The Constitutional Convention convened a group of white men, most of aristocratic heritage, with some bold dreams for what a new-and-improved political blueprint might look like, drawing from the best Enlightenment thinkers, the political model of the Iroquois, and experience with the Articles of the Confederation. It was not a particularly inclusive group, with no representation for women, African Americans, or Native Americans, among many major stakeholders in the future of the country. Plus, the framers were definitely products of the European culture they had inherited. Even given all these limitations, though, the group was able to accomplish something historic a political blueprint that could shape what would become the worlds most influential country.
For that accomplishment, Americans have shown a touching level of devotion. The Constitution has become, in many ways, a sacred document, revered with the honor normally reserved for the holy books of major religions. This stems from its eloquent presentation of sacred truths, its practical power, and its resiliency the ability to change with the times when a sufficient mass of the government or people feel an amendment is required. It is both timeless and amendable by the times.
Given the extraordinary benefits that were unleashed in the act of the framers creating a visionary and practical framework for a new country, might we be able to do something parallel now, in the first decade of a new millennium? It need not necessarily be called a Constitutional Convention but the function would be the same to harness the best thinking and practices to create a visionary and practical framework upon which a great collective future can be built.
Our worldview has transformed in thousands of extraordinary ways in these last two hundred years. What would a practical framework drawn up now that includes the best wisdom, insights, and practices from those two hundred years look like? It might start with the principles that have been carefully honed in the Earth Charter, and then translate them into a practical social-political-scientific-spiritual framework that could guide our next stage of collective evolution. This would not necessarily be a replacement for the US Constitution but a parallel that has the benefit of including new insights from physics, biology, psychology, sociology, diplomacy, technology, spirituality, medicine, and many other domains. A state-of-the-art, visionary framework for building an emerging global culture.
As the number of democracies multiplies around the world, what can we learn about best practices from the many experiments? What can we glean from an intense study of the successes and failures of the American experiment? And how can we be more inclusive in a new spiritual-political vision by including the wisdom of marginalized voices?
Sacred America Series #17
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