“Total Liberation” The Union of Spirituality and Critical Social Theory

Glen T. Martin

October 2022 http://www.oneworldrenaissance.com

There is an overwhelming consensus today that human beings are creatures who can develop toward ever greater levels of maturity. They can actualize their potential along multiple developmental lines such as cognitive, emotional, spiritual, interpersonal, aesthetic, or moral. Scholars have identified multiple developmental stages along each of these lines, the simplest of which may be the four-stage model from egoistic to ethnocentric to worldcentric to cosmocentric and integral (cf. Wilber 2007).

Spiritual development can be seen as one line of developmental capacity that human beings need to actualize (as it is, for example, in the work of James Fowler, 1981). The term “spiritual” can also be used to characterize the higher levels in all these developmental lines. In other words, people who are more emotionally mature, morally mature, or aesthetically mature are often said to be more “spiritual.”  Those at egocentric and ethnocentric levels are often intensely religious, but in mythic, fundamentalist, and anthropomorphic ways that have been transcended at higher levels of spiritual realization.

In this paper I want to broadly associate spiritual maturity with those who have progressed to worldcentric and cosmocentric levels of awareness as well as recognize a developmental line for spirituality itself. If there is such a separate developmental line, it is clear nevertheless that the multiple lines (such as aesthetic, moral, interpersonal, etc.) mingle and “bleed” into one another. With the possible exception of the “cognitive” line of development (in which there are some very smart people who are barbarians morally and spiritually), its development would naturally affect the whole of a person’s growth.

Spiritual maturity, therefore, means those who have substantially grown away from immature egoism and ethnocentrism and begun to enter transpersonal stages of development in which their awareness begins to embrace all human beings (with compassion and understanding—karuna in Buddhism, agape in Christianity).  For such people our common humanity (that Karl Marx called our species-being) becomes more important than egoistic or ethnocentric self-gratification and self-indulgence. Along with cognitive intelligence, and moral intelligence, human beings have a spiritual intelligence that needs to be embraced and developed.

Whether or not a person practices a certain religion or spiritual path (like Zen meditation), if that person is mature enough to compassionately embrace all of humanity, then I call that person spiritually advanced, having grown into a deeper awareness of what is truly more real and more universal than the egoism and bourgeois self-indulgence that characterizes most people today. In my recent book The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet, I characterize these four levels of development in the following way:

Egocentric—I live to satisfy myself with pleasure, money, security, or power (love of self). Ethnocentric—I live as a member of my country, my church, or my community (love of community). Worldcentric—I live as a self-aware expression of humanity (love of humanity). Cosmocentric—I live as a self-aware expression of the cosmic intelligence (transpersonal and unconditional love) (2021, 16). At the higher levels we become aware of the whole, the ground of Being that embraces us, and through which we encounter intimations signaling who and what we are as human beings.

Beginning primarily at the worldcentric level, we become concerned about human liberation. How do we create a world of justice, freedom, dignity, and prosperity for everyone on Earth, not just for “my own” family, or nation, or social class?  The imperative that many people feel to pursue their own growth toward ever-greater maturity is also an imperative to create optimum conditions for human liberation for all humanity.

The concept of “human liberation” itself is highly contested and embodies an overlapping family of meanings. Many religious and spiritual traditions connect human liberation with a demand for metanoia, for a transformation of our human being-in-the-world through awakening to and identification with the sacred ground of Being. From this awakening, they say, comes the compassion and love necessary to establish world-systems that fully support human freedom and dignity.

I believe there is substantial truth in this. However, one meets (or reads) many people who appear awakened to the sacred ground who, at the same time, espouse economic and political ideas that are plainly regressive or oppressive. To follow a spiritual path through meditation and mindfulness may lead to a certain transpersonal life-wisdom. But it will not necessarily lead to political, economic, and social wisdom about the systems by which life on Earth is organized.

Indeed, one of the great discoveries of the 20th century comes through the work of Sigmund Freud and modern psychology, as well as the work of such “masters of suspicion” as Karl Marx and Friedrich Nietzsche. Both healthy human development and social-civilizational development are much more complicated and difficult than earlier thinkers or spiritual teachers had imagined.  There is a “dark side” or “shadow side” to ourselves in which we repress thoughts and feelings that disturb us and tend to project them externally onto the world outside us.

Our hate and fear of “the other,” the enemy, the alien, the stranger, often reflects our own inner contradictions and repressions and not some external reality. All of us have known people who claim to be following spiritual paths toward human liberation yet project their self-repressions onto what they take to be “outrageous” in the external world. Philosopher and psychologist, Erich Fromm, for example, raised these issues in Beyond the Chains of Illusion: My Encounter with Marx and Freud. Fromm states that our “alienation has reached the point where it borders on insanity in the whole industrialized world.” Marx understood, he says, that our “contemporary idolatry…can be changed only by a complete change of the economic-social constellation together with the spiritual liberation of man” (1962, 59)

Traditional spiritual paths such as Zen meditation are not equipped to deal with these psycho-dynamics. People with nuclear weapons in Washington, DC, hate and fear “Russians,” projecting their own inner repressions onto some imagined implacable enemy. Or, as the new President of Columbia, Gustavo Petro, insisted in his September 20th UN speech, the US authorities conducting the “war on drugs” in his country by killing people and poisoning the jungle are projecting their own unhappiness and internal failures of their society onto some imagined enemy. Similarly, people with nuclear weapons in New Delhi hate and fear “Pakistanis,” rather than dealing with their own immense internal problems (like millions of Indian children enslaved within bonded labor). Psycho-social repression applies to nation-states as well as persons.

To think about the optimum conditions for growth and sell-realization for all humanity means that one must delve into the psychodynamics of growth, and the multiple “hidden conditions,” the “shadow side” of societies and world systems not found in the news, conditions that remain “unthought” by most people. What is hidden from most people includes the “framework conditions,” behind the scenes, that most ignore because they are unseen, not only psychologically, but because, like the air we breathe, the most general structural frameworks remain invisible.

We need to bring into consciousness not only our psycho-social repressions, but also the structures of world-systems, global institutions, and the multitude of world-order problems being addressed today by numerous thinkers, scholars, and reformers. Do hidden assumptions behind these systems enhance or block human liberation? How can we create a world order that truly encourages human growth, fulfillment, and flourishing? There is an “enlightenment” connected with this dimension of our humanity just as there is an “enlightenment” connected with following a spiritual path.

Immanuel Kant’s famous 1784 essay “What is Enlightenment?” contributed to a tradition of critical social-economic-political thought that blossomed with the 19th century work of Karl Marx and continued through 20th century thinkers like Max Weber, Theodore Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Ernst Bloch, Erich Fromm, Mahatma Gandhi, Herbert Marcuse, Hannah Arendt, and Jürgen Habermas.  Kant’s essay observed that enlightenment meant the capacity of a person to think and act autonomously. And subsequent thinkers in this tradition tend to associate human liberation with social-economic-political arrangements that help produce self-directed, thoughtful, autonomous individuals capable of universal moral judgements who are strongly capable of living from their own conceptual frameworks and principles rather than being pawns of external movements, pervasive propaganda systems, or hidden internal repressions.

These centuries have also produced an awareness that social-economic-political structures condition human life and serve a major function in repressing human growth and potential. Marx concluded that economic relations under capitalism generated a “false consciousness” in people and that the dominant classes espoused an ideology that justified and covered up the real economic relations that obtained. Sigmund Freud studied the “false consciousness” of the human ego, projecting its unconscious repressions onto the external world. What, then, is enlightenment?  20th century philosopher John Hick links these spiritual- economic-psychological insights together, proclaiming “the powerful and explosive idea of total liberation—political and economic as well as spiritual” (2004, 306).

“Total liberation” means the union of spirituality and critical social theory. We must learn to penetrate the veil generated by those who dominate the present world-system, just as we must learn to penetrate the veil of an independent physical world, composed of substantial realities, that tends to be generated by the “naïve realism” of our minds in conjunction with everyday sense experience.  We must discover the social-economic-political-psychological transformations necessary to create a world of fully mature, flourishing, independently thinking, and compassionate human beings. And we must grow spiritually beyond egoism to transpersonal levels that also tend to generate independent, compassionate, and loving human beings.

Critical social theorists have been concerned not only with the framework of global capitalism and its implications for massive human poverty and systemic destruction of the environment. They have also speculated on the impact of the modern technological framework that pervades global society and the implications of these frameworks for imperialism, colonialism, and war. As Marcuse (1964) points out, these frameworks tend to demand instrumental forms of thinking and to stifle deeper theoretical forms of human reasoning and communication. Sheldon Wolin points out that the synthesis of the “war on terror” in the USA with the capitalist search for everything “exploitable” is leading toward “inverted totalitarianism” and the ultimate death of democracy (2008, xi and xix).

In Eros and Civilization (1962) Marcuse attempts to show that our civilizational dysfunction arises through “repressive de-sublimation,” in which a shallow consumer society indulges its permissive fantasies without ever getting to the root of our systemic unhappiness deriving from a deeply repressed psyche and social system. Habermas (1987) speaks of the “colonization of the lifeworld by system imperatives” resulting in persons who operate unconsciously from system imperatives rather than from mature democratic and communicative principles.

The world-system, in other words, enslaves human beings psychologically and spiritually, inhibiting growth toward the full maturity of enlightenment while simultaneously fostering war, imperialism, and environmental destruction. Human beings operate from unquestioned and unconscious technological, economic, political and psychological assumptions endemic in the repressive world system. They grow up within the system without ever clearly becoming aware of its nature and influences on their thought and well-being.

My own critical-social philosophical work since Millennium Dawn (2005) has emphasized the role of nation-state sovereignty within the repressive world system of wars, human immiseration, and environmental destruction. Many “progressive” thinkers at the planetary level mount a critique of capitalism and argue for a world system of equal, sovereign states that respect one another’s autonomy. They are deeply mistaken. As world-systems thinker Christopher Chase-Dunn expresses this: “The system of unequally powerful and competing nation-states is part of the competitive struggle of capitalism, and thus wars and geopolitics are a systematic part of capitalist dynamics, not exogenous forces” (1998, 61).

In what Chase-Dunn calls “the myth of the nation as a transcendent solidarity,” there are assumptions and consequences that block global democracy and a rationally informed world system. It is an illusion, he says, to think that nations are represented to one another by their respective peoples. Rather, it is the ruling classes that interact geopolitically with other ruling classes within a context of economic and power struggles. In addition, since citizens are citizens of just one country (rather than our planet), all are denied the collective rationality that might exist if we recognized all other persons as citizens of planet Earth equal to ourselves (1998, 36).

I argue that an adequate critical social theory must include awareness of the technological imperative as well as the social-political-economic imperatives embodied in the sovereign nation-state system interfaced with global capitalism. The “sovereign nation-state” is another “idolatry” that must be transcended through both system-change and spiritual growth. Awareness of these imperatives leads to study of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth as a master document designed to embody a new holistic paradigm that transcends both absolute national sovereignty and global capitalist commodification. The Earth Constitution recognizes the sovereignty of humanity and embodies features that construct a new global economics on the foundation of human well-being rather than competition for private profit.

It engenders a new human solidarity based on our self-identification as world citizens democratically participating with one another in governing our globe. It places the essential global resources (the global commons) under the authority of the Earth Federation, including the planetary atmosphere, the oceans, and the major rain forests of Earth. It creates a financial administration that uses a universal currency valued the same everywhere and directed to protecting the environment as well as the well-being of everyone rather than the private profit of the few.

It thereby not only represents growth of a higher, worldcentric, level of spiritual realization. It also lays the groundwork for rapid human spiritual growth beyond egoism and ethnocentrism to transpersonal levels. As John Hick points out: “The transcending of self-centeredness is severely inhibited by the need to fend off starvation, disease and oppression” (2004, 306). In our present world of social-economic-political chaos, of wars and desperation everywhere, of millions of climate refuges worldwide, spiritual and moral growth always comes last on the agenda for both the oppressors and the oppressed.

The Earth Constitution turns this around by superseding the old paradigm of global capitalism interlinked with sovereign nation-states. It is now potentially able, as it says in Article 13.12, to “assure each child the right to the full realization of his or her potential.” It unites humanity in democratic solidarity. The path to “total liberation” will clearly not be as easy as this scenario may appear to imply. Human psychodynamics reveal the horrific repressions and projections (onto an evil “other”) in the hands of those in control of nuclear weapons and automated armies the world over.

The human and world system psychodynamics of denial reveal the willing blindness of capitalists, national leaders, and citizens the world over to the facts of climate collapse and the possibility of human extinction through nuclear holocaust or climate destruction. As James Gustave Speth (2008) observes, people just don’t want to hear it. In Chapter 6 of The Earth Constitution Solution, I show the ways that the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not achievable because they are addressed through the same set of assumptions that have caused the climate crisis in the first place.

The Earth Constitution provides an available tool for making the kind of changes that lay the groundwork for collective human action on behalf of human flourishing and future generations. It transforms the current dysfunctional and repressive world system into a democratic unity-in-diversity system that provides real hope and possibilities for human liberation. It establishes democratic world law, enforceable over all individuals, within the framework of the universal common good, to replace the present ruling chaos of multinational corporate power, global private banking cartels, and endless struggle among militarized sovereign nation-states.

Those who hide from global political struggles within some spiritual path are doing little service for the future of humanity. Where is their mahakaruna, their “great compassion” for the suffering of all humanity?  Those who believe that political-economic transformation alone will solve our most fundamental problems are similarly deluded. Where is their self-transcendence to truly transpersonal modes of thought and action? Ken Wilber, in a somewhat similar fashion, has spoken of our urgent need to unite “the Enlightenment of the East” with the “Enlightenment of the West” (1998, 211).

 Our cosmic imperative and cosmic destiny includes a deep resonance with the ground and source of Being, with Brahman, God, Allah, Tao, or Dharmakaya. Just as with cognitive and moral intelligence, we need to grow in our spiritual intelligence as well. A truly transpersonal love, an agape, intelligently applied through planetary democracy and a world parliament, can only come from harmony with our cosmic ground of Being. This form of intelligence is necessary for a fully redeemed and liberated humanity. It is this “rational love” that will help end poverty and oppression, just as much as it will help protect our planetary environment from further collapse.

We need a union of spirituality and critical social theory pointing toward “total liberation.” That union is potentially actualized within the Constitution for the Federation of Earth—which is predicated on the unity-in-diversity, the holism, necessary to both dimensions of the struggle for human liberation. The most important thing we can do at this juncture of human history is work for ratification of this Earth Constitution. It provides our chance for a jail-break out of chaotic history toward human liberation and integrated enlightenment.

Works Cited

Chase-Dunn, Christopher (1998). Global Formation: Structures of World Economy. New York: Rowman & Littlefield.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  Found online at www.earthconstitution.world and in print with the Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2010 and 2014.

Fowler, James (1981). Stages of Faith. San Francisco: Harper & Row.

Fromm, Erich (1962). Beyond the Chains of Illusion: My Encounter with Marx and Freud. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Habermas, Jürgen (1987). The Theory of Communicative Action. Volume Two: Lifeworld and System. Trans. Thomas McCarthy. Boston: Beacon Press.

Hick, John (2004). And Interpretation of Religion: Human Responses to the Transcendent. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Marcuse, Herbert (1962). Eros and Civilization: A Philosophical Inquiry into Freud. New York: Vintage Books.

Marcuse, Herbert (1964). One Dimensional Man. Boston: Beacon Press.

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

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

Speth, James Gustav (2008). The Bridge at the Edge of the World. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Wilber, Ken (1998). The Marriage of Sense and Soul: Integrating Science and Religion. New York: Broadway Books.

Wilber, Ken (2006). Integral Spirituality. Boston: Shambhala Press.

Wolin, Sheldon (2008). Democracy Incorporated: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Integral Humanism, Cosmic Humanism, and World Order

Glen T. Martin

25 September 2022

Human beings have long struggled with the immense question of who and what we are in relation to the surrounding cosmos. For more than 2500 years, since the famous Axial Period in human history, we have asked the question of a divine dimension, of ultimate reality, and our relation to this dimension. The question of humanism arises within this context.

Where should society focus in its educational, spiritual, cultural, and religious endeavors?  Should we orient ourselves toward the ultimate dimension—toward Brahman, Tao, Allah, Dharmakaya, Yahweh, or li—with a mode of sacrifice, a tapasya, that limits human flourishing in the service of the divine, or should we emphasize an imperative to focus on human flourishing and reasonable self-sufficiency in the light of the divine?

Perhaps something of this dialectic surfaced in the rebellion of Buddhism against classical Hinduism. If Atman is Brahman, then the point of life becomes an inner process of transcendence of the diverse panorama of this world of incidentals in pursuit of a oneness that ultimately obliterates that world, that sees it as maya, not fully real, illusion. For Lord Buddha, it was not just a matter of a needless cultural, educational, and social focus on ultimate metaphysical realities that was a distraction from the path toward human fulfillment and flourishing. Rather, it was an entire ethos that diminished human flourishing by ignoring the fact that this concrete life in the here and now is the key to human liberation and freedom in living. As 2nd century south Indian Buddhist, Nāgārjuna declared: “There is no difference whatsoever between samsara and nirvana” (see Martin, 1991).

In the West perhaps this dialectic can also be seen in the philosophical world view of Aristotle in relation to his teacher Plato. Plato’s two world model oriented human life away from the concrete world of everyday by climbing the ladder of insight and awakening to ever-higher levels of abstraction, leaving behind the particulars of the world because they were not fully real, mere shadows dancing in a cave of ignorance. His student Aristotle re-envisioned the non-physical forms, the eidos, that were the goal of the Platonic ladder of transcendence. Aristotle embedded these forms within the concrete world of particulars and saw them as integral to the dynamic of development that characterized all things. The purpose of life then became development, self-realization within this body, this society, and this world of life on Earth rather than transcendence toward some other intelligible world.

A third historical example of the embrace of humanism as opposed to an otherworldly orientation of persons and societies can be observed in the Italian Renaissance of the 15th century. Renaissance thinkers repudiated medieval conceptions of society and human destiny which claimed that the destiny of this life was fulfillment in the supernatural world, in heaven. They actively embraced this world, this life, and the development of human flourishing upon this Earth. Perhaps Pico Della Mirandola best exemplifies this Renaissance humanism with his famous 1486 “Oration on the Dignity of Man” in which he asserts that God gave human beings the dignity of freedom so that we could flourish fully in this world and this earthly life as true creators of our destiny.

In spite of Renaissance humanism, a new cosmology entered civilization in the late 17th century when Sir Isaac Newton systematized the findings of early modern scientists such as Galileo and Kepler. The world was now seen as a physical mechanism, with all things reducible to their atomistic elements, and governed by deterministic laws operating according to an efficient causality allowing no room for purpose, teleological direction, or development (see Harris 2000). The religious consequences of Newtonian cosmology were immense.

 God’s relation to the world was transformed from that of an active energy immanent within the everyday world to that of a remote creator at the very beginning who played no role in the deterministic cosmos after its initial creation. Although there have been, of course, some materialists and atheists since ancient times, both East and West, the origins of a truly modern secularism and positivism occurred during this period of the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe.

Thomas Hobbes was perhaps the first prominent representative of this new ethos. In his Leviathan (1687), he declared that human beings are determined by their physical bodies and brains to strive for nothing other than “power after power.” They strive throughout their lives in egoistic, selfish, and violent ways. He declared himself a materialist and an atheist. Government and the social order for him have no role to play in any supposed education or development of citizens because human nature is fixed from birth. The function of government and the social order is power only—the use of force and authority to keep the peace, to regulate human egoism, selfishness, and violence from becoming too destructive.

About the same time as Hobbes’ assessment of human nature, capitalism began to emerge with the assumption that this system of human economic exchange constituted a discovery of the proper functioning of human economic relations. Capitalism assumed a universal egoistic self-interest within each person or corporation toward pursuing private profit in competition with other persons and businesses.  Capitalism also assumed that the economic laws of investment, actualized through various forms of production of goods and services and their returns on investment with increase in private wealth, was the “natural” and only objectively confirmable form of human economic relationships.

During this same period of early-modern deterministic cosmology, the modern sovereign nation-state was born. At the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 at the conclusion of the 30-Years War in Europe, a system of territorially bound nation-states was defined in which governments possessed excusive sovereign authority over their internal affairs and sovereign independence in relation to one another externally.  Like capitalism, this form of governance by dividing the world into atomistic, absolute territories with external relations revolving around economic competition and backed by political and military power, became an unquestioned assumption of the modern era that has persisted to this day.

With the development of complex machinery, technology, and the discovery of fossil fuels for running that machinery, the modern world exploded in a series of industrial revolutions that have transformed not only human living in the world but has damaged the ecological framework of the Earth portending climate destruction and possible human extinction (Rifkin 2011). Capitalism to this day generates vast accumulations of private wealth in the hands of a few and vast misery and deprivation for the majority.  It was this economic structure of capitalism during the 19th century that dialectically gave rise to the movement for socialism, for economic equality and justice.

Extreme wealth and extreme poverty, along with environmental destruction, the hallmarks of capitalism, gave rise to the economic analyses of Karl Marx and others exposing the hidden dynamics of this system with its inevitable deleterious human and environmental consequences. Capitalism, as a product of the Newtonian world view, is inherently atheistic since it assumes an economic determinism predicated on mistaken psychological assumptions about the egoistic structure of human nature. 

Nevertheless, the emergent socialism of the 19th century saw that capitalism played upon people’s religious aspirations as part of its ideological penumbra of self-justification. Much of early socialism proclaimed a materialist humanism that disavowed talk of a divine dimension used to justify the poverty of our human situation. The aspiration of socialism was, in general, toward a human community of kindness and economic solidarity in which economics was directed toward serving the needs of all rather than the wealth of a few.

The early-modern assumptions behind the power-system of territorial sovereign nation-states and behind the exploitation-system of capitalist “free enterprise” remained part of the ideological framework behind the socialist revolutions in China and the Soviet Union. Rather than human liberation, these assumptions resulted in the totalitarianism of controlling governments, just as capitalism with its so-called free enterprise resulted in the totalitarianism of ruling class wealth and power. In both cases humanism is lost if by “humanism” we mean an economic, social, and cultural framework directed to comprehensive human well-being and flourishing.

Marxist humanism has features in common with the “secular humanism” that continues, along with Marxism, as a major movement in today’s world. Both reject any talk of the “supernatural” as not only counterproductive but meaningless.  We must concentrate on human well-being by taking responsibility for our own economic and social development directed to the common good and the welfare of all. Integral Humanism, by contrast, embraces this responsibility within a larger framework that does not exclude the rootedness of human existence within its planetary and cosmic contexts.

In the 20th century the concept of “integral humanism” has been developed by various thinkers, expanding and perhaps significantly changing the narrower ideas of secular or socialist “humanism.”  For example, French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain published a book by this title in 1936.  He argued that the focus on human well-being should be fundamental, just as “humanism” had always argued. However, Maritain presented sophisticated arguments against the communist vision of humanism and why a Christian vision provided a more complete understanding of human beings and their well-being by taking into account their larger [cosmic-spiritual] contexts.  

Similarly, in the mid-1960s, Indian politician and scholar Deendayal Upadhyay argued that India needed an “integral humanism” drawn from its ancient moral, spiritual, and humanistic traditions that repudiated Western notions of progress through either capitalism or socialism and provided a comprehensive third way toward social progress. Nevertheless, neither of these thinkers considered a powerful new paradigm that emerged in the 20th century entirely superseding the early-modern Newtonian paradigm and providing us with a truly “integral” understanding of the world in stark contrast to the Newtonian understanding.

Since the work of Max Plank in 1900 and of Albert Einstein in 1905, a vast paradigm shift has taken place in scientific cosmology. Revolutions in natural science since the early 20th century (as manifested in both quantum and relativity physics) contradicted early modern cosmology and have introduced an entirely new conceptual paradigm, that is making the distinction between the natural (physical) world and a hypothetical “supernatural” realm untenable.  The physical world is not made of some substance called “matter” that is opposed to another possible substance called “mind” or “spirit.”  The reality of the natural world is that consciousness, with many modes and levels, is inherent in the cosmos from the very beginning.  Human beings are understood to be directly connected to the holistic foundations of the cosmos.

The new scientific cosmology reveals the world as a dynamic explosion of energy with consciousness inherent in energy at all levels. There is zero evidence that the foundations of the cosmos involve some supernatural being transcending the world who created it ex nihilo.  The evidence is that the Ground (which is no-thing) is integral to every dimension and aspect of the world. Integral humanism recognizes this holistic reality. In recognizing this reality, it also becomes cosmic humanism.

Today, the secular humanist distinction between what is natural and the “supernatural” has lost its force. For decades, Quantum sciences have been revealing that there is no such thing as “matter” as a separate substance, there are only energy fields within ever-larger fields, corresponding to levels of consciousness, ultimately rooted in a plenum in which relations are non-local and instantaneous and within which the concept of separate parts entirely loses its meaning. Leading contemporary physicist Henry Stapp writes: “A radical shift in the physics-based conception of man from that of an isolated mechanical automaton to that of an integral participant in a non-local holistic process that gives form and meaning to the evolving universe is a seismic event of potentially momentous proportions” (2011, 140).

The cosmos arises incessantly through a “non-local holistic process” that new paradigm thinker Ervin Laszlo calls “the Akasia field,” recalling the ancient Hindu conception of the universal Ground of Being (2014). Early modern science conceived of man as an “isolated mechanical automation.” Today we are co-creators with the cosmic ground of being. Capitalism’s reductionist view of human beings includes that of an “isolated mechanical automaton” beholden to the iron laws of economics. By contrast, contemporary economist Kate Raworth affirms that economics has to do with the way we choose to design our relationships, not with the discovery of pre-existing laws (2017). The new paradigm liberates us from capitalism.

Similarly, the nation-state with its mechanistic territorial sovereignty and its militaristic relation to all other nations assumes humans and their territories as “isolated mechanical automatons.” If Pakistan acquires nuclear weapons, India must do likewise.  If China extends its southern border in the Himalayas and promotes major economic links around the Bay of Bengal and the Indian Ocean, then India must respond with an increase of military might in the region. The nation-state system mechanically determines its own imperatives. The World Bank and the World Trade Organization determine India’s most basic economic functions, not the moral imperatives embodied in the Constitution of India.

Neither capitalism nor territorial sovereign nation-states manifest the new-paradigm reality—that is, they are not and cannot act as “non-local participants in a holistic process.”  As a result, economics fails to serve human needs, and sovereign nation-states pour endless resources down the toilet of militarism while threatening to wipe out humanity in thermo-nuclear holocaust.  Swami Agnivesh, who was Vice-President of the World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA) during the last 5 years of his life, focused on the millions of children who suffer horribly in bonded labor conditions within India while the rich indulge their lives unmindful of this immense suffering. Global economic imperatives interfere with India’s ability to address this horrific reality.

Humanism, if it is not outdated by the distinction between the natural and supernatural worlds necessarily becomes integral humanism and fully actualizes itself in cosmic humanism.   Scholar James McGrath explains that “cosmic humanism locates human beings in the whole cosmos, not simply in the miniscule slice of space-time we call ‘history.’ It’s not a contained view of human beings. It’s open to all kinds of cosmological views of what the universe is and what human beings might be as highly evolved expressions of that same universe. Cosmic humanism explodes the recent, linear, historicist views of what human beings are by locating the human condition in a vastly greater context—a literally cosmic one” (2022).

During the mid-1960s, Pundit Deendayal Upadhyay provided intellectual and moral leadership in the promotion of integral humanism.  He rejected what he took to be the big government promotion of socialism under Nehru and the Congress Party, which he said was an import from the West. Rather than following the “isms” of the West (such as capitalism or Marxism) he asserted that the Indian tradition provided its own unique path to proper development that included dharma or proper education, wisdom, and developmental goals, artha, or meaningful work in relation to a community that provides for all its members, kama, the satisfaction of desires through culture, art, and reasonable moderation, and moksha, the highest goal, which is release from bondage and return to the One.

Like Swami Agnivesh, who in addition supported ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, Upadhyay stressed the origin of all things in the One, with the consequence that all human beings are brothers and sisters.  Vasudhaiva kutumbakam was a favorite slogan of both thinkers.Western individualism sets the individual person against society, government, and all such corporate entities, whereas integral humanism recognizes the interdependence and common origin of all human beings within a community oriented to the common good and the welfare of each.

Upadhyay’s integral humanism was accepted at the Bharatiya Jana Sangh National Convention of 1965 and again, in 1985, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) accepted it as its basic philosophy. The power of Upadhyay’s integral humanism lies in its holism that sees economics, culture, person, and society as a nexus of interrelated developing paths that draw their strength from their synergistic interactions.  These interrelated paths have a cosmic foundation in Indian thought—all diversity of religions, cultures, nations, and persons arise from the One and at bottom point back to the One.

In my view, however, the limitation of Upadhyay’s integral humanism is that it does not carry holism far enough toward civilizational and cosmic holism.  Rabindranath Tagore rightly declared that “it is the mission of civilization to bring unity among people and to establish peace and harmony” (206, 214). Sri Aurobindo rightly observed that the divine “creates in itself a self-conscious concentration of the All through which it can aspire” (1973, 49). Integral humanism cannot be limited to any one sovereign nation defined by territorial borders and hence implicitly declaring itself separate from the rest of humanity. 

Even though during the 1960s India was a newly independent sovereign nation-state and was still trying to find its national direction and voice, the concept of sovereign nation-state that defined it after 1947 was yet another Western “ism” (“statism”) going back to the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. By contrast, an integral humanism that challenged the idea of the sovereign nation-state was already found in the thought of Mahatma Gandhi upon which Upadhyay draws. Gandhi’s humanism is astutely articulated by Professor Geeta Mehta in her essay “The Integral Humanism of Mahatma” (1998). 

Even before the climate crisis and the advent of nuclear weapons, Gandhi advocated world government. On 5 August 1942, he introduced the following resolution into the Indian National Congress:

While the Indian National Congress must primarily be concerned with independence and defense of India in this hour of danger, the Committee is of the opinion that the future peace, security, and ordered progress of the world demand a world federation of free nations, and on no other basis can the problems of the modern world be solved. Such a world federation would ensure the freedom of its constituent nations, the prevention of aggression and exploitation by one nation over another, the protection of national ministries, the advancement of all backward areas and peoples, and the pooling of the world’s resources for the common good of all (Hudgens 1986, 14)

 Gandhi’s humanism centered on the divine imperative for a life of both individual integrity and social solidarity actualized through the self-realization of truth and nonviolence. The imperative for truth and nonviolence applied not only to India but to humanity and was at the heart of all the world’s religions. He embraced a cosmic humanism that portended a radical transformation of all human life within a civilization of satyagraha and ahimsa, within a civilization that radically transformed the militarized sovereign nation-state toward nonviolent membership within a world federation of nations.

For Gandhi, such a radical transformation of human life, already envisioned in the Vedic tradition and crystalized in the Bhagavad Gita, was also the vision at the heart of Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity.  It is a vision that requires overcoming the gigantic structural impediments to its realization in the form of global exploitative capitalism and militarized sovereign nation-states. The freedom of nations, as Gandhi’s resolution affirms, is inseparable from a new world system based on “the pooling of the world’s resources for the common good of all.”

The profound integral humanism of Jacques Maritain or Deendayal Upadhyay must become cosmic and it must become global in its scope and vision.  This humanism is embodied in the Constitution for the Federation of Earth under which nations become free precisely because they are no longer impelled to militarize and economically compete, and within which their economic problems are solved by a system that “pools the world’s resources for the common good of all.”

Upadhyay’s thought pointed beyond, to human self-transcendence, just as did that of Maritain. Both pointed to growth, development of our higher human capacities, and transformative self-realization on the part of humanity as these arise from a uniquely Indian or Christian context.  All of this ultimately requires embrace of the Earth Constitution, which had not yet been written. Our lethal problems are no longer merely national. In the past half century, they have all become global (see Martin 2021). Our humanism must supersede both the sovereign nation-state and globalized capitalism.

Our lethal planetary problems must be solved by a global vision and planetary transformative initiative.  The Constitution for the Federation of Earth forms the central tool for actualizing that vision. Maritain and Upadhyay point the way toward a vision that must become transformative at the global level.  Our most fundamental context is planetary and cosmic, never centered in sovereign states. Such states are themselves a fundamental part of the problem. This article has attempted to reveal the necessary unity between integral humanism, cosmic humanism, and a transformed world order under the Earth Constitution.

Works Cited

Aurobindo, Sri (1973). The Essential Aurobindo. Robert A. McDermott, ed. New York: Schocken Books.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  Online at www.earthconstitution.world.  In print with Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2010 and 2014.

Harris, Errol E. (2000). Apocalypse and Paradigm: Science and Everyday Thinking. Westport, CT: Praeger Publisher.

Hudgens, Tom A. (1986). Let’s Abolish War.  Denver: BILR Corporation.

Laszlo, Ervin (2014). The Self-Actualizing Cosmos: The Akashia Revolution in Science and Human Consciousness. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions.

Maritain, Jacques (1973). Integral Humanism: Temporal and Spiritual Problems of a New Christendom. Joseph W. Evans, Trans.  Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.

Martin, Glen T. (1991) “Deconstruction and Breakthrough in Nietzsche and Nāgārjuna,” article in the volume Nietzsche and Asian Thought, Graham Parkes, ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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

McGrath, James (2022). “Cosmic Humanism” found at: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/religionprof/2019/07/cosmic-humanism.html

Metha, Geeta (1998). “The Integral Humanism of Mahatma.”  Paideia Journal. 20th WCP: Philosophy of Religion (bu.edu)

Raworth, Kate (2017). Doughnut Economics: 7 Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist. White River Junction, VT: Chelsea Green Publishing.

Rifkin, Jeremy (2011). The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy, the Economy, and the World. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Stapp, Henry (2011). Mindful Universe: Quantum Mechanics and the Participating Observer. (2nd Edition. Berlin: Springer Publishers.

Tagore, Rabindranath (2006). The Essential Tagore. Fakrul Alam and Radha Chakravarti, eds. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

The Cosmic Ground of Human Values

Glen T. Martin

September 2022

The leading Ancients of all major cultures thought we were microcosms of the macrocosm. From Buddha to Plato, from Shankara to Confucius, they manifested a cosmic consciousness that we mostly lack. For Confucius, for example, the concept of jen or “compassionate humanness” was essential for harmony and was embraced by the reality of li identifying a sacred order that manifested both social and cosmic harmony (cf. Fingerette 1972). The leading Ancients, each in his own way, embodied a vision of transformative harmony, a harmony that derives from a deep relation to the holism of the cosmos.

Today, holism appears to us not simply as a constant, abiding feature of the cosmos, but as an emergent and evolutionary aspect of the cosmos and all life. Quantum physics has led the way in the fundamental paradigm shift from atomism and determinism to transformative holism. Contemporary physicist Henry Stapp writes that these new insights in quantum science “lead us away from the egocentric bias” of classical physics to a new “image of the self, not as a local isolated automaton but rather as a nonlocalizable integrated aspect of the creative impulse of the universe” (1988, 57, emphasis added).

Our consciousness is rooted in what leading new-paradigm thinker Ervin Laszlo calls “the Akashia dimension,” that is, in the universal conscious oneness that constitutes the deep intelligence of the universe. Even our capacity to reduce human intelligence to mere technical manipulation of our environment derives from this rootedness in the creative foundations of the cosmos. Human awareness is emerging, across the globe, into awareness of our true destiny—and the deepest source of human freedom and dignity.

Indian sage Sri Aurobindo, similarly, understood that the universe has become conscious of itself in us and has created in us “a self-conscious concentration of the All through which it can aspire” (1973, 49). Nevertheless, in the 21st century many (perhaps most) people have assimilated the fragmented, self-stultifying, egoistic consciousness of early modernity deriving from the 17th century rise of science and its profoundly ambiguous stepchild, technology (cf. Ellul 1980). The vast fragmented institutions of capitalist greed and nation-state egoism continue to colonize the minds of people across the world.

It was primarily after Descartes and Hobbes in the 17th century that people began to think of their consciousness as “merely subjective.” Philosopher Martin Heidegger analyzes this split between an illusory private consciousness and an objective world of physical objects. He says that with the development of technocratic imperative in the modern world, our subjectivity has manifested as “the autonomous will and its desires.” At the same time the physical world was reduced (away from a sense of it as God’s creation) to a mere “standing reserve” open to human domination, manipulation, and exploitation (1977).

The early moderns began to divide the world between two poles—an “objective” world of bodies in motion described mathematically by science and the “subjective” world of human thoughts, feelings, and emotions that was merely a private egoistic reaction to the objective physical environment that encompasses us. Values were no longer an objective aspect of the “natural law” of things as ordained by God or Dharmakaya or li. Values lost their objective validity and became merely personal, merely subjective, not real, and hence, ultimately not valid. The lethal, apparently suicidal, mess that we find the world in today—pandemics, endless wars and militarism, nuclear and biological weapons, economic chaos, accelerating climate destruction—derives from this degradation of human consciousness.

What does it mean to be realistic? Does it mean that we “face the fact” that the human world is a moral cesspool, a corrupt matrix of war, violence, arbitrary power, exploitation, domination, greed, hate, and fear? The human world is truly all these things, but such “realism” alone denies our status a microcosms of the cosmic mind. It denies even the critical dimension of our ordinary minds, as philosopher Jürgen Habermas points out—we would not be scandalized by the horrific goings on in the world unless we knew that things could be different (2003, 63).

Such “realism” denies the source and reality of human values. Ervin Laszlo states that “mind is an aspect of reality as primordial as the physical world … It cannot be derived from matter or anything more basic.” Body and brain, he states, “and the organism as a whole, receive and resonate with the intelligence that permeates the universe” (2016, 41 and 45). This means that fundamental human values arise from the Ground of Being, from the fundamental reality of the cosmos itself. They are not merely subjective.

I have written in several places about “utopian horizon value theory” (e.g. 2021). Human beings are creatures in the process of becoming. As such we are, in the words of Teilhard de Chardin, “the axis and the leading shoot of evolution” (1955, 36). As philosopher Raimon Panikkar expresses this: “the destiny of the universe passes in and through us” (2013, 34). Human beings exist as self-aware temporalized creatures living in a dynamic present within which we appropriate the past and creatively project ourselves toward a future yet to be realized.

Panikkar declares that “Becoming belongs to the very essence of Being.” This, of course, is also true of our human “Being-in-the-world.” “Were an entity not to become what it is at each moment that it is,” he writes, “it would cease to be. The entity exists and this existence is its becoming” (2013, 98). Our own becoming, Panikkar affirms, is “linked to the destiny of the universe…. This destiny also, to a certain extent depends upon us. This is our human dignity, and our responsibility” (ibid., 104).

This temporal structure is the structure of human freedom. It is our highest dignity. Our freedom, as Panikkar says, is “ontological.” Our responsibility for the future derives from the evolutionary upsurge of the universe. We are “the center of the consciousness that pervades everything …. We can ‘effect’ or provoke the failure of the entire adventure of being” (2013, 349). All of this comes down to our values. What values do we live by? What are the highest values we hold dear?

Human consciousness, of course, participates in values in a free, flexible, and culturally dynamic way, leading to a multiplicity within its universal unity. But its values are not “merely subjective.” Values arise from the temporal structure of the human being. As self-aware temporal creatures we discover at our “utopian horizon” the highest values, what psychologists Eric Fromm (1996) and Abraham Maslow (2014) call “being values.” The values that derive from and resonate with being itself. Historically such values have been identified as truth, beauty, goodness, freedom, justice, etc.

Our minds critically assess our environment and human life. We see that it could and should be different. Here is where true “realism” lies—to discern the horror of the world and realize that it could and should be different and that we are responsible to make it so. It is deeply realistic to see our human situation from the level of a cosmic awareness. This is the level from which we derive the concepts of human dignity, freedom, and human rights. We are not just tiny creatures on a forlorn planet lost in a vast, meaningless universe as the early Jean-Paul Satre held in his book Being and Nothingness.

In contemporary discourse, values are also likely to be characterized as the imperative for “harmony and diversity” (Hartshorne 1983, 34), or as I often express this, “unity in diversity.” To more fully appreciate these ideas that I am presenting in this article, one must strive for ever greater cosmic awareness—experiencing life, so the speak, from the transpersonal and ecstatic reality of the cosmos, which we can do because this is our true reality. We are microcosms of that macrocosm. We are bearers of the torch of the cosmos. We are the axis and leading shoot of evolution.

To truly realize this is our key to eliminating nuclear weapons and dealing effectively with climate collapse as I point out in my recent book The Earth Constitution Solution. The Constitution for the Federation of Earth is an essential means for this transformation since it is premised on the same unity in diversity that permeates the universe from the micro to the macro levels. The other proposed alternatives often take the form of what is often called “global governance” (not effective democratic government, but merely international regulations called “governance”). Nearly all of these in effect deny our universal democratic unity in diversity and try to evolve a better world by compromising with the false paradigms of capitalist egoism and the war-system of absolute nation-state sovereignty.

The most fundamental point I want to make is that we can experience the values at our utopian horizon as a “call” from the ground of Being, a call from the divine foundations of the universe. The call is not to endless compromise with ignorance and evil but to realize our true human destiny to create a human world of peace, justice, freedom, and sustainability. Genuine realism dictates that we live according to a dynamic democratic framework in which these values can be truly realized (in the short time available before humans make themselves extinct). That framework is embodied in the Earth Constitution.

Philosopher-theologian Paul Tillich expresses our human situation with regard to values in a profound and compelling way:
For the demand calls for something that does not yet exist but should exist, should come to fulfillment. A being that experiences a demand is no longer bound to the origin. Human life involves more than mere development of what already is. Through the demand, humanity is directed to what ought to be. And what ought to be does not emerge with the unfolding of what is; if it did, it would be something that is, rather than something that ought to be. This means, however, that the demand that confronts humanity is an unconditional demand. The question “Wither?” is not contained in the question “Whence?” It is something unconditionally new that transcends what is new and what is old in the sphere of mere development…. For the human person is not only individual, a self, but also has knowledge about himself or herself, and thereby the possibility of transcending what is within the self and around the self. This is human freedom.…. The breaking of the myth of the origin by the unconditional demand is the root of liberal, democratic, and socialist thought in politics. (1987, 143-44)
Interstellar Voyager Poster Illustration Credit: NASA, JPL-Caltech, Voyager
It is important to note that Tillich is not referencing passages from the Bible or other religious texts where a divine being makes specific demands. Rather, he is affirming that our human structure or human situation itself contains this call or demand. Each of us has a utopian horizon embedded within our futurity, within our imagination. Our habit is to dismiss this as mere fantasy.

But our cosmically gifted human situation includes this utopian horizon with its values of the true, the good, the beautiful, freedom, justice, etc. Because we can perpetually transcend what is in the self and around the self (see my book Global Democracy and Human Self-Transcendence), we are bound neither by our internal psychology nor by historical circumstances. The human situation is not entirely constrained by any Newtonian causal determinism, but is open to radical transformation. We can now begin to take our utopian horizon, our human freedom, and capacity for self-transcendence seriously. We can live from that deeper, cosmic freedom.

In One World Renaissance, I called this demand “eschatological.” It is not about slow evolutionary change but about dramatic immediate transformation—awakening suddenly to our cosmic situation—our deeper human reality. The objective values calling to us from our utopian horizon help make this possible. The values that live on the utopian horizon of human consciousness are gifted to us by the cosmic intelligence at the heart of Being.

In the 18th century the great philosopher Immanuel Kant already pointed out that freedom was a transcendental force breaking, like bolts of noumenal lightning, into human affairs and interrupting the determined world of causal relations. But Kant still saw the phenomenal world as determined by Newtonian causality. We have come a long way since then. Tillich understands the call inherent in our situation as demanding something truly new be created by us. We are not bound by the “myth of the origin.”

We do not have to compromise with an oppressive, deterministic past. These insights also hint at the liberating meanings of the words, “democracy” or “socialism.” Both words connote radical equality, dignity, and human fulfillment. We are directly rooted in the Akashia dimension. A new world is waiting to emerge from within us and between us. We must allow our cosmic consciousness to blossom for this to appear. But once it appears, it will rightly be seen as commonsense realism, one that was right there in front of our faces all the time, but that we somehow failed to notice.

Human values, and the practical utopian demand for transformation, are inherent within our situation from the very beginning. Such values represent the unconditional demand of the cosmos that we ascend to higher levels of being and awareness. The demand is absolute, and it is always with us. We can make it concrete through the ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.
Works Cited
Aurobindo, Sri (1973). The Essential Aurobindo. Robert A. McDermott, ed. New York: Schocken Books.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth, online at www.earthconstitution.world. In print from Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2010 and 2014.

Ellul, Jacques (1980). The Technological System. Joachim Neugroschel, trans. New York: Continuum Publishers.

Fingerette, Herbert (1972). Confucius—The Secular as Sacred. New York: Harper & Row Publishers.

Fromm, Erich (1996). To Have or To Be? New York: Continuum Books.

Hartshorne, Charles (1983). Insights and Oversights of Great Thinkers. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Heidegger, Martin (1977). “The Question Concerning Technology,” in Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings. David Ferrell Krell, ed. New York: Harper & Row.

Habermas, Jürgen (2003). The Future of Human Nature. William Rehg, et al., eds. Cambridge, MA: Polity Press.

Laszlo, Ervin (2016). What is Reality? The New Map of Psychology and Consciousness. New York: Select Books.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). “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

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

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

Martin, Glen T. (2016). One World Renaissance: Holistic Planetary Transformation through a Global Social Contract. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.

Maslow, Abraham (2014). Toward a Psychology of Being. Floyd, VA: Sublime Books.

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

Stapp, Henry (1988). “Quantum Theory and the Physicist’s Conception of Nature,” in The World View of Contemporary Physics. Richard F. Kitchener, ed. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1955). The Phenomenon of Man. New York: Harper & Brothers.Tillich, Paul (1987). The Essential Tillich. F. Forrester Church, ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
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The Third Way – Our Path to Human Self-Transcendence

Glen T. Martin

Throughout history human civilizations have based their fundamental concepts on various forms of pluralism or monism.  Human beings have a tendency to embrace pluralism because they love freedom and individuality and do not want any civilizational way of life that diminishes such valuable goods. On the other hand, human beings also have a tendency toward synthesis, integration, and seeing things whole. They seek oneness, synthesis, the whole prior to its parts.

Do we embrace a vision of the whole or do we embrace the reality and autonomy of the parts?   This issue goes all the way back to the ancient Greek metaphysical problem of “the one and the many.”  Do we live in a cosmos in which the one is real and the many basically illusion?  Or do we live in a cosmos in which the many are real and the one is merely an abstraction as a collection of its parts? Today, there is reason to believe that our response to this issue may bear directly on the survival of the human species.

From ancient times to the present human beings have engaged in a process of progressive discrimination, self-reflection, and evolving self-awareness. The religions and spiritualities of the world have all pointed in one way or another to a transcendence of the dualism between the one and the many.  Within the depths of the present,  many wisdom leaders experienced a oneness that transcended the numerical dualism of one and many. They experienced the living reality of the principle of life and existence embracing and transcending both poles. Has our contemporary world forgotten this ancient wisdom? On the other hand, perhaps we have reached a point in which we are now ready to make it part of our everyday experience.

In some respects, this dilemma of the one or the many is mirrored in the political and economic struggles of today’s world.  First, there is the pluralist camp, represented by the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) along with Iran and some other nations that want a pluralist world based on the UN Charter (in its original, “classical” interpretation).  The Charter envisions a world of independent “sovereign” nation-states, guided by international law, living together in peace while interacting economically and culturally with one another around the planet.

The UN, of course, has failed to achieve this and has presided over 75 years of war, chaos, and human rights violations. Its Charter establishes an incoherent and unworkable solution to the problem of war. It gives us an unmitigated diversity without genuine unity. Under the illusion of the “equal sovereignty of states,” the reality is that all that is left is power and power struggles. Nations have not been brought under the rule of enforceable law.

On the other hand, there is the monist camp, represented by the USA, Canada, Australia and many European nations that want a “rule-based international order” that is globalized under a single banking system, and a single set of centralized, planetary rules developed by the World Economic Forum, the G-7, the World Bank and International Mondary Fund (IMF).  The US dollar, which has been the world’s fundamental reserve currency for international trade since the end of the Second World War, tends to protect and foster the monolithic, centralized world system run from these global power-centers, and the US and its followers are currently acting to try to preserve this hegemony on a planetary scale. Hence, today’s new Cold War against the pluralist camp.

The BRICS nations, and their followers are developing alternative banking systems that will allow direct trade among nations that by-pass the US dollar as the main global medium of trade, thereby promoting a pluralist world system in opposition to the global hegemony of the monist world system under US leadership.  The conceptual struggle I am describing is a common topic of debate in such publications as the Journal of Globalization Studies. The pluralistic vision of the world system consists of the collection of sovereign nation-states known as the Westphalian system, first formulated in 1648 as a vision of a world divided into absolute parts according to national boundaries. The monistic vision arose in relation to the process of globalization that has been emerging on the planet for several centuries but has come to represent an overwhelming geo-political-economic reality only with the technology of the late 20th century.

The issue of the one versus the many also animates discussion within nations, such as the USA, in the tension between liberalism that fosters individual freedoms, rights, and local control and a vision of a unified national system in which “big government” fosters the unity of all and appears as a threat to individual identities and local rights. All these controversies and debates are today animated by a heightened sense of urgency arising from the growing understanding that the future of humanity is in great danger from the twin threats of nuclear holocaust (or other weapons of mass destruction) and accelerating climate change.  It looks as if human beings are in the process of making ourselves extinct as a species.

I am arguing here that we must transcend this dilemma of the one versus the many by integrating the two horns of the dilemma within a higher synthesis that includes the positive features of both. Today, our very survival as a species is dependent on our capacity to actualize this transcendence. I am not arguing, therefore, about a merely abstract set of issues but advocating a real transcendence, necessary for both human survival and flourishing—a real Hegelian movement to a higher level of concrete existence that brings forward the best of both poles while integrating them in a higher synthesis enhancing both unity and solidarity as well as freedom and particularity (see Martin 2021, Chaps. 1 and 8).

This higher synthesis is embodied in a concrete way in the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  Human beings require more than a mere conceptual synthesis of unity in diversity. They require (if they are to survive and flourish) a concrete embodiment of transcendence.  A simple way of putting this is that we need to grow up.  It is time we got serious about living on a higher level than that of holding mere personal ideals for a transformed world system: “Oh, wouldn’t it be nice if all the nations would live together in peace and work harmoniously to attain the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” Such empty idealism has no place if we truly want to survive the terrible threats to our existence that we are now facing.

We must truly affirm the wonderful diversity of nations, races, cultures, ethnicities, and unique persons that make up our beautiful species while simultaneously experiencing fully and directly the unity of humankind and the oneness of our common humanity. As a species we are ready for this transcendence and many people around the world already live from this transcendence. The Earth Constitution declares that “unity in diversity is the basis for a new age when war shall be outlawed and peace prevail and when the earth’s total resources shall be equitably used for human welfare.”

This is not the expression of an empty ideal. It is a declaration of transcendence, of addressing our human situation from a higher and more realistic level. We overcome the conflict of the one and the many by actualizing both true unity and true diversity through a living experience that arises of the depths of existence.  This is our infinite and unique human dignity. In every individual the One is there, shining in its ecstatic and sacred purity. In every experience of oneness, diversity is there, unique existences inseparable from the source, the One. Unity in diversity is the structure of reality. In Chapter Five of my book Millennium Dawn, I called this wisdom “integrative mysticism.”

The UN Charter gives us a diversity without genuine unity.  The hegemonic empire gives us a oneness without genuine respect for diversity.  The Earth Constitution can promise us the ending of war and the Earth’s resources used equitably for all precisely because it is written from the level of this transcendence.  Under the Earth Constitution human beings have grown up. Indeed, they will ever more fully access the wisdom of the world’s traditions through transcending the dilemma of the one and the many.

I have often written that “democratic world law is the 21st century form of love” (Martin 2016, p. 370). Out of the synergistic union of the one and the many, the Earth Constitution elaborates a framework for the Earth’s total resources to be shared by human beings in peace, freedom, harmony, and justice. It is this sharing of our planetary home in peace and justice that is precisely the work of love. This is not merely an empty ideal, but a realistic consequence of the transcendence that human beings must make if we want to survive and flourish on our beautiful planet.

We do not want a world dominated by a few, whether these be nations, corporations, or the rich and powerful.  We do not want a world fragmented by many militarized sovereign nation-states always ready for war and conflict. The only way out of this dilemma is moving to a higher level of existence, transcending the conflict between the one and the many by actualizing the ancient wisdom in which both one and many are integrated in an ecstatic unity, the sacred ground of existence itself. The consequence of this transcendence is the actualization of love (Martin 2018, Chap. 5).

This is why many of the world’s wisdom traditions declared that “God is love.” In its depth dimension this declaration is not framed anthropomorphically in terms of some being called “God” who has a relationship with creation called “love.” Rather, creation itself is love incarnate. God is not separate from the world and yet at the same time is not identical with the world. The One and the many mutually imply one another in ecstatic unity in diversity. This is the cosmic love from which we must begin living if we want to survive and flourish on our beautiful earthly home.

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth provides a framework for a genuine peace system, freedom system, and sustainability system for our beleaguered planet. At the same time, it provides a pathway for growth, for people transcending to a level within which they really do think and feel differently. It provides the best and most practical option for creating a decent human and planetary future for all. The third way is the way of transcendence, the way of illumination. It embodies the transformative embrace of the principle of unity in diversity.


Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  In print with Institute for Economic Democracy, 2010 and 2014.  Online at http://www.earthconstitution.world

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

Martin, Glen T. (2016). One World Renaissance: Holistic Planetary Transformation through a Global Social Contract. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.

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

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

How is it that God “Thinks in Man”?

Glen T. Martin

8 July 2022      www.oneworldrenaissance.com

“God sleeps in the minerals,

Awakens in plants,

Walks in animals and,

Thinks in man.”*

This Sanskrit proverb was quoted by two quantum scientists in their article entitled “The Quantum Hologram and the Nature of Consciousness.” Their article articulates the “conscious” nature of the quantum plenum revealed by science. It reveals that fact that our universe is a “conscious universe.” And this Sanskrit proverb reveals the pattern of the evolution of cosmic consciousness. The evolution of the Cosmos is not random. It is directional, going somewhere.  God sleeps, awakens, walks, then thinks.

The evolutionary process does not appear to be predetermined but rather governed by what philosopher Errol E. Harris calls its “nisus,” its impulse toward ever greater coherence, harmony, convergence. The cosmos has evolved as an integrated whole (sometimes called “life” because the cosmos as a whole manifests life, is life, is consciousness). The cosmos has evolved from the minerals to the plants to the animals to human beings. In human beings, it becomes aware of itself.

It is clear in this scenario that human self-awareness is not an incidental epiphenomenon within the process of evolution.  It is both a fulfillment and culmination of a process billions of years in the making and a transition to an expanding, more inclusive consciousness pointed to by many mystics and scholars from the world’s traditions. If such is the case, we need to be asking ourselves how we can be thinking ever more holistically, ever more inclusively, ever more in ways that transcend our small, egoistic perspectives and endeavors.

We need to be asking ourselves why we are clearly on the road to self-destruction, unable to unite humanity, establish peace, eliminate nuclear weapons, or discover harmony with other human beings or our planetary biosphere. How can we overcome war, violence, hate, and fear and find fulfillment for ourselves as part and parcel of harmonizing with the cosmic evolutionary process? Are we partisans and perpetuators in the chaos ourselves? Or can we transcend the chaos and seek a greater harmony through understanding the civilizational and world-system process itself, how it works, and how it can be transformed?

It is clear, in this understanding, that the cosmos has gifted us with the mystery of freedom. We are not only a consequence of the cosmic evolutionary process, but we are also free, that is, not entirely determined by that process. It appears that we are responsible for furthering and creatively enhancing the process. The cosmos is not some blind mechanism of atomistic parts as early-modern science believed. Quantum science reveals that it manifests, instead, as fundamentally holographic, with every part reflecting the whole (see Currivan 2017).

It blossoms in consciousness and freedom. This intelligible aspect of the cosmos (the evolutionary process discovered by science) arises from the absolute mystery of the divine depths of the world, as mystics from every tradition have declared: beyond words, beyond thought, beyond comprehension—infinite. Out of this infinite mystery arises our astonishingly beautiful and functional human body, bearer of a consciousness that can grow to unlimited universality.

The universe “opens” into the infinite. For spiritual philosopher Raimon Panikkar, this is fundamental. He writes: “The world is unfinished and, in this sense infinite. This infinitude accounts for freedom and the unforeseeable movement of all that is. Existence is open, ongoing, a spontaneous unfolding of possibility” (2014, 56). We can choose as well as create the possibilities for what kind of world we want to live within.

Science reveals the cosmic process as one of the continuous creation and unfolding of possibilities (rather than determination by a causal chain of actualities). It is mirrored in some ways by the temporal structure of our lives. We live in a dynamic present that appropriates the past and projects ourselves into the future. Existentially we are future oriented (as Heidegger points out in Being and Time, 1927) and our future is buzzing with possibilities among which we can choose.

But it is more than this, for we can create new possibilities through the process of self-transcendence. Alone, of all living things that we know, we are free to grow, to transcend, to reach for the stars. As Panikkar expresses this, we are a synthesis of time and eternity. “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” (1979, 209)

Regarding civilization as a whole, philosopher of culture Ernst Cassirer affirms that the rich religious traditions of humankind were pointing to existential possibilities that are with us in each present moment throughout history. All of civilization, all human beings, generate an image of a transformed future. The ever-present vision of such a future provides human life with its open possibilities for transcendence.  I have written elsewhere about this “utopian horizon” (2021).

Cassirer writes: “The future is not only an image; it becomes an ‘ideal’…. This is man’s symbolic future, which corresponds to and is in strict analogy with his symbolic past. We may call it ‘prophetic’ future because it is nowhere better expressed than in the lives of the great religious prophets…. The future they spoke of was not an empirical fact but an ethical and religious task. Hence prediction was transformed into prophesy. Prophesy does not simply mean foretelling; it means a promise….it contains at the same time the hope and the assurance of ‘a new heaven and a new earth’” (1944, 54-55). The cosmos has gifted us with this utopian imagination and its corresponding “ethical and religious task,” making possible true transformation—“a new heaven and a new earth.” 

One thinks of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who spoke of the cosmos process converging into ever greater unity, an Omega point in which a profound unity animates and radiates a wonderful diversity.  For Teilhard, the process of convergence is love, the cosmic agape that is bringing Christ again into the world in a “second coming” in which Christ will be all in all, the alpha and omega, cosmically embracing both human life and our lost planet Earth. The evolutionary upsurge of cosmic love also gives us our task.

 He writes: “The flame that for thousands of years has been rising up below the horizon is now, at a strictly localized point, about to burst forth: thought has been born. Beings endowed with self-awareness become, precisely in virtue of that bending back upon themselves, immediately capable of rising to a new level of existence: in truth another world is born” (1969, 102). In the light of all this, why do we insist on wallowing in ordinariness, in the filth of violence, war, and pettiness, instead of taking great steps forward, such as ratifying a Constitution for the Federation of Earth? (2014).

Similarly, peace as well as justice are now understood as objective values mirroring the unity in diversity of our cosmic and human background. Our human potentialities now appear as “cosmic,” and necessarily include the dimension of values. Values are no longer “merely subjective,” but arise from the intelligence that informs the universe. Objective values arise because “God thinks in Man.” Errol E. Harris explains that rational love is cosmic, it informs the entire cosmic process. He writes: “genuine rational love, therefore, must extend to the entire human race,” and that this love gives rise to the moral ideal of “the unity of the perfected human community” (1988, 162-63).

As self-awareness, our primary possibility is self-transcendence. We can transcend ego existence that believes itself an independent body-mind modality directed primarily toward self-gratification and self-satisfaction. We can transcend toward consciousness of the universal “noosphere” (mind-sphere) in ourselves and live on a cosmic plane where consciousness of the Cosmic Christ, Buddha nature, Allah, Brahman, or Tao becomes primary (see Fox 1988) and provides the vision for a “perfected human community.”

As with Harris and Teilhard, for Indian sage Sri Aurobindo the human being is integral to this process of cosmic evolution now alive in us as our capacity for self-transcendence. “The universe and the individual are necessary to each other in their ascent,” Aurobindo writes. “Therefore, it creates in itself a self-conscious concentration of the All through which it can aspire” (1973, 49). This statement can serve as a measure of how far we are from fulfilling our cosmic and divinely inspired destiny. Are we open to the aspirations of the universe in us?  Or do we block the cosmic consciousness with our pettiness and ego-driven pursuits?

The universe grants us the freedom, the nisus, and the responsibility to aspire toward a harmonic and cosmic future. However, instead, we are lost in conflict, violence, war, hate, and fear. Our ego identifications with our petty little lives, or with our nation-state, or with our idolatrously small religious communities, divide us from others and from our cosmically inspired destiny. Can we live each day aware that the cosmos has come to self-awareness in us, in me?  How might this change my entire way of living and being?

One of the pioneers in the articulation of cosmic consciousness was 19th century Canadian psychiatrist Richard Maurice Bucke. For him, plants and animals have “simple consciousness,” humans have “self-consciousness,” and are capable of growing to “cosmic consciousness.” In his book by this title, he writes: “Cosmic Consciousness is a third form which is as far above Self-Consciousness as that is above Simple Consciousness. With this form, of course, both self and simple consciousness persist (as simple consciousness persists when self-consciousness is acquired), but added to them is the new faculty…. The prime characteristic of cosmic consciousness is, as its name implies, consciousness of the cosmos, of the life and order of the universe” (1974, 2).

In terms of our Sanskrit poem above, the consciousness of the universe that is there in animals and plants are together called “simple consciousness” by Bucke. Out of these simple forms, self-consciousness emerges in human beings. We become aware of ourselves and believe that we are autonomous, self-promoting body-mind creatures. However, this is merely a transitional condition since what is happening is that the cosmos is becoming conscious of itself in us. We transcend from ego consciousness (self-awareness) to cosmic consciousness—the cosmos aware of itself in us. We experience our awareness as God thinking in us.

Harris generalizes concerning this process: “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” (1988, 104-05).

Our consciousness is self-transcendent.  Transformative growth is built into its very nature. Many thinkers today have articulated a similar growth process in human beings. In his book Integral Spirituality (2007), pioneer thinker Ken Wilber brings together charts and diagrams from many thinkers depicting this process.

The basic schema is quite simple.  In a proper growth process, human begins move from ego-centric consciousness (immature) to ethnocentric consciousness (identification with one culture, religion, etc.) to worldcentric consciousness (when one becomes aware of civilization and the human project as a whole) to ever more complete levels of cosmic consciousness (God thinking in us and we in God) (see Martin 2021, Chap. 1).

When these philosophers affirm that “God thinks in Man,” they are not only describing a process of thinking in the sense of “figuring things out,” but something much vaster. Some philosophers, such as Eric Gutkind, has asserted that “the world is the body of God” (1969).  If this is so, then our bodies are part of the body of God and our minds are that body become conscious of itself.  For God to think in us is to have become self-aware in us.

When we experience the astonishing beauty of the world, we can recognize this as the divine in us experiencing the bliss of its own unspeakable beauty.  When we feel the terrible pain of the world, we can compassionately identify this as self-pain. When we feel the whole, we become the whole, we love the diversity of the parts—all the parts—precisely because they emerge as unique aspects of the dynamically integrated whole. Our ego-identification with the parts (with this religion, this nation, this race, or this culture) progressively diminishes.

For the cosmic consciousness to operate within us unhindered, we must mitigate the inner chatter that usually accompanies our consciousness. We watch, observe, with a silent mind. Sufi mystic Jalaluddin Rumi declared: “Become pure seeing.”   We watch without judging, without evaluating, without reacting.  Cosmic consciousness is transpersonal, and the ideals to which it aspires are transpersonal also, not merely subjective ego-driven commitments.

Cosmologist and new paradigm thinker Ervin Laszlo writes that “my consciousness—the same as the consciousness of all living beings—is the localized yet nonlocal manifestation of mind beyond space and time. As a conscious human being, I am an intrinsic and infinite part of this mind” (2016, 121). As his writings make clear, the more we identify with the cosmic consciousness that we are, the more we transcend death, for our consciousness participates in the universal consciousness. It is not a matter of mere “brain functions.”

We might describe the brain as rooted in the quantum dimension and therefore in the universal consciousness permeating the cosmos, but the death of the brain is only a tiny blip or node in the vast cosmic reaches of consciousness. Through me and my brain the holistic cosmic process has animated this little body and mind and allowed beautiful things to come to pass through my existence: love, kindness, gentleness, beauty, ecstasy, truth, and goodness. But my passing is not an extinction of cosmic consciousness but merely a remanifesting within the infinite whole.

We are bearers of this divine gift. Can we live as custodians and creative contributors to the divine-evolutionary upsurge toward ever greater coherence, harmony, love, justice, and truth?  Our freedom is an “ontological freedom.” We should be using it creatively to enhance the coherence and creative harmony of the cosmic process, rather than for the acquisition of wealth, power, division, domination, violence, or war. This is our human destiny as well as our infinite dignity. These are some of the ways in which “God thinks in man.”


*Mitchell, Edgar and Robert Staretz (2011). “The Quantum Hologram and the Nature of Consciousness,” in Quantum Physics of Consciousness. Cambridge: Cosmology Science Publishers.

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

Panikkar, Raimon (2014). Mysticism and Spirituality: Part One. Mysticism, Fullness of Life. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Panikkar, Raimon (1979). Myth, Faith, and Hermeneutics: Cross-Cultural Studies. New York: Paulist Press.

Martin, Glen T. (2021). “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

Cassirer, Ernst (1944). An Essay on Man: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Human Culture. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Teilhard de Chardin, Pierre (1969). Hymn of the Universe. New York: Harper Colophon Books.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth (2014).In print with Institute for Economic Democracy Press, Appomattox, VA, 2010 and 2014. Online at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global.

Harris, Errol E. (1988). The Reality of Time. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Fox, Matthew (1988). The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. San Francisco: Harper San Franscisco.

Aurobindo, Sri (1973). The Essential Aurobindo. Ed. Robert McDermott. New York: Schocken Books.

Bucke, Maurice (1974, orig.pub. 1900). Cosmic Consciousness: A Study in the Evolution of the Human Mind. New York: Causeway Books.

Wilber, Ken (2007). Integral Spirituality: A Startling New Role for Religion in the Modern and Postmodern World. Boston & London: Integral Books.

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

Gutkind, Eric (1969). The Body of God: First Steps Toward an Anti-theology. New York: Horizon Press.

Ervin Laszlo (2016). What is Consciousness?  Three Sages Look Behind the Veil. New York: Select Books.

Overview and History of the Provisional World Parliament

The Provisional World Parliament

A Brief History and Overview

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth was written through a process involving hundreds of world citizens and international legal minds over a period of 23 years from 1968 to 1991, a process which included four Constituent Assemblies and formal signings of the Constitution.  Since 1991, the Constitution has been considered finished and ready for ratification under the criteria specified in Article 17.  The Earth Federation government will begin, and enter its first operative stage as a legitimate governmental entity, when a minimum of 25 nations have ratified.

Under Article 19 of the Constitution, in addition, the people of Earth are empowered to begin “provisional world government.” They can begin the “Provisional Earth Federation” here and now. Article 19 lists the responsibilities, powers, and criteria for operation of the provisional world government, which include the activation and on-going activities of the Provisional World Parliament (PWP).  The World Constitution and Parliament Association (WCPA) is the sponsor of the Earth Constitution and of sessions of the Provisional World Parliament.  To date, there have been 14 sessions of the PWP, held in various countries around the world. 

The parliament has passed some 67 World Legislative Acts (WLAs), which  together spell out in some detail the kind of world laws that will emanate from the World Parliament once the Constitution has been officially ratified by the nations and peoples of the Earth.  These can be found at:


These Legislative Actions are not binding on the final World Parliament once it has been established after ratification of the Constitution. However, they will serve as a quality list of recommendations that will help the Parliament activate any number of essential world laws. Under Article 19, other features of the Earth Federation can be initiated, and WCPA has sponsored several initiatives in this regard (such as the Collegium of World Judges and the World Environmental Ministry), but the PWP remains the central form the provisional world government has taken so far. Its mandate includes to jump-start interest in ratifying the Earth Constitution and to pass enabling legislation to help make the final Earth Federation government happen.

Legal Status and Legitimacy

The question of what makes a government legitimate is a major issue in the philosophy of law. What is the difference between a policeman or government official who may carry a gun and make a demand of you to pay taxes and an enforcer for organized crime who carries a gun and insists that you pay tribute to that organization?  Both of these use the threat of force to make you do something against your will.  Why is the governmental representative legitimate and the representative of organized crime not legitimate?

The predominant answer in the history of legal thought has been one of moral legitimacy. The government represents the people and their common good and the organized crime group does not.  The government is legitimated not simply because it happens to be in power and has the means to enforce its laws (organized crime can also claim this as a fact). Rather, to be in power and have the means to enforce laws is secondary to the moral right to government on behalf of the common good of the people.

This is exactly why the Earth Constitution is more legitimate that the constitutions of the various nation-states.  In today’s world, no national government can truly serve the common good of its people because the common good of all of us has been transferred to the global level. No nation on Earth can alone stop global climate collapse, or prevent nuclear war, or end poverty, or protect universal human rights. Governmental legitimacy has now been transferred to the global level.

The common good of the people of each nation is the same as that of everyone on the planet. Neither peace, nor justice, nor sustainability can be achieved except at the global level. Hence, prominent philosophers like John Finnis have concluded that national governments are no long legitimate representatives of the common good of their people, and others, like Errrol E. Harris, conclude that the Earth Constitution has become more legitimate than any national constitutions.

Nevertheless, today national constitutions have the power (organizational, military, and police forces) and therefore remain legitimate in his sense. This places the Earth Constitution and the Provisional World Parliament in a paradoxical legal situation.  Morally, the Earth Constitution is more legitimate, but in terms of general recognition of governments and in terms of organizational power, the sovereign national governments remain legitimate.

People may say, “but how are the representatives for the PWP chosen?” However, the same question applies to the national governments.  50% of the governments in the world are not even remotely democracies and the other 50% are mostly democracies only in name. They are in fact run by an elite ruling class and corrupt politicians, with engineered and manipulated elections. Representatives to the PWP must be personal signatories to the Earth Constitution, pledging allegiance to it. In the PWP. They are world citizens, serving, without pay, the common good of humanity and future generations. Their pledge is to follow the Earth Constitution and recognize it as serving the common good of humanity.

Significance and Mission

One thing should be clear.  When the Provisional World Parliament meets to debate World Legislative Acts, it is certainly not just another “conference” of well-meaning civilian peace advocates.  Something truly special is going on.  People from around the globe are meeting under the authority of the Earth Constitution to create a decent future for humanity by jump-starting something that is more legitimate than the sovereign national governments. They do not give papers to one another but debate proposed World Legislative Acts under the authority of the Earth Constitution.

One could say that sessions of the Parliament are “quasi-governmental,” or a manifestation of “emerging world law.”  The people assembled are trying to do something that the world absolutely needs and that is morally more legitimate than most actions of national governments. They are working for emerging world government through a quasi-legal status trying to bring its full legal status into being.  The full legal status requires ratification of the Earth Constitution by the people and nations of Earth under Article 17.

In terms of significance, what is going on when we organize sessions of the Provisional World Parliament?

  1. We are engaging in a truly historic act, never before done in history, of directly initiating the beginnings of democratic world government.
  2. We are providing a model for the world showing what the world should be doing.
  3. We are debating and passing world legislative acts that contribute to the infrastructure and grounding necessary for the final World Parliament to do its work once the Constitution is ratified.
  4. We are presenting to the world a powerful symbol of human solidarity and common effort to deal with our lethal global problems.
  5. We are actively establishing the parameters for a new world system of peace, justice, and sustainability.  We are doing this not just as well-meaning civilians at another peace conference but as legal and moral representatives of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, establishing a morally and legally required transformed system for humanity.

Proposal and Support

Even though the Provisional World Parliament has issued declarations stating the right and duty of the people of Earth to create democratic world government, nation-state support remains essential if we are going to establish a truly democratic and legitimate world system of peace, justice, and sustainability. The easiest route to ratification of the Constitution is through affirmation by a minimum of 25 nations.  We believe that the government of India is in a key position to take this as part of its leadership role and garner the interest of other nations.

There are several reasons for this.  Indian is a large and prominent nation, the world’s largest democracy. India was a leader of the Non-aligned Movement at one time. India has both immense peace traditions and world federalist traditions.  Mahatma Gandhi, Sri Aurobindo, Jawaharlal Nehru, and many others have been supporters of world government.  The second session of the Provisional World Parliament in 1985 was opened in the Constitution Club in New Delhi by the then President of India, Zail Singh, and many prominent figures from the Indian government were involved in the proceedings.

We would like India to take this leadership role once again through supporting, or at least officially recognizing, the holding of the 15th session of the Provisional World Parliament in India within the near future.  Through doing this, India would be contributing to the future of humanity and the hope for a transformed world of peace, justice, and sustainability, exactly what her great leaders always advocated.

WCPA, soon to be an officially recognized NGO in India, would like to form a committee of prominent Indian supporters of the Earth Constitution to lobby the Indian government to become a supporter of the 15th session of the Provisional World Parliament. Perhaps we could name this “The India Council for Provisional World Parliament.” The Committee should meet with high government officials and explain our history, mission, and proposal.

We would be honored to have high government officials at the opening ceremonies of the 15th session of the PWP held somewhere in India, and to have the media publicity for the Parliament that would come through official recognition of our historic mission. If you wish to be part of this Committee, please let us know so that we can continue organizing for the next session of the PWP to be held in India within the relatively near future. Thanks very much for your support and consideration of this project.

BRIEF HISTORY OF WCPA with sessions of the Provisional World Parliament bolded

Since 1958, the organization has worked through its worldwide membership to write and ratify the Earth Constitution in four international Constituent Assemblies. Under the authority of Article 19 of the Earth Constitution the WCPA has also sponsored 14 sessions of the Provisional World Parliament till date, building a new world order of freedom, justice, prosperity, and equality within the shell of the old, unjust world order. Below is a summary history of our work.

1958. Agreement to Call a World Constitutional Convention initiated by four persons, circulated worldwide for signatures, requesting both national governments and people of each country to send delegates.

1959-1960. World Committee for a World Constitutional Convention formed. Thousands sign the Agreement, including many prominent leaders. Organizers of this action travel around the world to enlist support.

1961-1962. Definitive Call to the World Constitutional Convention adopted. Many persons sign, including Heads of five national governments.

1963-1964. First Preparatory Congress held Denver, Colorado, USA, with delegates from five continents. Call to the World Constitutional Convention is publicly issued, then circulated for more signers and response.

1965-1966. Second Preparatory Congress held at Milan, Italy. Outline for Debate and Drafting of a World Constitution is formulated, on basis on alternative choices. Plan agreed for a Peoples’ World Parliament to meet concurrently.

1967. Decision made at Third Preparatory Congress to begin Convention in 1968, even if no government sends delegates. 300 Peoples’ Delegates pledged.

1968. First working sessions of World Constitutional Convention and Peoples’ World Convention held at Interlaken, Switzerland, and Wolfach, W. Germany with 200 Peoples Delegates from 27 countries, of five continents. Work begun on drafting the World Constitution.

1969-1971. Strategy for Reclaiming Earth for Humanity is circulated. Emergency Council of World Trustees Meet, Santa Barbara, Calif., and issues First Decree for Protection of Life, outlawing nuclear weapons. Directions given to drafting commission.

1972. World Constitution drafting commission of four persons, with a fifth communicating by telephone, works for two months, nearly completing first draft of Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

1973-1975. First draft finished, printed in 1974, then circulated worldwide for comment, together with Call to the second session in 1977, now defined as the World Constituent Assembly. Comments on first draft complied.

1976. Drafting Commission meets again. Second draft completed, circulated.

1977. Second Session of World Constituent Assembly held in June, Innsbruck, Austria. Earth Constitution debated paragraph by paragraph, amended, then adopted with 138 original signers from 25 countries of 6 continents. Call for ratification by the nations and peoples of Earth is issued. Constitution is sent to U.N. General Assembly and to all national governments.

1978-1980. Earth Constitution is circulated worldwide for debate and ratification. Third session of World Constituent Assembly held in January, 1979, Colombo, Sri Lanka; adopts Rationale For a World Constituent Assembly, defining right of people to convene Assembly, draft constitution, and obtain ratification. Appeal issued for national parliaments to ratify.

1981. World Constitution & Parliament Assn. meets at New Delhi, India. Call issued for Provisional World Parliament to convene 1982 under terms of Article 19 of the Earth Constitution. Honorary Sponsor list of 150 prominent persons enrolled.

1982. First Session of Provisional World Parliament meets at Brighton, England. Delegates from 25 countries of 6 continents. Five world Legislative Acts are adopted: for World Disarmament Agency, World Economic Development, Ownership of Oceans & Sea beds, Graduate School of World Problems, and World Courts.

The 2nd session of the PWP with India President Zail Singh in the center of the High Table (with turban)

1983-1984. First Provisional District World Court organized in Los Angeles; takes up case of outlawing nuclear weapons. Plans for Provisional World Parliament in Sudan and Nigeria thwarted by military coups.

1985. Second Session of Provisional World Parliament held New Delhi, India. Opened by President of India, presided by speaker of Lok Sabha. Three more World Legislative Acts adopted: for Emergency Earth Rescue Administration, World Government Funding, and Commission on Terrorism.

1986. Campaign continued for “provisional” ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, pending review at next World Constituent Assembly.

1987. Third session of Provisional World Parliament held at Hilton Fontainebleau Hotel, Miami Beach, Florida. Three more World Legislative Acts are adopted: for Global Finance System, Environment Protection, and Hydrogen Energy. Provisional World Cabinet begun.

1988-1989. Plan launched for collaboration by many organizations to prepare next session of World Constituent Assembly. 150 organizations join in Preparatory Committee. Two meetings held in New York with U. N. Ambassadors, to explain and solicit help. List of Honorary Sponsors reconfirmed and expanded.

1990. Government of Egypt agrees to host Assembly. Three preparatory meetings held. Call circulated for Governments and People to send delegates.

1991. Location of 4th session World Constituent Assembly abruptly changed due to the 1991 Gulf War. Held at Troia, Portugal, in May. Delegates adopt 59 minor amendments to the Earth Constitution. New ratification campaign begun, appealing to both people and governments. Most Honorary Sponsors personally ratify.

1992. Global Ratification & Elections Network organized, including several hundred organizations, to promote ratification of the Constitution for the Federation of Earth, then election of delegates to World Parliament. Government heads should also ratify.

1996. The Fourth Session of the Provisional World Parliament held at Barcelona, Spain in September. A number of resolutions passed as well as a “Manifesto” declaring the oceans the property of the people of Earth under the authority of the Earth Constitution.

2000. The Fifth Session of the Provisional World Parliament is held on the Island of Malta, November 22nd to 27th. One Omnibus legislative act and a number of resolutions passed, including a resolution strongly supporting the rights of the Palestinian people to their own state.

2003. The Sixth Session of the Provisional World Parliament held in Bangkok, Thailand, March 23rd to 28th. Several important legislative acts passed: a World Peace Act, a World Security Act, a Provisional Office of World Revenue Act, a Hydrocarbon Resource Act, and a Statute for the World Court on Human Rights. The Commission for Legislative Review is formed. Parliamentary law format commences with the Sixth Session. The Institute on World Problems (IOWP) is formed as a 501C3 non-profit organization in the US.

2003. The Seventh Session of the Provisional World Parliament is held at Chennai, India, December 23-29. Several important legislative acts passed: a Criminal Penalty Code, Rules for Procedure and Evidence, a World Bench for Criminal Cases Act, a World Patents Act, a Global Accounting and Auditing Standards Act, and a Preservation of World Government Records Act. The Manifesto of the Earth Federation and the “Pledge of Allegiance to the Earth Constitution” (included in this Appendix) are unanimously ratified by the Parliament.

2004. The Eighth Session of the Provisional World Parliament held at Lucknow, India in August. Several important legislative acts passed, including creation of a World Bench for Juvenile Cases, a Child Rights Act, an Elections Act, and a Water Act. The International Criminal Court in the Hague is empowered by world legislation. A global Education Act is passed as well as a World Economic Equity Act establishing the Earth Currency on an independent and fully democratic basis. A Global People’s Assembly is created to activate grass roots participation in the House of Peoples. The “Declaration on the Rights of Peoples” (included in this volume) is unanimously ratified.

2006. The Ninth Session of the Provisional World Parliament held in Tripoli, Libya in April. Eight World Legislative Acts are passed, an enabling act for the World Ombudsmus, the creation of a Department of Conflict Resolution for the Earth Federation, a ban on the production of fissile materials for weapons, a nuclear weapons elimination protocol, a nuclear contamination act prohibiting the use of depleted uranium and other weapons, a quit Guantanamo directive, an agreement on world Privileges and Immunities (revising the weaker version of the Assembly of States Parties, and a Public Utilities act. The former “Global Ratification and Elections Network (GREN)” is transformed into the Earth Federation Movement (EFM).

The 9th session of the PWP in Tripoli, Libya. The group in the foreground are children from Africa petitioning the Parliament for mosquito netting to protect against malaria.

2007. The Tenth Session of the Provisional World Parliament held in Kara, Togo in June. Four world legislative acts are passed: an act prohibiting unauthorized destruction of illegal financial instruments, an act creating a system of divestment from illegal weapons manufacture, an act requiring posting of the world illegal stock law in stock exchanges around the world, and an act providing a guaranteed annual income for all adults within the Earth Federation.

2008. The 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the founding of WCPA hosted by Dr. Phichai Tovivich and the WCPA Chapter of Thailand.

2009. The Eleventh Session of the Provisional World Parliament held in Nainital, India, July 2-8, 2009. Several world legislative acts were passed into provisional world law, including a procedure for the dismantling of nuclear weapons, a law protecting the people of Earth from too much bureaucracy in the world government, an act criminalizing human trafficking for sexual or other purposes, an act abolishing all secret intelligence agencies like the CIA, M5 or Mossad, a bill elaborating the restrictions on the military uses of depleted uranium, and a law protecting the right of civil disobedience for the people of Earth under the Earth Federation (included in this volume). The delegation from Bangladesh presented the parliament with a new translation of the Constitution into its 23rdlanguage: Bengali or Bangla.

2011. May 10-21. Supporters of the Earth Constitution in Costa Rica, headed at that time by WCPA Chapter President, Celina Garcia, organize lectures and meetings for Martin and Turk, WCPA President and Treasurer, that included lectures to law classes at 3 different universities in San Jose. 2011 June. A 5 city WCPA lecture tour in Asia: Lucknow, India, where Glen Martin is interviewed for CMS TV, then on to Colombo, Sri Lanka, for three days of lectures organized by WCPA supporters. Then to Chennai, India, for 7 days of lectures in a “Global Challenges to Peace” program organized by WCPA Vice-President R. Ananthanarayanan and the WCPA Chennai Chapter. The week-long series of events included meeting with activist social groups in the countryside and a visit to a Chennai slum. Martin is presented with a “Lighthouse of the World” award by the WCPA (Asia Wing) and Bharat Vikas Parishad at an all-day program at Jaya College outside Chennai. Martin and Anantharayanan travel to Pondicherry for meetings with leaders of the World Union organization, founded by Sri Aurobindo.

From Chennai, Martin visits Dhaka, Bangladesh, for a visit organized by Mujibur Rahman, WCPA Vice-President, Mahbubul Islam, WCPA Youth Coordinator, and the Bangladesh WCPA Chapter. (This was shortly before the untimely death of Dr. Mujibur Rahman who lived in Dhaka, whom Martin had worked closely with since 1996 when they first met at WCPA Headquarters in Colorado.) Late June 2011: Bangalore, India: all-day seminar with leading social activists, journalists, and academics concerned with global issues, arranged by WCPA Vice-President. E.P. Menon.

September 2011 Drs. Almand and Martin travel to Costa Rica to participate in World Peace Week in northern Costa Rica. WCPA Chapter President Celina Garcia and others there long worked with the many groups involved with the AVP (Alternatives to Violence Project), and it was decided that the vision of AVP activists should be enlarged to a global vision. Many events concerning the Earth Constitution were organized in the cities of San Carlos, Quesada, and Santa Rosa. December 2011. WCPA participates in the International Conference of Chief Justices of the World at the City Montessori School (CMS) of Lucknow. Dr. Gandhi, a VP of WCPA, asked WCPA to hold a meeting at the CMS World Convention and Unity Center during the time of this conference. Three such meetings were held.

2012. May and June. WCPA President Martin goes on speaking tour in Eastern Europe: Zagreb and Macedonia (organized by WCPA supporters in those countries), then to Paris, giving lectures there on the Earth Constitution and its environmental provisions, and meeting with leaders of the World Citizen’s Registry, with headquarters in Paris. July 2012. Glen Martin and Phyllis Turk host an IOWP-WCPA leadership and planning session at Raquette Lake, NY, with 22 WCPA leaders and other thinkers for 5 days. September 2012. Martin attends a conference in Costa Rica promoting the Earth Constitution. December 2012. Martin participates in a lecture tour and press conferences in New Delhi and Lucknow, India. Late December. Martin travels to Turkey to meet with a Sufi Master and give lectures to graduate students and faculty at the Istanbul Law School on the Earth Constitution.

2013. WCPA announces Dr. Kaus Schlichtmann, Peace Historian living in Japan, and Puan Sri Datin Seri N. Swaraswathy Devi, prominent Malaysia Lawyer, as Distinguished Advisors. WCPA also announces the formation of a Venezuela Chapter of WCPA under the leadership of Leopoldo Cook Antonorsi, who later becomes WCPA Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean in November 2017. Dr. Martin is awarded the GUSI Peace Prize International in Manila, Philippines, for his work on behalf of the Earth Constitution and WCPA

December 2013. The 13th session of the Provisional World Parliament convenes at Lucknow, India. Several important World Legislative Acts passed: WLA 53, Transition Process of National Governments Joining the Earth Federation; WLA 54, Remedies and Corrections Act; WLA 55, Surveillance Limitations Act; WLA 56, Crowd Dispersal Ban; WLA 57, Collegium of World Legislators established; WLA 58, Neonictinoid Ban; WLA 59, Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Act; WLA 60, Paid Informant Ban; WLA 61, Fracking Ban; WLA 62, Fission Power Generation Closure, and WLA 63, Cooperative Communities Empowerment Act.

2015. WCPA lectures and meetings take place in various locations in India, including the first “Grand Global Peace Tour” sponsored by Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust in Chennai. Many events take place I the New Delhi area. At an event at Aligarh Moslem University, Swami Agnivesh (one of the keynote speakers) meets Glen Martin and expresses interest in the Earth Constitution. He soon becomes a Distinguished Advisor to WCPA.

2016. June: Martin and WCPA Treasurer, Phyllis Turk, travel to Venezuela, Ecuador, and Peru, promoting the Earth Constitution. In Peru, they present lectures through arrangements made by High Court Justice David Quispe Salsavilca, who soon becomes a WCPA Distinguished Advisor. In San Francisco, for the book launch of One World Renaissance, Martin is interviewed on national radio and speaks to the UN Association conference there about the Earth Constitution. December 2016. A WCPA International Conference was held at Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT), in Puna, India. The conference included many notable speakers, including Swami Agnivesh who secured the prestigious location for these events. In association with Institute for Economic Democracy Press, WCPA publishes the popular “Pocket Edition” of the Earth Constitution.

2017. WCPA International Conference held at O.P. Jindal Global University outside New Delhi. WCPA members both internationally and from around India participated. Swami Agnivesh gives one of the keynote addresses. The book commissioned at the 14th session of the Provisional World Parliament called Our Common Future: The UN as an Effective Peace and Sustainability System. World Parliament Breakthrough Legislation under the Earth Constitution is completed and copies sent to the heads of all UN agencies in Vienna, Geneva, and New York City. (Note: see the entry under “December 2014 above. There has been no response since that time from any of these agencies.)

2018. May and June 2018. WCPA President Glen Martin and Treasurer Phyllis Turk tour WCPA supporters and chapters in Latin America: Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, and Columbia.November 2018: WCPA has an “Earth Constitution” booth at the World Parliament of Religions in Toronto, Canada. December 2018. Martin presents on the Earth Constitution to the World Intellectual Forum Conference in Hyderabad, India. The third annual WCPA International Conference is held at O.P. Jindal Global University with a broad range of significant papers presented. WCPA also organizes meetings in Delhi, Chennai, and Bangalore, India.

2019. Prof. Narasimha Murthy becomes Global Communications Coordinator and leads a major organizing drive within India. WCPA invited by Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust of Chennai to be part of a “Grand Global Peace Tour” with a number of world peace leaders that held events in Chennai, Bangalore, and Hyderabad. WCPA Vice-President Peter Graves-Goodman in Miami (web-master of www.worldparliament-gov.org)initiates development a WCPA media project for TV. Dr. Roger Kotila, WCPA Vice-President in San Francisco, continues development of the Earth Federation News website (www.earthfederation.info)and coordinates the work of WCPA with the Democratic World Federalist (DWF) organization (headquarters in San Francisco) and the Center for UN Constitutional Research (CUNCR) in Brussels. December 2019. The international “World Thinkers and Writers Peace Meet,” organized by WCPA Vice-President, Dr. Santi Nath Chattopadhyay, takes place in Kolkata, India. WCPA plays a leading role in many conference events.

2020. The Institute on World Problems (IOWP) non-profit organization, registered in the US) is reorganized and rebranded as the Earth Constitution Institute (ECI). WCPA joins ECI as its activist division sponsoring sessions of the Provisional World Parliament and other aspects of the emerging Provisional World Government. A new website and branding is developed: www.earthconstitution.world In India, Narasimha Murthy develops an all India WCPA website: www.wcpaindia.org. He is soon joined by Col. T. P. Tyagi and Major Sushil Goel and WCPA begins coordination with the prominent India organization RSS (Rashtriya Sainik Sanstha) and with Major Goel’s technical offices in New Delhi. Planning for the 15th session of the Provisional World Parliament scheduled for December 2021 begins in earnest. Membership of WCPA increases rapidly in India, along with several new chapters. Lucio Martins Rodriquez joins the Board of ECI and the project of developing World Electoral Districts (WEDs), led by WCPA Secretary General, Eugenia Almand, is united with a project for developing secure digital voting for people within the emerging list of defined and organized World Electoral Districts.

December 2021. A very successful 15th session of the Provisional World Parliament convenes on-line from New Delhi, India. Amendments were made to World Legislative Act 4: World University System, to WLA 5 on Regional and District Courts, to WLA 6, adding a Global Grassroots Regeneration and Family Planning section, to WLA 10 on the World Energy Department, to WLA 13, the World Peace Act, to WLA 31, the World Ombudsmus Act, and to WLA 54 the Remedies and Corrections Act. New World Legislative Acts were passed: WLA 68, Statute on Women’s Rights, WLA 70, on Civil Asset Forfeiture, WLA 71, enabling the Democratic Procedures Department, and WLA 72, on World District Standards. In addition, a special memorial was written to the government of India asking India to take leadership in an Article 109 review conference at the UN and to request substituting the Earth Constitution for the UN Charter. Finally, a powerful “New Delhi Declaration” was issued by the Parliament. Plans were also finalized to hold the 16th session of the PWP next year in Pondicherry, India.

Glen T. Martin and Neelam Gupta at the Head Table during this hybrid session of the PWP (during the Covid pandemic) from the Parliament Studios in New Delhi, India

Actualization Protocol for the Earth Constitution

(Bill to be introduced into the 16th session of the Provisional World Parliament)

Whereas, the Preamble of the Earth Constitution envisions a comprehensive transformation of our world system from one of fragmentation, war, and conflict to one or peace with justice; it declares the principle of unity in diversity as “the basis for a new age when war shall be outlawed and peace prevail; when the earth’s total resources shall be equitably used for human welfare”;

Whereas, the Article 1 of the Constitution details this comprehensive transformation across fundamental dimensions of life on Earth:

(1) ending war and disarming the nations,

(2) protecting universal human rights,

(3) diminishing social differences on a global scale,

(4) regulating the use of world resources,

(5) protecting the ecological fabric of life, and addressing all other global issues that are beyond the scope of nation-states.

Whereas, in past discussions of the Earth Constitution and its capacity to effect these comprehensive transformations there has been some confusion concerning the stages articulated in Articles 17, 19, and elsewhere,

Whereas, there has been the inevitable criticism of some details embedded in the Earth Constitution since it was proclaimed ‘finished’ at Troia, Portugal, 1991,

We delegates of the Provisional World Parliament at its 15th session, meeting at New Delhi,

Hereby affirm and declare this Actualization Protocol as official Parliament policy.

Article 1  The five broad phases of the actualization process shall be:

  • Phase 1: Provisional World Government: jump starting, laying foundations in the PWP and WEDs, working for ratification.
  • Phase 2: First Operative Stage: legitimizing and activating the transformational infrastructure while addressing fundamental world problems.
  • Phase 3:  Progressive Constitutional Amendments and a World Constitutional Convention (Article 18): refining the transformational instrument named the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.
  •  Phase 4:  Second Operative Stage: demilitarization and planetary conversion to a world peace and sustainability system.
  • Phase 5: Final Operative Stage: actualizing the transformed world system premised on Peace, Justice, Sustainability, and universal Human Dignity.

Article 2.   Phase 1: Provisional World Government

            2.1  Article 19 outlines the first phase of the actualization process. It is the phase we have been in approximately since the second constituent assembly in 1977.

            2.2  Article 19.1 and 19.2 mandates the setting up of at least 10 fundamental commissions to facilitate both ratification of the Constitution and the jump-stating of emerging world government under the Constitution. These 10 fundamental commissions shall form a fundamental force behind the emerging Earth Federation System. Two of these are the “World Development Commission” and “World Problems Commission,” which begin the process of addressing the many world problems that are beyond the capacity of nation-states to address. The mandate is clear:  World Government in its first phase must begin addressing real solutions to global problems under the authority of the Earth Constitution.

2.3.  Article 19 sets up the Ratification Commission as a global network of persons promoting the ratification of the Constitution according to the criteria set out in Article 17.  This Commission is to operate until the full operative stage of the Earth Federation Government is reached as defined in Article 17.5.  This Commission shall be a major component in the transition to the full operative stage of the Earth Federation as mandated by Article 19.2.1.

            2.3    Article 19.3 mandates setting up, and holding sessions of, the Provisional World Parliament (PWP). This process has been going on since the first session of the Parliament in Brighton, England, in 1982, and has today reached the current 15th session in New Delhi, India. This 15th session of Parliament commends the recent initiation of a permanent offices for the PWP here in New Delhi and mandates that the PWP continue to develop an enduring Secretariat, Offices, and the infrastructure to move forward with actualizing all the commissions and processes required by Article 19.

            2.3  The first phase also includes the development of World Electoral Districts (WEDs) and elections within those districts to the House of Peoples and the House of Counselors (19.2.2).  This 15th session of the Provisional World Parliament mandates that the World Parliament and Constitution Association (WCPA) and Earth Constitution Institute (ECI), the organizations sponsoring and guarding the Earth Constitution in this first phase of the actualization process  activate a World Elections Commission within each WED (using WCPA membership where feasible) as each of these districts is defined. The Parliament directs that these organizations work under the relevant WCPA-ECI officers to further define the districts, secure reliable voter IDs, and begin the process of elections to the House of Peoples and House of Counselors.

            2.4    Defining these WEDs and securing voter registrations opens up two of the three options for entering the First Operative Stage of the Earth Federation Government as outline in Article 17.3. One option is elections conducted within at least 1000 WEDs (with no nations having ratified). The second option provides for elections within 50 WEDs (with at least 10 nations having ratified). The third option is ratification by a minimum of 25 nation-states (and no WEDs), each of which conducts a referendum of its population to secure initiating the Earth Federation. 

Article 3. Phase Two: First Operative Stage as ratified under Article 17.3.

3.1  Phase two initiates virtually all the essential features of the Earth Federation as defined by the Constitution: the three houses of the World Parliament, the Presidium and Executive Cabinet, the World Supreme Court, the Enforcement System, the Ombudsmus, the Civil Service Administration (and other agencies outlined in Article 8).  It calls explicitly for a World Disarmament Administration (WDA), an Earth Emergency Rescue Administration (EERA), an integrated global energy system, a World University System, a World Corporations Office, the World Service Corps, and a World Ocean and Seabeds Administration.

3.2   The Provisional World Parliament affirms the absolute need for the activation of the infrastructure of the Earth Federation government to form Phase Two of the process.  The world of 2021 is the terrible crisis perceived by the framers of the Earth Constitution magnified 10-fold.  The world cannot wait much longer to activate the key institutions that can effectively address our lethal circumstances or the progressive warming of our planet may become unstoppable leading to the death of all or most higher forms of life. 

3.3   The Earth Constitution lays out the basic template, the design, for human beings to take some control of their destiny by protecting their planetary home and eliminated WMDs.  Phase 2 may well be the crucial step that secures human survival.  The Constitution must be ratified as it is (with no quibbling over words or debating changes) because of the urgency of our situation. Possible changes are reserved for Phase 3.

3.4   During Phase 2, the Commission for Legislative Review (Article 8.8) shall be activated. The Commission will perform its described function of examining world legislation and world laws and integrating existing international laws into the emerging regime of world laws.

3.5   The Commission for Legislative Review will also initiate an Office for Proposed Constitutional Amendments or Revisions.   This office will record and correlate all incoming suggestions for changes in the Earth Constitution from the people and nations of the Earth.

3.6     During Phase 2 the World Disarmament Commission (WDC) will not only accept the role of dismantling nuclear weapons. It will also prepare the infrastructure, planning, and protocols for general, worldwide, disarmament.  Under these protocols, nations will work together in planned de-escalation and reduction of investment, planning, production, deployment, and maintenance of military weapons and organizations.   The WDC will work with the nations to so that this process in not only completely in place by the inauguration of Phase 3 but may also be either completed or well under way during the First Operative Stage.  The significant progress in the demilitarization of some or all Earth Federation nations during the First Operative Stage will be a goal of the WDC.

Article 4.  Phase 3:  Amendments and/or a Constitutional Convention.

            4.1   Article 18 specifies the procedure for amending the Earth Constitution. It also mandates a Constitutional Convention within 10 years after Phase 2 begins in order the reexamine the Constitution as a whole. Such Constitutional Conventions are required at least every 20 years after that (Article 18.4).

            4.2   This Parliament affirms that with the Earth in the process of becoming organized for human and ecological peace, justice, and flourishing (under Phase Two), the citizens of Earth will be in a much better position than now to know what changes to the Constitution are necessary or optimal.  In addition, the citizens of Earth will have a legal and legitimate mechanism for making such changes (namely, the World Parliament) and contention over proposed changes will be taken out of the realm of speculation, ideology, and wishful thinking (where it is now) and placed in a meaningful legal context premised on the common good of humanity and future generations.

            4.3  Such changes to the Constitution as Phase 3 of the actualization process will undoubtedly make the Earth Constitution even more persuasive and compelling for the people of Earth who are not part of the initial Federation of Phase Two.   Phase 3, therefore, will facilitate further ratification and likely lead to a rapid ratification of the Constitution thereby actualizing Phase Four.

Article 5.  Phase Four:   The Second Operative Stage of the Earth Federation.

            5.1   The Second Operative Stage is required under Article 17.4 to continue to establish and activate the remaining offices and features defined by the Earth Constitution. It also calls for the U.N. to integrate into the Earth Federation.

            5.2   The Second Operative Stage is also required to begin enforcement of domains of planetary authority specified in Article 4, including declaring the oceans and seabeds and polar caps under the sovereignty of the people of Earth and subject to governance by the World Parliament.

            5.3  This session of the PWP, affirms, that a crucial feature of the Phase 4 is disarmament.  Under the supervision of the World Disarmament Commission (the WDC established in Phase 2), the nations already belonging to the federation are required to disarm from both WMDs and conventional military armaments and the nations now joining the Earth Federation are also so required.

            5.4   Since the WDC will have long since established a secure and equitable process for disarmament (or may even have achieved significant disarmament among Earth Federation Nations), the process of completing the disarmament of the Federation nations and the new nations now joining will be smooth, secure, impartial, and equitable.

            5.5    All nations will receive have the amount of their last military budget for their own use and shall pay the other half to the Earth Federation to address climate crisis.

            5.5   This process of disarmament shall be transparent and announced worldwide so that non-federation nations will see that this general liberation from the burden of militarism is occurring and that a peaceful and prosperous future of humanity is indeed being secured.  This will likely become a major attractor for the remaining nations of the world to join the Federation, making the Earth Federation truly planetary under Phase 5.

Article 6.  Phase 5:   The Full Operative Stage of World Government.

            6.1    The full operative stage involves completing and filling out the full set of agencies and institutions begun during the Second Operative Stage.  This stage completes the actualization process of the unity in diversity of humanity within a system premised on universal human dignity announced in the Preamble to the Constitution.

6.2    This 15th session of the Provisional World Parliament affirms the entire process through its 5 phases as the official and legitimate protocol for establishing the Federation of Earth.  The transition has been made from a global fragmentation with its and war-system, injustice system, and ecologically destructive system to the holism described in the Preamble.

Addressing the Global Crisis in Democracy

Glen T. Martin

This article appeared in Meer Magazine online12 July 2022

Democracy is in crisis around the world. Its functioning is in crisis, as well as its legitimacy and justification.  As a philosopher I have been working on the theory of democracy for some years, as published, for example, in my 2010 book, Triumph of Civilization: Democracy, Nonviolence, and the Piloting of Spaceship Earth. In this short article, I want to focus on a few central issues of the contemporary global crisis in democracy.

That nation of global significance that calls itself “exceptional,” the nation that views itself as “indispensable,” like a cancer that metastasizes to the body-politic of planet Earth, has never been a democracy and leads the way worldwide in the global destruction of democracy. Both these epithets (“indispensable” and “exceptional”) were recently used by President Joe Biden in his resounding May Day speech of 2022.

On September 11, 2001, we were told that the world changed forever. This dramatic announcement defined the mythic framework provided by the USA government and the corporate media for the people of the US and the Earth. The indispensable nation understood that it must take charge of the planet to protect “democracy, freedom, human dignity, and prosperity.” The means to do this included a “global war on terror,” a war with no defined enemy, a war with no temporal or special limits, a war in which the exceptional nation made the rules and executed its victims extrajudicially, without appeal, without recourse, without voice, and a world, as President George W. Bush put it, in which other nations are “either with us, or with the enemy.” There is no third alternative, no neutrality.

On another May Day in 2003, Geoge W. Bush swept down from the skies in a fighter jet to land upon the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln. The commander in chief of a planetary military empire with some 800 bases spread across some 80 nations spanning the globe, in a relation of “full spectrum dominance” to all other nations, expounded before a circle of saluting military personnel, the new mythic reality. He told the nation and the press (the fourth estate supposedly vital to democracy) that they no longer have a role in governing or a democratic voice in “the way the world works”:  “We are an empire now, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study, too…. We are history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to study what we do” (in Wolin 2008, 3). The voice of totalitarianism spoke out loud and clear.

In his 2017 book Trump and a Post-Truth World, Ken Wilber provides an analysis of another US President and a nation that appears to have abandoned the concept of truth altogether. The concept of empirically verifiable facts and evidence has been abandoned by this President and an army of followers, including media outlets, who no longer distinguish mere belief from knowledge. What I passionately believe can be called the truth. What the rulers decide as the center of global power becomes the truth. We create our own reality. Any news I disagree with is “fake news.” Any group I disagree with can be subject to my domination and attack. There are no binding guidelines on human behavior other than my beliefs, impulses, and emotions. Power and the will to power replace dialogue, debate, and collective decision-making. Wilber calls this phenomenon “nihilism and narcissism….aperspectival madness” (9).

Wilber’s analysis embraces the idea of human growth and development that has emerged from leading thinkers over the past century. Human civilization and individual persons live within a dynamic of growth that can be studied and articulated clearly within an amazing consensus among a broad spectrum of psychologists, philosophers, and spiritual thinkers. He calls this broad pattern and consensus “integral theory” (ix-x). Democracy, if it is going to be viable, must be framed within the context of human and civilizational evolutionary growth.

Yet there are deeper roots to the problem Wilber addresses with his analysis that the post-modern relativism and skepticism. Thinkers from Michel Foucault and Jean-Francios Lyotard to the unmitigated pluralism and narcissism of contemporary civilization and culture reflect entrapment at an immature level growth, badly in need of transcending to a more mature engagement with reality. True, however, these deeper roots lie within the history of unrestrained capitalism and its colonization of nation-state power.

In If You Love This Planet (1992), Helen Caldicott details the discovery of the power of mass propaganda during the First World War. The US population was firmly isolationist and against any US involvement in that war. But the elites running the US government wanted war. Using the new technologies of mass media, primarily radio and newspapers, the government was able in a very short time to transform the views of the US population into mass haters of Germany and advocates for US involvement in a huge war mobilization. Noam Chomsky gives a similar account in Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies (1989).

Both thinkers note the fundamental cooperation between the big corporations and government propaganda efforts, as well as the great interest the corporations took in the power of mass communications for influencing people’s beliefs. The corporations, whose bottom line was private profit for their wealthy owners, understood that truth was irrelevant to private profit. Mass media could make people believe almost anything, and the criterion for that “anything” that people could be made to believe was the maximization of private profit.

The drive for maximizing private profit was even then in the process of globalizing itself along with US military power that protected and enforced the ideological framework of a “free market” worldwide. Naomi Klein, in The Shock Doctrine and the Rise of Disaster Capitalism (2008) chronicles the use of US imperial military and economic power after the Second World War to destroy the economies in country after country by imposing on them the “shock” of abandoning all controls on the market that attempt to protect the poor, or the free press, or democracy.

The lying ideology that “free” profit maximization is the foundation of human prosperity and well-being (through a mythic “invisible hand”) involved, in the words of Sheldon Wolin, “an unceasing search for what might be exploitable, and soon that mean virtually anything, from religion, to politics, to human wellbeing. Very little, if anything, was taboo, as before long change became the object of premeditated strategies for maximizing profits” (2008, xix).

Communications via advertising, the framing of news, the articulation of world struggles and dynamics devolved into “strategic, instrumental, and manipulative forms,” almost entirely ignoring what Jürgen Habermas called “communicative discourse,” that is, “discourse directed toward mutual understanding” (1998). Democracy, Habermas shows, requires forms of communication in which people participate in governing through dialogue, debate, presenting verifiable statistics and evidence, all within a framework of good will, respect, and mutual concern for a community working together for the common good of all.

So-called capitalist democracies operate inevitably as oligarchies in which corporate and governmental power collaborate in the drive to maximize profit and engineer “consent of the governed” through promoting mythic frameworks that depower, marginalize, and dehumanize citizens. As President Bush declared: they create the reality. All citizens may do is study and record the reality created for them by the powerful, by the empire, by the globalized confluence of corporate, governmental, and military power.

Democracy as a mass movement based on theoretical premises emerged most clearly in 18th century Europe. Sometimes called “the age of reason,” it was perceived that reason and intelligence were widely distributed among human beings and not limited to traditional ruling classes or castes. Immanuel Kant in the 18th century argued that the only legitimate form of government was a “republic” that protected the “liberty, equality, and independence” of citizens.

Kant argued that this form of government would encourage the growth of citizens over time toward a “kingdom of ends” in which all persons would treat one another as ends in themselves. Hence, republican government was predicated upon a moral and cognitive growth process in which people progressively engaged in communicative discourse in contrast to strategic, instrumental, and manipulate forms of discourse that tend to dehumanize people, treating them as a means to be used in the service of power and profit rather than as ends having dignity and immeasurable value in themselves.

In the early 20th century, philosopher John Dewey elaborated the concept of democracy as a “moral ideal” for humanity. He declared an ideal of democracy as a theory of all human relationships that is much larger than mere political democracy. We must work, he asserted, for global forms of democracy (beyond the limitations of nation-states), as well as economic democracy in which workers own and run their own factories, and evermore vibrant forms of political democracy (1997). Here Dewey has in mind forms of communication later elaborated by Habermas. Democracy means people working together for the freedom of each flourishing within the common good of all, which requires communicative dialogue directed not toward strategic manipulation, but rather genuine mutual understanding directed to the common good. He understands human progress as growth in our understanding and our institutions toward this objective moral ideal.

Late 20th century philosopher Sidney Hook also treated democracy as an ethical ideal centered on human “equality of concern or consideration.” Democracy, in this sense, he argues, is equivalent to the moral ideal of social justice which includes “political, economic, and educational democracy.” He declares that this “emphasis upon respect for the personality of all individuals, the attitude which treats the personality not as something fixed but as a growing, developing pattern, is unique to the philosophy of democracy” (1974, 505).

Capitalism today dominates the world, including all governments that claim to be democratic. As an institution, it does not know dialogue directed toward mutual understanding. It only knows strategic forms of communication. Hence it does not, and cannot, know democracy. Since capitalism insists in unlimited accumulation of private wealth, these immense concentrations of wealth and power naturally colonize every government that claims to be democratic.

Similarly, the system of so-called “sovereign” nation-states, divides the people of Earth into absolute territorial cages systemically in competition and suspicion with one another. The “security” systems of each of these territories defeats democracy both within and without. The people cannot know the security secrets of the government, which involve secret cooperation between the big corporations and military elites that, in effect, determine the foreign policy and propaganda stance of each country.

As Habermas, Dewey, and Hook all suggested, we need to globalize democracy if we are to have any future at all on this planet. Capitalism is globalized, and the “exceptional” nation has globalized its military and propaganda domination over our planet. They “create the reality” and all that is left to citizens is to study what they do. If we want to end war, protect universal human rights, or preserve the planetary ecosystem (see Martin 2021), we need to globalize democratic government, for the first time in history, on the equal rights and dignity of everyone on Earth.

That is precisely what the Constitution for the Federation of Earth does. It makes authentic democracy possible because it creates a government with effective authority over the corporations and all individual nations. Without the people of Earth effectively represented by a World Parliament with sufficient enforcement powers, neither truth, nor democracy will prevail in human affairs. For both militarized nation-states and capitalist corporations know only strategic communication.

The Earth Constitution establishes government directly on human rights and dignity—the freedom of each within the common good of all. Because it is above the corporations and the competing individual nations, it makes possible dialogue directed toward mutual understanding, that is, genuine democracy premised on the moral and intellectual growth, development, and ever greater forms of community and solidarity. Our very survival depends on our ability to ratify this Earth Constitution.

Works Cited

Caldicott, Helen (1992). If You Love this Planet. New York: W.W. Norton & Company.

Chomsky, Noam (1989). Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies. Boston: South End Press.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  Found online at www.earthconstitution.world and www.wcpa.global.  Found in print with the Institute for Economic Democracy Press, Appomattox, VA, 2010 and 2014.

Dewey, John (1993). John Dewey: The Political Writings. Ed. Debra Morris and Ian Shapiro. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company.

Habermas, Jürgen (1998). On the Pragmatics of Communication. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Martin, Glen T. (2010). Triumph of Civilization: Democracy, Nonviolence, and the Piloting of Spaceship Earth. Appomattox, VA: Institute for Economic Democracy Press.

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

Hook, Sidney (1974), in The Development of the Democratic Idea: Revised Edition. Ed. Charles M. Sherover. New York: Mentor Books.

Wilber, Ken (2017). Trump and the Post-Truth World. Boulder, CO: Shambhala Publications.

Wolin, Sheldon S. (2008). Democracy, Inc.: Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Is Endless War Our Human Destiny?

A Simple Plan to Change the Course of History

Glen T. Martin

July 19, 2022      www.oneworldrenaissance.com

The brutal conflict in Ukraine is on everybody’s mind today.  Russia has invaded, it claims, out of self-defense against having a hostile, nuclear armed member of NATO directly adjacent to its western border.  The US and NATO countries are pouring billions of dollars of military equipment into Ukraine to stiffen the resistance to the invasion and prolong the conflict in the hopes of weakening and exhausting their perceived enemy, Russia. The good people of Ukraine are the victims, with prolonged war and stiff resistance causing ever greater destruction of their lives, homes, and livelihoods.

Journalist Chris Hedges published a recent article in Salon entitled “NATO’s endless expansion threatens endless war—and potential nuclear holocaust.”   Originally created in 1949 as a military alliance against the former Soviet Union, with the dissolution of that Union in 1991, NATO has made it clear that it has no intention of ending its reign of military intrusions worldwide. Hedges writes:

NATO expanded its footprint, violating promises to Moscow, once the Cold War ended, to incorporate 14 countries in Eastern and Central Europe into the alliance. It will soon add Finland and Sweden. It bombed Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo. It launched wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya, resulting in close to a million deaths and some 38 million people driven from their homes. It is building a military footprint in Africa and Asia. It invited Australia, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea, the so-called “Asia Pacific Four,” to its recent summit in Madrid at the end of June. It has expanded its reach into the Southern Hemisphere, signing a military training partnership agreement with Colombia, in December 2021. It has backed Turkey, with NATO’s second largest military, which has illegally invaded and occupied parts of Syria as well as Iraq. Turkish-backed militias are engaged in the ethnic cleansing of Syrian Kurds and other inhabitants of north and east Syria.

The USA, the leading member of NATO, cloaks its global military strategies under the guise that its empire is a collective effort of European nations to maintain what it calls a “rules based international order,” that is, an international order in which the empire dictates the rules. NATO provides cover by acting as what US President George W. Bush called “a coalition of the willing.”  As Presidents Trump and Biden have made clear, if Europe is going to benefit from the Empire, it must pay some of the costs of empire.  But military action is always destructive of people’s lives, homes, and livelihoods, as evidenced by the tens of millions of refugees this string of military actions has produced around the globe.

Hedges points out that one of the consequences of this new Cold War (cold wars are never cold for their millions of victims in endless “limited” military actions around the world) has forced Russia and China together in a military alliance designed to fight back against the NATO terror.  Nuclear holocaust is closer to becoming an actuality than ever before in its sordid history, and climate change goes unaddressed as extremely costly military action takes priority around the globe over action to save the environment.

The empire, of course, is not about military destruction for its own sake. It is about protecting the dominance of the US dollar worldwide as the global reserve currency, and it is about ensuring that the globalized “free market” economic system is enforced everywhere on the planet. Any nation challenging the “right” of US multinational corporations to penetrate and often dominate its economy becomes a target for subversion, destruction, or overthrow, as clearly happened, for example, in Chile, Vietnam, Cuba, Libya, and Venezuela and endless lesser-known examples.

As many articles in the Journal of Globalization Studies have pointed out, the Westphalian system of so-called independent sovereign nation-states has never approximated a collection of equal, atomistic territorial entities but has always involved one or a few of the most powerful nations dominating the rest militarily and economically. My own recent article in the May 2021 issue of that journal emphasizes the radical nature of the democratic ideal, and idea that has never been realized to date anywhere on the planet.  This is precisely because this world system makes democracy impossible anywhere as long as its present anti-democratic institutions remain in place.

The ideology of the system states that democracy is possible within each atomistic territorial entity, but this entirely ignores the global economy that dictates much of the internal life, debt, and economic difficulties of these entities.  It also ignores the militarized power differential in which the democratic decisions of each population mean little if they disagree with the “rules-based” dictates of the empire. Take, as one recent example, Greece, in which the people of Greece voted overwhelmingly to ignore their debt to the European banks.  This democratic vote carried zero weight, and the people of Greece were forced by the international banking system (in this case led by Germany) into crippling austerity and deprivation.

Democracy is not possible at the level of nation-state territories because the world is globalized both economically and militarily and ultimate decisions and conditions come from the empire not from the citizens of each country. Democracy is the philosophical understanding that human dignity and freedom should be the foundations for government and that all conflicts should be decided justly and nonviolently by courts and other social agencies. In other words, democracy constitutes a peace-system in which government both represents the dignity and freedom of people and protects a nonviolent order in which conflicts are solved socially and judicially rather than by war or violence.

It should be clear from the above that, if democracy is ever to succeed on the Earth it will have to be world democracy. The centers of military and economic power ignore and marginalize the movement for democratic world federal government that has been going on since World War I for the very reason that that this alternative would transform their world system from one of violence and injustice to one of justice, peace, and freedom (in which they have little interest).  On the other hand, the leaders and visionaries of this global democratic movement have written the Constitution for the Federation of Earth that serves as both an ideal and a blueprint for a democratic world system.

There have been a number of constitutions written for the Earth, but the Earth Constitution is the only one that truly establishes planetary democracy precisely because it takes power away from the undemocratic few and places legitimate power in the World Parliament representing the common good of the planet as a whole and the democratic aspirations of the people of Earth from some 1000 localities worldwide. Other constitutions attempt to compromise by retaining an inordinate power for the system of sovereign nations, resulting more in a reformed UN system rather than in global democracy. 

Under the Earth Constitution the World Parliament, operating through the World Administration and the World Financial Administration, takes the economic decision-making power away from the 1% of super rich and their powerful corporations and places it in the hands of that body predicated on the common good of all.  Similarly, the Earth Constitution demilitarizes the nations and makes them democratic administrative districts within the integrated whole, not militarized islands of illusory independence within a global system that denies independence at every turn, and no longer having the power to create militarized agents of empire like NATO.

The philosophy of democracy begins from the assumption of the equal human dignity of each person and asks how we can organize society to protect and enhance that dignity.  Today’s dominant planetary economic and nation-state systems deny in practice exactly this dignity, despite their ideological slogans.  The economic system is predicated on the unlimited accumulation of private wealth, not on human rights or dignity, and the world system of militarized nation-states inherently violates human dignity in their very willingness to bomb, murder, and destroy perceived enemies. If people really have the dignity and rights asserted in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, then war becomes impossible, just as economic domination and exploitation become impossible.

We cannot slowly evolve this corrupt world system toward global democracy because its premises are the opposite of democracy. Rather than human dignity, the premise of the global economic system is the unlimited accumulation of private wealth, and the premise of the military system is the “right” to destroy perceived enemies, extra-judicially and outside the rules of law and justice. The Earth Constitution forms a blueprint for a global democracy that is free of these anti-democratic premises from the beginning.  Every agency and every principle in the Constitution is based on human dignity, universal rights, and a social order that empowers and protects these values.

The Earth Constitution, therefore, serves as a simple template for changing the course of human history precisely because it abandons the false premises of the so-called “modern” world system and establishes the democratic World Parliament on the true premises of human rights, dignity, and freedom. As we have seen, these values can only be realized at the global level.  At the local level of nation-states, they will always be perverted by the globalized big money system and the militarized world power system.

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth provides concrete steps for creating this decent democratic world system based on human dignity and freedom, steps already begun by its many supporters, steps that can give our children the promise of a redeemed and fulfilled human civilization rather than a future of endless war and destruction under the present world system.  The people must make the peace. It is up to the people of Earth to take these steps and collectively demand a world system premised on dignity, freedom, and justice rather than on arbitrary wealth and power. Neither the super-rich, nor the rules of the empire, are going to give us a credible human future, only endless wars, economic cruelty, and ultimately extinction of the human project.  If we care about our future, let us act together in solidarity to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.


Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  Online at www.earthconstitution.world.   In print with the Institute for Economic Democracy Press, Appomattox, VA, 2010 and 2014.

Engdahl, F. William (2018). Manifest Destiny: Democracy as Cognitive Dissonance. Wiesbaden, Germany: Mine Books.

Hedges, Chris (2022). “NATO’s endless expansion threatens endless war—and potential nuclear holocaust.” Salon Magazine: .  https://www.salon.com/2022/07/12/natos-endless-expansion-threatens-endless–and-potential-nuclear-holocaust/

Johnson, Chalmers (2004). The Sorrows of Empire. Militarism, Secrecy, and the End of the Republic. New York: Metropolitan Books.

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

Martin, Glen T. (2021). “Power Justice and Freedom: The Links between Global Democracy and Human Liberation.” Journal of Globalization Studies, Vol. 12, No. 1, May 2021, pp. 3-17.

McCoy, Alfred W. (2017). In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of US Global Power. Chicago: Haymarket Books.

Petras, James (2016). The End of the Republic and the Delusion of Empire. Atlanta, GA: Clarity Press.

Petras, James and Henry Veltmeyer (2004). Globalization Unmasked: Imperialism in the 21st Century. London: Zed Books.

Smith, John (2016). Imperialism in the Twenty-First Century. Globalization, Super-Exploitation, and Capitalism’s Final Crisis. New York: Monthly Review Press.

Nonviolence Actualized: What is the meaning of “Mahatma” in Mahatma Gandhi’s Name?

Glen T. Martin

http://www.oneworldrenaissance.com 4 July 2022

Gandhi’s birth name was “Mohandas K. Gandhi.” But the course of his life changed both India and the world. Something entered the world in an explicit and manifest way that had hitherto only been implicit, hidden within spiritual traditions everywhere, but with Gandhi now open and overt: he showed the real possibility and emergent actuality of truly redeeming the world, of truly emerging from our “fallen and sinful” past to a future of freedom, justice, and truth.

In India (and after Gandhi worldwide) “Mahatma” means “great soul.” In Gandhi’s life the true self (the Atman that is Brahman: the divine reality within all of us) had emerged to transcend the ego of the man Mohandas Gandhi in an active and leadership way that showed how a new world is possible for us all—a world beyond war and violence. The transformational reality of the immanent divine is not simply for a few recluses and mystics on the sidelines of human civilizational advance. Our destiny is to actualize a human reality and civilization of freedom, justice, and truth. In a word, a planetary civilization of nonviolence.

This brief article sketches out a few aspects of this new dimension that Gandhi revealed to the world. Perhaps it is particularly appropriate at a time when the entire world is rabid for war, whether pro or con, in the Ukraine, and when a new so-called “Cold War” is raging between nations that would preserve a global empire and those who would foster a so-called “multipolar” world system. Both options ignore Gandhi’s revelation and the deeper truth he brought to civilization.

Both options hasten human descent toward oblivion and extinction. Nuclear war, like unstoppable climate disaster, immanently threaten humanity, while most people take this or that side in the on-going slaughter of the world’s local wars. It is so much easier to indulge our passions with local issues than to see the frightening big picture and direct our energies toward the human transcendence necessary for the very survival of civilization.

For a number of years, when in New Delhi, I would stay with Swami Agnivesh in the apartments he maintained there. Swami Agnivesh was himself a great leader in India in the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi. He repudiated all the rituals, temples, and dogmas of Hinduism and proclaimed universal truth embracing all religions and spiritualities emerging from the ancient scriptures of India and the world, a truth that embraced the untouchables, women, the poor, the landless, and those enslaved by bonded labor. In 2019, I was a guest speaker at a huge conference on the Vedas that he organized in New Delhi, attended by swamis and spiritual leaders from around India and internationally. My speech, one of the few in English, was about the inspirational legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.

In the same apartment complex where Swami Agnivesh lived there was an organization called “World Without Borders.” Intrigued by that name I knocked on their door and encountered their leader, not a person of religious colors but a person of deep thought and insight, who invited me in for tea. He told me that to explain the meaning of his organization would take some time. Was I willing to invest a couple of hours to learn about their work? I agreed, and during the next two hours I was treated to an incredible feast of both Indian and civilizational wisdom.

In their practice, they accepted young people into a program that involved retreats as well as sometimes living as part of a community they sponsored in the countryside. To go through their educational program could take months, even years. Using a whiteboard and marker, he showed me the worldview behind their program that transformed young people not into Gandhian activists explicitly, but into leaders who understood that our world has no borders, no borders that are real. Borders remain a collective illusion that destroy our human potential for a liberated life.

He went into an analysis of capitalism that showed the set of gigantic illusions on which that ideology is based, with negative consequences everywhere, and he went into the world of nations and nationalisms revealing that these national borders were all products of a human imagination lost in divisions and fragmentations. None of it was real. None of it was valid. A free person lives his or her life as a whole, as an integrated free being, not succumbing to this fragmentation of imagining the borders to be real. Borders are an illusion that leads to conflict, hate, fear, and war. The astonishing thing about my teacher during this encounter was that he appealed only to reason, to analysis, and not to any religious traditions or texts.

While listening in rapt attention to his presentation, I thought of many associations with spiritual traditions. In Buddhism, the borderless world arises from insight into pratityasamutpada, the interdependent co-arising of all beings. The deep reality of existence is a whole, a oneness that does not take sides in the fragmented chaos of ego-generated borders—those arbitrary distinctions and discriminations that engender eternal war, violence, and human suffering. All such violent discriminations lack, as 2nd century Buddhist thinker Nārgārjuna puts this, swabhava character—they lack reality or “own being” (see Martin 1991).

American philosopher Nolan Pliny Jacobson observes that the illusion of swabhava applies directly to “sovereign nation-states.” He writes: “The major obstacle [to planetary civilization] is the kind of selfhood in which the terrors of the modern nation are rooted. It is the archaic legacy of a self-substance, mutually independent of all others, which supports the entire superstructure of Western nations” (1982, 41). The free person sees through the illusion that these distinctions correspond to realities and therefore is free of attachment to them—the attachments that lead to violence, hate, fear, and other forms of suffering.

This presentation on a world without borders also reminded me of that collection of spiritualities called “Hinduism.” The ego-self must be transcended by finding the deep self (Atman) within—with the result that every human being, every person is then seen as a manifestation of God against whom violence cannot be used. Gandhi’s karma yoga arose from this realization. This includes of course the aggressors, the criminals, and murderers of this world. Their own ignorance of the truth within themselves is no ground for our doing violence against them. The Maha Upanishad declares vasudhaiva kutumbakam: the world is one family: all persons are brothers and sisters.

My friend teaching me about a world without borders was showing me the implications of freeing ourselves from the propaganda and ideological, deep ignorance of the world. He was showing that there are real, rational alternatives to violence. In every encounter, in every case, there are alternatives to violence even against the aggressors and the so-called “bad” people.

This was exactly Gandhi’s point as well. We can break the chain of violence not only in our personal lives but as groups, nations, and civilization. It is time we stopped accusing one another and crying out: “I will stop if he stops first. He is the aggressor. I am only using violence in self-defense.” Rather, we need to say: “The buck stops here. It stops with me. It stops with us. Neither I nor we will be a link in this endless chain of violence.”

Within my own life I was confronted by this choice early-on during the Vietnam War. The USA then had a military draft, and I was drafted to serve in the military. Legal application to be recognized as a “conscientious objector” to war was possible, but it was not enough to be against a single war that one did not agree with. One had to be against all war, all violence. I was forced by circumstances to think of principles that only later did I find in the philosophical literature on nonviolence.

Later, as Chairperson of the Peace Studies Program at my university, there would be occasions when people recognized and praised the fact that I had been a conscientious objector to war as a young man of college age. But this praise rang hollow as soon as they realized I was against all war, really against all war. My stance became incomprehensible to them. Most people want to make exceptions. They are unwilling to become borderless, to give up their ego attachments and consequent violence.

This presentation in New Delhi about a “world without borders” also reminded me of Christianity. I was born into Christian family. The first person in my life as a young man who appeared to me as truly educated was my pastor at Lake Avenue Baptist Church in Rochester, NY. I used to take notes in his sermons on Sunday mornings. He was non-confrontational in his sermons because the Vietnam War was raging, and sons of church members were in the military.

Nevertheless, he spoke of collective guilt, of realizing that none were innocent, of no “good guys” versus “bad guys.” He emphasized the story of the good Samaritan, the stranger from a foreign land who cared for the wounded, while those of the same background acted out of fear and distrust. He underlined the “great commandment” of Matthew 22 in which Jesus says that the entire law and the prophets are summed up in two related principles: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. And, like unto it, you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Who is my neighbor? Everyone on the planet.

Mahatma Gandhi was profoundly influenced by Christianity. During Gandhi’s struggles against apartheid in South Africa, one of his friends was a Christian pastor who asked Gandhi to read the Gospels and also to read Tolstoy. Tolstoy was the great Russian writer who only realized, later in his life, what Jesus was saying. He realized that the Gospels were talking about real transformation, really getting rid of the borders, really seeing all men and women as brothers and sisters.

Gandhi did read the scriptures and got the message. He said that the message was also there in the Bhagavad Gita (his own favorite Hindu scripture), just as it was also there in Buddhism. The principle is called the golden rule and is found in all the world’s great religions and cultures. My latest book called The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet (2021) concludes with reflection on the golden rule. We will not only fail to solve the problem of war without the golden rule; we will fail to solve the problem of climate collapse as well.

Gandhi writes: “The basic principle on which the practice of nonviolence rests is that what holds good in respect of oneself holds good equally in respect of the whole universe. All mankind in essence are alike….” “It is man’s imagination,” he writes, “that divides the world into warring groups of enemies and friends. In the ultimate resort it is the power of love that acts even in the midst of the clash and sustains the world” (1998, 303). The Golden Rule means that “all mankind in essence are alike.” What “holds good” for me holds good for all.

Gandhi clearly understood the meaning of a “world without borders.” Man’s imagination creates the borders. In reality, love sustains the world. Unlike Jesus, who was deified by Christianity, Gandhi was just a human being who showed what is possible for all of us as ordinary human beings. All of us can embrace nonviolence. We can confront the unjust of the world not with weapons, but with our authentic bodies and voices. Nonviolence, for Gandhi, however, does not mean that we refrain from speaking truth to power and calling out the propagandists for what they are. Gandhi was clear on this point. Truth needs to be spoken.

You cannot have effective non-violence without rational analysis showing how the ideology of absolute borders and their implicit violence works. Gandhi wrote: “False notions of propriety or fear of wounding susceptibilities often deter people from saying what they mean and ultimately land them on the shores of hypocrisy. But if nonviolence of thought is to be evolved in individuals or societies or nations, truth has to be told however harsh or unpopular it may appear to be for the moment” (1998, 305).

Indeed, Gandhi called out capitalism for what it is. Capitalism (as opposed to the capitalist), he said, must be abolished and “the entire social order reconstructed” for under capitalism “the few ride on the backs of the millions.” Similarly, the modern state is “violence in a concentrated and organized form” (1972, 120-132). If the modern state is organized violence, organized around “imaginary” borders and absolute fragmentation of the world into warring parts, then it must be analyzed and repudiated. (My own writings name this as a “war-system” that is comprised of so-called “sovereign nation-states.”) If this is the case, then, nonviolence, the realization of the divine ground within human life, requires a complete transformation and demilitarization of the world system.

Under the world’s present war mania, an historically Christian Europe has divided itself into warring factions, Eastern Orthodox Russia versus Roman Catholic Western Europe, goaded by Protestant USA. But all this is clearly a travesty of Christ’s teachings. Jesus Christ was willing to die for the truth without doing violence to the forces of evil surrounding him and murdering him. He was willing to be a sacrifice so that others might live.

In the Hindu tradition, the word “sacrifice” translates as tapasya. Gandhi writes: “The tapasya of Jesus Christ, boundless though it was, was not sufficient for Europe’s need. Europe has disapproved Christ. Through ignorance, it has disregarded Christ’s pure way of life” (1998, 303). Europe, and by extension the world’s war-system, in tandem with its profit and power system (capitalism), has drowned the world in a propaganda of pure lies, pure violence, pure injustice. The only pure way of life is nonviolence.

The Constitution for the Federation of Earth treats the borders between and among peoples as human-created administrative districts, necessary to protect human rights and dignity but without the mythic reality now attributed to them. It protects their integrity under Article 14, as well as by creating a world peace system as a framework for that integrity. For this very reason, it can and does abolish all militarism from the world while providing democratic mechanisms for decision-making and resolving conflicts. The conception of absolutely “sovereign nation-states” only solidifies borders through lies and violence. Only the people of Earth are truly sovereign as stated in Article 2.

Gandhi himself called for a world federal system, a system in which nations were no longer “violence in a concentrated and organized form,” but were colleagues in creating a decent world for all God’s children. Article 13.12 of the Earth Constitution requires the democratic Earth Federation to “assure to each child the full realization of his or her potential.” We are all interconnected. Only a world without borders can make this happen. We must end the lies. Gandhi wrote:

The way of peace is the way of truth. Truthfulness is even more important than peacefulness. Indeed, lying is the mother of violence…. There is no half-way between truth and nonviolence on the one hand and violence on the other. We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word, and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make steady progress towards it. The attainment of freedom, whether for a man, a nation, or the world, must be in exact proportion to the attainment of nonviolence by each…. The truth of a few will count, the untruth of millions will vanish even like chaff before a whiff of wind. (1998, 305)

“Lying is the mother of violence,” and the attainment of freedom is in “exact proportion to the attainment of nonviolence.” The violence of the present war and of all wars is premised on lies. The propaganda systems of capitalism and militarized sovereign nation-states are based on lies. There can be no genuine freedom under this system, only an endless chain of violence and war.

The truths that absolute borders are an illusion, that we are all one, and that the golden rule is the most fundamental principle of all human interactions, are the only possible framework for peace. All else, all the justifications for wars and violence flying back and forth across the world constitutes “the untruth of millions.”

This is why they called him the “Mahatma,” the great-souled one. He showed that entire nations and all of civilization can be based on nonviolence. “Clinging to truth, satyagraha, reveals our only possible way into a credible future. The Earth Constitution is our blueprint for making this happen.

Constitution for the Federation of Earth.  Found online at www.earthconstitution.world and in print with the Institute for Economic Democracy Press, 2010 and 2014.
Gandhi, Mahatma (1972). All Men Are Brothers: Collected Writings of Mahatma Gandhi. Ed. Krishna Kripalami, New York, UNESCO and Columbia University Press.
Gandhi, Mahatma (1986). The Moral and Political Writings of Mahatma Gandhi. Ed. Ragharan Iyer, Vol. 2., Oxford University Press.
Gandhi, Mahatma (1998) “On Satyagraha” in Social and Political Philosophy. James P. Sterba, ed.  New York: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
Jacobson, Nolan Pliny (1982) “A Buddhistic-Christian Probe of Our Endangered Future,” in The Eastern Buddhist, Vol. XV, No. 1, p. 41.
Martin, Glen T. (1991). “Deconstruction and Breakthrough in Nietzsche and Nāgārjuna” in Graham Parks, ed., Nietzsche and Asian Thought. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, pp. 91-111.
Martin, Glen T. (2021). The Earth Constitution Solution: Design for a Living Planet. Independence, VA: Peace Pentagon Press.
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