Glen T. Martin
3 November 2022 www.oneworldrenaissance.com
Earth Constitution Mandala
The human phenomenon has emerged out of the cosmic process some 13.7 billion years in the making. The most fundamental scientific paradigm-shift of the 20th and 21st centuries has been to shift to an evolutionary model of cosmic development. In the 19th century Hegel provided an abstract philosophical vision of a progressive development of the divine principle through human history, and in 1859 Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species showing the biological evolution of all species and hence the interconnectedness of all species in the “immense journey” of life. But it was not until Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Edwin Hubble’s providing empirical evidence for an expanding universe during the 1920s that it began to dawn on scientists everywhere that everything evolves, even the universe as a whole.
Our universe has evolved through distinct stages, as Brian Swimme and many others have pointed out, and each stage involves a transformation of the whole and could not happen except for the groundwork laid by previous stages—the primal flaring forth, the birth of the first stars, the formation of galaxies, then supernova explosions within galaxies creating and distributing all the heavy elements of the atomic spectrum necessary to life, then these heavy elements being captured in the formation of third generation stars (such as our Sun), and the following evolutionary incorporation of these atomic elements into the process of the evolution of life on planets orbiting these third generation stars, and then, finally, life ascending to ever-greater levels of complexity and corresponding higher levels of consciousness.
Under this evolutionary paradigm, many discoveries have been made such as the “Anthropic Principle” that attempts to show that the very early conditions in the universe already contained the evolution of self-conscious creatures that now observe them.[i] The growing consensus today is that human beings are in some fundamental sense “intended” by the cosmos, that we are born from the series of sequential cosmic processes going back 13.7 billion years. What is this meaning of human life? What is the purpose of this cosmic emergence?
This evolutionary paradigm has also been widely applied to human development across several dimensions. Ken Wilber, for example, provides a model of development he names “AQAL” (all quadrants, all levels), which outlines evolutionary development in human life across the subjective quadrant (or zone), the cultural zone, the institutional zone, and the scientific zone. In Integral Spirituality he also compares the developmental models from a number of major thinkers to illustrate the impressive consensus of their findings.[ii]
One developmental line, for example, presents the growth of human “self-identity” through the following stages: Symbiotic, Impulsive, Self-protective, Conformist, Conscientious, Individualistic, Autonomous Construct-Aware, Ego-aware, Transpersonal. We all begin at a “symbiotic” level and human growth normally does not progress far along within these developmental stages, with the majority largely at conformist and/or conscientious levels. The higher levels in this list of stages of human development have been attained by perhaps a few persons and/or cultures in history, but these levels can be mapped because of the immense congruent records of philosophical and religious traditions going back several thousand years. Another model presents a simpler developmental sequence from an egoistic stage, through an ethnocentric stage, to a worldcentric stage, to an integral or cosmic stage.
All these models lead beyond personal egocentric consciousness to “transpersonal” levels. At these levels, it is no longer ego, personal self-interest, or cultural identifications that are operating but rather holism, the whole of humanity, the whole of the planetary biosphere, the whole of the cosmos, or the whole of God, world, and cosmos together. The higher levels involve “cosmic consciousness” in which it appears that the Cosmos, or perhaps the “heart” of the Cosmos (God) is thinking and acting, rather than the isolated ego.
As Wilber’s AQAL model points out, growth at the individual subjective level is, and needs to be, paralleled by cultural, institutional, and scientific growth. Our own development is connected with that of humanity because each of us is, in fundamental ways, humanity. As Indian-born spiritual thinker Jiddu Krishnamurti expressed this: “If you don’t know how your mind reacts, if your mind is not aware of its own activities, you will never find out what society is…. Your mind is humanity, and when you perceive this, you will have immense compassion. Out of this understanding comes great love.”[iii]
We will see Zen Buddhist scholar Abe Masao and many others emphasize these same connections. If the cosmos and humanity are whole, why are human institutions inevitably fragmented and atomistic? What are the institutional and cultural levels that parallel awakening to the “great Self” in Zen Buddhism? Could it be recognition of the “sovereignty of mankind”?
Human beings from all cultures, races, religions, and parts of the globe go through such stages of development, and perhaps nearly all have the potential to move to the highest stages. One may argue about how to delineate the stages, but the general principle appears solid. Our bodies, we now know, are made possible only by incorporating stardust (the heavier elements created and scattered by Supernova star explosions). Our minds, we now know from Quantum physics, act as receivers of the consciousness inherent in all aspects of the cosmos.[iv] Our entire lives are only made possible through a profound participation in these and many other dimensions of the cosmos.
Chapter 5 of my 2005 book, Millennium Dawn: The Philosophy of Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation, examines the literature of and about “mysticism” at some depth. The classic studies of mysticism such as The Teachings of the Mystics by Walter Stace or Mysticism East and West by Rudolf Otto, argue that the core of mysticism is exhibited by those in meditation who entirely lose consciousness of the world and its diversity and, in non-dual ecstasy, experience absolute oneness. In that chapter I argue that this is not correct, since it leaves out the immediacy of the world. Non-duality and diversity are not incompatible. The world is an integrated whole present to us at every moment.
The highest form of mysticism, therefore, is “integrative mysticism” in which we encounter the fullness-emptiness of the world directly, with this unity experienced within the depths of its diversity. As Chapter 5 declares: “Our situation at the dawn of the twenty-first century is that we must take the next step into fundamental transformation, or we will destroy ourselves and our planet. We must move beyond dependence on science, knowledge, and language to a living-in-oneness with the overwhelming immediacy prior to language and reason that encompasses our lives from the beginning…. This is planetary maturity, as well as the realization of freedom and fulfillment on our precious planet.”[v]
In his book entitled Cosmic Humanism and World Unity (1975),Professor Oliver L. Reiser writes: “The darkening clouds of social disaster curving over the great mass fields of the human drama cannot be dispelled until we synthesize a world outlook in which religion, science, art, and philosophy are coordinated with economic-political mechanisms to give common life meaning and purpose.”[vi] Why are we here? What is our purpose? I believe the quotations below (from a broad spectrum of major thinkers) give important indications of this.
The Processes of Emergence, Recognition, and Responsibility
Henri Bergson was a very influential French philosopher active during the first half of the 20th century. In one of his major books called Creative Evolution, Bergson characterized the being of the universe in just this way: as truly “creative” evolution.
Henri Bergson— Thanks to philosophy, all things acquire depth—more than depth, something like a fourth dimension which permits anterior perceptions to remain bound up with present perceptions, and the immediate future itself to become partly outlined in the present. Reality no longer appears then in the static state, in its manner of being; it affirms itself dynamically…. Everything comes to life around us, everything is revivified in us. A great impulse carries being and things along. We feel uplifted, carried away, borne along by it. We are more fully alive.
Intuition, bound up to a duration which is growth, perceives in it an uninterrupted continuity of unforeseeable novelty; it sees, it knows that the mind draws from itself more than it has, that spirituality consists in just that, and that reality, impregnated with spirit, is creation.[vii]
In the 18th century, Immanuel Kant had conceived of the mind as processing the world through immutable “categories of understanding or conception” that made apprehending “noumenal” ultimate reality impossible. Bergson uncovers an awareness in us more immediate than “categories of understanding” or any conceptions whatsoever. He calls this “pure duration” that experiences the flow of existence, a flow in which the past does not determine the future causally (one of Kant’s “categories of understanding”) but allows for genuine novelty to emerge from the process.
The cosmos is a process, not a static reality, and we emerge from its flow and are constituted by that flow. The flow is an immediacy prior to thought, cognition, and language. This may well be what Buddhism has long understood and is at the heart of its anatta (no self) and anicca (no things or impermanence) doctrines. The flow is simultaneously the whole, emerging ceaselessly in the ever-present now at the heart of all things and the totality of the cosmos.
20th century physicist David Bohm explains this “implicate order” from which emerges the “explicate order” studied by the sciences and experienced by the majority of human beings. Bohm made major contributions to quantum physics and became a well-known writer and speaker concerning the revolutionary implications of these scientific breakthroughs. The following quotes are from his major book, Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1980).
David Bohm— The widespread and pervasive distinctions between people (race, nation, family profession, etc., etc.), which are now preventing mankind from working together for the common good, and indeed, even for survival, have one of their key factors of their origin in a kind of thought that treats things as inherently divided, disconnected, and ‘broken up’ into yet smaller constituent parts. Each part is considered to be essentially independent and self-existent. When man thinks of himself in this way, he will inevitably tend to defend the needs of his own ‘Ego’ against those of the others, or, if he identifies with a group of people of the same kind, he will defend his group in a similar way.
He cannot seriously think of mankind as the basic reality, whose claims come first…. If he thinks of the totality as constituted of independent fragments, then that is how his mind will tend to operate, but if he can include everything coherently and harmoniously in an overall whole that is undivided, unbroken, and without a border (for every border is a division or break) then his mind will tend to move in a similar way, and from this will flow an orderly action within the whole.[viii]
This can be seen especially clearly in terms of groupings of people in society (political, economic, religious, etc.). The very act of forming such a group tends to create a sense of division and separation of the members from the rest of the world but, because the members are really connected with the whole, this cannot work.
One might then suggest that in intelligent perception, the brain and nervous system respond directly to an order in the universal and unknown flux that cannot be reduced to anything that could be defined in terms of knowable structures. Intelligence and material process have thus a single origin, which is ultimately the unknown totality of the universal flux. In a certain sense, this implies that what have been commonly called mind and matter are abstractions from the universal flux and that both are to be regarded as different and relatively autonomous orders within the one whole movement… It is thought responding to intelligent perception which is capable of bringing about an overall harmony or fitting between mind and matter….
The reason why these forms are related could only be in the ground from which they arise, but there can be no way of discussing relative correspondence in this ground, because relative correspondence implies knowledge, while the ground is beyond what can be assimilated in the content of knowledge.
Such a projection can be described as creative rather than mechanical, for by creativity one means just the inception of new content, which unfolds into a sequence of moments that is not completely derivable from what came earlier in this sequence or set of sequences. What we are saying is, then, that the movement is basically such a creative inception of new content as projected from the multidimensional ground. In contrast, what is mechanical is a relatively autonomous sub-totality that can be abstracted from that which as basically a creative movement of unfoldment.
Bohm raises a number of crucial points. Like Bergson, he distinguishes the creative rather than “mechanical” nature of the cosmos. Genuinely new things are energies, perpetually emerging, that are not determined by past events nor any pervasive, deterministic causality. Ordinary thinking is fragmented thinking because it identifies borders and distinguishes among groupings assumed to be “real” apart from its descriptions.
Philosopher of Language Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote his early book Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921) exploring the possibility of the linguistic description of things corresponding to, or pictorially representing, features of the world. He discovered that this was impossible and, in his later philosophy, converted his entire way of thinking to the view that all language is purely “conventional,” that it does not “correspond” to any extra-linguistic ontological realities.
The last sentence of the Tractatus declares: “What we cannot speak about we must pass over in silence.” David Bohm confirms this principle from the point of view of a physicist; matter and mind themselves are aspects of a single holistic process: “the ground that is beyond what can be assimilated in the content of knowledge.” We cannot “know” it scientifically. We encounter reality through silence.
Bohm points out that our fragmented human condition is the source of war, violence, and possible coming human self-destruction. When people make borders and boundaries, and take them as realities, they in principle are denying the primacy of the whole and its integral flux beyond distinctions and boundaries. Because of this they do not see that the common good of humanity takes priority over the plethora of parts. Indeed, they fail to fully encounter the reality of “one humanity” at all, and remain bound in fragmentation, chaos, and wars.
Another scientist, evolutionary biologist, and cosmological thinker, Brian Swimme, emphasizes wonder, and astonishment at the awesome truths of “the universe story” uncovered by science. Swimme is professor of evolutionary cosmology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. One of his major publications was coauthored by poet Thomas Berry called The Universe Story: From the Primal Flaring Forth to the Ecozoic Era. A Celebration of the Unfolding of the Cosmos (1992). The quotes below are from two of his subsequent books.
Swimme emphasizes that this awesome process of emergence over 13.7 billion years of ever-greater complexity and coherence must sink in, become part of our being and our living. Doing this will mean the “transformation of humanity” and our rebirth to become creatures of the cosmos, becoming self-conscious living embodiments at the cusp of the universal process.
Brian Swimme— It is easy for someone to become momentarily fascinated or titillated by the wild data of the new story of the universe, but it is another thing altogether to absorb its meaning into the center of one’s being. What is needed is embodiment. What is needed is the transformation of humanity from the form it takes today into forms congruent with the ways of the universe. Such a transformation will take place in those individuals who have the courage, imagination, and energy necessary to make the journey.
An omnicentric universe is filled with voices calling us into deep activation. When we find our way into alignment, the energy that constructed the galaxies flows in our veins. We were a part, now we are whole. Our fulfillment is to become the heart of the universe in the form of a human being.[ix]
We are enveloped in something like a dream. And today we are beginning to imagine that we might have a particular role to play in this dream. With each passing decade, the life-process is increasingly affected by the influence of human consciousness. Perhaps human consciousness has a much larger significance within evolution than earlier philosophers could imagine. Could it be that our deeper destiny is to bring forth a new coherence within the planet as a whole, as the human community learns to align itself with the underlying dynamics of the Earth’s life.[x]
There is little validity to the idea that humans are isolated individuals, for each of us arises out of an ocean of experience and understanding acquired by our species as a whole. As we learn to draw upon aspects of this accumulation of knowledge we begin to participate in a collective process that has developed for some two hundred thousand years…. Because of our symbol-making skills, we became, overnight, a planetary species.
Rather than viewing time as the movement of the hands of a medieval clock or the digital display from a vibrating crystal, we can begin to reflect on the way in which time in a cosmological sense is the creativity of the universe itself. There was a time for bringing forth hydrogen atoms. There was a time for bringing forth galaxies. There was a time when Earth became ignited with life. These are indicated not by anything mechanical, but by the deepest processes of the universe itself. There was likewise a time for the universe to bring forth the human species. We live not in any mechanical time, but in this enveloping cosmological time. We live in that time when Earth itself begins its adventure of conscious self-awareness.
We arise from the “ocean of experience and understanding” that comprises the whole of human history and our species evolution for the past 200,000 years. Early humans were as just awestruck by the stars and the cosmos as we are, perhaps more so, because we have descended into a false Newtonian cosmology, thinking of things atomistically, mechanically, and deterministically, rather than recognizing the amazing, creative eruptions of the cosmos and the unity of all these processes within the cosmic whole.
There is no way that we can be conceived as “isolated individuals” today, divided from our species as a whole. When we awaken to “cosmological time” we become the eyes and ears of the cosmos experiencing the whole process and its emergence in a single, self-aware species, destined to live in harmony and coherence with one another and our planet as a whole.
Like Brian Swimme, philosopher Karl Jaspers emphasizes encounter with the mystery. Swimme emphasizes awe at the astonishing cosmic processes that gave rise to the human phenomenon. Jaspers, coming more from the point of view of philosophy rather than science, underlines that “the world and everything that occurs in it is a mystery.” This is what might be called “ontological astonishment.” Everything and at all times is utterly astonishing. Philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein understood this deeply. It affected his whole life as his 1929 “Lecture on Ethics” attests. He describes his primary experience, his “experience par excellence” as “wonder at the existence of the world.” Wittenstein is astonished that anything at all exists.
This experience illuminates “ethics” for him. From this astonishment derives all of ethics, Wittgenstein declares, and “ethics is the enquiry into the meaning of life, or into what makes life worth living, or into the right way of living.” An immense realization occurs here. For Wittgenstein, the utter and absolute disjunction between everyday “facts” and everyday uses of the word “good” (e.g., “he is a good tennis player) points to the deep meaning of human life. Wittgenstein continues: “I can only describe my feeling by the metaphor, that, if a man could write a book on Ethics which was really a book on Ethics, this book would, with an explosion, destroy all the other books in the world.”[xi] We cannot really say it; we can only point to it with metaphors and gestures. Yet the meaning of life arises directly from the depths of the cosmos. It arises through astonishment, through direct experience prior to language and cognition.
Jaspers was a world-renowned philosopher and psychiatrist who left clinical practice in medicine to become a philosopher, teaching first in Germany and later in Switzerland. He is famous, among other things, for defining (in his 1949 book The Origin and Goal of History) the “Axis Period in human history” that took place during the first millennium BCE. Jaspers’ writings exhibit something of this same ontological astonishment as that of Brian Swimme. For Jaspers, this astonishment is not a contingent human experience predicated on our subjective idiosyncrasies. It is—should be—fundamental to our response to living.
Karl Jaspers— The world and everything that occurs in it is a mystery. The crudeness of finding everything to be self-evident through force of habit and the mania for mystery to the point of the sensational and the superstitious must disappear where genuine astonishment begins. Philosophy illuminates the mystery and brings it completely into consciousness. It begins with astonishment and increases the astonishment…. Then the world as a whole and in every individual feature shows infinite depth. This mystery is quiet; in flaring up it becomes revealed in an unfoldment. And this mystery is essential; in it Being itself speaks.[xii]
As philosophy “illuminates” the mystery, our astonishment only increases. Once the mystery is experienced, it never decreases. For in the mystery “Being itself speaks.” In our knowledge-systems, we lay out vast networks of concepts, but these never touch the “mystery of existence.”[xiii] It requires what we have seen Bergson call “direct intuition” prior to our conceptual lives.
Errol E. Harris was also a major philosopher and cosmologist who taught at several prominent universities and published more than 30 books during his long career. He held significant positions at these universities and at different times was President of the Metaphysical Society of America and the Hegel Society of America. Harris took his stand on reason and affirmed (in my own conversations with him) that he was not very interested in “mysticism.”
As such he approached our human situation through epistemological, logical, and metaphysical paths that both encompass as well as transcend the Western philosophical tradition going back to the Pre-Socratic philosophers. He does not emphasize “astonishment.” Quite the contrary, he maximized human reason and the power of understanding. Human self-conscious reason, he concluded, contains within itself the power of unending transcendence, leading it from the finite to the Infinite (God), a God that constitutes the totality of the cosmos, both immanent within, but also, as the whole, transcending the sum of its parts.[xiv]
Contemporary science, Harris concludes, has shown that our universe manifests a “nisus” toward coherence, harmony, and intricate complexity. These paragraphs describe its operation and its result.
Errol E. Harris— By an activity of self-organization, this sentience is articulated and brings itself to consciousness, and in our minds becomes self-reflective—so that the whole process becomes aware of itself. Thus, our consciousness of ourselves is at the same time the consciousness of the world and the world’s consciousness of itself; for it has brought itself to consciousness in and through our minds by its own process of self-specification. Because diversity is essential to the unity of the whole, the consciousness of itself achieved in its self-specification is not simply unitary, but, in keeping with the proliferation of its individualized products, is distributed in a multiplicity of centers….
It is within the dialectic of our own experience that we come to recognize ourselves as the developed product of the world-process, and our knowledge as the way the world becomes aware of itself in us…. It is the universal principle integrating the whole, which is immanent in the living organism and has now become aware of itself, as “I.”…. But because the universal principle is immanent in us, and because we represent that stage in its self-development at which its activity becomes self-conscious, we become aware of all this, and our ourselves as participants in the process. We reflect upon it and so transcend it. Our consciousness is self-transcendent, because it is the manifestation of the immanent principle of the whole becoming aware of itself.[xv]
The “sentience” of living things follows this nisus that emerges in human self-awareness. For the first time “the process becomes aware of itself.” In doing so it has reached a level where the vast, slow stretches of cosmic time over the past 13.7 billion years now emerge in a form capable of “self-transcendence.” With human beings, the universal principle at the heart of the cosmos is becoming aware of itself. We are now participants if the process of cosmogenesis.
The guiding principles of this process, for Harris, are coherence, harmony, and convergence. Our awareness transcends toward what many writers have called “cosmic consciousness.” The cosmos is one and humanity is one. In the light of the oneness of humanity, Harris wrote an entire book advocating ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. The nisus points toward the need for this coherence and cooperation in governing the Earth. We must also ratify the Earth Constitution, he argues, on the grounds that this is the only way to avoid making ourselves extinct through nuclear war and/or climate destruction.[xvi] This Constitution is predicated upon the deep unity and diversity of all humankind.
Charles Hartshorne was professor at Harvard University, the University of Chicago (where he was part of the Federated Theological Faculty), and taught at other major American universities. Following Alfred North Whithead and others, he applied process philosophy to reflections about the nature of God (the world and God are not static realities but processes). As a theologian, he translates what all the thinkers assembled here are talking about into theological terms.
Charles Hartshorne— As Berdyaev, with his usual courage and penetration, insisted, not only must the creatures derive concrete details from other creatures, but God himself must be qualified by creaturely choices. To know what the creatures decide to do is to be Himself in his cognitive state decided by their decisions. God can know what we freely decide only because we do so decide. Thus, our contingency becomes also his. Our freedom is in a measure, in Buber’s words, of ‘divine destiny’. There is chance and tragedy even for God. This is part of what creaturely freedom means.[xvii]
Like Nicholas Berdyaev (the Russian-born Christian thinker strongly influenced by the Eastern Orthodox Church, and like Alfred North Whitehead in his 1929 book Process and Reality)Hartshorne answers the question posed above: Who are we and what is our purpose of being here?—with the immense answer that we are participants in the “divine destiny.” The future of the evolutionary upsurge is at least in part contingent on what we decide to do. We can discern the trajectory—the movement toward ever greater coherence, harmony, and wholeness (along with the not dissimilar great ethical visions of the world’s religions) and move in the direction of these values, or we can remain in fragmentation, violence, and self-destruction—thereby blocking and impeding the divine-cosmic-human emergence.
Human Temporality and the Cosmic Imagination
In my 2021 article entitled “Utopian Horizon Value Theory: A Transformative Power at the Heart of Human Futurity,” I describe human temporality in some depth and show the immense power of our “utopian horizon” for transforming our human condition and providing a framework of hope for the human situation.[xviii] This transformative power is given to us through what we have seen Errol E. Harris call the self-transcending power of the human mind. Our minds not only transcend to the whole through direct experience of the atemporal present, but they transcend toward values, coherence, and wholeness through our temporal structure in which we spontaneously appropriate the past within a dynamic present and project into a future conceived as better than the past.
Within our present age of spiritual and cognitive darkness, this capacity of the human mind is often denigrated as “utopian” in the negative sense of this word or “eschatological” in a pejorative, anti-religious sense. However, some thinkers have understood the immense “eschatological” potential of our human situation. For example, this understanding is found in the writings of the non-theistic socialist thinker Ernst Bloch and in the theological thought of major Christian thinkers such as Nicholas Berdyaev and Jūrgen Moltmann.[xix]
Friederik Polak was a Dutch visionary, social leader, former professor of sociology, and a President of “Mankind 2000 International.” His thought reflects this same understanding of the dynamics of human temporality. The human imagination can envision a future that is the culmination of what we have seen Harris call its “nisus” for self-realization and self-actualization of the immense, untapped, open-ended potential within us. We long to become fully who we are. This longing cannot be reduced to subjective fantasies of isolated egos still struggling under the reductionist Cartesian-Newtonian paradigm. This longing is cosmic—we long to become fully human, to actualize our deeper realities, which ultimately involve our congruence with the cosmos itself and the groundless-ground of Being.
Friederik Polak—Influence-optimism holds that man cannot become fully man, and attain the summit of human dignity—known in Platonic antiquity and rediscovered in the Renaissance—cannot evolve toward his final maturity in the Kantian sense, if he cannot simultaneously elaborate and refine his mental image of a different and future world. Eschatological or utopian, this image of the future, infusing man with the foreknowledge of the happiness and harmony to come, haunts him and challenges him to work for its realization…. Any positive image of the future which takes hold of the imagination of a society is already interacting with the concrete reality of the past-present.
Historically, these images of the future not only reflected the shape of things to come; they also gave shape to these things and promoted their very coming. Magnetizing images of the future and their inspiring prophets were writing the history of the future. They made history by creating this future, by fulfilling their own prophesies. They were like powerful time-bombs, exploding in the future, releasing a mighty stream of energy, then flowing back toward the present, which, in its turn, is pushed and pulled to that future.[xx]
The utopian and eschatological visionaries of the past were not merely idle cranks. Their visions were part and parcel of evolving human history and helped create that history despite many wrong turns and setbacks. So too today, Polak tells us, our insights and visions have the same creative force. We envision how it could be truly different—we envision a deep human coherence with other humans, with nature, and with the groundless-ground of Being. We are truly participants in the evolutionary upsurge of the cosmos. Time and eternity coalesce in this upsurge. Transformations can happen rapidly, like “powerful time-bombs” bringing our human condition forward toward fulfillment by leaps and bounds.
The assumption that most of the modern world has assimilated from the Newtonian mechanical cosmology (which effectively excluded consciousness and the human mind from its worldview) is that our imaginations are “merely subjective.” We may dream of the true, the good, or the beautiful, we may dream of peace or justice or sustainability. But the assumption is that this is merely the fantasies of a personal subjectivity, worth little or nothing.
Rather, human beings participate in what Oliver L. Reiser calls the Cosmic Imagination. Reiser was Professor of Philosophy and Chair of that department at the University of Pittsburgh for 40 years. He was a polymath scholar with mastery in many fields. As a leading figure in Cosmic Humanism, his work was praised by Albert Einstein among others.
With our assent to transpersonal levels of cosmic awareness, this entire picture changes. We recognize the utopian horizons of our conscious as dimensions of the Cosmic Imagination. What we thought were mere fantasies, in truth are the voice of the Cosmic Imagination in us. Those who call themselves “realists,” the practical people who believe that we must only make incremental changes toward a possible progress within the framework of the “hard facts” that they call “the truth” of our situation, are the ones truly deluded. The utopian horizon of consciousness is the deeper reality that each of us embodies. Our very lives arise because of the Cosmic Imagination and its trace, its indelible mark, is stamped upon the consciousness of each of us as our utopian horizon. Reiser expresses this as follows:
Oliver L. Reiser— Life, mind, and consciousness are manifestations of the force-fields that are posited as the basis for sentience. This means that life and consciousness are neither accidents nor miracles in the world; they are built into the basic structure of the cosmos, just as much as gravity and inertia are natural and pervasive realities in nature. In a real sense, therefore, the living cell is an affirmation of a silent covenant with the Cosmic Imagination…. Human consciousness in its awareness and its time-spanning purposes is man’s most immediate experience of the cosmic guiding field as it functions on the level of organisms. The invisible Cosmic Imagination which guides the course of biological evolution…is a nonmoral force, it is neither “good” nor “bad,” until it reaches up into human consciousness to appear as integrated personality at which point the Cosmic Imagination manifests moral attributes.[xxi]
Teilhard de Chardin famously calls humanity “the axis and leading shoot of evolution.” As a Paleontologist and a Christian, he understood the process of incarnation as both particular to Jesus Christ and symbolically pointing toward the cosmic evolutionary process itself. Somewhat like Hegel before him, he saw God as emergent within the process bringing it to fulfillment and redemption. Our role as the axis and leading shoot is to activate love and orient our lives toward the “Omega Point” of complete fulfillment and unification. For we human beings are the leading shoot, the universe become conscious of itself and calling us to consciously participate in the evolutionary process directed toward coherence, wholeness, and harmony with ourselves, the natural world, and the Divine groundless-ground.
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin— We are not only concerned with thought as participating in evolution as an anomaly or as an epiphenomenon; but evolution as so reducible to and identifiable with a progress towards thought that the movement of our souls expresses and measures the very stages of progress of evolution itself. Man discovers that he is nothing else then evolution become conscious of itself, to borrow Julian Huxley’s concise expression. It seems to me that our modern minds (because and inasmuch as they are modern) will never find rest until they settle down in this view. On this summit and on this summit alone are repose and illumination waiting for us.[xxii]
Within a universe which is structurally convergent the only possible way for one element to draw closer to other, neighboring elements is by condensing the cone: that is, by driving toward the point of convergence the whole area of the world in which it is involved. In such a system it is impossible to love one’s neighbor without drawing closer to God—and vice versa for that matter. This we know well enough. But it is also impossible –and this is less familiar to us—to love God or our neighbor without being obliged to help in the progress of the earthly synthesis of spirit in its physical totality, for it is precisely the advances made in this movement of synthesis that permit us to draw close to one another and at the same time raise us up toward God. Thus, because we love, and in order to love more, we find ourselves happily reduced to sharing—we more and better than anyone—in all the struggles, in all the anxieties, all the aspirations, and also all the affections, of the earth insofar as all these contain within them a principle of ascension and synthesis.[xxiii]
In the first quote, what we have seen Polak call the “utopian imagination” envisions a “repose and illumination waiting for us.” In the second quote we see some of what we can do, our cosmically-inspired need to love our neighbors through the variety of struggles, anxieties, afflictions and aspirations that all contain a principle of transcendence, convergence, and synthesis. Love creates unities at the same time that it respects differences and diversities, but the unities unite the participants without obliterating their identities.[xxiv] Our love, therefore, has cosmic significance. It both descends from the cosmic whole into our being and energizes our being to love more fully, broadly, and completely.
S.L. Frank was a Russian philosopher and expatriate, having been expelled by the Bolsheviks in 1922, after which he lived in Germany, then France, and finally in England until his death in 1950. One of his last works that he also considered his profoundest was The Unknowable: A Philosophical Introduction to the Ontology of Religion, which appeared in 1938. As the title emphasizes, human beings must become open to the groundless-ground of Being though ways that do not include positive assertions of knowledge or rationality.
Like Nicholas of Cusa before him in 15th century Italy who wrote De Docta Ignorantia (On Learned Ignorance) with this same profound understanding of our human situation, in this book Frank systematically approaches unknowable being through a negative path recognizing the apophatic character of “being.” In this book, using philosophical refection to direct our attention to the limits of philosophical reflection and cognitive understanding, Frank leads the reader to the dimension of direct, unmediated awareness. He conclusions concerning “Being” characterize our human situation in ways strikingly similar to much of what we have seen above:
S.L. Frank— Being as a whole is not frozen and static; it is not only what it already is. On the contrary, it is plastic: it not only is, it is becoming; it is in the process of self-creation. It is growing, changing, being formed. And this is because potentiality, the potency to become what it is not, lies in the deepest core of being. This is what we call “freedom.” Since all concretely existing things are rooted in the total unity of being and are permeated by the “juices” of the total unity, the element of primordial freedom is present, to varying degrees, in all concretely existing things.[xxv]
The deepest freedom is not ego-freedom, which is dualistically bound in endless compulsions and the generation of endless divisions between itself and others, ultimately resulting in self-defeating quests and projects, such as wars between egocentric nation-states. Freedom comes to us as “primordial.” In the words of Zen Buddhist scholar, Keiji Nishitani, the primordial freedom of “emptiness” is simultaneously the locus of “the Great Affirmation.” It is the overcoming of the civilizational nihilism and its negations as foreseen by Friedrich Nietzsche in the 19th century.[xxvi] As Buddhist scholar Ueda Shizuteru affirms, the emptiness of all things (Śūnyatā) is simultaneously an overwhelming “fullness.”[xxvii]
And this primordial freedom is that of “Being” itself, the groundless-ground, the absolutely “unknowable.” Being, Frank insists, is directional; it is in the process of self-creation, and our role, through the awakening process and its resultant love, is to participate in this collective self-creation.
Just as “Being” is a process and not a static substance for all the above thinkers, so it is for Raimon Panikkar. Panikkar was the child of a highly educated Catholic mother and Hindu father and was deeply exposed to the spiritualities of both traditions. He acquired three Ph.Ds. in the course of his education, became a Catholic Priest, a professor of philosophy at the University of Madrid, and a world-renowned publisher of powerful books on Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, hermeneutics, the unity of Being, etc., thereby facilitating the global dialogue of religions as well as our understanding of the spiritual life.
Raimon Panikkar— The experience of contemporary Man finding himself, and moreover believing himself, not master of the universe, but in a certain sense its builder, its responsible partner, is a fundamental religious experience. Man has suddenly felt himself bound to the earth, joined with it in a communal destiny, playing his part in a cosmic whole of which he is the awareness. Human religiousness cannot henceforward dissociate itself from the earth, this earth of Men, and every effort toward salvation now calls for a genuine integration with all [the] universe.
In a word, faith is rooted in the Absolute; consequently it is the foundation of freedom, an important theme that, for the moment, we can only mention. Without faith man would not, could not be free; he would have neither the constitutive ambiguity that permits decision, nor the spontaneity necessary for the human act to go beyond—not against—the dialectical possibilities given in the data. True freedom does not consist in manipulating the possibilities but in creating them. God creates and his creation is the real; human freedom also participates in this power and Man’s creation is the possible. Freedom is not simply the power of option, but the power of creating possibilities. [xxviii]
Panikkar sees the connections of the “emptiness” of Buddhism or the “Nirguna Brahman” of Hinduism with the dynamics of the Christian Trinity. In my necessarily over-simplified summary: for Panikkar, God the Father is the divine abyss, the vast emptiness from which the universe is perpetually emerging. Christ the Son is the creative Logos, identical with the Father, giving form and evolving energy to the whole process.
The Spirit is the unifying factor of love and eternal energy inseparable from not only Father and Son and the world and the human project. Our human destiny is direct experience of this ever-present whole, to participate in it, and to take responsibility for our role in the evolving cosmic journey: “It is the totally integrated vision of the seamless fabric of the entire reality: the cosmotheandric vision.”[xxix]
“True freedom does not consist in manipulating possibilities but in creating them.” With this insight we are again in possession of the capacity to overcome the horrific war-system of the world and move humanity towards a practical-utopian self-realization. For Panikkar, as with all the above thinkers, it has to be humanity as a whole. We most drop the ego-constructed boundaries that separate us from the reality of our condition and our divine-human-cosmic oneness and begin to live from the true wholeness of our human condition: “The thirst for unity is not only ontological and epistemological (unity of being, unity of intellection), it is also sociological and political (unity of humankind, unity of civilizations).”[xxx] Panikkar experiences the infinite depths that permeate our lives once we have abandoned ego-consciousness and enter cosmotheandric consciousness.
World renowned Indian sage Sri Aurobindo as a young man moved from Kolkata, and a life of struggle for liberation against British imperial rule, to Pondicherry, where he led a life dedicated to spiritual liberation and the development of a philosophy of divinely-inspired world-historical evolution toward ever higher levels of human and superhuman consciousness. Upon his passing in 1950, his spiritual companion known as “The Mother” continued his vision of a progressive “World Union” of peoples and nations in which human beings united in ever more profound levels of coherence, characterized by political and spiritual convergence. She led in the formation of an organization dedicated to uniting the world under a single Earth Constitution.
The World Union organization was founded in Pondicherry in 1958, the same year the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA) was founded in Lakewood, Colorado. Both organizations were soon collaborating. Two well-known leaders from India, A. B. Patel and Samar Basu, held leadership positions within both WCPA and World Union.[xxxi] According to Sri Aurobindo, the universe “creates a self-conscious concentration of the All through which it can aspire.” The founding of World Union was therefore an aspiration of the universe, of the All. The divine ground and the world are “necessary to each other” in their ascent. Ever-greater unity of consciousness and integration of humankind are taking place around the planet.
Sri Aurobindo— The universe and the individual are necessary to each other in their ascent. Always indeed they exist for each other and profit by each other. Universe is a diffusion of the divine All in infinite Space and Time, the individual its concentration within the limits of Space and Time. Universe seeks in infinite extension the divine totality it feels itself to be but cannot entirely realize; for in extension existence drives at a pluralistic sum of itself which can neither be the primal nor the final unit, but only a recurring decimal without end or beginning. Therefore, it creates in itself a self-conscious concentration of the All through which it can aspire…. God having entirely become Nature, Nature seeks to become progressively God.[xxxii]
On August 15, 1947, free India was born, and Sri Aurobindo was asked for a message as part of the celebrations. In response, he listed his ideals that he had held since childhood:
- A revolution which would achieve India’s freedom.
- The resurgence and liberation of Asia and her return to the great role which she had played in the progress of human civilization.
- The rise of a new, a greater and nobler life for mankind through a World Union which would form the outer basis and act for the unification of the human world.
- The gift by India of her spiritual knowledge and her means for the spiritualization of life to the whole race (and)
- A new step in evolution which, by uplifting the consciousness to a higher level, would begin the solution of many of the world’s problems of existence.[xxxiii]
Awakening to our unity with the evolving cosmos does not lead to a passive wallowing in some static, timeless eternity. It requires action, as a collaborator with the All, to realize the unity in diversity of existence on planet Earth. The early leaders of World Union and the World Constitution and Parliament Association worked together in this quest. They saw that the Constitution for the Federation of Earth envisions an “act for the unification of the world,” “a great step in evolution,” and the “uplifting of human consciousness to a higher level.”
After the passing of D.T. Suzuki, Masao Abe has been called “the leading exponent of Zen in the West.” He was Professor of Japanese Philosophy at the University of Hawaii since 1983. He also taught at a number of major American universities, including the Department of Religion at the Claremont Graduate School in California. As a member of the Kyoto school of Zen Buddhism, he specialized in the comparative study of Buddhism and Western thought.
The passages below are from his essay “Sovereignty Rests with Mankind” that is part of his collection of essays entitled Zen and Western Thought (1985). They illustrate the way that Zen awakening might be applied to the practical problem of “sovereign nation-states” that historically make up a war-system, an exploitation system, and a domination system for the Earth.[xxxiv] When we drop our ego-driven nationalism, something entirely new appears—something free, peaceful, and redeeming.
Masao Abe— What is of paramount importance today is to internalize and grasp ‘mankind’ as a qualitative concept. We must grasp it as a single, living, self-aware entity. For without doing so, we can never overcome the conflicts between nations which we are facing, and we cannot bring true peace to the world. Nor can we build a profound and rich human society which is permeated by individual freedom and the special characteristics of races and cultures wherein all live in harmony with each other.
From what position is it possible to grasp mankind as a single, living, self-aware entity? I believe that the foundation of this position is for each of us to awaken to his or her true Self, that is, each individual must break through his or her ego structure, thereby realizing original Self. At the same time that this is a thoroughly individual ‘Subjective’ matter, it is also a thoroughly universal objective one. Why is this so? It is because to overcome the ego is to overcome the very standpoint wherein one distinguishes between self and other….
The ego is indeed nothing other than the basic source of all such distinctions and oppositions. If we turn our backs on the world, there can be no investigation of the self; if we avoid our conflicts with history, which often progress beyond human control, there can be no awakening to the true Self. The true investigation of the self is always the investigation of the world and of history.
Sovereign states do not know self-negation. They take as their basic principle a position of self-affirmation and self-assertion in which, during a crisis, the position of ‘mankind’ is overlooked and destroyed. Consequently, even though international cooperative organizations, which are the products of compromises and agreements between sovereign states, become to a certain degree the means of resolving international conflicts, as long as they presuppose sovereign states, they basically can neither check national egoism nor totally eliminate war.
However, today’s problem lies in the fact that the very rationale of the state which is supposed to be the unification of power and justice has begun to assume the character of an evil which must be negated…. It appears as if a balance of terror based on nuclear weapons has made total war impossible while rendering meaningless, hypocritical, and corrupt the rationale of the state. How many people today can believe that the moral restraints of the state can check the dynamism of huge national power linked to gigantic technical systems and structures of production?
Moved by a blatant national egoism, the power of the state is now developing a demonic character as it destroys the balance of moral restraint and controlling power, which should be visible in the rational of the state. As it moves on its reckless course, this imbalance must finally lead to a destructive, full-scale war or into the whirlpools of various latent and blatant power struggles intermingled with periods of false peace. Destruction? One world empire? Confused anarchy? The future of the world is not a bright one.
Mankind is enveloped by the universe and is enlivened by it. At the same time, unlike other creatures in our world man alone self-consciously comprehends the universe and is able to awaken to the generation, extinction, and change of the universe. He alone enlivens the universe in the true sense. That which constitutes the moment of Self-awakening of this mankind—which is comprehended by and yet comprehends the universe—is precisely each one of us. It is the ‘Subjective’ Self-awakening of each individual.
Mankind today must overcome in principle anthropocentrism and must stand in the boundless “expanse of Self-awakening’ wherein God, man, and the myriad phenomena of the universe become vibrantly alive. This is a completely new cosmological standpoint. It is the standpoint of a “Self-awakened cosmology which includes primitive cosmology, theism, and the ‘theory of the human’ as well. Only in this standpoint of a Self-awakened cosmology can mankind be Self-aware of itself as a single, self-aware entity.
The age of the nation-state must end. The age of mankind must begin. But to achieve this, we must awaken to the collective responsibility for the karma rooted deeply in the basic character of mankind. And we must overcome anthropocentrism. We must enter the third historical age of mankind, namely, the age of Self awakened cosmology….
We must take the cosmological ‘expanse of Self-awakening’ which opens up therein as the new foundation of mankind and, transcending peoples and national boundaries, we must proceed to build a solidarity of Self-awakening which includes mankind in the broadest sense. We must build a cooperative society of mankind with the universe. Herein lies the practical task of all mankind today.[xxxv]
The new “cosmological standpoint” that includes primitive cosmology, theism, and humanism is possible because the holism of the great Self-awakening abandons ego identifications and realizes the whole in the immediacy of consciousness. All is embraced in the “great affirmation” which is simultaneously the great abandonment of the ego-identifications of nations, races, classes, or particular religions. Sovereignty belongs to humankind who can actualize themselves has one collective reality exhibiting wonderful diversity within their oneness everywhere on Earth.
As David Bohm pointed out above, human beings make borders, distinctions, divisions among themselves. These may often be necessary from the point of view of utility (e.g., voters in this district use precinct one, in that district, precinct two), but humans at the egocentric and ethnocentric levels of development invest ego identifications into many of their borders: “my country,” “my race,” “my religion,” etc. Here lies discrimination, violence, corruption, and ultimately war. By contrast, Oliver L. Reiser cites Alfred Lord Tennyson’s famous poem in which the poet envisions an embracing Parliament of Man. The antidote to fragmentation is a synthetic view of the whole of history and humankind’s cosmic purpose that can be summed up and symbolized as “the Federation of the World”:
Tennyson’s preview of the kindly earth resting under the reign of universal law will demand immense constructive work for its consummation. But surely one important step in the direction of the attainment of the “parliament of man” is a psychological revolution to sublimate and transmute the technological revolution. This is the task of the new alchemy. If history has any meaning at all, we humans must project creatively the curve of biocosmic evolution and weave the fabric of a higher consciousness. Man’s greatest mission is to salvage the pageant of history from the dark domain of frustration and insanity and give history a time-spanning purpose—and this can be done only by cross-webbing the cultures of the peoples of earth into the Federation of the World.[xxxvi]
This is precisely the role of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth explicitly affirmed by Sri Aurobindo’s World Union and Professor Errol E. Harris, cited above. Article 2 of the Earth Constitution states that humanity is sovereign. And its World Parliament and all government agencies include all the diversity of humankind (including representatives of all existing nation-states).
What has sovereign authority is the democratically elected World Parliament as a whole, expressing the sovereignty of the people of Earth directly and not through the fragmentation of incommensurable “sovereign” nation-states. Here lies a path to human liberation, for the Earth Constitution removes the primary source of conflict among nations: doctrine of sovereignty, the recognition of no law above themselves, the refusal to negate national egoism and recognize the the sovereignty of mankind.
Here lies Sri Aurobindo’s emergent level of “higher mind.” Here lies Errol E. Harris’ solution to the crisis of pending human extinction. Here lies Polak’s insight that the very pursuit of our ideals is transformative of the world and its order. Abe understands that cosmic consciousness, the awakening to the great “Self” within each of us, is crucial to humanity and its future, a future now effectively blocked by national sovereign states inculcating an inevitable ego identification in their populations and manifested by their leaders in wars, competition, regimes of secrecy, weapons of mass destruction, and other forms of corruption.
For Abe, as for the above thinkers, “mankind alone enlivens the universe.” In us, the universe has reached a higher stage in its emergent life-process. The awakening of each individual is part of this process of general awakening that is “comprehended by and comprehends the universe.” The universe is comprehending itself in us and asking us to pioneer the way forward. As Teilhard de Chardin declares, we are the “axis and leading shoot of evolution.” As Sri Aurobindo declares, we are a self-concentration of the whole through which it can aspire. As Errol E. Harris concludes, we are “that stage in its self-development at which its activity becomes self-conscious.” Therefore, we become “participants in the process.”
Our concrete next step that human beings must take immediately to avoid endless war and the very real possibility of human extinction is ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. It must be our concrete immediate objective. There is no time to lose. The war mentality breeding ever more weapons of mass destruction cannot be stopped in any other way except to awaken to the sovereignty of humankind through transcending the ego-structure that animates the sovereign nation-state system.
It this possible? Will this require a long effort through meditation or some slow-moving “Pathwork” program? To address these questions, I want to conclude with a quote from Ken Wilber.
Epilogue: The Power and Possibility of Human Awakening
Ken Wilber has been called “the Einstein of human consciousness studies.” He is founder of the Integral Institute based in Colorado and author of literally dozens of books on integral theory, spirituality, and transpersonal psychology. This quotation is from his 2007 book Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World. The “new role for religion” goes beyond religion as doctrines and beliefs to religion as integral self-realization. Since this quote makes a fitting conclusion to our essay, and addresses the question how this transformation is possible, I will end here without further comment. May God bless us all.
Ken Wilber— Why were you looking everywhere, when God is the Looker? Why were you constantly seeking something, when God is the Seeker? When exactly were you planning on finding Spirit, when Spirit is always the finder? How exactly were you going to force God to show his or her Face, when God’s Face is your Original Face—the Witness of this very page—already and right Now?…. Where were you planning on seeing God, when God is the ever-present Seer? How much knowledge did you think you had to cram into your head in order to know God, when God is the ever-present Knower? How much of this book—or any book or books—did you think you had to read in order to find Spirit, when the very reader of this sentence is Spirit? When the very reader of this sentence is God fully revealed? Feel the Reader of this sentence, feel the simple feeling of Being, feel the Feeler in you right now, and you are feeling the fully revealed God in his or her radiant glory, a One Taste of the divine Suchness of the entire Kosmos, a not-two-ness of self and Self that leaves you breathlessly enlightened and fully realized in this and every moment.[xxxvii]
[i] Philosopher Errol E. Harris investigates this principle at length in two volumes: Cosmos and Anthropos: A Philosophical Interpretation of the Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Humanities Press International, 1991, and Cosmos and Theos: Ethical and Theological Implications of the Anthropic Cosmological Principle, Humanities Press, 1992.
[ii] Ken Wilber, Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World. Boston: Integral Books, 2007, Figures 2.4 and 2.5.
[iii] Jiddu Krishnamurti, Think on These Things. New York: Harper & Row, 1989, pp. 83 & 86.
[iv] Cf. Means Kafatos and Robert Nadeau, The Conscious Universe: Part and Whole in Modern Physical Theory. Berlin: Springer-Verlag, 1990.
[v] Glen T. Martin, Millennium Dawn: The Philosophy of Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2005, pp. 134 & 136.
[vi] Oliver L. Reiser, Cosmic Humanism and Human Unity. New York: Interface Books of World Creative Institute Finding, 1975, p. 2.
[vii] Henri Bergson, The Creative Mind: An Introduction to Metaphysics. Totawa, NJ: Littlefield Adams & Co., 1965, pp. 157 and 35.
[viii] David Bohm, Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London and New York: Routledge Publisher, 1980, pp. xii-xiii, 20, 67-70, and 269.
[ix] Brian Swimme, The Heart of the Cosmos: Humanity and the New Story. Revised Edition. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2019, pp. 40 & 97.
[x] Brian Thomas Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker, Journey of the Universe. Yale Univ. Press, 2011, pp. 66, 90-91, and 108-109.
[xi] Ludwig Wittgenstein, “Lecture on Ethics,” reprinted in Philosophical Review, January 1965, pp. 1-11.
[xii] Karl Jaspers, Truth and Symbol. Trans. Jean Wilde, William Kluback and William Kimmel. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1959, p. 37.
[xiii] This is the name of a book by one of my professors in graduate school, Milton K. Munitz, The Mystery of Existence: An Essay in Philosophical Cosmology. New York: Appleton-Century Crofts. He attempted to use his analytical skills to isolate something “unsayable” within the heart of our human condition.
[xiv] Cf. Errol E. Harris, Atheism and Theism. New Jersey: Humanities Press, 1977.
[xv] Errol E. Harris, The Reality of Time. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1988, pp 104-105.
[xvi] Errol E. Harris, Earth Federation Now! Tomorrow is Too Late. With an Introduction by Glen T. Martin. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2014.
[xvii] Charles Hartshorne, A Natural Theology for Our Time. La Salle, IL: Open Court, 1967, p. 123.
[xviii] Glen T. Martin, “Utopian Horizon Value Theory: A Transformative Power at the Heart of Human Futurity,” article in the American International Journal of Humanities and Social Science. Vol. 7, No. 1, February, 2021: aijhss.cgrd.org/index.php/54-contact/115-vol-7-no-1-february-2021
[xix] See, e.g., Ernst Bloch, The Principle of Hope. Trans. Neville Plaice, Stephen Plaice, and Paul Knight. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1986. See, e.g., Nicholas Berdyaev, The Destiny of Man. Trans. Natalie Duddington. Harper Torchbooks, 1960. See, e.g., Jūrgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope. Trans. James W. Leitch. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993.
[xx] Friederik Polak, “Utopia and Cultural Renewal,” in Utopians and Utopian Thought. Ed. Frank E. Manuel. Boston: Beacon Press, 1967, pp. 281-295.
[xxi] Reiser, op. cit., pp. 44-45 (emphasis in the original).
[xxii] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, The Phenomenon of Man. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1961, p. 220.
[xxiii] Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Hymn of the Universe. New York: Harper Colophon Books, 1969, pp. 96-97
[xxiv] Cf. Chapter Five of my Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence. London: Cambridge Scholars, 2021.
[xxv] S.L. Frank, The Unknownable: An Ontological Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. Trans. Boris Jakim. Brooklyn, NY: Angelico Press, 2020, p.47.
[xxvi] Keiji Nishitani, Religion and Nothingness. Trans. Jan Van Bragt. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1982.
[xxvii] Ueda Shizuteru, “Emptiness and Fullness: Śūnyatā in Mahayana Buddhism,” in The Eastern Buddhist 15, no. 1 (1987), pp. 9-37.
[xxviii] Raimon Panikkar, Myth, Faith, and Hermeneutics: Cross-Cultural Studies. New York: Paulist Press, 1979, pp. 452 & 209.
[xxix] Raimon Panikkar, The Cosmotheandric Experience: Emerging Religious Consciousness. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, p. 1.
[xxx] Ibid., p. 7.
[xxxi] See Samar Basu, The UNO, The World Government, and The Ideal of World Union: As envisioned by Sri Aurobindo. Pondicherry: World Union Publisher, 1999., pp. vi-vii.
[xxxii] Sri Aurobindo, The Essential Aurobindo. Ed. Robert McDermott. New York: Schocken Books, 1973, p. 49.
[xxxiii] Quoted by Samar Basu (op.cit.), pp. vi-vii.
[xxxiv] See Glen T. Martin, The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press, 2021.
[xxxv] Masao Abe, Zen and Western Thought. Ed. William R. LaFleur. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1985, pp. 249-260.
[xxxvi] Reiser, op. cit., p. 7.
[xxxvii] Ken Wilber, Integral Spirituality, op. cit., pp. 208-209.