The Parish of Burchetts Green

Vital core

However we develop in this futuristic world, our spiritual core will still be vitally important, and to create space for interaction, dialogue and debate will be a positive way to underpin the brave new world. Who we are and the purpose of life and the continuing human story will always fascinate and challenge us to greater knowledge.


In ‘The House of One’, all will enter the building through the same door, into a common circular area of community resources before entering the faith area of choice ie the synagogue, the mosque or the church. This will acknowledge the spiritual understanding of a creator god, but will respect the three different approaches to praying and honouring traditions of worship and culture.


None of the three faiths will be dominant. In the fractured often violent tensions of today between the different religions I feel this project has a lot to commend it.  It may well hold the key to the peace and happiness we all long for without recourse to the ‘soma’ drug of Brave New World nor the addictive search for perfection of the internet age. The building is topped with a tower open to the glory of God rising to the heavens above.


However we feel; optimistic, pessimistic or largely indifferent to the future, we should feel inspired to make a difference for the good of common humanity. This remarkable exhibition shows us what can be done when we try.


As we continue to enjoy the last few weeks of the summer weather and move to the colours of autumn, we thank God for the beauty of our planet, the changing seasons and the bountiful gifts that we receive.  Living now – in the present moment – will always bring rich rewards which will prepare us for the future – whatever that might look like.


Blessings

Brave New World? by Rev Dilys

The book Brave New World, written by Aldous Huxley in the early 1930s, was set in a fictitious futuristic and dystopian world state. It anticipates huge scientific developments in technology and psychological manipulation controlled by a happiness-producing drug called ‘soma’.  Almost 90 years on, much of Huxley’s nightmare vision of the future has been realised!


Revolution

Today we are in the midst of a massive technology revolution where, on a day-to-day basis, society is driven and manipulated by the Internet (including the dark web) and digital world.


We may not be addicted to the happiness-producing drug ‘soma’, but today personal happiness is paramount and addiction to body image and perfection is the driving force for many in society, especially the young.


The V&A is currently mounting an exciting exhibition entitled The Future Starts Here. It follows 100 worldwide projects that are shaping the world of tomorrow. They range from smart appliances to satellites, artificial intelligence (AI) to Internet culture and more, creating a landscape of possibilities that will affect our lives for good or ill.  The exhibition divides them into four categories: self, the public, the planet and immortality.


Human behaviour inevitably will be manipulated by these changes and we are already seeing this manifested as loneliness, isolation and detachment from reality, affecting increasing numbers.  On the positive side, the advances in scientific knowledge, made possible and accessible through the digital world, bring enormous benefits in health care, the diagnosis and treatment of disease and management of a whole range of other disciplines.


Using algorithms to program robots will soon become commonplace in many industries, and financial markets will be controlled through large terminal hubs, analysing data faster than is humanly possible.  It all adds up to an inspiring, hopeful and, occasionally, frightening future as it ends with ‘After- life’ exploring the possibility of immortality with a ghoulish display of cryonics – the technique of preserving one’s body for the future. For me, one of the inspirational projects was the establishment in Berlin of ‘The House of One’ – a purpose-designed building housing the three monotheistic faiths.