FUTURLOGICS a system of prospective thinking:by james n. hall COPYRIGHT © 1983 BY JAMES NORMAN HALL ---------------------------------------------------------------------- No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatever without express written permission of the publisher ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Printed in the United States of America SELF TEACHING PUBLICATIONS WEST JORDAN, UTAH 84084 USA Previous Next Table of Contents of FUTURLOGICSPART TWO METHODS REMARKS ON THE MODES Knowledge can be divided into three categories: knowledge of the past, knowledge of the present, and knowledge of the future. History, knowledge, and foreknowledge constitute the experience we have with the temporal environment of time. Experience with all three gives contact with reality in all of its phases. Sometimes we are specialized in the past or the present. When we are overweighed in one area (such as history), the self-sustaining effect of cycles causes us to interpret the other areas of the temporal environment by it. If we are overeducated in history, we tied to describe the present and the future in terms of the past. Nothing is wrong with this if it is done with balance, realizing that if we channel all approaches through one of the specialized banks of information we might produce a mode. The six modes are generated through this type of specialization. Since it is important to use all phases of knowledge, history and foreknowledge to approach the future, we will investigate each method separately so we can improve them and use them in balance. ABSOLUTE FUTURE, the cycle of retrospection is used to approach the future and the role of interpreting the future in the pattern of the past is covered. The NATURAL FUTURE, as the observational mode describes it, is seen in terms of present knowledge of observation. In the IMAGINARY FUTURE we see the power of imagination and how the imaginative cycle becomes a mode. In the SYNTHETIC FUTURE, the creative cycle is studied. Man's power to create is seen as a modal dimension of the future. The PARADIGM FUTURE shows the amount of foreknowledge we already possess and how it is used to model and prototype the future. We discuss the problems in trying to interpret the future, and we learn how the paradigm mode can be both a model and a modal approach to the future. In the following chapters, the terms cycles, mode, and future sometime will be used (seemingly) interchangeably. The essential distinctions to be recognized when an exact definition is required is this: a cycle is a learning technique using only a portion of the mind and the senses; a mode is a theorizing technique where the world, as it applies to this book--the future--is interpreted through the medium of a particular cycle or cycles. The word future is used interchangeably between the concept of the future and the actual future. Mode and future are sometimes used interchangeably. A conception of the future that is derived through the observational mode--or the natural future--is so much like that very system of learning the future, that it is essentially a mode still. This is true of each of the six individual futures. Each can be termed as a mode, if it is stressed that it is not the actual future but a conception of the future. Modes then use the peepholes of cycles to perceive the whole world, or universe, as it were.
Chapter IV ABSOLUTE FUTURE
THE PAST IS PROLOGUE Our memory ties us to the past, and we find continuity with the present. Indeed, we gain the meaning of things from their histories. No one will argue that studying the past will help us deal better with the present. History gives us a sense of direction and points our minds toward the right course as we look to the future. The function of history is an essential part of our dealings with the environment, especially the environment of time. To understand the retrospective cycle of using the past to discover the future, we must understand clearly the nature and characteristics of the past. First the past can never be changed. It can only be discovered and recorded. Sometimes the revisions and changes we see in some accounts of history gives us the feeling that the past has changed, but this is due to the fact that history is not the past, and that records of the past were unevenly kept. Some ancient civilizations had extensive records that have survived to the present, while others, just as extensive, were destroyed by war and conquerors if not natural disasters. Some civilizations have left behind records that have not yet been deciphered or translated. When these records are translated, new history is added to the existing bank. Variations in recording may give the illusion that the past changes--but the past does not change. Only our knowledge of the past changes. The fact that the past cannot be changed makes it conveniently constant and linear. There is only one true history of the past. This simplicity gives us a criteria by which we can discern between differing historical accounts of the same period. We logically conclude that we must end up with only one true history of the past. The past's singularity and immutability suggests the word absolute, and this property leads to name this future Absolute, as it is the future seen by the retrospective cycle. This view of the future through the eyes of the past tends to attribute to it characteristics of the past. The Absolute Future, then, is the future seen from the perspective of the past. Such concepts of the future have emerged in the course of history only under other names. We see in ancient Greece a similar future-- instead of calling it absolute, they called it Fate. The Fates were a mythological group composed of three goddesses who were given the power to decide human destiny. Their names were Clothe, Chachesis, and Atropos; these three determined the beginning, length, and end of people's lives. The theory that the Fates arranged the lives of each person caused great concern among the philosophers, as they could not come up with a better explanation in the face of life's vicissitudes. Many of the Greek plays express these feelings of frustration, because Greek philosophy could not deal with the future. Themes in their plays were designed to portray the uselessness of going against the designs of the Fates. Myths reflect the attitudes of a culture. They are not products of the culture. They would have died if they did not explain things better than the philosophers. In all of the philosophical thinking of that era, the future was the subject least discussed. In fact, there is no philosophy today concerning the future. In these mythological explanations of time and temporal conditions, the Greeks had multiple gods and deities that caused a singular linear future. This singular future was Fate. Fate was like history: it must be resigned to completely by submission. Among the ancient cultures, the Hebrew culture was distinctive because it worshiped a singular God who provided His people with a diverse future. There were many mansions in their heaven. Instead of a singular future they had a plural future. Even their prophesies depended upon the moral climate of the people. If they repented, they could change their whole future outlook. The plural future of the Hebrews was encouraged as it furthered focused responsibility upon the people to live the law. the Hebrews had "one God" and many rewards in the heavens of their afterlife. Their future was contingent upon righteousness. The Greeks, however, had "many gods" but only one singular future called fate. With a singular future what they did made no difference to the final outcome of their prearranged destiny and moral rectitude was not stimulated. THE PLURAL FUTURE VS. THE SINGULAR FUTURE We could visualize the future as many possibilities funneling down through the present to end up as the past--the neck of the funnel is the present. There are no possibilities in the past. Only absolute fact and singularity characterizes what passes the present to the past. But if we move the funnel of the present, as it were, into the future so that we look at the past of the future behind the funnel as if it were the past, we produce a singular future at least to the new position of the neck. Analogically, this is essentially what the retrospective mode does, and the absolute future, in turn, is the future from the funnel back to the present. Overdoing the use of history to view the future produces the same effect. Looking at the future in the light of the past will tempt us to see the future as singular. But the facts are that we are alive and able to make an impact upon our environment. Everything we do can change the future to some degree, according to the power and resources within our grasp. If we choose, we have the power available to blow this planet to dust. Facts compel us to look at our future as plural. A plural future requires us to look forward with responsibility. If we tend to avoid responsibility, we may want to view the future as a singular thing beyond our control, thus alleviating culpability in how everything turns out. Nevertheless, the greater the power our knowledge gives over our environment, the more plural the future must be envisioned. If our will is empowered with knowledge that enables us to plan and design the future as we elect, at least within reasonable limits, we tend to pluralize the future. A plural future offers choice, whereas the singular future of the absolute mode restricts volition. Strict adherence to the retrospective mode of approaching the future produces a singular future that paralyzes our will and freedom of choice. SECURITY VS. FREEDOM If the singular future of the retrospective mode restricts volition. why do we tend to use it to approach the future? Obviously we desire certainty. Certainty is required in a world in constant flux. Without a sure base, we hesitate to act. We trust the past because it does not change. We find the past to be a linear unchangeable part of our temporal environment. The past is safe. There is the temptation to believe that if we are to make the future save and certain, we will have to make it like the past. The singular, invariable future of the absolute mode is a lure to false security. In the business of staying alive, happy and healthy, any uncertainty is seen as a threat. Sudden departures into the realms of uncertainty can result in anything, even death. The desire to base action upon certainty and safety persuades us to believe the absolute future. Unwittingly, we reject the more plural future for the sense of security that a strict historical perspective of the future can lend. THE PROBLEM OF FREEDOM Security without freedom is a prison. In order to be free to live in the whole world, we must be able to move in it as we desire. The linear singular future gives a chart and a bearing that can't be improvised by a change of mind. It is a map with no detours. Freedom runs a head-on collision course with the absolute future. The retrospective view and its historical perspective must be resolved before a sound understanding of the true future can be reached. Let us consider the problem of freedom as the self-concept in this mode is brought to the fore. Using a short range future as given, we look ahead to next two days. Doing this, we see it in an abridged form or our freedom of volition will be threatened. Theoretically, this could go on until everything is decided. We would see a vicious cycle, and awareness of our own decisions and choices in advance. But can we foresee our own thoughts before we think them? If we can, then when the time arrives that we have foreseen, we say, "I have already decided this," remembering the preview of the future we have had. Decision becomes only a memory recall, of seeing ourselves making the decisions in the first place. We can imagine that the constant remembering of previous decisions would be like a series of infinite "deja vu" experiences, looking at ourselves between two mirrors, seeing a chain of images. Taken to its extreme limits, we can also imagine that if we were somehow to see all our lives before us, we would never have to think again, having made thought a matter of remembering. But knowledge gained from the future becomes knowledge to change the future. The self-image in the retrospective mode is the most frustrating part of this approach to the future and the environment. It seems to defy our very thoughts. If we use it, we find our volitive powers swallowed up, for in this version, experiences, thoughts, and even our will is seen as a historical fact. ELIMINATING SELF HELPS THE MODE TO WORK Since conflict and anxiety are created when we see ourselves in the future through the absolute mode, the best way to use the retrospective cycle will be to avoid the self and things related to volition. A short discussion of the common ways to avoid self and make this mode work will help develop understanding of the absolute mode and some techniques we can employ. Although any method that in some way attenuates the self could be a technique, only the more obvious will be treated. If we look at the future in the same way an astronomer looks into the heavens, the self is diminished the same way that our planet becomes a small speck in the galaxy. Everything in the universe is in galactic dimensions, not only diminishing the earth, but dwindling man. Therefore, anything that man does will not be of any moment compared to the explosive energy of the birth and death of a star. So, also, if the future is conceived in galactic terms, then the self is insignificant in the whole scheme of things. We see immediately that this technique does not work with the close problems of daily living. Just as common is consideration of events beyond the span of our lives. This way we naturally eliminate problems encountered with seeing ourselves--erasing ourselves by death in the future. Most of us find that a preoccupation with things that will transpire after our demise is a very heavy and sobering subject, so much so that this kind of afterlife preoccupation is commonly within the realms of religion. But when the deep future is studied with a belief in a life after death, then the problem of seeing the self in the future is again renewed. Many refuse to consider the assertions of religions because they enliven the conflict of self and freedom in these afterlife concepts. Therefore, some religions are seen as a battleground of free will and free agency. The altruistic behavior found in most religions with a self-effacing manner of interpreting things typify this reaction to the freedom problem. When the absolute mode fails, it is because it does not provide for self and freedom. The next means of avoiding the self in the absolute future uses the concept of destiny. Although similar to the "beyond life method" there is a slight difference. The "destination" method of avoiding the self conflict does so by not considering the immediate vicissitudes of life but rather by centering the view of the future towards the final outcome. Although similar to the technique of eliminating the time of our life span, concept of destiny ignore the time of immediate concern. This is like saying that since Tuesday is not as important as Monday, we will think of Wednesday. The concept of destiny keeps the self at enough distance so that the conflict of self and decision for the future are avoided. Rather than avoid the self in the absolute future, we should find a system that allows us to see the self and all decisions with none of the concomitant problems. The absolute mode would produce less anxiety and restriction if we could resolve the three selves we all contain: our past self, our present and future selves. Futurlogics offers a relief to the problems encountered by use of the retrospective cycle and the absolute mode. The self is important since our survival and progress is linked to its expression. The exercise of free choice must be spontaneous and creative. To rely only on one way to view the future will not provide the latitude and range. Maximum volition is essential to progress or success. We resist others telling us how to live, and looking ahead in the absolute mode provokes the problems of freedom. Unless we know there are other ways of learning about the future, we will resent that future self imagined through the absolute mode. A phenomena seen in the self-improvement books currently popular is reminiscent of these concepts. These books suggest that if one imagines oneself as already achieving the goal or the desired objective or even rehearsing the accomplishment of the goal mentally, the mind will work as if it were already done. We know that without a future, our motivation goes nowhere. Changing one's future changes the expression of our whole motivational system. Therefore, this trick upon the motivational system uses the imagined self to commit to a future to motivate us. If we can get our imagined self to commit to a future goal then naturally this commitment presupposes the present self as already committed to that goal. Thus, we are motivated indirectly. Sometimes we imagine an alter-self to make the absolute mode to work as this force of "tradition" constrains the true self we make an imagined self to distract this modal force. The future is our goal and the self of that future is the identity we will eventually become. We are motivated toward our goals and our goals motivate us to achieve them. We relate to the future, and our assumptions of the future have a great deal to do with how we live. We could investigate this further, but we cannot without a basis of comparison. We must learn the other modes to have a background for comparison. DOES HISTORY REPEAT ITSELF? "if you have seen it once, you will see it again!" It is said, "Studying history is the best way to find out what will happen in the future because history repeats itself." This prediction could be well and good if man did nothing differently than his ancestors and did not progress. Accepting that man is essentially the same as his forefathers in some areas is the shortcoming of seeing history as a prologue to the future. There are areas where we differ greatly from those who lived before us. We need only reflect upon the date the first atomic bomb was detonated. In the light of that explosion we should have seen a whole new world ahead. History, repeats itself only if man does not progress or change. However, for centuries this form of approaching the future has sufficed. It has become ingrained in our culture and we almost unconsciously view the future through the eyes of our ancestors. Once this view is recognized as a perspective of the future from the retrospective cycle it can be revealed as a mode. Although we can not completely escape the use of history to determine the future, we want to use it to properly extrapolate the past to futurity. We want the historical approach to be a tool of Futurlogics, not the total method of prediction. An old gentlemen, seeing the effects of inflation on his retirement, said "The future ain't what it used to be!" He expressed the need today to find a new way of approaching the future. Today there are no historical precedents. Worldwide communication, nuclear energy, the knowledge explosion, and computer data processing make obsolete a total reliance upon the retrospective view of the future. We must learn when to look to history and when to look other ways.