Significance of the Provisional World Parliament

Session 15:  December 10 – 12, 2021, New Delhi, India

The Parliament will be hybrid—both on-line and in person: you can register at www.wcpa.global

Glen T. Martin, President

Human beings are facing possible extinction through climate collapse and/or nuclear holocaust.  Understanding this, hundreds of world citizens worked together from 1968 to 1991 to write a Constitution for the Federation of Earth that provides a coherent means by which we can avoid extinction and establish a flourishing planetary civilization. Today, the Earth Constitution has a worldwide movement behind it of world citizens working to establish a decent planetary civilization under its authority.

Because the threats to our human and planetary future are so great, the framers of the Earth Constitution created Article 19 that establishes our right and duty to activate Provisional World Government, the essence of which is the Provisional World Parliament (PWP).  People of vision, who understand of these threats to human existence and our path to overcoming them, have organized and participated in 14 sessions of the PWP to date, and the 15th session is now organized for December 10-12, 2021 in New Delhi.

What these sessions of the PWP amount to is world citizens and advanced thinkers coming together to (1) model for the world what it should be doing and (2) actually jump-start the democratic Earth Federation in the here and now.  What we are doing, therefore, has immense world-historical significance. This is not just another conference, one of a million other conferences.  This is a defining moment when the new world is being born and all participants are both part of this historic moment and witnesses to history being made.

This is the significance of participation, whether we are students, professors, or world citizens from any walk of life.  We are at the threshold, the turning point, from militarized nation-state chaos and likely human extinction to world unity in diversity and democratic world law. Participants at this threshold moment of transition are witnesses to history being made. This session of the PWP will be one of the defining moments in the history of human civilization.

One can register either as an observer or as a delegate. Delegates must be personal signatories of the Earth Constitution, which can be done at www.earthconstitution.world.  Delegates may vote on proposed world legislative acts.   Observers are welcome but may not vote on these proposed acts for the obvious reason that the acts are emerging world governmental acts passed under the authority of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. It is this planetary moral authority under which the PWP meets and that lends legitimacy to our work.

The first day of the Parliament will involve grand opening ceremonies with brief speeches by a number of prominent thinkers and leaders both from India and abroad concerning the immense significance of our project and its prospects for the future of humanity.  Later in the day we will have selections of the Commissions being set up for the on-going transformative work of the Provisional World Parliament, which will be open to all delegates to the PWP.

The second day of the Parliament will require the active participation of all delegates who will be considering proposed World Legislative Acts (WLAs), discussing them, and voting on them.  There are some powerful and important WLAs being prepared that will be distributed ahead of time to all participants.

The third day of the Parliament will involve open discussion by delegates and observers of what went on and where to we go from here?   How to we move forward to create a world of peace, justice and sustainability for all persons and our endangered planet Earth?

The experience of participation in the PWP can and should be one of those “peak experiences” of our lives in which we grow immensely, expand our vision, and begin the grasp the significance of world citizens working together on behalf of a transformed future for all humanity.

A fundamental aspect of the work of the Provisional World Parliament is laying the groundwork for ratification of the Earth Constitution under the criteria set out in Article 17The Commissions formed at this session of the PWP will serve as the vanguard for this on-going work—the development of World Electoral and Administrative Districts for the Earth, the development of mechanisms for direct voting by the people of Earth, extending initiatives for protecting and saving the environment, for ending war, for protecting universal human rights, and for ending extreme poverty everywhere on Earth.

We thank the government of India and the great traditions of Indian culture that see the entire world has one human family for providing the setting and the occasion for these momentous events. From the Vedic tradition that proclaimed all human beings as “one family,” to Rabindranath Tagore who articulated a vision of a “universal man” beyond all divisions and national identities, to Swami Vivekananda who invited all human beings at the first World Parliament of Religions to act as “bothers and sisters,” to Sri Aurobindo who founded the World Union organization working for democratic world government, Indian culture has supported this vision.  And Indian governmental leaders from Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to President Zail Singh to parliamentarians Bal Ram Jakkar and Dr. Karan Singh have supported Nehru’s declaration that “the only way peace can be achieved is through world government.”

The PWP represents a center and focal point for the great transition of human civilization from one of competition, war, and fragmentation for one of coherence, peace, justice, love, and sustainability.  All our ideals and our vision of a better world can and should be focused here. The Provisional World Parliament is the vanguard for integral human liberation.

Significance of the Provisional World Parliament

Session 15:  December 10 – 12, 2021, New Delhi, India

The Parliament will be hybrid—both on-line and in person: you can register at www.wcpa.global

Glen T. Martin, President

Human beings are facing possible extinction through climate collapse and/or nuclear holocaust.  Understanding this, hundreds of world citizens worked together from 1968 to 1991 to write a Constitution for the Federation of Earth that provides a coherent means by which we can avoid extinction and establish a flourishing planetary civilization. Today, the Earth Constitution has a worldwide movement behind it of world citizens working to establish a decent planetary civilization under its authority.

Because the threats to our human and planetary future are so great, the framers of the Earth Constitution created Article 19 that establishes our right and duty to activate Provisional World Government, the essence of which is the Provisional World Parliament (PWP).  People of vision, who understand of these threats to human existence and our path to overcoming them, have organized and participated in 14 sessions of the PWP to date, and the 15th session is now organized for December 10-12, 2021 in New Delhi.

What these sessions of the PWP amount to is world citizens and advanced thinkers coming together to (1) model for the world what it should be doing and (2) actually jump-start the democratic Earth Federation in the here and now.  What we are doing, therefore, has immense world-historical significance. This is not just another conference, one of a million other conferences.  This is a defining moment when the new world is being born and all participants are both part of this historic moment and witnesses to history being made.

This is the significance of participation, whether we are students, professors, or world citizens from any walk of life.  We are at the threshold, the turning point, from militarized nation-state chaos and likely human extinction to world unity in diversity and democratic world law. Participants at this threshold moment of transition are witnesses to history being made. This session of the PWP will be one of the defining moments in the history of human civilization.

One can register either as an observer or as a delegate. Delegates must be personal signatories of the Earth Constitution, which can be done at www.earthconstitution.world.  Delegates may vote on proposed world legislative acts.   Observers are welcome but may not vote on these proposed acts for the obvious reason that the acts are emerging world governmental acts passed under the authority of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. It is this planetary moral authority under which the PWP meets and that lends legitimacy to our work.

The first day of the Parliament will involve grand opening ceremonies with brief speeches by a number of prominent thinkers and leaders both from India and abroad concerning the immense significance of our project and its prospects for the future of humanity.  Later in the day we will have selections of the Commissions being set up for the on-going transformative work of the Provisional World Parliament, which will be open to all delegates to the PWP.

The second day of the Parliament will require the active participation of all delegates who will be considering proposed World Legislative Acts (WLAs), discussing them, and voting on them.  There are some powerful and important WLAs being prepared that will be distributed ahead of time to all participants.

The third day of the Parliament will involve open discussion by delegates and observers of what went on and where to we go from here?   How to we move forward to create a world of peace, justice and sustainability for all persons and our endangered planet Earth?

The experience of participation in the PWP can and should be one of those “peak experiences” of our lives in which we grow immensely, expand our vision, and begin the grasp the significance of world citizens working together on behalf of a transformed future for all humanity.

A fundamental aspect of the work of the Provisional World Parliament is laying the groundwork for ratification of the Earth Constitution under the criteria set out in Article 17The Commissions formed at this session of the PWP will serve as the vanguard for this on-going work—the development of World Electoral and Administrative Districts for the Earth, the development of mechanisms for direct voting by the people of Earth, extending initiatives for protecting and saving the environment, for ending war, for protecting universal human rights, and for ending extreme poverty everywhere on Earth.

We thank the government of India and the great traditions of Indian culture that see the entire world has one human family for providing the setting and the occasion for these momentous events. From the Vedic tradition that proclaimed all human beings as “one family,” to Rabindranath Tagore who articulated a vision of a “universal man” beyond all divisions and national identities, to Swami Vivekananda who invited all human beings the first World Parliament of Religions to act as “bothers and sisters,” to Sri Aurobindo who founded the World Union organization working for democratic world government, Indian culture has supported this vision.  And Indian governmental leaders from Prime Minister Jawara Nehru to President Zail Singh to parliamentarians Bal Ram Jakar and Dr. Karan Singh have supported Nehru’s declaration that “the only way peace can be achieved is through world government.”

The PWP represents a center and focal point for the great transition of human civilization from one of competition, war, and fragmentation for one of coherence, peace, justice, love, and sustainability.  All our ideals and our vision of a better world can and should be focused here. The Provisional World Parliament is the vanguard for integral human liberation.

Freedom, Secularity, and Salvation through the Earth Constitution

Glen T. Martin

All the traditional religions have been about salvation in one form or another, whether this was called the kingdom of heaven, or nirvana, or moksa, or the straight path. Salvation always meant both ‘freedom from’ and ‘freedom for’.   We need freedom from sin, error, ignorance, selfishness, samsara, or an endless round of rebirths.  We need freedom for self-realization, grace, redemptive action, right relation with God, or right living through the middle way.

Each traditional religion flourished within a cultural context that provided its framework and intelligibility and gave its way of being religious great credibility with the people. Yet today we have emerged onto a planetary scale in which we can compare the great traditional religious and understand that each is a particular cultural phenomenon directing humans toward their ultimate goal of freedom. Each provided a credible way of doing this. None gave us the exclusively correct way.

In our pluralistic world of today, more and more people are becoming “secular.” They are thinking that this plurality of religious paths to the goal indicates that none of them had the validity that they traditionally claimed for their own path. Many people are not following one or the other of these traditional paths to freedom—to ‘freedom from’ and ‘freedom for’ our highest self-realization.  However, the need for such freedom has not abated.   Human beings today are trapped in a technological spiderweb of their own making that once held the promise of freeing us from drudgery and disease but somehow has instead led us to the brink of self-extinction through nuclear war or climate collapse.

The need to realize the goal of life will not go away. This is because human life has emerged from the womb of the cosmos with this goal embedded within the very framework of our freedom, self-awareness, and rationality. We long for liberation but find around us nothing but empty distractions or self-defeating means. We have realized—at least since the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights appeared—that our dignity is directly connected with human freedom. To destroy freedom is to destroy dignity. To enhance freedom is to recognize and increase our dignity.

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth appeared in its final form in 1991. It provides a way out of the technological spider web that has entrapped humanity in pending omnicide.  It is designed to eliminate all weapons of mass destruction from the Earth and to unite the Earth behind protecting and restoring our disintegrating planetary climate. It is designed to overcome the chaos of some 200 militarized sovereign nations refusing to recognize any coherent legal framework beyond themselves, a chaos that forces citizens in these nations to pay military and war taxes, and to fight wars on behalf of their ruling-classes’ misguided imperatives.

By freeing us from the technological spider web of pending omnicide, the Earth Constitution also frees us for rediscovering the meaning and goal of life that was embedded in all the great traditional religions from the start. By uniting humanity in the quest for a harmonious and coherent planetary civilization the Constitution brings us to a place where we can again address the question of “freedom for”?  How should we be living?   What is the purpose of life?   What is liberation, salvation, or nirvana?

Once we have replaced the world’s war system with a peace system and a freedom system, we must ask the question again: “freedom for what?”  My contention is that the very fact of realizing the freedom system offered by the Earth Constitution will bring us closer to the answer.  Article 12 of the Constitution says that everyone has the right to political beliefs or no political beliefs and the right to religious beliefs or no religious beliefs.  This great freedom constitutes the very foundation of the religious and/or philosophical quest for human liberation. The quest was never exclusively about “beliefs.” It was always about the realization of “freedom from” and “freedom for.”

The universe has produced a creature characterized by its freedom.  Freedom means that we do not have any predetermined essence, no inevitable character flaws that cannot be transcended. Freedom, to be sure, is a universal human phenomena and can only emerge as a common cooperative enterprise of people working together, whether in economics, in politics, or in everyday interactions.  If we are not in harmony with one another, if we are in constant conflict, danger, and fear, then our freedom is drastically diminished, and the possible fulness of life drastically reduced.

By achieving a coherent planetary civilization under the Earth Constitution, we will be reclaiming our freedom and transcending the threats to existence posed by the reigning chaos of militarized nation-states and competitive economics. Once we achieve this cooperative planetary freedom, then what?  How do we live our lives?  What is the meaning and goal of life?   My contention is that the meaning and goal will appear to us so much more readily once we have transcended the hate and fear and chaos of the present world disorder.

A world premised on peace and sustainability will enhance human freedom and dignity immeasurably. It will confront us ever more clearly with the question of “freedom for”—asking the questions concerning what is salvation, redemption, fulfillment, the straight path, or nirvana?  We will be able to answer these questions in a new and unique way once we have created a freedom system for planet Earth. 

That is why we must ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, for it alone is based on establishing the fulness of freedom and dignity as much as this is possible politically, economically, and institutionally. It is in this powerful sense, that the way to human salvation and liberation is truly through ratification of the Earth Constitution.

Integral Human Holism and the Great Transition

Glen T. Martin

If human beings are going to truly unite within a planetary civilization that ends war, protects universal human rights, and establishes sustainability within the limits of our planetary biosphere, then we must consciously actualize the holism of body, mind, and spirit. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth* can help serve as a bridge to this evolutionary synthesis. By creating an Earth Federation embracing all peoples and nations this Earth Constitution enhances and encourages a planetary consciousness in which all persons are understood within the trinity of body, mind, and spirit.

Let us briefly describe each of these in turn in order to attempt to clarify the holism behind the emerging planetary civilization. First, there is body. We are embodied, incarnated beings from the very start.  It is not that there is a mind or a spirit that is inserted into a body to be liberated upon the death of the body. Rather, to be human requires being bodily, for the entire cosmos and everything in it reflects the triune synthesis of body, mind, and spirit.

This last statement is corroborated more and more by contemporary science and cosmology. To speak of “body” today, does not refer to some substantial, self-sufficient reality thought of as “matter” of which things are composed and related under the laws of physics. “Matter” today is information and energy as a cohesive whole, revealed as indistinguishable by Einstein, having for decades been evermore progressively understood as an inseparable union.  Ultimately, this means that matter and “mind” or “consciousness” are not two distinct substances but rather are holarchically and mutually constitutive of one another. For decades now, advanced thinkers have been concluding that our universe is a “conscious” universe, dynamically informed by information and intelligence (cf. Kafatos and Nadeau 1990).

Human beings are a synthesis of body and mind because science is revealing that everything is a synthesis of body and mind. Intelligence and intelligibility are everywhere and present in everything. Mind is not just a function of a complex material object called a brain. The brain can be better conceived as a receiver in which its complexity allows it to draw upon the conscious intelligence found everywhere in the cosmos. As Jude Currivan expresses this: “Based on numerous experimental data of the nonlocality of our consciousness, an alternative has been to view the brain instead as a computer: a receiver and transmitter of nonlocal information” (Currivan 2017, 189).

Body and mind holistically and synergistically interact throughout the universe, but in human beings they synthesize in a creature that is truly a microcosm of the whole, a self-aware manifestation of the body-mind synthesis. Nevertheless, there is a third dimension that is necessary for true human maturity and awakening to our universal human condition that must also serve as a foundation for the coming planetary civilization. This has often been called “spirit.”

It is important not to reify spirit as some sort of substantial, non-physical thing, just as it is important not to do this with “body” or “mind.”  “Spirit” as I am using it is not a mysterious thing, like a ghost that shows up here and there in human experience. It is not as if the world is haunted by “spirits.” The word “spirit” here represents infinity, the infinity that is found everywhere and nowhere, the infinity that comprises the third dimension of the trinity of body, mind, and spirit. Raimon Panikkar makes the point that these three are mutually constitutive of being, of reality itself (2013). Hence, they can be called three “dimensions” only for heuristic purposes. As mutually constitutive of our Cosmos, they comprise one holistic reality. Each is, and is not, the other two.

The name “infinity” is the word given to this aspect by such thinkers as Nicholas of Cusa in the 15th century and G.W.F. Hegel in the 19th century. But it may be that this same aspect is called by the name of “emptiness” (sunyata) in the Buddhist tradition or “Tao” in the Taoist tradition. Body and mind are manifest everywhere in the intelligibility and perceivability of our world. But what is infinite, or what is empty of all qualities or determinations, is neither perceivable nor sayable nor thinkable. However, it can be an awareness, as Panikkar puts it, in which “the divine is primarily and primordially present” (1993, 17).

In the West this quality spirit has been called “apophatic,” that is, beyond name and form—it cannot be said or thought. The philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein made this very clear in the closing remarks of his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1961). Yet this aspect remains a key to seeing reality clearly with an awakened awareness. In Zen they speak of “no mind,” and of “pure seeing,” that is, seeing what cannot be seen or thought or said. We must free ourselves from our everyday, conventional consciousness that deals with body-things and mind-things. We must begin to live with direct awareness of the utterly unsayable fullness-emptiness of all things. We can then return to everyday consciousness with this new dimension in the background that has opened us up to the groundless ground, to eternity, to Budda nature, or to Atman.

It has been declared in many sacred traditions: “To see God not everywhere is to see God truly nowhere.” Perhaps it is awareness of this third dimension of “spirit” that is pointed to in this saying. The holism of reality, which is also the holism of the human being, involves the mutually constitutive dynamic of body, mind, and spirit. As Panikkar expresses this: “The vertical or divine dimension is no longer projected onto ‘another’ being, but experienced as the infinite dimension of reality itself” (1993, 16)). All things partake of infinity.

They could not exist, they could not be what they are, without being grounded within that groundless-ground. Meister Eckhart speaks of a silence so profound that no name can penetrate, not even the name “God.” In some Zen traditions, they emphasize the “triple awakening”—annica (no things), anatta (no selves), and tathata (suchness). If we do not substantialize things and selves, then the overwhelming immediacy of the infinite emptiness, the unspeakable suchness, can ecstatically embrace our lives (cf. Martin 2005, Chap.5).

It has been said that the world is the body of God (Gutkind 1969). It has been said that humans are a microcosm of the whole.  Just as matter, mind, and infinity are constitutive of all things, these dimensions culminate in a special way in our human self-aware existence. Can this holism of our human condition transcend the cultural barriers between East and West?   Can awareness of these three dimensions as constitutive of every human being serve as a new paradigmatic awareness for the emerging planetary civilization?

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth assumes that we can live and act as one planetary civilization. It provides the tools for such living and acting. But the real union of humanity, the real synergy of our common human project, can perhaps only begin when we have realized this holism and begin to live from a consciousness free of the desire to dominate others, exploit nature, or to gasp at endless consumer goods.

The Earth Constitution, of course, does not philosophize about our common humanity in this way. Although it does speak of the “unity in diversity” of humanity as the basis for a new civilization in which peace prevails, war is outlawed, and the Earth’s total resources are equitably used for human welfare. Ultimately these things will only be achieved when we actualize a consciousness free of the desire to dominate others, exploit nature, or grasp at endless consumer goods. The Constitution is a pragmatic document for organizing humanity and effectively dealing with our lethal global problems, but it also points forward to a new human being—reborn and redeemed in the fullness of life (Martin 2021).

It is therefore both a means and an end. It is an end in its ability to organize humanity for the first time in history to effectively deal with our global problems. It is also a means to the further conscious evolution of humanity toward the fulness of awareness and a true planetary consciousness. It is a step on the way to the ecstatic synthesis of body, mind, and spirit.

Works Cited

Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Found on-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global.

Currivan, Jude (2017). The Cosmic Hologram: In-formation at the Center of Creation. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.

Eckhart, Meister (1981). Meister Eckhart: The Essential Sermons, Commentaries, Treatises, and Defense. Bernard McGinn, Ed. Mahwah NJ: Paulist Press.

Gutkind, Eric (1969). The Body of God: First Steps Toward an Anti-Theology. Lucie B. Gutkind and Henry LeRoy Finch, Eds. New York: Horizon Press.

Kafatos, Means and Robert Nadeau (1990). The Conscious Universe: Part and Whole in Modern Physical Theory. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Martin, Glen T. (2005). Millennium Dawn: The Philosophy of Planetary Crisis and Human Liberation. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Democracy Press.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.

Panikkar, Raimon (1993). The Cosmotheandric Experience: Emerging Religious Consciousness. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Panikkar, Raimon (2013). The Rhythm of Being: The Unbroken Trinity. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Nation-State Ideology and the Great Transition

Glen T. Martin

If the “nation-state” ideology is not discussed politically in the light of a new vision of human life, and a theoretical successor is found that is worthier than preceding ideologies, the project will remain a barren intellectual exercise. Discussion of the nation-state problem is not merely about looking for a new technique for redistributing the products of a “world market,” or for keeping the peace by an ever more precarious “balance of power,” and the like. The discussion must involve the complete vision of Man and the universe. The nation-state is not merely a “political” problem. 

Raimon Panikkar, 2013, 359

Panikkar wrote this paragraph apparently unaware that “a theoretical successor that is worthier than preceding ideologies” has been found in the form of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  Yet for Panikkar a need for a theoretical model superseding the ideology of nation-states would have to be encompassed within a fundamental transformation of our world view itself.  We must abandon our fragmentation, smallness, and disunity and begin living from the wholeness and fullness of life itself.

Overcoming the nation-state ideology, therefore, must be integral to human beings moving to a new level of awareness, a new contemplation and action, deriving from the integral cosmic wholeness manifested in us as body, mind, and spirit. We must become aware of the real (no longer living from either classical or contemporary distorted or reductionist paradigms). What is real is that our lives and the entire cosmos are embraced by the divine mystery—the unsayable but utterly present fulness of existence that is the third dimension of the real (after mind and body) that is essential for the fulness and deep meaningfulness of life (see Martin 2018).

A key component in this deep realization is the clear understanding of the oneness of our human project on a level that is not merely theoretical but actualized in practice through ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. It does little good to pontificate about the oneness of humanity (as so many of today’s “spiritual” thinkers do) while resting content in the utter fragmentation of militarized nation-states interfaced with global capitalist competition creating absolute winners and losers.

The theoretical model undergirding nation-state ideologies is the Westphalian model, first formulated, many scholars affirm, at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 at the end of the 30-years War in Europe. This theoretical model assumed that the world could operate with a multiplicity of autonomous, territorially defined regions all living together with no binding authority or framework over them all.  In the 17th century, when this model appeared, there was very little understanding of the world as a holistically interconnected unity embracing all of nature, humanity, and the ground of Being.

The ideology of nation-states makes of the nation a little God—glorifying a mythicized history of the nation, demanding blind loyalty, and criminalizing the disloyal as “traitors” or “terrorists.” In the United States, like many other countries, under the mantra of “national security,” they prosecute and persecute whistleblowers who expose the massive lies and corruption of the government. Handing out extensive prison sentences to citizens who expose the truth and the corruption inherent in institutions (like the military) organized around nation-state ideology. The nation forms not only the legal framework for citizenship (there are no legal world citizens only citizens as recognized by laws of autonomous nations) but the essence of a conventional identity (I am an American; I am Russian; I am Chinese, etc.).

The discussion looking for a worthier theoretical successor to the nation-state ideology, Panikkar says, must “involve a complete vision of Man and the universe.”  The Earth Constitution does not give us such a complete theoretical model. It is a practical blueprint for how human beings should govern themselves on this Earth.  However, it presupposes a theoretical framework, as do all such documents. It presupposes several things that were practically unknown in the mid-17th century when nation-state ideology first developed.

  1. Dignity. Even though a sense of human dignity (infinite worth) is found in all the great classical religious traditions, the 17th century cosmology presupposed by the founders of nation-state ideology largely ignored or devalued this sense of dignity upon which governments must be founded. The nation-state ideology, which legitimizes war in a multiplicity of ways, necessarily degrades the dignity of the “enemies,” of those who may be killed or “neutralized” through patriotic violence.
  2. Equality.  All people are equal in terms of their dignity and their human rights. Today we recognize this equality within a vast diversity unknown in the 17th century. Yet even the more limited diversity recognized by the 17th century deeply discriminated men from women, whites from blacks, superior nations from inferior nations, etc. Nation-state ideology fragments and hopelessly diminishes our universal human equality.
  3. Democracy.  Democracy means that the people participate in governing, and it also means that governing is directed toward the common good of all not for the benefit of the few at the expense of the many. Today, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that the only legitimate governments are those that protect human rights and provide for the people’s participation in governing. Article 28 of the UN Declaration points beyond the UN Charter to a future “international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized.” Nation-state ideology, denying such a future international order, ultimately defeats democracy.
  4. Human unity. The species-sameness of all human beings was understood by the 20th century.  In the 17th century they did not know about evolution. The theory of evolution and species-sameness has become integral to this transformed contemporary theoretical model.
  5. Third Generation Rights.  In the 17th century there was only a truncated view of universal human rights, since the idea of equal political rights only became popular in the 18th century. It was not until the 19th century that the idea of universal economic and social rights developed and not until the 20th century did the idea of planetary rights develop—rights to planetary peace and global environmental protection.  The ideology of the nation-state in itself includes none of these notions of universal rights. They are all embraced by the Earth Constitution (ibid., Martin 2018)
  6. Ecology. Only in the second half of the 20th century did the sense of a universal planetary ecosystem and interdependent planetary ecology develop in a popular sense. The ideology of the nation-state includes none of this (just as the UN Charter based on that ideology includes nothing about ecology). The Earth Constitution from start to finish integrates planetary ecology into global government.
  7. The smallness of the Earth. In the 17th century, the Earth appeared vast with vast distances and vast resources and unexplored continents. Today, with high-speed transport and communications we know that the Earth is small, and that our ideas of governing must integrate the smallness and interdependence of our planet.
  8. The common water, atmosphere, and biosphere of the Earth. In the 17th century there was no idea that the resources of the Earth are finite and should belong to the people of Earth.  It made sense to them to divide those resources according to sovereign nation-states. Today, this ethnocentric greed and fragmentation appear as madness. The new theory of nations is that they all should participate democratically in protecting and manifesting the sovereignty of the people of Earth who alone can be said to represent the essential resources of our planet. The Earth Constitution makes the oceans, the atmosphere, and our planet’s major resources the common property of the people of Earth.  They do not “belong” to nation-states (see Martin 2021).
  9. The common, interdependent planetary health of human beings. The COVID-19 pandemic has underlined the fragmentation of the nations, each looking out for itself first before concern for other nations and peoples. The new paradigm under the Earth Constitution is premised on the interdependence of all persons with one another, the environment, and the cosmos. Our health requires the health of all, with a global health-care system equally available to all.
  10. Integration (with one another, nature, and the cosmos). The Earth Constitution presupposes integration, synergy, and cooperation among nations and peoples to create a decent world for everyone.  The ideology of nation-states, on the other hand, is happy with rich nations versus poor nations, with powerful imperial nations and weaker subservient nations, with some nations possessing WMDs while others are forbidden to possess WMDs.
  11. The falsehood of war. In the 17th century war may still have had some honor and meaning, since they were riding horses and using swords, inaccurate canon-balls, and primitive muskets.  Each nation felt it could defend itself since invading armies would be slow and resistance could be effective.  Today, such security is a total illusion in which any place on Earth can be wiped out instantly with high tech weapons. The ideology of national sovereignty no longer makes sense. The Earth Constitution sets up procedures for demilitarizing the nations and creating one universal federation of peace, justice, and sustainability, a truly new paradigm.
  12. The model of growth, evolution, and development. As mentioned above, the 17th century had no idea of evolution. Today we know that all species evolve, and that human history is a story of evolutionary change over the centuries. The Earth Constitution provides for on-going development of historical change and presupposes the evolution of human civilization.
  13. The sense of the whole and the interdependence of all things—the unity in diversity of the cosmos, nature, and human life. This last component of the transformed assumptions behind the Earth Constitution in many ways sums up this entire list. The ideology presupposed by the nation-state system had no idea of the discoveries that would be made by relativity physics and quantum physics in the 20th century that would change the entire framework of human thought. The Earth Constitution presupposes this 20th century background and its integration of human life in a global democracy based on the principle of unity in diversity that is truly transformative (ibid. Martin 2021).

The Constitution, therefore, in terms of its background assumptions, really does fulfill Panikkar’s demand that “the discussion must involve the complete vision of Man and the universe.” The complete vision is holism: the deep holistic interrelationship of body, mind, and spirit that expresses the real in human life and thought. The holism upon which the Constitution is based is a concrete reflection of the holism discovered by 20th and 21st century sciences.

Nation-state ideology was largely a western invention that spread around the world insofar as it appealed to a universal ethnocentrism that characterizes nearly all peoples.  However, this list of features presupposed by the Earth Constitution transcends the East-West distinction and arises from a universality that characterizes our fundamental human situation in which we are all citizens of our common planet Earth, having evolved as a common species over millions of years.

The theoretical model behind the Earth Constitution far exceeds as well as supersedes the theoretical model on which nation-state ideology is based. Nation-state ideology in the 21st century is pure madness, sheer fanatical refusal to see the world clearly, a dogmatic rejection of all these advances beyond the 17th century. The Earth Constitution is “postmodern” in the sense that its assumptions transcend those of 17th century “modernity” and instead draw upon the emergent wholistic paradigm arising throughout the 20th century and culminating in the 21st century.

It is true that the rethinking of the nation-state ideology must be within the context of a rethinking of all human existence and a renewed link with the ground of Being—with the deep mystery of existence, with the real as manifested in body, mind, and spirit.  Uniting humanity in practice through ratifying the Earth Constitution is a key step on the way to the awakening of humanity to our real human condition in which we participate directly in the very foundations of existence, and in which the fulness of life must be discovered that finds meaning and joy in the very act of living on our precious planet Earth within this ecstatic and unspeakably beautiful cosmos.

Works Cited

Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Found on-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global.

Martin, Glen T. (2018). Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence: The Power of the Future for Planetary Transformation. London: Cambridge Scholars.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). 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.

The Great Noon-Tide Terror and Our Perilous Transition

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.

Works Cited

Agnivesh, Swami (2015). Applied Spirituality: A Spiritual Vision for the Dialogue of Religions. New York: Harper Element Books.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Found on-line at www.earthconstitution.world or www.wcpa.global.

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.

Who Speaks for the Nation?

Glen T. Martin

Humankind is under a gigantic illusion that a nation-state (comprised of a diverse millions of people) can “speak.”  In the U.N. there are votes and we are told that this is the position of South Africa, and this is the position of Brazil, and this the position of Russia. Not one of these positions was likely arrived at through a democratic referendum of the people. Who is it that is speaking?  Not Brazil, but who?

This false assumption goes back in history. G.W.F. Hegel spoke of the sovereignty of nations as the sovereignty of national “wills.” If conflict among different national “wills” cannot be reconciled, he concluded, the result can only be “war” (1991, para. 331-33).  In today’s world there are perhaps two main different kinds of “national wills,” the wills of so-called democracies and the wills of dictatorships. Most countries are a mix of these two. What systems do we call democracies today?  For example, when the United States speaks at the U.N. through President Biden and his U.N. representative, whose view is being expressed? 

So-called democracies really speak for their super-rich ruling classes and industrial-military complexes. The ambassador at the U.N. does not represent you and me, but positions formulated largely in secret as something called “U.S. foreign policy.” These ruling classes are the real power and the source of endless war despite whatever the people of the nation may desire.  On the other hand, dictatorships obviously speak for the ruling persons or groups and their henchmen who help enforce their domination over the nation.  In neither case is the “will of the nation” ever the voice of its people.

Within those nations called “democratic,” the voice of the people sometimes plays a role. There are domestic issues that the people may vote on in a referendum, etc. But on so-called “foreign policy”—almost never. No wonder the world is a mess of warring states, vast migrations, economic crises, hunger and misery, spread of diseases, national security secrecy, multinational corporate domination, and global banking cartel exploitation. There is no such thing as democracy at the international level. The illusion in the powerless U.N. General Assembly that “one nation, one vote” is democracy is a travesty. India has more than a billion people and some tiny island nation-states have barely a million people.

There is no such thing as “global governance,” a deceptive phrase that is favored by the ruling elites—the multinational corporations, the industrial-military complexes, the banking cartels, and their elite “Commissions on Global Governance” with their duplicitous and dishonest language of “democratic global governance.”  Within nations, citizens may debate serious issues and voting may count to a certain extent (almost always manipulated by big money).  But our planet is a total mess and getting worse because at the global level it has no government—only the machinations of the powerful hidden behind their duplicitous “commissions.”

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth, the most obvious and simplest solution, meets resistance everywhere for just this reason. The dominators fear genuine democracy.  Genuine democracy might put people in power who actually care about the planet, human dignity, and the future.  We cannot have this because any genuine democracy will obviously tax the rich, restrain the rampage of the multinational corporations, eliminate the debt-based domination of the banking cartels, and end the insane militarism of the nations of the world.

The Earth Constitution does something never before done on Earth—it brings the possibility of genuine democracy to our planet. Under the nation-state system genuine democracy is impossible both within nations and between nations (between nations it is primarily power relations, never the genuine voice of the people as pointed out above). The world is an interdependent and interrelated place, as Immanual Kant first pointed out in the 18th century (1957). All nations are interdependent through the global economy, through cultural, civilizational, and security issues, and, most importantly, through a planetary ecosystem that allows all life to flourish on the Earth.

The autonomy and independence of sovereign nations is an illusion—as the chaos of our world of endless wars, migrations, terrorism, failed states, sanctions and blockades, endless wars and power struggles reveals. Because the Earth Constitution does not operate under the illusion of a nation-state sovereignty that claims democracy is possible within states in spite of the chaos of our world-system, it can offer genuine democracy for the first time in history.

It is not a small thing that the World Parliament contains not only a House of Nations and a House of Counselors but an even larger House of Peoples representing 1000 electoral districts from around our planet, all substantially equal in population. The people of Earth actually get direct representation on the global level, independently of the states where they happen to have citizenship.  No wonder the present world system fears this.  The people of Earth do not want war, they do not want poverty, they do not want state terrorism, economic blockades, and international chaos.  The vast majority want peace, prosperity, and civil order.

If the people of Earth get to participate directly in the governing of our planet through their 1000 electoral districts independently of their national governments, then the nationalist propaganda of the national governments is likely to be less effective. Even if my national government and its subservient “independent” national media intone a war-mantra like “We must invade before the smoking gun becomes a mushroom cloud,” as happened in the United States in 2003, people voting directly through their reps in the House of Peoples can think and choose independently of the propaganda.  They are now world citizens, not reduced simply to be U.S. citizens dependent on the propaganda emanating from their government. They can think and act for themselves. This is what the elites of the world fear. Global democracy can liberate human beings to think for themselves.

The Earth Constitution promises to bring civil order to our planet as a whole and this is precisely what the present “governing” elites fear.  Civil order means they substantially lose their power and privilege and take their proper places as equal citizens with the planetary democracy.  Real democratic law is nonviolently revolutionary.  The Earth Constitution takes its entire framework from the principles of unity in diversity and the equal rights and dignity of all. It integrates the present world system into a larger framework that helps fulfill and complete the inner meaning of our human civilizational project.

To claim that there is a “national will” in the U.N. and other forums like the World Trade Organization (WTO), perpetuates the myth and the lie that Hegel and others promoted throughout modern history. In true global governing we cannot have only the so-called “sovereign” nations speaking as if that were some form of meaningful democratic participation in governing our planet. Their collective voices can never give us democracy, only more militarism, conflict, domination, and exploitation.

Under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, the people of Earth speak—they participate directly in the governing of our planet for the first time ever.  This move to planetary democracy also makes more authentic democracy possible within nations.  People voting within nations no longer need to be told that certain issues (like war and national security) are off limits to their democratic participation and inspection.  Like all secrecy, the national-security secrecy breeds corruption. In the U.S. billions upon billions of dollars go to a military-industrial complex secret from the public and corrupt through and through. Even our so-called representatives in the U.S. Congress do not dare to question this.

By placing our world under the democratic Earth Constitution, and through reducing and then eliminating militarism and national-security ideologies of spying and state sponsored terrorism, that is, by pacifying our world into a planetary democratic civil society, real democracy will also for the first time be possible on the national level as well. There is no downside to ratifying the Earth Constitution. It empowers the people of Earth. It recognizes the rights and dignity of all people to equality, freedom, prosperity, and security. It directly addresses the threats of nuclear holocaust and climate destruction.  It brings humanity to its true selfhood of mutual dignity and respect for the first time in history.

As philosopher of law and spiritual thinker Peter Gabel declared: “law must maintain its connection to justice by following an ethical intuition anchoring the present to the future, an intuition of what we are in our being but are not yet in reality” (2013, 19). Real law, democratic world law, by promoting justice and equality for all, involves the participation of everyone in what the Constitution calls a “new age” of world peace, justice, freedom, and sustainability. It anchors the present to a future in which we actualize our true human destiny. We can become what we are truly meant to be. All the great world’s religions have proclaimed this quest. The Christian scriptures, for example, proclaim “thy will be done, thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in Heaven.”

It is in this sense that, as I have proclaimed many times, “democratic world law is the 21st century form of love.”  The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is love embodied within a blueprint for human transformation, survival, and flourishing. We do not want a world run by nation-states under the illusion that each one has a “will” that speaks for its people. We need a world run primarily and most directly by its citizens, actively participating in a World Parliament that represents both present realities and a future in which we actualize our true human destiny.

Works Cited

Constitution for the Federation of Constitution Earth. Found on-line at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global

Gabel, Peter (2013). Another Way of Seeing: Essays on Transforming Law, Politics, and Culture. New Orleans: Quid Pro Books.

Hegel, G.W.F. (1991). Elements of the Philosophy of Right. Alan Wood, Ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kant, Immanuel (1957). Perpetual Peace. Louis White Beck, trans. New York: Macmillian.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.

The Mystery of No-thing

                                                

This massive rock,

Silence of the ages revealed—

Unsayable, unknown, immediate,

Immediacy beyond words.

While bird-song penetrates to the depths of being,

Thrill of existence, shudder of recognition—

No bird seen, no concept formed.

The emptiness of silence and bird-song,

Revealed in the deep recesses of the forest-wild.

Wilderness embracing silence and song.

_________________________

My human senses encounter a familiar forest,

Of sights and sounds.

My human reason names and orders,

The elements of forest as rock, bird, trees, flora, ecosystem,

But senses and reason fail here—

Fail in moments of the whole,

Encounter with the depths of bird-song and silence.

______________________

In immediacy and wilderness,

Silence and shudder of recognition,

Opens a third eye—

The eye of emptiness,

Embraced by mystery, unperceived, unreasoned,

Yet complete, somehow fulfilled, somehow this living ground of

Unspeakable Mystery enwraps our being.

_____________________________

And opens heart and mind to the Real,

The mystery of Existence,

Not concept, not sensorium,

No-thing.

Rounding the trinity of our being,

This fullness-emptiness of completion, unspeakable finality,

Ushers us into that sacred space,

Embraced by the Mystery of No-thing.

A What is Philosophy? How is Philosophy Related to the Earth Constitution?

Glen T. Martin

Long ago, at age 19, I began to search for the meaning of life. I read a book that year called The Inward Morning, written by a contemporary philosopher named H.G. Bugbee, that was written as a spiritual journal. The author reflected on his experiences, the books he was reading, on his own life and search for meaning and liberation. One sentence in particular about philosophy comes back to me: “Philosophy is not about a making of a home for the mind out of reality, it is more like learning to leave things be—restoration in the wilderness here and now” (155).

The theme of “wilderness” played a large role in Bugbee’s thought, in his own spiritual journey, his wide reading in the literatures of the world, and his search for meaning and liberation in relation to our universal human condition.

When I went to college the following year and began to major in philosophy, I found that few of my philosophy courses addressed this question concerning an “inward morning.” In my first philosophy course in college, however, we did read Plato’s Apology in which Socrates defends himself in court when he was on trial for “corrupting the youth” and “teaching false gods.”  Socrates declares:

While I have life and strength I shall never cease from the practice and teaching of philosophy, exhorting anyone whom I meet after my manner, and convincing him, saying: O my friend, why do you…care so much about laying up the greatest amount of money and honor and reputation, and so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul, which you never regard or heed at all?

Life should be about the search for wisdom and truth and improvement of the soul. It is a quest, Socrates declares, in “obedience to god,” to search for a way of life in harmony with the ground of Being and the foundations of existence. It is a life-long process of growth in wisdom and truth, never reaching an end, never making a final claim to “possess the truth.”  

My undergraduate courses in philosophy did not appear to me to help much with this, nor most of my graduate courses.  In graduate school, many of my philosophy professors believed that philosophy was about analysis, that training in philosophy was training in logic, thinking, and the ability to analyze arguments and to show where they were weak, misguided, or fallacious.  Philosophy was a skill for these professors, not a quest.

But I did learn in those years about the history of war in the world and about the terrible Vietnam War during which the United States was saturation bombing civilians by the millions in Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. I learned about nuclear weapons that were situated in the US and Soviet Union able to wipe out all of humanity in a “mutual assured destruction.” I learned about global poverty, and the histories of slavery, colonialism, and imperialism. I learned that humanity did not appear to have progressed beyond the condition of the ancient Athenians that Socrates had addressed in the 5th century BCE. We were still concerned with money and power rather than “wisdom, truth, and the improvement of the soul.”

Was there a connection?  Is there a connection between the war-system, the exploitation system, the dehumanization system, the destruction of nature system, and the lack of concern for “wisdom, truth, and the improvement of the soul”?  I began to realize that the crisis of modern civilization, in which today we are on the verge of making ourselves extinct through nuclear war and destruction of our planetary ecosystem, is the crisis of a civilization that has ignored philosophy, not “philosophy” as an academic discipline, but philosophy as the quest for human awakening, liberation, wisdom, and harmony with the ground of Being.

At that time I studied the works of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who saw that the progressive revelations of science had the effect of calling into question all traditional values and viewpoints on the meaning of life. He called this crisis “nihilism” and predicted that human “barbarism” would only increase as all traditional values disintegrated under the onslaught of science and technology. Indeed, the horrific history of the 20th century proved him right (Glover 1999).

About the same time, I discovered the works of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, who studied language, revealing “the limits of language” and the fact that language, which is intrinsically “conventional,” cannot penetrate to the depths of being. If we want “wisdom, truth, and improvement of the soul,” we will have to discover what some have called “the silence of God” (Panikkar 1989), the silence of being, the wisdom of unsayability, what some traditions have called the “apophatic” path into the depths of existence, beyond thought and language, beyond technology and science.

I discovered that some philosophers from Eastern traditions, such as Nagarjuna, the great South Indian thinker of the 2nd century, had also analyzed language in this way. I published articles such as “The Religious Nature of Wittgenstein’s Later Thought” (1988) and “Deconstruction and Breakthrough in Nietzsche and Nagarjuna” (1991) that coalesced and solidified these insights. I began to experience some of the universality of truth and wisdom sought by all the great traditions of the world.

Since 1995, when I discovered the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, I have worked to unite humanity under this Earth Constitution. The Constitution is carefully designed to end the war-system on our planet, to establish a peace system, a justice system, and a sustainability system for the Earth.  To do this is imperative in the face of our current planetary trajectory toward self-extinction through nuclear war and climate destruction.

What does all this about “philosophy” have to do with ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth? Precisely this: universality.  Our individual spiritual quests are part of a common human quest. We are one planetary civilization, one common humanity, one common phenomenon of self-awareness emerging from the ground of Being. 

We human beings cannot go further; we cannot awaken to our common need for a civilization based on “wisdom, truth, and improvement of the soul” until we realize our oneness with one another and give up the absurd fragmentation of humanity into opposing militarized nation-states, races, religions, and superficial ideologies. The realization of our human unity and universality means the realization that we are all in this together and we will only solve our most fundamental problems if we embrace philosophy.

That is, we must embrace our common human quest to actualize the gift given to us by the cosmos: the gift of what some traditions have called “divinization,” the possibility that we continue to evolve in harmony with the ground of being and our emergent evolutionary destiny. This is what philosophy is about.  This is what ratification of the Earth Constitution makes possible.  To pursue and actualize our common human destiny is impossible while the world remains divided into absolute militarized fragments called “sovereign nation-states.”

The Constitution is based on the twin principles of unity in diversity, on one hand, and our common human dignity and equality on the other hand. That is why it gives us global democracy, a democracy that does not mean the rule of irrational prejudices but rather the rule of a World Parliament premised on unity in diversity, dignity, and equality for all human beings as well as harmony with our endangered planetary ecosystem. 

Philosophy literally means “love of wisdom,” from two Greek works philia and Sophia. The Earth Constitution both embodies the wisdom of our common human project and makes possible the further evolutionary journey of human beings toward “wisdom, truth, and improvement of the soul.” That is why we need to ratify this Earth Constitution.

Works Cited

Bugbee, H.G. (1961). The Inward Morning: A Philosophical Exploration in Journal Form. New York: Collier Books.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  On-line at www.earthconstitution.world

Glover, Jonathan (1999). Humanity: A Moral History of the 20th Century. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Martin, Glen T. (1989). “The Religious Nature of Wittgenstein’s Later Philosophy,” in Philosophy Today, Volume 32, Number 3, fall 1988, pp.207‑220.

Martin, Glen T. (1991). “Deconstruction and Breakthrough in Nietzsche and Nagarjuna,” in Graham Parks, ed., Nietzsche and Asian Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991, pp. 91-111.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet.  Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.

Panikkar, Raimon (1989). The Silence of God: The Answer of Buddha. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Plato.  The Apology of Socrates. Translated by Benjamin Jowett. On-line at: http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/apology.html

Mind-forged Impediments to Human Liberation

Glen T. Martin

What prevents the ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth and creating an Earth Federation that can solve our most fundamental and dangerous problems on this planet?  Thinkers like Paul Raskin have declared that we need to take the next step in the coherent evolution of humanity by becoming a “planetary civilization.” If we allow things to continue in their present state of fragmentation and business as usual, we are courting the regression of humanity to what he calls “barbarism” (2016).

What is it that blocks our ascent to becoming a planetary civilization and creating a decent life for everyone on our precious planet Earth?  My argument has always been that the best instrument for actualizing a planetary civilization is ratification of the Earth Constitution. The British poet William Blake (1757-1827) wrote these lines in his poem “London”:

In every cry of every man,

In every Infant’s cry of fear,

In every voice, in every ban,

The mind-forg’d manacles I hear.

The nightmare of London during the early industrial revolution with its “dark Satanic Mills,” its painful cries of young harlots, chimney sweeps, and homeless youth, as described in Blake’s poetry, was a product of “mind-forg’d manacles.” The nightmare of the world today with its raging climate collapse, its increasing threat of nuclear holocaust, and its extreme poverty for some two billion of the Earth’s citizens is likewise a product of “mind-forg’d manacles.” It doesn’t have to be this way.

The capitalist system has put more than 50% of the world’s wealth in the hands of a tiny group of human beings while at least 50% of the world’s population struggles to secure their next meal. It does not have to be that way.  The deceitful economists of the dominant system speak of the “iron laws” of economics, of production, investment, and markets, all the while covering up the fact that there are no such laws, that these human relationships are designed by the human mind, and they could be different (see Martin 2021, Chaps 3, 5, and 6).

In the USA, the Obama, Trump, and Biden administrations all concur on the need for a one trillion-dollar upgrade in US nuclear weapons systems in order to ensure “national security.” They speak of this as an imperative dictated by circumstances while covering up the fact that these “circumstances” have been designed by the human mind and could be different. Many people fly in airplanes around the planet and see beneath them no national boundary lines, no absolute differences between this region below and that, only one planetary sphere in orbit around our life-giving sun.  Yet it does not occur to most of these people that these boundary lines are imaginary and the militarized nightmare of “security” that they engender does not have to be that way—sovereignty is imaginary, and the division of the Earth into some 200 autonomous units reflects our “mind forg’d manacles,” not reality.

The first step in the process of human liberation is to recognize that the boundaries, the divisions, the so-called “iron laws” do not represent realities. They are collective illusions.  Human beings could design things differently.  It is more than high time that we recognize our freedom—the precious gift of freedom—which means that we can design things according to our highest and finest intuitions.  We can design the world for peace, for justice, for human rights, and for sustainability. We need not wait for some slow “evolution” in our ways of thinking. We can wake up here and now to the realization that it need not be this way and that we can change it.

Boundaries can be useful for certain purposes. They are tools to serve human well-being. But when we link them with absolute sovereignty in which nations recognize no effective laws above themselves, the boundaries become destructive of human well-being. It is similar with the concept of private property.  For purposes of privacy and democratic protection from interference by both other people and government, private property as a boundary concept can enhance human well-being.  However, when it becomes a concept of an absolute right to endless accumulation of the Earth’s resources as the private domain of superrich individuals or groups, it clearly becomes destructive of human welfare. Both national boundaries and private property are human concepts that can become “mind-forg’d manacles” destructive of human well-being.

The second step in the liberation process is to realize that the “utopian horizon” framing our human temporality is not mere subjective fantasy but rather an ontological feature of our objective human situation built into our consciousness by the cosmic evolutionary process itself.  As I wrote in my essay on http://www.Academia.edu entitled “The Utopian Horizon of Objective Human Values”: “Objective human values populate the horizon of our common human temporality. Our task is to distinguish what is merely subjective from the objective lineaments of the utopian horizon. Our task is to live toward this utopian future as faithfully as possible, to transform our broken and degraded human condition on the Earth in the direction of the perfected human community, a community of love, peace, justice, and sustainability.”

We are not helpless creatures trapped in a merely “private” subjectivity of our own minds. In fact, our minds were produced by the cosmic evolutionary process. We are the only creature we know of that consciously lives within a temporality moving from past through a dynamic present into a future that we can envision as better than the past. This is our unique freedom presented to us as a gift by the cosmos. Our limitations, our constraints, come most often from “mind-forg’d manacles that we impose upon ourselves. But our intrinsic freedom allows for metanoia, transformation. We can liberate ourselves for a truly transformed future (Martin 2018).

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is a key to this transformation. It transcends the old imaginary boundaries of militarized “sovereign” nation-states and “iron laws” of economics and places authority in the hands of a democratically elected World Parliament to actualize a world based on peace, justice, sustainability, and human dignity.  This is not a “utopian fantasy,” but an objective tool written by hundreds of world citizens working together who had liberated themselves for their own “mind-forg’d manacles.” They understood the best way to actualize our collective human potential.

William Blake, who understood in his own way what I am saying about the objective validity of our utopian horizon values, also wrote:

I will not cease from Mental Fight,

Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand,

Till we have built Jerusalem

In England’s green & pleasant land.

The courage and energy to struggle for a transformed future arise from our objective human values and our gifts of human freedom and dignity.  For Blake, two centuries ago, the ideal city based on divine truth (Jerusalem) needed to be built in “England’s green & pleasant land,” free of its “mind-forg’d manacles” and “dark Satanic Mills.”

Today, it is global civilization that needs to be built.  Today, it is all of us or none.  Today, the very future of human existence is in danger because of these “mind forg’d manacles.”  Jerusalem today symbolizes the city of Earth, what Paul Raskin called “Earthland,” our planetary home as a cosmic city of peace and freedom. The sword of vision, the sword of criticism, the sword of struggle, the sword of justice, and the sword of freedom must not sleep in our hands.Indeed, the Earth Constitution itself is our most effective Sword, a concrete instrument for making it happen. We need to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

Works Cited

Blake, William (1970). In The Norton Anthology of Poetry: Third Edition. Alexander W. Allison, et al., eds. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth, at www.earthconstitution.world

Martin, Glen T. (2018). Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence: The Power of the Future for Planetary Transformation. London: Cambridge Scholars.

Martin, Glen T. (2020). “The Utopian Horizon of Objective Human Values,” www.academia.edu.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.

Raskin, Paul (2016). Journey to Earthland: The Great Transition to Planetary Civilization. Boston, MA: Tellus Institute.