­i­ty to reclaim author­i­ty to cre­ate a bet­ter future. By free­ing up con­sid­er­able ener­gy toward this pur­suit, we can bet­ter focus on what res­onates with our intu­itive impuls­es toward well­be­ing. This means plac­ing the intent of the forces with­in us toward con­tribut­ing to a greater good for all to take part in uphold­ing. But that begs an impor­tant ques­tion: How can we acti­vate this deep trans­for­ma­tive potential?

We bear wit­ness to a time of rad­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion through cul­tur­al­ly, soci­etal­ly, and envi­ron­men­tal­ly extreme con­di­tions. With ris­ing exam­ples of author­i­tar­i­an deci­sion-mak­ing, a call to action in sup­port of equal­i­ty and inclu­siv­i­ty must become more ampli­fied. We believe the extreme ten­sion cur­rent­ly being expe­ri­enced will not result in a break­ing point, so much as a mas­sive glob­al shift. This shift will account for a reshap­ing of soci­etal orga­ni­za­tion, main­ly through a dif­fer­ent dis­tri­b­u­tion of wealth. Yet, per­haps the most sig­nif­i­cant shift that will enable all ensu­ing change, will begin with a col­lec­tive shift in consciousness.

“Com­pendi­um of Demonolo­gy and Mag­ic”, 1775

From now into 2030, we expect the dis­trust between peo­ple that con­tin­ues to sur­face will con­tin­ue to express itself. Between 2035 and 2050, we expect that the fight for the free­dom to live through authen­tic expres­sions of work­ing in har­mo­ny with one anoth­er and nature, will begin to flour­ish. With this momen­tum, the tran­si­tion to a pos­i­tive meta-par­a­digm of col­lab­o­ra­tive part­ner­ships between indi­vid­u­als, com­mu­ni­ties, com­pa­nies, and even oth­er species, will help renew every imag­in­able rela­tion­ship on our planet.

Rep­re­sen­ta­tion of Bud­dhist cosmology
Recognize Lessons Ahead

Positive & Negative Are Equal and Opposing Forces

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states: for every action, there is an equal and oppo­site reac­tion. Forces come in pairs: joy and sad­ness, dark­ness and light, con­flict and peace. With this recog­ni­tion, we can more effec­tive­ly embrace change.

Effec­tive and last­ing change requires par­tic­i­pa­tion from every con­ceiv­able side of an issue. At the 18th Inter­na­tion­al Con­fer­ence of the Insti­tute of Noet­ic Sci­ences in July, 2019,44 Rev­erend Deb­o­rah L. John­son spoke about the inher­ent messi­ness of democ­ra­cy. She rhetor­i­cal­ly asked an audi­ence, “You want to fly? You want to take off? The left wing isn’t tak­ing off with­out the right!” This mes­sage under­scores the neces­si­ty for all groups—even those that seem dia­met­ri­cal­ly opposed—to find com­mon ground upon which to rec­og­nize our com­mon­al­i­ties. This need for con­ver­gence might very well be the only actu­al way to gal­va­nize a change in soci­etal con­ven­tions that sup­ports a tru­ly, uplift­ing future for all.

Social change occurs when oppos­ing forces are at play. The cur­rent cul­tur­al moment is rife with con­flict between those who hold pow­er in the present sta­tus quo and those demand­ing change in the name of more fair­ly dis­trib­uted power.

Hong Kong pro­test­er, Joseph Chan, 2019

In Hong Kong, peo­ple demand­ing democ­ra­cy are cur­rent­ly fight­ing for recog­ni­tion against a main­land regime ready to quell any crit­i­cism. What­ev­er demo­c­ra­t­ic rights Hong Kong might gain in this oppo­si­tion, they will not occur with­out need­ing to resolve the state’s pow­er­ful resis­tance. Dur­ing the Civ­il Rights Move­ment in Amer­i­ca in the 1960s, wide­spread abuse and suf­fer­ing came to the men and women demand­ing jus­tice. The cul­tur­al cli­mate in Amer­i­ca in 2019 feels haunt­ing­ly sim­i­lar with oppres­sion and the gen­er­al racism and vio­lence being levied against minor­i­ty groups. And yet, this height­ened rate of hatred actu­al­ly reveals how much change has been made over the last decades. The more ground gained in the name of togeth­er­ness, the more the insti­tu­tions and indi­vid­u­als pro­mot­ing sep­a­ra­tion will work in oppos­ing force to stop this pos­i­tive transformation.

A calm­ing effect comes from rec­og­niz­ing that oppos­ing forces are fun­da­men­tal to the phys­i­cal world. We do not need to fear these oppo­si­tions. The goal is to learn how to incor­po­rate each oppos­ing force into the chal­lenges we encounter. In order to man­i­fest mas­sive trans­for­ma­tion­al change we need to find a way for each force opposed in dual­i­ty to find com­mon ground. Per­haps this type of shared space is where soci­ety can best learn to bridge divides.

In a PBS inter­view from 1988 with Bill Moy­ers, Joseph Camp­bell describes a sculp­ture called “the mask of God”. Found in a cave on an island in the har­bor of Bom­bay, and thought to have been con­struct­ed around the eighth cen­tu­ry, this mas­sive 19’ by 19’ stone sculp­ture sits at the end of the cave, where one must walk in dark­ness to behold its three faces. The head fac­ing for­ward in the mid­dle is called “the mask of eter­ni­ty”. The two heads on either side fac­ing away from each oth­er rep­re­sent human thought. Dur­ing his descrip­tion, Camp­bell invites us to… “… put your mind in the mid­dle; most of us put our minds on the side of the good against what we think of as evil. It was Her­a­cli­tus, I think, who said, ‘For God all things are good and right and just, but for man some things are right and oth­ers are not.’ You’re in the field of time when you’re man, and one of the prob­lems of life is to live in the real­iza­tion of both terms. That is to say, I know the cen­ter and I know that good and evil are sim­ply tem­po­ral appari­tions.”45

Because every­thing in the uni­verse is always in motion, the dual­i­ties we expe­ri­ence are con­stant­ly exchang­ing the ener­gies of their pow­er. Intense suf­fer­ing exists in life, and so does the inten­si­ty of ela­tion. And with­in these two extremes there lives a great deal of mod­er­a­tion. There is as much destruc­tive ten­den­cy in human­i­ty as there is cre­ative abil­i­ty. The goal is to get our mind­sets and emo­tions under enough con­trol to arrive at a net pos­i­tive in order to evolve our­selves toward a sus­tain­able, beau­ti­ful future.

Any cre­ative impulse encoun­ters an equal and oppo­site force of resis­tance. This fun­da­men­tal occur­rence is explained in detail by author Steven Press­field in his book, The War of Art. Inter­viewed by Oprah Win­frey in 2013 about his book, and top­ics includ­ing resis­tance, ego, and the rela­tion between prayer and per­for­mance through the arts, Press­field encour­ages us all to, “Put your ass where your heart wants to be.”46 By that act of show­ing up, of being present, of arriv­ing ready to do bat­tle with the inter­nal and exter­nal fac­tors that push and pull us in direc­tions that feel both good and bad, we learn to cul­ti­vate space to explore what demands atten­tion from with­in us. That very act of creating—whether it’s a rela­tion­ship, a paint­ing, a busi­ness, an inten­tion, or a life choice—will always come along with an equal and oppo­site force that can derail the entire enterprise.

Dur­ing their con­ver­sa­tion, Oprah acknowl­edges, “You want to be an open ves­sel and allow the spir­it of what­ev­er you want to call that—the muse, call it god, call it inspiration—to flow through you. You want to take the space of your ego, remove it, so that that can flow through you…” The idea here is that the space in between oppos­ing forces is incred­i­bly fer­tile. In that open space, inspi­ra­tion takes hold. Pressfield’s point about cre­ativ­i­ty and resis­tance is that they are com­pan­ions. Doing one’s work and per­se­ver­ing over a nat­ur­al ten­den­cy of resis­tance to oppose cre­ativ­i­ty means mak­ing space for the muse to flourish.

PCH Caus­tic Bud­dha piece

In response to the notion of how cre­ativ­i­ty man­i­fests, Press­field defines art as “bring­ing into mate­r­i­al exis­tence that which exists only in pure poten­tial­i­ty, and the artist is the agent of that change. The gods can’t cre­ate the Gold­en Gate Bridge, it’s got to be you and me.” This descrip­tion of art offers a com­pelling addi­tion to Oprah’s idea about let­ting the muse flow and inspire one’s actions. The artist trans­forms the oppos­ing forces of cre­ativ­i­ty and resis­tance into the man­i­fes­ta­tion of mat­ter that is as direct and pro­found in the phys­i­cal world as the ini­tial flick­er of spir­it­ed inspi­ra­tion from which it emerged.

What­ev­er it is we wish to bring into exis­tence, we will be wise to first rec­og­nize the essen­tial nature of oppos­ing forces. Any chal­lenge we encounter and wish to over­come demands that we find a way to incor­po­rate the nature of that chal­lenge, rather than side­step or try to clear the chal­lenge out of our way. The chal­lenge, the very resis­tance we expe­ri­ence against what we are try­ing to achieve, is actu­al­ly a nec­es­sary part of the cre­ative endeav­or in which we are engaged. Oppos­ing forces have a place and pur­pose in our phys­i­cal world. It is up to us to fig­ure out how to effec­tive­ly inte­grate oppos­ing forces into our work, such that the change we seek to make is com­pre­hen­sive and as pow­er­ful as possible.

Recognize Lessons Ahead

The Answers Are Within

Nature reveals the most intu­itive, dynam­ic, and mas­ter­ful designs. Mys­ter­ies hold truths. How might we come to under­stand that which is unknow­able? For starters, look with­in at what’s always been present.

“In this peri­od of the end of the world, how do we sow the seeds of a pos­si­ble world? The first: every young per­son should rec­og­nize that work­ing with their hands and their hearts and their minds, and being inter­con­nect­ed, is the high­est evo­lu­tion of our species.” — Van­dana Shiva

We are fun­da­men­tal­ly con­nect­ed to the earth beneath our bod­ies as much as we breathe in the air of our skies. Lev­els of puri­ty and pol­lu­tion affect how we process and inter­act with our envi­ron­ment. Recon­nect­ing with the nat­ur­al world will guide the way toward pure life.

“Taba­que­ro”, Luis Tamani

A big part of the future we envi­sion involves a much more nat­ur­al inte­gra­tion of tech­nol­o­gy into our lives. In the future, we will bet­ter bal­ance our use of tech­nol­o­gy only for when it serves us. Right now, the lit­tle com­put­ers in our pock­ets can sum­mon a phone call, video chat, or mes­sage, and they can even run an app to help us med­i­tate. But we don’t need

Isabelle de Steiger illus­tra­tion, print­ed in “The Unknown World”, 1895

them to breathe. And to con­trol one’s breath is per­haps the best exam­ple of attain­ing con­trol over some­thing so auto­mat­ic it might be deemed uncon­trol­lable. Yet, there it is, a sense of calm and ease with the release of a deeply drawn and held breath…

We must be mind­ful to look away from the screens that cap­ti­vate our atten­tion, return to the root func­tions of our own liv­ing sys­tems, and learn from what our own bod­ies tell us. This approach is no dif­fer­ent from how ancient sci­en­tists looked to the plan­ets to under­stand what they could not yet see on a micro­scop­ic lev­el yet intu­it­ed to be true.

In won­der­ing from where the next great spark of inno­va­tion will emerge, we’d like to pro­pose that we already pos­sess the answer. We need only to look with­in to acti­vate humanity’s nascent pow­er to inno­vate. This idea is well cap­tured with­in a Hopi poem:

Cre­ator said: “I want to hide some­thing from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the real­iza­tion that they cre­ate their own reality.”

The eagle said, “Give it to me. I will take it to the moon.”

The Cre­ator said, “No. One day they will go there and find it.”

The salmon said, “I will bury it on the bot­tom of the ocean.”

The Cre­ator said, “No. They will go there, too.”

The buf­fa­lo said, “I will bury it on the Great Plains.”

The Cre­ator said, “They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there.”

Grand­moth­er, who lives in the breast of Moth­er Earth, and who has no phys­i­cal eyes but sees with spir­i­tu­al eyes, said, “Put it inside of them.” 

And the Cre­ator said, “It is done.”