Glen T. Martin
What is the role of the Earth Constitution in the evolution of human consciousness? This is a question that comes up repeatedly in discussions of the meaning and significance of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. In addressing questions as to why we should be active supporters of the Earth Constitution, I find myself continually coming back to its role in the evolution of our consciousness. It serves not only as the end or goal that we strive for (planetary peace, justice, and sustainability) but also as the necessary means to make this happen. In this paper, I hope to explain more fully what we mean when we connect this Constitution, as both ends and means, with the process of moral and spiritual growth.
Current Literature on the Evolution of Consciousness
In the past 50 years, many psychologists, philosophers, and spiritual thinkers have addressed the question of the evolution of consciousness. There is a broad consensus that our general human orientation grows and can grow through several stages that apply universally to human beings. (Hence, they are not culture dependent.) If we integrate the thought of Lawrence Kohlberg (1984), Carol Gilligan (1982), James Fowler (1981), Eric Fromm (1996), Jürgen Habermas (1979), Ken Wilber (2007), and Abraham Maslow (2014), we can come up with a picture of human growth that looks something like the following.
We begin life with an egoistic orientation that is centered on our perceived self and its needs. In many people this orientation may become more refined and sophisticated as we grow older but remains the basic characteristic of our world view and behavioral model. Many people modify this egoistic orientation when they become socialized by their cultural group and the larger society. The shift takes place from primarily egoistic focus to group focus and acceptance of own’s culture has knowing the “right way of doing things,” making the cultures of others appear to be ignorant and misguided. Our orientation becomes ethnocentric. This also often functions as a new mode of egoism: collective egoism.
Proper human growth moves beyond ethnocentrism into a worldcentric orientation (see Wilber 2007). We now see that “truth” transcends the ways it is appropriated in any particular culture and world view. This is true in values as in religion and spirituality (Fowler 1981, Agnivesh 2015). We see that all cultures share or participate in the truth to a certain extent and that there is no culture that is self-evidently superior to the rest, as ethnocentrists often believe of their own culture, or of the world system as deriving from their cultural traditions (e.g., “Western” or “Eastern” culture). The worldcentric perspective now sees human civilization and all human beings as one great evolutionary movement that supersedes and dwarfs any of its component parts.
The emergence of a worldcentric orientation opens a person or group to a larger, more dynamic, multidimensional set of options and orientations. Truth takes on depths and heights largely unknown at the earlier levels. Kohlberg (1984) stresses autonomy. At this level, one’s ideas are not simply believed because the group believes them but are subjected to critical self-examination in the light of coherence, consistency, and rational, intersubjective grounding. He identifies two sublevels within the range of autonomy, showing that the process of growth continues within each main level. We can continue to grow in rationality, autonomy, and worldcentric maturity throughout our adult lives. In his 1784 essay “What is Enlightenment?” Immanuel Kant was clearly speaking of this level of maturity by defining “enlightenment” as the condition of finding out for oneself and not passively taking one’s beliefs from another (Kant 1957).
|GENERIC STAGES OF GROWTH TOWARD MATURITY|
|Egocentric (egoistic)—the obsessive self-regarding orientation of childhood, immature adults, and collective group identifications.|
|Ethnocentric—thinking that (often unconsciously) gives ontological priority to one’s own culture, religion, or nation, or that takes the ontological status of sovereign nation-states as an authentic reality.|
|Worldcentric—developing intellectual autonomy along with compassion, care, and universal rational principles applying to all humanity (and often to all life on Earth). Living from the unity and diversity at the foundation of both the cosmos and human existence.|
|Cosmocentric-Integral—harmonizing masculine and feminine elements within the whole of one’s being, integrating a dynamic cosmic consciousness of unity in diversity within our historical and personal lives, living with ever-greater direct awareness of the holistic, ineffable depths of existence.|
The worldcentric level also helps open a person to cosmic awareness, that is to cosmocentric and integral levels of growth. This often begins with the astonishment that anything at all exists, with astonishment that the world exists (as Wittgenstein put this in his 1929 “Lecture on Ethics”). Similarly, in his Critique of Practical Reason, Kant (1956) speaks of being filled with wonder and awe at “the starry skies above and the moral law within.” This awakening can deepen with the kind of questioning indicated in the mid-twentieth century work of Martin Heidegger who posited (following Leibniz) the most fundamental philosophical question as “Why is there something rather than nothing?” Meditation and mindfulness deepen this awareness, and people begin to come upon the Cosmic Consciousness described by mystics of every persuasion and tradition, a consciousness that itself contains levels of ascent into higher stages of awareness (cf. Wilber 2007).
In this extensive literature on the evolution of consciousness, distinctions are often made among a variety of ways in which human beings can grow through these or other, similarly identified stages. Ken Wilber refers to the diagram of these patterns of growth as a “Psychograph” (2007, p. 25). One can grow with respect to any of these dimensions: cognitive, emotional, interpersonal, psychosexual, moral, and spiritual. Generally (but not necessarily) growth follows a consistent pattern through each area: a cosmocentric consciousness will embrace corresponding moral, emotional, cognitive, etc., levels of growth.
The same kind of development characterizes human civilization across subjective, cultural, scientific, and organizational dimensions. Wilber charts this development in a graph that he calls AQUAL (All quadrants, all levels). In my recent book Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence (2018), I adapted Wilber’s chart in order to express my own concerns about the impediments to human evolutionary development presented by the capitalist economic system and the global sovereign state political system.
In the chart below you can see a reflection of the broad literature on the evolution of human consciousness and corresponding developments for culture, governmental systems, and scientific processes. I characterize the evolving human self (in the upper left quadrant) as having moved from a primitive stage of “magic” through an egocentric self, a mythic self, an achiever self, toward a “maturing human self” and finally a “holistic self.” Similar developmental patterns are shown in the lower left quadrant depicting human culture, the upper right depicting the development of science, and the lower right depicting economic and governmental systems.
In the lower right, the organizational stages can be identified as moving from ethnic tribes, to God-king dynasties, to feudal empires, to sovereign territorial states, to “maturing of human institutions,” to “Earth Federation under the Earth Constitution.” However, as the chart shows, at our current level of sovereign territorial states dominated by global capitalism, these institutions serve as active impediments to further growth in all four quadrants. These institutions block human subjective maturity by exacerbating hate, fear, and insecurity. They block civilizational cultural maturity in the same way (for example, with their war and “terrorism” propaganda). They colonize science into war research and production, and clearly, they prevent the maturing of human institutions beyond the egoism of capitalism and the ethnocentrism of sovereign nation-states.
Human beings are currently living through a very difficult period of impasse, of blockage, akin to the blockage of a storm-system spoken of by climate scientists (see Romm 2018, p. 44). A storm can get “stuck” and significantly worsen the damage that it does. Today, instead of moving forward in our civilizational and spiritual development, we are blocked by a capitalism and militarized nation-state system that threaten our very existence on this planet.
Thinkers about the dynamics of human history from Hegel to Marx to Marcuse, have pointed out the relationship between human consciousness and the institutional structures within which we live. The structures foster a certain consciousness in people. In the case of capitalism and the system of sovereign nation-states, there is a great tendency to produce egocentric (greedy, selfish) and ethnocentric (nationalistic, fixated on borders and exclusion) forms of personality. Psychologist and social thinker Eric Fromm describes this dialectical relationship as follows:
The physical survival of the human race depends on a radical change in the human heart…. And a change in the human heart is possible only to the extent that drastic economic and social changes occur that give the human heart the chance for change and the courage and vision to achieve it (1996, p. 9-10)
The evolution of human consciousness is directly linked to the institutions within which we live. Hence, the promotion of cognitive, moral, and spiritual maturity is directly related to our promotion of fundamental institutional changes. If the current system is blocking our growth, then the quest to change that system is also the quest to further evolve human consciousness. If we ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, people sometimes ask, “will it then be taken over by the same ignorant tyrants who now dominate the Earth?” Not likely, because to change the system also changes people. Fromm writes: “It follows that man will obtain the full capacity for objectivity and reason only when a society of man is established above all particular divisions of the human race, when loyalty to the human race and it its ideals is considered the prime loyalty that exists” (1950, p. 58).
When people live within a framework that recognizes them all as world citizens first, prior to their race, religion, or nationality, and demands of them global civic responsibilities, then their worldcentric consciousness will rapidly emerge, along with a hitherto unrealized capacity for objectivity and reason. Working for ratification of the Earth Constitution, therefore, is both a means and an end. The very fact of working for it and talking about it raises people’s consciousness, and its ratification would be nothing short of transformative.
Another classic expression of the process of spiritual growth comes from the pioneering work of Clare Graves that was developed and articulated in a systematic and compelling manner by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan in their book Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership, and Change (2006). The process of growth is not linear but can be likened to a spiral movement along which we can identify certain landmarks or “MEMES” in the ascent. Beck and Cowan designate certain colors to represent the MEMEs, the most primitive being Beige, then Purple designating early tribal groups, Red for the level of empires and power-based relationships, Blue for purpose-based systems and personalities (perhaps characterizing medieval social and personal characteristics).
At the Orange level, the spiral moves into a more contemporary form, representing an achievement orientation that emphasizes autonomy and strategic planning. Beyond this people can move into the Green MEME characterized by pluralism, egalitarianism, willingness to innovate and experiment, and tolerance for broad diversity. The qualities represented by these color codes are not mutually exclusive and earlier tendencies can emerge and recede as we move up the spiral.
The highest levels in Beck and Cowan’s system of spiral dynamics are Yellow and Turquoise. At these levels, we move beyond “First Tier” thinking that cannot transcend the old paradigm and remains mired to a great extent in the apparent determinism of history and society. Second Tier thinking makes real transformation possible, since it sees the dynamics of the whole process and the integral nature of breakthroughs, paradigm-shifts, and awakenings in human development. Second Tier thinking arises at the Yellow and Turquoise levels. Here “quantum change” becomes possible and people can become “spiritual wizards” because they rise above the apparent causal conditioning and entrapped thinking associated with the First Tier paradigm.
These levels broadly correspond to the worldcentric and emerging cosmocentric levels defined by Ken Wilber and others, summarized above. The Yellow MEME activates insight into broad patterns of social, cultural, spiritual and organizational phenomena and enhances the process of integration from a worldcentric point of view. The Purple MEME emphasizes a spiritual awakening into an integral harmony in which the One and the many merge in dynamic unity in diversity. Things are seen differently. The oneness behind diversity emerges clearly into awareness and the old paradigm, mired in an apparently irredeemable fragmentation, is understood to be an illusion. (See Chap. 5 of my 2005 book Millennium Dawn for a study of this “integrative mysticism.”)
World Federalism exhibiting various levels of Worldcentric Awareness
World federalism can, of course, mean different things to different people. There is a tendency, especially in North America, to associate “federalism” with states’ rights, that is, with the degree of autonomy the subordinate units have vis-à-vis the central government. Nevertheless, as a worldwide movement, world federalism exhibits a broad conceptual coherence centering on the idea of the need for a world government, especially a democratic world government, to bring law, order, justice, and freedom to our beleaguered planet. Nations are not abolished but become states within the world federal system.
World federalism clearly manifests aspects of a worldcentric consciousness, emphasizing, as it does, the need for humanity to unite under one world government and the rule of law. However, it is important to reflect on why the world federalist movement has not triumphed in human affairs. Why has humanity not moved into a worldcentric level of maturity in which the need for democratic world law appears self-evident? Perhaps the movement behind world federalism itself has not been representative of a fully developed worldcentric consciousness, and perhaps, as indicated above, the present world system blocks further growth.
Many of its proponents appear to have remained at the level of the Green MEME which emphasizes pluralism and tolerance in ways that undermine revolutionary ascent to a clear unity in diversity of humankind. Pluralists often have trouble discerning certain perspectives as clearly truer and better than others. They often think that they are being “democratic” when we give equal time to nonsense, regressive ideas, and lower level expressions of immaturity. They give equal air-time to the neo-Nazi demagogue and the advocate of world peace as if this were the democratic and morally right thing to do.
They work toward a world federal government through these kinds of “democratic” processes, not realizing that this pluralistic and relativistic conception of democracy hinders and defeats human ascent to our true destiny in higher levels of awakening and maturity. However, the world federalist idea of one world under the rule of enforceable democratically legislated law is not just “one more perspective” within an egalitarian pluralistic field of ideas. Nor is it just one option among a range of options to be given fair expression and “equal opportunity.” The Neo-Nazi is wrong; the Chicago school of globalized neo-liberal economics is wrong (see Klein 2008); the UN treaty system of militarized sovereign nation states loosely affiliated under the UN Charter is wrong. Real world federalism has a backbone and stands for what is right. It stands for a human maturity higher than that comprehended by many within the pluralistic Green MEME.
One of the first explicit conceptualizers of this idea as non-negotiable and morally right was Immanuel Kant. In the late 18th century, he understood that the global political system of sovereign nation-states was inherently a war-system and, as such, was immoral. This system is immoral, for Kant, because the fundamental imperative of morality (the “Categorical Imperative”) demands that human beings relate to one another as free, equal, and responsible citizens under universal laws, never as lawless combatants attempting to determine what is right through the force of arms. Might does not make right, however much the pluralist might want to give this concept equal time.
If we are to achieve real world peace, Kant argued in his 1795 essay on “Perpetual Peace” (1957), we need to make every state democratic and simultaneously unite all the states in a federation under “a republican constitution similar to a national constitution.” This theoretical framework remains foundational for world federalism. Insofar as human beings are morally required to live under universal laws protecting the freedom, equality and liberty of each person, we are also morally required to establish world government for our planet. Kant’s demand was unequivocal, but far ahead of its time. As a broad political movement, world federalism did not begin until World War I when some leaders of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom realized that this horrific global war was not a matter of “good versus evil nations,” but rather was a consequence of the system itself of militarized sovereign nation-states.
The movement continued to grow and flourish between the wars and became very widespread after World War II. It produced a powerful literature ranging from Emery Reves’ The Anatomy of Peace (1946) to Albert Camus’ Neither Victims Nor Executioners (1986), both first published in 1946. From some of the directions the movement took in the late 1940s and early 50s, we can begin to discern various levels of consciousness within the movement. There were many world federalist groups at that time, large and small, but there developed four main emphases of the movement that reflected differing levels of awareness and understanding. These modes of awareness form part of the dynamics of human spiritual evolution.
The first direction included many world federalists who immediately began trying to reform the UN as soon as it was founded in 1945. They wanted the UN, of course, to be more democratic, to be more like a government (with some authority), and to have some mechanisms for enforcing peace and disarming the nations. They also wanted to eliminate the veto power of the five permanent members (see Martin 2010).
However, they lacked the level of a developed worldcentric perspective that understands the failed nature of capitalism and the self-contradictory nature of the system of sovereign nation-states. That is, a “sovereign” nation takes its stand on its government being the ultimate legal authority within its territory while at the same time denying that it should itself submit to any authority of the rule of law. In its foreign policy, every nation is a defacto anarchist, refusing to admit the legitimacy of any law above itself. Its very claim to legal sovereignty and authority undercuts the possibility of world law. The attempt to reform the UN often accepts this UN system of militarized, sovereign territorial nation-states as legitimate (or somewhat legitimate) while attempting to improve it and make it “more democratic.” This appears as the Green MEME in operation.
Similarly, capitalism (integral to the UN system from very early on) had already been exposed by Karl Marx as based on a number of fundamental structural contradictions. These structural contradictions meant that the system is immoral and needs to be replaced by a morally grounded economics. However, the Green MEME is never revolutionary. It wants to compromise and make incremental improvements, never true structural transformation. What is necessary, of course, is not simply abolishing the UN, but rather replacing its flawed Charter. The UN, as a collection of worthwhile agencies (such as the World Health Organization, WHO), could and should be preserved. But the self-contradictory UN Charter must be replaced by a real constitution for governing the Earth. This group of world federalists did not fully understand these fundamental principles.
They repeatedly tried to make small changes to the UN, for example, toward giving the International Court of Justice (ICJ) more binding authority. This group, and their successors, have worked in vain from then until now without achieving any significant reform of the UN. They have contributed little success to the movement toward real world government, except, perhaps, by illustrating the principle that the UN cannot be reformed. The consciousness of this group of world federalists has not yet fully transcended the ethnocentric perspective, even when their thought has grown beyond dogmatism to an international pluralism. Their perspective believes there is some substantial reality or value in the system of sovereign nations. They believe we need to dialogue with the nations to make incremental improvements, such as fewer wars, or fewer deaths from starvation, or fewer violations of human rights. The need for the oneness of true integration, that is, fundamental system change, eludes them.
A second contingent of world federalists at the close of the Second World War at first seemed to exhibit a somewhat wider and deeper awareness arising from a worldcentric perspective. They decided to promote the regional integration of Europe, thereby perhaps laying the groundwork for regional integrations elsewhere and some possible integration of all regions in the future in the form of a world government. As we know, they were partly successful, creating a European Union with some significant authority but, sadly, retaining the military of each member state of the Union (and hence its sovereignty), and retaining a capitalist-based banking and monetary arrangement that continues the financial debt-system under which each of the sovereign nations is enslaved to gigantic, privately funded banking cartels (see Brown 2007).
The recent fates of Greece and Ireland illustrate the latter point and show the overwhelming weakness of this “union.” Not only do the world federalists promoting European union often fail to recognize the absolute imperative for the unity in diversity of humanity as a whole, their unity-project has now become a new ethnocentrism in which Europe functions as a military, economic, and power block among other international players within a fragmented human situation. The worldcentrism of this group remains precarious and tentative, and, to a certain extent, as ethnocentric as the previous group.
A third direction that world federalists took after World War II was to look forward to creating a widespread collection of world citizens to be elected as delegates for an eventual constituent assembly that would then draft a constitution for the Earth through a slow, pragmatic, and politically practical, developmental process. Some in this group did not share the same naivete concerning the UN as the first group above apparently did. Also, some in this group did not share the inflated expectations for the effect a European Union would have on the world-historical movement towards One Earth under a single constitution.
Nevertheless, the central assumptions of this third group place them in the lower ranges of those exhibiting a worldcentric perspective. These groups and individuals, perhaps best described as “social evolutionaries,” fail to ascend to a worldcentrism free of the old, ethnocentric, structurally fragmented system. They cannot manage to liberate their comprehension fully from the atomized world system of sovereign nation-states and globalized economics. As Errol E. Harris (2000) puts it, they fail to move from the fragmented early-modern paradigm (under which today’s world system was born) to the holistic contemporary paradigm. They labor under the illusion that this system can be reformed, and, like the first two groups, lack the higher worldcentric orientation awakened to the fact that this system itself is mired in egocentric, ethnocentric, and pluralistic assumptions that cannot be evolved or reformed but must be transcended.
The World Federalist Party today, for example, still attempts to reform and evolve the failed world system in the name of an improved future that eliminates some of the worst features of today’s territorial, war, and exploitation system. A recent section of their manifesto reads as follows:
THE WORLD FEDERALIST PARTY MANIFESTO
The World Federalist Party seeks to work with existing parties in the UK (Labour, Liberal Democrat, SNP, Plaid Cymru, Green etc.) and with Green and Federalist parties globally, but also calls for a World Constitutional Conference to be sponsored by as many of the world’s people, parliaments and governments as possible, and aimed at producing an instrument for federal democratic world governance that builds on the supranational democracy of international unions such as the EU, and that is fit to replace the UN with a federal democratic global body capable of making and enforcing laws to control MNCs, arms production and the use of arms by nation-states, and to protect humanity from global pollution, climate change and extremes of inequality, and from nationalist and religious fanatics, while facilitating the devolution and localisation of all other aspects of government. (see www.federalunion.org.uk and www.wfm.org/)
This paragraph is typical of many world federalist organizations. The movement apparently thinks that a coalition of parties within the current world system can someday call a constituent assembly, at which time they will struggle to write a world constitution acceptable to the powers that be, that undoubtedly will be compromising with opposing views in an international democratic process directed toward controlling weapons, multinational corporations, pollution, religious fanatics, etc. Their vague ideals have no concrete expression stating that THIS is what the world needs, but rather express a hope that some cooperative process might work to improve the world in the direction of these abstract ideals. It should be clear that this document is an expression of a truly weak and hopelessly compromised set of First Tier, Green MEME, ideals that have not encountered the fundamental paradigm-shift that lifts persons and groups to Second Tier integral, creative, and transformative action. Nor does it evidence awareness of the dialectical character of human social history.
Moving through the levels of human development involves reorienting assumptions at each level, transcending and leaving behind previous, more immature levels. In the process of growth (as in the process of scientific paradigm-shifts as described by Thomas Kuhn, 1962), many incremental little steps and discontinuities can culminate in a reorientation of the whole and awakening to a new way of thinking and being. At a certain point in the process of moving through developmental stages, one becomes aware of the entire process and becomes free to use the process in the service of further growth. We move from social evolutionaries to become creative non-violent revolutionaries, which is what, for example, was achieved by Mahatma Gandhi. That is why he was called “great soul” (Mahatma). He lived from the unity in diversity at the heart of the cosmos, not from some practical and pragmatic patterns of compromise and perpetually delayed action.
The World Federalist Party, as represented by this quote, has not yet grasped the dialectical relation between institutions and human consciousness. They believe they can evolve a fragmented world system toward unity, when in fact that very fragmentation (sovereign nation-states within global capitalism) fights against its own transformation. Fromm asks “how can man become so profoundly transformed that the values he has hitherto only recognized ideologically, become compelling motives for his personality and his action?” (1996, p. 95). The answer requires simultaneous institutional and personal transformative action. Passion and action for ratifying the Earth Constitution in the here and now embodies authentic transformative action. Patiently trying to organize some future “constitutive assembly” does not.
Beck and Cowen identify this transformative freedom with breakthrough to the “Second Tier” in the process of awakening and growth (moving beyond Green to Yellow and then Turquoise stages). This World Federalist Party Manifesto reveals this same pluralist, First Tier, evolutionary thinking. They cannot take their stand on the true unity in diversity of the human situation here and now, but forever want to postpone, to gradually realize some ideal rather than demanding what needs to be affirmed here and now. Their ideologically held values have not yet become “compelling motives for personality and action.” They do not live from the One: Unity-in-Diversity prior to mere ideals. None of the three groupings described above exhibit Second Tier characteristics. They refuse to seize “the tide” of growth and awakening in human affairs, but rather, as in the words of Shakespeare, remain “bound in shallows and in miseries” associated with a dominant world system that cannot be reformed but must be transcended.
Those who have broken through to a more fully developed world consciousness and have likely begun the ascent into a cosmic consciousness are often no longer content with a slow, contingent, hesitant process of social evolution leading eventually to One World (we hope). They understand revolutionary changes in consciousness; they understand fundamental paradigm-shifts; they understand the process of “deconstruction and breakthrough” that I described in my 1991 essay on this topic. They also understand that human beings are facing extinction through run-away climate change or nuclear war or both. Yet the World Federalist Party cannot bring itself to true, non-violent revolutionary action. They affirm (as far away) what needs to be affirmed and actualized NOW. How much more developmentally advanced is the viewpoint expressed by Professor Errol E. Harris in his groundbreaking book Earth Federation Now! Tomorrow is Too Late (2014). The title itself expresses his truly worldcentric level of awareness.
This demand, arising from a moral and spiritual awakening to the ONE of unity in diversity at the heart of existence and our human situation, is also found in the writings of Swami Agnivesh who serves as a Distinguished Advisor to the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA):
Spirituality is the sphere of ever-expanding responsibility. That is why it is also the medium of mankind’s on-going evolution. Spirituality is a vision that insists that one’s welfare is coterminous with the welfare of society. This is because spirituality presupposes a holistic vision in which all the parts dwell organically within the whole and the whole dwells in the parts…. We must integrate correct words with creative deeds and so unleash the spiritual power that would liberate the people and transform societies (2015, 13-14, 25).
Consciousness of the ONE that emerges as we incorporate our worldcentric understanding into a cosmocentric depth-awareness requires that we take revolutionary action through “correct words and creative deeds” demanding transformation, and opening people to the higher spiritual realizations that are the true source of human liberation. This NOW needs to impact those caught within a Green MEME (do nothing) pluralism as well as those imbedded in the Orange MEME personal achievement and autonomy orientation, awakening them to the possibility of liberating growth and action. The future belongs to the visionaries and transformers, not to those trapped in First Tier determinism with its dogma of slow, evolutionary development.
Not coincidentally, the same kind of demand for immediate realization and transformation permeates the words and actions of Jesus Christ as depicted by the four Gospels of Christianity. Jesus denies the legitimacy of postponement, the “practical” evasion of what is right and what is demanded here and now. He has no truck with the pragmatic authorities, nor with the violent rebels against that order. Jesus teaches a revolutionary transformation of that order through our decision to ascend to a fulfilled and transformed consciousness—to agape, revolutionary love. Jesus teaches an integral holism in which God’s agape and our human agape are one and the same, demanding actualization in the living present moment. This is the same kind of imperative implicit within the Constitution for the Federation of Earth (see Martin 2018, Chap. 5).
Creation of the Earth Constitution as an expression of Second Tier Consciousness
The above three groups all persist into our 21st century, for newer generations of younger people themselves absorb these truncated forms of worldcentric consciousness, stuck largely in the Green MEME with its limited awareness of the reality of integrative holism. On the other hand, the fourth main group coming out of the world federalist movement after the Second World War, at least for some of its leaders, had a much more cohesive, powerful, and integrated worldcentric consciousness. They understood that the world required a democratic Constitution for the Federation of Earth, and that it was needed NOW, not in some vague, evolved, contingent future.
Among these visionaries (five of whom the present writer knew personally) were Philip Isely of the USA, Dr. Terence P. Amerasinghe of Sri Lanka, Dr. Reinhart Ruge of Mexico, Swami Yogi Shanti of India, Dr. Suchart Kosolkitiwong of Thailand (later known as monk Ariyawanso Bhikku), and A.B. Patel (General Secretary and Treasurer of World Union International Center, Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, India). World Union, of course, came out of the work of Sri Aurobindo, another awakened human being living and acting from the ONE truth at the heart of our human situation.
Sri Aurobindo understood that the “the universe and the individual are necessary to each other in their ascent.” The divine, therefore, “creates in itself a self-conscious concentration of the All through which it can aspire” (1973, p.49). Aurobindo acted to make all humanity aware of this demand through the creation of World Union, an organization dedicated to creating world government. A.B. Patel was also the first Co-president of the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA). He understood the Earth Constitution as fulfilling that role, as an institution through which human beings can aspire to the All.
Under the leadership of these six (and others such as Dr. Rashmi Mayur, 1996), world citizens from around the planet were organized into a movement to write the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. They met in several preliminary conferences and in four primary constituent assemblies in Interlaken, Switzerland in 1968, Innsbruck, Austria in 1977, Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1979, and Troia, Portugal in 1991. At Troia, Portugal, they declared the Earth Constitution finished and ready for ratification under the democratic procedures specified in its Article 17. The people of Earth had an imperative, a living culminating document, a template for moving fully to the worldcentric mode of existence, and a dynamic means for liberating their potential for further moral and spiritual growth toward cosmic awareness.
Although other constitutions have been written for the Earth, none have been created through this dynamic process of multiple constituent assemblies, and few rival the integral worldcentric consciousness evidenced in every feature of the Earth Federation government established by the Constitution. Clearly the movement of humanity to spiritual, intellectual, and moral awakening will not happen through a single document, and no particular document is essential to this process. Nevertheless, affirmation of this transformative and awakened master document should clearly be a priority for people at the Second Tier of spiritual development who understand the imperative for paradigm-shift, breakthrough, and transformative awakening.
The Earth Constitution establishes the means for further human development by eliminating the terrible political and economic impediments to human development as depicted in the above chart. Its Preamble expresses precisely the disjunction between the old paradigm (that has brought human beings to “the brink of extinction”) and the new holistic paradigm of unity in diversity, demanding that we act NOW to actualize this paradigm. The above described groups of world federalists, still wallowing in the Green MEME of undiscriminating pluralism and historically contingent social evolutionism, may read this Preamble and declare: “Well, it’s just another perspective. Let us give it equal time with the Neo-Nazis and the Conservative Party.”
But those with a more fully actualized worldcentric consciousness may well declare that just this must be affirmed, demanded, and ratified, here and now. That is the significance of the Earth Constitution. Here is a transformative model for setting human affairs right and the means for bringing much of humanity into a worldcentric awareness. It represents the awakened heart and soul of world federalism, and the revolutionary paradigm-shift that follows from this breakthrough.
In its 19 Articles following the Preamble, everything about the Earth Constitution establishes government on the principles of unity in diversity and dynamic, integrated, organizational integrity. It sets up a vital third house in the World Parliament. Along with the House of Peoples (constituted from 1000 electoral districts worldwide) and the House of Nations (with 1, 2, or 3 reps from each nation depending on population), it constitutes a House of Counselors (some 200 people from around the planet chosen for their expertise and wisdom). How do we get wise people into government, some of whom will undoubtedly think and act from the Yellow or Turquoise levels of awakening? The Constitution provides a coherent method for making this happen.
The Earth Constitution pulls all the continents of the Earth together—all the countries, religions, and cultures in a dynamic unity in diversity that embraces the many organizations, agencies, and leadership roles outlined by the Constitution. The leadership of the three houses of Parliament as well as all the main agencies of the government all involve presidiums of 5 or more persons, at least one from each continental division of the Earth. No person has unchallengeable personal power, and multiple checks and balances keep all agencies working for the central mission of the government as outlined in Article One: ending war, disarming the nations, protecting human rights, creating just and equitable social relations, and protecting the global environment.
The Constitution’s two bills of human rights (Articles 12 and 13) spell out the entire range of human rights and add to these the right to peace and to a protected planetary environment. The agency of the World Ombudsmus is tasked to protect and promote these rights and to act as a watchdog on the rest of the world government to ensure that these rights are not violated. The World Financial Administration is empowered to create global, debt-free public banking and to finance all sustainable socially and environmentally valuable projects without requiring collateral or other features of the current oligarchic and elitist world financial system.
The Earth Constitution as a whole provides a template for a transformed world system. It is clearly a product of spiritually and morally awakened Second Tier consciousness and thought. That is why the organizational sponsor of the Constitution, the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA), is at the forefront of the worldwide federalist movement. The Earth Constitution embodies the highest worldcentric maturity, in terms of which the unity in diversity of humanity and our planetary home serves as the reality from which we live and act.
As Richard Heinberg shows in his recent book The End of Growth (2011), if we are to survive, the future Earth will very soon need to be characterized by decentralized, innovative, cooperative local communities. Sustainability requires that globalized trade and growth economics be replaced by local production units organized for sustainable living, focusing on the quality of life, not on ever-more consumption. The Earth Constitution, which connects the global dimension with the local communities around the world (for the first time in human history), is uniquely suited to make this happen. WCPA for years now has been promoting local cooperatives and grass-roots empowerment to complement a global framework ensuring the peace, stability, and cooperative protection for all communities on our planet. The following chart indicates this process.
NGOs, cooperatives, and citizens working to improve the lives of local communities and convert them to sustainability have an ally in the Earth Federation Government whose mandate is to protect everyone equally, end war, and ensure the development of locally organized sustainable communities that make the Earth “a safe and happy home for humanity.” As so many people at the grassroots level have reminded us (people who are not interested in ideas about the evolution of human consciousness): “what good is talk about a future united world without a concrete document in the present to make it a living possibility?”
Either approach (spiritual evolution or pragmatic actualization of this concrete document) requires that we work to ratify the Earth Constitution now, that we begin the sustainable communities now, and it requires that we support the development of Provisional World Government under the authority of the Earth Constitution, here and now. World thinker Jürgen Moltmann declared that with the nuclear bombings of 1945, human beings entered the “end time” (2012, p. 46). With on-going climate collapse, we are facing another horrific form of the “end time” (Romm 2018). No other plan, postponed into an indeterminate future, can possibly save the Earth from climate disaster and/or nuclear war.
No more should human beings compromise with the tired, fruitless, and failed system of waring, militarized nation states and global economic domination and exploitation. We need fundamental system change that integrates the planetary dimension with the grassroots. We cannot and should not try to evolve what must be transcended through awakening and paradigm-shift. The process of democratic ratification is clear and transparent in Article 17, and Article 19 authorizes the creation of the central features of the Earth Federation here and now.
No more postponement and evasion as practiced by many world federalists from their truncated levels of worldcentric consciousness. The Earth Constitution demands the next step in our spiritual self-actualization and awakening. It is both a culmination of our human aspiration for a worldcentric planetary civilization, and the necessary means for achieving this. It demands that we actualize our potential for mature world centrism here and now. It is our clarion call to a new enlightened fulfillment and self-realization. Now is the time—tomorrow is indeed too late.
Agnivesh, Swami (2015). Applied Spirituality: A Spiritual Vision for the Dialogue of Religions. New York: Harper Element Books.
Aurobindo, Sri (1973). The Essential Aurobindo. Robert A. McDermott, ed. New York: Schocken Books.
Beck, Don Edward and Christopher C. Cowan (2006). Spiral Dynamics: Mastering Values, Leadership, and Change. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.
Brown, Ellen Hodgson (2007). Web of Debt: The Shocking Truth about Our Money System. Revised Edition. Baton Rouge, LA: Third Millennium Press.
Camus, Albert (1986). Neither Victims Nor Executioners. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers.
Fromm, Eric (1996). To Have or To Be. New York: Continuum Publishers.
Gilligan, Carol (1982). In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Habermas, Jurgen (1979). Communication and the Evolution of Society. Thomas McCarthy, trans. Boston: Beacon Press.
Harris, Errol E. (2000). Apocalypse and Paradigm: Science and Everyday Thinking. Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
Harris, Errol E. (2014). Earth Federation Now! Tomorrow is Too Late. Second Edition. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.
Heinberg, Richard (2011). The End of Growth: Adapting to Our New Economic Reality. Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers.
Kant, Immanuel (1956). Critique of Practical Reason. Lewis White Beck, trans. New York: Bobbs-Merrill, Inc.
Kant, Immanuel (1957). Perpetual Peace and Other Writings on Politics, Peace, and History. Ed. Pauline Kleingeld. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Klein, Naomi (2008). The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism. New York: Henry Holt & Company.
Kohlberg, Lawrence (1984). The Psychology of Moral Development, Volume Two: The Nature and Validity of Moral Stages. San Francisco: Harper & Row.
Kuhn, Thomas (1962). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Martin, Glen T. (1991). “Deconstruction and Breakthrough in Nietzsche and Nāgārjuna,” article in the volume Nietzsche and Asian Thought, Graham Parkes, ed., University of Chicago Press, pp. 91-111.
Martin, Glen T. (2005). Millennium Dawn: The Philosophy of Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Democracy Press.
Martin, Glen T. (2010). Constitution for the Federation of Earth. With Historical Introduction, Commentary, and Conclusion. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.
Martin, Glen T. (2018). Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence: The Power of the Future for Planetary Transformation. London: Cambridge Scholars Publishers.
Maslow, Abraham (2014). Toward a Psychology of Being. Floyd, VA: Sublime Books.
Mayur, Rashmi, ed. (1996). Earth, Man, and Future. Mumbai, India: International Institute for Sustainable Future.
Moltmann, Jürgen (2012). Ethics of Hope. Trans. Margaret Kohl. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
Reves, Emery (1946). The Anatomy of Peace. New York: Harper & Brothers.
Romm, Joseph (2018). Climate Change: What Everyone Needs to Know. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wilber, Ken (1996). Eye to Eye: The Quest of a New Paradigm. Boston: Shambala Books.
Wilber, Ken (2007). Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World. Boston: Integral Books.
Wittgenstein, Ludwig (1929). “Lecture on Ethics” found at http://sackett.net/WittgensteinEthics.pdf