|Source: World Network of Religious Futurists|
Religious Futurist Youth Division
By Rev. Richard S. Kirby and William D. Thompson, Apr 8, 1999
© 1998-2008 by World Network of Religious Futurists.
Welcome Young Religious
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
prajna (having the Buddha
"WWJD" (having the Christ mind)
(defining oneself authentically, spontaneously,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 wnrf.org, - 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
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
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
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.
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