Hearthstone - Statement of
Mr. Jan Hearthstone.
BA - Anthropology (UHH May, 2002)
modelearth at gmail - com
Major interest: Ecological and Social Sustainability, Collaborative
Modeling of the Future.
I feel that any of the remedies that either are being currently
pursued, or such that still might be in consideration, meant to
address the many, with time rapidly increasing environmental and
social problems of this planet, do not keep pace with the
proliferation of those problems. In my opinion, the only certain
thing about our collective global future is that whatever problems
the world might have had in the past and is facing presently, the
future will have those problems also, but multiplied and greatly
amplified. Although technical and scientific knowledge is
increasing astoundingly, the more so are increasing the world's
problems. The more computers we have (to put it simplistically),
the proportionally more homeless, hungry, abjectly poor, socially
dissatisfied, and the more beings that are afflicted by armed
conflicts there are in the world, the more natural resources get
irrevocably exhausted, the less clean water, clean air, plants, and
less animals are there left to rejoice in. Obviously our knowledge
doesn't serve us well.
It is only a tiny fraction of humanity who could expect their
future to be better than their past, with more choices and less
worries. This tiny fraction of humanity is also the portion of
humanity that is responsible for the greatest exploitation of
resources both--"natural" (including very many other than human
species) and human.
Many people feel a great concern about the state of the world, many
people are trying to find venues for meaningful actions, but
despite of a growing awareness of the need to do something to
provide a decent future for this world, the overall situation is
not improving. This, I feel, might be due to the fact that most
actions that are being done, or contemplated for improving of the
situation in the world are based on methods, on ways of thinking
that we have inherited from our forebears, methods that might be
even considered adequate by the majority of people, but those
methods can never result in any significant help in the world's
plight, because they mostly have not worked in the past--something
that becomes evident when we see the difficulties that we are being
faced with today! What I am saying might sound sacrilegious, but,
if we look at the record that our ancestors left behind, we should
note that despite teaching the future generations the best they
knew, their legacy has been increasingly more problem-some and
lethal with every new generation (on the whole, seen as a general
trend over the ages).
This is undeniable: Warfare gets "improved" with each generation
(meaning that weapons can kill more people more effectively), the
exploitation of resources gets more sophisticated and escalated,
the general quality of life worsens--not measured by any subjective
standards, but noting that with each generation there are
proportionally more people in prison, more people homeless and
hungry, and more refugees. That there is less and less clean
potable water and less "natural" nature to enjoy (all this taken
over larger spans of time--there were periods of time when things
improved somewhat, only to get much worse than before afterward).
All the foregoing is well founded on statistics and on available
records, whereas any optimism about the possibility of the future
happiness of the majority of beings on this planet is not so well
I suggest that perhaps a significant betterment, and also healing
of the persistent wrongs, could be obtained if we would stop
patterning remedies meant to cure the world's ills on models from
the past, and turn instead to an ideal projected into the future. I
would suggest that we, collectively and globally, consciously
design an ideal future that would accommodate all life on Earth
It is imperative that all humanity unites in a common purpose, in
sharing of our common ground--the Earth, and in sharing of our
common future. It only makes sense that we resolve any and all
differences that there exist among people in a model, rather than
in real life. Resolving our differences in a model is not only more
expedient, but it prevents suffering real damages in real life. The
cost of not caring, of holding any intolerant views can be well
demonstrated in a model; in real life these "demonstrations" mean
an ongoing and escalating misery for all. What a real, lasting
Peace on Earth should be must acceptable by all concerned, or else
there is no end to wars ever.
Consider this: Most of life on Earth is planning for the future,
most people do. Those various plans of a multitude of beings entail
visions of a place to live, nourishment to be procured, and leisure
to be experienced. The trouble is that most of these plans are done
by individuals for themselves alone mainly, and that the majority
of those plans for future usually disregards plans for future that
other people and other forms of life might have. When it comes to
realizing of those plans, it is no wonder that all those individual
plans for future clash with most other plans for future that others
might have, more often than not, and because of that most of the
individual plans for future are not possible to be brought into
being entirely at all.
What is needed is to synchronize all the plans for future of all
the individuals that there might be by making it possible for
virtually anyone on Earth to input their ideas into a process that
would compare those individual plans for future with each other,
match them with all the knowledge we have about the Earth and about
human society, and thus create a model of Life on Earth that would
be available for inspection and critique by virtually anyone on
Naturally enough, such a model could never be really finished. It
would keep dynamically adjusting itself to the ongoing input of all
concerned, and to the ever-increasing knowledge of the Earth and
human society. The scope of such a model (or rather, a social
design tool) could be as large as the Earth, or as small as an
individual family. Creating of such a model would be certainly
technically possible, the technology for accomplishing of this
exists already, and is not complicated--already individual PC's are
being harnessed together for a variety of tasks ("distributed
computing"), and their capacity together is often greater than a
supercomputer's--but it is not the technology that matters here as
much as the principle of consciously designing the future
Ideally, our common future should be designed on all fronts--it
would mean to create a space, a space that could be as much mental
as physical. An object of meditation--desiring, praying that all
differences that there are among people resolve before those
differences manifest unfavorably in reality, and physically making
this possible to do by resolving of those differences in a
model--again, before those differences cause damage in reality.
It could be argued that since time immemorial there exist
ideologies that advocate peace and non-violent pursuit of
happiness. I think that the reason that we still do not have a
Heaven on Earth is that most praying and meditations that have as
the object an ideal state of Life on Earth do not have a common
perception of what the prayed for Heaven on Earth should look like.
Neighbors and enemies do not have the same position of importance
as ourselves in our vision of our future.
The unified idea of what an ideal Earth should look like should be
commonly shared for any efficient actions to happen. In this an
actual modeling would help to make the common vision commonly
perceived by all, whether they pray, or not.
In contrast to any methods of organizing the world's future known
to me, the designing of the future from at the grass-root level by
virtually anyone who would be interested in doing so would have the
advantage of not leaving anyone behind; any- and every-body's
future would be designed on valid grounds, taking into account the
wishes of all the participants, the availability of resources, and
all the knowledge pertinent to which-ever problem. This cannot be
said of most processes that, to a lesser or a greater extend,
control the creation of our collective future currently.
Modeling our future collaboratively would put anyone's contemplated
future into a right perspective - the model would "teach" any
individual what might, and what might not be possible, realistic,
and what complications might ensue should such an advice be
The crises that we are heading into globally is an emergency, and
any science contributed towards the construction of this model of
the future in which this emergency could be holistically dealt with
would be the best instance of a science applied. The model could
serve as a basis of unifying of all scientific knowledge to be
applied to, to deal with problems that humankind experiences, and
those problems that are to emerge yet by continuous modeling of the
ideal state of a sustainable Earth.
This model of our collective global future would serve as a
gigantic "round-table", always in session, ready to advice in any
matters concerning anybody's future design, always ready to deal
with any emergencies as they arise.
I would like to point out that although there have been many global
models already created--the many "Utopias" and, perhaps, the many
"socialist" and "communist" systems (extant ones and all those that
are still being contemplated)--all of them, as far as I know, were
a creation of just a few people, incorporating only certain aspects
of possible futures, and most of these models are/were limited by
partisan interests and purposes. If the energy and all the
intentions to improve the state of the world of all the myriad of
individuals and organizations that strive to better our collective
lot, and indeed of anyone at all who wants to have a hand in
creating of their own future were coherently brought together to
co-operate together on a realistic global future on the basis of
all available knowledge, creating together a realistic goal to
strive towards, this combined energy and knowledge might give our
global future a viable hope.
One of the advantages of the social modeling tool that is described
above would be that it could be wholly non-partisan, the input
would be anonymous--only ideas would compete on the basis of
current knowledge of Earth. This social modeling tool would take
into account any- and every-one's wellbeing, which as it ought to
be, because it is the non-represented members' of any society
discontent (caused by non-representation in the future making
process) that the most violent social changes do arise sooner, or
Currently very much hope is being invested in humanity's becoming
"sustainable". However, a very few people have a clear idea what a
"sustainable humanity" should be. And even among those people who
do have a clear idea what a "sustainable humanity" should be, there
is no straightforward consensus on the subject. The differences
that there exist in the definition of what "sustainability" ought
to be are being resolved in real life with a tremendous waste of
time, resources, and with a very little, if indeed any, progress
towards "sustainability". This is due to the fact that most people
who are striving towards "sustainability" have actually no mental
picture of what "sustainability" should be like. If one observes
carefully, most actions that professedly aim for "sustainability"
are actually aimed against aspects of our lives that are considered
non-sustainable, and not for sustainability itself. Pursuing this
course might never result in establishing of true sustainability,
since there never, ever will be a time when there will be nothing
that we do not like having in our lives. Once we collectively have
a clear picture what should constitute "sustainability", only then
we can proceed towards it, since we can never get something that we
do not know what it actually is, and which is collectively,
consensually not agreed upon.
Modeling collaboratively the meaning, the definition of what
"sustainability" ought to be would make it possible to achieve
"sustainability". Not arriving at a collectively acceptable
definition of "sustainability" would mean resolution of the meaning
of the term in real life would be very difficult and protracted,
beset with pointless trials and errors--we do not have the leisure
to allow this to happen. What is happening in the world today is a
dire emergency requiring expedient actions. Modeling of the ideal,
"sustainable" existence of Life on Earth would allow for "expedient
actions" to achieve the ideal existence to happen.
During my graduate years I hope to elaborate and substantiate on
all the above. I know that already there exist paradigms and
ideologies that might provide grounds for creating of such a model.
It will be left to show that our present barbaric Homo SAPIENS
("sapiens" is mis-defined, surely ) could yet become a Homo
INTELLIGENTES. Else - the possible scenarios based on the trends
currently observable could result in realities that no one would be
able to really relate to at all. If we really care about our
children's future, we should make sure that we don't hand them over
an Earth that would be less perfect than the one we got from our
parents. We should start healing the Earth and sustain our efforts,
till the Earth becomes an ideal, most optimal home for all the
beings that share her.
The idea of modeling our common future owes its existence to
Mahayana philosophy and to The Path of Least Resistance by Robert
Fritz--both that I have been interested in and have been practicing
for at least two decades now.
Originally I wanted to live self-sufficiently on the land,
somewhere, independent of a system that I considered oppressive and
repressive. I started going to college in order that I would learn
all that I would need to become "independent" and
"self-sufficient". I started with horticulture, pottery, and
weaving, and when I realized that to live independently,
self-sufficiently is not possible unless the whole humanity becomes
so, "ecologically and socially sustainable humanity" became my
I studied Ecological Anthropology, took Sociology introduction
course, and before I graduated I started developing the concept of
creating the future collaboratively.
I graduated with a BA - Anthropology (U of Hawai'i at Hilo, May
My CV is at http://www.modelearth.org/cv.html .
I have been trying to popularize the concept for a several years
now with no success. I, therefore, am looking for an institution of
higher learning in hope to improve my communicational and
intellectual abilities and thus be able to present the idea better.
Saybrook, so far, is the only graduate school that expressed
interest in the idea of modeling humankind's future
N. B. I would gladly debate any points of what is written above
with anyone to our mutual edification.
The Path of Least Resistance, Salem, MA, DMA, Inc., 1984, ISBN:
Mahayana and Sustainability:
MAHAYANA and ECOLOGICAL and SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY.
(The following reflects author's own personal understanding of the
terms "Mahayana" and "Bodhisattva").
Mahayana is a view that acknowledges the interconnectedness of all
phenomena across all time and space, and that any one being's
well-being depends on the well-being of every other being across
all time and all space.
A Bodhisattva is one who strives to realize the ideal of Mahayana,
and therefore regards the well-being of all other beings as
important as one's own.
To live ecologically and socially sustainably means to acknowledge
the need of all other beings to live well also.
The need for living ecologically and socially sustainably is
implicit in Mahayana.
Therefore an aspiring Bodhisattva would help all beings to be
mentally and physically optimally well, and therefore an aspiring
Bodhisattva would promote the way of living ecologically and
socially sustainably in all places and in all times.
Please dedicate your practice to the optimal benefit of all beings
of all three times and ten directions of space, starting here and
now on Earth.