By Dr. Marc Gafni & Dr. Zachary Stein
Abstract: Two narratives about the nature of our current historical moment are brought together in the interest of provoking a reconsideration of “collective enlightenment,” or what we term the democratization of enlightenment. World-systems analysis is a transdisciplinary field focused on the evolution and future of the modern world. Leaders in this field have charted long-term limits and end games, placing our current era in the heart of the modern world-system’s epochal and final crises. Esoteric religion and mystical traditions have also located our era at the heart of a world-transformation. From Teilhard de Chardin to Process Theology, a divinely inspired turning point in Earth’s evolution has been argued to be immanent. The process of replacing the modern world-system involves the widespread democratization of enlightenment. Engaging in concrete utopian theorizing, we suggest that tomorrow’s world will involve certain widespread “social miracles”— making enlightenment an everyday thing. Drawing on mythic and biblical imagery, we suggest the apocalypse of the modern world-system will be accompanied by widespread transformations of collective consciousness—a Planetary Awakening through Unique Self Symphonies.