“What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless but disastrous.” ~ Thomas Merton
“The abyss that separates us from ourselves.” I find this so intriguing in our contemplative path, in a world where we have witnessed the advancement of technology at a rate of speed like no other period in history. We have experienced the agricultural revolution, the first industrial revolution which introduced machinery and in the last fifty years we have experienced the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th industrial revolutions of technology. We are now entering the next era of the “Autonomous Revolution” where we, as humans, maybe for the first time, will reclaim the future we’ve sold and abdicated to machines. To become fully human.
Civilizations change, they evolve, they go extinct. The Autonomous Revolution is about to introduce to the world new forms of work, business, housing, lifestyles, public news, the view of the universe, and the relationship to space, new ways of government, and lifestyle on a global basis. The question will arise about how ethicists and the religions of the world will adapt? What will philosophers speak of regarding the greater good?
As in all past civilizations, you either adjust or not, and in either choice, does it make a difference, and what is the difference it makes? The Autonomous Revolution we are embarking upon will introduce new meaning to the understanding of freedom, personal property, and privacy, the value of life, and bring with it new value systems and change the meaning of life for many on this planet. Change/evolution is always at work and something we have learned through history. We have not as much control over as we would like to believe or even think for that matter. The Autonomous Revolution we are entering will create a world of abundance where there is enough for all, and the issue will be how is it shared. And that my friends will be an ethical challenge.
The Autonomous Revolution will take us one step closer to maybe what the early Greek Philosophers thought was a community near perfection would be like for humans on earth. I do believe we will see a new birth of mystics in the world of technology, religion, philosophy, even business during the rise of the Autonomous Revolution we are entering. Aristotle created the word “eudaimonia” the name has its origins from the root word “daimon” – which means “power” or “true self” or “virtue” – and “eu,” which means “good.”
For Aristotle, eudaimonia was the art of the greater good; it was how humans would flourish and enjoy prosperity.
For philosophers, scientists, mystics, and others will see what many cannot, and there we find the voice in the wilderness. Do we hear the voice? And if we listen to the voice, then we can manage the transition properly and effectively apply new rules and use new tools to bring about the Autonomous Revolution for the greater good, the world of Eudaimonia.
The mystics and the philosophers who will rise to the occasion during the Autonomous Revolution will answer the question:
Can we as a society, understand Aristotle and understand Eudaimonia? Can we immerse ourselves into the required innovation, education, and collaboration that will be necessary during the Autonomous Revolution? Are we as a society, as a culture ready to flourish. And finally Can we change for the greater good?