Is Empire the Only Way?


 by John K. Stoner (June 6, 2017)


We are in big trouble, as a species, and a living planet.

Are the assumptions of nation states and empires the only way to run the world?  I think not. 

What if there is major human capacity which is being denied, ignored and disastrously underused to address the problems we face?  I believe that there is. 

And I am far from alone in that belief.  I will use this blog for the next dozen or more weeks to describe and explore this unsung human capacity.  I invite you to join me in this exploration.  
I will be drawing substantially from Lisa Miller’s book THE SPIRITUAL CHILD:  The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving (Picador, 2015).  This is a book about children, to be sure, and I cannot think of a single thing more important to the future of the planet than how we raise our children.  But the book, and my blogs, will have as much to say about adults as children.

Lisa Miller defines spirituality as “an inner sense of living relationship to a higher power (God, nature, spirit, universe, the creator, or whatever your word is for the ultimate loving, guiding life-force)”  (p. 6,7).  

She then comments on the relationship between spirituality and religion:   “So, while organized religions can clearly play a role in spiritual development, the primary engine that drives natural spirituality is innate, biological, and developmental: first an inborn faculty, then a developmental impetus to make it our own, and the resulting deep personal relationship with the transcendent through nature, God, or the universal force.”  Notice she does not equate the transcendent with, or limit it to, any one of nature, God or the universal force.  But notice most of all her phrase “an inborn faculty.” 

That would be the human capacity which I suggested at the outset is being denied, ignored, and disastrously underused.  More on that the next time.

Note: Most of the readers of this today, I assume, have been reading my colleague Berry Friesen’s blogs.  He has been giving extraordinarily valuable commentary on current events and the behavior of the American empire in the world.  I will say less about that directly, but will be addressing how to find and embody the kind of alternative to empire which our book IF NOT EMPIRE, WHAT? implies.