By Dr. Sohail Inayatullah
Like the geographer who charts physical space or the sociologist who structures social space, the futurist creates maps of time. These maps can then be used to better understand who we are or more appropriately when we are. They can also be used to make better decisions, create new maps, or use the maps for social transformation. This essay will analyze modes of thinking about the future, chart the shape and time of the future, and conclude with the needed dimensions for a post-development vision for the next century.
DEVELOPING AN INTERPRETIVE COMMUNITY
One purpose of this essay is to aid in the task of developing an interpretive community. According to David Harvey,
‘interpretive communities’ [are] made up of both producers and consumers of particular kinds of knowledge, of texts, often operating within a particular institutional context, within particular divisions of labor, within particular places. Individuals and groups are held to control mutually within these domains what they consider to be valid knowledge.
For researchers concerned with creating new futures, new models of society, polity and economy, our interpretive community has yet to create a consensual model of what constitutes valid or reliable knowledge and how this knowledge can be known, who can participate in this knowledge creation, and what the appropriate sites for knowledge creation are.
At present, futures studies largely straddles between two dominant modes of knowing–the technical concerned with predicting or forecasting the future and the humanist concerned with developing a good society, with visions of what can be. While there are numerous ways to constitute the field, I use a perspective which argues that there are three frames of reference from which to view the future and futures studies. These frames overlap and should be seen more as a continuum then as three exclusive perspectives, with many thinkers and studies simultaneously exhibiting more than one perspective. The first, the predictive, attempts to forecast and control the future, the second, the interpretive, examines how different cultures, cosmologies, discourses approach and create the future, and the third, the critical, makes problematic the categories used to construct the future, asking what are the particular social costs for any approach or view of the future. Deciding which approach one takes is not a philosophical issue in terms of arriving at some view of Truth but a political issue in terms of deciding what should be nominated as legitimate social theory in terms of the approach one takes and the relative importance of actors and structures, of the State and social movements, or the individual and the transcendental, for example.
The type of futures activity one takes is based on these epistemological perspectives. If one forecasts, then convincing policymakers to take into account the second and third order effects of new technologies or providing corporate decisionmakers early warning indicators so as to gain competitive advantage over others would be a likely action. If one is concerned with interpreting the future then working with social movements and others in envisioning desired futures and in understanding the cultural categories of other civilizations would be a likely action. From the critical approach, action is defined as deconstructing text so as to create spaces for other types of policies and understandings.
Each of these views also has a perspective of the world “out there” in which the future can be known (independent of the observer or constituted by the observer, for example). Each of these views also places the act of meaning in different sites (in the speaker or in the episteme that frames discourse, for example) as well as the role of the transcendental (as an emperical cause of social change of the future or as that which inspires agency, for example). The role of language (as neutral or as opaque, for example), what is an appropriate science (focused on the relationship between theory and data or between values and data, for example) and what constitutes the truth (as exclusive and universal or as layered, deep and shallow instead of right or wrong, for example) is also considerably different in each approach.
THE SHAPE OF THE FUTURE
As important as frames of reference and archetypical images of the future is the shape of the trajectory of the future . Derived largely from historical patterns of social change, three are basic shapes ; the linear evolutionary shape of progress (the dominant paradigm of development, the cyclical shape of the life-cycle and the natural world, and the spiral shape that combines progress and tradition. These three shapes are again loosely related to the predictive orientation (linear), the cyclical (cultural) and spiral (a combination of both). The critical view is not so much concerned with a theory of social change but with articulating the assumptions and social costs associated with a particular grand theory, with questioning all unifying and generalizing narratives, and thus in privileging local knowledge.
Traditionally social change theories have been categorized into dialectical and equilibrium theories. In dialectical theories, change is normal and opposites exist in dynamic tension in every stage. Power and domination are often central to dialectical theories. Dialectical theories can be materialistic (Marx) or idealistic (Hegel) in their orientation or some combination of both (Shrii Sarkar). In equilibrium theories stasis is natural and change is incremental. A third dimension is transcendental theories, where the pull of the “God” moves civilization forward.
The linear shape promises more of the same, a “Continued Growth” scenario, but when unabated can lead to a “Catastrophe” scenario. Cyclical shapes promise a return to a prior time, a “Return to the Past” type scenario. The spiral shape has dimensions of both linear and cyclical but promises some other society, a “Transformation” scenario. Epistemologically, linear theories base themselves on the empirical/predictive model of the social sciences whereas as cyclical theories are closer to the interpretive/structural model. The spiral attempts to link the empirical with deep human values. It is this latter pattern that intends to remove the future from the confines of pre-determined history, from the cycle, and to create the possibility for the spiral–an acceptance of structure, but a willingness to transform the suffering associated with history, and to find previous pockets of darkness and illuminate them, to pierce through silences.
A cyclical theory privileges perpetual change while a linear theory privileges equilibrium although it could be an evolutionary equilibrium as in the case of Herbert Spencer. In cyclical theories change is endemic to the system; for example, variously through dialectics, through the principle of limits, through the Chinese yin/yang principle, or through the Indian Tantric vidya/avidya (introversion and extroversion) principle.
In contrast, in linear theories change is often because of external causes. Cyclical historians examine the rise and fall of civilizations while linear historians believe the fall problem to apply to other civilizations (Oriental civilization, for example) while their own civilization (the West) is destined for eternal rise and progress. The formula for progress has been found; the problem now is merely staying the course.
While cyclical theorists do have linear dimensions (they move up or they move down), it is the return to a previous stage–however modified–that does not allow for an unbridled theory of progress, of development. In contrast, within the narrative of linear stages, linear theorists might postulate ups and downs of a lesser unit of analysis (for example, within human evolution or the accumulation of capital, there might be the rise and fall of nation or firms or dynasties) but in general the larger pattern is progress.
However, in a model of progress there can be phases of speed and pause, where a civilization or movement consolidates its power, regains its momentum before the next stage is reached. The metaphor offered by Shrii Sarkar for this is the breathing cycle. Combining this with the organic metaphors of hills, of movement up and down, we have a powerful metaphor of social change. This combination (of the rhythm of the breath and shape of rolling hills) adds a richer dimension to mere upward linearity. For cyclical theorists, however, these two metaphors show that there is no change, each breath is the same as the other breath, the climb up the hill is always followed by the climb down. One model has direction, the other does not.
However, for linear thinkers, society marches on either through technology, capital accumulation, innovation, or the pull of God even if individuals humans might themselves have contradictions (for example, based on the Western good/evil pattern). Recent efforts such as general evolution theory now include information as the key variable that keeps evolution marching onwards. Of course, from the cyclical view, increased information does not lead to attempts to control the pattern of change, but humility in the face of the eternal cycle of history.
Linear thinkers are often seen as optimists (as with Herman Kahn) especially from the viewpoint of the Center civilization. In contrast, cyclical theories are seen as pessimistic by the elite of the Center nation. From the view of the individual, cyclical theorists are seen as disempowering since structure and process prevail over agency. Transcendental theories are empowering in that they inspire individuals to act but they also lead to fatalism since all is in the hands of the transcendental.
Along with a theory of progress, linear perspectives include clear stages of ascension with even clearer theories of how to pull up the backward classes or leave them to die as would Spencer. Cyclical theories of the future focus on structures that do not change or structures keep on rising up. In this view, we cannot escape our history, we cannot escape the past, we cannot create our future.
Of course the basic question in terms of a theory of the future is: Is it possible to have a model that combines linear (evolution and progress, the irreversibility of time) with cyclical (there is a season for everything, ancient ways are important, and the strong shall fall and the weak shall rise) along with a transcendental dimension (superagency, timeless time with teleology) that includes individual agency (humans create the future) with structure (there deep patterns of change, whether class, episteme, or gender that place limits on change)? Spiral theorists attempt to include both, having certain dimensions which move forward and certain dimensions that repeat. This is the most difficult and certainly the most important dimension of developing theories of the future–continuity with change. For Shrii
Sarkar, it is understanding that while certain patterns will always be repeated, that at the level of the physical, there is no fundamental change, there can be progressive change, movement towards the spiritual. The slippery slope down from the mountain top (because of exploitation or imperial overextension) can be reduced, half-way down, there can be movement upwards again if the basic strucuture of society is transformed. Through appropriate social transformation, particularly leadership, the cycle can be modified, but not destroyed.
To have an adequate theory of a spiral shape of the future, one must have a theory of exploitation, to show for example, as Shrii Sarkar does how imperialistic warriors, cunning intellectuals, and clever merchants have historically denied rights to females, peasants, and children, indeed, to the future. Exploitation has occurred through the extraction of labor, ideas and wealth to the center from the periphery.
But one must also have a theory of progress. Economic progress is critical albeit for the purpose of the third dimension: the mystical, the transcendental. That is, if not progress per se, at least economic conditions are progressive, creating the possibility for cultural and spiritual evolution. Evolution can be based on struggle with the environment (the materialist position) struggle between ideas (the idealistic position) and the attraction of the Great (the mystical position) or some mixture of all three, as Shrii Sarkar has asserted.
But just as there is a role for structure, individuals also must play a role. Through struggle, it is individuals who can transform the cycle. The transcendental can have numerous functions–it can be located in the State thus serving to develop a God that plays favorites or it can function as a consciousness that serves to liberate our minds from our own fixations. It creates a new way of knowing, love or devotion, that attempts to break the bonds of family, race and nation.
Most thinkers have remained at the individual level forgetting class and gender relations and merely focused on individual enlightenment. Or they have only focused on structural dimensions forgetting the importance of individual efforts. Those who have had space for both structure and individual have missed the transcendental dimension, the spiritual aspect of humans. What is then needed is a multiple theory of time and space; efficient time, cyclical time, and spiritual timeless time, along with the possibility of Kairos, that is, the right time, the time, the moment in which there is a bifurcation of past and present and the world is made anew–in which, individual and history join together to create the future. A post-development, linear progressive and cyclical return vision of the future is required to resolve the classic antinomies of structure/agency, individual/collective and material/spiritual. In the concluding part of this essay, criteria for such a vision is developed.
THE METAPHORS OF TIME
Along with the shape of the future, the way time is constructed by different cosmologies is of central importance. Within the empirical perspective, time is the unexpressed variable that remains hidden, untouched and unexplained, like language, used to describe the real world but not appropriate for critical examination. Time is considered a universal outside of language and culture. But time is constructed differently by various cultures.
From the cultural view time is constructed differently by various cultures and in historical epistemes. Traditional culture, to be sure, is based on the cycle. These are the seasons, the lunar cycle, and the life cycle. For example, the traditional Chinese perspective of time is considered astronomical, For the classical Chinese thinker there is no recognizable date to human history. Heavenly and worldly time are interrelated. They are endless. By using the model of the stars, Chinese history easily lend itself to a science of society that is not distinct from a science of the stars or a science of the self. History that is based on the stars can never have any real beginning or end, for the stars appear eternal, continuously moving, forward and backward. Society too must follow this pattern: everything has its place and there is a place for everything. In this model, the tao is the unseen force that provides the cohesiveness for the natural and human universes. With the universe knowable, the task for the scholar is merely to fit history and future into this larger pattern. In this regard, the Chinese view is closer to the empirical perspective. However from the modern scientific perspective, the traditional Chinese view does not reflect the data thus it is not true, indeed, merely elegant and ultimately useless.
Indian time also has a cosmic dimension consisting of yugas containing millions of years. Besides the size of the numbers, cosmic time is distinct from historical time in that certain numbers have magical properties. Numbers participate in the real, they are not mere representations: they have an ontological existence. Thus from the classical worldview, time had to relate to Consciousness and the natural/social worlds since the entire universe was mathematically perfect. In this sense, the idea of the future meant something quite different then modern idea of “the future,” as the site of change and innovation. Rather “the future” was integrated into classical cosmology.
In the classical model of time, there is a degeneration of time from the golden era, to the silver, to the copper to the iron. In the golden era, food is shared and all live as Gods. Society degenerates with differentiation (as opposed to modernity wherein differentiation leads to evolution and progress) eventually resulting in the iron age of materialism. Time then decreases in value from the golden era characterized by unity and spiritual development to the iron age characterized by materialism, chaos and confusion. We begin with progress and then degenerate.
But the degeneration does end. At the nadir of the dark iron age, the redeemer sets the world right and the golden era begins again, the cycle continues. Within this view, the goal is not transformation or conscious evolution but the search for a redeemer to end the darkness of the present, to recreate the perfection of the past.
Few visions of futurists, however, focus on the return of the Great leader, the redemption is gained through participation in the conscious evolution of society (or the creation of social and political structures to facilitate community values as with the Green view). Understanding the pattern in itself becomes the way out of the cycle of history. But in the traditional cyclical view, understanding only allows a nominal degree of maneuvering, eventually, over time, there will be degeneration, such is the nature of the universe we live in. Of course, the why of degeneration differs. One exemplary theory of decline comes from Ibn Khaldun. For him there are four stages and four generations in which creativity degenerates into imitation, in which a family’s or a civilization’s fortunes fade. The first generation creates, the second produces by watching the first, the third produces merely through rote (as it does not have access to the original creator) and the fourth does nothing believing that wealth–inheritance–is owed to them. This generation decays losing its wealth and creativity as it does not build strength and marketable skills. Thus, we should always expect culture to degenerate into custom over time and expect cultural revival to come from the periphery, from outside of the official culture.
Similar to the seasonalcyclical model is the biological and sexual model. In this view, the rise and fall of nations, dynasties and families can be related to the rise and fall of the phallus, the fundamental sexual event known to men and women. The phallic movement is dramatic and has a clear beginning and a clear end. However, men, it can be argued (using the linear model), prefer the first part of the cycle, the progressive linear phase, and perhaps imagine a utopia where the phallus never declines. The populist Muslim vision of heaven is a particular example. The historical empirical data suggests, however, that endless rise does not occur. In contrast, the female experience is wavelike with multiple motions. Time slows and expands. Instead of a rise and fall model what emerges is an expansion/contraction model. This model can be used to describe Western cosmology.
Biological time can also be used to understand the future. Instead of using the Earth’s resources for present generations, we should think of future generations, argue ecologists. Policymakers should base decisions on the needs of future outcomes, on the needs of future generations. Contemporary writers, in particular, use this metaphor. Culture then should be forward looking not past oriented, concerned with grand children, not with grandparents.
In contrast to these traditional cyclical views, modernity emphasizes quantitative, linear time. This is the similar to the “time as an arrow” metaphor. It cannot be repeated nor reversed otherwise we could remember the future. Instead of degeneration there is forward development. Time in this well researched model is largely reductionist with efficiency as the primary goal.
Time then has many perspectives. We list a few of these as divided by our earlier structure:
1. Quantitative (time as precious, something not to waste)
2. Technical time (efficient, quantitative and scientific)
3. Electric time (linear time of the city, reducing the night)
4. Institutional time (the institutional power context by which an event is bounded)
5. Generational time (saving the future for one’s children)
6. Leisure time (time as abundance)
7. Bureaucratic time (scheduled but delayed)
8. Death (time as bounded by the awareness of death, running out of time)
9. Lunar/solar time (day/night, menstrual cycle, full to new moon)
10. Biological time (nine month cycle)
11. Sexual time (rise and fall, expansion and contraction)
12. Geological time (stability, shocks then stability)
13. Cosmic time (astronomical)
14. Cultural time (being on time, being late, norms of socially shared reality)
15. Mythological time (fall of time from golden to silver, to copper to iron)
16. Religious time (the birth and return of the Prophet, Messiah)
17. Life cycle (birth to death and for some rebirth)
18. Sociological time (the societal patterns)
In addition there is (1) Spiral time (return of the past but onward into the future)
and (2) Spiritual time (no sense of individual consciousness, only a sense of the transcendent, or infinite)
What time we live in is based on our assumptions of the nature of the world we believe exists and how we believe we know what this world is like. Any adequate theory of the future must be able to problematize time and negotiate the many meanings of time even as it might be committed to a particular construction of time. It must be able to “time” the world in different ways. An ideal theory of the future, besides articulating a rich theory of time, must simultaneously be able use predictive, interpretive and critical perspectives and have linear and cyclical and thus spiral dimensions to it. It must also be able find complimentary roles for the individual, for structure and for the transcendental.
As important as new or recycled visions of space and time are new or post-development models that integrate a range of futures characteristics. Development has been the dominant paradigm of the sciences and social sciences for the past few centuries. To develop is natural, inevitable and good. The issue has been how do nations and societies economically, culturally and politically develop, why are some rich and some poor or for Marxists why do the poor not stand up and smite the rich. Traditional visions of development can be divided into the following.
The first is the linear evolutionary model. Nations are rich because their citizens work hard, save and invest, develop new technologies, are born with the correct genes, believe that virtue is rewarded now and in the afterlife.
The second is the institutional model which believes that wealth comes from efficient organizations that reward individuals for their ingenuity and provide disincentives for inefficient behavior (social welfare or corruption). This view is weak on social structure and like the first strong on individual initiative, but individuals now become aggregated as institutions or nations.
The third is that development comes from getting materials cheap (through force or cunning) and selling them dear, that is, trade. It also assumes that making goods is even better than digging them since manufacturing leads to social development while raw materials extraction leads to a hole in the ground. Manufacturing uses physical and mental (the ability to transform nature) resources while mere exporting of commodities does not develop the local region. The linear temporal model and the empirical predictive model correlate strongly with these theories of development.
Underdevelopment then is caused by (1) bad genes, (2) bad institutions, (3) bleeding of wealth and (4) inappropriate cultural norms, depending one which theory one buys into.
Development, however, continues the linear shape of the future. Those behind the current stage are judged as inferior, those ahead as models to base economic, cultural and institutional strategies on. Most attempts to envision the future remain tied to the pervasive model of development–often framed as one vision of the future (Continued Growth); one vision of politics (democracy within nations and anarchy in the interstate system, that is, nation-state sovereignty); one vision of self (the scientific, technocratic self); with one vision of community (the chosen nation of God); and one vision of economics (neo-classical). Even alternative futures scenarios must base their structure on the boundaries of development theory calling for a cyclical return to pre-development communitarian visions of the good.
Development frames much of our thinking largely because of the dominance of economism. Economism privileges “rational” individuals; a world where individuals (and nations in the neo-realist model of International Relations) compete for scarce goods: food, power and love.
The first alternative to capitalist development was more concerned with distribution than with growth. However, distribution practices led to the growth of the State sector, and as socialist nations had few options within a sea of capitalist development, they too pursued similar models of growth, of progress, of linearity. Moreover, they emerged as well from Darwinian theories of social evolution: the only issue was who would be the carriers of progress, capital or labor. Linear progress was not contested.
The second alternative has been communitarian models, that have attempted to contest official knowledge and technocracy. This has been anti-development, an attempt to create social conditions where the village, the home, the local were placed ahead of the large Capital. The most recent model of this has been the sustainable development movement, which incorporates an ecological perspective to development as well.
Marxist and communitarian models of development have also been sensitive to how wealth was historically extracted from the periphery, thus shaping the development options of the periphery. Resultant development strategies were thus initially national (to combat the leakage of wealth) and then later local (since the State of peripheral nations extracted wealth from local areas). Both national and local suffer from the globalization of wealth, politics and culture. While national strategies in the periphery have remained entirely in the linear development paradigm, hoping to join the West, local strategies have been cyclical based, hoping to return to conditions prior to contact. However, even though villages might have had a local ecology, there were severe penalties for challenging local power, particularly feudal landowners. The linear model continues technocracy and is unable to deal with issues of spiritual identity and economic well being in the periphery. However, development and technology does allow for mobility. This mobility is nearly unlimited for capital, partly limited by Westernization for ideas and serverly limited by nations for labor). This mobility is not the intimacy of the global village but the anomie of the global city. Local solutions while providing identity and survival are unable to deal with the need for mobility, with challenging patriarchy, fedualism and the tyranny of the collective.
What is needed then are new visions of development that contest both linear and cyclical visions of the future, creating the possibility of an other society. These must be eclectic drawing from many traditions, expand our view of knowledge, and our definition of what it means to be human. They must also find escapeways out of the straitjacket of the dominant paradigm of development.
Among other characteristics, a post-development vision of the future would have the following:
(1) The spiral (progress with history) as its key metaphor, thus some things return but there is a conception of an improvement of living conditions, however, these should not just be material, but intellectual and spiritual as well.
Instead of the linear language of progress, the softer term progressive might be better. While it would be difficult to maintain that we have had progress over the last few thousand years given the world poverty, we cna argue that certain technologies, cultures, economic policies are progressive, creating conditions for the possibility of a better–physical, mental and spiritual–life.
(2) Ecologically sensitive. We can no longer continue to export our problems, our waste, to others. We must find ways to internalize what we don’t like and thus reverse the thousand year strategy of exporting from centre to periphery, from male to women, adult to child, rich to poor, powerful to weak, conscious to unconscious. Ecologically sensitivity means that we need a new ethic of life that gives respect to plants, animals and the cultures of technology. This does not mean we should not have a hiearchy of living but it does mean that we must walk softly on the Earth, recognizing that, like us, is living.
(3) Gender Cooperation. Any vision of the future must find ways in which genders can cooperate. A world with women empowered would be a dramatic different world, where symptoms of the world crisis like overpopulation would not exist. This means finding ways to include women’s ways of knowing the world in science, polity and economy. It also means a post-patriarchical world where women can finally end the many centuries of abuse from all sorts of men and male structures at local and civilizational levels.
(4) Growth and Distribution. We need to implement theoretical models that have found ways to both create economic growth and to distribute this growth. These would be models that encourage incentives but provide for social welfare, and models that create fluid yet integrated forms of; that allow for mobility (for capital, ideas and labor) so that individuals and collectivities can more effectivley choose their paths into alternative futures; that create more wealth (and expand the definition of wealth beyond the merely economic) and ensure basic needs for all. Resources thus must be stewarded and expanded to include material and non-material. It is the use of resources not their overaccumulation or stagnation that would be a central principal.
(5) Epistemologically pluralistic. We need to end the last five hundred years of monoculture and imagine a world where many civilizations co-exist, where there is a grand dialog between cultures, where we live in a world of many possibilities, of many cultures including post-human cultures, such as plants, animals, angels and robots. We must find ways to include the many ways humans know the world: reason, authority, intuition, sense-inference and love, as well as the many ways in which humans learn: scentia (empirical understanding), techne (knoweldge that creates and expands on nature), praxis (action) and gnosis (self-knowledge).
(6) A Range of Organizational Structures. We need to rethink how we organize ourselves. We need to expand our thinking beyond mere vertical organizational structures or only participatory structures to collaborative and tensgrity structures that use tensions and dialectics to enhance creativity. Cooperative structures, for example, where there is efficient management and economic democracy, promise to solve the problems of worker alienation and loss of local control.
(7) Transcendental. We need to return the transcendental to social and economic theory but base it in the individual not the State or group (where it can be used for cultural imperialism). We need to include the idea of the transcendental, the mysterious force, presence in the universe but not in the territorial sense of the nation but in the individual and cosmic sense as the intimate force that gives meaning and is given meaning to.
(8) The individual in the context of collective, we need to envision worlds in which both are balanced, where both cooperate and are needed for each other. This would differn from both market and methodological individuals or State and collectivism. Both must be balanced, seeing, perhaps, the society as a family on a journey, then competing and maximizing individuals.
(9) A balance between agency and structure in the context of a vision of the future. We need to recognize what can be changed and what is more resistant to change, whether because of history or deep structures. Theories that priviledge agency, as in conspiracy theories (for good and bad) make structures (that is, actor and culture invariance) invisible. Structural theories while showing us how episteme, class, gender limit our futures do so at the expense of transformation. While massive social transformation is not always possible, there are periods in history, moments of chaos, where new forms of complexity are possible, where evolutionary struggle resolve themselves in new social, transcendental and individual arrangements. At these times what is needed is not one vision that ends the creative project but visions that promise still more visions.
These nine points provide the basis for a new vision of the next century. There are three organizing concepts in the seeds of the future mentioned above. The first is prama or dynamic balance: balance between regions, balance between the spiritual, material and the intellectual within ourselves and in society; balance between genders, between epistemological styles. And of course this balance must be ever transforming, chaotic. The second is neo-humanism. What is needed is a post-human model of society where rights are given to all, thus flattening centre-periphery distinctions, creating a world where the self is no longer located strictly in religion, territorial nation, or historical race but as part of a co-evolutionary mix of plants, animals, other life forms and technologies. The third is a progressive use of resources and capabilities, individual and group, of material, intellectual and spiritual potentials and their just distribution among each and every one of us.
Central to these points is an overarching concern to find new ways to resolve the classic tensions of the individual and collective; agency and structure; mind and body; science and culture; progress and equilibrium; the material and the spiritual; and ethical, critical and technical thought.
Having begun with a search for an interpretive community, and then deconstructed time and space showing the differences and similarities between and among cultures and individuals, this essay concluded with a will to an alternative model and vision of the future: a vision of dynamic balance for all of us. We close with these inspiring words from Shrii Sarkar, someone who has inspired my understandings of the future. “The body, mind, and self of every individual have the potential for limitless expansion and development. This potentiality has to be harnessed and brought to fruition.”?