Thomas More wrote Utopia in 1515. His vision was of a world of individual freedom and equality that was governed by reason. He said, “in Utopia, where every man has a right to everything, they all know that if care is taken to keep the public stores full, no private man can want anything; for among them there is no unequal distribution, so that no man is poor, none in necessity, and though no man has anything, yet they are all rich; for what can make a man so rich as to lead a serene and cheerful life, free from anxieties.” (Utopia,ch10.html)
The world has experienced communism, socialism, and capitalism; each identified a set of rules for cooperation intended for the good of all the people. Yet each has failed to achieve the perfect state that mankind professes to desire. Too many people don’t like to play fair, and these systems only work when everyone follows the same rules. The ego loves power, status, control, and possession of material things. When the gap between the haves and the have-nots grows too great, the society flounders and falls. There is no peace when all people’s basic needs are not satisfied; and even when they are, the ego becomes envious of those who have more.
Mankind has always imagined a better future for himself. Yet, the world has grown in pockets of disparity, where some countries live in prosperity, even excess, while others live in poverty and despair. It would seem that the perfect world has been elusive, but not for lack of vision.
One would think that the U.S. would be among the happiest and most peaceful places in the world. However, wealth and possessions are not predictors of peace and happiness. Faith Popcorn, futurist and founder of BrainReserve, has spent her career observing the world and predicting trends based on people’s collective interests. In 1992 she said, “For the first time ever in the history of mankind, the wilderness is safer than civilization. There are no crack vials in the wilderness, no subway murders, no asbestos, no Scuds.” (The Popcorn Report, 4)
Popcorn identifies trends that will entrench us in our homes; which she says will become our fortress and place of refuge providing us with a feeling of safety from the outside world. This will lead to distribution systems that supply our fortress. More people will work from their homes and making them intruder-proof will become much more important.
She also says, “For the first time in history, nature is no longer our ally but our enemy. We are the new endangered species.” (The Popcorn Report, 4) Popcorn predicts that our food will be grown under controlled conditions in hygienic labs. This hardly sounds like the Utopia of our dreams.
Popcorn’s predictions clearly identify the separation and fear created by the egoistic mind. If there was a bright spot in her predictions it would be a trend she calls rooting; which is a return to our spiritual roots. For it will be in the security of our spirituality that we will find what we need to prepare for the future.
Man has industrialized the world, made significant scientific breakthroughs, and developed mind boggling technologies in the hope that it will improve our lives. Yet, we always find the need to return to spirit for comfort, security, and hope.
“The future bears a great resemblance to the past, only more so.” (The Popcorn Report,xv)