Just some notions to share from a 9 year old essay by Brian Eno, one of the founders on the Long Now Foundation.
Humans are capable of a unique trick: creating realities by first imagining them, by experiencing them in their minds. When Martin Luther King said “I have a dream…” , he was inviting others to dream it with him. Once a dream becomes shared in that way, current reality gets measured against it and then modified towards it. As soon as we sense the possibility of a more desirable world, we begin behaving differently – as though that world is starting to come into existence, as though, in our minds at least, we’re already there. The dream becomes an invisible force which pulls us forward. By this process it starts to come true. The act of imagining something makes it real.
This imaginative process can be seeded and nurtured by artists and designers, for, since the beginning of the 20th century, artists have been moving away from an idea of art as something finished, perfect, definitive and unchanging towards a view of artworks as processes or the seeds for processes – things that exist and change in time, things that are never finished…..Artworks in general are increasingly regarded as seeds – seeds for processes that need a viewer’s (or a whole culture’s) active mind in which to develop. Increasingly working with time, culture-makers see themselves as people who start things, not finish them.
Read the full essay on the long now website.
(Here is a ted talk video about the long now 10,000 year clock from Stewart Brand)
Contemplation of the long now reminds me of this image:
(I use this image in my burnout retreats as a vision of learning to deal with burnout in ways not always clear or easy to follow–a lesson in trusting.)