When the Lion Lies Down With the Lamb

 6 The wolf will live with the lamb,
the leopard will lie down with the goat,
the calf and the lion and the yearling together;
and a little child will lead them.
7 The cow will feed with the bear,
their young will lie down together,
and the lion will eat straw like the ox.
8 The infant will play near the cobra’s den,
and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.
9 They will neither harm nor destroy
on all my holy mountain,
for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD
as the waters cover the sea.

(Isaiah 11:6-9)

Will the lion (or wolf, as it actually states) ever lie down with the lamb? That evocative image of a dreamlike impossibility from Isaiah forms the frontispiece of the United Nations entrance, but it would seem to be as far from Earthly realisation as ever. Or is it? It speaks of a time when the weak and strong will be able to dwell together, with the gentle lamb having nothing to fear from the lion. It may not yet be upon us, but several changes happening to society will make this possible at last.

One thing is the rise of a technological equality that previous societies couldn’t even have imagined. That is, through the medium of technology, democratically distributed, there are spaces and forums to which anyone can have access, pretty much regardless of background. Already, millions around the world have access to the internet in some way or another. When the next generation of interactive internet emerges, it will be an even greater part of our lives. It doesn’t mean everyone will be absolutely equal in their worldly status, the flattening affect won’t go that far. Personal development and effort will go a long way to defining people then as now, yet background will have a lot less sway. The society we presently live in is comparatively feudal in the emphasis paid to birthplace and parents. This will be increasingly unsustainable in the future.

The reason why the lamb will be able to lie with the lion is from having nothing to fear anymore from his bite. The lion, seeing clearly the benefits of the trusting and gentle ways of the lamb will likewise be freed from the primitive aggression he once felt towards those weaker than him, in a system so devoted to physical survival. Although self-restraint is currently urged upon the strong, in a world where such strength is seen as one of many attributes and not necessarily the most important one, mutual respect will make such consideration natural.

The words are held to refer both to nations and to individuals. The prophecy states that there will be a ‘healing of nations’ making this possible. This suggests reconciliation and forgiveness, though not necessarily forgetfulness. The memories will be shared as a heritage of primitive times that have long passed, ‘long’ referring to cultural distance and developmental progress, not just Earthly years. They won’t be angrily brought up, as the sense of reconciliation will have made such resentment impossible. The same will be in the personal space. Inner reconciliation will be the theme, not only forgiving in this way those that have wronged us, but more deeply reconciling the ‘strong’ and ‘gentle’ parts of ourselves, so that they healthily co-exist. Whilst much of history has been the story of bullies and their victims, the strong and the weak, a new chapter of humanity will open in which these roles are rendered redundant.

Technological advances will play their part in this, with the brightest designers fully aware of their millennial achievements. The technology will reflect the advances in thought and identity, not bringing such essential progress in itself. A society will emerge finding much more time and pleasure in enlightened learning, yet will appreciate the small features of daily life all the more as well, seeing them as just as much a part of the whole as larger issues.. As our hearts pulse more nearly as one in this peaceful unity, means to share experience with no delay, immediately even, will be fully developed. ‘computers’ will no more be the PCs we use now, though there may be data centers of a sort holding and backing up the great stores of information accumulated, just as there are now. Yet the usual ‘computer’ will be a light, wrist-watch like device capable of holographic projections to produce a whole field of interaction. The somewhat ‘ghostly’ nature of 3D as we now experience it will be far richer and more involving, and in fact will involve projections viewable from any angle, yet subtly different from matter all the same.

Although much of the arts will be digitised to be presented in such a manner, this won’t mean an abandonment of the analogue realm, as in many cases tools that create directly into the digital space will for a long time be far cruder and unexpressive than their analogue equivalents, which themselves evolved over centuries. It will still be easier to digitise a very sensitively produced analogue work than to improve a simplistic digital creation, for example digitising a marble sculpture rather than trying to achieve the same level of depth and feeling in CG. What digital will bring along with the greater convenience are its virtues of easy accessibility and near-infinite reproduction. In fact, in the wake of such great advanced in both the analogue and digital realms, a new field will open up before us like never before, but need even more careful guardianship; the genetic phase, in which life itself is created, modified and attempts are made to improve.

End of the World

Many have been drawn by the Mayan calendar ending this December, with the more sensational commentary reducing this to a possible physical end of the world. Yet the very definition of world need not refer to our physical habitation. There is the other use of the term, which means the human world, the one we make and maintain, though once we live in it, a place that seems just as slid and unchangeable as our natural environment. Yet as we all know, this world can and does change, evolving as we do, after all it is we ourselves who build and maintain it.

In this sense the Mayans may be seen to have a remarkable intuitive wisdom, as that world, as we know it, in the process of a very deep transformation, which is experiencing sudden shifts as we speak. Just staying for the moment with the well-publicised world events that are covered by international media, there has been a revolution of sorts just in this year. The so-called ‘Arab Spring’ has gained momentum and though the final political-social arrangements are still unclear, we can hope that liberal democracy rises above the temptation to retreat into an ethnocentric, ‘Islamic’ set of dictatorships not too different from what went before.

Meanwhile, the American right-wing, stung by a crushing defeat in the presidential elections, may well never again field a candidate with some of the horrifically prejudiced policies offered. The possibility of an increasingly optimistic and liberal-minded America is increasingly likely. Gay marriage and other civil liberties seem to be receiving more support than ever before and with them a civil-rights oriented ethos we haven’t seen for some time.

Seeing the world more broadly in time, the last few decades have given us a more united Europe ever less likely to erupt in war, the end of the cold war with Russia and the gradual opening up of China, with only a few states such as North Korea still in a state of ideological antagonism with Western democracy. The world may well not be entirely safe, but it does indeed seem safer from such possibilities of total destruction as offered by the cold war’s nuclear stand-off.

Of all of this is interpretation, analysis and possibly just wishful thinking, one can feel a certain hope in the air. That the cruel ages of man, with all their prejudice, exploitation and even slavery are giving way to a more enlightened age, where the rights and value of the individual are held in high regard and the world itself, freed from poisonous extremes of hatred, is a safer place to dwell in. Such a process may well take time and even generations of effort, education and the will to make a better, fairer and kinder world. One can smell catch a whiff of its fragrance in the air, though… Such a kinder world is coming, as we ourselves will soon settle for nothing less, as we evolve within, so will the world we collectively make reflect this.

Towards a New Humanity

It is quite clear to us here that the only solution to the challenges posed by this moment is to press forward with the most important change of all- a change to ourselves. Whilst personal transformation has been a theme for centuries, the potential for humanity to evolve as one has only recently been seen as a possibility. At this point, we hold, it is in fact a necessity for the continued survival of the human race. Our technology has reached a point of no return.

It has reached the point where we either use it to transform our way of interacting with our planet, to make it both post-industrial and harmonious with the ecosystems surrounding us, that we have realised with increasing clarity we are dependent upon- or use it to wipe our sorry asses off the face of the planet before we become a danger to the planets surrounding ours. In this there is a failsafe to nuclear technology; only a peaceful, harmonious society can hope to survive the advent of a nuclear age. One overcome by self-centeredness and blinkered enslavement to special interests will quite simply self-destruct, before it spreads.

Looking at the challenges that face us, we would be well-advised to remember this central and well-designed truism of universe existence. The path to having god-like power is also the path to god-like responsibility and the consideration of others this brings, and in this context I include not only humans, but the rich variety of life with whom we share our planetary existence.

Everything that has happened thus far can be seen as a warning shot, a shot above the bows, fired by no external enemy, but by us, towards us, warning ourselves of the responsibilities to ourselves and the planet we hold. There was once a time to record history, there was once a time to speak of history’s own unfoldment, yet now has come a sudden rush of something that can only be called consciousness, not only the consciousness of a few individuals, but one on a planetary level.

Let us look at the year, look at the calendar and we will see how little time is left, mere moments of this illusion we call time. In these moments, we have to learn new ways, ways in keeping with our enlarged sense of selfhood, fired by our ascendant technology. A world on the verge of discoveries of deep space travel, time travel and on the cusp of computing power that could peer into the very structure of this mathematically-designed universe itself, must awake to itself, must awake to it’s own internal unity; it’s various members being parts of one body, a body that is waking into consciousness of itself and it’s place in the universe.

In many ways, this is the last year before the great beginning. This is a time of great and dramatic change, a sudden unfoldment of evolution, by the end of which former things will be no more. A natural, sustainable world in terms of energy, politics, human inter-relations is the only way forward and it is becoming clearer and clearer all the time. As our dreams, both personal and collective, come closer to fruition, we will all the more strongly reject that which is not in accord with them. For we are not so much being remade by some hypothetical outside force, as remaking ourselves, being ultimately the arbiters of our own destinies, the co-creators of ourselves. A process we are all the more conscious of, as the moment dawns when we can stand upright in mind and heart, as well as merely in bipedal form. A moment in which we will be in touch as never before with who we are, aware as never before of that divine spark burning brightly within us and ready as never before to resume contact with our ancestors, who have cared so lovingly for us for all these years.

Straight, No Chaser.

A Traditional Photography Blog - dehk © 2016

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