Day 19: Why the Future World is So Unrecognizable to Us
O Thou our Provider! Send down Thine aid, that each one gathered here may become a lighted candle, each one a centre of attraction, each one a summoner to Thy heavenly realms, till at last we make this nether world the mirror image of Thy Paradise. Abdu’l Baha
The future world is very difficult for most of us to imagine because of some of the structures and ways of being in the current world. For instance, the leadership in the present day society is largely seen vertically. There are a few people at the top who usually act out of self-interest and power and then there is a whole culture trying to climb vertically. There is a small percentage of people who have an abundance of the resources and then everyone else trying to be like them and worshiping them. When we are striving to advance to the top or fighting against the top, we fail to see and participate in the way the future is going to be. The easiest way to begin glimpsing the world of the future is to look at things around you right now, then think of a world that is exactly the opposite.
A vertical way of operating in the world which the few at the very top love to perpetuate is gradually crumbling. What is going to replace it is world that is much more horizontal. Just how that will look is hard to say, but if you add the word shared into things like leadership and ownership and resources, you can begin to see a new world. It sends shivers up the spine of the very top, but it is a much happier place for the rank and file and I would guess for the people at the top as well. When you are a leader of a group, if you do something like have a shared agenda rather than one that you dictate, it is amazing the change you can create by that simple act.
The key to living in the future world right now is to stay out of the struggle with those who want to keep things as they are because as long as you are in a fight, you remain tense and are thrown out of the joy and wonder of the new world. It is better to believe that the new world is already here and it is already functioning. We just have to find it, be in it, and help it to expand. For instance, the future world is about creativity. When you practice the virtue of creativity and then surround yourself with others who have this virtue, everything changes all the time. Everything becomes new and fresh. I think that maybe the most positive aspect of the future is closeness. When we have unity, it seems as though anything is possible. So if we are going to live in the new world right now, we need to live in unity with others.
My problem, ever since I first went into the U.S. military, has been that I am in a wrestling match with tradition and authority so that I can bring them into the future with me. What is finally dawning on me is that the traditional practices that sustain exclusion and favoritism do not want to go into the future. They get their life blood from being in the past and keeping things the way they are. When I fight with them to bring them into the future, I always lose. It is 100% guaranteed. So the answer to tradition that excludes others is to let it be. It is hard for me to do. I guess it is because I am a Taurus.
When I let exclusion be, what happens is that opportunities for inclusion open up all around me. So this is it. The final day of my transformation program is about letting the old world be and finding opportunities at every moment to live in the new world.
Here are the transformation questions. What virtue do I want the future to have? How can I start acting with that virtue right now? What part of the past traditional practices can I let go of?