The following is the declaration put forth by the
second conciliar gathering of those persons seeking to give form
and style to the Spirit Movement of the Twentieth Century. They
represented twenty major metropolitan regions from all parts of
the United States. The declaration was forged out of intensive
planning and struggling, nationwide study and correction
and extensive assimilation and polishing. A second full section
is currently undergoing the same process, and the entire completed
document will be published in the Fall of 1968, following the
action of Council III.
JOURNAL OF THE ECUMENICAL INSTITUTE
Division of the Church Federation of Greater Chicago
NUMBER FIVE OCTOBER 31,1967
COPYRIGHT 1967 BY THE ECUMENICAL INSTITUTE: CHICAGO
PART I THE CONCEPT OF THE MOVEMENT
PROLOGUE [para. 1 3]
CHAPTER I THE PRESENT REVOLUTION
Introduction [para. 4 6]
The Scientific Revolution [para. 7 11]
The Urban Revolution [para. 12 16]
The Secular Revolution [para. 17 21]
Conclusion [para. 22 24]
CHAPTER II THE JOURNEY OF MAN
Introduction [para. 25 32]
Civilization [para. 33 37]
Post Civilization [para. 38 451)
CHAPTER III THE HUMAN STANCE
Introduction [para. 46 48]
The Secular Mystery [para. 49 53]
The Contentless Transformation [pare. 54 58]
The Cruciform Response [para. 59 63]
Conclusion [para. 64 661)
CHAPTER IV THE FUTURE VISION
Introduction [para. 67 69]
The New Man [para. 70 74]
The New Church [para. 75 79]
The New World [para. 30 84]
Conclusion [para. 85 87]
CHAPTER V THE SPIRIT MOVEMENT
Introduction [para. 88 90]
Perversions of the Church [para. 91 95]
Church Renewal [para. 96 100]
The Religious Revolution [para. 101 105]
Conclusion [para. 106 108]
1. Massive upheavals rack our world. The whole globe
is in revolution heretofore unknown in the history of man. It
is a violent disturbance in the deeps of consciousness itself.
Only its radicalness matches the vastness of its scope. The race
at large is hurled into a great struggle to invent, as if from
the beginning, what it means to be human. This beyond all else
defines our time.
2. Nothing remains untouched. All dimensions of our
personal and social existence are affected and every individual,
every people and every institution is involved. The worldwide
economic tensions and political strife which have marked our century
are but symptoms of this depth eruption. Long honored social constructs
are called into question, family patterns are upset, educational
systems rendered inadequate, religious institutions cast into
shattering self doubt. This is a universal crisis in human identity
and vocation. Men in every clime and in every state of life reach
with passion after fresh significant images, life styles, and
intellectual models. In brief, the total fabric of humanness is
3 The accompanying possibilities and consequent demands
are overwhelming to the point of collective trauma. Many individuals,
social bodies and indeed whole peoples have suffered failure of
nerve. Hoping to stem the futuric tide, some fanatically cling
to the outdated goals and anachronistic structures. Others expend
themselves in frantic activism, preferring the relative security
of remedial busyness to the anxious dread of giving wholly new
form to the future. The malaise of our age is not revolution itself
but the fearfilled refusal to embrace it. Yet finally there
is no escape, for man or for mankind. Time finally takes its due.
Soon or late we must forge new patterns of social relations, create
new symbols of personal meaning. Only then will the deeper levels
of consciousness be harnessed, releasing new tides of creativity
into the total human process. Herein is the key to the future.
I. THE PRESENT REVOLUTION
4. Previous revolutions in recent centuries have
focused on the political or economic dimensions of social existence.
But today's upheaval is foundational. It touches the very ground
of human existence itself. Therefore it is called a cultural revolution.
Through it man is being reconstituted.
5. Man lives by his self images. In one sense, he
is nothing but his self images. To change the images is to change
the man. A new human being is emerging from the present radical
cultural transformation. For man is creating new concepts of common
sense, new patterns of social relations, new symbols of human
6. This is occasioned by, and manifest in, the present
worldwide scientific revolution, the worldwide urban revolution,
and the world wide secular revolution. This inseparable trinity
comprises the cultural upheaval. To understand contemporary man
is to grasp this tridimensional revolution.
THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION
7. The 300year Scientific Revolution has come of age altering the common sense of man. The everyday, takenforgranted images out of which we live have shifted radically. Man has a new mindset altered more radically since the turn of the century than in the previous 1900 years.
8. No longer does man experience his world and himself dualistically or mechanistically. He knows that his picture of the universe is just that - his picture- and that he is forever shaping this picture, determining his own destiny. He sees himself not as body and spirit, but as a universe of relationships perpetually restructuring itself. This means man no longer depends on rational principles inherent in the structure of the universe to give order to life. He is not merely a victim of a predetermined evolutionary drama, playing the role of detached observer. He participates as producer and director.
9. As it looks into the structure of all things, science is continually finding ever new dimensions of interrelatedness and interdependence. We find dynamic energy packets moving on an irreversible course toward total expenditure. We experience the planet we populate and ourselves, as energy releasing itself into history. Every occurrence, no matter how trivial, has its impact on all else in the universe. Thus from the scientific revolution, we have gained new images of man's power to create history itself.
10. From history viewed as a static. machine grinding out an inevitable course, we have shifted to a picture of life as dynamic process, always in the state of becoming. Each of us is a continual surprise to himself. Even language reflects this basic shift from static definitions to dynamic processes as nouns are transmuted into verbs. While we wait for clarity on our current situation, the situation itself is changing. Thus the tendency for men today to ooze aimlessly into tomorrow is suicidal. Man commits himself to creating deeds which die at the moment of creation.
11. The total image of man, then, has shifted from
that of victim of determined laws to that of predictor of future
trends. No longer are we merely in search of new laws of nature.
We determine the future of the evolutionary drama. We are now
deciding the shape of this planet and of selfconsciousness
itself. It is not enough to spend one's life in seeking. Each
man alone and all men together can and must create. Man is responsible.
THE URBAN REVOLUTION
12. From the first primitive human collectives, man has traveled an incredible distance. At the deepest level, the city of man is invisible; it is an unseen web of structured human relationships which enable suffering, growth, death and change to be met in meaningfully patterned ways. Each such structuring leaves a residue of architecture, artifacts, political programs, and economic functions.In today's metropolis the new invisible web nears completion and encounters yesterday's residue. Everywhere the urban mindset overtakes the rural.
13. In the rural mindset of yesterday, man's consciousness was narrow and parochial. Against overpowering and unpredictable nature, men built secure, closed relationships. Strangers of differing ethnic groups and other religious forms were suspect. But with the electric gridding of the planet has come the new urban mindset. Cosmopolitan man does not fear the foreign and unfamiliar. Having gained relative control of his natural environment, the world is his home and all men his neighbors.
14. Simple natural rhythms were reflected in ruralminded men. Crises were natural catastrophes and decisions were few. Reaction was the norm. But the technopolis we live in reflects a mindset which is complex and constantly changing. Every moment requires multifarious decisions of far reaching consequences. Nervous tenseness characterizes a man aware of his interdependence with all men.
15 The secure, closed relationships of rural men meant one to one mutuality and intimacy. The circle of intimates was small and secrets were not possible. Love was an immediate meeting of a friend's known need. Mega-city man never knows the end of his relatedness; unseen voices deliver his phone messages, invisible men bake his bread; unidentified screams jar his slumber. Urbanminded men appear cold, hard, indifferent and analytical for their concern is exercised in building structures of justice for all men. They are reeducating their emotions to care for the many rather than the Few.
16. Urban man is not an ungrounded being. But he
chooses a stance, he builds his foundations. Rural man took root
in his land and grounded himself in his family. His stance was
toward the immediate past, built of traditions and customs which
made life safe and dependable. Urban man cannot root himself in
a plot of land handed down through the generations. Instead he
establishes himself in a geographic community building his common
identity in the midst of the greater identity of the metropolis.
He grounds the family in a task beyond itself -that of building
the new city. His stance is toward the uncreated future for which
he is responsible, and he reinterprets man's total heritage as
THE SECULAR REVOLUTION
17. The collapse of the Newtonian world view and the coming of the urban world has had repercussions deep into man's mood, or depth relation to life. Man's very sense after what it means to be human has undergone an upheaval comparable only to that known in the times of Guatama the Buddha or Jesus the Christ. This is the coming of age of the Secular Revolution.
18. With our clarity that there is no eternal realm wherein rest the perfect essences of life substances, we no longer experience the impingement of the incomprehensible in the strange or unusual. We meet the mystery of life at its center in the midst of our encounter with the everyday demands upon us. A news report sears into our parochialism forcing us to wider vision; alert youth tear from us our anachronisms and push us out into the uncharted future. The urgency of saving the planet from our own destructiveness presses in on our floating and undecisiveness, demanding radical intentionality. The center of life appears to us as transparent, illuminated by fresh consciousness, and this transparency burns us. God is born; the Mystery lives.
19. In the midst of routine detail, the response required is the creation of temporal models. There are no longer eternal patterns for us to "discover" and duplicate. Every situation is unique in itself, requiring a creative response never before ventured. Yet for man to overcome successiveness as a new kind of "victim of the circumstances", models of the operating context are necessary. Man the model builder is the secular saint, deeply human and newly religious.
20. As model builder, man no longer struggles with natural demonic powers but with his own historical decisions. Everyman knows, consciously or unconsciously, that every historical event is a consequence of his own personal decisionmaking. Every worldwide problem is an extension of our refusal to be responsible persons. A mood of seriousness marks our hour as we struggle, not against the powers of inertia and apathy, but with our past decisions to give such lifepostures power in our life
21. Ironically, PostCivilized Man knows there
is no authority which justifies his decisions. He stands naked
before raw experience of Being and NonBeing, forging out
the new civilization of urban consciousness. No person, no book,
no structure, no idea or doctrine is final. Human authenticity
is realized by committing one's death in the civilizing task.
Man is one thrust into history: he authenticates that thrust as
he projects himself to the edge of his grave and from that perspective
chooses the necessary deed, not for the moment, but for all of
history. Such spirit intentionality is unseen, unheralded; yet
it is the one quality which marks the authentic secular man.
22. In summary, Century Twenty's revolution is a great leap forward in the drama of man. It is a fundamental breakthrough in the spirit of man to the utterly scientific, urban, and secular world. The depth of the spirit breakthrough intensifies its threat to both reactionary and liberal forces. It is equally an offense to dogmatic secularist and entrenched religionist, for both prefer encounter with surface reality to engagement with the dark conflicts of the deeps of consciousness.
23. The need is for radical spirit revolutionaries who pioneer as the bearers of the new humanity. Those who decisionally embody the actualities of the times, who take into themselves the anxieties of surrendering the security of yesterday, who embrace the dread of forcing back the unknown of the future are the new saints for whom all creation groans.
II. THE JOURNEY OF MAN
25. The history of man is the history of consciousness. For man is the consciousness of consciousness. The emergence of consciousness is an ongoing struggle of pain and fear, a continuing experience of wonder upon wonder. Our time brings a major breakthrough in this neverending process. It is a new and mighty wonder, fraught with pain and fear.
26. Emerging from the primeval darkness, man gradually transcended the immediacy of the here and now, creating for himself memory and anticipation. At the same time he was experiencing a continual enlargement of the space in which he lived. His horizons were slowly pushed beyond the limits of sight to the unknown edges of the universe itself. Inseparable from this time and space experience, man became, deep within himself, conscious of the consciousness of consciousness. He discovered his capacity to transcend himself, to project himself. Here is man's dreadful awareness of the freedom that is his. Thus he became a historical creature, setting himself apart from all other forms of life.
27. In any revolutionary hour man is driven to review his journey, to reconstruct his social memory, to reformulate his story about himself. The more crucial the time of upheaval the more radical must be the historical reconstruction. Now, therefore, it must begin with the very dawn of consciousness. It is in redoing our past that we find the wisdom and courage to create the models which determine the future.
28. Earliest man was marked by the birth of consciousness itself. To think and to act are but first signs. Next is to think about oneself. To say "I", indicates the emergence of a new kind of life. But consciousness, once born, could not immediately rise above the hard realities of life. It saw itself as the pawn of powers over which it had little influence and no control. Early nomadic man wandered the earth in obedience to the need for food and land. Flood, famine, and plenty were determiners of his life and movement. He moved by their seemingly capricious commands.
29. For this man, there was no real history; there was only today, yesterday dimly remembered, tomorrow fearfully anticipated. Food, warmth, shelter, sex, the basic needs of life provided the only thread of continuity which bound together the succession of days.
30. Lacking effective tools of communication or means of travel, his horizons were limited to what he had seen. His environment was circumscribed by the perpetual struggle to stay alive. He began to invent tools to assist him in this task, but the tools were always immediately related to his daytoday needs; they were not intellectual tools which freed him from his limitations of time and space.
31. The men of precivilization were oriented more to the past than to the future. It was in the past that valuable lessons had been gainfully learned; the future was full of demons ready to present fearful new problems and to threaten his very existence.
In this kind of life, the only freedom lay in the
ability to adjust to the demands: by moving, by inventing, by
experimenting with rituals to appease the spirits and demons.
Consciousness was present; transcendent freedom was not.
33. The vast reservoir of human experience has been developed in the long period of civilization just now coming to a close. During this time, man rose to a high level of perception and lucidity, achieving the ability to see himself in relationship to an ordered reality. As the human mind stretched beyond the immediacies of life and began to analyze and probe into the nature of matter, it "discovered" patterns which had the appearance of holding things together, reflecting an intelligent system. Man saw himself as one who could decide to cooperate with these patterns and adjust his life to conscious harmony with the order that was there.
34. His sense of history developed rapidly, and as he imposed his discovery of pattern of time, he saw rhythms and meaningful progressions in the past and the present, thrusting into the future. History seemed clearly to be in the process of fulfilling itself, of achieving predetermined goals and ends that were already partially revealed by events of the past.
35. All of this led the men of civilization to construct a picture of the universe as they saw it wherein there were eternal and unchangeable values and principles. "Natural law" became the symbol of a world which was governed by processes which man could discover but could not change.
36. In like manner, his understanding of time reflected an affirmation of eternal order. The future was always there, but it was already a closed book. With enough intelligence, a man could analyze the causes and effects of the past and could know exactly what the future held. In this context, the duty of man was to order his life in such a way that he cooperated with the eternal ongoing processes of which he was but a small part.
37. Man's freedom was always circumscribed by the
unchangeableness of life. True, he was free to rebel and to refuse
to cooperate, but in that case his fate was sealed and he would
be crushed by history itself. On the other hand, he could choose
freely to align his existence with the cosmic order, adjust to
the reality he knew, and receive the consequent benefits.
POST CIVI LIZATION
38. Now, in the fullness of time, man has discovered the deep secret of history. After countless centuries of seeing himself as an object among objects in a world whose structures are both given and fixed, he has risen to a new perception. Nothing in the universe exists except the onrushing givenness of chaos. It is only human rationality that creates patterns and imposes order on all that is. This is the age of the birth of transcendent selfconsciousness that is lucid about this fact of life: man places an overlay of order on reality and creates the universe.
39. This task is continual, thrusting both into the past and the future. History is a product of the mind of man. The only progression that exists in the past is the order we discern; the future is built by human decision and can at any moment be altered by human decision.
40. Given this vision, and given the exploding boundaries of scientific knowledge, the universe itself is now known to be a model that man has created in order to live. From an insignificant planet on the edge of one galaxy, he has reached out to see the finite but unbounded wonders of the endless reaches of space. As new data become available, the model is changed in order to be inclusive and rational.
41. Experiencing himself as an agent in the creation of the future, man has felt the claim of the inescapable task: to predict the future and so to create it. There are no immutable laws relentlessly grinding out his destiny. Rather there are powers, and forces, and probabilities, all of which he relates to as the controller and determiner. Man, come of age, is the master of his own destiny.
42. This is the realization of the eternal gift: finitefreedom. At every point in his life, man is free by virtue of his knowledge that he transcends the given, relates selfconsciously to the past, and predicts the future. This is both his gift and his burden. He is no longer privileged to escape into the stance of a victim, but he is required to take charge.
43. The new situation of man in post civilization has become transparent. We are lucid about the basic decision to be made, and the question can no longer be evaded: Will man accept this awesome responsibility to be the selfconscious lord of all that is?
44. No longer can history be regarded as an inevitable happening. No longer can we point to one aspect of life, the economic or the political, as the source of the power and patterns which create the future. No longer can we wait, confident that tomorrow will produce acceptable alternatives to the present. The universe is dependent upon us. It is our responsibility.
45. Man is now forced to live as a creature of the
future. The destinal decisions he must make today create the structures
future generations will inherit. It is a matter of freedom: the
freedom to affirm our lives; the freedom to possess the universe;
and the freedom to create tomorrow. It is a fearful and wonderful
moment in the emergence of the consciousness of consciousness.
It is a critical turning point in the very destiny of life itself.
The voice of today cries for a new birth of the willingness to
be Spirit Man.
III. THE HUMAN STANCE
46. The coming of this new age has perhaps shaken religious institutions most violently. Christianity has lived its life in a context that is now dismantled. It must now, therefore, reformulate itself for an entirely new world. This trauma has produced the most basic theological retooling ever experienced by the church.
47. The twentieth century revolution in Christian theology has, above all, given clarity to the sickness of current Christian forms in comparison with the explosion of spirit that burst forth in its original formulation. But also twentieth century Christian theology has broken loose a vision interpreting the total situation of man in this historical moment and providing the key to the entire future.
48. This theological description of life has now
been embodied in a new human stance toward life which everyman
in this crucial hour must be asked to assume. It is expressed
in three dynamic poles: the impingement of the secular mystery,
the occurrence of the contentless transformation, and the enactment
of the cruciform response. It is in the stance of those who see
the vision which is the HUMAN INDICATIVE and embrace the mission
which is the HUMAN IMPERATIVE.
THE SECULAR MYSTERY
49. Every man knows or can know the Unknown that forever remains unknown. That Final Mystery is impinging upon 20th Century man in the depth of the very mystery which rendered that Mystery present to earlier eras of human reflection. The supernatural twostoried mode of religious symbolism has been dead and dying for several hundred years. Now, when popular media acknowledge the entombment, man is experiencing a searing assault of sheer Mystery.
50. Mystery is manifest whenever human attempts to live in reduced visions and responses are impinged upon by the unbelievable demand for inclusive responsibility. All parochialisms, whether in race, religion, culture or world view, are under assault by the inescapable demand for global community. The gigantic intracultural complex that actually constitutes our life assails every man and all his narrow molds.
51. Mystery is manifest whenever the long established traditions of the past are uprooted by the startlingly novel future that faces the human family and every member of it. No redundant refuge will stand before the inevitable changes that are now seen to be the perpetual explosion of human destiny. No image of reality, no social fabric, no depth certainty will escape the perpetual revolution of life that faces every participant in this historical process.
52. Mystery is manifest whenever the inclination to indecisiveness is impinged upon by the realization that no power other than man himself will create an answer to the overwhelming problems of the planet. No law of inevitable progress, no superhuman powers, no technological magic will automatically solve everything. Man has before him blessing or doom, and he must decide what is blessing and work for it or he will drift into planetary disintegration.
53. This triform impingement of Mystery determines
the depth struggle with which 20th Century man must deal or from
which he must flee. Though many lips are embarrassed to pronounce
the words "God the Father Almighty", the 20th Century
recovery of Christian clarity knows that these symbols are again
filled full with this powerful rebirth of Mystery at the depth
THE CONTENTLESS TRANSFORMATION
54. Every man knows or can know the happening that revolutionizes the basic selfunderstanding and life motivation of the human spirit. An awareness of profound emptiness and futility, of basic purposelessness and guilt has paralyzed the spirit of 20th Century man. More than many, our age has become lucid about the bottomless estrangement in all relations of human society, in all relations to our own self, and in our relation to that searing Mystery that confronts all aspects of our lives. Now, when it has become popular to become cynical and pessimistic about human change, the primal transformation of life is taking place with astounding power.
55. Human life at its extremity has been seized by the dawning of the fact that totally estranged life is supported in being by the impinging Mystery Itself. In spite of the fact that no man can ever tolerate his own being, and in spite of the fact that no other man can understand or accept him, man is in fact uncondemned. Each life, and the whole reality to which each life is related, is unconditionally given, waiting to be picked up and lived. The past is past, and man is not condemned by it, however much he may condemn himself. The future is open. The possibility to face it and shape it has not been denied to the most miserable of men. Man is accepted. But in a way and to a degree never quite possible before, the awakened Spirit man of the 20th Century knows that this transformation is dependent upon no deed, no belief. For it is not transformation of life itself which is accomplished, but transformation of the perception which receives life. This is the quality of the contentless transformation. Everything is the same, but everything is different because man is transformed. Life changes as the transformed man lives it.
56. Human life at its extremity, seized by this primal dawning, is offended by the implications. Human efforts gain no righteousness. Human guilt gains no condemnation. Human reasons for significance are foolish, and excuses for insignificance are escapes from man's bestowed grandeur. The human mind is offended; all rational authority has been destroyed. The human drives are offended; all hope for an emotionally satisfying life is crushed
57. Human life at its extremity, seized and offended by this primal dawning, must decide. The decision is nothing more nor less than the decision to live life exactly as life is given, impinged upon, estranged, but accepted. The decision is a decision to value the real, however uncomfortable or disquieting, because it is real and accepted. The decision is a decision to reject all search for something more than an impinged upon, estranged and accepted humanness. The decision is a decision to die; for death is real, and in this decision death is valued above all illusions.
58. This seizing, offending, decisional happening
is the basic revolution of the Spirit of man. It is the happening
without which the human drama does not renew itself and launch
into new adventures. Though many lips are embarrassed to pronounce
the words "Jesus Christ", the 20th Century recovery
of Christian clarity knows that the first community that named
this name pointed to this primal transformation of human life
and proclaimed that revelatory happening the universal truth,
Lord of all visible and invisible reality.
THE CRUCIFORM RESPONSE
59. Every man knows or can know the radical imperative that comes to the man who chooses to be the estranged and accepted man he is. To live life as it is given means that one takes upon himself the imperative to be intentional. Life is decisional, however much men flee from the risk and responsibility of decisiveness. To live life as it is given means that one takes upon himself the imperative to include al1 parts, aspects and dimensions of reality in his evaluational consideration. To live life as it is given means that one takes upon himself the imperative to venture from the safe patterns of the past and create an adequate response to the future. Real life is a demand for radical response.
60. Those who embrace this tri-form imperative are those in the historical drama who see their vocation rendered up on behalf of all that ever was and for the sake of all that will ever be. This response on behalf of the whole universal drama requires all of one's life. There have always been and always will be in the historical drama two responses: those which intentionally lay down life on behalf of all, and those which do not. Men who intentionally expend their deaths possess the power to direct the course of history, those who cling to their lives are directed by the historical process. This decision to die is the cruciform response.
61. Those who embrace this cruciform imperative know themselves to be free. They are free to confront boldly the tragic and glorious deeps of life, free to participate in life fully without losing detachment, free to decide the course of human history in spite of all the perplexities and ambiguities of every comprehensively viewed situation, and free to require of self this invincible style of living.
62. Those who embrace this cruciform imperative know themselves to be the solitary ones who must live out of their own initiative, counting on no one to aid them. These people are those who risk being foolish, phony, and disastrously wrong in the eyes of all. These people are those who need no rewards of peace, joy, or status, but count humanness itself sufficient reward. These people are those who are perpetually the revolutionaries in the historical drama.
63. This cruciform response is the key to the historical
process itself. It is the mission without which all selfconscious
life comes to an end. Though many lips are embarrassed to pronounce
the words "Holy Spirit", the 20th Century recovery of
Christian clarity knows the entire future of the comprehensive
drama depends upon those who do. They are the elect of God, the
holy people, the embodiment of ultimate spirituality.
64. The primary vocation of those who have seen clearly the human indicative and have set before their own lives the human imperative is to build the practical forms that manifest historically the reality of the cruciform response. The task, in other words, is to rebuild the church as that part of the human community which visibly manifests the response to God on behalf of all mankind.
65. In this hour of global injustice the people of God are those who know they must, and do, rebuild the economic and political design for the planet. In this hour of total cultural revolution, the people of God are those who know they must, and do, rebuild the structures of education and the structures of urban community life. In this hour of inadequate and demonic religious forms, the people of God are those who know that they must, and do, rebuild the manifest structure of religion.
66. The first priority of the selfconscious
and intentional people of God is to develop those new religious
forms that hold, mature and coordinate the cruciform response.
Only renewed structures of intentional church life will explode
the cruciform response to the proportion of a worldwide
force that can produce the response demanded by this historical
moment. The selfconscious and intentional people of God
now live out of the rediscovery of the Human Indicative. The Human
Imperative demands that the people of God rebuild the entire construct
of the manifest thrust of the church for the sake of releasing
the reconstruction of a just and human world. This is the Human
IV. THE FUTURE VISION
67. Now, in our time, these new religious forms embody a fresh vision of a redeemed future. This vision, grounded in the secular mystery, the contentless transformation, and the cruciform response, has always been latent in the minds of men, and from time to time has assumed conscious and visible form. From the earliest, man struggled to envision a world composed of those structures by which he could realize a fully human life. In the 20th Century, an explosion of possibilities has occurred, radically altering man's ability to plan and create the social constructs in and by which he lives.
68. A new dimension of freedom, consciousness and choice has evolved, manifest wherever men and women choose to design their personal and corporate structures. People in countless disciplines have assumed responsibility for inventing the future by undertaking to build models and conceptual visions of what shall be. The broader range of human knowledge and the increasing ability to handle abstract concepts and minute detail has permitted the vision of the future to become thoroughly comprehensive, encompassing all aspects of man's life: economic, political and cultural. The vision of the future marks the direction of the civilizing process.
69. The vision, finally, is one of the new man, authentic
to the core of his temporal being; the new church, reformulated
for the task at hand; and the new world, human to the depths as
never before. This is the vision which impels all people and which
stands as a beacon for the spirit people.
THE NEW MAN
70 The new man, a mutation in humanness itself, has emerged in the midst of the historical process. He is the comprehensive man who dares to do all that he does before the totality of existence before all that has ever been, all that is and all that is to come. He is the futuric man who appropriates the past as his teacher, but stands resolutely directed toward the future. He is the intentional man who dares to decide the course of his own life and, in concert with others, the course of all history. He is a spirit man.
71. This new man has moved through the tragic confrontation with the historical forces which have ravaged human life in the 20th Century, and he is lucid about his own contingency and the utter contingency of all about him. As the lucid man he dare to see what he sees, and to know what he knows, about the depths of tragedy and suffering. He refuses to hide from what he sees and knows, taking it into himself and creating new possibilities for humanness within the limitations which the historical situation places upon him.
72. The new man is aware of the problem of reductionism. He remains obedient to the universal as it is manifest in the particular, and the particular as it is related to the universal. That is to say, the new man refuses to surrender his life either to a floating attachment to universal essences or to a narrow involvement in trivia. He is engaged in the total social process in his every concrete action in order to pioneer in the formulation of social structures which minister to all people everywhere.
73. As the man who lives on the edge of human creativity, he is the corporate man of covenant who knows that the time of individualism is past. As the disciplined man, he binds himself in covenant with others who are comprehensive, futuric and intentional, for the sake of performing the pioneering deed.
74. As the selfconscious man he decides in
freedom what deeds are necessary and acts upon his decisions.
He has no final appeal but the appeal to himself and his deed.
He knows that all his deeds impinge upon the whole of humanity
and he assumes responsibility for their consequences before all
THE NEW CHURCH
75. The new church has emerged throughout the world in every concrete manifestation of religious traditions. This new church envisions itself as the representational people within every society, and in mankind as a whole, who act on behalf of all in the tradition of their revolutionary fathers.
76. The new church is a celebrational people who know that it is the symbol which unlocks the power of the spirit in history. They symbolize in their corporate being and acting what is involved in living before the Universal Presence, according to the Universal Word, performing the Universal Deed. They know that the symbolic dimension of their life is that essential aspect of their existence out of which flows all their humanizing activity.
77. The new church is also a reflective people who know that without reflection both on the times in which they live and the Universal Presence, the Universal Word and the Universal Deed, they and their deeds will be parochial and irrelevant. The reflective dimension of their life is never an exercise of inwardness, but is solely for the sake of the deeds which have become necessary.
78. Both the symbolic and the reflective dimensions of the new church undergird the pioneering activity of these missional people. The new church does not have a mission- it is a mission in history. As mission it is constantly expending itself on behalf of all that is, and all that shall be. It loves the world by bearing the liberating Word and creating the structures of Justice which make human life human.
79. The new church is a radically disciplined people
living under the covenant to expend themselves in the performance
of the necessary deed. Its discipline is never for the sake of
its own integrity, virtue or merit, but only for being the representational
people in all the societies of the world.
THE NEW WORLD
80. The new world is emerging within all cultures and all societies of the planet. All people everywhere now have the responsibility of envisioning a global network of interrelatedness in which every man has access to the whole world, and through which the whole world is available to every man. The actuality of such a vision is both possible and imperative.
81. The economic structures of the new world are the global patterns in which the unqualified claim of all people to resources, technology, and products is honored by the guarantee of all that is necessary to sustain and encourage full humanness. The ancient disparity between rich and poor is behind us; the equitable distribution of the abundance of the planet is at hand.
82. The political structures of the new world are the global designs which assure for every person participation in the decisionmaking process. The ancient divisions of masterslave, manager-managed, rulerruled are at an end. The just participation of every person in the political process as a bearer of destiny is at hand.
83. But at the center of all economic and political revolutions of our time there exists a radical revolution in culture wherein every man may grasp his life afresh as significant. Whereas in former times upheavals in the economic and political orders of society have been of primary importance, in the new world it is precisely at the point of radical cultural change that the edge of the civilizing task is to be found.
84. The vision of a new world culture is understood
in and through three abstractions. The secular mood of the new
world is a synthesis of the basic life responses of all cultures,
producing new symbols of inclusive humanness. The scientific sense
of the new world is the extension to every man of pragmatic education
to the depths of all dimensions of life. The urban style of the
new world is the living out of the necessary interdependence
which is human life.
85. The vision of a new man, a new church and a new world is utterly inclusive in its compelling power. Throughout the world, there has arisen a new breed of spirit people with a comprehensive grasp of all that is, who with radical intentionality have decided to build the future. For these people, this vision is the shape of tomorrow.
86. The emerging body of visionary people, compelled by the concrete possibility of a more human world, is now to be found in all communities of society, all institutions, and in every culture. Not only is the vision held among artists, poets, priests and humanitarians, but among businessmen, politicians, economists, and scientists. Institutions which have been largely tradition bound are enthusiastically opting for the future, raising unprecedented questions and reaching for new answers. Cultures across the world, often stagnant for generations, are now springing into life, compelled by the vision of the new humanness. Men of low and high estate are equally confronted by the power that is being released and, as they respond, become part of the new spirit elite.
87. This vision of a new man, a new church, and a
new world, the construct of an ever more human future, compels
all people and is thrusting into the civilizing process. This
vision is here and now, a reality which is seen, embraced, and
V. THE SPIRIT MOVEMENT
88. All that has been said thus far leads us now to see that the human race is in the midst of an unprecedented happening; for in our time there has arisen out of the primordial struggle for humanness a new revolution in the spirit of man. Long sought after, occasionally glimpsed, always latent in the consciousness of sensitive people, the eschatological mutation is now at hand.
89. From the Orient, to Africa, to Latin America, to the Western World, human life is rumbling with a new awareness of the grandeur of the human enterprise. Struggling to take possession of their own destiny, people of every culture and religion are experiencing the pain and joy of the Spirit Movement of the 20th Century.
90. A new spirit elite has emerged as this movement.
They are the ones who have decided to give their lives for the
revolutionizing of culture, as those who create by intentional
word and deed the future of mankind. Nothing will stop this spirit
elite for it is the wave of history that will manifest itself
in every aspect of the civilizing process.
PERVERSIONS OF THE CHURCH
91. In the midst of this spirit movement are the various manifestations of the church, that strange community in history which has throughout the ages been the spirit people who took responsibility for the civilizing process. For the church has preserved the creeds, the stories, the selfunderstandings and treasures of its revolutionary fathers. This very community, with all its sicknesses, has nevertheless provided that connecting link with the past which makes the present understanding of the Spirit Movement possible.
92. But the sickness of the church at this time of Spirit obscures the inescapable challenge to play again its ancient revolutionary role in history. The doctrinal clarity achieved in earlier periods became doctrinalism in which doctrine, once embodied, became right belief and blocked the Spirit vision. Even now the exaltation of doctrine, once impelling, stagnates vital insight.
93. Likewise, institutional forms once fit for the tasks at hand are no longer relevant. Though necessary and crucial, institutional forms, when idolized, block awareness of the necessity for perpetual reformulation. Rigid adherence to institutional forms marks the second deep sickness of the church in our day.
94. Further, the perversion of the earlier image of the Spirit people as a fellowship in history to a worship of a community of peace and harmony has made it impossible for the historical church to appropriate the turbulence, ambiguity and struggle of the Spirit Movement which is being born anew today. Al1 the Fathers were well aware that tension, struggle and conflict were the very marks of the Spirit Fellowship. Whatever peace accrued to this community in the performance of its deed was surely beyond common understanding. The pietistic perversion of corporateness is the third great sickness of the church.
95. But the vital core of the Catholic and Protestant
Fathers' understanding of the church as a revolutionary movement
in history has been preserved to this day. It enables all men
within every historical manifestation of the church to grasp a
fresh understanding of that same revolutionary movement. That
vital core is the protestant principle, the conviction that the
church must always attend to internal criticism and constantly
subject itself to radical reformulation in every age. Vatican
II stands as the sign of the completion of the recovery of the
protestant principle within western ecclesiastical institutions.
The historical manifestations of the church are now aware that
doctrinal formulations, institutional and communal forms must
be perpetually subjected to prophetic discernment.
96. This basic insight, recovered in the last fifty years of radical church renewal, has called into question the perversions of the priestlyprophetic image. All men everywhere now clearly see that the Spirit breakthrough which has marked the global restlessness in our time has occurred decisively within the church itself. There is no turning back. The perversions have been identified and are being systematically repudiated by the wave of clarity which the pioneers of the last fifty years have delivered to this moment.
97. Seldom in the past has there been so profound a recovery of the theological heritage of the People of God. Though much reflection is needed, this basic task of recovery is accomplished. The work of the theological giants of the twentiethcentury theological revolution stands as a body of thought never to be divided as the object of debate where theologian is set against theologian. This work stands in its totality as a selfunderstanding to be appropriated and lived out, in which each theologian offers a unique contribution to the whole. No longer can the church revert to scholastic exercise. The way is now prepared for the clear proclamation of what human life shall always be about.
98. Likewise the institutionalism of earlier days has been denied in the ecumenical reality of the last fifty years. The very institutional forms themselves have been appropriated as the bearers of unique gifts, but all to be received under the imperatives of one worldwide movement. No denomination has been left untouched; all denominations may now be appropriated in relation to the one greatz vision of the new church as the humanizing movement in history.
99. Further, these fifty years have been marked by a radical recovery of a reformulated image of community. Within every part of the church, the rising up of the laity has refocused the commitment of the church upon the world of work, daily life, and social decisionmaking. The gift of the lay movement lies in the awareness that the church as a revolutionary movement is a scattered community whose gathering has no purpose but to enable the scattering. Gone is the pietistic perversion that makes the church a vehicle for personal salvation. The pioneers of the lay movement have forged a fresh image of presence which embodies anew the ageold imperatives of commitment and selfexpenditure. No longer does the selfconscious man hide in fellowship.
100. The theological revolution, the ecumenical movement,
and the lay movement stand as accomplished facts and prepare the
way for the next step of spirit man's 20th Century journey. By
virtue of these revolutions, selfconscious people in and
out of the historical church can now be the church. As the despised
perversions have been conquered in principle, there need be no
reluctance for any man anywhere to be the church and perform the
necessary deed for all mankind. The next step of the journey,
a fullscale secularreligious revolution can now be
THE RELIGIOUS REVOLUTION
101. The twentieth century is the third successive century of radical upheaval. We are now approaching a time when a total transformation in the social process will be underway. What began as an upheaval in western civilization has long since become a global revolution. The pattern of these frightening and fascinating upheavals which has brought us to the threshold of the postmodern era is now apparent.
102. In the 18th Century the very edge of the civilizing process was a revolution in political awareness and its accompanying structures. Wherever there is political ferment to this day, there is to be found the working out of political images of freedom born in those years. That basic revolution in which all men saw themselves as a destinal part of the political process has been, in principle accomplished.
103. In the 19th Century a new revolutionary thrust in the economic dimension of social existence was undertaken. Even now, al I societies continue to struggle with the insight that all men must necessarily share justly in a common economic destiny. Though the implications of this revolution remain to be worked out, its insights no longer lie at the cutting edge of the civilizing process.
104. Now that cutting edge has shifted to the root of culture itself. While the basic revolutions of the two centuries past were political and economic, the revolution of this century is cultural. A radical shift in all dimensions of culture has occurred in common sense, common style of life, and common mood. It is the mood or symbolic dimension, however, which is the key to the gigantic upheaval of our time. And it is for this very reason that the secular revolution is the postmodern religious revolution. This secularreligious revolution is the heart of the Spirit Movement.
105. All that has happened within the church in this
century has prepared it to understand and appropriate the 20th
Century cultural revolution as its own, since it knows that the
religious or symbolic dimension lies at the edge of the civilizing
task. For this task the church was brought into being. The church
is that historic movement uniquely equipped to embody and shape
this revolution. The time of symbol is the time of destiny for
106. The day is at hand for all resources of the church to be liberated for the task of shaping a new world. No building, no person within the historical church, no budget, no congregation, no denomination, no board, no agency, is exempt from the imperative to embody selfconsciously the new revolutionary task and be the Spirit Movement for the sake of all men everywhere. The decision of every lucid person to expend his very life for the sake of creating the new culture which will make full humanness possible is the decision which is required and which shall at this moment create a new society for the human family.
107. The first task, therefore, is to effect a structural revolution within the church itself. Nothing less than the reformulation of every aspect of the church is the aim of the Spirit Movement. Nothing less than a totally reformulated church will make a reformulated society possible. Nothing less than a totally reformulated society is the goal of the Spirit Movement.
108. Let all men everywhere stand now before this
imperative to be the new church which is the Spirit Movement,
and to be the Spirit Movement which makes possible a new man,
a new church, and a new world. The demand is clear. A decision
is required. The time is now. Every person is summoned to die,
the one deed that gives life. The church will be renewed by this
deed; the world will be reformed by the church!
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