Frank Parkinson

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The aim of this website is threefold:

 

Almost everyone these days has a feeling that the world is in crisis, with an unknown disaster impending that is summed up in W. B. Yeats' famous poem Second Coming and particularly in its final lines, "What rough beast, its hour come round at last/ Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born." This website springs from a simple logic that few are willing to accept, namely that the type of human that has created planetary disaster is incapable of getting us out of it. If that be so, then only a higher kind of human can solve the problems that we ordinary humans have created. Once that conclusion is accepted, we face the challenge that is made as a mission statement at the head of the page, Reinventing the Species. At this stage we are not even sure what the term "higher kind of human" entails, let alone how to bring it about.

Without doubt, the majority, even of thinking people, would dismiss the phrase "reinventing the species" as overdramatic. We have muddled through humanity's problems in the past and that gives some reason to hope that can do it again. Many believe that science will find a way, despite the fact that science itself is in crisis. This website assumes the contrary, that conventional science, along with politics, economics and religion have become part of the problem, not the answer. So it may be concluded that the website is for revolutionaries or, at least, for those prepared to think in a revolutionary way about almost everything.

The crises that it addresses are observable on every side, as we look at a planet where war and violence are endemic, where commercial and financial structures are taking over governments and destroying communities, where land, sea and air are being polluted at a frightening speed and with no group, religious or secular offering a satisfying answer to the most basic questions that any individual can ask – Who am I? and What is the meaning of existence? We are beyond the point where reform of existing institutions will provide the answer. A fresh start must be made, and the website starts by locating the human family within an evolutionary progression and projecting the kind of future that we must first imagine and then create.

There are visionaries who have seen the need for a radical change. The website stands on their shoulders and because of their efforts it aims to see further. Some of their contributions can be seen in the following quotations.

Teilhard de Chardin (1920): "Evolution is a light that illuminates all things."

The novelist, historian and futurist H. G. Wells (1919): "The question of what is to come after Homo sapiens is the most persistently fascinating and the most insoluble question in the whole world."

The eminent biologist E. O. Wilson (1999): "Homo sapiens, the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us …. Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we want to become."

In the same year Thomas Berry published The Great Work: Our Way into the Future. He wrote, "We need to reinvent the human at the species level because the issues we are concerned with seem to be beyond the competence of our cultural traditions." The "great work" that he foresees is the inculcation of reverence for nature and a sense of our unity with it and with the universe more generally.

Probably closest in spirit to the theme of this website is Vaclav Havel's call for self-transcendence. This quotation is taken from an address given in Philadelphia on July 4th, Independence Day, 1994 and was entitled "The Need for Transcendence in the Postmodern World."

Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness nothing will change for the better … and the catastrophe towards which this world is headed – the ecological, social, democratic or general breakdown of civilization – will be unavoidable.

He does not spell out in detail what transcendence will entail, and this website takes up the challenge where he leaves off.

The first point that the website makes is that human evolution is up against a barrier in the form of lack of vision and motivation to change, as shown in the following diagram:

The evolutionary journey

Evolution and The Big Bang

On the other side of the Wall will be a different kind of human.  What kind of transformation is now required and what kind of structures and strategies will be required to get through or over the wall are now the most urgent questions facing humankind. It is natural to look to existing institutions to provide the answers, but they were constructed for other times and for other reasons, and the last thing we can expect is that their leaders will put themselves out of business.

Although the diagram shows a single wall that blocks our way to a new level of human evolution, I will propose that there are actually four walls involved, each of which calls for its own kind of transcendence which will constitute a paradigm change. The changes now required are in science, spirituality, socioeconomics and education. Each of these topics is introduced on a separate page, but there is considerable overlap. The other sections of the website offer information about me, links to further information and a forum where questions can be raised and discussions initiated.


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