Photo courtesy of State Archive of North Carolina
This week's article is the fourth in a six or seven week series. Each week, I'm publishing one of the chapters of a document I'm in the process of writing; a 'manifesto' for what I call "The Thought Revolution". The later chapters of the manifesto will include a vision of our future as individuals, businesses, societies and as an entire species. Here's chapter 3…
The Thought Revolution
Chapter 3 – The Vision:
Awakened Humanity (part 1)
“We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims.”
R Buckminster Fuller
Designer & Inventor
A “vision” is a representation of a possible future
A vision is a representation of a possible future. It’s a destination that exists first as a thought, then as an expression in images and words. A future-vision can serve as a powerful goal, objective or target, serving to focus people’s attention and direct their efforts. An inspiring vision can serve as a beacon of hope, an optimistic rallying point. Similarly, a negative vision can crush people’s spirits and engender a culture of pessimism.
History shows us numerous examples of inspiring visions
“When Paul Allen and I started Microsoft over 30 years ago, we had big dreams about software. We had dreams about the impact it could have. We talked about a computer on every desk and in every home. It's been amazing to see so much of that dream become a reality and touch so many lives. I never imagined what an incredible and important company would spring from those original ideas." Gates’ and Allen’s vision has been achieved, with mobile phones in the hands of 6 billion people.
President John F Kennedy
“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space." On July 20, 1969, Kennedy’s vision was achieved.
The World Health Organisation
In 1966 the World Health Organisation supported a 10-year smallpox eradication plan (despite the widely held view that smallpox eradication was impossible). On May 8th, 1980, the WHO’s vision was achieved.
The United Nations
"If we are to realize the future we want for all, we must hear and heed the calls of the marginalized… Together, we can build a sustainable world of prosperity and peace, justice and equity – a life of dignity for all." Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaking on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (not yet achieved).
Our vision of the future precedes the rise or fall of our culture
The sociologist and founding father of futurism, Fred Polak, wrote the following in his classic book “The Image of the Future”:
“The rise and fall of images of the future precedes or accompanies the rise and fall
of cultures. As long as a society's image is positive and flourishing, the flower
of culture is in full bloom. Once the image begins to decay and lose its vitality,
however, the culture does not long survive.”
If the people in a community don’t share an inspiring vision, they often fall into passivity and apathy. As our children are being trained to perform jobs that will no longer exist by the time they leave school, it raises an obvious point:
If we want an inspiring vision for our future, we need to create it ourselves
Our political leaders appear, for the most part, to be unwilling to or incapable of sharing a vision that looks far beyond the next election, the next set of trade figures or the next multi-billion pound rail investment. If the people who should be creating the vision of our future aren’t doing it, we need to do it for ourselves.
What follows is a thumbnail analysis of the current state of some of humanity's “big issues” from an ‘inside-out”, new paradigm perspective, as well as a concise vision for the future. For reasons of brevity, the analyses of current situations are necessarily simplistic. It’s worth bearing in mind the central proposition of this manifesto; that what appears to be the result of a multitude of causes is in fact the effect of a single cause: A superstition. A misunderstanding. The misguided belief that we live in an outside-in world.
Future visions often seem naïve and unrealistic
The visions for future scenarios that follow are an unashamedly Utopian outline of some of the new possibilities that a widespread realisation of the inside-out nature of reality could bring into being.
Reality Check: I've noticed that when I listen to a futurist talk optimistically about the future, they often seem naïve, unrealistic and pollyannaish. The projections that follow may seem that way to you when you read them, so I'd like to establish a few basic assumptions about Awakened Humanity (the term I use to describe humanity once we’ve “woken up” to the inside-out nature of life, and been freed from the tyranny of the outside-in misunderstanding):
a) Awakened Humanity has realised the inside-out nature of life
Awakened Humanity has woken up to the inside-out nature of life; we’re living from a more profound connection to life, and responding intelligently to the signals of our ‘psychological immune system’. We still recognise the importance of the material aspects of life. Food, water and shelter matter, the environment is a priority, and people still enjoy the pleasures of the senses. It's just that we're no longer confusing the outer world with the source of our inner security, wellbeing and OK-ness.
b) Awakened Humanity recognises innate wellbeing
Awakened Humanity recognises innate wellbeing; we all know that every human being has perfect mental health within them. However… that doesn't mean that everyone is exhibiting that mental health. No matter how “awakened” humanity gets, there may still be some people (for instance) who have to be locked up for the safety of everyone else. It may still be utterly prudent to have police and armed forces. We will do what makes sense at the time, but it's what's behind what we do that matters; the recognition of innate wellbeing and the inside-out understanding of life.
c) Awakened Humanity is guided by wisdom
Awakened Humanity is guided by wisdom; wisdom is the trump card. The same intelligence that stops you putting your hand into an open flame will ensure that we don't allow our awakened view of each other to obscure our common sense. People who are lost in superstitious thinking can do crazy, dangerous things. There's a difference between recognising their innate wellbeing, and letting them do harm to themselves and others. Wisdom is alive and responsive to every situation, so we can act prudently when we allow that wisdom to guide us.
d) Creating, progressing and evolving is our nature
One of the fears people often express when they first encounter the inside-out understanding of life goes something like this: “If I really knew that my happiness, security and wellbeing comes from within me, I'd never be motivated to do anything.” While the carrot and stick make sense in the outside-in illusion, it's not the case when we're living from an inside-out understanding. Awakened Humanity knows that our wellbeing comes from within, so we're willing to follow our inspiration and live the adventure of life to the full. Just as it's a child's nature to explore, learn and grow, it's Awakened Humanity's nature to keep creating, progressing and evolving.
The principles behind our CLARITY are explanatory; they explain the experience of living. Just as gravity only works one way (water doesn't flow uphill and lead weights don't float), our perceptual experience of life only works one way: inside-out. The outline that follows attempts to point to the role that the outside-in misunderstanding plays in some of the world's most pressing problems, and to what becomes possible as we wake up to our true nature, and the inside-out nature of life.
Next week, we'll be looking in detail at how the outside-in misunderstanding causes each of our biggest problems. We'll also be exploring an outline vision for a possible future, free from the outside-in misunderstanding and more aligned with the nature of life.
You can deepen your understanding of the principles that create our experience of life by exploring the CLARITY videos, audios and articles here at www.JamieSmart.com
To your increasing clarity,
Author of the #1 bestselling book, Clarity: Clear Mind, Better Performance, Bigger Results