Friday, January 12, 2024


It was definitely worth the wait.

26,000 years... was that how long it took? Then... ZAP! Nightmare over. The Dream Come True. Dripping wet.

Got to get rid of the old skepticism. Survival mechanism. No need for that anymore. Well, maybe a hint of irony now and again won't hurt. Call me a sentimental old fool. I still have a calendar from the Old Reality. It's in a rusty filing cabinet along with ancient letters, photographs, yellowed newspaper articles from the 1980s; personal memorabilia from the days when I was still a "person."

There it is: the last United World College Global Concerns Calendar, marked 2030. Whew, what a year THAT was...

Noia, ink'ala ne hav'la vo ki'a. Vek'ila ya nei'a, a'vo?

Aion gazed at his young wife and smiled.

She looked up from the VR monitor and winked at him. Fascinating stuff, the early history of the Pleiades. I was just starting on Merope.

Aion had been wedded to Noia long enough to receive her thought signals with almost full resolution. She'd never really been into speech all that much though when she felt particularly cheerful she was known to babble like a mountain brook.

Watch out! You've inspired another poem, Aion flashed back at his mate. He kissed her smooth brown shoulder and rested his hand on her belly. "I'm hungry, how about you?" he asked, vocally.

Noia cocked her head and then nodded enthusiastically, hitting the pause control on her Virtual Reality console. They strolled out into the palace gardens, hand in hand, clucking to the cockatoos who were, as usual, clowning around with Saint Peter the pangolin.

"Eh Pedro, getting more than a little cocky, aren't you?" Aion quipped, bending to tickle the scaly anteater under his furry snout. The gentle creature licked Aion's hand with lazy flicks of its sticky tongue and gazed affectionately at the humans. Noia giggled and flung off her pareo, enjoying the perfect sunshine on this truest of blue-sky days.

"And to think you used to keep your sarong on in the shower," Aion laughed and followed suit - only he wasn't wearing a pareo but his favorite Chinese silk loon pants.

Aion and Noia had met and married back in the mid-Nineties, just before the Old Reality phased itself out. She had been a mere 22 Earth years and he already a well-preserved 44. Age was a major concern in the Age of Death, Disease, and Decay.

Incredible, really, to have witnessed and participated in the Transition. Never before in the entire history of Creation had such a phenomenon been experienced. Linear Time quantum-jumping the Spiral of Galactic Synchronization and bursting forth into Spherical Time. Science fantasy, sword and sorcery, fairy tale and News of the World all rolled into one. Real estate, insurance, politics, banks, and bureaucracy all a thing of the so-called Past... ha, remember when there were lawyers all over this planet? There were even humans who played the role of Judges. They sometimes sentenced other humans to death. Unbelievable... but it wasn't all that long ago, to use an old-fashioned and now totally meaningless phrase.

"Let's see... what shall we eat?" Aion said, more to himself than to Noia, who was already keying in her order at the dining pavilion. He scanned the day's menu on the smoky quartz screen built into the oval table of polished stone. Broccoli with cheese sauce? Chee cheong fun with cordyceps? Ghee rice with pumpkin curry? Macaroni soup and asparagus spears? Wild honey on buttered toast? How about some good old yong tow foo?

Noia was grinning impishly when Aion glanced up at her. On the grail table sat two tempting plates of Hainanese chicken rice, two steaming bowls of leek soup, and a side serving of juicy bean sprouts. Feeling a touch nostalgic for the vanished ways, after all that history! "What's your drink? Preserved kumquat and honey?"

Aion had to smile. "Why not?" Back in the old 3-dimensional reality, humans ate a fantastic amount of chicken. Billions of birds were slaughtered each day to feed the "dominant species." Incubator-hatched from eggs and raised in "scientifically designed” batteries, the poor fowls never once got to peck at real dirt in a farmyard. The same foul treatment was meted out to pigs, goats, cattle, fish, sheep, and even plant species.

And if you consider that inhuman, you won't believe some of the ways humans treated other humans - especially those deemed inferior or a potential threat to their excessive lifestyles.

As they tucked into the totally delicious, molecularly reconstituted meal, Aion slipped briefly into a meditative retroscan of the amazing breakthrough in +2026 O.R. (Old Reality) when a critical mass of humans, determined to stop exploiting other lifeforms, began expressing their collective will. This resulted in a switch to the trinary code (IAO) which made it possible to obtain holographically perfect digital samples of all bio-matter on the planet and store it permanently in the crystalline hard memory of the Earth - dubbed the Diamond Sutra - and retrieve the information at will for high-speed organic reconstitution and 3D printing.

For instance, we were able to extract a complete hologram sample of the healthiest, happiest hen that ever ranged freely on a well-kept farm - and use the basic data to generate an infinite supply of chicken to every finger-lickin' chicken-lover in the universe - without ever having to catch a live specimen and kill it and boil the feathers off and so on. The same technique was applied to pigs, goats, cattle, fish, sheep, and every edible plant species on the planet.

This was how we ushered in the Age of Abundance, which instantly rendered all previous notions of strategic survival behavior irrelevant and obsolete. The Quest for the Grail was finally over: the sacred vessel that sustained all life, the proverbial cornucopia, the fountain of eternal renewal had been discovered - and her name was Gaia-Sophia, also known as planet Earth.

People still planted vegetables and flowers and kept poultry and other animals around their yards; and sheep and cattle continued to graze on green pastures. And fish continued to swim in streams and lakes and oceans. Everything carried on more or less as before. But now no lifeform existed merely to play a part in the endless food chain. Now they existed for the sheer pleasure of it.

And when that wore thin, each could seek out a Transmutation Vortex where its vital force could release itself into new adventures, while the organic structures were destructured and recycled into the energy-matter continuum ad infinitum.

It wasn't till +2033 that humans embarked on the process of translating themselves into pure trinary encodings and immersing themselves wholly in the Diamond Sutra, thus freeing themselves of their dense hydrocarbon-protein spacesuits - which could be swiftly reconstituted and worn anytime they felt like an excursion into the lower frequency zones.

Just for "old time's sake," Aion lit a reconstituted cigarette and leaned back contentedly. Noia cleared the grail table with a few deft movements of her right index finger on the recessed keyboard. DELETE LUNCH? OK. Done. Then she burst into an expression of radiant joy. "Oy, tengok siapa datang!" she broke out in her ancient mother tongue. Look who's here!

"Chuen!" Aion leapt to his feet and hugged his 29-year-old son, who had reconstituted his physical form in the garden. Noia lost no time joining the embrace: One again! Divine bliss rippled through the dimensions, causing some single-celled organisms somewhere in a different universe to divide and reproduce prolifically.

Chuen had just returned from his latest mission in some remote Hypoallergenic Zone of the galaxy where diehard divisionists with chronic dystopia were insistent on living by the deadly laws of Duality. Even the Corpus Christi had to endure the occasional breakout of moral scabies.

At 29 Chuen was the youngest Star Commander of the ICYF (Intergalactic Confederation Youth Fleet). He grinned, impish just like his mother, and wrinkled his nose at his father's tobacco smoke. "Long time since I indulged," he said in English (one of 17 languages at his command) and accepted a nicotine stick from his never-aging Old Man. Chuen took a long drag and exhaled like some retro French movie star. "Hey, how about a nice cup of tea to go with this?"

"Susu mau?" Aion looked up from the grail keyboard. Milky tea for everyone? Noia and Chuen nodded, and plonked themselves into a giant hammock under the mango trees.

Knew I'd find you both frolicking in your favorite paradise program. Chuen generally communicated telepathically with his mother. Noia kissed her son on his nose. You know we're comfortable here, but it would be great to have you with us more often.

Aion came over with three mugs of tea and placed two on the mossy turf below the hammock. "Room for one more?"

Noia gave Chuen a wet kiss and wriggled out of the hammock. "You can take my place, darling. I promised to meet Sembo, Hani, Maye, Halus and Titit at the waterfall. Women's splashabout, but you two are most welcome. I'm sure the girls would be surprised and delighted to see Chuen."

"Give me a few moments with Daddy," Chuen said. "I have information for him to download. Metaphysical stuff, Mum. Hey, don't tell the girls I'm here. I want to play a little trick on them."

You were well named, Chuen the monkey!
Noia tweaked both their noses affectionately and danced off towards the river, singing.

Aion snuggled into the hammock beside Chuen, sipped his tea, and sighed. "Okay, I'm ready." Chuen put down his mug of tea and placed his right hand on Aion's upturned left palm. He waited till his father's breathing rhythm was in perfect synchronization with his own, and then began downloading.

Soon Aion could feel a tingle in his forebrain as Chuen locked frequencies with him. A huge videoscreen lit up in Aion's mind's eye. Chuen was in his Sananda aspect, the one he favored when transmitting factual information. It was a sort of pharaonic face: gentle, wise, and bearded like the archaic Jesus icons. Chuen chose his Sananda image because he knew Aion's deep memory would be more receptive to inputs from an archetypally recognizable source.

The dreamtime documentary was in 5th dimensional hypertext and cybernetically compressed. Only certain fragments of it can be stepped down into linear language.

All that pain and suffering and seemingly endless horror was necessary, though not inevitable. The experiment could have taken a very different turn. Which it did, in another time track, now flowing concurrently with the present.

What people called "the stony path" - the pilgrimage through the Valley of Death - provided valuable tactile experience which has enriched all realities everywhere. Especially now that it is accessible in mesonic code and no longer virulent to nascent intelligence.

In the separation of inner from outer lies the origins of the self-exploratory game of Us vs Them. Each camp locked in perpetual conflict with its illusory opposite, its Nemesis, each struggling for dominance over the other, the outcome always doomed from the outset - since each would transform into the other at the height of its hostility or fear.

However, the bi-polar combustion was the engine for the Earth's emotional evolution. As she awoke to her true nature, she was able to transmute the fission energy into fusion force, and project her inner crystalline form outward into the heliocosm.

Thus did the Earth attain radiant illumination and initiation into the stellar community via the higher intelligence network within her mineral core and upon the semi-elastic surface of her Dream Body. As she emerged from the Density Beam that marked "recorded history" (i.e., the period from -3113 to +2023 O.R.) the Cosmic Context was reinstated in her consciousness.

Every sentient being on the planet that was receptive to the surge of expanded frequencies was able to ride the crest of that electromagnetic tidal wave into the subtle dimensions beyond the third. The rigid structures upholding economic and political systems rapidly buckled as the electromagnetic grid realigned itself with the Galactic Core and sociocultural control mechanisms immediately broke down. Artificial barriers evaporated like mirages and ancient taboos turned on their heels and died of shock.

You have a question: what became of the tinpot despots, the trigger-happy generalissimos, the secret policemen, and the brigand chiefs? Yes... just a moment. Well, the ones working consciously as anchor points were easily debriefed and transferred to the harmonic heavens on Level Eleven. The ones operating in total unconsciousness are still shadow-boxing in their sleep, safe in their own Quarantine Area, along with others unwilling to let go of their predator programming.

What was the casualty rate? As far as we know, only one-seventh of the human population chose to remain in the Old Reality. For them nothing has happened. The illusion of linear time and history continues to bind them in oscillating melodrama for another 26,000-year Evolutionary Cycle. Or at least till they realize what the Game Plan is all about and release their fearful deathgrip on their inner beings.

Incredible revelations had been accumulating since the final years of the 19th century and by +2019 there was no longer any excuse for any human being anywhere on Earth to plead ignorance. News of clandestine genetic experiments conducted on human and animal specimens by deluded aliens and sanctioned by a secret government had broken. The fantastic origins of the Sphinx and the Great Pyramid Complex at Giza had been disclosed and discussed with excitement around the planet. The mysterious designs on the Nazca plains, the magical calibrations on Mayan monuments, the universal resonance of aboriginal myths and legends had been pointed out and publicly disseminated.

T'he last of the media moguls had converted to the truth - and had committed themselves wholeheartedly to alerting the entire human population to the gigantic electromagnetic tidal wave rippling out from the Alpha and Omega points of the Galactic Core, as our Sun began to merge with its etheric double to form a Greater Central Sun.

Rainbow warrior tribes which had been gathering for two generations were already anchored in their various bioregions, awaiting the signal to take over responsibility as members of the Earth Council for Solar-Planetary Affairs. Over many decades their concerted campaign for the Earth had successfully cushioned the impact of ecocidal destruction, keeping it to a survivable limit.

The Masters had coordinated one final mass illumination exercise in December +2024 when millions of incarnate stellar emissaries ascended amidst celestial displays of unimaginable beauty. Their missions accomplished, they were home free at last. You have only partial recall of that initiation because of your addiction to physical sensory data, but I am helping you to transmute gradually.

Remember when the Temples of Mammon were converted to Community Arts Centers wherein the aesthetically handicapped were able to rehabilitate their perceptions in a colossal celebration of the Creative Spirit? Well, all of this seemingly happened overnight, over a 23-hour period between one Frequency Zone and the next. There will be much deep memory diving to be performed for those of you who were caught in the thick of the action and experienced the Dimensional Shift in semi-trance states.

The final segment of the session required Aion and Chuen to connect breaths and fuse their etheric bodies into a disc-shaped ball of Light. By this means Chuen piloted his beloved father to a Midway Station where a lively conference was in progress.

Aion had attended a few of these celestial powwows before, even in the Old Reality. But the impressions had usually faded like fax images by the time he regained "normal" consciousness on the physical plane. On this occasion Aion was thrilled to return with the energy imprints intact. He felt euphoric and supercharged.

Noia had sneaked up and squeezed herself between Aion and Chuen on the hammock. She giggled like the child she still was in particularly happy moments, hair wet from the waterfall. "Liars! I waited an hour for you two to show up! It was getting too cold."

"Eeesh! You're cold and wet!" Aion yelled, biting her on the nape of her elegant neck. Chuen laughed and laid his curly-haired head on his mother's bosom, sighing with pleasure.

After dinner Noia went off with Chuen to the Sanctuary for some deep healing on her leg. It had been slightly deformed by infantile poliomyelitis - a common disease in the Old Reality - but was now rapidly regaining its proper form and function under Chuen's loving ministrations.

Aion decided to treat himself to some virtual 3D loveplay on the Bionet. Life's a ball, as they used to say, and forever may it be so.


[Originally published in JOURNAL ONE, May 1996 © Antares. First posted 2 May 2007, reposted 27 December 2017 & 24 December 2020]

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Peering into the Future (Retrospectively)

An article by Palden Jenkins
for Bangladesh Today
Late December 2007

THE 20TH CENTURY didn't really start until World War One broke out in 1914. The century was characterised by 'developed world' domination, the successor to 19th Century colonialism. We saw motor cars, planes, plastics, electronics, gizmos, radio, TV and film. There was a struggle between capitalism, fascism and socialism which fascism lost and capitalism eventually won – though it didn't look like this at first. We saw globalisation, transnational corporations, vast population growth, over-consumption by some and overwork by most. Engines, rotors, pipes, wires and transmitters went everywhere. Vast wars and crises arose, killing people in millions. Mega-cities spread like fungus.

All of these tendencies developed from the 1880s onwards, but it took until the Great War for people to see what was happening. The Great War represented an enormous failure to accept the future: aristocratic ruling classes strove to hold power in the face of a rising tide of socialism, populism, mass culture, democracy and the new upstarts, America and Russia. The old order lost. Its time was done. A new, industrialised, totalitarian world replaced it, driven by a nomenklatura of bosses, politicians, shareholders, executives and experts, all dressed in suits.

Why this lecture in recent history? Well, we're at it again. Some historians call the period 1914-1989 'the Short 20th Century', recognising that a new agenda was starting in the 1990s. One historian even prematurely named 1989 'the end of history', but he got it wrong. This was partially ideological and partially because, when standing on the edge of a threshold, it is difficult to visualise what comes next. Here we are, entering 2008 – in the Western dating system, at least – yet we haven't entered the 21st Century. Really entered it. We're still looking at life in past terms. If truth be known, we’re scared to look squarely at the future. It's big.

We're aware something else is kicking in, and we all know most of the issues, but we haven't put them together into a Big Picture – what we could call a 21st Century Agenda. A century ago, we had a new Big Idea on the table, called socialism. But that was an ideology, conceived by a small number of individuals. Today, there are bazillions of ideas flying around, but the Big Picture hasn't crystallised. But it is now revealing itself, thanks mainly to pretty tough 'facts on the ground'. What the world is faced with today is not a Big Idea but a Big Dilemma.

Here we are, living out our lives, running a movie based in the past, as if rapid economic growth of the current kind had no consequences. The West is trying, at all costs, to maintain the status quo and keep its own best interests at the top of the world agenda. Enforced either by 'shock and awe', background manoeuvring or incentive, the rest of the world has tended thus far to fall into line, but this is disintegrating and we're entering new territory.

The idea, created by 'developed' nations, of a 'developing world' implies that development means following in the footsteps of 'developed' countries. Yes, buy our chainsaws, jeeps, tanks and burgers, and you too can be developed – and fat and unhappy, just like us! Few mention that, for one person to get rich, a hundred have to get poor. Besides, the idea that everyone can get rich and 'developed' is a recipe for planetary disaster.

Besides, it's not the developing world – it's the Majority World. The former third world is now increasingly setting the agenda. After colonialism and client-status, having adopted many aspects of the West's provenance, something new is brewing. It's not just a matter of copying and adoption, but one of getting to grips with issues the West cannot face, and which to a large extent, the West set in motion. The West is terribly stuck in its ways and feeling insecure.

The core difference between the majority world and the developed world is one of motivation. For the majority world the agenda is, "Things just have to get better, and we’re going to make it so, whatever it takes". For the developed world it is, "Things are fine as they are (with just a few problems), and change is welcome as long as nothing actually changes". The first motivates action and progress, and the second looks backward and leads nowhere. The West has lost the plot – it is vision-less. It had an opportunity to change fundamentally in the 1960s-70s, and missed it.

This isn't a simple transfer of power and wealth from one part of the world to another, or a re-balancing of global inequities. We stand at a juncture much bigger than this. Globalisation is digging deeper, and the Big Dilemma the world faces is global in extent. This changes sovereign states into interdependent world provinces, whether we like it or legislate for it, or not. The big issue is the international community, planetary ecosystems and climate, global intercultural relations, the living conditions of the world's people, and a host of other related issues we all know of by now.

RESOLVING OUR PLANETARY DILEMMA isn't just a matter of tweaking, funding, regulating, developing and rearranging existing things, or even wind-farms and solar panels. It involves a completely new world-view anchored in the future. We need to visualise the far future and count back from there. Arguably, one hidden meaning of today's major events is that the future is asserting an increasing influence on the present. We're dealing with the consequences of the past, and the damage done to nature and humanity, but it concerns our future survival. If we don't face this, life everywhere will become ever more unpleasant and intolerable in coming decades. Everyone is involved, without exception – especially the rich.

This planetary situation is very complex, and each country has its own version of it, with its own versions of the internal tensions and crises it brings up. The nub of the matter is global and can be resolved only through effective international decisions, action and mobilisation. All nations now have a more dramatic need for change than they acknowledge. No nation wishes to change first, and all nations must do it together. This is at least talked about but still not done – the recent Bali conference on climate change was woefully inadequate in outcome when compared with the scale of the problem and the lateness of the day.

Economic growth and activity as we do it today is incompatible with eco-sustainability, human welfare and survival. This hasn't been accepted yet, but it's coming. There are no Big Ideas to which all the world can agree, to sort us out. Even the dominant superpower and creative leader of the last fifty years, America, is itself lost, foundering, floundering and devoid of truly valuable strategies. We're left with two main possibilities: the international community, such as it is, and the world's people.

The international community is going through an anxious community-building process. This involves facing uncomfortable issues and dealing with new situations, while constrained by old institutions and mechanisms. Driven by necessity, the community-building process is approaching a critical point in which all nations must give up some of their independence. It's not just a matter of shouting at America and the West, or them shouting back. It's a matter of joining together to resolve differences and problems in utterly new ways. It requires entirely new thinking: not so much a new Big Idea as a new method for facing facts and resolving crises.

Scientists can crunch vast quantities of data to create climate models, but simple farmers in Uzbekistan and Bolivia understand a lot too. They see what is happening in some respects more clearly. Especially when it washes away your village and kills your family. One of the world's big problems is that its governments and institutions have lost touch with real life quite significantly, and their legitimacy is in question. One of the big problems for ordinary people is that we are not practised in mass action without due leadership. But our leaderships are not really up to the task: when the USSR went through perestroika, the leaderships had created the problem and were part of it, not of the solution. Governments come to power to protect countries and their elites, pump economies and keep people's narrower aims satisfied, not to save the planet or give power to foreigners.

What is shaping up is an enormous getting-real process. Globally, in a hundred years, we need to have resolved the 21st Century's agenda points. We have to. What is this agenda? It is not an end in itself, but a means by which a new kind of planetary civilisation might come about. Sounds like sci-fi, this, but stay with it, for this is the way we are going. Here's the agenda, roughly speaking, as far as I can describe it.

- By the end of the century our societies need to be significantly happier, safer, friendlier, more supportive and inclusive.

- We need to have created ecologically sustainable societies which not only avoid harming and depleting nature, but also engage in its enhancement and the building up of the world’s natural capital and resources.

- World ecosystems and climate need to achieve a new equilibrium under a proportioned human management which works on the basis of humans as guests, not owners.

- The world's cultures, social and ethnic groups need to appreciate and enhance their distinctions while acting on a basis of partnership and commonality – we're all in the same boat.

- The global economy needs to be sufficiently equitable and sustainable, regarding both human conditions and natural resources, to eliminate dire need, excesses of poverty and wealth and to give all people a fair chance.

- Our civilisation – our cities, technologies and life-means – needs much rebuilding, to accommodate and reflect the other priorities outlined here.

- Governance and social decision-making systems need to reflect not vested interests but the general and planetary good.

- Country and city need to coexist without urban needs and priorities overwhelming country ways, since simpler, rural societies are the keepers of secrets and life-ways important to all of us.

- Population-growth and demographics need at least to have stabilised.

- An emotional clearing- and healing-process of historic hurts, social guilt, dissonance and degeneration needs to be in progress, addressing the spirits and psychology of society.

- A process of spiritual, creative and cultural health needs to pervade our societies anew.

This list gives an idea of what we’re looking at. Before you say, "Well, fine, but I can’t see it happening", just remember that, a century ago, computers, supermarkets and jumbo-jets weren't imaginable either. In those days, folk from my country, Britain, ruled your country [Bangladesh], then part of the Raj. Now, three generations of folk from your country have lived in mine, most counting themselves as Brits and many serving in our great national institutions. Things change more than we can foresee. And necessity is the mother of invention.

Today we're faced with a Big One, and the above-stated objectives are no longer wishful thinking or ideological. They are simply the likely results of what we will have gone through during this century, by necessity, since our welfare and survival are at stake. This hits everyone, rich and poor alike, with levelling implications. There are sufficient wealth and resources in the world, but they are badly distributed, wasted, ill-utilised, exhausted and ruined.

AT PRESENT, the critical factor seems to be climate change, bringing weather extremes, ecological and social changes. Other criticals hide behind this. The consequences and side-effects of our current way of life are enormous. Surmounting them is a bigger challenge than we prefer to acknowledge. It requires a social and economic mobilisation and quantum shift. In earlier times we have done this during wars. Yet such a mobilisation, this time, could render wars obsolete because, to win this battle, we need to work with, not against, each other. Besides, any victor in a 21st Century war is a loser anyway, because the problem is planetary.

In Britain, in 1940-42, our society and economy were transformed in just two years, from a capitalist to a command economy in which women and old people took over agriculture and production, children were shipped out of cities, men went abroad, everyone depended on each other, fairness of distribution of food and resources was paramount, people worked and played hard, and it worked. Today's Brits look back on this time as one of national breakthrough and social triumph. Precedents such as this exist for us to refer to. But it required a big national decision, made at the top and the bottom of society, to pull through together. There was resistance at first. But when people saw the price of not doing it, things changed fast.

In our time, we approach a similar situation, but bigger. The price of not changing is overtaking the price of changing. It could be easier if we were faced with an alien invasion, because we're used to facing external threats. But this threat comes from inside, from us, and only we can address it, through a radical change of behaviour in all areas of life everywhere.

And this is a strange Gift of God. Our Big Dilemma forces changes we needed to make anyway. We have failed to do it through wisdom and choice, so we're now facing shock and awe of a kind that makes the American version look weak. Humans get activated and mobilised by crisis. We might have six billion mouths to feed, but we've got the same number of pairs of hands to do it with.

This is a taste of the 21st Century agenda. Our great-grandchildren will know the outcome, but the crunch period is in the next half-century. In a century from now, we could have a new, planet-wide civilisation of which none of us can conceive at present – though its principles are visible. To get there, we'll need to prioritise the future over the past. The gift lies in the fact that we have no alternative but to work together and to face things we have needed to face for a long time. In a manner of speaking, this is the achievement of a new kind of umma or human community, yet far beyond the confines of the Muslim world, and for entirely practical reasons. The biggest challenge in the 21st Century is not ecological: it is for everyone to become friends – and this way, we'll sort out the rest. That's a quantum shift.

Palden Jenkins is a geopolitical adviser, historian, editor and webmaster living in Glastonbury, England, and working on humanitarian and educational issues in the Middle East.

Copyright 2007, Palden Jenkins. This material may be freely circulated and printed in single copies for personal or study use, in a spirit of fair play. Re-publication on websites or in print requires permission from the author. First posted 7 January 2008.