The Inaugural Address
Of the First President of the World Union
Contrary to popular analysis and thinking, the worldwide Crisis which we face – one which is poised to destroy all human life – is not one which finds its ultimate cause in any combination of political, economic, national, or racial factors. Thanks to the exponential growth of knowledge in the various fields of physical science (including neuro-psychology), and also in the realms of behavioral sciences such as psychology and sociology, we now know with certainty that the various forms of individual and collective violence (war) which have plagued man since antiquity are not fundamentally due to any factors which lie in his exterior life.
The real cause of all forms of violence and injustice lies within man. It is constituted by a kind of "original sin" which is the essential root of all his destructive tendencies, and which, if it is not transcended, will be the cause of his final and total self-destruction. We are now at that juncture in human history where we must realize that we possess only two choices. We ignore this truth and perish as a species, or we face up to it, and take those measures necessary to insure our collective transcendence beyond this fundamental flaw in human nature.
What is this flaw, this "original sin"? We must first realize that it is not constituted by any of the ideas, feelings, desires which are the natural fruits of the almost infinite variety of human life. All these are simply expressions of life, energy, and creativity in its natural evolutionary expansiveness and growth. They are therefore also expressions of that fundamental charity and openness towards others which constitutes the very opposite of that exclusiveness which leads to selfishness and violence. It is of course true that our desires can come into conflict with one another, but these conflicts are relatively minor expressions of selfishness, entail minimal degrees of violence and civil disorder, can be seen as the normal consequences of humanity's "growing pains", and are controllable through the ordinary means of our legal systems. In other words, such conflicts are not part of that fundamental threat to humanity of which we here speak.
No, the power that destroys life on a massive and unacceptable scale lies not in growth and expansion, but rather in contraction. It can only consist, therefore, in whatever exists in human consciousness and thinking that prevents this growth and evolution. Further, this "original sin" must also be seen as the genesis of all those forces in human personality which are diametrically opposed to openness to other persons and thus to their particular variations in thinking, belief, and values. It is this fundamentally anti-social flaw, ensconced deeply in man's present nature, which must be transcended and eliminated if mankind is to survive beyond the present crisis.
It becomes obvious, therefore, that the original sin of man lies in Absolutism – that fundamental pride of life by which an individual or group claims the possession of a Truth which is static and unchangeable, a Truth which is not subject to the universal laws of growth and evolution, a Truth which excludes the validity of the opinion and beliefs of others, and a Truth therefore which logically excludes and denigrates the personhood of others. In one word, original sin consists in Dogmatism. Dogmatism can simply be defined as any claim to Absolute Truth which is exclusive of any other truth, and is not open to evolutionary growth, change, and dialogue
It is important at this point to be very clear on one absolutely essential point. No belief, opinion, religious idea or form of worship (except those which involve human sacrifice or are by their very nature exclusive of the dignity of others) is to be condemned for its substantial content. The Constitution of the New World Union embraces all religions and is committed to the defense of complete freedom of religious belief and expression. Without such freedom the Great Dialogue of Ideas which is essential to the evolution of the human spirit can only experience suffocation. Nothing, and we repeat nothing, of the great ideas of the entire gamut of world's religions, philosophies, or ideologies, is to be considered suppressed. They may all be considered as profound expressions of human consciousness and desire on its way to that Omega Point which is now mysterious to us, but will be the final fulfillment of all evolution and growth.
It is not, in other words, any particular idea or belief in itself that is the source of our present quandary. The problem lies not in ideas themselves, but in what man has done with them. It is, as we have said, at that point where dogma is promulgated, where truth becomes fixed and absolute, that all irresolvable divisions between men and all large-scale forms of violence are generated.
We must further realize, however, that such Absolutism and Dogmatism is rooted in a profound philosophical error. If the real and health-fulfilling depths of human life are rooted in growth, expansion, evolutionary ascent, fluidity, flexibility, openness, and the humility which is the constant companion of these virtues, then the opposite of these virtues finds its most concrete expression in a philosophical view which views the world in relationship to the idea of fixed and determinate substances.
It is, in fact, the metaphysical view of substance, which has been the primary inhibitive factor in the growth of the human spirit. It has also therefore been the primary factor in generating the schizophrenic departure of the human mind and heart from the realities which have been revealed to us through the beneficence of science. It is now known with absolute certainty through analytical physics that the whole concept of substance is a myth, and that all realities – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual – can be explained in terms of the movement and flow of atomic, sub-atomic, and quantum forces which themselves are not even subject to the term "substance." The fundamental fabric of human existence must, therefore, be seen as constant change and paradox. The very "substance" of individual personality, and the existence of each one of us as distinct individuals, is identical with that continuous state of flux which is the very negation of the conventional ideas of permanence and substance.
There are, of course, certain religions and philosophies in the world which are already largely in accord with this inescapable knowledge of reality. We might here mention Hinduism and Buddhism. Seeking that final identity of the human spirit with the Spirit of the All, and rejecting all absolutes in this life as forms of maya (illusion), these religions have always embraced rejection of Dogma as necessary for their own belief in transcendence and for that mystical union with the Absolute which is beyond all the deceptively apparent substantial realities of this life.
There are other religions which obviously are destined to have to work harder towards this integration. We must be frank, and especially mention Christianity and Islam in this regard. There is a great deal in each of these major world religions which speaks of absolutism and exclusivity. After much examination by the World Council of Churches and other groups, however, we have become convinced that these great world religions can also be essentialized to allow them to accord with the principles of human growth and evolution. This process of essentialization simply demands that we look deeper into each of the doctrines which appear to speak of absolutism – that we be open to the movement of the human spirit which is able to penetrate to the real locus of human aspirations which are beneath the surface of these dogmatic encrustations, and that we be willing to release this spirit in terms of new formulations and interpretations.
All this will, of course, take time and the collective creative effort of all of mankind. We cannot deny, however, that after sustained study of this issue by the greatest creative minds in the world, we are intensely hopeful of the outcome. Much of our collective optimism comes from the realization that we can afford to be patient. We are fully aware that these reformulations and interpretations, and the release of the creative energies which have been forced to atrophy behind such concretizations of Absolutism and dogma, will take some time. Such is only natural, simply because healing, growth, and maturation always demand time and patience. The absolute pre-condition for such a process, however, cannot be delayed. We must begin at once to reverse the direction of humanity in order that the powers of destructive Absolutism may not reach that critical mass which is bound to destroy us all. We must, in other words, accomplish the fundamental act of conversion Now. In order to initiate this process, the World Council has therefore unanimously passed a resolution that every person in the world be required to sign the following simple Act of Conversion:
Act of Conversion
I………………………. renounce all claims to possession or knowledge of Absolute Truth, either in relation to ultimate reality or moral action. I firmly resolve to commit myself to the principles of dialogue with, and acceptance of, the opinions and beliefs of others on our common journey towards our common destiny.
At this point of great crisis for mankind, refusal to sign this oath and act of conversion cannot be considered a legitimate option. We fully accept that necessary growth always involves purgation. Therefore, beginning at the age of reason (which we mandatorily set at the age of seven), those who refuse their signature must be euthanized using the most humane means available to modern technology. Those who sign, but later are found to commit violations of this oath, will be subject to the generally mild punishments of existing anti-hate crime legislation. They will also be required to retake and sign the Oath. Second offenders will be required to suffer the stiffer penalties assigned for such reoccurrences, and again required to retake the Oath. It will be mandatory that all proven third-time offenders be euthanized.
These regulations are designed to reflect those principles of both mercy and justice inherent in our evolutionary ascent towards the Omega Point of human destiny.