- Education and Science
How to Get World Citizenship and Power of Personal Creation, 6th of 10-session intro course "Invitation to Participate"
1. What must an individual person do to begin participating more effectively in the various creative processes of the larger world community? To be more specific, how does one go about applying for "world citizenship"?
2. The answer, of course, is negative. You don't. You cannot obtain "world citizenship" anywhere, because it is already yours, yours by virtue of your having been born into the human family at your birth.
3. All anyone has left to do is claim it, realize it, and conscious-cize it; that is, make conscious and workable something that has existed there inside you all your life, waiting for you, so to speak, unconsciously, perhaps, but in reality nonetheless. Whoever you are, you already possess "world citizenship," and you already are a "world citizen," regardless of whether you have ever thought about it or not.
4. You are, moreover, already participating every day with the larger world community in "the creation of the world," because this participation is built into the structure of your intrinsic relationship with the rest of the human family.
5. The operable question, therefore, is not, "Where do you get the authority to become a world citizen?" but rather, "What kind of a world do you want to be the citizen of? What quality of life do you want to see realized in this world community where you have intrinsic membership?"
6. What vision do you have of how the world might be a better, happier, sweeter place for all people to enjoy, not just you and those people who happen to share your particular neighborhood, or your particular religious, ethnic, political, economic, philosophical, or other special tradition?
7. This is not as strange a question as it may sound. Any kind of public citizenship, by definition, must necessarily involve broad public policy issues that concern everyone included in that broader public, and not merely to ways one particular subgroup might benefit or prosper to the detriment of others.
8. These kinds of questions, every single individual, including you, the reader of these words, can do something about, through your "power of personal creation."
9. But how does one get the power of personal creation? Again, you don't. You cannot obtain the power of personal creation anywhere, because you already have it built within yourself, and in the midst of those groups of people most important to you.
10. You have, in fact, already used this power of personal creation each and every day of your life so far! It is yours, a gift from God if you can believe in God at this point in your life, but nonetheless an endowment of human nature even if you cannot believe in either God or Nature. As with world citizenship, the power of personal creation belongs to you from birth, requiring not even that you know you have it for it to have inestimable value and use to you everyday.
11. Its effective power, however, can grow larger and larger the more you realize you have it at your disposal, the more you systematically study its ways and means, and the more you use it consciously and intelligently for worthwhile goals in your life, and in the life of your family, and in the life of your larger groups and communities.
12. Always remember, however, that this intrinsically human power of personal creation can never belong to you alone, or only to the people in your special group or culture, because all other people in all other special groups and cultures also possess, and to greater or lesser extent will use, and should use, this same power of personal creation each and every day of their own lives. The more you learn and understand this one simple fact, the more effectively you can exercise your own world citizenship and your own power of personal creation.
13. Thus, in summary, we intend in this introductory course, and the ones that follow, to describe for general use the fact that a new world is now being created in this generation, and that each and every individual in the world has as much right, and as much responsibility, to participate in that creation process as anyone else. Our "invitation to participate in the creation of the world" merely calls attention to an unspoken invitation that, in its essence, has already long existed.
14. Some people may wonder why they have never before heard of such an invitation. There are many possible reasons for this, and the leaders of many different existing groups and institutions might particularly benefit from reflecting on what those reasons might be, and how they themselves might have contributed to a situation in which large numbers of people in their groups know little or nothing about the important creative processes going on in the world today and within other individuals all over the world, or perhaps feel discouraged even from trying to learn more about them and participate in them actively.
15. At any rate, we can no longer wait for previously existing organizations and institutions to decide whether or not they should devote their time and energy to providing more responsible leadership in those new aspects of world civilization now arriving on the scene.
16. While anyone can certainly participate in "the creation of the world" in and through one or more of the already established institutions, an alternative I heartily endorse and recommend, and to which I can hardly give too much stress, I have found in my experience that a surprising number of serious people no longer consider it feasible to join traditional or existing groups for such a purpose, and they often tend, in fact, to be skeptical of new groups as well.
17. So they participate, if at all, on their own, so to speak, and rarfely mention such ideas to anyone else. This alternative, while better than nothing, keeps them isolated from others with a similar interest, and thus provides no opportunity for them to benefit from group support and encouragement.
18. The multi-volume book project containing this introduction originally sprang from the desire ot its author to provide a measure of that encouragement and support through a challenging program of continuing adult education useful and accessible to those people ready to receive it and put it to work. For that reason, the next three sessions briefly describe three different specific ways that anyone, whether working inside or outside an established group, may pursue the possibilities of a more active participation in "the creation of the world." The three in outline:
19.You may respond to these challenges through your own individualized program of creative thinking, studying, and then writing down your ideas, or expressing them in one of the many other possible avenues of creative representation (further described in the next session, session 7 of 10).
20. You may use the ideas and ideals of "personal creation and world citizenship" to help organize, facilitate, lead, and/or teach a new local group organized for continuing adult education and community service (further discussed in session 8). But remember, you may also conduct all such activities of education and service inside already established organizations and groups, as well as outside them in new groups begun for these purposes.
21. As one step further, you may choose to study the philosophical approach outlined in this course and take seriously its challenges to you personally, intellectually, emotionally, morally, socially, and even scientifically. You may embark with us on our journey to study the roots of philosophical cynicism and despair that permeate wide swaths of modern culture, and help find some solutions (the journey described further in session 9).
22. Please continue studying with us during the next three Monday sessions that will consider in more detail how anyone can utilize these three avenues of creative possibility. We want no one excluded from this introductory "invitation to participate in personal creation and world citizenship."
Workbook Exercises (optional for auditors, required for credit certificate)
1. Assess and describe your personal response to the ideas expressed in this session. Did you need to hear such ideas, and if not, why and through what sources do you account for that? Do you think there are other people who need to hear them? If so, do you think it would be a good thing in general if they did or did not? Explain your answers.
2. Describe one or more personal experiences where you saw your words or actions having a larger influence and effect on other people than you expected. How in the past have you accounted for such unintended influence and effect? Explain.
3. Using resources in your local public, community college, or other available library of real books made with real paper, or via the Internet if necessary, identify and note key ideas in at least three major studies of world civilization in the last 42 years, starting with W. Warren Wager, Building the City of Man: Outlines of a World Civilization (Grossman, 1971).
4. For graduate students, or extra credit, write a brief paper describing, with your critique, how three or four of these major studies deal or do not deal with the issue of personal participation in world-civilization processes.
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