Source: World Network of Religious Futurists

Religious Futurist Youth Division
By Rev. Richard S. Kirby and William D. Thompson, Apr 8, 1999

Welcome Young Religious Futurists

Here is a "Way and a Path" to Walk In Which Can Lead to Happiness, Love and Peace of Mind; and a Productive Life. It is the way of a prayerful lover.

This "path" is a code of ethics, a set of practices, a definition of community for the WNRF Youth Division. It is an invitation to the Religious Futurists to celebration, fun and love. It is an invitation to join a global community giving your best, seeking the Best.

We ask you, we invite you to share in the study and practice of prayer. A path of love, compassion, kindness with God and with each other.

We seek to form a spiritual community of specialists in Divine Love.

We are all "apprentices" in the human art of loving!

Our youth community will be a center of higher education. You will also make it a place where the various local theologies of a worldwide Christianity, and the multiple philosophies of a worldwide humanity can be studied, compared and evaluated. We will be witnesses to the essential unity of humankind. We are sensitive to, but not included with, denominational agendas. We work and pray, and have fun together, as persons who care about the origin and the purpose of human life. We have a mission, an identity, a cause, a purpose: to declare the role of spirituality in the sustainability of our species.

Our identity is akin of a religious order - the holy and alive community of the youth of the future. You are the youth for God. You are discovering experimentally that God's agenda for all is happiness. This happiness is the rediscovery of an "inner paradise" like the original Garden of Eden.

Prayer is our Key! This Paradise-Regained will be accomplished in prayerful contemplation. The miracle of our relationship with God is that the incomprehensible can be grasped. You can take hold of it by direct and existential contact. CONTACT.

The "ratio" or Rule, the Master Principle of the Path has to do with connection. Your privilege is to connect to all, through this primordial paradise. It is a paradise of participation, of involvement, of belonging. You are to enjoy together, direct personal experience of the hidden and sacred values implanted in the Ground of Being.

The Path is a type of "sapientia" (wisdom). This sapientia is the correlate of "scientia (knowledge)." Both have as their goals this inner paradise of the self in uninhibited freedom. To be in paradise is to be in the path in contact with God. We find and walk this path together.

The monk asks Pai-chang, "Who is the Buddha?" Pai-chang answers, "Who are you?"

You, the youth of WNRF, are called to establish and construct a Laboratory of Prayer -- a labor of love and joy! The word laboratory signifies a place where work and prayer are harmonized in the search for knowledge (ora plus labora equals prayer and work). You will rethink the protocol of the laboratory as also a place of prayer: a chamber of ethics, sacred politics and other human activities. You will be an inspiration of the people throughout the globe.

You will accomplish something significant for yourself - you will deepen your self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love. You will develop skills in communication without the contagion of obsession, aggression, ego-centered ambitions, delusions or prejudices. We are presently living through humankind's greatest crisis. We have made a fetish out of action and have lost the capacity for contemplation. Prayer and meditation are of paramount importance for the agenda of the new millennium.

This new millennium belongs to YOU in the path of prayer.

And so let us establish a new culture of prayerfulness. Open to the sacred, we are to build a new culture. Our new culture, our concept of civilization, stands on holy ground. We help each other to pay attention to the primordial roots in Myth and Archetype of holy ground as a spiritual creation. We learn together the actions of prayer as key to our identity.

Who are we? The practice of prayer is that which can teach us who we are in this universe and life-experience.

Youth of earthly religions and experiences: we are together building a "Periodic Table of Spiritual Elements." This is not only research; it is a message. It is our message to the globe, a declaration of our faith in the future and the sustainability of our species. Your work within this Table matters deeply. The Table demonstrates the primordial and basic elements of all spiritual life: how you and I relate to the Highest Best of Self -- the highest power.

You are pioneers as role models for world youth. You demonstrate the global ways young people relate to Ultimacy. This means both you who consider yourselves theists [believers in Theos, God] and you [such as Buddhists] who consider yourselves non-theists. We know that the Divine and Ultimate is expressed in many ways.

Our global periodic table of spiritual elements includes many activities -- please check off the ones that speak to you most vividly:


duty (liturgia)
altered states

meaning (logos)
knowing (sapientia)
prajna (having the Buddha mind)
"WWJD" (having the Christ mind)
mystical experience
education (defining oneself authentically, spontaneously, relationally)
inner paradise

This table of spiritual elements has a great future! We plan for it to be unveiled by young religious futurists in the year 2000. It will be your creation. It will be your expression as you discern, discover, describe and celebrate the varieties of religious experience as found in the common expression of prayer, meditation and worship. This global conversation and dialogue will require of you a great imagination, a desire to get on with many kinds of people. You will need to cultivate an interest in world cultures, an appetite for new friendships and a willingness to design and enjoy the best parties in the world.

In this group you get to practice reconciliation, mutual decisions and shared responsibilities. You are each a speaker in a great conversation, a world dialogue from both sides of an issue to "all" sides. The Path of the Prayer Lover is like a college, an academy. It is where one learns that we are persons in relationship and our core relationship is friendship.

Through this Table you will be asked to commit to adopting a cell in the Table, to express your interest in the spiritual life. You will be asked to report to the world! Your news story will be the results of your experiments in prayer. You will report on the value, for twenty-first century civilization, of your cell in the periodic table. You will be an Ear of Humanity. You will be invited to inform the religions of the future about God's new Word. You can tell each other of what you have learned of the Divine's intent for humanity. You can help build a spiritual ethic for those who colonize space.

You will help to form and sustain the religions of the future by establishing a credible Science of the Spirit. You will demonstrate in your own experience, that spirit indeed precedes matter -- and the implications of such a statement. You will put on line a new paradigm based on the principles of quantum spirituality and psychology. You will divinize and make ideally profitable the world of business, with an experimental morality and ethics. You will add a sacred dimension to social innovation. You will be Way-Showers in the harmony of science and religion. You will spiritualize critical thinking. You will open new dimensions of spiritual genius to a world hungry for hope. These are your tasks. Not Mission Impossible! For, with God all things are possible.

Equipped with the periodic table of spiritual elements, which will contain one hundred cells together, you will do spiritual work, probably in pairs. The whole community is re-imaging the activity of a college formed for a specific religious purpose. This college will resemble a twenty-first century monastery or seminary where the theology of science will be discovered and nurtured.

It will be your place -- a "place" of education committed to innovation. With respect for all spiritual traditions, its purpose will not be to propagate those traditions, but to explore new elements and essences of prayer. No doctrines, only dynamisms will be the hallmark of this academy. Your academy of prayer will seek the Higher Truth for itself and the world. As advocates of prayer and its power, you will be recognized not as prayer warriors, but as prayer scholars. Your mission will be to carry the classic doctrines of the spiritual life into the twenty-first century and improve them. Scholars with timid piety need not apply to this college. Armed with a futuristic spirit of excellence, you will be bearers of a precious vessel, the treasury of humanity's belief that God can be known, that conversation with God is possible in multiple ways for the humble heart and contrite spirit.

So, welcome to you prayer scholars in the laboratory of the spirit. You will make many friends! The path and the way will attract more youth religious futurists by its persistent pursuit of loving-kindness. We will specialize in both human and divine love. We study the varieties of love as well as the varieties of prayer. We will covenant in the study, and the practice, of love, compassion, kindness and friendship.

Not just computers connect us! We will be more than edigitally networked;i we will be connected with each other around the entire world by love. For ours is a community for the celebration and practice of kindness and friendship. You are helping in the forming a unique and vibrant spiritual community.

It has been said there is no Ph.D. in compassion. Not yet! But you will help build schools of compassion, colleges of divine love and goodness.

Thus, we invite you to design a school of love and charity. How? Not only by studying the patterns of prayer. Love and friendship can also be studied! We invite you therefore to ponder and test your ways of loving. Together we are building understanding of the varieties of friendship, love, brotherhood and sisterhood, charity, compassion, helpfulness and healing.

We invite you to help us with your ideas and good will. Help us find friends, as we publish this cyber-charter for the religious Youth of the Future. We will announce it on sites other than our own, - please suggest which ones. Please help us to get a couple of thousand cyber-signatures or real signatures supporting this "Declaration of Divine Human Love." For your testimony is part of the struggle to keep Theism as a living evolving philosophy of civilization.

We invite you, also, to get a cyber-march concept going. Think of it as a march unto the holy hill where God's perfect beauty dwells.

You are forming in this way a concept of organization which rethinks the older idea of the "Religious Order," or holy community of folks specially interested in the "things of God" -- in a way, and with subjects, suited to the Space/Computer Age of Generations X, Y and Z.

So, as we are exploring prayer together, developing the Periodic Table of the Elements of Prayer, we are in effect seeking designs for a "Laboratory of Prayer."

Our young scholars, such as Wyatt Matthews, have already started designing that Table, which is a kind of backbone of the Laboratory of Prayer. As other young religionists join the project, they will prepare to be mentored by Bill Thompson, their Director-Elect. We expect Bill to take up his duties in the fall of 2000. Over the next 18 months we will begin to fill in the blanks in the Periodic Table of the "Elements of the Spiritual Life." So the great work (Magnum Opus) of classifying the varieties of contemporary religious, spiritual, social experience of divine and human love will be well under way. You are a part of it. You join us in calling out the energies of thousands of youngsters from every corner of the earth.

This is not a project for male energies only! It is your creation of man/woman collaboration. Picture a splendid New Harmony of male and female. You will be the forefront of a wonderful collaboration of feminine and masculine virtue, vision and energy. We invite you to join in this great act of love. Each of you has piece of the action, as the whole community calls forth and focuses the moral genius of both genders. Like the partnership of prayer and science, it is a work of continuous creation, which requires many marriages.

A true experimental Science of Spirit is being born by your efforts. This Science is birthing amid you, the young -- where birth usually takes place. For Nature's intelligence places great tasks among those with greatest energy, time, innocence and love. You are those people; you are pioneers in doing a great work for God. You are designers of the 21st century spiritual civilization.

© 1998-2008 by World Network of Religious Futurists.

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