I’ve had the gift/curse of being able to see the near future (one or two years out) with visceral (not intellectual) certainty. Each time I’ve asked: If you know something is going to happen, and can do nothing to stop it, what is one’s responsibility and response?
It began with foreseeing the simultaneous collapse of the superpowers (USSR externally, US internally, the latter still denied) in the late 1980’s. At that “hinge of history,” I went to Russia in January of 1990 to see if former superpower enemies could turn in a new direction. But the die was cast before the Soviet Union dissolved, and now we have Putin and Trump.
I didn’t specifically foresee 9.11 (a lot of people had been warning of a major attack), but did foresee the worldwide destructiveness of George W. Bush’s presidency. I didn’t see any opening and opportunity for a basic change in course however.
More than a year out, I predicted Trump would win the election. Now I feel that humankind is at another, even more crucial hinge of history, the second in my lifetime in our accelerating world. This isn’t to toot my own horn. Being right can twist you as much as being wrong.
Besides, prediction is the much lesser part of prophecy. To the extent there is such a thing, prophecy is fully human, hinging on what one does with foreknowledge, not with the foreseeing itself.
So again, if you know something bad is going to happen, and nothing can stop it, what is one’s responsibility and response?
The post-World War II international order is crumbling, and Pax Americana is history. Despite tremendous efforts by people in the international community, the international order is not evolving into a global order. A foundation for a true global order has to be poured before the old order collapses.
The idea isn’t to work toward a new order; the insight is to pour the foundation for a true global order before the old order completely fails. If we wait, it will be too late.
But conceiving a new order is secondary. The first thing is to ignite insight within. When a sufficient number of individuals do so, there’ll be a creative explosion, and all things will be possible. Without it, nothing will change, and things will get much worse.
If you play it safe and say, “It will never happen,” you’re part of the problem. “People don’t change” is the most facile, self-projected truism, since though it’s true 99% of the time, you are people.
But just as 1% are presently dominating and destroying the earth and humanity, with the vast majority of people either struggling to survive or conforming and following along, so too 1% radically changing will, at the right moment, ignite the revolution that changes the course of humankind.
I’ve come to feel there is no ‘inner’ and ‘outer;’ there’s only the inner outwardly manifesting. Personally, I have a strong bent (some would say in more ways than one) for contemplation, philosophy and political strategy. Essentially what I’m doing is working to develop and harmonize each of these dimensions of one’s being.
Whether that’s coinciding in a positive way with the cataclysmic changes humankind is going through in recent decades, I don’t know.
But I’m sure that before the inevitable catastrophe occurs that will throw the international order onto the ash heap of history, a non-elitist 1% has to be ready with:
1. An abiding, non-accumulative learning, the growth of insight and understanding that comes from self-knowing, which no one can give you;
2. A new philosophy of humanity that adequately explains man’s division, darkness and evil, and points toward humankind’s true place in nature and the universe;
3. The foundation for a new, genuinely global component in the world’s political architecture.
It isn’t a question of whether politics subsumes power or power subsumes politics, since that’s a distinction without a difference in politics as we’ve known it.
Inwardly and outwardly, can political action be de-linked from ego and power, albeit imperfectly? Isn’t that the way ahead as the old order crumbles?