“Every Christian has to proclaim the gospel. Only if necessary with words’. Francis of Assisi said it, and the past few days I kept thinking about it.
Because rarely ZeeVELD has hosted a group with so much positive (‘evangelical!’) energy. They all left recently and I’m still bouncing in my chair. Twenty five young ‘change-makers’ from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, each dedicated in their own way to promoting dialogue, empathy, intercultural understanding and a world with fewer conflicts. Brought together by Changemakerxchange for peer to peer encounters and conversations and to explore, across all borders, the possibility of new partnerships and projects.
What moved me in particular: how the participants were almost tangibly driven by the same engine or desire. What immediately made a group of relatives out of a group of ‘strangers’. As remarkable it was to notice how everyone’s ear for the inner voice resulted in a great outward-looking decisiveness.
Optimism, joy, hope, life, co-operation, wanting to improve the world, all those qualities which I always point to as being the essentials of a spiritual mindset, were abundantly present in this group. And all the while the word ‘spirituality’ was never mentioned. Well, that is: apart from the times I could not fail to bring it up.
The blueprint for the future of our Jan XVII foundation and ZeeVELD sees our mission as facilitating (inner) transition or change processes. Not because being able to travel with the spirit of times is, especially these days, such an important issue, but because the possibility of constant inner and outer change and renewal, the potential to be ‘spiritual’, is what makes a person human.
Are robots a threat? Yes. For sure, if we do not unlearn ourselves to behave like robots. As prisoners of our software and conditioning.
To be able to tackle the same things in a completely different way, is not ‘a’ human possibility, it is another word for what it means to be human.
What are the great threats of the times? Globalization? Inequality? Nationalism? The growing gap between rich and poor? Certainly. Those and more. But above all it is fear. The fear of being overrun by developments. The fear of not being able to keep up, to participate. In an existential sense: the fear to no longer exist. To not be.
The interesting thing: that fear is completely justified. For the ‘I’ we think we are, made up as it is out of all the thoughts we identify with – about good and evil, individuality and community, masculinity and femininity, foreign and home grown, property and power, life and death – is based on quicksand. Is not ’true’ in an objective sense. And will thus be taken away from us.
Anyone who is afraid that the humanity we now think of as ‘humanity’, will perish, is right, for the simple reason that it’s views about itself are built on illusions and do not do justice to its true ‘design’. The ‘civilization’ as we know it will not survive for the simple reason it is yet so very… uncivilized.
The humanity of the future knows iself to be cut out of the same cloth. Knows that ‘the other is I’. And behaves accordingly.
Thank you, dear guests of Changemakerexchange for lifting a tip of the veil. In the distance one could sense that new, indestructible and so very spiritual, humanity.