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The Big Answer


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The Great Transformation: Alternative Futures for Global Society

a book by Edward Cornish

(our site's book review)

This book includes wisdom from Willis Harman, Margaret Mead and Fritjof Capra, and offers good perspectives on the future.

Harman realizes that the complex of social problems facing the world can only be addressed after a paradigm change of the type envisioned by Capra and Toffler. The problems, he says, will “. . . require changes in cultural values for their satisfactory resolution. . . . Surveys and polls by Daniel Yankelovich indicate significant value shifts among certain . . . groups, such as students and corporate executives, toward an increased emphasis on humanistic, spiritual, quality-of-life, community and similar values, and a decreased emphasis on materialistic values, status goals, and unqualified economic growth. . . . If we are indeed involved with a shifting social paradigm, it follows that the main challenge to society is to bring about the transition without shaking itself apart.” Harman goes on to caution against social engineering solutions. As part of what’s required, he states that “The industrial world badly needs a positive and inspiring image of its own future. . .”

(No image of the future ever proposed can compete with that supplied by the MC movement. See The Forest Through The Trees and Why Register for an MC?.)

Registering for MC search and match
Registering for MC search and match


Idea leading to paradigm shift
Idea leading to paradigm shift

Mead says that “We may be able to arrange it so that the more you love your family, the more you love your community, and the more you love the world. That is a possible sequence, whereas we now build a sequence that says: The more you love your family, the more you hate your neighbors, and want to beat [outshine] them; the more you care about your nation, the more you denigrate other nations.” Of course, the win-lose values most people teach their kids and the steep gradient of nurturance that describes their parenting patterns combine to ensure that the latter sequence is destined to prevail. She says we need to “. . . get the old people out of the golden ghettos and get them back into the community and give them each a child to think about [which would give families some of the extra support they need].”

Mead says we need to get the old people out of the golden ghettos and get them back into the community and give them each a child to think about
Mead says we need to get the old people out of the golden ghettos and get them back into the community and give them each a child to think about


Win-lose
Win-lose

Hugh Myers, also included in the book, points out what the misinterpreters of Maslow always completely miss: that Maslow saw the ultimate experience of self to be that of going beyond selfhood (peak experience). This is totally opposed to those that have done the me-generation thing. He also points out that “. . . 86% of the unchurched and 76% of the churched agree strongly or moderately that ‘an individual should arrive at his or her own religious beliefs independent of any churches or synagogues.” And this is important because it supports the humanitarian/independent/individualistic finding of meaning and spirituality rather than the authoritarian/dependent/mass-man/collectivist indoctrination and dogma route to spiritual strivings which end up with people going to church because they feel they’re supposed to and should be guilty and are bad if they don’t. Authoritarianism is an anachronism.

Spiritual
Spiritual