A brief introduction of the future past
In the late 20st and early 21st century, the majority of the people started losing faith in the major religions. People were fed up with the strict guidelines, inaccurate explanation of reality and evolution, the unrealistic promises of the afterlife, and the glorification of themselves that most religions preached.
However, this loss of religion had also major devastating effects during the climate crisis that arose in the 21 century. The first effect was the loss of community. Churches and mosques always functioned as communal centers, connected people together, and could provide a place to stay and offer food for the desperate ones. In good times, people gathered there, experienced joy and connected with each other. Next to that, preachers often spoke about the importance for caring for another, they collected money and cared for the poor and ill, and supported people who were in desperate need. Moreover, the books provided guidelines on how to live a good life, although some of the texts were quite multi-interprebable. But the rise of science, capitalism, and technology gave people different ideas. Information was shared rapidly, various side communities emerged, and alternative explanations of reality and evolution started to make much more sense to people. People now desired freedom and autonomy with all the available resources and opportunities. They lived a rich life. So without any religion or meaningful community to hold on, people turned to themselves in the 21st century. The individualization led people to believe they could take care of themselves, and they could to a certain degree. Supermarkets were stacked. Food, traveling, devices, clothes, and almost everything they could imagine was available for affordable prices. People swum for themselves in luxury and felt like they were the king in their own home. But at the same time, many of them felt empty inside. The loss of community made people lonely. They isolated themselves in their houses immersing themselves within digital technology having shallow contact with others. Many of the new side communities that emerged turned out to be a cheap alternative to religious communities. They revolved around gaming, sharing of pictures and videos, and other forms of instant gratification. The actual deep meaning and purpose people used to experience was lost. People now just floated around and desperately searched for many different forms to pleasure themselves, and were often trapped in rat races leading to endless extremization set-up by smart businesses.
But then, the climate crisis hit.
People were staggered when their sense of infinite supplies turned out te be false. Several climate disasters have caused the shelves to be empty, electricity to be expensive and scarce, and inflation to rise through the roof. The sense of autonomy was quickly shattered as their dependency on the global supply chain became illusively transparant. With no games to play, series to watch, updates to read, or snacks to eat, people had no other option than to go on the streets and talk to each other. The lack of supplies and damages from the disaster impact made people vulnerable and desperate in need. And it turned out that people quite enjoyed helping each other. Suddenly, they felt a real meaning of supporting others in their existence and working together on their survival. In a blink, people organized themselves meeting again in communal centers and working on very physical innovations. Large community gardens popped up that were shared with everybody, while young innovators were working on sustainable solutions to produce the necessary heat and electricity. People were sharing food at large dinner tables, and the evenings were filled with singing, games, and good conversations.
In the redevelopment of earth, people connected again to each other and experienced a real sense of meaning. They built a shared purpose and really saw and cared for each other. From this way of being for one another, new organizational structures emerged that combined meaning with self-sustaining ecosystems. These societal organizations made the foundation for bringing structure and trust back in society. And in this new world, people felt confident to raise children, regenerate nature, and to be themselves.
A concept future meaningful work organisation can be found in the video on the right. More about the future of work can be found in the article below.
Without no religious texts to fall back on, people did lose their sense of meaning, and had no explanations about why they existed and what purpose they had other than evolutionary randomness. But in rebuilding the world, people did find meaning in being there for each other and sustaining their ecosystem. And in the quiet moments, people started to philosophize and have good conversations about the purpose of life, consciousness, the origin of life and energy.
During these conversations, people found magic in the real world and wondered about their own existence. While reconnecting with nature in the process of building their communities ( see also my article about the future of work), people co-evolved with nature and started to find meaning in the development of their self-sustaining ecosystems. A self-sustaining ecosystem has peculiar dynamics of geometric patterns and harmony that some people considered sacred, while for others it provided practical guidelines for their life. Moreover, when people started to study nature intensively they found spiritual meaning in the fractal branching of trees, roots, roads, blood vessels, and in their own brain. In turn, this found a path towards a different way of looking at themselves and appreciating nature, and realizing the entangled connection. Deep meta-physical questions arose that were both fun and insightful for people. People dove into the meaning of energy, space, connection, scale, fluids, society, perspective, growth, emergence and other topics. Panpsychism became a more prevalent worldview, while Zen Buddhism, holism, permaculture, regenerative farming, and indigenous knowledge contributed to get more insights and a grasp on life, ecosystems, consciousness and existence. This co-evolved with scientific breakthroughs. Quantum mechanics paved a path for radical innovation of technology and insights about consciousness. While these insights were combined with complexity theory, chaos theory, and systems theory, and made useful to guide and study society.
In this future, people thrive in a state of holistic being. Holistic being means that people are able, and even stimulated to be who they want to be. Being accepted, loved and nourished by their environment. Holistic being implies two things. The first holism implies holistic in every aspect. Which means that people can be themselves in terms of appearance, interests, intelligence, and everything you can think of. But the second part of holism implies that everything in the world is able to be who they want to be. This thus means that although holistic being provides much freedom in terms of doing what you like to do, and being who you want to do, it also constrains the freedom if you constrain the freedom of others. People realize their connectednes to the world around them and their interdependent part in the system. Holistic being thus also implies being aligned with the world around while finding creative pathways to nourish and stimulate each other in being themselves while being connected to everything.
Being present in this very moment and experiencing the world is one of the goals of holistic being. Fears, change, pains and threats are openly discussed and worked with as they prevent the experience of holistic being. Transparency, honesty, openness, and reality, are the keywords for communication that create connectedness and a sense of holism. Traits as curiosity, creativity, questioning, and self-reflecting are stimulated to develop the self. While traits such as caring, nourishing, stimulating, and supporting are stimulated to make others thrive and being able to holistically be “between” people.
By looking at the world through a systems lens of mutual connection, people realize the interconnected holism of the universe and the holo-causality that brought them to this moment. With knowledge of systems theory and quantum mechanics, people focus more on the energy of change, the connectedness of interaction, and the mutualistic growth of nature. But on the other side, people also realize their body is materialistic in a material world. People in this future play with this entangled duality of energy and matter and find out how this connection leads to the emergence of systems. But only in this material present, where one physically is, the dynamics can be changed causing universal effects (watch this video of being on the edge of time and space).
Being in this very moment while guiding the energy of change is something that people really started to strive for. Holistically being requires the whole universe to allow you and/or stimulate you to be, including yourself. Entering such a state state of holistic being required a deep sense of reflection but also a strong sense of environmental awareness.
In this almost spiritual sense, with holistically being, the edges between the self and the environment dissolve, and people experience pure connectedness, oneness. In this state it also becomes clear to people that all systems are interconnected and isolated systems don’t exist. They feel that if other parts in the system have a difficulty to exist, then they can’t holistically exist themselves. The pain of others is felt within oneself, because the other is a part of the self.
People now act in the name of the whole but also strive to be (and sustain) themselves. People become more fluidly, creative, and adaptive in guiding energy. They resiliently find their path to sustain all the paths of the universe, and bind them together in a symbiotic system. While they are very sharp and aware of everything that physically exists around them.
A short video about looking at the world through a systems lens
Guiding processes of change, nourishing growth, and realizing symbiosis is what people look for now. But the fundamental processes that connect us together and drives the change, like the dynamics of our universe, are abstract and non-visible. Change is never really there. For example, you can see someone at a certain age but you’ll never see someone getting older ( watch this video to go more into the topic of change).
So, to get clarity in the abstractness of change, people started to build frameworks. They used the previously mentioned scientific and indigenous knowledge and practices to guide their life and provided meaning. Fundamental concepts like cycles, fractals, infinity, relativity and balance became meaningful concepts for many aspects of their life. These abstract but meaningful concepts were quickly transformed to symbols that made people able to speak about them. Moreover, it’s possible to adjust these symbols and make them process and situation specific. This found a way towards a new (visual) language (but can’t be published here yet). But below you can find several articles diving into these meaningful concepts.
A selection of articles
For some people, the theory behind energy and interconnectedness can be conceived as vague and abstract. However, it has harnesses a power that it can be transformed into experience. In this future world, rituals take place that are build on natural phenomena of change such as synchronization, phase-locking, cycle-attractors, and other peculiar dynamics. Setting the right conditions leads to an embodied experience of such processes, making the abstractness of the theory insightful. Connectedness, synchronization, fractals, and loops can be felt. Movement, dance, painting and music are some media that support the realization of these experiential rituals. With the development and use of the previously mentioned symbols and language, these processes become more clear and provide a learning opportunity. Moreover, these experiences are used in this future community to bring people together and provoke a sense of meaning and connectedness.
Communal spaces are also build with spirituality and nature in mind. Some buildings, like the one shown here was grown specifically for communal and spiritual gatherings. The ever repeating torus-shape of the building (shown on the right and below) symbolizes the self-repeating structure iterating on itself representing the iterative structure of the self, while causing interesting acoustics.
The symbols mentioned above are being used to share stories and are embedded into the structure of the buildings themselves.
Nature plays also a strong role serving a purpose of connectedness and self-reflection. But also serves a purpose for literal self-sustainment ( as discussed in my other future articles).
In this future, spirituality has no rules about how one should live their lives. Nevertheless, people have developed principles about the universe. These principles are basic assumptions that should be objectively true in order to guide people. They form the basis for many texts, talks, and conversations. These assumptions are by no mean fixed and could change and expand along with societal development or scientific discovery.
These assumptions could be used indirectly as guidelines to live one life and for how to treat others. For example, the awareness of all that exists, and the notion that you, as a nested part of all, contribute to all can create different behaviour. While the notion of the importance of loops and relative balance can guide economical principles on several scales.
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Thoughts and feedback
I know, writing about religion, spirituality and meaning is a sensitive topic. I’m sure many thoughts and question marks arose when going through this article. So, I’m very curious about your thoughts and feedback after reading this. We can exchange thoughts and I might alter the content in such a way that we can move together towards a shared future. In the end I would like to involve as many perspectives as possible when moving towards something we want to reach.
Thoughts to action
Do you see value in creating (parts of) this future? Do you want to pull this future closer by actually doing things yourself, supporting me in my journey, or collaborate together in any way? Send me a message, and lets have a chat!