Glen T. Martin
In what way will we survive the transition to a humane and decent world civilization under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth? The realization of our true human destiny is fraught with danger, not simply with the very real danger of anthropological wrong turnings and misunderstandings, but with the immense dangers of nuclear war and climate destruction. Does the chaos of our time indicate the hopelessness of our human quest for true self-realization?
Does the very difficulty of getting the Earth Constitution known and accepted indicate a seemingly unbridgeable abyss between our current human situation and the actualization of our true humanity? Does the present chaos indicate that human beings exist irredeemably lost in ignorance and irrationality? My answer is no; our situation is not hopeless, nor is the distance to the goal unbridgeable.
Faith and hope are constitutive of our very being—and with good reason. The alternative to what Panikkar has called “a human catastrophe of planetary proportions” (2013, 319) involves a creative transformation on the part of humanity that necessarily involves (1) consciousness of our common humanity and planetary civilization as a whole, (2) awareness of the very real possibilities for change embedded within our common humanity, and (3) the willingness to embrace a concrete plan or blueprint for major change that allows us to effectively proceed with the transformation.
Within our organization sponsoring this Earth Constitution (the World Constitution and Parliament Association—WCPA) there are thinkers about our human condition who write to me in consternation about the terrible things that are happening worldwide in this 21st year of the new millennium. One theme especially comes to the fore—perhaps we were wrong that human beings are rational creatures who can recognize the need to unite civilization under an effective constitution designed to address a host of global problems that cannot be addressed in any other way.
Today irrationality seems to possess vast portions of humanity. Large groups of people in multiple countries cling to bizarre conspiracy theories, fascist movements trying to overthrow democracy, white supremist movements claiming an imagined superiority based merely on skin-color, or fundamentalist religions that deny the very premises of science-based reasoning. The very foundations of human knowledge and understanding are called into question. There is no thought whatsoever of an emergent evolutionary movement of human beings toward a world of love, justice, truth, compassion, equality and decency.
Planetary thinker Eric Gutkind proclaimed that such phenomena represented humankind moving through its “noon-tide terror” (1969). Our human destiny, he said, was of cosmic proportions. We are moving to higher cosmic levels of being and thinking through the cosmic evolutionary upsurge—the process of divinization of human beings and our becoming conscious of our cosmic destiny in ever-greater harmony with the divine ground of Being, and the process of actualizing ever-higher levels of self-awareness and freedom.
This ”noon-tide” symbolizes a turning point in a cycle when the old is culminated and superseded by a new age, a new paradigm, and a new dispensation. It is a time of greatest instability and risk, a time when the old is no longer valid and the new has not yet emerged. Ours is a time of Kairos (a special, sacred time, a turning point), a time of immense danger and at the same time of immense possibility and promise. Chaos and irrationality appear to reign, threatening vision, hope, and stability. But these are only symptoms of the struggle to breakthrough to the next level, not fundamental reflections of our deeper humanity.
The challenge laid upon us at this moment, Gutkind declared, is so great, so immense, so cosmic, that many persons are rebelling against the demands of our age and retracting into either lives of smallness, everydayness, and denial, or into violent, irrational reactions of hate, fear, and fascism. They make up the dark-side, the resistance, the negativity generated as backlash to the seemingly “superhuman” demands laid upon us by the mysterious imperatives of our divinely grounded destiny.
Ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, to my mind, is a key step in the actualization of our cosmically-inspired destiny, of becoming the carriers of truth, love, and justice that we know we could and should be. The Constitution takes a fundamental step in the unification of human beings into one planetary civilization and one community of equality and justice. It will not be a panacea for our many ills and global problems, for the solution to these ills and problems will require continuing evolutionary growth on the part of human beings in fulfillment of our cosmic destiny.
But the Constitution will serve as an effective tool for being able to address our global problems that are simply unsolvable under the fragmented and unjust world system (see my 2021 book The Earth Constitution Solution). There is no way the planet’s present ruling elite made up of imperial nations (led by the US), the UN war and sovereignty system, powerful multinational corporations, and global banking cartels can achieve this transition. The Earth Constitution Solution presents many compelling rational reasons for ratifying the Earth Constitution, and some of them involve liberation from the world’s present domination and exploitation system, but there are also imperatives that go beyond ordinary rationality that I am discussing in this essay.
There may be visionary and concerned people populating all these global institutions who are concerned with human survival and flourishing into the future, but they want that future to happen without having to give up their national power, their corporate domination, their UN system privileges, or their debt-based banking system of exploitation. They want the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be achieved but dream of achieving these without having to abandon the system that caused the civilizational and environmental crisis in the first place.
Our modern ideas of democracy, dignity, and human rights emerged in force during the 18th century. They gave us the end of legal slavery, the formal political equality of women, the civil-rights movement, and the ideals of democratic freedom and equality. However, all these ideals and movements continue to struggle within a world-system characterized by war, nation-state militarism, violence, vast economic inequality under the capitalist system, and by a global banking system institutionalized around debt-based money creation and therefore perpetual scarcity and impoverishment for the many and unimaginable wealth and power for the few.
Today’s leaders within these institutions may want more democracy, dignity, and human rights, but they want these to happen without seriously changing these regressive institutions of violence, domination, and exploitation. Those of us in solidarity with the dominated and exploited majority of humanity, however, embrace the Earth Constitution as a key to the next serious step in creating a world truly about democracy, dignity, and human rights. A world that is truly under a constitutional authority of democratically legislated laws would see the present heads of many nations in jail (because they are war criminals), the present heads of many multinational corporations in jail (because they are destroying the environment, bribing people to get special corporate privileges, and causing corruption everywhere) and the heads of global banking cartels in jail (because they are exploiting critical human needs for vast private profit). The world system of “global governance” as it exists today is very much a criminal system.
Let us draw further on Eric Gutkind’s idea that we are under a divinely given imperative to move to a higher cosmic level of being and consciousness, a level characterized by love, justice, truth, and greater God-awareness. We can conclude that there are two giant impediments to the transition of humanity to the next higher emergent-evolutionary level. The first involves people reacting in “noon-tide terror” to the immense demands for growth and transformation placed upon us at this point in the process of emergence.
These irrational “noon-tide terror” reactions of smallness, bizarre conspiracy fantasies, and dogmatic fundamentalist religions, do not show that human beings are intrinsically irrational. They really show the difficulty of our accepting the task laid upon us by the divine imperative. Like God’s command to Abraham in the Hebrew scriptures (Genesis 22), the task laid upon us appears truly superhuman, an impossible demand—like the demand to sacrifice one’s first-born son to God. People react to this apparently supra-rational, incomprehensible demand in irrational and bizarre ways. The noon-time, when everything is in flux and the old paradigm is dissolving, opens us up to this cacophony of human responses.
But here is the key. The demand may be supra-rational and hence incomprehensible but is not beyond the resources bequeathed to us by the ground of Being. We embody the very divine dimensions making this demand. We are microcosms of the macrocosm. There is a faith and hope integral to our everyday experience that we need to recognize and abide by. The demand ultimately is simply to become who we truly are, to become what we are meant to be. A key step in becoming who we are is simply ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.
The second great impediment in the face of this “noon-tide” moment involves the reactionary and counter-revolutionary refusal of the planetary ruling class to give up their powers of dominance and exploitation in favor of a world of genuine freedom, equality, and dignity for everyone. The ideology many of them have adopted as a cover for their refusal is the ideology of pragmatism, practicality, or conformance to what is “evolutionarily possible” given present conditions, etc. They say we must go slow, we must carefully and slowly make changes to ensure a better future—this, of course, while the house continues to burn down around us all, while the planetary ecosystem disintegrates in front of our faces, and while they refuse to relinquish their immoral status of privilege and power.
In the end there are many reasons for embracing the Earth Constitution as the next key step in our human adventure. These reasons may simply include the demand for survival in the face of the immense dangers of nuclear-war and climate collapse. But I personally like Eric Gutkind’s conception of a divine imperative at the heart of our human reality urging us to evolve to higher levels of consciousness, and demanding the actualizing within ourselves of the “objective utopian values” that I have written about elsewhere (“Utopian Horizon,” 2021)—values of truth, love, justice, freedom, and dignity.
Our recently deceased Vice-President of WCPA, Swami Agnivesh, was a powerful advocate of the Earth Constitution. He understood what is necessary, and, like Eric Gutkind, he saw genuine transformation as a demand laid upon us by the universal ground of Being, the Brahman that is also Atman:
Transformation is not just any change. It is even more than a change for the better. It is a radical change that empowers the fulfillment of potentialities that remain hidden and untapped. The scope of transformation goes beyond that of reform. Reform is content with specific improvements, whereas transformation calls for the shifting of the very foundation on which a society or religious system is based. It is a total and comprehensive agenda (2015, 38).
These are the grounds for Swami Agnivesh’s support for ratification of the Earth Constitution. At the heart of every major religion historically has been the demand for fundamental transformation, a divinely inspired demand laid upon us by the ground of cosmic Being—Tao, Buddha Dharma, Brahman, Allah, Yahweh, or God. Today’s “Noon-Tide Terror” arises in proportion as awareness of the demand increases. The more the demand comes to consciousness, the more people fear facing up to what is really required of us by our cosmic destiny, the demand that we fulfill our most basic human “potentialities that remain hidden and untapped.”
But the “Great Transition to Planetary Civilization” (as Paul Raskin names it, 2016), needs to happen. It must happen. Our human destiny is also a cosmic destiny. Our destiny is not just ordinariness, and certainly not the corruption of the present system of domination and exploitation. Our destiny includes a world of truth, love, justice, dignity, and freedom—and all of these lived in ecological harmony within our planetary home. Our destiny in the language of Eric Gutkind is “divinization.” We begin to realize our true destiny as microcosms of the whole.
How do we rise to this apparently impossible task and demand? How do we become who we are meant to be? It may well be that we have been on a long journey, away from our home, and that now we have the opportunity to return home. It may be that we can simply return home—and know the place for the first time—living with love and simplicity on our beautiful home planet Earth.
Agnivesh, Swami (2015). Applied Spirituality: A Spiritual Vision for the Dialogue of Religions. New York: Harper Element Books.
Gutkind, Eric (1969). The Body of God: First Steps Toward an Anti-Theology. New York: Horizon Press.
Martin, Glen T. (2021a). “Utopian Horizon Value Theory: A Transformative Power at the Heart of Human Futurity.” American International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Vol. 7 No 1; February 2021 ISSN 2415-1270 (Online), ISSN 2415-1424 (Print) Published by Center for Global Research Development. http://aijhss.cgrd.org/images/Vol7No1/1.pdf
Martin, Glen T. (2021b). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.
Panikkar, Raimon (2013). The Rhythm of Being: The Unbroken Trinity. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.
Raskin, Paul (2016). Journey to Earthland: The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization. Boston: Tellus Institute.