PIVOTAL JUNCTURE I believe we are facing global challenges that only global efforts of one kind or another will be able to meet. Challenges like climate change and pollution, worsening ethnic, religious and tribal conflict, population displacement driven by poverty and corruption on a massive scale, confront us every day. Some of these problems are ancient and perennial. Some, like the displacement wrought by automation and artificial intelligence only came about in the last 100 years or so. The thing they have in common is that they are all too big for the human race to handle unless it unites. Forget about the Martians. The thing that will either destroy us or bring us together in order to confront a common and otherwise indomitable foe, is the dark side of ourselves: the greedy, violent, corruptible savage that lurks within every human being. Word of the Dream “Evil … at it's base life is evil. What does this mean? It means, at it's base the soul of man is amoral, dangerous, aggressive, untamed: the mother bull.” We are on the verge of developing and in some cases have already, technological prowess that will enable humankind to end hunger, wipe out disease and make poverty a thing of the past. Similarly, this is the first time in human history that we have the means to organize on a scale that will enable us to deliver and disseminate the solutions we are rapidly developing. Global transport, global communication, global manufacturing are all in place. However, if we fail to develop at the same time a guiding spiritual vision that is commensurate with the sophistication of our scientific and technological expertise, all of our accomplishments in that area will continue to benefit only a privileged few, a possessive minority composed of those who control the resources and the means of production. A world where, thanks to global communication and the information revolution, everyone knows how the "other half" lives, where there are no secrets of class and privilege will not tolerate gross inequities for long. Thus, we will either unite in the healing embrace of a global vision that manifests in different yet complimentary ways: As a global religion, as a global government, as a global movement in culture and trade, or we will become increasingly divided, isolated and extreme. Nothing could make this clearer than the disturbing rise of authoritarian, neo-fascist, anti-immigrant parties in the current political scene. One might ask, in view of this, "What is the role of religion at such a pivotal time in the evolution of human society and culture?" As the voice of the dream instructs, “Anything spiritual has a personal and a political dimension.” First and foremost, the role of religion is to provide a home for the spiritual life of the individual which will strengthen that life by supporting it with community and education. This is the meaning in part, of the dream about the circle. Secondly it is to provide a moral framework based in the understanding of mystical revelation that will guide our progress in other dimensions of human activity and endeavor. Though vulnerable like every other social institution created by man, to the influence of the dark side, religion is the locus for what little spiritual light human beings are able to attain. It is how we organize ourselves around and defend the knowledge we regard as holy. Religion is the structure we assemble to preserve, disseminate, develop, explore and protect the insights and revelations our mystics and prophets provide. Furthermore, and this is the answer to the question posed above, these insights and revelations into the fundamental nature of existence form the model from which we intuit moral law. Word of the Dream: “It’s what we think about the spiritual or metaphysical nature of the universe that determines how we act in the universe, it is from our knowledge of these things that the laws governing our behavior and morality emerge.” If we are to navigate around and bind together the broken pieces of our fractured world, the “huge, tumbling boulders” let loose by the forces of change, religion is the treasure-house where we will find the answers that we need. It’s just that that treasure house needs to re-create itself in a new, more encompassing form. Because in today's world the conflicts we are most urgently called to resolve include a strong religious dimension, only a voice that is at once a valid exponent of the religious point of view and an unbiased participant in the faith community as a whole will be able to effectively address the moral and spiritual issues with which we are confronted. I believe that voice should originate therefore in a community that is constructed in equal measure from, and which belongs in equal measure to all the great religious traditions. I believe that voice should consist of and originate in the House of We. Word of the Dream: “The world exists because of justice, order, compassion. And people try to manifest those virtues.”
Four of Eight