Conversations with the future takes approximately 10 mins to read.
“Learn what is true in order to do what is right.”
Conversations with the future
Have you ever spoken to someone from the future? Over the course of a few blogs I am going to publish my conversations with an imaginary future human being. I encourage you to try it, to take a paper and pen and answer the questions as asked. It is a journey which deepens our connections and helps sustain us through these difficult times.
There will be three separate conversations each building on the last, so I invite you to hold fast, be brave and enter into this place with curiosity.
Work That Reconnects
Joanna Macy, a remarkable woman, is the lead developer of a collection of incredible practices which are used by facilitators of the Work That Reconnects to create an experiential workshop.
11 years ago I had the privilege of attending a workshop with Joanna and have since then gone on to facilitate this work myself. The practice I am about to share had a profound impact on me and is one I have been fortunate enough to revisit several times since.
Life sustaining communities
These conversations assume that humans have survived into the future, two hundred years from now. They are living in life-sustaining communities who carry a cultural memory of what is happening in our time.
Magicaly we are able to travel to a place outside of normal time and space to meet them, a future human being, someone very like you and me living approximately 7 generations from now.
They have a question for us;
Ancestor, I greet you. It’s so amazing to meet you because all my life I have heard stories from teachers and grandparents about the time you are living in. Some of the things I’ve heard I find hard to believe, so I’d like to check them out with you.
They say that in your time there are a few people richer than the richest ancient kings, while billions of people are without enough food or shelter or clean water. They tell us that in your time bombs are being made that can blow up whole cities. We know about that, but they say you know about it too, right when the bombs are being made.
They tell us that whole species of animals and plants are going extinct. We know about that, too, because gone is gone. But they tell us you know about that while it’s happening. Is that true?… And if it is true, what’s that like for you?
Each of us will answer in our own unique way from our own perspective at the time in which we are asked. Each time we answer it may be different. There is no right or wrong. By engaging we enter into a process which helps us to reconnect through time.
It is true
It is true, we live in a time when there is great inequality, suffering and injustice amongst people. I feel ashamed we are still in this situation, that as a species with so much potential, we continue this destructive way of life.
War and famine thrive, affecting those in greatest need on our planet. It has caused mass migration of people meaning some live in refugee camps with little hope of moving on to somewhere better. Those who escape often face rejection from, or persecution in countries where they try to seek help.
Abundance and plenty
Meanwhile many live lives of abundance and plenty. We have normalised waste in our culture of consumerism which programmes us to constantly want more. Even if something is still viable and useful it may be discarded for the next shiny version dangled before us.
While millions starve for want of any food at all, these affluent people waste it. Companies throw it away during growing and processing if it’s not perfect. Then, because they often buy more than they need, people actually discard food others could have eaten. They let it rot at the back of their refrigerators while shopping for more.
Despite lives of plenty increasing numbers of these people are not healthy or well. The food they eat is no longer natural. It comes from huge agricultural systems that spray the fields with toxins to control and manage the pests. It poison the crops and degrades the soil, leaving little nourishment.
Countries and companies poach water from those who need it, redirecting it to enable the wheels of consumerism to keep turning. Seas, lakes and rivers have all dried up, been damned or redirected leaving many without water to drink.
This whole system creates harmful produce which is then further processed into substances we call food. It is often laced with sugar and caffeine to make it addictive.
Many animals and fish are bred in huge protein factories called farms. Here they are raised intensively, pushed beyond anything natural to provide food as fast as possible for the ever hungry system. Those who eat these products are unwell and increasingly develop chronic illnesses. They are malnourished and starving for nutrition.
Separated from what is natural and healthy they seek help from a medical system now dominated by the pharmaceutical industry. These businesses increasingly create products which have people hooked for life.
Those in need end up taking more and more of their poisonous pills to try and feel better. They never do. It’s an illusion.
Many of our doctors have lost sight of what it means to be vibrantly healthy and well. They have no idea how to help someone actually recover from illness. They only know how to suppress the symptoms, cut out the problems or attack the diseased tissues with radiation and toxins.
It is another form of warfare, against our own selves.
Everywhere on our planet the mentality of war pervades our lives. We “fight” everything. Terror, cancer, viruses anything can perceived as a threat which needs controlled or eradicated.
Our Governments are constantly looking for an enemy, someone or something to go up against. Funding a corrupt and immoral weapons industry, wars are created over oil, water, land, anything which means the whole destructive wheel can keep turning.
Those pulling the triggers are themselves victims of this ghastly militarised tyranny which lays waste as it spreads across the globe. Fuelled by lies and constructed hatred whole cultures have been decimated and ancient ways of life completely devastated.
There seems no end to this craziness at the moment. If anything it is intensifying. I can only hope these are the final death throes of this corporate military industrial complex we have collectively created.
Increasingly our lives are being digitalised. Everything is moving on-line (do you even know what they means I wonder?) More and more we make contact through our phones and computers rather than in person. Our young move further and further away from face to face communication. They refer to digital messages, past back and forth, as talking.
The illusion of separation means witch hunts are undertaken online. People go up against each other, arguing, belittling, bulling and threatening others they don’t even know. They’ve forgotten there is another human being at the end of their tirade.
Killing heathy debate
This digital age is killing healthy debate and discussion. The big corporations encourage division and segregation into “like-minds”. Funnelled down algorithmic dead ends where only those like you reside – “othering” breeds out of control.
This training in dehumanising another feeds hatred and spreads fear. Division is positively encouraged which means that every kind of ism thrives.
Pawns in the game
When minority voices try to speak up they are squashed by the dominant narrative. Driven by the big corporations who control almost everything now, including the media and Governments, lots of people have no idea what is happening due to censorship.
Pawns in the game of power and privilege many are now fodder that keeps this whole sad story alive. More for a few, fuelled and funded by less for the many.
Road of Destruction
We seem intent on this road of destruction for now. Extractavism runs riot destroying anything of value left on land and in the sea. People do not escape, many being used up and discarded by a system that barely recognises they exist at all.
The eradication of every ounce of life on earth feels like it will never end.
You ask what this is like for me.
Hard. It’s hard to see these things played out across our beautiful planet. On some days I rage, my anger so immense I feel I could flatten houses and turnover tanks with it’s ferocity.
On other days I lie on the earth and weep.
My grief feel endless and unbearable. I wonder how I will hold the pain of what is to come.
My one single human capacity feels too small, too insignificant, too inadequate to meet the need. Powerless and overwhelmed I pray. I beg for something, someone to make it all stop.
I want relieved of this knowing, it’s often too heavy to bear.
My heart is breaking.
So future being, that is my answer.
Honouring our pain
I am aware that this type of conversation can be challenging. Please bear with me for now. This is part of a process, hold fast the next questions will move us on.
The purpose of this conversation with the future is to create space to honour our pain for the world, to bear witness to what is hard on our planet. To hear how it is for a fellow human being.
For now I invite you to answer the question for yourself. Feel free to share it with me, I can hold your pain.
Our gift to the future is to tell the truth.
“Walk boldly through your life with an open, broken heart.”
Disclaimer: The views expressed here, in blog posts and on the website Change Is Always Possible are those of the author Mairi Stones alone, and do not represent the views of any associated bodies. We do not diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease or condition. Information provided in this blog is not intended to substitute advice, treatment and/or diagnosis from qualified medical and nutritional professionals.
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